Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘internet apps’

Wonderful World Cup Calendar

Posted by Richard on June 12, 2010

I'm not a soccer fan, but if I were, I'd be spending a lot of time in the next few weeks at's wonderful World Cup Calendar.

Come to think of it, I've already spent a fair amount of time playing with that calendar anyway, just because it's so cool. The elegant design, clarity of presentation, and usability are worthy of Edward Tufte. It's one of the best applications of Web 2.0 technology I've seen.

Check it out. See how many seconds it takes you to determine when and where Germany is playing Australia, and what other matches are scheduled for that day. See how long it takes you to stop playing with it. 🙂

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Gmail problems

Posted by Richard on March 27, 2006

Something’s wrong with Gmail this morning. I’ve been trying off and on to access it for the past 4 hours, and I keep getting the "Oops…the system was unable to perform your operation" message (with an error code of 704 or 717). By the way, is there a Gmail error code reference anywhere? I’ve had no luck Googling for it (the irony!).

I really like Gmail, but this demonstrates one of the reasons I’ve always been a bit nervous about internet-based services or apps. If the network connection isn’t working, the server is dead, or you can’t access it for any reason, you’re just SOL. I have the same reluctance to trust corporate networks, even though ours here is remarkably reliable. I prefer to work on files that are on my local hard drive, and then update the files on the server periodically. That way, I’m not immediately affected if the server is down or the network is slow or whatever.

If you’re a Gmail user, did you read the terms of service? It’s unlikely, but possible, that the folks at Google will just say, "Something’s totally screwed up, and we don’t feel like fixing it. No more Gmail." Your mail would just be gone, with no recourse.

Maybe I should set up my Gmail account for POP access, so that Outlook at home downloads messages at regular intervals, like it does from my Qwest email account. It wouldn’t help with new mail, but least that way, I’d have access to all the older stuff. Or, I would if I were home. Sigh.

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