Safety warning: if you use Skype, your contacts may now be exposed

As of a couple of days ago, the new Skype tells other people how many contacts you have in common. It also offers your contacts as potential new contacts to everyone else in your contact book. This is a surprisingly serious privacy breach.

Danida_U’s response from Microsoft: there’s no way to disable this short of opting out from being contactable at all. And no, there are no plans to remove the “feature.” They want to make it easier for friends and family to find you. My suggestion: if you want your friends and family to find you, tell them your Skype ID. Problem solved.

Stever Robbins

I ‘have’ to use Skype at work … but my intolerance against it has started to grow up more and more. This latest feature is frankly embarrassing.

What keeps me from deleting my profile is that I use it only for work, and nothing personal goes under the Microsoft chat system. If you want to know who my contacts are on Skype, you just can have a look at my LinkedIn profile and obtain much more informations…

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Thunderbird, finally a 64bit software

Thunderbird 60.2.1 info 2018-10-15Thanks to a system reinstallation, due to an upgrade to an SSD drive, I’ve casually discovered that there’s a recently release of the version 60.2.1 of Thunderbird, my preferred e-mail client since the ‘death of Eudora’ (a couple of years before 2006).

I was really surprised by the missing update notification from the software. Going to the official website I begun to understand…

Thunderbird version 60.0 is only offered as direct download from thunderbird.net and not as upgrade from Thunderbird version 52 or earlier. A future version 60.1 will provide updates from earlier versions.

System Requirements: • Window: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or later • Mac: Mac OS X 10.9 or later • Linux: GTK+ 3.4 or higher.

This was in August; during the following months something clearly happened in the builds, so we’ve been faced directly to version 60.2.1 at the beginning of October::

Thunderbird version 60.2.1 provides an automatic update from Thunderbird version 52. Note that Thunderbird version 60.1.0 and 60.2.0 were skipped.

… then probably the broadcast message of the available update should have been clearly delayed to avoid servers overload, and I’ve ‘discovered’ it before it was sent to me.

The list of new features is big; at a glance we can see three of them: the executable is finally a 64-bit one, there’s a new icon and the overall look and feel has been cleaned and polished, it’s finally here the new plugin/extension behavior we’ve seen on Firefox from the beginning of the year. At the first reboot of Thunderbird it will update the Lightning plugin – which covers the calendar functions – and then marks as incompatible and de-activates all the old extensions.

I’ve been using it all day, and so far I can tell it’s a safe upgrade.
Given you don’t rely on any special feature provided by the extensions you have. In that case I suggest you to investigate if the developer is working on an update or if someone has made a fork or a replacement of that particular plugin feature.

update

A friend of mine over my Italian blog made me notice that Windows users are still prompted with a 32-bit application download.

After a little research I’ve discovered that on Windows the 64-bit support is still considered ‘experimental’, while on macOS and Linux there are no problems. You can read more about this HERE.

Anyway Mozilla provides the 64.bit executable directly on their FTP repository, here: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/60.2.1/win64/en-US … It’s not provided directly in the download page of the product.

Primitive for macOS

Recreate your photos with vector-based geometric primitives.

primitive for macOS 5

Starting from this primitive project on GitHub this Primite application for macOS has been realized and put on sale over the Mac AppStore.

The user provides an image as input. The program tries to find the most optimal shape that can be drawn to maximize the similarity between the target image and the drawn image. It repeats this process, adding one shape at a time.

Using this process, the program can recreate a photo with surprisingly few shapes. It is quite CPU intensive, but Primitive is optimized to do it as quickly as possible. And the output is inherently vector-based!

How I Manage My Email

So… A couple of days ago my pal Franz wrote a piece on “How I manage my email”.

E-mail management is one of my cross and delight since using a computer and up to a couple of years ago I used to try any e-mail client that crossed my way. The topic has an appeal to me and I could not avoid to reply in some form. But things got lengthy and I’ve decided to write a post on my own and backlink to his.

First of all I now have 19 active e-mail accounts. Some of them have mails since 1999 (I have lost two or three previous years). My inboxes have gone through Windows 98 up to Windows XP, then onto Ubuntu/Fedora and since 2006 to Apple’s Mac.

More, I come from years when you got only 50MB of e-email’s space by ISP, and still remember how huge the Gmail appearance was to us web-surfers. More than the search engine itself. That means that I have a deeply rooted habit of using POP accounts.

My local e-mail inbox was, and is, THE archive… while emails stored on the provider are a partial back-up (I expunge e-mails from the after 180 days, leaving me a 6 months safety net).

Given all this I can approac how I manage my e-mails.

Currently I use Mozilla’s Thunderbird as my main e-mail client. I use it since it was born and having left Eudora. The oldes inbox file has been created in early 2003, I think. On it I have set-up the greatest part of that 19 accounts, all in POP3 mode.
I have my personal emails, my hobbies email, my Linux-related e-mail archive and the newsletters.

Since working at CNR I am using Apple’s Mail client – this too in POP3 mode – to manage my working email, server logs. I’ve added a couple of account with Apple-related stuff (mailing lists and some promotional stuff).

Third comes Postbox, born form some sort of Thunderbird’s codebase fork when the main project seemed doomed to death years ago, empowered with some nice features like remote attachment management, and social integrations. Also the ‘conversation’ and some basic GTD features are part of the package. I loved the approach and purchased a lifetime licence. Here I am playing with IMAP for personal e-mails and WordPress related stuff.

I have a fairly large set of e-mails rules and filter to process all the e-mails I receive and sort them to the appropriate folder. I’ve got a folder for emails from Sitegroud, Namecheap, that ER-LUG mailing list, John’s newsletter, Ducati owner mailing list,  logwatch and Nagios emails for Server1, Server2 and so on.

This leaves me with only 3 or 4 Inbox folders with ‘unscheduled and unattened’ mails with I process as the first thing. Second comes the emails from the servers, which I oversee in search of anomalies. Then I process the mailing lists … usually they are a precious goldmine of informations, tips, how-to and such that I can use in my workdays.

Then I process the newsletters, and that GDPR storm in last weeks has also helped me to clear a little my subscriptions list. And yes, I have an archive of your newsletter. So even if you delete it I’ll have a copy “forever” =)

At last I have the “pleasure” mailing lists: the motorcycle ones, the comics ones, the friend’s chat ones.

I forgot to mention that I use the color label system of Thunderbird / Postbox and replicated it to Mail … so I give the red color to important stuff, green color to addresses, cyan to evidence email with precious URLs in them, orange to some less important but still relevant content and violet for funny quote / URL / image / whatever.

I’ve tried to get rid of this archive-mania I’ve got, given how huge nowadays Gmail and company are, and leave there my emails. But I still fear having poor or no-connection at all, and remember vividly the times when this ‘cloud’ was 1000x more unreliable than today. So my approach is like a Linus’ towel … I am alway sure to have all my things with me, and be operational anytime, anywhere.

Infinit file transfer service, goodbye.

There’s no easy way to say it but the Infinit file transfer service is shutting down on March 31, 2017.

Some folks may be wondering: Why? At the beginning of 2015, we started building another product, the Infinit Storage Platform — a sort of Dropbox for enterprise applications.

Over the last year, this product has gained momentum. As a result we have decided to discontinue our file transfer applications and focus entirely on our storage platform, taking effect on March 31, 2017.

Tonight Infinit servers sent to us customers this email. This has come entirely un-expected … and I’m a bit disappointed since I trusted them with translations help, promoting the service to my friends and wisely using it not taking advantage of my 100+GB pro account.
Also having become a Premium user I’ve let go lots of 3rd party offers (Cloudapp to say one) … and now I feel, uhm … betrayed by this marketing move.
Having said that … I was honoured to be a part of the team, even if providing just the Italian translations and the service was a pleasure to use.

I wish them all the best, and their Infinit Storage Platform seems really interesting … but now I’ll be very cautious to embrace their software as I did the fist time…

the problem with AMP

No, everyone on here shouldn’t need explanation on why AMP is bad. Especially when its a closed system that Google insists serving to your customers from Google’s private servers. No technologist or business person would/should ever stand for that. Yet we are forced to.

The discussion should really be, how do we dislodge Google from its current entrenched position.
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