Dashwire: it’s fabulous

Dashwire is beautiful. It’s basically a way of backing up the entire contents of your mobile phone, the contents of which are stored centrally by Dashwire as opposed to on your hard drive. It syncs automatically using your data plan (via a client-side app. on the phone), and even allows you to send SMS messages or call people "from your phone" directly from your PC via the stunningly beautiful web interface. No PC-based client-side app. necessary.


Google Mail constantly deletes spam that’s over than 30 days old. In the main, I don’t see any spam, it being filtered directly into the Spam folder. And on the few occasions I’ve checked, I’ve never found anything that’s been placed there by mistake, anything that should have been destined for my Inbox.

The number of unread items in the Spam folder generally hovers around 1,800. (Google Mail kindly tells me the number of unread items therein, as might Outlook.) Given the 30 day rule, that works out at about 60 spams per day. Wow.

Of late, however, I’ve noticed two trends:

So we’ve now hit an average of 96 spams per day, so I’m hugely thankful to Google for saving me trawling through all of these. But the increase in the contents of my Spam folder cannot by any stretch be accounted for by the few that have made it there via my Inbox—maybe 30 in the last ten days, so around 100 in total.

While we’re on the subject, here’s some analysis of all that spam. First of all, the most prolific senders:

Surprising to see that I’d sent 19 of the emails, nice to know that the Viagra emails are from the official site, and comforting that Yahoo! has been correctly punctuated.

Barracuda and its numerous, less frequent variants were responsible for a further 57 emails.

Senders’ names aren’t as imaginative as they were three years ago, and middle initials are now a rarity, whereas before they were by far the norm.

As for subjects, the focus is very much on tricking people that they’ve sent undeliverable messages:

Half of all the spam (1,450 messages) shared one of only 93 titles. (Half of the same spam came from only 87 sender names.)

I was offered an Anjelina Jolie XXX Video Free.‎ ten times and Angelina Jolie seen with Justin Timberlake on Monaco yacht‎ three times. I also received 30 emails with Chinese titles that I don’t understand, perhaps offering me more Angelina videos:

Quite a lot of spam, all in all.

‘I have never ended on an unstressed syllable!’

A fabulous article articulating the tension between journalists and sub-editors in the newspaper industry. Lots of sweariness, some beautiful humour and some artistically-crafted, unedited prose. Well worth a read.

Especially in Liverpool

“The thing is, everyone in England is so much better dressed than everyone in France.”

Overheard last night in Clapham.

The thin blue line

It seems there is a new underline in Word 2007. Red wavy underlining marks spelling errors. Green marks questionable grammar. Blue, it seems, marks a more certain grammar error. An its instead of an it’s (or vice versa). Or a suggestion that every day should be concatenated. None of the "corrections" I’ve seen on my editorial have warranted acceptance. So far.

Customer service is so overrated

“M’aidez, m’aidez, my blog is down,” I cried to my friend/service provider by email.

“Don’t worry about that. [My blog] was down too which is much more important.”

That’s what you get when you opt for free hosting 🙂

[Closing emoticon included purely to annoy Rob. No, not that Rob. The other Rob]

For those interested, apparently there was an issue with a fan in the server and kernel modules. Apologies for the millions of readers that were affected.


Overheard in New York: Without right-click, I just don’t know what to do with the world.

It’s a key reason why I’ve so stubbornly refrained from embracing Apple.

Sans Comic Sans

Please would someone pass a law to ban Comic Sans as a font? With immediate effect? There are absolutely no excuses for using it. None.

You can pretty much guarantee that anyone who adopts it as their default email font is bereft of comedy, as the font name so unwittingly implies.

Vincent Connare, its designer, should have his tombstone engraved in it, the sooner the better. Here is a more qualified critique of the font; and here is a campaign I’ll be joining to Ban Comic Sans.

Please delete me, let me go

If I attempt to delete an email from my BlackBerry, the pop-up warning messages defaults to Delete as opposed to Cancel. If I highlight two or more messages and attempt to delete, the pop-up defaults to Cancel. The inconsistent behaviour is off-putting yet intriguing.

Cereal equation

Bran Flakes + milk + 30 minutes = All Bran + milk

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