Spam is no longer binary

Saw this statement in an article which was announcing the new tabbed Inbox for GMail (which I totally dig and am waiting for).

Spam is no longer binary.

I think this is very true these days. There are ofcourse some emails which are clearly 100% spam, but GMail and other webservices catch these pretty well. I rarely get any of these any more.

There are some of the other emails that land in my inbox announcing offers and getaways and deals. Most times it looks like spam to me, but there are times, when I let them be, because I feel there might be use for it later. A 50% offer on all best seller books in flipkart is something that looks like spam, but I may look it up some time.

Similarly, emails from my credit card company and/or banks. Most times I dont read them (except for the statements). But I am always afraid that there is some important information that these guys may have told me and that I may need to look up later (maybe during tax filing season!). Thank God for the Archive button in Gmail.

The third type of grey-spam are the social updates. Updates from Twitter, facebook, and LinkedIn. These are important to me, but look like spam to me sometimes.

The new tabbed inbox that is due to roll out very soon in GMail takes care of this, by separating these in different tabs, so that it does not distract you from the important actionable email.


Read the FastCo article here about the new tabbed GMail

(pic courtesy – the same fastco article).

The Smart Phone Addiction/Dependency


pic credit – salon de maria

Remember the time, when the only phone in the house was the black beetel phone that BSNL provided ? And the phone book that lay next to it ? (Some might argue and go back further in time, where phones themselves were not in common, but let us stay in my era).

Then came the cell-phone (mobile phone). And then people rarely were using the land-line phone. The book that lay beside it was also largely unused. The cell-phone had all the numbers stored. You just could not even remember your dad’s phone number, because you just always searched for appa-cell in the contacts of the cell-phone, and hit dial – all this without thinking.

Pan-shot-moving towards the office. Remember the computer ? Desktop or laptop. All your emails arrived there. (Ofcourse, the same proponents of the phone-was-not-even-there theory above would say the same thing about email, but jest me here, and lets stay in my era). All your calendar appointments were in Outlook on the machine. So when you were in office, you checked emails, and outlook reminded you of meetings with the familiar ding-ding reminder.

Then came the smart phone. There were no times when you were away from your email. You had information at your finger tips all the time. This can be good, and this can be bad. I am about to tell you about one bad effect, which I just realized. The meetings. Until the computer was there, I was forced to remember which meetings were when – Group meetings were on Thursday 9-10AM. But now, I forget. My mind, without thinking, pulls out the smartphone, looks at the next calendar app and reads out the next couple of meetings.


And why might you ask, that I am being so philosophical about phones and smart phones? My smart phone got stolen a couple of days ago, and I am using the good-old-Nokia Torch phone. And the only thing you can do in it, other than speaking on the phone, is to check the time. And yes, of course use it as a torch light.I have caught myself many a time, in the last couple of days, pulling out the time, to see when the next meeting is, or whether I have any unread time. Oh, the shock, to just see the time in plain black and white on the phone !