Category archives: my commentary

How to Fix the UNDO command in Apple’s Mail.app when using Gmail

You may have noticed that the UNDO command in Apple’s Mail.app does not function as expected with Gmail IMAP. For example, when you delete a message and then press Command-Z, nothing happens. Fret no more because there is a workaround to correct this unexpected behavior.

The Workaround

  1. Go to your “Mail Settings” in Gmail.
  2. Click the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab.
  3. Click “Auto-Expunge off – Wait for the client to update the server.”
  4. Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.

Now you should be able to “Undo” your actions in Mail.

How To Downgrade from Mac OS X 10.6.7 to 10.6.6

Snow Leopard Install Screen

  1. While OS X is running, insert your OS X Snow Leopard Install DVD.
  2. Double click Install Mac OS X.
  3. Keep the DVD inside your computer while you wait for it to restart.
  4. Wait until the second phase of the installation procedure completes.
  5. You are now downgraded to OS X 10.6.2 (or something less than 10.6.6).
  6. Download and apply the OS X 10.6.6. combo update to bring you back to 10.6.6.

five Mac OS X Snow Leopard Tweaks I Can’t Live Without

1.) Always view Mail.app attachments as icons.

defaults write com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes

Restart Mail.app, and voila!

2.) Use a spacer to split the Dock between Docked applications and non-Docked applications.

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add
'{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}' && killall Dock

3.) Add one or more stacks of recently used items.

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add 
'{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }' 
&& killall Dock

4.) Enable new List view in Dock Stacks.

defaults write com.apple.dock use-new-list-stack -bool yes 
&& killall Dock

5.) Enables gradient effect on mouse over.

defaults write com.apple.dock mouse-over-hilite-stack -boolean yes 
&& killall Dock

Embarrassing Kindle 2 Flaw

The Kindle 2 was my first e-book reader. Excited to test its much hyped features, I purchased several items from Amazon’s Kindle Store, including Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History of Time e-book. I wasn’t too thrilled with Kindle’s disjointed Text-to-Speech synthesizer. So, I purchased the professionally narrated version of Hawking’s masterpiece from Amazon’s Audible Store.

Amazon advertises Kindle’s ability to playback audio files while reading e-books. I really wanted to read my new e-book while simultaneously listening to the audiobook. I followed Kindle’s instructions to copy the Audible .aax file to my Kindle via the USB cable. Success! I could hear the professionally narrated version Hawking’s best-seller.

Now, to read along. But wait…I can’t hear the e-book anymore! Kindle’s User Guide says that Alt-Space and Alt-F control the background audio playback while reading an e-book. To my surprise, these keystrokes have no effect.

Thirty minutes later, I gave up and called Amazon Kindle Support. At last, “Chris C.”, a Kindle Specialist, was able to understand my problem. He suggested that I move the .aax file from the Kindle “Audible folder” to the “music folder.” This, however, caused the Kindle to no longer recognize the audiobook. He then concluded that I would need to convert the .aax file to an .mp3 file. He casually noted, however, that neither Audible nor Kindle has a direct mechanism to do this. In other words, I was out of luck. I can’t listen to Amazon Audible files while reading on my Kindle 2.

Is that fair? Should consumers have the burden of making Amazon’s Kindle operable with Amazon’s Audible files? Your thoughts are always appreciated.

Is Flixya Violating Google Adsense TOS?

Flixya is a start-up video sharing service, much like YouTube and Google Video. Unlike its competitors, Flixya provides user incentives to share and upload videos. Flixya’s Revenue Sharing program offers a 50/50 split of all revenue earned from Adsense, Google’s Pay-Per-Click advertising program. The more video links you provide to Flixya, the greater your chances of making PPC revenue on the site.
FlixyaGoogle’s Program Policies, however, state the following rules regarding incentives,

Web pages may not include incentives of any kind for users to click on ads (ads=referals too). This includes encouraging users to click on the ads … as well as drawing any undue attention to the ads.

Google’s Policy also states the following about labeling ads,

Publishers may not label the ads with text other than “sponsored links” or “advertisements.

For purposes of these policies, “referral buttons are considered to be ‘Google ads'”. Yet, before and after users sign up for accounts with Flixya, they are shown several advertisements that direct them to sign up for Google Adsense as a direct incentive to make money. It seems apparent that instructing users to “Sign up for Google’s Ads to Share In Flixya’s Revenue Sharing Program” and labeling referral ads with the phrase “Sign Up” are violations of Adsense TOS. Adsense users should be further concerned that using Flixya’s Revenue Sharing Program and viewing videos on Flixya will cause an increase in page impressions with Google Adsense, which is a per se violation of Google’s TOS. What’s the likely penalty? Goodbye Adsense account.

eBay Bans Google Checkout

According to a recent article from auctionBytes,

eBay is banning sellers from requesting payment through Google Checkout. The online auction giant updated its Safe Payments policy this week to add Google’s new payment service, Google Checkout to its list of online payment methods not permitted on eBay.

From eBay’s standpoint, eBay is probably fulfilling a duty to maximize their shareholder’s wealth. Blocking Google seems to be a logical step to ensure marketplace dominance. So, why shouldn’t eBay be allowed to block Google?

The answer is simple: eBay’s unchecked control hurts consumers. Instead of making the auction experience better for the online community, eBay is only looking out for eBay. Instead of embracing choice and welcoming competition, eBay seeks absolute power. Here’s a reality check, eBay: You can’t quash Google. More importantly, depriving consumers of meaningful choice only plants seeds of backlash.

But, eBay probably enjoys their absolute control over the auction experience. Right now, eBay capriciously suspends users’ auction accounts and PayPal accounts without any explanation. With a marketplace competitor, eBay would actually need to provide real customer service and develop equitable business policies. But, why compete when you can just ban anyone in your path?

Smaller online payment processors, such as StormPay, have been unable to raise sufficient capital to challenge eBay’s monopolistic tactics. Google, who’s motto has always been Do No Evil, will hopefully step up to the plate and put eBay in its place. If such a day does arrive, it will truly be a victory for the consumer.