Tag Archives: gmail

eStarling Touchscreen Digital Picture Frame Review

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I’ve had a couple of eStarling digital frames in the past, and been very happy with them. When the folks at eStarling sent me their newest product to review, I was more than happy to take a look – especially since it features a touchscreen! The frame also boasts 802.n networking capability, and automatic firmware updates.

The eStarling TouchConnect Digital Photo frame has a 10.2″ LCD screen, which allows you to see your pictures with nice clarity. There is 2GB of built-in Flash memory, with the ability to add an external SD memory card for more storage. Using the touchscreen, you can quickly set up wireless connection and passwords.

Probably the coolest part of this frame is the social aspect. Yes, you can pull in photos from places such as Flickr, Facebook and Picasa – much like with other similar frames. However, with the TouchConnect, you can grab photos right from within your Gmail.

Provide the credentials of any Gmail account that you choose, and let the TouchConnect do the rest. Forward your photos to that email account, and they’ll show up in your picture frame. Likewise, you can email the photos from your cellphone directly to the frame, as well!

Also, subscribe to any photo RSS feed that interests you, and those pictures will automagically show up on the TouchConnect, as well. Send the RSS feed in question to the Gmail account that you set up with the frame, and they will be fed directly onto the screen.

I have to thank the folks at eStarling again for sending this to me to take a look at. I’ll go a step further than just reviewing it – I’ll be keeping this little gadget right on my desk here in my home office.

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Gmail Labs

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I think everyone I know has a Gmail account. Do you use it? Do you like it? If so… why? I’m interested in hearing your responses.

If you’re not familiar with the Labs feature, it’s something that will extend the capabilities of your Gmail account. Jamie submitted a top five list of Labs tips and features. I wanted to pass them along to you. Jamie has tried almost every Lab script there is, and compiled the following list of what he feels are the five best ones that you should be using.

  • Title Tweaks – This moves the “Inbox (n)” element of the page title to the front, meaning that when you have lots of tabs open you can still see when new emails come in. I’ve found this to be really handy as it means I no longer have the title “Google Mail” taking up space unnecessarily in my tabs… and I don’t have to open a tab/window to see if I have any new email. Really simple, but very helpful when you’ve right-clicked a number of links into new tabs.
  • Old Snakey – Email can be, and often is, dull. Sometimes it’s nice to distract ourselves with a simple game to take our mind off things for a couple of minutes. Old Snakey does exactly that. As long as you have keyboard shortcuts enabled pressing Shift + 7 (= & – which sort of resembles a snake, I guess!) will open up a simple game of Snake right inside your email window. No pop-ups, no new windows or tabs – and you can still see your inbox right behind the game. It’s an excellent stress reliever during the course of your day, as well.
  • Remove Labels from Subjects – This one is especially useful if, like me, you have a netbook with a small screen that you often use to check your email. This script hides the labels from the subject line, meaning that not only can you see more of the subject and snippet of an email, but also the subjects are properly aligned with each other – not zigzagging like they are when labels are enabled. I found that before using this script I’d started to almost ignore the subject completely, instead I was paying more attention to who an email was from and the labels it’d been assigned by my filters.
  • Inbox Preview – Inbox preview shows a static list of the emails in your inbox as Gmail is loading. Whilst Gmail is usually very fast to load, this allows me to see if I’ve got any new email immediately, and even provides a “Sign Out” link if I should decide there’s no need to go any further. This might also be useful to those that have Chat turned on in Gmail, and want to check their email quickly without popping up as “Available” in Chat. If there’s nothing that demands your attention, just sign out.
  • Mark as Read Button – I’m constantly marking email as read without actually opening them up. Notifications from sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube often don’t actually need to be read, but I still prefer to have them sent to my inbox as unread just in case. Of course, Gmail has had the “Mark as read” feature since the beginning, but this has always been hidden away in the “More Actions” menu. This script adds this option as a button next to “Delete”, so I can quickly clean my inbox of those emails that I don’t need to read. This Labs feature gets the number one spot not because of how amazingly technical or clever it is, but simply because it’s almost certainly the feature that I use the most.

If you’re using Gmail Labs, what are your favorites? Do you find that they are fun – or functional? Do they make your email experience better? Let’s hear what you have to say.

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Are You Using Audio and Video in Gmail Yet?

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I have Gmail, like many of you do. Over the past months, Google has been adding handy scripts to enhance the experience. Just the other day, they added the possibility for you to do live video chat with your friends. All you need is a Webcam, and the small download to install from Google.

I was looking in my account to see who happened to be online while I was recording this video. Looks like my friend Rick from Geeks and the live community. I connected with him, and was amazed at the high quality of this service. Both the image and voice quality are of the highest caliber.

It’s not going to get any easier than this, really. Just point and click, that’s all there is to it. You can pop the video out of the regular browsing experience, so you can continue to surf online while you are video chatting with someone. I’ve never really seen something like this done in a better fashion. Kudos to Google.


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What Email Client do You Use?

There is such an abundance of email clients these days… both web-based, and desktop-based. It’s hard to know what one is the ‘best’, or which one will suit your needs and desires. How do you know what is right for you? I asked several people this question, and the answers were quite varied.

gmail – Sean Oliver

Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo mail – Brian Sullivan

Gmail at home and Outlook at work. I used to use Outlook Express at home but gave us and solely use Gmail now (best spam filtering features around). – Kol Tregaskes

gmail – Kevin Bondelli

The Bat!. It’s the only IMAP client that doesn’t lack features and doesn’t piss me off. – Akiva Moskovitz

Thunderbird at home and Squirrelmail when I’m on-the-go. I’m forced to use GroupWise at work, which I despise. – Rochelle

Mozilla Thunderbird, both at home AND at work. – Helen Sventitsky

The Bat? – ♣genieyclo♣

gmail (IMAP when on the iPhone) – Jamie

Oh, and for the record, I wake up every morning praying that someone would make a desktop IMAP client that does not make me want to kill myself. I’d do it myself but that is a crapload of work that I don’t really want to get into. – Akiva Moskovitz

Googlemail ( IMAP on the iPhone). Very rarely use outlook 2008. – Roberto Bonini

Gmail, Mobile too, and hoping to never use Outlook again – Majento

Gmail +WAP version on mobile and mail.app for the offline (ah and an old hotmail account) – Naor

Gmail: On the web, on Outlook, and wirelessly on my iPod Touch. – Mike L

Anything EXCEPT Microsoft Entourage. Seriously. I’ll telnet into the server on port 143 and manually enter commands if I have to to avoid using Entourage. – Glen Campbell

T-bird mostly, except for my work email. For that it’s Outlook. – steplow = Steve Lowe

Mail for office mail, Gmail+Google Apps for my personal stuff. – Niclas Strandh

i love it when people answer the geek question threads here in friendfeed. it’s like parallel universes. in the confession room people respond to the secret tweets, too, even though the original poster can’t see the answers. if i think about it too much my head hurts. – LauraBrarian

Gmail. Usually through Prism. Sometimes through Firefox or Thunderbird. – Tanath

Gmail, Outlook/Exchange and a Blackberry – Alex Scoble CISSP

Gmail and Verizon (since it’s my DSL account) – Thankful Molly

primarily Gmail (and Windows Live client) – Charlie Anzman

Gmail, Thunderbird, and Horde – Joe Lencioni

GMail and OtherInbox – April Russo

gmail on BB – Phillip Jeffrey

Gmail – Morton Fox

Outlook, Pocket Outlook, Gmail Web, Yahoo Web – MiɳuɘtMagɘ

gmail on thunderbird, gmail on mobile – Anjo Miranda

Gmail IMAP via Mail.app on Leopard. 🙂 – Beau Giles

Do you use Gmail's New Features?

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Ah, yes… Gmail. It’s the free email service from Google, that can be accessed via the Web or by using a desktop client. They give you up to 6GB of space to use, pretty much for free. That’s beyond cool. There are a ton of free services that Google offers, such as Google Docs, which we’ve discussed before. Just the other night, they introduced us to Google Labs.

So what is this new feature, exactly? When you sign in to your Gmail account (or sign up for a new one), you’ll see “New! Gmail Labs!”. This resides as a tab within your Gmail settings. This allows you to add things like plugins, add-ons, Gmail widgets and the like to your account. They’re simply “hooks” that add to your experience with Gmail. They’re going to be slowly rolling these out, to test how they are received and used. For the more popular ones, they will eventually be made into full-on Gmail settings.

In essence, you have an opportunity to shape the future of Gmail. It’s pretty much the fastest web-based email out there, but I’ve never really liked the interface. Maybe they’ll come up with some interface tweaks. Check some of these out:

  • Google Code Search – allows you to search for public source code.
  • Google Page Creator – helps you create a Web page in minutes.
  • Google Dashboard Widgets for Mac – Quickly access Google products from within Dashboard.
  • Google News Alerts – Choose a topic and receive news alerts for it.
  • Google Notebook – Clip and collect information as you browse the web.

These are only a handful of the things you’ll find to play with in Google Labs. Give it a try today!


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Google Talk (Gmail) Contacts and Friends Lost

I screwed up a Gmail contacts import the other day, thinking that I could resolve the problem by deleting my contact list and then re-importing it… but that’s not the case.

When I deleted the contacts in my Gmail address book, my Google Talk connections to them also disappeared. There’s absolutely no way to get those back – at least, not without jumping through flaming hoops first. I either have to reauthorize each one of my known Google Talk contacts (even though there are people in my address book who aren’t on Google Talk / Jabber), or I have to sort through the list and remember the people who had Google Talk.

You can set Gmail to “Automatically allow people I communicate with often to chat with me and see when I’m online,” but that doesn’t work well if they were just added / re-added to your address book. The alternative is to set Gmail to “Only allow people that I’ve explicitly approved to chat with me and see when I’m online.” That’s not what I want.

Or, I have to “spam” my contacts and add them one-by-one – and if they don’t have a gmail address, Google Talk will force itself to send them an invite. This is maddening.

I want Gmail to either send reauthorizations to my Google Talk “open” contacts, or enable them to show up in my Google Talk contact list if they’ve already authorized me as a friend on their end. Until then, I’m stuck with “no friends” in Google Talk.

Secure Email

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – RychenCop, on a Civilian Police Assistance Training Team in Baghdad, Iraq writes: “I have been using Gmail as my main email service while stationed in Iraq. My question is how secure are online email services?”

Before I get into this answer, let me take the time to shout out a THANK YOU to RychenCop, and all the other service men and women overseas. Because of what you do, I am free to do what I do.

As far as Gmail goes, it’s definitely about the best Web mail service out there. Not only is it free… it works. It’s fast loading, the threaded conversations are much easier to read and navigate, and the keyboard shortcuts embedded on the page make the entire experience faster.

Yahoo! mail has a new version coming soon. It features a tri-pane view, which absolutely rocks. It also has tabbed browsing within email, integrated chat and text messaging, and even better contact management. This is also free, just like Gmail. There will, of course, be a pro version.

For security with your Gmail, I suggest using https:// at the beginning when typing in your address to Gmail. Notice the S at the end of http? That makes you log in via the Secure Socket Layers (SSL). This provides layers of security to allow you to transmit your information over an encrypted connection. If you’re happy with Gmail already, this is the route I would take. Why change email providers when there is no need to?

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Gmail Problems

Gmail scalability issues, perhaps?

Hello, Chris. My name is [BLANK] from [BLANK]. Have you heard of anyone having problems with Gmail recently? Something has happened to my account; I did not change my password but now I cannot login. The Gmail Team told me to wait 5 days and then try to recover my password. I waited the requisite time (without any access whatsoever).

Today, I tried unsuccessfully to recover my password. As a last-ditch effort I chose to have Gmail send an email to my secondary email account. I was then told that an email had been sent to my verizonmail.com secondary account. That wouldn’t be bad — except — I have never ever had a verizonmail.com account.

This makes me wonder — have they deleted my account? Did they give it to someone else? This is so bizarre, it just cannot be normal. Thank you for reading this.

I use Gmail, but only as a secondary account (and to access Google’s growing list of services. I’ve warned people before: no matter what you happen to use, if you get the service for free, expect interruptions. The same holds true for any service provider (Microsoft, Yahoo!, etc.).