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Some time ago, there was a big bru-ha-ha about "Gmail" (Google's new email service) because they were planning on scanning user's emails, in order to present content-specific advertising. The ACLU & other such groups protested vehemently, "such activities are an affront and an intrusion on one's privacy." The fervor, eventually, died down.
Google's 'Gmail' hit the radar screen, again, when I recently received an invitation to open a 'beta' account. I signed up and then later learned that people were envious of the fact that I'd obtained an account. It seems that Google has created quite a buzz with this invitation-only approach, capitalizing on the human desire 'to have what we cannot'.
Note: If you would like an invitation, just respond in the comments section with your email address (which will never be shown on this site) and I will send you one, when I get a batch of them.
EDIT: 24-Feb ... received 50 today.
What's all the hype about? Well, for starters, Gmail is different. Instead of getting a few megabytes of storage space, you get a whopping 1000 megabytes. That's right, 1 gigabyte [GB] of space. Wow! That certainly IS different. It heralds a new era of email service: "Never delete a message again."
Beyond this concept, what is new? On the surface, not much. Don't get me wrong, Gmail offers some wonderful new features and shows a LOT of promise. One must keep in mind, however, that it is a NEW service, a beta release, and isn't QUITE ready for prime time.
The Good Stuff
1000 megabytes of storage space - lots of room unlike most
It's a free service - we like free
Free forwarding & POP3 - use Outlook Express unlike most
Google search technology - find those messages unlike most
Introducing "conversations" - a new approach
Introducing "archiving" - also a new approach
Introducing "folders" - excellent new approach
Advertising - unobtrusive
The Bad Stuff
No HTML composing - not YET anyway
No vacation response - not YET anyway
No sorting by date/author - limiting
Advertising - it scans your email
My (ever growing) repository for useful computing tips, organized by category. I hope that you find many of them useful.
Expand ALT text (MSIE Only) - You probably already know that when a picture fails to load (the file name is wrong, or missing, etc.), the alternate <alt> text is displayed. A lot of times, it's cut off.
What you may not know is that there's a browser setting that fixes this behavior.Tools -> Internet Options -> Advanced Tab -> Accessibility -> (check the "Always expand ALT text for images")
Another default setting that was dropped through the cracks.
Opening Links in a New Window: Using frames, it's as simple as specifying the target window for a link. Today, with CSS & XHTML, it not that simple. The "target" attribute is obsolete in XHTML strict and nothing has been offered up as a replacement. So how do you open a link in a new window?
This is one of those areas where the idealism of standards and the needs of the real World collide. There is no panacea, only tradeoffs.
<a href = "pg.html" onclick = window.open(this.html); return false">
EVERYONE gets to see the page.
We got our domain in Dec04. For the first month, we just moved files from our old domain. The 2nd month, we made some changes. After the 2nd month, we noticed that anyone can anonymously browse our directories. Ack! This is NOT what we want.
The place to change this is the ".htaccess" file, which controls directory behavior and works in a cascading style. (Control them individually, by placing a .htaccess file in that directory -OR- control them in a cascading, directory-tree-fashion, via one file, sitting higher up in the tree.)
The second method is what we are currently employing. Our single .htaccess file is in the top-level directory and looks like:
# Turn on XbitHack for Server-side includes
# Look in htm/html files for php commands
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .htm .html
# Turn OFF external access to directory indexes
We don't use SSI now, preferring PHP include statements, which makes parsing PHP important (the second bit). Turn off external directory browsing by turning Indexes off (-Indexes). A browse now results in a 403 message, which we can customize.
Type in your address line, to see what having Indexes on (+Indexes) looks like. Then try to see the Indexes off (-Indexes) behavior.
For more information on what you can do with the .htaccess file, read these:
Have a look at the effect of turning Indexes off. First, type randsco.com/openDirectory into your address box. THIS is what it would look like if you have Indexes ON. Then, type randsco.com/SlideShow into your browser address box. Instead of an index listing, you will get a 403 "Forbidden" message.