Compiled by Marian Head
Move over Microsoft and Yahoo
Google is moving into the email game. At what some thought was Google's idea of an April Fools joke, co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page announced on March 31, 2004 that they were entering territory previously run by Microsoft and Yahoo.
Attractive promises abound. Forget about where to file and how to find your emails: Google's "Gmail" organizes your messages by "conversations," so you don't have to file them. To find them is supposed to be as easy as finding anything else on Google: with keyword searching. And because, as their press release says, "Google believes people should be able to hold onto their mail forever," email storage will be eight billion bits of information for each user, or about one-half-million pages.
The downside? Ads that run in the margins of your emails. Slowdown anticipated by some analysts of the super-speedy response time Google users now enjoy.
Brin and Page co-founded Google as Ph.D. students at Stanford in 1998. They're still smart: While about 20 percent of Internet users search the web every day, 48 percent use email, according to a February 2004 study by the Pew Internet Project. That's about 66 million American adults using email every day.
Google is launching its preview release of Gmail to 1000 users. Stay tuned for the results.
Who Are We?
|high school grads or less||24%|
|attended college or trade school||32%|
Belly to Belly
In Oregon last fall, a group of legislators, a police chief and a county commissioner came face-to-face with the dilemma of their low-income constituents. After voluntarily living on food stamps for one month, these officials learned how difficult it can be.
Walk A Mile, a national educational program that links policymakers with their low-income constituents to learn more about each other's lives, helps people gain a new perspective by "walking a mile" in each other's shoes.
To foster relationship-building between the officials and their constituents, the pairs in Multnomah County met for meals, talked once a week by phone or email, and attended each others' work activities.
Gresham Police Chief Carla Piluso, 48, was matched with Cristina Diaz, 22, a single mom of three, earning about $1000 a month. One evening after Diaz had taken her infant by train and bus to a hospital for an ear treatment, Piluso said, "She was exhausted. She didn't even complain. We complain about somebody cutting us off in traffic."
Bill Graves, of "Oregon Live," reported that Piluso, also a single mom, and her 11-year-old daughter, Kate, "made an earnest attempt to live on their food stamp budget. They ate dinners of grilled cheese sandwiches, baked potatoes, soup and chicken. Fortunately, Piluso said, her sister hosted their Thanksgiving meal, more food than a month's worth of food stamps would buy. "'We talked about [living on food stamps] at Thanksgiving and how thankful we were,' she said."
For enlightening participants'
stories and information on the
Walk A Mile program:
Being Optimistic Pays Off
"High scores for optimism are predictive of excellence in everything from sports to life-insurance sales," says Martin Seligman, researcher and director of clinical training at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and creator of the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ), which ranks individuals on an optimism-pessimism scale. Metropolitan Life is among those companies that took advantage of this tool to save themselves millions in personnel selections.
A better predictor of election results than political forecasters, Seligman's long-term studies on optimistic people prove that they've got a leg up on their competition in many areas of endeavor.
"Optimists are more resistant to infectious illness and are better at fending off chronic diseases of middle age. In one study, we looked at 96 men who had their first heart attack in 1980. Within eight years, 15 of the 16 most pessimistic men died of a second heart attack, but only five of the 16 most optimistic men died."
While Seligman promotes honesty alongside of optimism, he does note that optimists often overestimate their ability. "Optimists have a set of self-serving illusions that enable them to maintain good cheer and health in a universe essentially indifferent to their welfare."
For details on the ASQ: www.psych.upenn.edu/seligman/ppquestionnaires.htm#ASQ
Compiled by Marian Head