Google Offers Respite From Inbox Overload

The system also looks for the people you interact with on a daily basis, pushing their messages higher up the ladder. Finally the new inbox looks to see if a new e-mail was sent “directly to you, or if it is sent to other people too.”

Although Mr. Coleman said the Priority Inbox doesn’t work on mobile devices, he said people can expect it at some point in the future.

The new feature will begin appearing in beta mode on Tuesday and will be available as an option for Gmail users as it rolls out across the service. Users will begin seeing an alert allowing them to switch to Priority Inbox.

There are other services with similar approaches to the inbox problem, including Sanebox, which prioritizes Gmail’s inbox with new folders, and Xobni, which works with Microsoft’s Outlook software.

I’ve written several times before about the frustrations and anxiety my inbox causes me as messages drop into place uncontrollably.

Anuncios

By NICK BILTON

Priority Inbox

If you hate your inbox, if the very thought of it makes you fretful and nauseous, you’re not alone. Plenty of people who use e-mail on a daily basis feel the same.

Now Google is trying to come to the rescue with a new Gmail feature announced Tuesday called Priority Inbox, which monitors your messages and tries to organize your inbox based on a number of criteria, like how often you correspond with a particular sender.

Google explains that the first thing Priority Inbox does is split your inbox into three sections: “important and unread,” “starred” and “everything else.”

“Important” messages are judged to be the most significant, and sit at the top of your Gmail window. Next is the “starred” area, the messages you say are important. Finally, “everything else” includes those messages that can probably be dealt with later, or completely ignored — the ones that aren’t quite spam, but don’t need to clutter up your screen or your brain right now.

Keith Coleman, Google’s product management director, told me in an interview that Google has been working to solve the e-mail overload problem for the better part of a decade.

“Features like Priority Inbox were in the prerelease version of Gmail but were not ready for the public,” Mr. Coleman said. “We finally figured out how to organize and categorize e-mail in a simple and intuitive way using three different criteria.”

Surprisingly, Mr. Coleman said that one of the tools put to use in the new inbox organization is taken from the programming and algorithms used to categorize mail as spam. He said Gmail looks for terms and people that you categorize as important, or not, and decides whether those messages make it into your priority inbox accordingly.

Google

Priority Inbox

The system also looks for the people you interact with on a daily basis, pushing their messages higher up the ladder. Finally the new inbox looks to see if a new e-mail was sent “directly to you, or if it is sent to other people too.”

Although Mr. Coleman said the Priority Inbox doesn’t work on mobile devices, he said people can expect it at some point in the future.

The new feature will begin appearing in beta mode on Tuesday and will be available as an option for Gmail users as it rolls out across the service. Users will begin seeing an alert allowing them to switch to Priority Inbox.

There are other services with similar approaches to the inbox problem, including Sanebox, which prioritizes Gmail’s inbox with new folders, and Xobni, which works with Microsoft’s Outlook software.

I’ve written several times before about the frustrations and anxiety my inbox causes me as messages drop into place uncontrollably. Leer más “Google Offers Respite From Inbox Overload”

SideReel Tracks TV Shows Online, Wherever They Are

For those who take the plunge and cancel their cable or satellite subscriptions, there’s certainly no shortage of television shows and movies to watch online. The trick is finding it all.

There are a handful of Web sites that are vying to be the one-stop shop for finding programming on the Web. Some, like the three-year-old site SideReel, are trying to get an edge by not only offering links to legitimate sources of shows, like network sites, but also letting users share links to sites where illegal copies are available for instant viewing.


By JENNA WORTHAM

SideReel

For those who take the plunge and cancel their cable or satellite subscriptions, there’s certainly no shortage of television shows and movies to watch online. The trick is finding it all.

There are a handful of Web sites that are vying to be the one-stop shop for finding programming on the Web. Some, like the three-year-old site SideReel, are trying to get an edge by not only offering links to legitimate sources of shows, like network sites, but also letting users share links to sites where illegal copies are available for instant viewing. Leer más “SideReel Tracks TV Shows Online, Wherever They Are”

Bits Pics: Visualizing the Web’s Icons

The data visualization above shows the “favicons” of nearly 300,000 Web sites on the Internet. Favicons are small images used to identify a Web site in the browser.

The sizes of the icons are based on the amount of traffic each Web site receives, using data from Alexa.com, a traffic and Web metrics site.

The project, which I came across via Gizmodo, is the work of two programmers, David Fifield and Brandon Enright. They work for a company called Nmap that makes open-source security programs.


By NICK BILTON

Favicon Data visualization

The data visualization above shows the “favicons” of nearly 300,000 Web sites on the Internet. Favicons are small images used to identify a Web site in the browser.

The sizes of the icons are based on the amount of traffic each Web site receives, using data from Alexa.com, a traffic and Web metrics site.

The project, which I came across via Gizmodo, is the work of two programmers, David Fifield and Brandon Enright. They work for a company called Nmap that makes open-source security programs. Leer más “Bits Pics: Visualizing the Web’s Icons”

Plug In, Turn On and Tune Out Wi-Fi

By ASHLEE VANCE

As a Texan, I find it deeply offensive when the Internet blocks me from watching “Friday Night Lights.”
The Sofa Wars

Media, cable and technology companies are fighting for consumers’ screen time, and their money, as viewing habits grow more unpredictable.

* Go to the Series »

More specifically, my rage goes toward Wi-Fi, that oh so finicky creature that will buffer, buffer, spurt, gurgle and then just break down. For some reason, my router, walls, laptop and H.D.M.I. hookup to the TV appear determined to wage war with one another, making streaming television shows an all too brief and painful experience.

For people suffering from similar Wi-Fi maladies, there is hope, and it runs through your electrical outlets.

I picked up some adapters from the start-up Plaster Networks that plug into a wall socket and then carry a Web connection via Ethernet cable to your devices.

For this type of set-up, you need to plug one adapter ($90) into the wall and connect it directly to a router. Then, you can plug more adapters in the house anywhere that a fast Web connection is desired.


By ASHLEE VANCE

As a Texan, I find it deeply offensive when the Internet blocks me from watching “Friday Night Lights.”

The Sofa Wars

Media, cable and technology companies are fighting for consumers’ screen time, and their money, as viewing habits grow more unpredictable.

More specifically, my rage goes toward Wi-Fi, that oh so finicky creature that will buffer, buffer, spurt, gurgle and then just break down. For some reason, my router, walls, laptop and H.D.M.I. hookup to the TV appear determined to wage war with one another, making streaming television shows an all too brief and painful experience.

For people suffering from similar Wi-Fi maladies, there is hope, and it runs through your electrical outlets.

I picked up some adapters from the start-up Plaster Networks that plug into a wall socket and then carry a Web connection via Ethernet cable to your devices.

For this type of set-up, you need to plug one adapter ($90) into the wall and connect it directly to a router. Then, you can plug more adapters in the house anywhere that a fast Web connection is desired. Leer más “Plug In, Turn On and Tune Out Wi-Fi”

CollegeOnly, a Social Network Just for the University Set

When Facebook arrived at my university near the end of my fourth year, I remember feeling a huge wave of relief.

Not because I had an easy way to keep in touch with my friends after college — although that was nice, too — but because the site arrived when we were nearly finished with our undergraduate careers. We didn’t have to worry about whether or not a satirical status update or photos from the weekend’s revelry would threaten our standing or ability to get a job.

But Josh Weinstein, a New York-based entrepreneur, says sharing photographs, trading gossip and obsessing about your crushes are now just part of the fun of being in college.

It’s what he’s hoping to replicate with a new social networking start-up called CollegeOnly.


By JENNA WORTHAM

A screen shot of CollegeOnly.

When Facebook arrived at my university near the end of my fourth year, I remember feeling a huge wave of relief.

Not because I had an easy way to keep in touch with my friends after college — although that was nice, too — but because the site arrived when we were nearly finished with our undergraduate careers. We didn’t have to worry about whether or not a satirical status update or photos from the weekend’s revelry would threaten our standing or ability to get a job.

But Josh Weinstein, a New York-based entrepreneur, says sharing photographs, trading gossip and obsessing about your crushes are now just part of the fun of being in college.

It’s what he’s hoping to replicate with a new social networking start-up called CollegeOnly. Leer más “CollegeOnly, a Social Network Just for the University Set”

Stipple Seeks to Tag the Web’s Images

Stipple, a San Francisco-based start-up, is introducing a new service on Wednesday that allows online publishers to add tags to particular parts of an image with information about its contents and related links.

The service, which is free to use and offers a revenue-sharing program for purchases made through the links, allows publishers to tag products for sale within an image, or to add information about objects or people.

Rey Flemings, the chief executive and founder of Stipple, said in a phone interview that one problem his new company intends to solve is the “much needed” ability to add more information to “the trillion or so images on the Web today.”

Stipple will introduce the product with three partners: Six Apart, a blogging software maker; Jive Records, a Sony music label; and the media company E.W. Scripps.

“We’re partnering with some companies when we launch to show how simple the tools can be and how much information you can share within an image,” Mr. Flemings said.


By NICK BILTON

Stipple Clicking on the pants in the photo shows how much they cost and where they can be purchased.

Stipple used to identify pants

Stipple, a San Francisco-based start-up, is introducing a new service on Wednesday that allows online publishers to add tags to particular parts of an image with information about its contents and related links.

The service, which is free to use and offers a revenue-sharing program for purchases made through the links, allows publishers to tag products for sale within an image, or to add information about objects or people.

Rey Flemings, the chief executive and founder of Stipple, said in a phone interview that one problem his new company intends to solve is the “much needed” ability to add more information to “the trillion or so images on the Web today.”

Stipple will introduce the product with three partners: Six Apart, a blogging software maker; Jive Records, a Sony music label; and the media company E.W. Scripps.

“We’re partnering with some companies when we launch to show how simple the tools can be and how much information you can share within an image,” Mr. Flemings said. Leer más “Stipple Seeks to Tag the Web’s Images”

Who’s Calling? Some More Than Others

The idea that Americans are talking less on their phones and texting more might be true in many instances, but you can exclude a couple of groups of people from that category.

In a report released Tuesday, Nielsen, a consumer data and trend-tracking agency, said blacks are talking on their phones more than ever before, on average more than 1,300 minutes a month. Hispanics, the “next more talkative group,” talk on the phone 826 minutes a month.

Compare these numbers to whites, who only use 647 minutes a month of talk time, half the average of blacks.

In a blog post on Nielsen’s Web site, the company said it carried out the study in March by analyzing the phone bills of 60,000 mobile phone subscribers in the United States.


By NICK BILTON

Nielsen The number of voice minutes and text messages used each month by age bracket.

number of text messages a month

The heaviest use of cellphone minutes is in the Southern states.

location of most cell phone talk time

The idea that Americans are talking less on their phones and texting more might be true in many instances, but you can exclude a couple of groups of people from that category.

In a report released Tuesday, Nielsen, a consumer data and trend-tracking agency, said blacks are talking on their phones more than ever before, on average more than 1,300 minutes a month. Hispanics, the “next more talkative group,” talk on the phone 826 minutes a month.

Compare these numbers to whites, who only use 647 minutes a month of talk time, half the average of blacks.

In a blog post on Nielsen’s Web site, the company said it carried out the study in March by analyzing the phone bills of 60,000 mobile phone subscribers in the United States. Leer más “Who’s Calling? Some More Than Others”