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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Fraudulent signups or spam?

This morning I got spam from a major data broker / ESP / credit reporting agency claiming I’d signed up on some college website. In the UK. To check my credit score. Uh. No. No I didn’t. Of course, it’s very possible someone did use my email address when signing up for something at a […]

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AOL accidentally hard bounces valid mail

Last night (Mar 29, 2017) between about 8pm Eastern and 9:30pm Eastern AOL suffered a technical issue. Every email sent to them received a “Recipient address rejected” reply.  One example of the error message: Mar 29 20:45:12 p2-lvmail11 lsb1-99-208-250/smtp[22251]: A88DFC2DBE9: to=<redacted@aol.com>, relay=mailin-01.mx.aol.com[64. 12.91.195]:25, delay=0.18, delays=0.01/0/0.14/0.03, dsn=5.1.1, status=bounced (host mailin-01.mx.aol.com[64.12.91. 195] said: 550 5.1.1 <redacted@aol.com>: Recipient address […]

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Filters do what we tell them

In the email space we talk about filters as if they were sentient beings. “The filters decided…” “The filters said…” This is convenient shorthand, but tends to mask that filters aren’t actually deciding or saying anything. Filters are software processes that follow rules dictated by the people who create and maintain them. The rules flow […]

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What about the botnets?!

Botnets are a huge problem for a number of reasons. Not only are they used to send spam, they’re also used in criminal activities. One of the major challenges in dealing with botnets is finding and stopping the people who create and use them. Why? Because the internet is global and crime tends to be […]

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Truth of Consequences

“If you want to use another means that violates the law, and every common definition of “spam”, then by all means, go ahead. You can enjoy fines and being added to the ROKSO database,” says a comment on my recent COI blog post. It’s both disconcerting and entirely predictable. My post was a discussion of […]

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Friday blogging… or lack of it

It seems the last few Friday’s I’ve been lax on posting. Some of that is just by Friday I’m frantically trying to complete all my client deliverables before the weekend. The rest of it is by Friday I’m just tired. Today had the added complication of watching the Trumpcare debate and following how (and how […]

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Security, safety and the cavalry

In some ways it’s been really hard to focus on email for the last few months. There are so many more important issues in the world. Terrorism, Brexit, the US elections compromised by a foreign government, nuclear threats from multiple countries, the repeal of ACA, mass deportations and ICE raids here in the US.  I […]

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It’s not fair

In the delivery space, stuff comes in cycles. We’re currently in a cycle where people are unhappy with spam filters. There are two reasons they’re unhappy: false positives and false negatives. False positives are emails that the user doesn’t think is spam but goes into the bulk folder anyway. Fales negatives are emails that the […]

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Spam complaints… ish

I know a lot of folks working at ESPs. For those I know well, I will usually send in reports. Sometimes they’re not spam reports per se. Often it’s just “hey, this sender shouldn’t have my address, might want to poke them.” Sometimes it’s even more specific. A few years ago I spoke at a […]

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Relaying Denied

I’ve got multiple clients right now looking for insights about bounce handling. This means I’m doing a lot of thought work about bounces and what they mean and how they match up and how different ISPs manage delivery and how different ESPs manage delivery and how it all fits together. One thing I’ve been trying […]

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