Doing email offline

For those who need offline mail and perfer IMAP it looks like OfflineIMAP might be a great solution. Perhaps it will even provide a solution to this problem.

Also I'd be interested in hearing from anybody with StarBand satellite internet service.

Apple sues Think Secret

Daring Fireball has a story exploring the reasoning behind the recent decision by Apple Computer to sue Think Secret for posting information that Apple calls trade secrets.

Daring Fireball's assertion that one of Apple's main goals is revealing the identities of people responsible for the leaks. The story and Apple's suit seem to presume there are one or more cooperative sources for information. Isn't it just possible though, that as in the case of Apple's Graphing Calculator their security might not be 100% foolproof. What if instead of getting information from inside sources someone has developed a method, including being in the right place to overhear conversations, some productive dumpster diving etc.

OK you're going to say but surely a company the size of Apple would have better control of information. But it doesn't take a lot leaks to let the cat out of the bag. The nature of some of Think Secret's information over the years suggests they have gotten some very good information and it isn't hard to reach the conclusion that some or all of it had to have been intentionally passed, but it doesn't mean it all is.

Email Hell

Purgatory, if ever there was or is to be such a place, has descended upon email at work. In this fifth year of the 2000th year after some arbitrary date many institutions have high quality, reliable email. On the other hand there are the places that have support of email only when it is convenient. For two days or more the system has been mostly down and definitely crippled. What I can figure out for certain is that most people aren't able to get or send email. Unfortunately the faculty and staff I support are mostly in the category of people who appear to not be getting email. So on a long weekend, when people need it most email is once again non-functional and the usual suspects are not reachable. On the upside we got reliable backups working on our own in-house system last week. I'm guessing that the time to transition may come sooner rather than later.

Gmail Invite

I've been playing around with gmail and it seems cool.

The password problem

NoTrueBill has a post about Yahoo's choice to stand by its privacy policy and deny the family of a soldier killed in Iraq access to the deceased's email account.

The issue raises another problem, which is an extension of something that has been brought up on Slashdot before. What do you do to make sure that people can continue to access your data once you're no longer here? In some cases it's even more dificult, what happens to the servers when the person who knew the password is no longer here. Boone's post raises the suggestion that you might want people reading your email, but what about the server where your blog lives?

One possible solution is to keep an envelope sealed with common passwords in a safe place such as a safety deposit box. Of course this is only as good as the other people who may have access to the box and only if they will continue to have access. And of course it depends upon trusting those with access. It may be possible to keep them at a trusted attorney or similar location.

The big evil company reports that Apple has been granted subpoenas in its efforts to determine the identity of the person or persons who leaked information about its upcoming product Asteroid. So we learn for certain that these are upcoming releases, or they would not be "Trade Secrets."

It seems that Apple has the absolute right to pursue and attempt to stop the leaks of proprietary information. Many would probably argue quite aptly that Apple has even the responsibility to do so in order to protect its corporate information. All of that being said, it's a sad day. Not unexpected, just sad. I'll diverge into my story here.

I've been looking for a device just like Asteroid. I probably would have purchased one by now. But I have a pretty good idea that the company that came up with the best interface (so far) for an MP3 player, the company who above all else has great designs is coming out with just what I need. So, instead of plunking down the greenbacks for another company's gear I'm waiting for Apple to release their gear. This pre-announcement is making them more money, not less. Are we to believe Apple thinks nobody outside Cupertino thinks they're working on things like this?

It's somewhat ironic that Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble wrote to Bill Gates last weekend about how to do development of the iPod killer out in the open.


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