Logan bomber

September 23, 2007

“MIT student Star Simpson was arrested at Logan Airport, wearing a fake bomb. I really was surprised that a person like this has any connections whatsoever to MIT.

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The Quest for a Free Email Provider

September 23, 2007

I like free email and I like the competition. I have experiences with my prior subscribers Mindspring (Earthlink) and AOL, and the free services.

Lycos – I’ve set this up yesterday and am very hopeful. It features exclusive filters and only people in your list can supposedly get through. I’m ranking this to be graded for now.

Yahoo email – It has done a good job preventing spam and legitimate emails haven’t been blocked. According to Wikipedia cited this http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/15/news/international/pluggedin_fortune/index.htm?cnn=yes “Unlike Google or Microsoft, which keep confidential records of its users outside mainland China, Yahoo! stated that the company will not protect the privacy and confidentiality of its Chinese customers from the authorities.” Yeh they are evil when they don’t need to be. I don’t click ads so I’m not part of their profit margins since I adblock. SSL login is at https://login.yahoo.com/config/mail?.intl=us I’ll rank my personal experience with yahoo email a A-.

Hotmail – I’ve been a member for 6 years, but the junk mail is fills up pretty quickly. They used to have a feature with exclusive filters and it was incredibly effective with the exception of hotmails own MSN branded crap always being sent to my Inbox. Then the exclusive started letting crap get through. Microsoft also used to do something borderline illegal with Opera users, so to prevent them from messing with my account I’ve programmed Firefox with IETABS, so anytime I visit hotmail it’ll login with Explorer in a tab. The negative aspect is the advertisements are seen and they are kind of flashy and annoying. B+

Gmail – They really fail in the privacy area. They scan your emails for context based advertisement, and they scan your outgoing email to. This privacy failure extends to the recipients of your email. If you want SSL email you need to manually type in https://mail.google.com. I personally think the interface is awkward but after a week after having the email up I haven’t gotten spam. Right now I’ll rank it C-

Hushmail – was something that seemed great several years ago (super man encryption) but it was incredibly slow and oh yes they prematurely closed my account despite it being my main email. I actually was telling people about this free email! Now there is a couple reasons why this was incredibly stupid to change to this email service. One, nobody uses their instant messaging service, but I wanted the email and that was a perk I was willing to forgo. Two, hushmail sounds really flamboyant. Third, they closed my account for “inactivity” which was a lie. Well since I didn’t pay for it, it gets a D-

The ethics of tipping

September 23, 2007

Once upon a time I lost my mouthpiece at a McDonalds and “tipped” the employee who helped me search the garbage containers $20.00, but I know that is the only time you tip a McDonald’s employee. I’ve seen a nearby Subway ask for tip on the credit line and was a bit surprised. I always end up tipping, but I’ll permanently avoid these stores.

Whenever I shop at local independent stores or have carryout I am unsure if I am supposed to tip. I understand the concept of 20% tip, like bill * .20 = what I pay, but what if the bill is incredibly low? If I order a pizza for $10.00, is $2.00 really fair for the pizza driver who drives his/her own car, has insurance, and pays the gas? What if the bill at the restaurant is $60, is $12 overly generous?

America’s 20% tip also benefits cheapskates! The tip jar and tip line are a punishment to people who realize these employees livelihood may depend on what they are tipped. At the very least the tip should be a mandatory fee included in the bill or the menus should state item cost = this (tax and tip not included).

Some free useful webpages

September 22, 2007

–Time Savers–

Disposable Emails 1 2 3 4 5–  You can use these to avoid these for forum registration or to contact people without a dedicated email.

Bug Me Not – Skip the compulsory registration page, this webpage allows members to share login details.

Get Human – Sick of being on hold? Here is how to get past the corporate telephone machines to a real human customer service representative. Usually pressing zero gets you through, but it depends on the company

—Academic —

MLA Bibliography converter – Forget learning how to make a bibliography, this webpage converts it for you.

Rate My Professor – Share your personal opinions on the faculty.Wikipedia – Online Free Encyclopedia. Be wary of vandals.

The Unknown Rebel, Tank Man

September 22, 2007

Jeff Widener captured photograph captured this incredibly heroic person.