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Author: steve

‘Tis the season

It’s the time of the year, when we celebrate a holiday by telling you about email.

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Mailbox preview and HTML content

I just received a slightly confusing email.     The From address and the Subject line are from Sony, but the content looks like it’s from email analytics firm Litmus. What’s going on here? Opening the mail it looks like a fairly generic “Oops, we lost a class-action lawsuit, have $2 worth of worthless internet […]

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New Year’s Resolutions

“Figure out what email is.”

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Merry Christmas

A retro merry christmas from everyone at Word to the Wise!

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Brief DBL false positive

A code glitch in a new DBL sub-zone known as 'Abused-Legit' caused the new Abused-Legit zone to list ".net." for 60 minutes from 08:35 UTC. — The Spamhaus Project (@spamhaus) December 17, 2014 Spamhaus are rolling out a new subzone of the DBL, for domains whose webservers have been compromised and used to host spam […]

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Lorem Ipsum for PII

When you’re developing code to handle data it’s almost essential to have a decent sized set of test data, so you can build a test harness to check on functionality and performance as you go. A common way of doing that is to take a snapshot of your production database and pull out an appropriate subset […]

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Friendly email addresses

Most of the time when we’re talking about email addresses, we’re talking about the actual user@domain format that’s used to send mail over the wire, but that’s not how we most often see them. When they’re used in a To: or From: header they’re usually associated with a display name – the “real name” of the […]

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STARTTLS and misplaced outrage

About a month ago someone posted a heavily elided screenshot that they claimed was evidence of their ISP, AT&T, sabotaging SMTP connections being sent over their network, meaning that anyone could sniff their passwords and traffic. This is it:     Most email people looking at that saw the asterisks in the banner and went […]

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Bounces at Verizon

There have been lots of reports of Verizon rejecting valid email addresses for a few hours this morning. They seem to have fixed things now but you probably want to make sure you didn’t suppress those addresses.

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SWAKS: the SMTP Swiss Army Knife

SWAKS is a general purpose testing tool for SMTP. For basic SMTP testing it’s a more convenient, scriptable alternative to running a transaction by hand, but it also lets you test things that are difficult to do manually, such as authentication or TLS encryption. It’s a perl script that installs fairly easily on OS X […]

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