Most people have an email problem and we all struggle with overflowing inboxes. Various solutions have sprung up, from inbox zero to apps like Mailbox and Triage that help you quickly sift through your email. But the problem will persist as long as we keep receiving so many emails each day. So what can you do? Get to the source of the problem and unsubscribe from all those unwanted newsletters you receive using one of two services that were recently recommended by Wired.
Ever since Lavabit shut itself down last year, several different new alternatives have been proposed for people who want a truly secure email system that can’t be accessed by government agencies such as the NSA. BostInno reports that a team of students from Harvard and MIT are banding together to create a new email service called ProtonMail that they say will be more secure than Lavabit and won’t be hackable by the NSA or other spy agencies. Not only does this new email service offer end-to-end encryption but it’s also based in Switzerland, where it won’t have to comply with American courts’ demands to hand over user data. The service launched as a public beta last week after spending two weeks before as an invitation-only private beta. Anyone will be able to use ProtonMail to a limited extent for free, although the students say that “power users” will have to pay $5 a month to use the service.
God, does email truly suck. What used to be the best way to keep in touch with friends and family has now become an annoying slog, especially our work email inboxes that are overloaded with mounds of useless garbage that we’ll never get around to responding to. Financial Times writer Simon Kuper has now proposed six ways that we can make using email a less miserable experience, although some of them will require changing the general etiquette for the medium in ways that will make it less time-consuming. More →
One of the more annoying features Facebook still offers to users is a special Facebook.com email address that never really took off as a viable email alternative for Facebook users. While it’s not clear whether the company plans to discontinue it, what Facebook has done is to limit its use to forwarding any messages to a user’s primary email address. More →
While email has made our work easier in many ways, it’s also made it hard for us to really escape the office, particularly now that our smartphones are sure to remind us every time something urgent needs our immediate attention. The Guardian reports that French employers’ federations and labor unions have just signed an agreement that requires French employees to shut off their work-related smartphones after they leave the office, which means that their bosses won’t be able to nag them once they go home for the day. More →
A new Apple patent describes the methods the company has come up with in an effort to fight the increased number of spam messages that flood email accounts, AppleInsider reveals. According to the patent, called “Disposable email address generation and mapping to a regular email account” the system would be able to generate disposable email addresses that would be tied to a permanent email address belonging to the user. More →
“We now live in a world where there is no downtime.”
Today, I made a choice. I made a choice to carve out a chunk of time to write this article, but I did so at the expense of communication. I very intentionally decided to cast my eyes in the other direction by ignoring a deluge of inbound inquiries, and to be honest, I’m still unsure as to whether it was the right decision. Five years ago, I might have suggested that those employed in the digital industry would understand where I was coming from, but today, I’m more inclined to believe that everyone in a developed country would get the gist. This is the era where personal time becomes a relic, silence is the new distraction, and 24/7 expectations bleed from petrol stations into every possible aspect of your life. Consider this: how many requests are you presently ignoring by taking the time to read these words?
Facebook royally ticked off many of its users last week when it made their @facebook.com email addresses the primary ones displayed on profile pages without even asking permission. But now, Facebook is claiming that it never meant to switch its users' default email settings and is pledging to investigate just how this happened. Per PC Magazine, a Facebook spokesman said that the company is “having the engineers look into it and will get back to you as soon as we can with more details.” Facebook's statement on its email syncing policies comes after Adobe employee Rachel Luxemburg reported on her personal blog this past weekend that Facebook had pushed its own email account onto others' contacts lists, meaning her friends, family and coworkers saw her @facebook.com address as her primary one on most devices.
How many people out there use Facebook as their primary email service? Although the answer is “not many,” Facebook is trying to change that by making its users’ Facebook email addresses the primary ones displayed on their profile pages. Yes, that means people looking at users’ accounts won’t see their Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts anymore and will only see the seldom-used Facebook account. Thankfully, as LifeHacker demonstrates, there is a way to change this: More →
It isn’t uncommon for companies to scan through the Internet looking for information on potential hires. Young job seekers, however, have found ways to avoid having prying eyes find private data by applying a wide-range of privacy settings to their Facebook accounts. Now, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday that numerous employers are asking potential hires to hand over login credentials to their email accounts, social networking websites and other online services. The ACLU immediately blasted the practice, calling it “an invasion of privacy” and insisting that “people are entitled to their private lives.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal echoed these concerns and is now drafting a bill to make such actions illegal. Read on for more. More →
Earlier this month, Sparrow released its gorgeous email client for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Sparrow’s mobile app features a simple Facebook-like design that is light and responsive, with support for iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and other IMAP services. Unfortunately, the app does not support POP accounts or push notifications, which are both big drawbacks for a number of users. A new jailbreak tweak called “SparrowPush” enables push notifications using IMAP idle, however, making Sparrow’s app a viable replacement for the stock mail client. SparrowPush is available now for free in the Cydia app store. More →
In what can only be described as yet another set back for Google’s privacy battle, Gmail users are accusing the search giant of accessing their contact lists and sending spam emails to contacts with non-Gmail email addresses. “STOP IT!,” an irate user wrote on Google’s support forums. “At no point did I say it was ok for Google to send email messages to my non-GMail contacts recommending they sign up for GMail.” The user, posting to Google’s forum under the name MrCheck, claims a contact of his responded back to the unauthorized email and informed him that he doesn’t use Gmail or Google Talk. Further investigating supposedly found that Google sent his contacts with non-Gmail email addresses a spam email that highlighted the benefits of Gmail and Google Talk, inviting them to join the services. There was no evidence of the sent email in MrCheck’s sent box according to his post. Numerous others have shared similar stories as well, claiming that Google has spammed their contacts. The accusations come at a time where the Mountain View-based company is in the midst of dealing with a number of privacy hiccups that have damaged its public image. Read on for Google’s response More →
Apple has been forced to take its iCloud and MobileMe push email services offline in Germany as a result of a recent ruling in a patent lawsuit filed by Motorola Mobility against the technology giant, German blog Macerkopf reports. Late last year, a German court ruled against Apple in a suit filed by Motorola citing a number of patents covering 3G communications and push email services. A permanent injunction was issued and though sales of Apple’s 3G devices were initially halted earlier this month, the products went back on sale later that day. Now, presumably as a measure to avoid further sales interruptions, Apple has confirmed that it halted push email services tied to its iCloud and earlier MobileMe products.”This ruling only impacts customers in Germany who use a Push setting to get their MobileMe and iCloud email,” an Apple spokesperson told Engadget. “These customers will still receive email to their devices. Apple believes this patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.” More →