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)

It feels really, really weird to have a whole slew of Inbox notifications not coming to my actual, off-site inbox. Nothing since the 18th - which was over 3 days ago. My box exists solely to feed me all the messages from this account so imagine how strange it's been to see it empty for three days when the bits and bytes should be flying in and out just as usual.

No DW News notification. No comment notifications, and no copies of my replies. I mean, when I asked Denise in the News post yesterday about it also being a issue (and it is, it really is) I thought maybe it was a fluke I didn't get my DW News notification - the first thing I would've had in my Inbox in days.

But now that I get no notifications at all I can see it's no fluke - this is the real deal, and us Microsoft users are pretty much screwed until further notice. I don't want to jump the gun until Denise makes an announcement, but if I have to give up over this I will not be happy. And no, I'm not going to blame her or Mark one little bit. I can't see why Microsoft can't differentiate our little social circles here from a huge Russian spam syndicate of some sort but honestly, it seems they can't. I remember AOL having the same problem, blocking email from so many websites over the years it actually got to be one of the most infamous things about them. But this doesn't feel quite the same to me. It feels like an algorithmic error that MS can't be arsed to use human beings to look into and correct. But they're not AOL and as long as they're not AOL it's hard for me to be mad at them for this.

The thing is, I really don't want to switch email providers. I've tried them all - all the more well-known ones, anyway - all the ones you've seen listed on - and I think they suck compared to MS's swoopy, glide-y, and ridiculously easy to use email. I love the way looks, feels, filters, acts, responds and functions. It really does do most of the thinking and heavy lifting for you so while it's a bit of a learning curve to get into it, it was well worth it for me in the long run to figure out just how it works. And I've gotten very, very used to what it offers.

FWIW, I will pry both my eyes out with a fork before I transfer DW's email to GMail, which has become so hard to use lately I don't bother anymore, and AOL's service is really not so hot (though, as always, I do still have a soft spot for AIM). I have one Yahoo account, as a few of you know since we use it, but I can't stand the interface or functionality as compared to Outlook's. So I don't see a lot of viable options here if I have to step away from the one I have now.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I have to admit I've wanted to close all my Yahoo email accounts since I started using some months back for some of my private email (by private I mean "not associated with this name" and by some I mean "never keep all your eggs in one basket" - unfortunately I've taken that advice far too literally, until I have somewhere between 10-15 "baskets", which sometimes drives me nuts). has a clean, snazzy, jazzy, flat (I am sooooo into flat!) dark blue and white design with a lightning fast interface that does many things; it unsubscribes from unwanted email with just one click of a link you'll find at the bottom of each unwanted email, then deletes all email from those senders, it creates folders without you asking it to (to corral things like UPS tracking numbers), it filters junk intelligently enough to know that you didn't mean to subscribe to eight newsletters in one day - even if you really did - and to put extraneous email from those senders into the Junk folder, which will randomly remind you to unsubscribe from those senders to get their email out of your Inbox.

Outlook mail is intelligent and gorgeous and glide-y and swoopy like a Windows phone screen (did I mention it's flat? It makes GMail's baroque interface look a thousand years old and makes even Yahoo's latest inbox designs look so trashy and cheap and hard to use - take that Marissa). I fucking love it, love it, love it, the way I love...well, come to think of it, I love nothing else online, except maybe, which I also fucking love, with so little reservation right now.

Another neat thing: any Microsoft email address you've ever had works with it. Your old MSN email addy? Works with it. Hotmail? Works with it. They all just work.

While I'm on the topic of Microsoft, Windows 7 is still the best operating system Windows has had out since XP (but XP's still better - it's simpler, more extensible, much more easily modifiable and it uses less hardware and system resources - hell, it even runs well on crappy billion-year-old hardware like my fiance's antiquish Dell laptop from the early 2000s, which is hard to beat). But like most Windows people, even I cannot figure out how to simply use (and by use I mean "find shit on") Windows 8.

Then again, my practice has been limited to using it on the shiny new rigs I've seen at Staples and Best Buy (yeah, I know, go me). I'm sure it's not hard once some WiseGeek type explains how to do it on the website he'll have to build and run just to explain it to the rest of us or else once you download the 12,000 page PDF MS surely offers on the topic. There must be something on how to find the fucking Start Menu! (Seriously, just google it; I'm sure plenty of resources that I just haven't felt like looking into are already out there).

I'm also sure, after my brief store test runs, that not only is Win8 unintuitive, but that the word "intuitive" never enters the equation, at least not for your average Windows user. It looks like a training-required/practice-makes-perfect hell of its own. But I will learn because it seems kind of XP-like to me under the hood, at least from the things I've read about it, so I do want to learn more (I'm also fascinated - and utterly repelled - by the NSA backdoor; I could hardly mention Win8 without bringing that up, too, in all fairness).

And Internet Explorer? Yes, of course I've installed IE11; that might've been the same day it came out. And of course I still think it sucks. Nothing will ever suck as bad as IE7 and IE8 but it's got issues. Still in love with font kerning, though. And the fact that MS has finally gotten around to supporting rotation (check my user icon in any modern browser besides IE to see that one simple thing in action) is enough to make me almost swoon.