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Skype - Video calling

Jessica and I just got hooked up to Skype. If you haven't heard of it, Skype is the most popular phone/video conferencing software on the Internet. It works just like any other instant messenger, except you make voice calls instead of chatting. It does video too, which is kind of fun for the first 5 minutes. It's really good for making long distance calls. Skype has been downloaded almost 300 million times.

Skype us if you want. Download the software and search for "Travis and Jessica".


Hotmail deletes accounts after 30 days.

My wife hadn't checked her Hotmail account for about 30 days. When she logged in, Hotmail told her that the account had been deactivated due to lack of use. Five years worth of archived email was automatically deleted forever after only 1 month.

That's pretty crappy. It's bad enough that Hotmail has the worst user interface of any free webmail. Now they delete your account if you don't log in for 30 days.

Please, switch to Gmail or Yahoo Mail if you haven't already.

Labels: Personal Homepage

I've tried out many of the new "web 2.0" personal homepages, but I came across the best one today. beats them all, hands down. You don't even have to sign up to try it.

It's easy to use, updates very quickly and the simple user interface just makes sense. Give it a shot, and don't forget to add my feed :-)


Lytle Creek Off-Road


Scott, Brock, John and I made a spontaneous trip up to Lytle Creek for a few hours. It was Brock's virgin off road trip, so naturally he drove over everything as fast as possible. Good job Brock. It snowed too. Go here to see the pics.


Yahoo Maps Beta

It looks like Yahoo is catching up in the mapping arena. They just released Yahoo Maps Beta. It looks and feels alot like Google Maps, but with some extra features that Google forgot to add.

This Web 2.0 app uses Macromedia Flex instead of good old AJAX.

I'll be testing out Yahoo maps for a few weeks. It looks like it integrates with the Yahoo Yellow Pages, which means that it saves all of my frequently used addresses. That was probably the biggest feature missing from Google maps.


Embed Google Video


Google Video now lets you embed videos into a web page, which is pretty cool. I did it to our wedding video here:


New look

I just updated my site with a new look. I'm not really happy with it. It was looking pretty good, but there was this annoying bug in Internet Explorer that messed up the navigation. Stupid IE.

Do yourself a favor and download Firefox instead.

Disclaimer: Firefox sucks too.

Goodmail vs. Signed SSL Certificates


Permit me to nerd out for a second...

A huge controversy has erupted on the Internet as AOL and Yahoo have decided to implement Goodmail CertifiedEmail service for it's users. The kneejerk reaction from the community has been that AOL and Yahoo are "taxing" legitimate senders of email. I have read many moronic misconceptions about the service, including:

  • All email that hasn't paid the toll will be blocked by Yahoo and AOL

  • Spammers will use the service to bypass normal spam filters.

  • Non-profits will have to pay the tax to send bulk email.

Compare the Goodmail system to signed SSL Certificates that EVERY commerce website uses to establish trust. NOBODY complains about having to buy a certificate from a trusted authority who is supposed to verify that you are a legitimate company. If you don't buy a certificate, you can still sign your own certificate, but your users will be warned by their browser that your certificate is not "Trusted". This is almost identical to the Goodmail system. If you do not pay to be certified by Goodmail, your email can still get through. It will just have to go through the normal spam filters that we already deal with EVERY DAY.

Nothing is being taken away from senders or receivers. Legitimate email senders using opt-in lists now have the option to guarantee delivery as long as they obey the strict Goodmail rules.

Goodmail has every incentive to make sure that it's senders are following it's rules. Mailbox providers still have the incentive to make sure that legitimate non-certified email makes it into every users inbox. Illegal spammers will not be able to maintain any kind of certified status, and thus they will have to fight the same anti-spam mechanisms that they always have. As a legitimate bulk email sender, a frequent recipient of opt-in newsletters, and a spam deleting user, I say that certified email is a step in the right direction for everybody.