links for 2007-11-08

Carbonite to offer Mac online backup

Now Carbonite wants my online backup business. We’ll see about that….

A couple of days ago I wrote about my frustrating experience with Mozy’s online backup service for Mac. This morning I heard from David Friend, the CEO of Carbonite, a popular online backup service for PC users. Apparently they’re about to start testing a Mac backup option. Here’s what he said:

“I read your post about Mozy’s Mac product not working very well. Sorry to hear that. Hopefully ours will be a lot better — it’s looking very good so far. We been testing Carbonite Online Backup for Mac and the public beta will be starting within a couple of months. Our Mac front end was designed by a well-known Mac development house that does a lot of work for Apple, so they really know the Mac environment. The testing has been going great. The beta program will be free, of course. If you or your readers would like to participate in the beta program, just send and email to beta@carbonite.com and we’ll notify as soon as the beta program officially starts.”

Ah, another beta… Hopefully this one will be free. I don’t mind so much being a guinea pig (within reason), but I hate paying for that “privilege.”

What the hell, I’ll sign up. We’ll see how this one goes. Wish me luck.
But in the meantime, I’m still looking for a more immediate and proven option for Mac-friendly offsite backup. Suggestions, please?

links for 2007-11-07

Global Voices Online
Global Voices offers one of the few current ways to follow the action in Pakistan: bloggers.
  • Qwika
    Great wiki search engine. Trouble is, it’s not compatible with anything past Firefox 2.0 for Mac — an no one’s writted a firebox search bar plugin for it, either. And no search feeds. Still, it’s a start. (tags: wikis search tools problems)

Boiling down blogging ethics: What would YOU do?

Rileyroxx, via Flickr (CC license)
Some decisions are harder than others.

Tomorrow I head off to Las Vegas for Blogworld Expo, where on Thursday morning I’m leading a large panel on blogging ethics.

I’ve gotta admit, normally I don’t give panel topics as much thought as I’ve been giving this one. But lately, questions of publishing ethics (in blogging and journalism) have been leaping out of me from almost everywhere. Some kind of cosmic confluence, I guess.

I first tried to sort out the core ethical issues for blogging on Oct. 29 — but not very well, I think.

So, after mulling it over for a while, here’s my second shot — and it’s the framework I’ll use in leading this panel.

Ethics, like blogs, are not one-size-fits-all. Ethics are a personal and sometimes group affair that can vary to suit different types of blogs, bloggers, and communities. The point of ethics is not just to be “right,” but to use consistent criteria for decisionmaking to promote the collective good — a very subjective goal.

Also, ethics are separate from laws and regulations. We’ve all seen cases when the ethical thing to do is to obey the law (such as respecting copyright, refraining from libel, etc.) — as well as cases where laws clash with people’s sense of what’s right.

In practice, ethics usually don’t seem like a big deal. The vast majority of ethical decisions mostly involve mundane, small situations, not extreme crises. However, being conscious of the ethics you choose and applying them to small stuff can help you make better choices and be more confident during blogging crises. Also, ethical considerations sometimes pile up and conflict — so being conscious of your own ethics can help you determine what’s most important.

It seems to me that there are six core areas where bloggers tend to encounter ethical decision points. Below are some questions intended to illuminate your personal blogging ethics in each of these areas.

Where do you stand? What do you expect from yourself and the community around your blog, and from other bloggers and communities? Consider these points…

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Mozy online backup for Mac doesn’t work

Mozy for Mac would get this far with my backup, and then just hang there. Annoying.

I’m bummed, and annoyed.

For a while I’d been looking for a Mac-friendly, reasonably priced, reliable online backup service that offered simple restore functionality, scheduled backups, and a few other features. I thought I’d found that in Mozy, which I’ve been using for the last few months, at a cost of $4.95/month.

For the first couple of months, it worked fine. Then, not so fine. The service gradually assumed a passive-aggressive attitude toward my Macbook. It wouldn’t conduct backups as scheduled. When I manually initiated a backup, it would appear to start the process, but then never actually execute the backup. Well, sometimes it did — at unpredictable times. Nothing I did seemed to influence whether or not Mozy would do a backup. The service had an inscrutable mind of its own.

Mozy for Mac is in beta, so I figured there would be glitches. The first couple of times I contacted Mozy support, they instructed me to uninstall and reinstall the software. Over the last couple of months I must have done that nearly a dozen times. No real improvement.

I started losing patience last week, and told Mozy support I’d be quitting the service and blogging about why. I wanted to give them one last chance to come through. I was told, “There’s an upgrade coming that should fix this for you.” That upgrade came through last Friday. I went through the reinstall process again — twice. Same problem.

I give up.

I tried, I really did. But Mozy really let me down. I’m canceling my account today. And they’d better give me a refund for the last couple of months, for trying to work with them for so long. Honestly, I just don’t get the impression that they’re serious about serving the Mac market. Their loss.

So now I’m looking for a new Mac-friendly, reasonably priced, reliable and flexible online backup service. Got any recommendations? Please comment below. Thanks.

UPDATE: Here’s what the head of Mozy customer support had to say in response to my post and cancelation order…

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links for 2007-11-06

Longtail.com
Wired editor Chris Anderson publicly blacklisted hundreds of PR spammers. Yeah!!!

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GTDinbox clashes with Gmail update

What’s happening with the GTDinbox upgrade? Watch the Productive Firefox blog.

Apparently, Gmail is undergoing a major upgrade, which is being rolled out to users. The upgrade hasn’t hit my account yet — but at least I’ll be spared a nasty shock when it does.

As I’ve mentioned before, I rely heavily on the GTDinbox Firefox add-on (which applies David Allen’s Getting Things Done productivity system functionality to Gmail) to manage my tasks and life. The Productive Firefox blog, by the creators of this tool, recently announced that GTDinbox doesn’t yet work with the new version of Gmail.

A new version of GTDinbox that will work with the new Gmail should be out soon — so if you haven’t yet started using this tool, you might want to wait for that. (Watch the Productive Firefox blog for the announcement.)

In the meantime, if you get hit with the Gmail upgrade, you can apparently select an option to use the older version of Gmail, so you can keep using GTDinbox until the new release is ready. Here’s the latest news on the progress of that upgrade.

Whew!

links for 2007-11-05

links for 2007-11-04

links for 2007-11-03

Mark Briggs, author of Journalism 2.0, is assistant managing editor for interactive news at The News Tribune in Tacoma, WA.