There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - Hotmail

Written by Richard Lowe

This column is about TANSTAAFL, which is a term from a book by Robert A. Heinlein (one ofrepparttar best Science Fiction authors that ever lived) called "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress". The term means "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch". This concept isrepparttar 109589 basis ofrepparttar 109590 plot ofrepparttar 109591 book, which is about a Lunar penal colony and it's attempt to free itself from Earth domination.


Recently Microsoft instituted a new policy regarding their Hotmail service which annoyed a large number of customers. Like most free email services, Hotmail has been struggling withrepparttar 109592 recent failure ofrepparttar 109593 advertising model. (Advertisers pay for services to show ads to people, who getrepparttar 109594 services for no cost). This failure means fewer advertisers are willing to pay, and those that do pay demand lower costs and higher returns.

Hotmail has takenrepparttar 109595 same tack as many other previously free services - they are attempting to remain free, but reducerepparttar 109596 benefits ofrepparttar 109597 free accounts in order to entice people to spend money for paid accounts.

Their new policy was simple and seemed straightforward to them. They simply decided to delete all emails inrepparttar 109598 SENT items folder that were older than thirty days. This seemed like a perfectly valid decision to them, so reasonable that they only sent one notice to their users.

Well, it was not reasonable at all.

I've run into similar boneheaded thinking before, of course. I managerepparttar 109599 production computer department of a multi-billion dollar company. Our job is to ensure that all ofrepparttar 109600 user workstations andrepparttar 109601 applications servers are up, running and doing useful things 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

One day one of my people (who should have known better) decided he needed to work onrepparttar 109602 workstation ofrepparttar 109603 CFO (Chief Financial Officer). Disk space was low, so he emptiedrepparttar 109604 trash can. Seems perfectly reasonable, doesn't it?

Well, as it turned out,repparttar 109605 CFO was usingrepparttar 109606 trash can to store documents. She never emptied it, and thought it was just another folder. So she stored hundreds of sub-folders and thousands of vital company documents there. She thought of it as a place to put documents that she no longer needed.

Now, just about any other user would have been told that this was not proper and that would have beenrepparttar 109607 end of it. However, this wasrepparttar 109608 CFO, a vice president in a multi-billion dollar company. We had to scramble to recoverrepparttar 109609 documents, and only managed because I had made a backup of her system, includingrepparttar 109610 recycle bin.

The Hotmail action was discussed on several forums recently. Below are some ofrepparttar 109611 conclusions and my answers. You may find this interesting.

Why would Microsoft do such a terrible thing? - The point is Microsoft (and Yahoo and others as well) are trying to give an incentive for people to pay for their service. Thus, slowly removing features fromrepparttar 109612 free service isrepparttar 109613 chosen way to do that.

Microsoft is evil! No other companies are doing this - Virtually all ofrepparttar 109614 "free" email providers, web hosting companies and others are doing muchrepparttar 109615 same thing. Most are far more brutal than Microsoft was in this case. Many free hosts simply deleted tens of thousands of web sites with very little notice ...

You cannot hang it on Microsoft. They sent an email and those who did not read it or ignored it deserve what they got - I can hang it on Microsoft. One email is not enough. The post office is required to go through agonizing public hearings to make changes, why shouldn't email providers be required to dorepparttar 109616 same (regardless of their one-sided terms of service agreements that very people people would understand even if they tookrepparttar 109617 time to read them).

Microsoft should not have done this. After all, MSN is subsidized by Windows XP, which costs an incredible amount of money - Windows XP and MSN are two separate divisions in Microsoft and have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Windows XP sales in no way go towards supporting MSN or vice versa.

Why would you trust a free service with your vital email? It's free, so you get what you pay for - We trust 3rd parties all of repparttar 109618 time. We trustrepparttar 109619 post office to deliver our mail,repparttar 109620 water company to give us water, and MacDonald's to not poison us with their food. Why shouldn't we trust our email provider? If we find we cannot, it's time to find another one.

Anatomy of a Business Letter

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

Anatomy of a Business Letter 2002 By Linda Elizabeth Alexander

This article may be freely published in your print or online newsletter or on your website provided 1. You includerepparttar byline andrepparttar 109588 resource box; 2. You printrepparttar 109589 article in its entirety, unchanged; and 3. You notifyrepparttar 109590 author when and where it's printed with a courtesy copy or a link. Subject: Business, Writing Number of Words: 720 Website:

Business letters have many purposes and recipients. Despite variations in tone and style,repparttar 109591 basic parts of a business letter remain standard throughout most business correspondence. This article outlinesrepparttar 109592 elements found in standard business letters today, in order, as well as their modern format.

1. Heading. Assuming you are using company letterhead, your full address will already be onrepparttar 109593 page. Addrepparttar 109594 date two spaces belowrepparttar 109595 last line of printed copy. If you are using blank paper, add your full address andrepparttar 109596 date in repparttar 109597 heading. Alignrepparttar 109598 heading, and all paragraphs, with repparttar 109599 left margin(which should be at least one inch wide).

Example: 21 Carson Parkway Boulder, CO 80111 December 3, 2006

2. Inside address. Includerepparttar 109600 recipient's full name, title, and address two spaces belowrepparttar 109601 date. Align it withrepparttar 109602 left margin.

Example: Conner T. Walker 2345 Sunrise Avenue Denver, CO 80555

3. Salutation. Two spaces belowrepparttar 109603 inside address, and also aligned withrepparttar 109604 left margin, place your salutation, or greeting. If you are on a first name basis withrepparttar 109605 recipient, use her/his first name followed by a colon. If you are writing a more formal letter, use a personal title (Ms., Mr., or Dr.) followed byrepparttar 109606 person's last name and a colon. Use Mr. for men, and Ms. for women. Never use Mrs. or Miss unless a woman has specifically expressed a preference. If you are not sure ifrepparttar 109607 recipient is male or female, use a salutation that is appropriate torepparttar 109608 letter context.

Examples: Mr. Yates: Ms. Dickinson: Dear Customer: Dear Publishing Manager:

4. Body The body ofrepparttar 109609 letter should begin two spaces belowrepparttar 109610 salutation; all paragraphs should be aligned torepparttar 109611 left margin. Single space within paragraphs and double space between them.

If your letter continues onto a second (or higher) page, leave at least two lines of text onrepparttar 109612 next page before repparttar 109613 closing. Do not go onto another page just forrepparttar 109614 closing; this is bad form. If necessary, changerepparttar 109615 font size or margin width to make it fit onto one page.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
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