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…

Continue reading

Proposed Federal Shield Law: Who Would It Really Cover?

This OpenCongress widget shows what’s happening with the proposed federal shield law.

(NOTE: I’ve cross-posted this from Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits.)

Today the U.S. Congress is slated to act on H.R. 2102, a proposed federal “shield law” which would give journalists the right to refuse to testify about (or turn over to the government) information collected through the newsgathering process, or about the sources who supplied that information.

Not surprisingly, the White House has vowed to veto it, citing a fear of increased leaks. Here’s the full statement from the White House Office of Management and Budget, which has been circulated to reporters but not yet posted on OMB’s site.

If you want to follow the action on this bill, OpenCongress is a great resource. In addition to its main page on H.R. 2102, OpenCongress also offers feeds for status updates, news coverage, and blog coverage of this bill. And, of course, you can generate a widget for your site that shows the current status (see right).

What I found striking about this bill is that the version introduced in the House on May 2 defined the people the shield law would protect as those “engaged in journalism and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person.”

This language, which is identical to the Senate version of the bill (S. 1267), would seem to cover people acting independently of news organizations — including freelancers, student journalists, citizen journalists, and bloggers who perform acts of citizen journalism.

However, something happened in committee. The version reported in the House (which I believe is what Congress is considering today) has changed that definition in a small but crucial way that I think is a dealbreaker.

Here’s what it says now…

Continue reading

One Laptop Per Child: Why Media Folks Should Care
Don’t know what to do with a computer that looks like this? Don’t worry — you’re not the target market.

Lately I’ve been learning more about, and getting quite intrigued by, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program. Yesterday I listened to an IT Conversations podcast talk by Michael Evans, VP of corporate development for Redhat, one of the leading producers of Linux and open-source technology. That really tied together for me why this project is so compelling.

Originally I’d thought this project was interesting but rather frivolous. I mean, when millions of kids are dying around the world every year from malnutrition, dirty water, preventable diseases, and toxic environments — let alone the lack of energy and communication infrastructure in many populous parts of the developing world — a laptop sounds a bit like like Disneyland.

But now I think I get it. Here’s what I find so compelling and significant about OLPC…

Continue reading

Yikes! iPhone Bills Look Scary!

Earlier, when I mentioned that I’m finally going to get some kind of smart phone, David Brazeal suggested that I might want to get an iPhone. I’ve seen them — they’re sleek, they’re cool, they even came down in price. But for me, I need to make sure the billing isn’t a nightmare. In the past, I’ve found that’s been the biggest hassle of cell-phone ownership.

I took a second to see if anyone had posted about their iPhone bills online. Oh yeah, they have — and this makes me really nervous:


And then this….

Of course, since then AT&T simplified its iPhone billing…

But I still really want to see one of those bills for myself. I’m worried not just about the detail, but about “surprise” charges that might be hard to spot and time-consuming to contest.

The “W list” is great, except it’s a link farm

Holly’s Corner
Many blogs, like this one, have posted the full W-list with links. Is that really a good thing?

Lately there’s been a meme going around called the “W list” — a lengthy list of links to high-quality blogs published by women.

As far as I’ve traced it back, the kernel of this movement began with an Aug. 7 post by PR blogger Valeria Maltoni. But the momentum really picked up when my friend and colleague, the noted PR/marketing blogger Toby Bloomberg, christened an expanded version of the list “the W list” on Aug. 16. Since then, the full list of links has been reposted on many blogs around the world.

The W list was Toby’s response to Ad Age’s Power 150, “a ranking of the top English-language media and marketing blogs in the world, as developed by marketing executive and blogger, Todd Andrlik.” That list was based mostly on quantitative popularity in Google, Technorati, and Bloglines — and it contained very few blogs by women.

Toby’s laudable aim was to bring much deserved attention and “Google juice” to accomplished female bloggers, many of whom are writing for niche communities and so don’t make the kind of numbers it takes to get on Ad Age’s Power 150. I think that’s crucial in any field, since (especially when you’re talking about blogs for a particular niche or industry), the quality of the content usually is far more important than search engine ranking, site traffic, or number of subscribers.

I’m honored that Toby included me on her W list, and I recognize many fabulous bloggers there that are worth checking out. I definitely don’t mean to trash this effort. However, there is a problem with it: I think it’s become a link farm, which could end up backfiring on the bloggers who post the list of links, and perhaps those who are included on it.

Here’s why I’m raising this red flag…

Continue reading

Community site shuts down; whither goes the content?

Internet Archive
At one time, Zipingo apparently offered a fair amount of content. (Click image to enlarge) Now it’s gone.

This morning, I learned via the Ajax blog that yet another site that relied on content contributed by its user community has shut down. On Aug. 23, Zipingo, a small business review site launched in 2002 by Intuit, shuttered its site. All that remains is this announcement — none of the other site content remains accessible.

But looking on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, I saw that, at least as of Mar. 1, 2007, Zipingo offered a fair amount of content: 122,324 total ratings (I’m not sure if “ratings” were actual reviews or something else on this site), 734 of which came in during the prior week. Unfortunately, you can’t look up actual ratings/reviews via the Internet Archive.

So all that content that people took the time to create and contribute has simply vanished, apparently. Seems awfully disrespectful to Zipingo’s user community, such as it was. This is yet another reason why sites like Furl, which allow you to save your own searchable archive of web pages, can be crucial — things get moved, changed, or deleted all the time online, without notice. Even your own stuff. That can suck.

Seems to me that any site that relies on contributed content should have a content exit strategy, whereby if the site tanks people can still access their content. Or at least, contributors will be notified before the site vanishes so they have an opportunity to save a copy of their contributions if they so desire. Just taking people’s content and trashing it is likely to discourage anyone from contributing to a community site.

Also, this experience seems like one more reason why a good “Me Collector” tool or service is needed.