Mamado Inside

27 March 2007

email subject tips

Filed under: email, web, writing — mhussein @ 10:37 am

I found a nice blog about writing tips through my favourite lifehacker, The author has some nice tips about how to craft your email subject line so that it gets read.

  • Write it after you’ve composed the body of your message.
  • Summarize the thrust of the message. Example: Cocktails resched to Friday 7 p.m.
  • Focus on what’s in it for the reader: Example: Here’s the data on Iowa you wanted
  • Keep it short.
  • Be specific – Not “Newsletter #4” but “Newsletter #4: Tips for spring cleaning”
  • Avoid words that “sell” like “free,” “buy,” and “call now” – they’re like flares to spam filters.
  • Have someone else write it – You’ll be surprised at how effective this can be.
  • Avoid dates in case it gets cut off – March 26 could appear as March 2 depending on the recipient’s setup.
  • Avoid: “Hi” and “FYI”
  • Don’t let your subject line be your message – It’s confusing to recipients because they think something’s missing (it’s like when someone says something is attached and there’s nothing there, you’re, like, huh?)
  • Change the subject line if the topic of the e-mail itself has changed, though include the original subject line in brackets if you can. Example: “Here’s your mtg info [Re: We won the account!]

Some of the commenters disagree with some of the tips, and I think that I agree with some of the disagreements 🙂

I like “subject only emails” they are more efficient, but as some of the commenters mentioned you need to indicate that in the subject. (I prefer <oem/> to (oem), it is geekier, though it has one extra character 🙂 )

I also use FYI, but I usualy use it in the body and not the subject.

I prefer to use prefixes that ease filtering, for example, I use [OT] for any “Off Topic” mail I send to colleagues, I also use [Fun] sometimes for Jokes.

I think if the email has a relevant date information, then it should be in the subject, the suggestion of using 26March is excellent.

ofcourse never send an email without a subject

Please tell us your tips in the comments.

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25 March 2007

urlTea

Filed under: web — mhussein @ 11:40 am

Thanks to downloadsquad, I found urlTea, I have been using TinyUrl for a while, but urlTea (earl Tea 🙂 ) seems a lot better.

It has a nice feature of allowing you to add description to the usrl, for example:

http://urltea.com/20w

is the same as

http://urltea.com/20w?mamado_blog

To easily use this new service, you can use this simple bookmarklet:

urlTea

Do you think it is better than tinyUrl?

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21 March 2007

P2P poisoners’ tactics

Filed under: p2p, web — mhussein @ 3:29 pm

arstechnica had an enlightening interview with the largest company in a -usually- very secret business.

MediaDefender is the largest company in a business that aims to disrupt p2p networks on behalf of large music labels and movie studios.

MediaDefender uses four main methods in their quest, to quote the interview:

Decoying. This, in a nutshell, is the serving of fake files that are generally empty or contain a trailer. The goal is to make legitimate content a needle in a haystack, so MediaDefender works hard to ensure that its copies of files show up in the top ten spots when certain keywords are searched for. Everything about the file is tailored to look like the work of pirates

but decoying has a down side: the bandwidth. Because MediaDefender actually serves these large but bogus files, it incurs a significant bandwidth bill by using this technique.

Spoofing. Spoofing sends searchers down dead ends. MediaDefender coders have written their own software that interacts with the various P2P protocols and sends bogus returns to search requests, usually directing people to nonexistent locations. Because most people only look at the top five search results, MediaDefender tries to frustrate their first attempts to download a file in hopes that they will just give up.

Interdiction. While the first two techniques try to prevent searchers from locating files, interdiction prevents distributors from serving them. The tool is generally used when media is leaked or newly released; the goal is to slow its spread in those crucial first days. MediaDefender servers attempt to create constant connections to the files in question, saturating the provider’s upstream bandwidth and preventing anyone else from grabbing the data.

Swarming. Though he acknowledges the BitTorrent networks can be hard to disrupt, Lee points out that MediaDefender can use “swarming” to make life more difficult for users trying to download copyrighted content. BitTorrent works by using a hash file to reassemble a file from many pieces, each of which may have been downloaded from a different user. MediaDefender simply serves up its chunks of these files, but instead of providing the proper data, its chunks contain static or nothing at all. BitTorrent will discard such junk data, but a flood of it can slow a user’s download to a crawl.

This as expected doesn’t stop the p2p networks, but it can delay the distribution of the pirated content for few weeks, that will be enough for MediaDefender customers to take their profits home.

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