All posts by Alexander Van Berg

Great Design

New To Me: In Gmail, Folders Are Labels And Labels Are Folders

This definitively solves a general problem I had been wanting to find a solution to for quite some time.  The solution is extremely simple, and kudos to whoever put it together.  (I don’t know if Gmail was the first to solve this and I almost assume they weren’t.  They’re just the first ones I’ve happened to see using it.)

The problem is what to do when you want a folder system to organize your information hierarchically, and you also want a tagging/labeling system so that each piece of information can also have multiple descriptors assigned to it, but you don’t want to keep the two systems in sync manually.  The solution is to treat folders as labels and vice versa.  The big implication is that if you apply multiple labels to a piece of information, that piece of information then exists in multiple folders.   If you delete it from one of those folders, the corresponding label is also removed.

Gmail folders are labels

Poor Design

World’s Most Dubious Security Measures @ PayPal

Surely there are businesses with security practices even more dubious than those at PayPal, but relative to a company’s size and capital, I’m not sure any come close when it comes to passwords.

Just do a search for paypal 20 character password.

world most dubious security measures

Now, if you’re thinking that you’ll just enable 2-step authentication to mitigate this risk, think again.  Look at how PayPal almost appears to be working against you!

world most dubious security measures II

Poor Processes

PayPal Automated Pushback

I’ve been a PayPal member for so long that I can actually remember when Neteller and FirePay seemed like viable competitors.  PayPal has always done a pretty good job, but lately I’ve been a little underwhelmed.

It seems like now when you contact PayPal with a specific question, complete with detailed information, you get an automated email back that refers you to their FAQ.  Then they needle you a little, by telling you that you must reply to their automated email with a specific question if you want to get an actual reply.

Nowhere in their automated email is your original message to them, so you have to type it all again, or log in to your PayPal account to try to find the message you sent, but that’s something even I couldn’t locate.

PayPal quarterly profits regularly exceed $300 million.

paypal automated pushback