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Hotmail Team says “thank you for being with us for 10+ years”

windowsliveCheck out the email (below) I got from the Hotmail team. Much has changed in the last 10 years, but somehow I’ve managed to hang on to my original Hotmail email address. (I opened my account the end of 1998.)

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MySpace: Emails My Password But Says “Keep It Secret. Keep It Safe.”

MySpaceLast month I picked on search engine Mahalo as an example of a company emailing its customers passwords. I mentioned how having your password floating around openly on mail servers can defeat the purpose of having a password in the first place. Mahalo’s founder and CEO, Jason Calacanis, joined the discussion and some good thoughts were shared from both sides of the issue.

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Twitter Review: Waste of Time or Extremely Valuable?

TwitterSo I finally gave in and started using Twitter this past weekend (if you’re on Twitter, follow me at twitter.com/bobcaswell). What is Twitter? It’s a mix of instant messaging, email, Facebook, and text messaging. It’s a network of users that follow each other. Here’s how it works:

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Bad Form: Companies Still Send Passwords via Email

MahaloLet’s face it; we all reuse the same password for login accounts all over the Internet. At best, some of us create a few passwords through which we rotate.

So why is it that some companies still insist on sending me my password via email right after I create my online account? The reason I have a password in the first place is so that it doesn’t flow back and forth openly in cyberspace only to reside peacefully on multiple mail servers.

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How Much Is All Your Email Worth? Answer: $50

EmailThis past week a national cable and high-speed Internet provider by the name of Charter Communications accidentally deleted all the contents of 14,000 active email accounts. A spokeswoman for the company explained that there is no way for them to retrieve anything that was erased. The spokeswoman offered this explanation and apology:

“We really are sincerely sorry for having had this happen and do apologize to all those folks who were affected by the error… During this maintenance we erroneously deleted active accounts along with the others. It’s never happened before. They are taking steps to make sure it never happens again.”

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Email Signatures with Famous Quotes: Amusing or Annoying?

Email SigThe popularity of adding some sort of quote as part of your email signature is on the rise (see discussion here and here). But some can be taken differently than intended. For example: “Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Quotes like these can come across as a bit preachy by presuming readers are insensitive and complacent.

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United States Responsible for 5x More Spam Than Any Other Country

Sophos, an internet-security company, released numbers on the amount of spam sent per country between this past July and September. And the United States is responsible for about 30% of it (see chart below). Despite legislation such as the CAN-SPAM Act, the U.S. hasn’t been able to do much to stop spam. And spam is getting more complicated: fake e-cards, virus-infected PDF attachments, and worthless MP3 files or ringtons are the latest methods. In fact, according to anti-spam company MXSweep, nearly one in ten spam e-mails attach MP3 files or ringtones.

I guess I wouldn’t know much about this. I use Google’s gmail and rarely see any spam.

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Erasing or Changing Emails Even After They’re Delivered: Good Idea?

BigStringBigString is a company set on eliminating “email sender remorse” by allowing you as the email sender to control emails even after they’ve landed in the recipient’s inbox. I was intrigued both from a technical perspective (i.e., how does it work?) and from a sociological perspective (i.e., what does potentially needing this technology tell us about ourselves?). The company even hosts a weekly contest where it asks for your worst emails (sent to wrong person, reply all mistakes, email while drunk, etc.) and awards the most embarrassing ones with cash prizes. So, first off, here’s how it works:

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