A bug that made e-mails and folders go missing for some Windows Live Hotmail users has been fixed according to Microsoft.
"We have identified the source of the issue (and) have restored e=mail access to those who were affected," the company said on the Windows Live Solution Center help site yesterday afternoon. "We recognize that even though we restored e-mail access, some of the affected users did not receive mail sent to them during the last 24 to 72 hours."
Microsoft says the issue was fixed early this morning, although if users are still having … Read more
In a blog posted today, Chief Information Officer Lars Rabbe explained the house of cards that took down the service the morning of Wednesday, December 22, and kept it offline for many until the following day.
On December 22, a number of support servers that handle offline instant messaging became overloaded, according to Rabbe. Because of that, some Skype clients didn't receive responses as quickly as usual. A bug in one particular Skype client for Windows (version 5.… Read more
Skype is still working to right itself from a major outage that began yesterday.
The company said earlier this morning that about 5 million people were able to access its Internet telephony service, and "that number is increasing all the time." The only issue is, that figure puts total use at about 30 percent of its normal amount.
Skype then followed that posting up with another this morning, saying that it's seeing "evidence of a significant increase in the number of people online." It currently estimates that 10 million people are using its service, which … Read more
Hotmail is rolling out a new platform this morning called Active Views that lets users surf through certain Web sites from inside of e-mail messages.
But it's not just any message where this functionality is enabled. Instead, Microsoft has partnered with specific companies as part of the launch to give users a way to do common tasks like searching and account management. Some of the first ones on that list are Orbitz and Monster.com, with Netflix and LinkedIn soon to follow.
When a Hotmail user gets an e-mail from one of these companies, they'll be able to … Read more
Fring, Apple FaceTime, and the Evo's Qik app for Android may have shone a light on mobile video chatting, but OoVoo is making good on an almost year-old promise by rolling out a new free app today that one-ups them all. Two things set the cross-platform service apart. First, in addition to two-way video chatting like Fring and Qik, it lets six callers video chat on a single line. Second, since Oovoo Mobile extends OoVoo's Skype competitor on Windows to the mobile phone, it doesn't restrict calls to mobile users, as does Fring.
Google's Priority Inbox for Gmail has evidently been successful enough on the desktop that it's now moved to the Android smartphone. The new Gmail for Android 2.3.2 (compatible with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) better supports the "Priority Inbox" e-mail filtering tool by showing off tagged e-mails in a view dedicated to the feature.
If you don't currently use it, you can activate and try Priority Inbox in the Gmail.com Settings from your desktop or mobile browser.
This version of the Gmail app provides some management options, including marking … Read more
If you're looking for a more Gmail-like experience in Thunderbird 3.3 alpha, a new add-on should be able to help you out.
Dubbed Thunderbird Conversations, the add-on offers a conversation view in the e-mail program, allowing users to have all their messages to and from another party in one place, similar to Gmail. The app "fetches" e-mails across every folder in the user's Thunderbird installation. Users can reply to an e-mail inline, and access the add-on's "contacts auto-complete" feature to streamline its use.
Thunderbird Conversations was first made available at the end … Read more
Gmail's Priority Inbox, which launched in August and enables users to separate important e-mails from ones that can wait till later, is actually saving people time, Google said in a blog post yesterday.
According to the company, Gmail users who are utilizing Priority Inbox are spending about 43 percent more of their time "reading important mail." Google added that Priority Inbox users overall are spending 15 percent less time sifting through e-mail than those who aren't tapping the feature.
It used to be, come mid-November, the catalogs would start to pour into our homes at a distressing rate. One would think of the poor mail carriers schlepping pounds of recycling from trucks to houses. Now the flood is also electronic. The commercial e-mail offers start to pour in even more than at other times of the year. As with the printed catalogs, some you want, most you don't. But which? You don't want the Macys spam until you desperately need to buy a sweater for your dad, and, of course, there's a coupon for that in your inbox. Except you don't want it in your inbox. You want it out of the way.
So you can't delete the BACN, and there's no way to keep up with filing it or managing filters to do it for you. OtherInBox, though, has finally come up with a solid, useful, and free solution for managing the influx of semi-wanted email.
The product, OtherInBox Organizer, simply files e-mail from known commercial sources into subfolders. It works in Gmail and Yahoo at the moment. To be sure, this is nothing that you couldn't do with filters you set up yourself. The beauty of Organizer is that you don't have to do any of that work. The Web service knows where to send e-mails, with very good accuracy. I tired it, and e-mails from my bank are now going to the "Finance" folder and coupons from Macys are going where I want: "Shopping."
(OtherInBox's previous app, Defender, required users to give commercial e-mail senders a new e-mail address, like "Macys@rafen.otherinbox.com." That was too much work, and the product did not get traction.)
My brief review: The Organizer service is just great. After a few minutes to tune its filters to my preferences (for example, I created a new sub-folder for tech-related emails from Dell, Apple, etc.), I turned it on and it auto-filed more than 10,000 emails from my previously unmanaged Gmail inbox that had about 33,000 messages in it. It's kept up with new mail, too, alerting me when it sees a new sender that it can handle for me.
OIB can also provide a calendar feed of when packages you're ordered are due to arrive. Future services may include services like automatically deleting coupons that have expired.
But is there a business in providing such a useful service for free? As CEO Joshua Baer explains it, there is, and it's very clever. "We want to be the Neilsen ratings of email," Baer says.… Read more
When Google announced Google Voice for iPhone earlier today, we wasted no time putting the telephony app through its paces. Google Voice for iPhone (download) delivers much of what we expect from a native Google Voice app. In an absolute sense, it's a terrific app because it brings much-needed native Google Voice management to the iPhone. However, considering it took a year and a half of idle time and an FCC investigation to gain Apple's approval, we're also wondering why the Google Voice engineering team couldn't have designed a more seamless integration with the iPhone.
Setup and layout
Thankfully, setup is hurdle-free. First, log into the app with your Google credentials. Then, select the mobile number from a list of numbers you may have associated as forwarding numbers for your Google Voice account. (If you haven't yet associated any, go to your Google Voice account and add the number in the Voice Settings menu.)
The Google Voice app itself appears straightforward. Four screens display a menu, a dialer, your contact list, and the application settings. Fittingly, the menu is the base camp for sorting and managing your voice mail by inbox, texts, and various other filters. The inbox displays your list of voice mails and text messages. From here, you can view a voice mail transcription or play back your contact's recorded message. Tap their name to call, text, add to quick dial, or show the contact's details. Pull the entire page down with your finger to manually refresh the list.
You'll be able to reach out to contacts from the dialer and the contacts list, either by searching for a contact's name or by entering a number. The dialer helpfully lets you choose to call or text a number. An icon in the Dialer that looks like it should pop up your contact search list will in fact add a new contact to your address book, if you press it after dialing a number. … Read more
Wearables are largely aimed at the person who just wants to maintain a good weight, sleep enough, and maybe get in a little cardio. CNET's Brian Cooley tells you why 2014 could be the breakout year for wearable tech.