Wireless routers are mostly associated with the use of home broadband - using your existing telco provider connection (PLDT, Globe, SMART,etc.) you could maximize your subscription in sharing your Internet with many wireless-enabled devices you have.
Benefits of having a wireless router :
Provide wireless Internet to devices such as computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and gaming console.
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Enables you to have Internet access anywhere in your house/office without having to run cables through walls and ceiling.
Texting, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter - we have dozens of ways to pass a message from one user to the next, and yet we keep coming back to email. Why? According to the man who sent the first one, because there’s still nothing quite like it.
Possibly the most revealing statement that can be made about the power and persistence of email is that - unlike almost everything else in the technology industry - how we use it has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years.
According to the Radicati Group, 144.8 billion emails are sent every day, and that number is projected to rise to 192.2 billion in 2016. There are about 3.4 billion email accounts worldwide, Radicati said, with three-quarters owned by individual consumers.
The youngest users of email, however, have an enormous number of different methods to choose from to communicate - and many of them prefer these methods for most communications.
This, in turn, has prompted to some to wonder whether email is a dinosaur, among them young people who say they actually mean “Facebook” when they say “email”. In 2010, comScorekicked off a fuss by noting that Web email use had dropped 59% among teens. So why would anyone continue to use email in the age of social media?
“Because none of them really fill the space that email serves, which is you have a specific audience,” answers Ray Tomlinson, a principal engineer at BBN Technologies and the so-called “father of email."
“A lot [of the alternatives] are like a billboard, with limited utility - you put these things on the billboard, and if they choose to they [your audience] can look and see it.”
“But email has the time difference - that is, you send it now, you read it later - you don’t have to have someone sitting there and ready to respond like you do with instant messaging to make it work and make it effective,” Tomlinson explains. “You can use instant messaging that way, but if they’re not there, nothing happens, and you gotta remember that there may be a message coming back to you and go back to the IM client and look for the response.”
The Birth Of Email
In 1971 Tomlinson worked as an engineer for Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), a contractor that had been assigned to develop ARPANET, a communication network that would allow scientists and researchers to share each other’s computer resources.
In the fall of 1971, Tomlinson sent the first network email, using the SNDMSG program that ran on the TENEX time-sharing program for Digital PDP-10 computers. Email on a single computer had existed since the early 1960s, the equivalent of a digital post-it note that could be left to another user. But Tomlinson tweaked the CPYNET file transfer program, then appended it to SNDMSG. That gave one user the power to send a message to another on a remote machine, and email was born.
The first email message has been lost to history; Tomlinson tells ReadWriteWeb that it was one of a number of “entirely forgettable” test messages. But that first email message, sent from one machine physically sitting next to another, functioned as a sort of “hello world” message explaining that, well, network email was up and running. The response was low-key.
“I don’t recall any actual replies” to the first email, Tomlinson says. “I did get some comments from people in the hall.”
Tomlinson was also the first person to use the now ubiquitous “@” symbol - a no-brainer, as it explained that a user was “at” a given host, Tomlinson said. There was one glitch, however: “I was later reminded that the Multics time-sharing system used the @ sign as its line-erase character. This caused a fair amount of grief in that community of users,” he notes on his own website.
Email began to take hold as both a cultural and a technical phenomenon in 1972, when the next release of TENEX was shipped - on magnetic tape via snail mail - to some 15 other sites scattered around the country. Users could then send messages back and forth. As each site came online, email’s utility increased, Tomlinson recalls.
Even back then, though, email was used in much the same way it is now.
“I think it was mostly used as a replacement for telephone calls,” Tomlinson says. “You got a more immediate response. With time zone differences you didn’t have to have someone there to receive the call.”
Forty years later, email use has grown to enormous proportions. But most of it is not legitimate communications and more than half of it never gets delivered. According to the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (which has reformed to fight take on malware as well) between 88% and 90% of all email sent during the first three quarters of 2011 were spam, or unsolicited commercial email. For example, Microsoft’s Hotmail alone processes more than 8 billion messages a day. But only some 2.5 billion messages are delivered to the user’s inbox.
Several types of methods of dealing with spam have sprung up: blocking or “blacklisting” domains notorious for sending spam; blocking everything except for approved“whitelisted” domains,” and various filtering techniques that use reputation or text analysis to try and block suspicious emails.
Tomlinson supports whitelisting, where only users who pass through some additional level of security are allowed to send email. “If it’s a person out there he’ll send it again,” Tomlinson said. “If it’s a machine he’ll move on and send it to the other five million.”
But the spam problem is also one of identity. When Tomlinson first sent networked emails into the ether, the address was a specific person. Today, email senders can use aliases, multiple accounts and even bots to communicate. Should users be forced to tie themselves to a single email identity? The debate has included both Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who has promoted user Facebook accounts as identity tokens, as well as 4chan founder Christopher Poole, a strong advocacy for privacy and anonymity online. Tomlinson takes a middle view.
“In some ways the lack of an official identity when using email has compounded problems like spam, but I think that’s the convenience versus utility versus functionality,” Tomlinson says. “It’s more convenient if you don’t have to worry about identifying yourself. You don’t have to buy a [security] certificate, or authenticate the centers of email.
“I think completely anonymous email would not be a good idea,” Tomlinson adds. “On the other hand, having email identities that you can link to very specific information is a definite problem. It’s one thing to say I am who I am, but I’m not going to tell you my life history at the same time.”
The Future of Email
In many ways, the future of email is already here today. SMS text messages are archived; instant message windows can be left open, and Facebook Messenger treats an instant message to an offline friend as, essentially, an email. This latter model is what Tomlinson sees email evolving into over time.
“Whether the name will persist or not, I suspect email will be around for at least for a good long time,” Tomlinson predicts. “We may find that these other forms of communication may be merged with email, so you send an IM to somebody, and if they don’t respond it turns into an email-like thing without any intervention on your part.”
No need to be kind here: telling people you use Hotmail has been the Internet equivalent of admitting to necrophilia. But after a decade as a punchline, Hotmail just pulled off the biggest victory in the inbox game since Gmail. And it might just get you to switch.
This is starting to look familiar to the point of predictability. Microsoft takes something boring, partially broken, and thoroughly entrenched: Windows, Office, Mobile. Toss nearly everything ugly and uninspired into the ash heap, put smart people to work on it, and pack it full of Metro. Windows 8, Office 15, and Windows Phone have all turned stale things into vibrant, modern successes. And Hotmail—now Outlook—can boast the same.
It actually looks good.
But, come on, is Hotmail capable of a makeover? Hotmail? Even the people who work on Hotmail will admit without reluctance that the name itself is one of the service's biggest liabilities. Nobody wants to say Hotmail. Nobody wants it on their resume, on their card, or shared over drinks. It's been stigmatized regardless of how good or awful it actually is—when was the last time you even checked?
So, say goodbye to Hotmail. Now it's Outlook. And against all odds it's damn great—Microsoft has turned the deserved punchline of the whole web's mockery and spun it into top tier webmail.
First—and this is no superficial dig—Hotmail-which-is-now-Outlook doesn't look like it crawled out of a late-90s sex dungeon, pulling its own cluttered, woefully-designed entrails in tow. The New Hotmail looks fantastic, and depending on how you managed to stomach Gmail's last facelift (or not), it might be the handsomest webmail in the land. Really. Simple, clear, clean—it looks like an expertly assembled IKEA drawer.
Outlook is as pretty as you want email to be—appealing short of cloying. It perfectly matches the superflat rainbow modernism of Windows 8. Colors are stark and few, complementing the rest of the Metro palette. Inbox items are spaced just about perfectly, packing in a manageably dense list of messages—unlike Gmail's recent fatso formatting. Microsoft is beaming at how many extra pixels it gives you to gawk at your mail compared to Google, and it's absolutely true: with Outlook, the top of the screen is appreciably slimmer than Gmail.
This gives you a big fat swath of screen to appreciate, making subject lines a cinch to scan—the entire shebang is terrifically readable, although emails themselves sometimes default to a nasty serif font. But beyond that typographical flub (which might just be a beta hiccup on my end), Outlook is laid out at least as well as Gmail.
If you're a purist, you can spread your whole inbox in a vertical stack. You know how that works. Or pop open a "reading pane," which splits your screen real estate between an inbox overview and a live view of every in an adjacent column, sort of like how email is managed on an iPad. You can also stick the reading pane down below your inbox list. All three ways work well and are wonderfully quick to load. Yep—three well-designed ways to digest email all within one browser tab, with none of them feeling slapped on or in any way a compromise.
It actually feels good
This isn't just catchup with Gmail's finely powdered facade—Microsoft has poured serious brainpower into making Outlook the most functional web client ever seen. So many functions.
On your left, the standard folders. Nothing to say about that—sort however you'd like!—but at least they're executed well. When you put that aside, things get interesting. Email interesting.
Outlook offers a series of "Quick views," letting you hop instantly to emails with document attachments, embedded images, and even smart categories like shipping updates—yeah, it's sharp enough to pluck your latest Amazon order out of the pile. You can create your own categories with your own parameters, but even these few that are preloaded are a huge aid.
The main inbox view can also be sorted to display the newsletters you sign up for but never read (think Groupon) and social media notifications (Jonny High School is now following you on Twitter!). This is a great way to clear crud out of your box with as few sweeps as possible, or breeze through these second tier emails with many fewer clicks. It makes tremendous sense. Email's essence is the same as it was when Hotmail was ascendant a decade and a half ago, but there've been some shifts—the service can be just as much of a blip notification (tagged photo!) as it can an actual message. Microsoft gets that, and Outlook makes it near effortless to treat second class mail as what it is: useful noise.
Ease of clicking around to see the email you want is unrivaled with Outlook. But getting around is just part of what's cool.
Let's say you open up one of those emails flagged with images. And let's say it's flagged that way because it includes a link to a Flickr gallery. Outlook will automatically embed that gallery via slideshow, letting you sprint through pictures without having to leave your inbox. The same embedding is pulled off with other attached or linked media, from videos to Word documents—viewable and editable with a free web version of Office, of course.
This is a commanding ethos for Outlook—your email is a sort of online HQ, one of those tabs that's rarely closed no matter where you are. So if it's going to be sitting there anyway, shouldn't it do a little bit more than mail? Shouldn't it do it in a way that makes sense and doesn't feel like features for the sake of features? Yes, yes so many times. And Outlook provides just that.
Little touches abound, like an instant look at the last Facebook update or tweet of someone you're emailing with, instantly beamed adjacent to the email. Hover over a correspondant's contact photo—pulled straight from Facebook—and you can start Facebook messaging or Skype video calling them, too, all from within Outlook. None of this distracts from communicating with the people you know, the whole point of an email address. If anything, it bolsters that concept, catching up with our modern year's broader definition of communicating.
Unlike Gchat, the wonderful ubiquity that was just jammed onto the left side of our inboxes so abruptly and so many years ago, all of Outlooks "social" tweaks, to use an obnoxious catchall, are natural and imbued with grace. Nothing feels obligatory. You're here for email, you wind up using a little more, and you wonder why you couldn't glance at what your boss was tweeting while the two of you email. Computers should help you cheat at nature by feeling smarter than you really are, and Outlook grants that little injection of intelligence.
But is anyone really gonna use this?
The Chernobyl Tourism Board has an easier task before it. Hotmail is a cursed word in tech, and, frankly Outlook is probably close behind it, a workplace nightmare most people associate with tedium. The sad fact is that most of us probably wouldn't switch from Gmail to a better webmail service. Even if it were a much better webmail service. Many of us have been using the same Gmail account since the middle of the Bush administration, and that inertia, combined with the toxic connotations of Hotmail, will make any switch a huge psychological task. Why didn't Microsoft call it Bing mail? People like Bing. Bing is a decent search engine, and Bing is fun to say. Sam at Bing Dot Com. I like that.
But no, it's Outlook, and most will balk, as much as they ought not to. What we should all do, instead of laughing ourselves unconscious at reborn Hotmail that can go deftly toe to toe with Gmail, is try it. Set your current account to forward to a new Outlook account, and really try it. If you're already buying in to the Windows (Phone) 8 Metro all-inclusive pixel resort, you've got even more incentive to try. If you're tired of Google sticking its social media tongue down your email's throat or wary of its privacy reaches—Outlook.com doesn't read your messages for targeted ads—this is your out.
And it's available to you starting today. You might actually get your real name.
It takes a few minutes to set up an email account, and if you let yourself appreciate the work that's been both powerfully hammered and gently chiseled into this new beautiful, life-helping mail, you might have something else on your screen that lasts eight years.
A Facebook browser that would allow you keep up to date with your social life from in-built plug-ins and features on the menu bar could be on the cards. Pocket-lint has heard from one of its trusted sources that the social networking giant is looking to buy Opera Software, the company behind the Opera web browser.
According to our man in the know, the company could be about to expand into the browser space to take on the likes of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla and now even Yahoo, who has recently launched its own browser.
The move - which would no doubt send shivers of panic through Google - although unlikely to affect Chrome's continued growth in the short term, would see the two tech giants battle it out on your desktop and mobile for web surfing as well as social networking.
Opera already has a very good mobile browser, which has seen strong growth in the two years it has been available. And Facebook's buying the company would save it having to build a browser from scratch.
Since the Facebook IPO, which netted the company over $16 billion, Mark Zuckerberg's organisation has plenty of cash to expand. It has also left us in no doubt that it wants to get into the mobile sector more and more. Owning its own browser to market data from users regardless of whether or not they are actually on the Facebook website would be one such way of doing that.
Opera claims to have around 200 million users across all of its platforms.
If you ever needed evidence that no, people don't want a browser as an operating system, it's this: Google has updated Chrome OS to pretty much turn it into a traditional desktop operating system. This does raise the question - does anybody actually use Chrome OS?The browser as operating system is apparently not working out for Google. In all honesty, I've never ever seen a Chrome OS laptop, not even in shops, and I doubt the devices are selling particularly well. Now that tablets are here, one has to wonder just how much market validity Chrome OS has left.
Google seems to acknowledge that, and has just pushed out a pretty significant update to the Dev channel, which basically turns Chrome OS into a desktop operating system. The Aura window manager and shell adds a desktop, overlapping windows, a taskbar, and is fully hardware accelerated with fancy transitions and all that.
It all looks pretty decent - very minimalist. While a lot of people are pointing to Windows 7 and Mac OS X as inspiration, it's kind of silly to start talking about who ripped off who when it comes to a damn taskbar. Really, people, this is getting ridiculous. Stop it. You're acting like children.
At this point, I do have to wonder - what is the purpose of Chrome OS? Does anybody use it other than as a novelty? Is there any real reason to go with Chrome OS over Windows 7 or Mac OS X? I just can't come up with one, and while the desktopification of Chrome OS may help, I doubt it will do much to change the operating system's image.
A hint as to where the future lies for Chrome OS comes from reading through the Aura documentation. There's a lot of talk of different form factors, secondary monitors, and the ability to run the entire thing on Windows. All it needs now is the ability to run Android applications and widgets, and I'd suddenly be somewhat interested in using it on my ZenBook. Still, this all seems like a lot of wasted effort at this point.
In any case, if you're on the Dev channel, you'll already be running the update (also, that one Chrome OS user there in the back, please post your experience in the comments!). Google is bringing some Android into Chrome OS already, because Cr48 owners will not be getting this update. The hardware is supposedly too constrained, and Aura needs more slimming down and trimming before it'll run on the Cr48.
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