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Friday, May 23, 2003

Eudora Refugees

I stumbled across [Eric's blog entry] today while snooping for something completely different. While I don't claim to know Eric well, I've seen a number of his developer mailing list posts and actually have a book he co-wrote. We seem to swim in a lot of the same circles :)
Eric, and most of the readers who left comments, seems to be a Eudora refugee like I am. I spent most of the 1990s using Eudora, but after being swallowed by Qualcomm and then being shifted into maintance mode, Eudora fell behind many other mail clients, and in particular didn't make the switch to MacOS X as well as everyone would have liked.

In any case, it seems that most of the Eudora users are looking for the same things in an email program - most of them the same things I'm working on for EvilToaster. One thing you definitely will not see is a 3-pane view like every other mail program released in the past few years. For whatever reason, Netscape and MS Outlook adopted that and everyone followed. It sucks, it's stupid, it's bad design, etc. etc. The first thing I look for in a mail client when I try it is getting rid of the 3 pane view. [PowerMail], and GyazMail kind of let you do that. [Minotaur/Mozilla Mail] does and there are a number of other things about the Mozilla mail core that are very cool.

Anyway, nice to see that so many other Eudora refugees are out there looking for the kind of attention to detail and flexibility I miss!

5/23/2003 08:43:36 PM ] [  ]


Food with faces

[Scientists Find First Clue in Search for SARS Source (]:
Tests found a virus that appeared virtually identical to the SARS virus in saliva and feces of six of the animals, known as Masked Palm Civets. Virus was actually isolated from two of the animals while the two others were positive with a genetic test. Another animal, known as a Raccoon Dog, also had genetic evidence of the virus in its feces, while an eighth animal, a Chinese Ferret Badger, had antibodies to the virus in its blood.

If you want to see what a Civet actually looks like, [look here]. SARS is lemur poop!

5/23/2003 01:21:58 PM ] [  ]


Thursday, May 22, 2003

Coming home

Why is it, that when I come home from a day at the office filled with dealing with BS, I have to deal with more BS?
This is no way live.

Thankfully, it seems that next week I'll have a fairly capable housecleaner/keeper working for me a day or two a week so I don't come home tired and feeling suffocated by my own mess. While that should help a lot, just getting through tomorrow seems impossible right now.

5/22/2003 08:08:18 PM ] [  ]


Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Trust metrics in email

I've been looking at [Advogato's trust metric] as a model for how to implement a simple trust model for email. While Advogato sure is interesting (read the paper), the concepts the model is based on don't seem to carry over well to email. Avogato is a community discussion website, so the model is based on peer review- which doesn't really work well for email (other than mailing lists, maybe).

Let's say Alice and Bob are friends. Charlie is Bob's friend. For Alice to trust Charlie, Bob must tell Alice how much he trusts her. And for it to be practical, she has to get second opinions from other sources she trusts before she can trust Bob. So Bob and Alice would have to exchange lists of trusted users, and even better those would have to be stored at a trusted 3rd party's server and compared against all other trust lists to calculate Charlie's trust metric.

So even if we created something like this that was Rendesvous enabled to share trust lists peer to peer, it wouldn't work well for email, since it's not broad enough. If there was a central service that could store lists and calculate trust metrics, that would be great- but it's way beyond what I want to do for EvilToaster. But the trust metrics model he describes could be very useful for instant messaging, or even news stories.

But, sadly, it doesn't work for email as far as I can see. For person-to-person communications like most email is, it would only seem to work for mailing lists and corporate environments (where, granted, a trust metric MIGHT COME IN HANDY).

5/20/2003 12:21:06 PM ] [  ]


Sunday, May 18, 2003

Hacking mores

Headhunters have often told me I'm easy to "sell" to clients because though I'm an alpha geek, I have better social skills than most geeks they work with.
Having seeing a lot of the geeks they work with, that's kinda depressing - not the kind of people I would trust to buy the right octane for their car, much less create a multithreaded application. But I digress.
While I may have better social skills than many other geeks, I'm still largely crippled. I certainly don't pick up on body language, and I don't notice flirting at all. And when I'm out, with or without my comrades in arms, I don't randomly go up to people and try to strike up a conversation. I never do that- if a conversation happens, I'm more than capable of keeping it going, but I never have some urge to start one with a stranger.
I could go on about that, but I won't. The point here is that sometimes I come off as antisocial, though I'm far from it. Now people seem to have these odd ideas that it's a guy's role to go up to girls and use cheesy lines or something to start a conversation and get the ball rolling. Girls will stare at a guy all night, hoping that the guy will start chatting them up, but rarely going up to the guy and talking to him.

For whatever reason, each sex finds the opposite unapproachable in some way. The guys that do go up and chat up girls are usually losers- they have that sense of self confidence or whatever for the wrong reasons. In my experience, and that of friends, that often leads to bad relationships, etc. Me, I don't see a reason to start a conversation with someone because of their looks or anything like that. If they're talking about something that gets my interest, occasionally I'll jump in, but really people rarely do that.

But why do girls find guys unapproachable? Odd.

5/18/2003 08:15:24 PM ] [  ]