Mothers Day

Mothers Day

I kind of forgot that Mothers day was just around the corner … but during a recent visit to the grocery store I saw the greeting card section and all the cards out on display.

I knew this was coming … and I’m not the first to experience it … but this is going to a particularly hard mothers day.

I imagine no mothers day in the future will be particularly easy.

Pretty soon we will be having a memorial to dedicate mom’s headstone.  Not especially looking forward to that either.

Truth be told … I’ve only visited the grave site once since the funeral.  I don’t need to.  My memories of my mom are sharp and clear.

She was my mom … she also my friend.

I will always miss her dearly.

Yahoo SMTP Deferrals Take 2

Well, our good friends at Yahoo are at it again.

Once again they are deferring mail for no apparent reason.

Nothing has changed on my system and yet they haven’t accepted a message to deliver to one of their users in 3 days (maybe more).  And, of course, there’s no way to actually contact a human to find out what is going wrong.

I’m on Yahoo’s email feedback loop … so I’m notified when someone complains about a message.  Nothing has come in recently from the feedback loop.

I used to be on their bulk sender white-list.  There was never a mention of having to renew the white-list approval.

A note to all my friends … DO NOT USE YAHOO FOR EMAIL!  Especially for business email.  The folks at Yahoo do NOT know how to provide service.

Gmail doesn’t have this problem … nor does Hotmail (much as I love to hate Microsoft).

Oh, and FWIW, yahoo customer service tends to ignore questions that are too complex for their script reading drones to answer.

Abuse Addresses

Most ISP’s and network providers have specific email addresses that you can report abuse to.

These addresses can be looked up using a whois tool.

Recently, I’ve noticed a number of those addresses that just don’t work the way they are supposed to.

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Tech Tip: Don’t use qmail as a mail server

A while ago I added a new anti-spam technique to my mail server setup called “No Listing”.

No listing basically means putting a high priority MX record in the DNS that always rejects mail server connections..

It seems, however, that the qmail mail server can’t cope with that.  It’s not RFC compliant.

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Tour de Cure 2013!

Lahead-square-100st years Tour de Cure was great! I rode 35 miles and raised $3500 for diabetes education & research. I also met some really great people and got involved in a cause that I can believe in.

Riding in the Tour has multiple benefits for me … obviously raising money for diabetes research can only help… and riding is a great exercise.

So this year I’m stepping it up a notch.

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Flight Status, Siri?

OK, I admit it … I kind of like Siri on my iPhone.

Some of the features are darn right useful … being able to tell the phone to remind me about something based on location, get the current weather, send a text message by voice, etc.

Recently I found a case that Siri seems to know how toparse … but can’t answer.  Which I find very odd.

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whois

Here’s a tip for internet domain owners:

Make sure the contact information for your domain has more than one email address.  And make sure at least one of those email addresses is not in the domain itself.

If your email starts malfunctioning, you want people to be able to tell you about the problem … and if the only email addresses you list are in the actual domain, they won’t be able to contact you.

For example … if the mail server for example.com is having problem … and all the domain registration in the whois database shows ‘joe@example.com’, Joe won’t be able to be notified there is a problem.

The contact information is publicly accessible via the ‘whois’ databases.

Domain registrars that offer whois privacy capabilities should let you list more than one email address when they redirect the email address that they list in the whois look-ups.

For privacy sake, I like using a PO Box for the mailing address on all my domains.

Adding Envelope Sender in sendmail

Fair warning: This post is pretty darn technical and is of little interest to people who don’t muck around with Linux and/or mail servers.

Recently I had a problem with someone on a midrange.com mailing list where they sent obvious spam.

The problem was, they were a subscriber to the list and had posted before … so the normal counter measures for that didn’t work (the first post for all subscribers are held until approved, to prevent people from subscribing, posting spam, and unsubscribing).

The puzzling thing about this was … the ‘from address’ on the message was not in the subscriber list.

Turns out that Mailman will accept message based on the FROM address of the message or the SENDER address (also known as the envelope-from).  The sender addressed is set by the sending mail server and is not normally in the body of the message.

After a bit of digging around, I figured out a way to add this information to the message headers so I can more easily diagnose the problem in the future.

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Blocking Mailbait

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of mail from the feedback loops I subscribe to indicating that someone has gotten a subscription confirmation message and they considered it spam.

After digging into my logs I noticed a few things …

  • The subscription requests are being initiated from TOR exit nodes.
  • The web requests that initiate the subscription have “mailbait.info” as their referrer.

This ‘mailbait.info’ service is supposed to allow you to fill your mailbox … why anyone would want to do this is beyond me … and it has absolutely ZERO protections against submitting someone else’s email address.  As such, it just ends up generating spam.  And a lot of the twits that are using this ‘service’ are hiding behind TOR nodes, which protects their IP address.

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Trail walkers: PAY ATTENTION!

This is another one of my Pet Peeves … people who walk (or run) on multi-use trails who don’t pay attention.

This is common sense … when you’re walking or running on a multi-use trail, you have to pay attention to what’s going on around you.

There are bikers (such as me), other runners, sometimes horses, etc, all around you … and, if you’re not paying attention, you can get hurt.

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