The man behind AOL's "You've got mail!" voice of the 1990s


Long before Siri and Alexa, there was good ol' Elwood Edwards. If you ever logged on to America Online in the 1990s, you enjoyed the dopamine rush of Edwards cheerfully informing you that "You've got mail!"

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AOL history through the NYT Crossword

Quartz tells the history of AOL, 1997-2011, through clues and answers in the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. They did it using their simple app for searching NYT Crossword clues. Above, "105-Across: Co. that owns Moviefone" Read the rest

Trying to close your AOL account is suspicious activity

A few days ago, AOL fired the staff developing AIM, its long-running instant messaging system. Having done this, it reset user accounts, locking them out of third-party IM clients until they confirmed and updated decade-old personal information. Having done so, I was displeased at such a shameless data mining ploy and tried to cancel AOL/AIM entirely. This is what resulted:

Bear in mind that I was already logged in and could change any account setting I pleased. Who knew that when AOL said it has "no plans" to end service, it was responding to customer demands? Read the rest

AOL quits Rush, "working on" removing ads

AOL is the latest advertiser to bail on radio host Rush Limbaugh following his description of activist Sandra Fluke as as a "slut" and "prostitute". Reuters' Anthony De Rosa cites an AOL source as saying it's "working on" removing Rush-linked promotions from the site.

It's strange to think of website so vast and operationally complicated that one is literally incapable of changing what's on it in a hurry. Perhaps the servers are ringed by moats of lava and defended by crocodiles. Don't you just hate it when that happens?

UPDATE. Say hello to bg_hero-NoRush.jpg, who lacks Rush's weirdly coquettish stance, but hints at a greater majesty with his purple attire and Mediterranean countenance. Read the rest