Home/Tag: email

Inbox infinity.

The case for not replying to emails.

I used to be meticulous about keeping inbox zero until I hit a middle-management-esque job where I was getting like a hundred of the things a day. So in defense I started instituting the Mustrum Ridcully Method, i.e. assuming people would just come in and tell me anything actually important, at which point I’d find the associated email and action it.

I can’t quite get away with that any more, but I still don’t reply to everything and don’t really worry too much about stuff “backlogging” and… yup. Yup, I can definitely recommend it.

2019-01-22T13:54:17+11:0018th June, 2019|Tags: business, email, tech|


I recently moved back to Gmail after a not-quite-year-long experiment with “raw” IMAP. I’m not a massive fan of Gmail from an ideological standpoint–specifically the “proprietary data collecting” aspects of it–but, as it turns out, I really, really loathe IMAP from a “holy fuck I just want it to work” standpoint.

Email is a pretty fucking critical part of modern life, even for people–like yours truly–who aren’t particularly heavy users. Except the protocols behind it are twenty-plus years out of date, and they suck.

Proprietary implementations of email–such as that found in Gmail or in Outlook–can make the user experience a bit nicer, but they’re still built as crappy little islands of incompatibility floating in a sea of creaking bullshit.1

Because it seems that, nowadays, everyone needs their own “email replacement”, FastMail is working on an API it calls JMAP.2 It sounds… interesting. Honestly, anything that even attempts to improve email (in an open, replicable way) is a-okay by me. I wish them luck. And possibly money, if they end up with a decent, reasonably priced SaaS offering I can shift my data into.

  1. Ocean metaphor intentional. I really liked Wave. Shame Google’s web front end for it sucked. []
  2. Because J comes after I in the alphabet, geddit? Oh, and also it’s built on JSON. That too. []
2018-06-26T13:20:09+10:0022nd February, 2015|Tags: email, internet, tech|


I was thinking about how people complain that they can’t send links in Twitter direct messages. And I was thinking about a system where youcould send links privately.

In the ideal situation that system would be owned by nobody and would be based on open standards. The message wouldn’t pass through any one specific service.

That system is email, of course. It’s a miracle.

Yet we hate it so much.

–Brent Simmons wonders why everyone hates email.

Spoiler alert: it’s because the implementations of it fucking suck. I mean, think about your email client; it hasn’t really changed much since, IDK, like circa 1985 or some shit. Unless you use Gmail, I guess, and the thing about Gmail is that it uses a whole bunch of weird-ass proprietary non-standard implementations of IMAP to differentiate itself. At least Google is trying, but it ain’t much good for the rest of us.

True story, I was a big believer in Google Wave when it was released. Google What? Yeah, pretty much. It was supposed to revolutionize email, and, conceptually at least, it was awesome.

Shame the web interface sucked and no one other than the Googs ever implemented it. Fuck. The technology is managed by Apache now, but don’t expect it to be going anywhere anytime soon. And, meanwhile, all the New and Interesting advances in communications protocols (and UIs) are being doing in vendor-locked, uninteroperable, proprietary clients. Because apparently that’s the way the internet works nowadays.

Fuck, man. Where did we go wrong?

2019-07-31T09:05:08+10:0026th October, 2014|Tags: email, internet|

PBP (Pretty Bad Privacy).

PGP, a.k.a. “Pretty Good Privacy”, is the email encryption scheme you’ve never heard of nor used. Think of it like HTTPS (a.k.a. SSL, TLS, that little padlock in the browser under the green URL bar, etc.) but for email. You’ve never used it because it sucks. This article gives a pretty good run-down as to why.

Basically, while the technology is okay-ish (with standard caveats re. implementation), the system is incredibly user un-friendly; any security protocol that’s requiring users to paste enormous blocks of cypertext into the bodies of the messages they’re trying to send is not a security protocol that’s helping anyone.

2016-11-17T20:09:27+11:0014th October, 2014|Tags: email, infosec|

Email obfuscation is so-oo-oo-oo 1990s.

Seriously. You can stop that now.

2017-07-17T10:55:24+10:009th May, 2014|Tags: email, spam, tech|