Posts by "Ryan"

The internet in a Minute

In the time it takes for you to make your morning coffee or read this post. Trillions of things are happening around you. Especially on the internet. At ShuttleCloud we love statistics and numbers. I think because email is so vast, breaking it down into digits helps us comprehend it, whilst also giving us insights and a better understanding of the data. 

So, around 150,000 emails have been sent in the last 60 seconds, but what else has been happening?…

These are pretty big numbers for such a small amount of time. To save me from writing another post about ‘what happens in a day’ just multiply them by 1440!

And here’s some non-tech things that have happened in the last minute:

  • 255 babies were born
  • 5.5 million pounds of garbage was thrown
  • Your body produced around 150 million red blood cells
  • 25 million coca-cola products were consumed
  • 4.7 billion bath tubs of rain will fall
  • At least one person read this article

If you have any other interesting numbers please send them our way! We really do love them!

How to Get Stuff Done

I’m 3 weeks into writing a poem per day for one month. It started when I randomly wrote a few rhymes on a post-it note, which then turned into this little personal project. 

I’m not aiming for profound pages of sculptured genius. Sometimes just a few simple words about something I see or things that only make sense to me. I’ll pick up my phone and write something down; On the train, in the supermarket, in the early hours of the morning…

But why should you care what I do with my free time? Well, you don’t need to. The thing is, I’m just sharing something I love to do, showing how things can evolve if you stick with them, and I think that everyone should have their ‘poem a day’. Their own personal projects, that come with some addition benefits:

I believe they give you a new outlook, make life more interesting, take conversations beyond small talk and can increase your general productivity with everything else.

A few days ago someone suggested the poem thing in this article (but I’d like to point out that I thought of it first 🙂 ). They also mention a load of other interesting things to do when you have nothing to do. Or even extra things to add to your list.

But don’t leave it for tomorrow! For a long time my motto has been ’To Begin, Begin’. You don’t need to wait for the right time to do something. It doesn’t have to be on January 1st, or when you feel inspired, or after you’ve done another thing. Get the pen to the post-it now and the rest will follow. 

Perhaps I’ll develop the 30 into a book of 100 poems and self-publish it on Amazon (for my family to buy and think I’m clever for writing a book), or maybe it’ll just be something I can look back on as proof that I can achieve things.

I’ll leave you with one of my 20 (and counting) poems and challenge you to start something new, if you haven’t already. Please let me know how you get on.

I think next month I’ll try the daily plank…

What if we run out of ideas?

Everything you see was once an idea,
From the tallest of buildings to the tiniest screw.
But at the top of my list of the things I most fear,
Is if we run out and nothing is new.

The quota has maxed; weʼd thought everything up,
Theyʼd re-write songs thatʼd been written before.
Weʼd picked the last gem from the genius cup,
It’s all been done, there’s no room for more.

But I shanʼt lose sleep, weʼre safe now I think,
And Iʼve had an idea, it’s a pretty good one.
Iʼll write a poem as if ideas were extinct,
Or maybe I wonʼt, I think it’s been done.

Where does Spam come from?

I was surprised to discover recently that the word ‘Spam’ comes from the famous BBC television comedy series – Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

The sketch is referring to a can of meat. Popular in the 70s. I can’t say I’ve ever tried it, but I’m interested to know the mystery ingredients contained within this packaging:

Spam (the email kind) is very annoying, but nowadays our email provider will automatically detect it and keep it away from our inbox. Although it is fun to occasionally take a peek into this strange folder to see what’s being thrown at us.

I was also interested to discover that over 20% of the world’s Spam comes from Russia. Followed by the U.S with under 10%. The statistics show the most common sources of unsolicited commercial emails in the first quarter of 2020

Not surprisingly Spam has dropped significantly in the last 6 years mainly due to the GDPR laws which started in Spring 2018….

It did begin to sneak up again since, as did sales of the canned meat version. So a Spam free world isn’t likely anytime soon. Can anyone confirm if it’s worth a taste?

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: October 9, 2019

New Productivity (ben-evans.com)

This is a very insightful post describing the rise of productivity tools that cater to specific professions.

The Future of Work: Announcing a New Strategic Partnership with Dropbox (bettercloud.com)

Our friends at BetterCloud are on a mission to bring order out of the chaos of SaaS sprawl, and I personally am very happy to see them partnering with one of my favorite SaaS services.

WhatsApp to add disappearing message feature in future build (9to5google.com)

We’re not sure whether WhatsApp will continue to focus on consumers, businesses or both. This update hints at cloning a popular Snapchat feature.

Slack Stock Hits Its Lowest Close, Down 37% since Debut (marketrealist.com)

Slack is very popular but Microsoft is not an easy company to compete against in the enterprise software space, and that seems to worry retail investors.

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: September 25, 2019

Slack releases “shared channels”, a new feature to collaborate across companies

Slack has grown extremely fast based on the premise of improving internal communications at work. With “shared channels”, they’re hoping to “break down the walls”, as their announcement says, and go beyond internal chat. I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve heard good things about it.

The latest version of Yahoo Mail helps users find attachments and deals

The product team at Verizon Media continues improving Yahoo Mail more and more. We’re big Gmail fans at ShuttleCloud but I’ve been using the Yahoo Mail app for my personal email and was quite impressed. Their 4.6 rating in Google Play shows I’m not the only one.

Kik Messenger is set to shut down, so here are five solid IM alternatives

There are a few interesting things here. On the one hand, I have never tried Viber and I’m amazed it got so big. A lot of these messaging apps were started around the same time, and several found success even though the network effects in the messaging world encourage consolidation. I think that the number of people online grew so much in the last decade that it allowed several competing apps to coexist. One of the most authoritative bloggers in this space is Fred Wilson, who on his blog post about Kik’s shutdown says that Kik still had 10mm monthly users and almost 5mm daily users, many of them teenagers.

Hangouts Chat gets bottom bar redesign with ‘People’ and ‘Rooms’

I’m happy to see Google improving their internal chat tool so they can better compete with Slack and Microsoft Teams. Admittedly, they’re years behind the leaders, but they have competitive advantages like their ability to integrate with Gmail. We’ll be watching them closely.

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: September 11, 2019

Gmail for Android updated with ‘swipe-to-switch’ account gesture (9to5google.com)

Google continues making improvements to the Gmail app. Many people have multiple Gmail accounts, for work, personal purposes, etc. Gmail for iOS already has a very convenient gesture for switching accounts and this is now available for Android as well.

Google wants to kill text messages and the networks aren’t happy (wired.co.uk)

“RCS is an SMS upgrade” says Nick Lane of Mobilesquared, a mobile market research company, which estimates that there’ll be more than a billion monthly active users of RCS messaging by the end of the year. Up from 311 million users at the end of June 2019, and 3.2bn by 2023.

Google Calendar makes ‘Working Hours’ more prominent, enables by default (9to5google.com)

More and more tech companies are encouraging work-life balance and Google Calendar is now making its “Working Hours” feature more prominent and enabled by default. I personally find that a bit passive-agressive ????

Yahoo Mail down: Huge outage leaves users across the world unable to sign in, with AOL also suffering problems (inews.co.uk)

Yahoo Mail, which is still very popular with hundreds of millions of people, suffered a major outage last week.

50 U.S. states and territories announce broad antitrust investigation of Google (washingtonpost.com)

Will this be anything like the big Microsoft antitrust case of the late 90s? We’ll keep you posted.

Microsoft’s MyAnalytics work assistant now encourages you to slow down and focus (www.pcworld.com)

Microsoft is improving their personal productivity software with data from Office 365 and other sources.

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: August 28, 2019

Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo team up to make cross-device file transfers easier (www.xda-developers.com)

“AirDrop is a very popular way to easily transfer files and other data between Apple devices. There is no equivalent in the Android world, although there have been many attempts such as the recently deprecated Android Beam. Other interesting projects include OpenDrop, Google Files and Firefox Send. Now several Chinese companies are teaming up to create a potential new standard. Since Google Services are not usually present on the phones sold there, this could be popular in China and perhaps then worldwide.”

Microsoft Teams wins Enterprise Connect Best in Show award and delivers new experiences for the intelligent workplace (www.microsoft.com)

“This post from earlier this year has interesting stats regarding Microsoft Teams. It looks like many big companies have already adopted it, with over 150 organizations having more than 10,000 active users on Teams.”

In case you missed it: New tools for announcements, search, calls and more (slackhq.com)

“Microsoft Teams’ nemesis, Slack, is introducing many cool and useful features such as Google Calendar integration, call improvements, etc. Slack has a strong position in the internal chat space and they want to expand to cover more and more collaboration and communication workflows in the enterprise.”

Google Doesn’t Want Staff Debating Politics at Work Anymore (www.bloomberg.com)

“Google was well-known for allowing any kind of discussion in their employee forums, including politics. These new guidelines don’t forbid discussing politics at work but require managers to address conversations that become disruptive.”

Sunsetting Hire by Google (www.support.google.com)

“I remember seeing ads for Google Hire and salespeople have been reaching out to me till recently. Now Google has decided to retire the product a year from now. But being a paid product, it will honor existing SLAs and contracts.”

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: August 14, 2019

Google’s Advanced Protection Program coming to G Suite enterprise users (www.9to5google.com)

“Gmail and Google Drive access by third-party apps that haven’t been been explicitly marked as trusted by your company’s IT admins are blocked. This includes email clients that aren’t Google’s web or first-party clients”. So it’s going to get harder for developers to access G Suite data. CIOs at big companies will probably be happy, though.

Work Ruined Email – It’s not too late to fix it. (www.theatlantic.com)

A close look into Yahoo’s plan to fix email.

Official: Microsoft will take an axe to Skype for Business Online. Teams is your new normal (www.theregister.co.uk)

“We can almost hear the small army of consultants smacking their lips with glee as companies face up to the challenges and potential expense of migration.”

You can now sign in to Google websites using your fingerprint on Android (www.9to5google.com)

Some Google websites will make signing in easier on Android by replacing the password with your fingerprint or other phone screen lock methods such as pins and face unlock. Google is leveraging FIDO2 and the WebAuthn standards, and the actual fingerprint stays on-device and is never sent to its servers.

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: July 31, 2019

The Hottest Phones for the Next Billion Users Aren’t Smartphones (www.wsj.com)

Feature phones are back, but they’re much more capable than a decade ago. Millions of people can’t afford a smartphone and are flocking to cheap phones running KaiOS, a fork of B2G, which was an open source community-driven successor of Firefox OS.

Google Posts Strong Profits as Hazards Mount (www.wsj.com)

Google Cloud, specifically, now has an $8 billion annual revenue run rate, up from $4 billion in early 2018.

Google’s docs․new shortcut can now create files in other signed-in accounts (9to5google.com)

I personally didn’t know about this convenient way to quickly open a blank Google Doc. Entering docs.new into your browser will open a blank Google Doc, while sheets.new, slides.new. sites.new, forms.new, and website.new will also open the corresponding G Suite apps. And now you can append /1, /2 etc to switch between various G Suite or Gmail accounts. Very useful!

Google for Education adding free ‘transformation reports’ to track G Suite usage (9to5google.com)

These reports will help IT admins track adoption and work patterns for G Suite for Education.

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: July 17, 2019

Open Source Slack Alternative Mattermost Gets $50M Funding (itsfoss.com)

Mattermost is an open source Slack alternative. This is slightly old news but I did find this article interesting because of its emphasis on the open source angle, which I find relevant with the influential open source community.

Microsoft Teams overtakes Slack with 13 million daily users (www.theverge.com)

The battle for team chat in the workplace is heating up just as Slack gets ready for its IPO. Few people thought Microsoft could build a great alternative to Slack 2.5 years ago. Google is also improving Hangouts Chat with a Gmail integration. For another perspective, make sure to also read “Why has Microsoft Teams overtaken Slack with 13 million daily users?” by Jason Lemkin.

Office 365 banned from some German schools, Google Docs and iWork also ruled out (9to5mac.com)