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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why isn't Yahoo Mail Dead Yet?

I get this thought whenever someone gives me their email id and it has an “@yahoo.com” in it.
            Seriously guys, why would anyone go for the constrictive, disgraceful Yahoo Mail when they have the choice of the flawless, user-friendly Gmail? If you’re one of those who use Yahoo Mail, here are some strong reasons to rethink your choice, and a way to efficiently switch to Gmail without compromising your existing inbox/contacts.

First, a confession>> I created my first email account at the age of 7 in Yahoo, and used it well into my high school, without knowing I had a choice. I think most people create their first accounts in Yahoo, because for many, the red, stylish “Yaaa-hooo” looks cooler than the beveled and old-fashioned Google logo. And the internet newbie is caught by the misconception that the Yahoo homepage, flooded with useless and superfluous information is superior to the simple, convenient Google homepage. But at one point he realizes the deceit and makes the right choice.

Listing out all technical reasons why Gmail tops Yahoo Mail is not practical. So here are a few obvious and compelling ones:
·        A big share of the Yahoo Mail inbox screen is taken up by annoying, rotating flash/image ads. In Gmail, you barely notice the text-based ads in the corner (which, by the way, relate to the content of your mail!).
·        Once we hit “sign in” and enter our credentials, Gmail takes us straight to the inbox in seconds. In Yahoo, however, you have to go to its homepage, hit “sign in”, login and return to the homepage again, click on “inbox”, reach the Mail page, and hit on “inbox” again, to finally see your mail.
·        Gmail takes very less time to load as compared to Yahoo Mail, and once loaded it never becomes sluggish.
·        In my experience, Gmail does much more efficient spam filtering.
·        By default, Gmail records your chats and makes them available through the main menu.
·        Gmail offers 7530 MB of free space as at the time of this writing (the counter increases incessantly!).
·        You can enable a feature called “Offline Mail” in Gmail, and access your emails offline, for example when on flight. In Labs, you can find more cool stuff.
·        It’s easy to figure out how to edit your account settings in Gmail. Get ready to read a few help articles if you want to do the same in Yahoo Mail.
·        You can access a host of free, rich, other services from Google with a single Gmail account.

Well if you were aware of these all along, but continued using your Yahoo account for other reasons like preserving your inbox and contacts list, difficulty in intimating your existing contacts about your shift etc, know it indeed is possible : visit this page. Hope you’re happy!

I normally try to end anything I write with “every coin has two sides…”, “even though that is the case…” etc. But honestly, I can’t find any sense in using Yahoo Mail given you have something like Gmail at the same price (free, of course). All I have to say is, make the right choice.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My First Real Lucid Dream

I had a normal dream and I woke up.
I walked to the bathroom, washed my face looking myself at the mirror.
"I'd wasted whole days thinking of lucid-dreaming-and-stuff and my real life's at stake. Heck, my dream recall has developed a lot and I remember 2-3 dreams every day- making it all the more difficult to keep my mind off it. But thisis it. I'm going to focus entirely on my real life from now, good bye to lucid dreaming... I WON'T TRY TO LUCID DREAM-- EVER!"--I said to myself, and went back to sleep.

What I didn't know was that I was gonna have my first real, sustained lucid dream in a few minutes.

I was at back at my highschool, but all the students in the class seemed to be from my current institute. Well it didn't seem strange to me then. In fact I had this beautiful girl sitting beside me on my bench, how could I pay attention to anything else? I had a little chat with her, but she arose in the middle of it and walked to the class podium and began delivering some speech, probably part of some assignment. As she was about to complete it and return to me, I noticed something strange- I had no clothes on! I began to panic and search for my clothes.. thankfully they were at the bottom of my desk. But before I began to put them on, I thought- "Strange... things like this happen only in dreams." And then I realised that it was all just a dream.
How could I be sure? I wanted to do reality checks, but I was afraid if the dream would end too soon. So I improvised- I punched a friend who sat in the next row at his head, and his head oscillated to-and-fro. Had it been real life, the guy(pretty muscular himself) would have got up and busted me right away. He didn't... Yay!

I didn't know what to do, so I began walking accross the class to meet people... until things began to fade. Rubbing my hands came like reflex to me(although I had not tried it before), but the dream was prolonged to just a few seconds. Finally I decided to spin my dream body. Amidst all the spinning, I felt a sharp knife-like object thrust into my belly and it really hurt. But soon I landed at some other place. The 'landing' was how the hero would teleport in the movie Jumper-- me like it!

I was in my old bedroom. Back in another 'building', restricting me from doing things like flying. But with all the confidence in the world I prepared to leap skyward, and for a moment it seemed I could really do it... but I closed my eyes then, and woke up, stayed paralyzed for a few secs, and then the whole of me woke up.

I learnt a few things from this experience- if I close my eyes in a dream, chances are I would wake up. And the Placebo effect is legit. And if I'm naked when people are around, it's dream :-)

Best of all, I understood what it's like to be in a lucid dream- you could be free of those chains and do whatever you want with no consequence whatsoever. It's a highly exhilarating and wonderful experience. You got to try it.