Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why (oh why?) is Yahoo Mail *still* so hopeless?

It seems that even after getting a former Google executive to head up the company -- and while thy are claiming growth in income and service provision -- Yahoo still can't manage some of the basics for people living in a global world.

Worse still, for them, Google can.

Blind, irrational loyalty is the ONLY reason I retain my yahoo account and its web-hosting service. And, when I say "blind" and "irrational"" I really mean BLIND and IRRATIONAL.

For sure the internet is awash with complaints about how slow the email retrieval and sending is -- and as a paying client I don't even have to bother with the advertisements. My mind can only boggle here as to what that must be like.

My main hassle has to do with the fact that for some reason best known to its designers and programmers Yahoo mail simply cannot seem to be able to adapt to the fact that on any given two day period one might be in 3 or more different countries and working on several different machines.

Unable, seemingly, to be capable of managing this, Yahoo mail sends one into an infinite regress of "your session has expired, please sign in again". No, that is not right. The regress is not infinite. After several dummy runs with the session expiring one gets a message saying "We are having trouble logging you in".

As if I didn't know that.

To repeat, Gmail gives me no such grief. And, almost unbelievably, neither do any of my university accounts. So I end up having to copy the messages I am trying to send in Yahoo and use another email provider -- but asking people to reply to yahoo, since that is where I manage that stuff.

But maybe not for much longer.

I just don't get it. We have been using yahoo since it first began. How come, with all that experience they can't get basic email provision right? It just confounds me, and I have to wonder how long loyalty and sentiment can prevail in the face of apparent corporate ineptitude.

There is just no place in the world these days for outfits that can't get it right. I want them to, but I dounbt that in the end hope can and does spring eternal.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Issue of McGill Journal of Education

The latest issue of the McGill Journal of Education has just been published.

You can find the index here

The journal runs a mix of special issues and ordinary issues and, with a long and respected history, it is an admirable place to publish.

Tribute to Lou

When the news of Lou Reed's death broke I was sitting in the Pearson Airport in Toronto, waiting to fly back to Mexico. I'll never forget that anymore than remembering pretty much to the exact tile where I was standing -- in the lounge of the house at Coatepec -- when the news broke that Joe Strummer had died, or that Easter 2001 was wrecked by news of Joey Ramone's death during AERA in Seattle.


It happens to all of us sooner or later, and in the case of Lou Reed I am glad he made it to 71 rather than being as cut short as Joe and Joey were. I mean, it gave him a chance to get to get to Tai Chi as an extra to being the almost perfectly heavy dude he was when I saw him play a concert at the Auckland Town Hall too many years ago -- and, even more so, earlier.

I preferred the perfectly heavy incarnation. And while many folk might find that perfect heaviness in "Heroin" or, maybe, in "Take a Walk on the Wild Side", I found it in "Sweet Jane". And, if anything, even more so in the version of Canada's very best heavy band, the incomparable Cowboy Junkies, than in the version Lou sang.

So, if you've got this far, please join me in my personal tribute to Lou Reed. More than (just) a major rock influence he had to be some consummate artistic genius to inspire something like this.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Car of the decade

At a time when sources of inspiration seem to be ever more welcome, this account of sensible technology for vehicular transport resurrects the best of Ivan Illich's idea of tools for conviviality and invites us to rethink some fundamentals.

The video clip is fantastic. It encapsulates pretty much all I value most as an ideal of technology.

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