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2007 February | Savvy Tech Tips

February 12th 2007

Update: Fair Ads Network

Fair Ads Network CEO and co-owner Kevin Lam was kind enough to post some extensive and helpful comments to the post I made a couple of weeks ago concerning his upcoming company’s attempt to provide some competition to Google’s AdSense/AdWords. You can read his entire post here.

On the whole, Fair Ads Network seems to be picking up steam. Rumor has it that they have established working relationships with some large websites, such as Bidz.com and uBid.com. I’d argue that selling advertising is the trickiest part of their endeavor, so we’ll know a lot more as things progress over the next few months, but so far, so good.

Advertisers and publishers can still sign up for the Beta test as of this writing.

February 7th 2007

Reduce Spam Email: Spam Gourmet

spamgourmet.jpgComputer: All • Level: Novice

A couple of weeks ago I posted about two outstanding anti-spam temporary email services that can help get you through obligatory email fields with little hassle and keep the spam from piling up in your mailbox. Spam Gourmet is another free anti-spam email solution, but one that requires no software and takes a different and very useful twist on temporary email.

Simply put, Spam Gourmet is an email forwarding service that allows you to create an unlimited number of email addresses that will automatically forward to your real email address. Furthermore, each forwarding address has a customizable limit on the number of emails that will be forwarded. Even cooler, you may never have to return to the Spam Gourmet’s website once you set your account up.

It works like this. You register at the site using your real email address, and create a user name for the account. Once you’ve done that and confirm your email address, you’re Spam Gourmet account is set to go. The format for creating forwarding emails is like this:

  • Anyword.number.username@spamgourmet.com

This may look a bit intimidating, but it’s actually quite straightforward. “Anyword” is any random word you decide to use. “Number” is the number of emails (up to 20) to this address you wish Spam Gourmet to forward to your real address. “Username” is your Spam Gourmet account user name. So say I go to a website that asks for me email to register for interesting software bargains. I’m not sure if I trust this company yet, so I decide to make up a Spam Gourmet forwarding email address. I type the following into the email field:

  • softwaretest.5.johndoe@spamgourmet.com

“Softwaretest” is a random word I created on the spot. “Johndoe” is my account user name. The way I’ve set this up, the first five emails sent to this address will pass through Spam Gourmet and will automatically get forwarded to my real email address. Any subsequent email sent to this address will get blocked by Spam Gourmet’s anti-spam filter.

But now you’re thinking, “What if I decide I like the email I’m getting from a particular address, and I don’t want it to stop?” Aha! For this you actually do need to return to Spam Gourmet’s website, log in to your account, and click on advanced mode. Once there, you can make all kinds of modifications to any one of your Spam Gourmet email addresses, whether to simply increase the limit (max is 20 though), or set a sender’s address or website to “always trust”. What an excellent feature!

One neat side feature here is that Spam Gourmet’s website keeps track of the number of emails eaten by a particular address. If you are willing, organized, and a little bit obsessive, you could probably keep track of which websites and companies would be turning your trusty email address over to spammers, had you not been fighting it with Spam Gourmet.

I’ve tested the service, and everything works perfectly. Emails are forwarded quickly to my real account, and each comes with information in the title telling me the number of the emails sent to that particular Spam Gourmet address and the currently set limit. Once past the limit, the anti-spam protection kicks in and blocks subsequent emails. Very slick.

For more details, check out Spam Gourmet’s FAQ, which goes into greater depth on almost everything in this article.

Enjoy!

February 1st 2007

File Acronyms Explained

Here’s a link to a simple site that lists almost all the different type of computer file acronyms and file endings:

Almost Every File Format in the World

From what I can tell, everything looks accurate and on target. Handy page to bookmark.