I've done a bit of restructuring and have decided to remove the sidebar. This has also resulted in a dedicated archive page. Tell me what you think about the new look (as well as the new header image at the top) by sending an email to ifelse at gmail dot com.
I have an experimental version of the archive page. Let me know which one you prefer. Decision made.
Purely for my own reference, an article by Ernest Adams that I read many years ago on heroism in RPGs.
A quick mini-review of Google's GMail service. My first impressions of the service is that it's slick. Despite all the so-called privacy bruckus that was peddled around, I found the service much less intrusive than any other webmail offering. The signing up screen asked for my name, username/password and secondary email address. That's it. No need to think up fake addresses like '1 a Street', no requests for birthdate, Zip Code, just common sense. This may, of course, change once the beta test is complete, but right now, it feels like a welcome breath of fresh air.
The good impressions extend to the login process. There is a option to remember my password for 2 weeks instead of indefinitely, which is nice. And then you click the Sign In button.
It's fast. It's really fast. It's quite impressive how speedy the service seems. Moving from my inbox to an email, and then to compose messages is painless. For the first time, we have a web interface that doesn't feel hampered by being on the web but instead can be compared, favourably, to a desktop app. I haven't even mentioned the keyboard shortcuts yet. By default, these are turned off but I urge any GMail user to try them out. To open a email, you press o. To move between emails, you can use j and k and to compose you press c. The shortcuts are, I suspect, a result of their previous Google Labs test but whilst there it was a clumsier alternative (IMO), here it feels smooth and natural. This is once again, helped immensely by the performance of the system.
As yet, I haven't mentioned anything that is too revolutionary. Rather these are all evolutionary tweaks that Google have thoughtfully implemented. However, what is really impressive is the way emails are handled. You no longer sort email into folders. There is no such thing as a folder now. What you do instead, is that you can attach labels to messages. For anyone who has a blog, think in terms of applying categories to email messages. The truly interesting consequence of this is that emails can have different labels, that is they can belong to different categories. You can flag an email as [work], [contractual], [private], and [finance] and retrieve it by looking into anyone of those categories. Even the inbox isn't really a folder but a label instead. In fact, looking for email couldn't be easier. Being Google, you have their search engine powering the queries behind your email searches.
The conversation based approach to email is another natural evolution that Google has applied to email. It really is superior to the ">> quotes", threading or groupings approaches that are offered by other email programs. Messages are clear and in context, and the DHTML powering the system is slick.
I've only really touched on some of the aspects of GMail. Obviously, this is more a preview of the service than a review. It's hard to evaluate the long-term performance of GMail. However, what I can say is that up until GMail, I haven't found a webmail offering that is not an inferior alternative to a desktop email solution. GMail is. Actually, right now, GMail is even better.
Somewhere in Berlin, Germany, is a baby Superman, born with bulging arm and leg muscles.
Not yet 5, he can hold 3-kilogram weights with arms extended, something many adults cannot do. He has muscles twice the size of other kids his age and half their body fat.
DNA testing showed why: the boy has a very rare genetic mutation that boosts muscle growth.
The discovery, reported today in New England Journal of Medicine, represents the first documented human case of such a mutation.
Many scientists believe the find could eventually lead to drugs for treating people with muscular dystrophy and other muscle-destroying conditions. And athletes would almost surely want to get their hands on such a drug and use it like steroids to bulk up.
I now have a GMail address (My email handle is ifelse). Thanks Amit!
I'll post more on it as soon as I have time to test it a bit more. In the meantime, you can help me test the account by emailing me at ifelse, so fire away and compose.
Dropload is a place for you to drop your files off and have them picked up by someone else at a later time. Recipients you specify are sent an email with instructions on how to download the file. Files are removed from the system after 48 hours, regardless if they have been picked up or not. You can upload any type of file, mp3, movies, docs, pdfs, up to 100MB each! Recipients can be anyone with an email address