Fresh Off The Block


Welcome to our new server!

Technically Motivated has completed its transition to its brand new high-performance server. If you are reading this post, you are now reaching us from our new home.

The increased performance of our new server means that web pages should now load faster, and new comments, Forum Posts and so on should submit quicker than before. Updated back-end software should also enable us to enhance the site more than ever before in the future. For now though, you can just continue to enjoy the same old TM you’ve come to love, just in a faster and better-performing package 🙂

Unfortunately, we do have some bad news to report. In the process of moving over to our new server, our previous email inbox, which is actually hosted separately by our hosting provider, was not transferred. While we have subsequently set up the email address again and you will once again be able to continue to communicate with us via the on-site contact form or directly at webmaster[at]technicallymotivated[dot]com, unfortunately any previous email correspondence from prior to the server move has been lost. We humbly apologise for this inconvenience and will strive to recover whatever we can.

Thanks for everyone’s patience during the server move and subsequent downtime; and I hope you will continue to enjoy being a part of Technically Motivated – the Technology Blog for everyone. Our Motivation Is Highlighting Tech Innovation.

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    Previous Articles


    The Next step in Mobile Email

    Disclaimer: This article was written by a guest publisher who is not affiliated with Technically Motivated. This is not an endorsement.

    Email apps seem to be popping up left and right these days with no clear “winner” in sight. They’re all vying for a coveted “dock” position, or that little space on the bottom of your iPhone where the apps never change no matter how hard you swipe. With so many apps out there asking you to replace the old email app “dock” spot with theirs the question remains; which app really does belong there? After giving many of these apps a quick assessment on speed, looks, and practicality I can definitely say that Gusto is currently my favourite in all three categories.
    Speed wise, I couldn’t find many other apps can keep up with Gusto. The first function I tried was refresh email, and I expected to have to wait for a few seconds for my emails to pop up, but immediately all my emails from all of the accounts I had synced appeared in chronological order, all colour-coordinated to keep me organized. I then checked the photos and files tabs, all of which had been added and organized chronologically already. I quickly tapped their search feature to see if I could find a file an old professor had sent me years ago. It was super simple to narrow the search down to my school email, professor’s email address, and partial file name and presto the file is right there for me.
    The only thing I didn’t immediately like about the Gusto app was the way they displayed my emails, files, and photos. After playing with the app for a few more minutes, however, I found out you can choose between three different views of you emails, files, and photos. All this plus the fact that they already have a beta web page where I can already access my photos and files from my single Gusto account really cemented Gusto in my mind as the email app for me. It looks like my dock will have a new email app to keep the Safari, Phone, and Music apps company.


    10 GMail labs projects you really should use – and one that’s just for fun :)

    One of the cool things about Gmail is that it is incredibly extensible. This is especially true if you turn on support for Labs features. GMail Labs is a huge set of experimental features you can enable to add new functionality to your regular online email service. For example, you can easily translate emails, you can optimize Gmail for the wide-screen, get a preview of what’s in your box before it even loads, and much more!

    Here’s a couple of GMail Labs projects that I personally use, which I feel deserve a wider look from every user of GMail or Google Mail. Since some GMail Labs projects are specific to certain countries, I have tried to go only for ones I believe are both available and serve a useful role to global GMail users.

    1. Undo Send

    Have you ever sent an email to someone, that you instantly regretted? Save yourself the pain and undo the send! Although it won’t actually delete already-sent emails off other people’s accounts, Undo Send will keep every email you send un-sent for up to half a minute – allowing you enough of a grace period to cancel it if you instantly regret it.

    After enabling the feature and sending an email, you’ll be told that the message has been sent–and that you can cancel it. Note that by default, the grace period is only five seconds, but you can increase it to a maximum of thirty in the usual Settings page after enabling the feature.

    Message: "Your Message has been sent. Undo - View Message" Continue reading to see the rest of the bunch!


    Microsoft says Yahoo is ‘phantom data’ phone bug source

    According to a recent news report by BBC News (which, for legal reasons, we can’t reprint here), Microsoft, which has for the past week or so investigating reports of a mysterious “phantom data” leaks affecting Windows Phone 7 handsets, which makes many phones send and receive data without the owner’s knowledge and often ate into usage allowances quite heavily, has found the culprit to be Yahoo!.

    Specifically, an inefficient method used by Yahoo in one of their apps which allows Yahoo! Mail to be synced with the Windows Phone mail client, is causing the rapid data usage, because a mistake in how the code determines how to check for new messages and fetch them if they exist means that the system can download up to 25 times more information than it needs to.

    Microsoft are insistent, though, that this only affects a small number of users. Nevertheless, the company has stated it is in contact with Yahoo, and should be fixing the problem in the next few weeks.


    Spam volumes shrink since Christmas

    Spam volumes have witnessed a dramatic drop of more than 50 per cent since Christmas, proving even miscreants seem to like to make merry.

    Global junk mail volumes have reached their lowest level since the November 2008 shutdown of rogue ISP McColo, Symantec’s net filtering business MessageLabs reports.

    MessageLabs attributes the drop to a production break from the Rustock, Lethic and Xarvester botnets. Rustock has all but shut down while the fiendish hackers behind the Lethic and Xarvester have also gone quiet.

    By contrast, two other significant sources of spam – Gheg and Cutwail – are pumping out junk mail at much the same volumes as ever.

    MessageLabs reckons that this is only a temporary respite, however; and that we can expect normal levels of spam to resume very soon – but we should enjoy our relative peace in the mean time. It certainly does make for a pleasant gift for the season though, huh?

    Spam volumes shrink since Christmas
    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2011

    Microsoft ‘sorry’ as Hotmail bug hits over 17,000

    Corporate vice president for Windows Live Chris Jones blogged on Monday that 17,355 Windows Live Hotmail accounts had lost all their email messages during the course of what he called “mailbox load balancing between servers.”

    Now Microsoft appear to have fixed the issue, and apologised for it – but there’s still no explanation why it happened in the first place.

    In case you haven’t heard, thousands of Hotmail user’s Inboxes and folders starting emptying on December 30, with accounts appearing to be new and people receiving a “Welcome to Hotmail” email from Microsoft. Some affected accounts went back 10 years.

    Some users took to Hotmail forums, pleading for Microsoft to restore their cherished accounts; while others took to Facebook, launching a group to share their anguish and frustration with world+dog.

    Jones responded on Monday to say that Microsoft had identified the problem by the evening of January 2 and that it had restored accounts – two days after messages went AWOL. He continued that Microsoft was sorry for the inconvenience to customers and partners.

    “As with all incidents like this, we will fully investigate the cause and will take steps to prevent this from happening again,” Jones said, without explaining how or why something as rudimentary as server load balancing should cause data to simply disappear.

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2011

    GMail unveils five new themes for its web mail interface.

    GMail has unveiled five new themes to choose from to customise the look of GMail when used through its website, all of which are deliberately designed to be simple and subtle. But the real interesting part of the news is the quite funny way Google revealed the new themes – the reveal was done by a post on the Official GMail Blog, which was written in the style of a conversation between two people (one the Software Engineer Manu Cornet, and the other an unknown called Jake), and is quite tongue-in-cheek in its approach. Words don’t do it justice, but since I’m against directly copying other blog posts, you’ll just have to go and read it for yourself.

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2010

    GMail: To Thread Or Not To Thread? Now it’s your choice.

    There is one thing about GMail’s web interface that makes it stands out compared to other email solutions, and it’s the thing they’re both praised and criticised for in equal measure. Unlike most email clients, which stack your emails in chronological order and make no obvious links between the conversations they relate to, Google GMail has since the very start had a feature that groups all the emails in the same conversation together into one “thread”, making a whole conversation easy to find and read through in it’s entirety. This feature, called “Conversation View”, has split opinion. Threading enthusiasts say they spend less mental energy drawing connections between related messages and that their inboxes are much less cluttered. On the other hand, email traditionalists like many former Outlook users think conversation view just complicates something that has worked for years.

    Today, Google has announced it is finally introducing a new option to cater for those in the latter side of the argument. Read the rest of this entry »

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2010