blog dds

2010.03.12

Email's Ten by Ten Law

I drown in email and my aspirations for handling it are becoming increasingly lame. In the 1980s my goal used to be an empty mailbox at the end of each session. During the 1990s the goal became to empty the mailbox by the end of the day. But tasks I couldn't complete within the day accumulated, so in the 2000s I just tried to have only so many messages as could fit in a window without a scrollbar, so that I could immediately scan what I had to do. Nowadays my modest goal is to keep the size of my mailbox below 100 messages, and I succeed in that only half of the time.

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2009.05.10

Democracy in Europe: The Telecom Package

Last week I sent an email to the 24 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that are supposed to represent me, regarding the second reading of the Telecoms Reform Packet.

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2007.02.16

Malware on the Fly

Apparently, rogue servers listening on the p2p Kad network intercept the search terms of queries and generate on the fly appropriate file names linking to files that contain malware.

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2006.12.15

Cracking Software Reuse

[Newton] said, "If I have seen further than others, it is because I've stood on the shoulders of giants." These days we stand on each other's feet!

— Richard Hamming

Sometimes we encounter ideas that inspire us for life. For me, this was a Unix command pipeline I came across in the '80s:

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2006.01.25

Google in China

Google "don't be evil" Inc. launched a self-censored version of its service for China.

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2005.11.09

US Military Removes Word Documents from the Web?

On August 25th 2004 the comp.risks forum run an article I submitted regarding the large number of Microsoft Word documents available on US milatary sites (sites in the .mil domain) through Google searches (23.50 "U.S. military sites offer a quarter million Microsoft Word documents"). The article documented how such documents could lead to the leakage of confidential data. A week later I setup a script to watch the number of Word documents available through Google searches to see if and when the military would recognise the threat those documents posed and remove them.

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2005.05.05

Google's Web Accelerator as a P2P CDN

I admire Google's guts in deploying their Web Accelerator. Proposing to act as an intermediary for the whole planet's web traffic takes a lot of courage and a certain amount of audacity. Interestingly, the system's design can be quite scalable, through the use of peer-to-peer and personalization technology.

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2005.04.09

Vatican's Prescient Web Masters

The Vacancy of the Apostolic See web page appears to have been prepared one day BEFORE the Pope's death.

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2004.08.31

U.S. military sites offer a quarter million Microsoft Word documents

I was Google-searching for the Air Force Operational Test & Evaluation Center publication "Software Maintainability - Evaluation Guide". To make my search more efficient I restricted it to military (.mil) sites, using the Google keyword "site:.mil". I was not able to find the publication I was looking for, but was surprised to see a number of Microsoft Word documents in the search results.

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2004.06.25

Google Mail and Privacy

I recently subscribed to Google mail, to obtain a reasonable alias (I thought I could get my loved dds initials, but it turned I would have to use at least 6 characters). However, I doubt I will use the service, because I really don't trust Google to search through my personal email data. I have 300MB of email now, representing about 18 years of email discussions. (I routinely remove all attachments, which I file separately, so the size of my emails is relatively modest). If I trusted Google, I would like to upload all my messages to their servers, and utilize Google's awesome search capabilities. However, the truth is, I see too many ways for the service to be misused.

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2004.02.03

A Spam-resistant Email Network

I am really fed up with spam. Yes, I am behind a spamassassin filter, and it is getting less and less useful with every passing day. Many other interesting ideas (including ji's patent) have failed to catch on and provide significant relief. In a recent column in IEEE Spectrum Robert Lucky expressed his yearning for the days when email was only used by the elite in the know, the select few who "were on email".

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2003.09.26

Well-behaved Web Applications

Very few web-based applications are designed to match the web metaphor. As a result they are often irritating, counteproductive, or simply unusable. During the last two months I've been working on an IEEE Software theme issue titled "developing with open source software". Most of my work is performed over the IEEE Computer Society Manuscript Central web application. The application is an almost perfect example of everything that is often wrong with such interfaces.

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Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material on this page created by Diomidis Spinellis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License.