The latest version of Thunderbird jumps from version 3 to version 5, matching its sibling Firefox as it joins Mozilla's rapid-release program. Thunderbird 5, available to download for Windows, Mac, and Linux, is mostly a bug-fixing release that improves stability. It also shortens and improves the workflow for adding new e-mail accounts.
Watch what the program's got, and what it lacks, in this new First Look video.
Yahoo Mail today was down for many users today, but according to the online company, its services are now operating normally.
Earlier today, CNET heard from a reader who claimed that "Yahoo Mail has been experiencing severe outage issues for the last 24-hours plus." After attempting to access Yahoo's Mail service, CNET received an error message saying that the "page you requested was not found." Other attempts yielded a "connection refused" message from the site. When trying to access the mail service through Yahoo's QuickView, the service said that it could not &… Read more
Recently, a Crave freelancer pinged me to lament that no one liked him anymore. I felt sad for him, until he explained that it wasn't that nobody liked him anymore, it was that nobody "Liked" him anymore.
The number displayed on the Facebook Like button on his CNET author profile, it turned out, had spontaneously reset itself from 300-plus to one. I posited that a temporary technical glitch had caused the change and, with a wink and a smile (of the emoticon variety) assured him that his stories continued to generate copious reader interest and I planned to keep him on as a Crave writer until he was at least 80.
Clearly caught in that murky vortex where the real-world and digital selves intersect, the writer seemed a bit irked by the mishap. But as these things go in the world of third-party algorithms, his original Like number reappeared just as randomly as it had disappeared.
I, for one, found the episode amusing. Until a few weeks later, when my own Like number started fluctuating wildly.
One minute--were one to assign meaning to such things--the number at the bottom of my stories might be interpreted to indicate that only my first cousins cared to follow my work, the next that I might have a stab at being the next Walt Mossberg.
CNET's social-networking guru blamed the jumpy numbers on a pesky symbol contained in the URL of my author profile. A new URL was the only way to fix the problem once and for all, he said, though doing so would automatically reset my Like count to zero. It sounded a bit like having to suddenly move and make new friends, but I told him to go for it.
At first, I didn't pay much attention to my newly nonexistent Like count (after all, I'd told my fellow writer not to give it a second thought when his numbers went poof). But when I mentioned the situation to a social-networking-savvy co-worker, he looked at me with a sad-eyed empathy that made me rethink the gravity of being so un-Liked in 2011. "Man, that sucks," he frowned. "You've been robbed."
The more I thought about it, the more I thought he might be right. But, torn between the part of me that understands that 10,000 virtual friends do not one real friend make and the part of me that's flattered to be Liked and retweeted, I couldn't quite figure out what, exactly, I'd been robbed of. … Read more
Skype has released the latest update to its online calling software for Windows, offering more options for Facebook users.
Officially out of beta since Wednesday, the latest Skype 5.5 for Windows lets you check which of your Facebook friends are online and available to chat, all without having to leave Skype. Simply clicking on the View menu in the Skype software and then choosing Facebook Friends shows you the list.
By clicking on and then closing the Skype Home screen, you can also update your Facebook status and scroll down to view your entire Facebook wall.
The day after Google launched its site dedicated to helping to convert non-Gmail users with tongue-in-cheek "interventions," a Microsoft video has surfaced taking jabs at Google's mail service for its contextual advertising program.
Mary Jo Foley over at CNET sister site ZDNet posted the video spoof today, which was shown to attendees at Microsoft's annual Global Exchange sales conference earlier this month. In it, the company takes a crack at Google's AdWords program, which serves up contextual advertising based on the content of e-mail messages. That's accomplished by mimicking what the practice would be … Read more
Imagine designing the user experience for Facebook, where even the slightest change has the potential to irritate millions of users. Not a job for the weak-minded.
Facebook recently altered the appearance of its chat feature for those viewing the site in a Web browser--and not everybody is happy about it. Previously, the simple chat system would show a list of online friends in a small box on the lower right side of the browser window. It was easy to use and unobtrusive.
In contrast, the new chat sidebar stretches from top to bottom on the right side of the window. The social area no longer is a small list of only those who are online, but rather a group of people the popular social-networking site thinks you'll want to speak to, regardless of whether they're online.
There is no option to edit the list of people in this area. If those predetermined "top" friends aren't online, the chat box has an option to send them a message. Online friends not on this list must be searched for manually, which is slightly frustrating. … Read more
Google is making major inroads in the education sector.
The company announced yesterday that the University of Connecticut has initiated a changeover to Google Apps for Education. According to David Gilbertson, the school's chief information officer, the search giant's platform will be used for the students' "e-mail and calendar platform."
"After contacting other major universities which recently moved students to Google Apps, we are confident that this change will bring significant benefits and cost savings to the university as a whole," Gilbertson recently wrote on the university's Web site.
Those of you who use or want to try out Gmail's voice calling feature to make phone calls can now set up multiple calls at the same time.
Unveiled almost a year ago, Gmail's phone call feature lets you make calls to other Gmail users as well as to regular cell phones and landlines. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are free, while calls abroad typically cost a few pennies per minute. The feature even includes video chatting.
Until now, you could only make one phone call at a time. But in a recent update to the … Read more