Hunting around for UPS, Fedex,USPS, and Japan Post tracking numbers in Gmail is no fun. I really wish there was a way to aggregate all the shipping numbers in a single Gmail plugin which would at a glance tell me where all the crap that I ordered is at any given moment. Google already knows how to tell a tracking number from all other strings, and there are apps for iOS that aggregate tracking (unfortunately you have to manually type in all the tracking numbers). A Gmail plugin that would keep track of tracking numbers would be great – maybe anyone with a bunch of mythical %20 percent time at Google will implement this…
Wow, who knew. According to Wikipedia, the order of the Teutonic Knights exists today as a charitable organization (they don’t seem to have a website though). It even has a grandmaster – one Bruno Platter. And I thought that Alexander Nevsky got rid of them completely. Or at least the Soviet era cartoon that I’ve seen made think so, because my education in that period of Russian History never progressed much further than that.
I noticed that at home I mostly use Outlook as a very slow and crappy spell checker for my blog. I only keep it around because of the spellchecker and because Gmail does not have an import feature. I tried importing with Gmail Loader, with the whole crappy export to Firebird thing, but that messes up most Russian emails and does not set the dates correctly. Why Google does now provide an import utility is beyond me – it would have completed lock-in for so many users. Also, I wonder, what’s the best software spell checker that money can buy?
I really hate email these days. Gmail might have solved (at least for me) the storage problem and mostly solved the spam problem (the filter is very efficient), but there is soooo much crappieness in email.
Email servers and clients are just out of whack lately. Even Gmail checks zip files for executables somehow (neat trick) and refuses to add them. It works ok if you change the extension to .zip.foo or something like that. But this at least is a decent way of dealing with the problem of people sending virus laden executables – warn that you are not sending it and let through people who are smart enough to rename the extension.
On the other hand I’ve encountered every type of nastiness – from silently dropping emails to stripping the attachments (again, silently) to bouncing the email back with absolutely unintelligible error messages.
Filter stupidity similar to what excellent Joe Grossberg is describing here is also rampant.
Oh, and trying to send out an email in Russian. Fugedaboudit! The extra bits in Unicode or KOI-8 get chewed off every which way rendering my laboriously typed and spelling error infested emails unreadable half the time. If there is a way to reliably send Russian encoded emails without using attachments – I was not able to find it yet.
Worst of all, you sit there waiting for a replies wondering – are people just ingnoring me? Did the message get silently dropped, swallawed or chewed up on the way? Did it get lost amongst spam about Ciagra and Vialis? (As a side note, my co-workers were joking this morning about how I should write on my cubicle dweller’s box that contains vitamins, painkillers, antiacid and caffeine pills “V1A8RA” in marker). Did the person mean to answer me but forgot lately? Did something happen to him or her?
But you know what I hate even more than email? Public comments in blogs. Letting my own often illiterate and/or stupid comments spill out onto the Information Superhighway and having them fester and petrify there for future generations is not a good idea. From now on my policy is not leaving any comments whatsoever. I’ll use exclusively email from now on. If you want to leave me a public comment in Livejournal – go ahead, but I’ll probably answer via email. I do try to answer most comments.
Also a part of this policy is not reading or writing any private posts in Livejournal. Nothing good ever comes out of them.
In other news, I am thinking about leaving a little note at the bottom explaining obscure puns in my topics. For instance this one is based on the Sopranos Episode 204 title – “Commendatori” (Knights). Babelfish tells me that “commentatore” means “commentator”.