Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was an incredible experience. Five long and hard days of both beauty and physical exhaustion, all ending in that joyful moment when I finally made it to the top. And when I got back from my trip, I couldn’t wait to send photos to everyone I knew. I wanted them to experience all of things that I experienced, see all of the things that I saw.
Yahoo! Mail’s new way to view photos helped my friends to do just that. With Yahoo! Mail Beta, any email containing photo attachments or a Flickr or Picasa link, lets you view your photos and videos in an amazing slideshow format, right from your inbox.
Just click on the View Slideshow button next to the thumbnail photos in your email.
It’s only available in Yahoo! Mail Beta, so give it a try and tell us what you think.
I love my pocket-sized Flip Video and my tiny digital camera. Recently, I brought the cameras to my kids’ first time on ice skates and captured their elegant moves and occasional gaffes in HD brilliance. But when I wanted to share the clip with my family and friends, I realized that sending them a 78MB video memory would be a challenge. Yahoo! Mail allows me to attach up to 25MB in each email, and usually that’s plenty. This task, however, required more.
Thanks to the new “Attach Large Files” application on Yahoo! Mail, anyone can easily upload and send files of up to 100MB from their Yahoo! Mail accounts. The application, developed by YouSendIt, the global leader in secure digital content delivery, leverages the Yahoo! Mail Application Platform to enable this capability.
From there, click on the “select files” button to attach files into your message. YouSendIt uploads those files and then opens an email compose window that includes a link to the file for download.
Send the email to whomever you choose (here it comes, Mom). The recipient can click on the “download” button within your message to retrieve your files. All files sent through YouSendIt are encrypted and then scanned by the system for viruses, so they will arrive safely. YouSendIt will first go live to users in the U.S., and in the coming weeks our international users will get access.
So go ahead— SuperSize your messages.
The Yahoo! Mail engineering team is on a mission to make your email as fast and responsive as possible. It’s not an easy task. But one of the ways we improve performance is by taking advantage of the pauses in your activity on Yahoo! Mail to prepare for your next moves. Let me explain what I mean.
Every time you view your inbox, read a message, click on a news headline, or check your social updates, you are making our application on the browser work hard. But there are times when you give it a break, like when you read a lengthy message or news story. However short, these moments when the browser is “idle” are very important because they give us an opportunity to replenish the application with new data and functionality that you may use in the future. Let’s say you receive an email from a friend you haven’t talked to in years. As you are reading though the message, Yahoo! Mail is already downloading all the components needed for your reply, such as spell check or color options. All this work in the background lets you easily add features and personality to your message.
During other idle times, Yahoo! Mail fetches new messages from our servers and drops them into your inbox. Instead of blindly downloading your entire inbox like some other email providers do, we anticipate the messages that you will read. For example, emails from people in your contact list have preference over messages that were forwarded to you. Similarly, a reply to your message is given preference over a new email from someone you don’t know. We also fetch emails around the message you are currently reading so that when you move to next message, you don’t have to wait for that message to download from the server.
Even though the idle time slice is very brief, we optimize the application to make use of that every bit of downtime gives maximum benefit to the user. Once the modules or emails are fetched, we keep them running in your session so that your browser never downloads the same thing more than once. That saves Internet bandwidth and speeds up your Yahoo! Mail.
Making the most out of idle time is just one of the many exciting projects our engineering teams are working on to make Yahoo! Mail better. So take your time reading your friend’s long email. We’ll be busy at work.
If it is the technology behind this that interests you, please read about it on the YDN blog post titled “YUI3 AsyncQueue + Cache Warmer = better Yahoo! Mail performance”
To those of you who have been using our Yahoo! Mail Beta product: thank you. Your feedback on the Suggestions Board and on this blog has kept us busy fixing, building, and improving the experience. Thanks to your participation, we are launching a new batch of features that will go live this week for Yahoo! Mail Beta users around the world. Here is what you will see:
Color me excited!
Themes, themes, themes. We heard you loud and clear: you miss our colorful, fun themes! Our team buckled down in December to build and release a gallery of themes for you to choose from. Go to the Help drop-down menu at the top left of the page, select Themes and check out our gallery. What is your favorite theme color? My favorite is the dark pink, but I’m girlie like that :)
They’re baaaaack: Calendar and Notepad return
You love our Calendar and Notepad products and we’re glad you do. With this release, we are giving you easily accessible links to both Calendar and Notepad in the Applications section on the bottom left corner. Stay tuned as we integrate products like Calendar and Notepad more deeply into Mail.
Now you can upload multiple attachments at once. Just hold down your Ctrl, Shift or Command key and select all the files you want to attach.
More room for social
Finally, we have moved all your Updates to their own tab. This way, when you want to get your Yahoo!, Facebook and Twitter fix, you can go to the Updates tab and browse without interruption! I also like that my News is back in view on the What’s New tab.
We are continuing to update and improve the Yahoo! Mail Beta, so please keep using it and giving us feedback!
In Christopher Nolan’s mind-boggling blockbuster “Inception”, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Dom Cobb, spins a top (i.e., his personal totem) to determine whether he’s in the real world or the dream world. If the top doesn’t stop spinning, it means he’s in a dream.
Strangely enough, this concept of a totem got me thinking about email.
As shown in my previous post, spammers have gotten very good at crafting legitimate-looking messages that appear to be the real thing, but are as fake as the Rolexes they peddle. They’ll spoof just about anyone or any brand to lure you into opening and clicking on their emails. With that said, wouldn’t it be great if we had a totem that could tell us whether a message is authentic or forged? Thankfully, we do have such a totem, sort of. Two of them, in fact.
- DomainKeys Identified Mail (aka DKIM) makes use of digital signatures in an email to identify authentic messages. It’s like having a virtual, verifiable fingerprint in every email that identifies it as a valid message from a domain. You can read more about DKIM at dkim.org.
- Sender Policy Framework (aka SPF) is a method of identifying authorized sources of messages for a domain. As a rough analogy, it’s akin to knowing all the possible phone numbers from which your bank can call you, so if you get a call from someone with an unknown number claiming to be from your bank, you know it’s suspicious. More information about SPF is available at openspf.org.
We’ve been utilizing both DKIM authentication and SPF validation on all messages sent to our users. These two technologies give us the ability to verify if an email came from a valid source for a particular domain—that is if the email sender utilizes these technologies as well. Remember that forged Angelina Jolie Facebook invite I received in my spam folder in my previous post? Since Facebook uses DKIM and SPF on their email-sending domains (facebookmail.com and facebook.com), we can essentially prevent the delivery of such forged messages since they will fail these email authentication checks. Out of sight, out of mind.
As we continue to enhance our implementation of these anti-spoofing techniques, and through our collaboration with partners who specialize in these technologies, we are helping to broaden the adoption of email authentication across financial institutions, social networks, shopping sites, and others. Our ultimate goal is to reject messages that are spoofing legitimate brands and trusted domains so you don’t even get to see them in your mailbox.
This is just one initiative in 2011 that we in the anti-spam team are really excited about. We’re also working on other technological measures to bring trust and security to your email experience. Suffice to say, there won’t be any sleeping on the job as we rid your inboxes of spam. Take that, Dom Cobb!