From New Scientist:
The shift from paper to email has made such happy recollection more difficult. Now Sudheendra Hangaland colleagues at Stanford University in California want to fix that with a software tool called Memories Using Email (MUSE), which lets you dig through your email archive and reminisce on your digital past.
MUSE is available to download from Hangal’s website and runs in a web browser, but all data is stored on your own computer to ensure confidentiality. Once you’ve logged in to your webmail account or opened a local email archive, MUSE extracts your contacts and automatically groups them together based on shared messages. A timeline showing the level of communication with each group shows how your relationship with your contacts varies over time.
The rise of social networks is a problem for MUSE, as much of the personal communication that once took place via email is now locked away in privately owned sites such as Facebook. Hangal says that MUSE could be adapted to work with Facebook, but there is no guarantee that messages will be archived in the long term.
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