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Sort of "Leave on server" facility on Gmail's POP feature

Gmail (aka Googlemail) is beauteous in many, many ways - but its POP access is not one of them. Sure enough, it does have it, and for free, which is an improvement on many webmail services, but it's a bit weird. This isn't normally a problem because most often you might as well use the website rather than drag your email down to your computer using Outlook et al.

One such exception is if you have a mobile device that can't handle either the mobile website or the Gmail mobile application (which doesn't work on the Google Apps version of Gmail anyway) or can't always be online.

Wii-lly expensive

(Please forgive the Poorhouse for the appalling attempt at a pun in the headline)

One of the great objects of desire last Christmas was of course the new games console from Nintendo called the Wii. The Poorhouse was no exception to the trend, and all the stories about how many injuries all this almost-not-virtual boxing creates were nothing but an added incentive to get one. As ever Christmas obsessive craziness, it opened the doors to plenty of top price eBay action. Even for its packaging materials, and, in one case, for their manifold child cruelty potentials.

Click to eat

The web...friend of all those for whom leaving the house is the very last resort, only to be attempted in times of great trouble and strife. One obvious service you don't traditionally get so much via the web though is instant(ish) food to your door. Plenty of takeaways to phone (remember the old days when you had to speak to people? When you dialled numbers rather than Google?), but not so many to click your mouse at in the UK; especially for those outside the capital city of London.

Reclaim your bank charges

Enough of the smut for a minute. Another oft-found immortal enemy of consumer citizens at Christmas is the bank. Whilst they are more than happy to encourage us to spend, spend, spend money we do not have so we can pay them 10x the amount back for the rest of our lives, they also like put in severe financial penalties for people who don't quite stick to the letter of their respective contracts. For instance, those people who go overdrawn, often get a fine.

Online file conversion

The Internet is great for sending files around, whether they be documents, pictures, sounds, videos or any other such electro-data. What is sometimes less great is when the proud recipient of your favourite picture of your hilarious office antics, or chain letter that if you don't forward to 7 people immediately you will die a painful death, can’t actually see the file because they don't have the right obscure program needed to open it.

This problem is only exacerbated by the profusion of admittedly cool new technologies where for instance a Nokia phone can bluetooth a sound recording to your Apple Mac via a Palm PC and so on. Who knows what format that will turn up in, or how to open it? If horror-of-horrors you aren't even on your own computer the chances of you finding and installing a program that will let you convert such things is minimal. So luckily you don't have to any more, Media Convert will do it for you via the web.

Good news

Fed up of the day-to-day mostly miserable and upsetting mass media reporting the human race has to endure? Well at last, we have some good news to enjoy.

Sprout attack (and Saddam)

The rumours are untrue - the recent absence is not because the Poorhouse is actually Saddam Hussein and the recent (death) sentencing has caused an interruption in Internet connectivity. Still, let's not deal with that thorny issue now - other to note that Blair has amazed the Poorhouse in a good way by publicly (if ineffectively) stating his opinion that he is entirely against the death sentence. Beckett's comments that "we always try to persuade others not to use it" do seem a little unrealistic given our lot seem happy enough with America being into executions despite it totally breaching of human rights legislation the UK Government supposedly stands firm with. Oh, and co-incidental congratulations to Bush and the Republicans for managing to arrange this just in time for their otherwise embarrassing elections.

Time to lighten the mood. In a near-seasonal celebration, the Poorhouse recommends having a game of Attack of the Sprouts. Assume the role of a party-hatted-up Xmas diner tucking into his turkey whilst trying to defend himself from a sprout invasion into his dinner. Slightly noisy for the workplace, but you can tell the boss you're improving reaction time, hand-eye co-ordination, team building or other such corporately self-developmentally enough excuse.

Using the Google

It's good to know the ins and outs of those people who rule our world. George Bush's catastrophic - but somehow still ongoing - reign is well documented in many ways (for instance, his achievements [1] or [2]), but until now we did not know about his search engine preferences.

This being the key question of our time, you will be pleased to hear that in a recent interview Bush did indeed declare that he used "the Google".

Why make me do maths?

In case anyone's wondering why these days if you are pleasant enough to leave a comment on this site you are challenged with a mighty maths question (such as 2+2=?), then the answer is that it is an anti-spam measure. It is effectively a CAPTCHA test, but unlike the classic "what letters do you see in this picture?" it is usable by people surfing without images.

The downside is that it would also be easier for the spam-bots to pass this test that the more visual ones, but spam so far has gone down from 70-100 comments a day to zero.

Blog from your Palm with u*Blog

Fairly recently entered into the dictionary - if there at all - is the word "moblogging". Essentially it is the verb meaning to blog via a mobile device; a PDA, phone and so on, with bonus geek-cred if you're on the move skateboarding with your open-source buddies between free wifi spots or something similar.

Of course typing your life's work in a 2-mm screen with half-assed 1 kb per hour £10 a minute Internet access is a little fiddly. Hence specific software exists to aid the production of blog entries without requiring a full-on web browser. For those of you using a Palm OS device that can access the web directly - a Treo, Lifedrive, TX and so on - the Poorhouse would like to recommend u*Blog.

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