marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Mail's finally coming through again pretty much instantaneously (I get mine forwarded from Google to Outlook, so it has to make an extra hop, and is still coming through in real-time, so yes folks, it seems we're baaaaaack). That only took *checks date of my last entry on this*...18 days. Someone tell me that's not an obscenely long time to be proven legitimate enough to pass on the first try?

And just for those who missed the original story and ensuing long waits, it had nothing to do with Dreamwidth. Dreamwidth simply did what was described as routine maintenance on their servers one night which included changing the MX record (I'd say "records" but according to a resource I subsequently checked, there's only one). Over the MX record change Google's system flagged the site as...this is where it gets a bit murky...a possible spammer? A hijacked website? They flagged us for or as being something and started automatically rejecting all our emails with bounce messages indicating we should resend them, so we did.

Thus began a web-wide bottleneck that caused Dreamwidth's email to clog up all the pipes on GMail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Live and Outlook, according to scattered user reports (AOL was the only email provider reportedly letting DW's email sail right through...which yes, the irony).

At one point I was so desperate for faster Dreamwidth notifications I publicly pondered switching to AOL (I never really had a quibble with AOL's email or messenger services - they both do their things, and always have, from what I can see, pretty smoothly). But I gritted my teeth, refreshed the pages involved and just waited it out. It sucks, really, that better systems can't be in place to let trusted senders just do their thing.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Why don't email providers have a list of safe websites to not flag as spam? I know I'm vastly oversimplifying the various dilemmas huge email providers face against huge botnets of spam (another vast over-simplification, right there!) but you can take and run with it however you wish - I have a place to be soon so am past my expiration date.

I'll try to expand on this in the near future but for now the short story is that Gmail is making Dreamwidth resend all email (send it at least twice) to get it to go through once.

I am, as usual, outraged by this crap, which caused me problems with Microsoft starting well over a year ago wherein I now must forward all my DW email from Gmail to Outlook or I won't get it at all. Now I'll still get it thanks to forwarding, but I'll get it more sloooooowly? Right, how nice.

I hate using GMail and Yahoo (can't deal with either interface). We should be able to use the email providers of our choice and not have to go through these things on well-established, provably non-spammy websites like Dreamwidth, which I consider to be one of the safest sites on the net (we have an awesome anti-spam team which I occasionally report spam DW journals to because I would do that for a living if only there was such a job. Sadly, I think there is not).

Anyway, why can't (more over-simpifications are about to bounce) email providers do a better job of whitelisting, blacklisting, spam filtering, spam heuristics, or even merely creating, checking and enforcing simple lists of safe/unsafe websites? It's 2016, already - what's up?

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (lol aol lol internets lol lulz)

A minute ago I was reading How to Put Windows 8 On a Flash Drive (because like any normal person, I'm obsessed with putting operating systems on flash drives) when I spied an unlikely headline in PC World's sidebar: Add AOL's 'You've Got Mail' Announcement to Gmail. I checked my calendar but no, it's not April Fool's Day..they're...serious.

So you finally made the move from AOL to Gmail, but you're missing one beloved feature from the former: The "You've got mail" announcement that heralds the arrival of a new message.

Or maybe you're just a die-hard fan of the eponymous movie [I'm not; I have never seen this movie].

Either way, if you use Chrome to access your Gmail account, you'll appreciate this: The You've Got Gmail extension adds that familiar catchphrase to your inbox. [Warning: I will box in the ears of anyone who even remotely "appreciates this" within my vicinity.]

This isn't just about nostalgia, though there is certainly that aspect to it: the sound clip is exactly the same as what AOL plays (which makes me think there might be a copyright violation at work here, meaning AOL or Google might take it down at some point) [YES! They can't take it down fast enough! Wooo-hooo!].

The author goes on to say he's getting a "kick out of" it as it makes him "stroll down memory lane". While I'm clearly an Old, this guy's clearly an Ancient. I envision him on his memory-enhancing stroll after toodling away on a still-working AOL email address accessed from this. In fact, you may want to write him at (or go the newer, hipper way by dropping a comment directly on his post) to tell him why he's wrong about the still most annoying sound in the world.

And while I'm on the subject? Not sure how you'd integrate these, but here's a much better selection of "You've Got Mail" sounds.

8-14-12 Dear God, how did that happen? When I wrote about this the extension had just six users, even after being featured on PC World, which is read the world over by everyone. Now it has over 1,200 users, just one day later. I am...beyond words. Hopefully all 1,200 people are at least using it correctly...

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

See that title up there? It's the name of another post about Google (specifically what the Motorola acquisition does for us in real-life terms) that I started but haven't finished. I'm having connection problems lately, despite my new adapter, which is going back, my monitor keeps turning pink, so it's going back, and I've been working a lot, so I just can't finish longer posts up lately.

Amid my latest hardware fiascos I came to realize that just because I don't sign into Google nor use GMail nor mess with Google Plus doesn't mean the new one-for-all privacy policy that Google initiated on March 1st isn't a big deal for the rest of you. Of course it is.

I also didn't realize until today that something as simple as visiting a page with Google Analytics on it (like my own) can be tied instantly to your Google account, that Google will store the fact that you visited my page with info like your name, username, length and time of visit, etc. to who knows what nefarious ends. Frankly, I'm quite creeped out by all of this.

So I'm going to be removing the Analytics from my blogs shortly (I almost never sign in to check anyway because Google's stats display is so ugly and cumbersome and involves visiting so many separate pages to learn, quite frankly, so little of any value, that I can't be bothered). I'll also be removing the Google verification meta tags for this blog and any others of mine that have it.

And I'm sorry - not that anyone has yet complained, but still - for not realizing sooner what can happen to all of you by simply leaving Google's tracking code lying around. You won't find it on my blogs again.