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Brevity is the soul of email

You don't have time to sort through the hundreds of expert opinions on how to rein in a runaway inbox. That's why I did the sorting for you.

As I worked my way through about a dozen of these strategies for boosting email productivity, a theme arose: Keep it brief.

In that spirit and without further delay, here are the top suggestions of productivity gurus for avoiding email time sinks.

Don't let your inbox set your schedule I'm one of those people who visits his inbox before I have my coffee or open a newspaper in … Read more

Delete and manage old messages in Mail

While deleting messages from within an email client is an elementary task, there are several nuances and approaches in OS X mail that might be helpful, or at least slightly change the behavior of how Mail handles your messages when you use the delete function.

At its very basics, to delete a message in Mail you simply select it and press the Delete key (or choose the Delete option in the Mail toolbar). However, when you do this Mail will automatically select the next message in the direction you previously read.

What this means is, if you select a message … Read more

The 404 1,436: Where you're never too old to start Tindering (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Apple CarPlay to bring iPhone experience to your next car's dashboard.

- This electric condom promises to supercharge your sex life.

- 60-year-old goes on Tinder tear: "By the end of the year, I had slept with 15 men, 11 of whom were in their 20s or 30s."

- A smart Netflix employee invents wristband that pauses your shows when you fall asleep.… Read more

Add a "+" to your Outlook.com address for instant aliases

E-mail aliases can be used to protect your primary account, making it harder for spammers and other people to send you e-mails you don't want. Outlook.com comes with support for up to 10 aliases, which you can change yearly. If you've reached the maximum number of aliases or need to provide one in a hurry, you can also use "+" addressing.

Just like in Gmail, which has had "+" addressing for years, all you have to do is add a "+" at the end of your regular user name, then a word of your … Read more

Yahoo, ICQ chats still vulnerable to government snoops

Nine months after Edward Snowden revealed extreme Internet surveillance by US and British intelligence agencies, some major technology companies have yet to take rudimentary steps to shield their users' instant messages from eavesdropping.

A CNET analysis shows that Yahoo and ICQ transmit the content of supposedly private instant messages in unencrypted form, exposing them to both government spies and malicious snoops on the same Wi-Fi network. AOL's AIM service encrypts content -- but leaks metadata about who's talking to whom.

These privacy problems were highlighted by a Guardian article Thursday, which revealed that spy agencies were eavesdropping on … Read more

Say goodbye to Facebook e-mail

Facebook announced Monday that it's getting rid of its @facebook.com e-mail service.

E-mail service, you say? Yes, the social network actually had a service for e-mail addresses that users could get when they signed up -- not to be confused with Facebook Messages, Chat, or Messenger. Very few people actually used the service, according to the social network, hence, its retirement.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNET that the social network has started notifying people who use their @facebook.com e-mail accounts that the "feature is changing."

Now, when someone sends an e-mail to a Facebook address, … Read more

How to e-mail yourself a Web page with just one click

There are lots of ways to "clip" a Web page.

For example, you can use Pocket to deliver a nicely formatted mobile version of a page to your phone or tablet, great for content you want to read later. And you can use Evernote to save a page to a digital file cabinet, ideal for organizing and managing stuff you want to keep or share.

But what if you want to e-mail a Web page to yourself? Sure, most browsers have a "save page" option, but that's not the same thing. Rather, there are times … Read more

Change your name in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com

When you signed up for a new Web e-mail account, you probably filled out your account profile and entered your real name. When you send e-mails with that account, your real name is displayed in the From: field of the e-mail header.

You may, however, want to change your name so that only your first name is displayed for privacy reasons, or use a completely different name just for fun. All three of the major Web e-mail providers (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com) offer a way to change your name.

Gmail

Step 1: Click on the gear icon, then … Read more

Microsoft sends decaying apple to Apple users

I opened my eyes a touch reluctantly this morning and began to read my e-mails in bed.

It was raining outside and the fog was thicker than "War And Peace."

Microsoft, however, wanted to cheer me up. It sent me an e-mail with the subject line: "You deserve something better."

"How sweet," I thought. "I'm not sure I actually deserve something better, but, you know, if you're offering, why would I not listen?"

I eagerly opened the e-mail and then recoiled a touch. For there was a picture of a … Read more

Apple offers workaround for Mail-checking bug in Mavericks

One of the problems that some people have experienced after upgrading to OS X Mavericks is the inability to read new e-mail messages in Apple's included Mail e-mail client. While the program runs fine in most respects, for some e-mail providers the program appears to check for messages only when Mail is first opened, and then no longer does so until Mail is closed and re-opened.

This bug may have you frustratingly quitting and re-opening the program frequently to check for your e-mail. While Apple has not offered any details regarding the bug, it has acknowledged the issue in … Read more