Sunday, 14 November 2010

Customised Gmail Addresses Allows You to Fight Spam

You may have heard of this trick or seen it in action, basically you can customise your Gmail and Google Apps Email address by adding +’s and .’s to your email address and still receive emails sent to that address.

For example, if your email address was ilovehk200@gmail.com, you can still receive email at ilovehk200+newsletters@gmail.com or i.love.hk.200@gmail.com. Of course if you are using Google Apps gmail.com would be your own domain name. When the email is received the "+newsletter" remains with the email address you receive.


Now why is this useful?

Well every time you enter your email address to sign up for a web based service you are open to spam as we all know in Hong Kong you cannot even trust the largest companies in Hong Kong not to sell or distribute your email address, e.g. the distrusting behavior of Octopus in 2010. So using something like ilovehk200+octopus@gmail.com, you can achieve a couple of things:
  1. track where your email address was sourced from, e.g. you could prove Octopus actually shared your email address.
  2. you can use filters in your Gmail inbox to file the emails or just delete them.
Get creative with your customized email addresses—but don’t create so many that you can’t remember how to log in to your frequently visited websites. Here are some ideas to get you started:

* username+bills@gmail.com
* username+newsletters@gmail.com
* username+socialmedia@gmail.com
* username+notifications@gmail.com
* username+contact@gmail.com
* username+donations@gmail.com
* username+notes@gmail.com
* username+contests@gmail.com
* username+websitename@gmail.com
* username+evite@gmail.com
* firstname.lastname@gmail.com

So this is a great technique to remember to help manage your incoming email weather it is unwanted spam or subscribed services. Use the "+" and the"." more often!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Google Updates Blackberry BES Server


Google recently pushed out a nice update for their Google Apps Connector service for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Version 3.0 of the Apps Connector is a good jump from version 2.2.307 and includes the following changes:

  • Support for BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.2.
  • Support for BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express.
  • Support for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2008 SP2.
  • Improved Dynamic GAL synchronization.
  • Improvements to some calendar synchronization components to provide enhanced robustness and accuracy.
The Google Apps editions included in this update are Premier, Education and Google Apps for Government. For more info and to get the update go to tools.google.com/dlpage/appsconnector.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Hotmail links up with Gmail and Yahoo

Microsoft has announced that it is making Hotmail that little bit more ubiquitous, revealing you can now use features of the service with other email accounts. This new feature utilises POP, allowing you to import non-Hotmail data on to Hotmail. What you do need is a Windows Live ID, but once you have this you can use Hotmail-specific features.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Skype to SIP

Using your telephone rather than putting head phones on to speak to someone on Skype is something that is very useful. I have recently installed one such application that allows my Skype number to be called and my SIP phone rings rather than my computer. Dialing out is the same result. You can dial from your phone or if you use the Skype software to dial someone, once they pick up the utility will ring your SIP phone and join the two calls.

Typical Applications
  • Call centers who want to be able to advertise a Skype number for customers.
  • Businesses running a VoIP PBX who want to advertise a Skype number.
  • To use SkypeOut on your dial plan to make those calls to cities where Skype rates are cheaper.
  • To use SIP based voicemail or IVR for Skype calls.
If you are interested in connecting your phone system to Skype please contact me for available devices and gateways. Prices start at US$20.