Intro: this is a brief account, excerpted from the original which was much longer and had more detailed forensic information. I decided not to publish it since it might be under investigation but several traces of it are still publicly available if you know where to look.
I have to admit, I am often amused by the level of deviousness that goes into scamming, fraud, etc. Email phishing is particularly interesting because it is a specialized form of social engineering fraud which is filtered through technology and preys on the naïve and their understanding of technology.
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Okay, I don’t know if that’s actually true but the Features page of the Postbox site state it’s based on Mozilla technology, which to my mind suggests they’re either improving on Thunderbird or just using the XUL backend to put a better front end on their own code. What do I know.
Postbox is a new email client for Mac OSX and they’ve just released their 8th beta of version 1.0. I gave the 7th beta a test run and it wasn’t bad – pretty good actually. Although, I’ve decided to stay with Apple Mail 3.0 for now since I’ve actually grown quite fond it its…um…stability. Yeah, that’s right.
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Google‘s CEO Eric Schmidt is on record here and here saying that Twitter is a “sort of poor man’s email”. I respectfully disagree.
Twitter is email lite. Twitter is the icing of email’s cake without the heavy filling. Twitter is the top of the muffin. Twitter is the sex without the wet spot (was that too much?).
Basically, Twitter is email – except without the Body of the email. It’s all Subject line. You don’t even have to specify the recipient. Ever wanted to send a message to somebody (or everybody) without specifying anybody and didn’t really want to say anything other than “I made it home”? Twitter is perfect for this.
From: Crankie Tech <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Everyone I Know <*@internet*.*>
Subject: I Made It Home
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2009 17:08:27
Well, I made it home. That is all.
It’s short, but it’s easily 700 bytes longer than it needs to be, not including firing up the email client or web client, blah blah blah. With Twitter, on a single data-light web page you get:
I am home.
Twitter also relieves you of having to fish the odd spam out of your Inbox because, well, honestly, it’s all spam. However, it’s spam from people you know – which makes it only slightly less annoying because you asked for it.
I know how old this makes me sound but kids, I just gotta say this: I hate Facebook Mail. Facebook is great for lots of stuff but the fact is it’s a web-based messaging system, a crappy & broken one at that, that duplicates an existing system without actually making it better. And it actually creates a redundancy – at least one.
The fact that it forwards new Inbox items to my contact email account drives me insane. So why don’t I just turn it off? Or why not only use FB Mail? Well, I have about a thousand other email accounts for other purposes and identities. I don’t just do one thing. So it’s great to be able to do it all in one place, using either Outlook (*shudder*), Thunderbird, Apple Mail, or even Gmail using POP fetching.
I guess this is where Facebook departs from its original intent as a gathering spot for university & college students who actually really only need(ed) the site for one purpose and one purpose only – gathering friends for a party and then posting the aftermath pics. Also, for stalking high school crushes.
However, now that old people have been using Facebook for several years now it’s maybe time for them to revisit how its users use its mailing system. What would be wicked is if the Facebook API allowed a developer to create an IMAP or POP bridge. I’m not alone in wanting this. A quick Google and I found this and this. At least with a bridging application Facebook could still keep the content flowing through their system (and yes, using whatever data they can glean from it for their evil marketing plots) while making it actually usable.
What would be wickeder is if they just set up their own IMAP/POP servers and allowed you to have direct access to them. In fact, it would take a huge load off their web servers by reducing the number of page-fetch calls and instead running far more efficient and less processor-intensive mail servers. After all, most mail is text-based anyway and fairly slim. And, of course, they could still have the web interface there fetching mail off the mail servers to not break functionality.