marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

With a hat tip to [personal profile] andrewducker for including in a recent linklist

The results of my scan? Well, I've got seven email addresses (it's a not-putting-all-my-eggs-in-one-basket thing), and 6 out of 7 were good. Real good. The seventh - my most important - got pwned ("pwned", for anyone not familiar, is l33tsp3ak for "owned", pronounced "owned". It's an ancient term. I'm surprised the website owner uses it).

I haven't looked very hard into why I'm on the list but more or less, Russian hackers. I turned up on three exploits (with no pastes). If I were to guess, my mailing lists and at least one of the survey websites I use (I have a strong hunch it's Opinion Outpost and/or sister sites, but just a hunch) got hacked and because of that, my info got scraped into various database dumps that were published/sold/given away online/stolen.

I'm able to guess this because all four GMail accounts came up clear and only one Outlook account was compromised. That account was tripling as my Spam Me and survey-taking account.

And surveys...I don't know if you all know this, but sites like OpinionOutpost and Pinecone Research (in it's new incarnation) farm you out from dozens (Pinecone) to hundreds (OpinionOutpost) of survey sites per session, and those websites could've been compromised. The amount of cookie tossing and redirects that goes on in one survey-taking session (sometimes over less than secure pipes, to this day) is a bit hair-raising.

But like I said, that was my most important account, and I can't afford to share it with Russia nor with hackers in general, so I binned it. Goodbye four-year old (or maybe even older) email address.

That made a fun night of getting a new email address (the name-picking alone took me an hour), changing my address across all heavily used websites - and on my computer, which uses the same address to sign me in and out and sync my files to the cloud - and my phone, which again, is hooked into the same ecosystem using the same email address (and which refused to cooperate; it was actually using both email address at once, so eventually I had to hard-reset it, not the easiest or fastest thing to do on my Nokia), then exporting/importing my contact list, letting others know of my new address, and all those other not-so-fun related tasks.

There are still companies I have to call and write (that is, email(!)) because functionality to change your email address is literally MIA from their interfaces. In 2017. Go figure.

One of them is my bank (in case [personal profile] darkoshi asks, not BOA, the other one. But still!)

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I just...*headdesks with laughter*

My phone's cheapest prepaid plan is $45 through GoPhone, aka AT&T PREPAID (allcaps are theirs, not mine). I don't, to say the least, have $45 for anything, much less my stupid phone, but we're getting into storm season, I still fear the trees and I happened to drop my LG flip phone - which I kind of fucking adored in all its 2G glory - in the toilet the other day and the 3G replacement is such a dud I plan to throw it off the next bridge I come across.

Besides my Windows phone and my bridge-bound dud, I have a tiny Android I haven't used in literally years, so I called Net10, who services it, to ask about plans. Their cheapest is $35, saving me $10 bucks, so I took it (data went from 6GB high speed with rollover to 2GB without rollover; other than that the plans are about the same) only to realize I had to migrate my Windows phone data to Android - mostly contacts, photos and emails (I could be upset about losing call logs and texts but I'm really not, so I haven't sought to restore either one of those).

As I write this Google Drive, aka Backup and Sync (the name change is theirs, not mine, sans the allcaps) is syncing 9,655 files between my laptop and their servers. I decided my folder selection was too aggressive when GUID diagrams for Firefox and my Dell printer began rolling in but whatever. To get this far I had to uninstall Google Drive after merely "upgrading" it to Backup and Sync, which failed miserably, not allowing me to sync the proper folders and basically fubaring everything.

While I was unfubaring the laptop installation, I rolled back Drive on Android to factory-installed settings and broke the sync connection from my laptop, which wiped out all the files on Android's Drive. There weren't many because the Gmail address I use for Android was not talking to the one I use on my laptop so I logged out of GMail on my laptop, logged back in using my Android Gmail address, then re-installed Drive (now Backup and Sync) on my laptop. This installation went flawlessly and is syncing away as I write this - and slowing my connection to Dreamwidth to a crawl.

When it's finished, I should be able to upgrade Drive to Backup and Sync on Android and pull in files from my laptop, which should bring over my Windows phone data, because I threw my OneDrive folder in there and it actually let me, which I cannot believe. Getting that done should pull in all the photos on my Windows phone, which are the only data still missing after the work I did last night to pull in everything else...

First I imported my main Outlook account to GMail, but the import was marked "has not started" with a "provide info" link that made me log in again in a small, separate window that barred add-ons like LastPass from running, then told me my credentials were incorrect although after triple-checking them against LastPass I could see everything was correct.

So I googled these problems and import will probably never finish based on others getting the same error messages since literally 2009, so I moved down the list to Send Mail As and Check mail from other accounts. Those tasks went as expected, so now my Outlook mail is forwarding to GMail on Android, so I'll never really need to check my Windows phone again. I also have a setting that shows what's coming in off Outlook - but according to the unlabelled emails I'm getting at the moment, it's at least partly malfunctioning, so I'll need to fiddle with that some more.

Once that was done, my Windows contacts synced with Android and GMail started receiving Outlook mail, so things were getting better, but I don't like stock Android, so I was in need of a more ideal solution when I stumbled across Arrow Launcher, which uses "pages" in place of launch icons or home screen widgets to let you see email as it arrives (you can use app icons or pages, but pages are amazing) so I set up an Outlook page as my second home screen (just swipe right) and now I don't even need an app to scan my email (though I still need an app to read the body text).

Unlike any Windows app ever, it doesn't crash (well, it crashed immediately after installing - um, it not only crashed, it removed all my custom settings, but after a phone restart and a redo of all the settings, it seems to work just fine).

To get around Android's ugly stock app I'm using Android Messages; I tried Allo but it's too resource-intensive, so I had to remove it after only a few minutes. That I can't update from Jellybean to the current version is irritating because I want the Ibotta app, which so far is the only app that isn't compatible, but I haven't really "done" apps in my rush to get Windows data onto Android, so I guess I'll see what else fails to play well with it eventually.

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.