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Email follies [message #3850] Tue, 12 July 2005 10:20 Go to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
This is a copy of what I put into the Tucknotes today.

BTW, my tolerance for this behaviour has just decreased; I'll send the links to anyone who does it, but I'm likely to rip a new asshole off anyone who continues to repeat the behaviour.

Why do I hate Hotmail? Because I get things like this.

<html><div style='background-color:'>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;Hi Ellen;&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;&nbsp;&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;Saw on your website that your So is having some health issues. I just wanted to add my thoughts and prayers for her speedy recovery.&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;&nbsp;&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;Just a quick note though - your last reply just came through as code, so I was unfortunately unable to read it.&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;&nbsp;&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;Yes, I am one of those technologically challenged who is using a PC with XP pro, and Internet Explorer. &lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;&nbsp;&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;Take care;&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;&nbsp;&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>
&gt; &lt;DIV class=RTE&gt;[NAME DELETED]&lt;/DIV&gt;<br>&lt;/div&gt;&lt;br clear=all&gt;&lt;hr&gt;Share a single photo or an entire slide show right inside your e-mail with &lt;a href="http://g.msn.com/8HMBENCA/2743??PS=47575" target="_top"&gt;MSN Premium: &lt;/a&gt; Join now and get the first two months FREE*&lt;/html&gt;


this has been 'slightly' modified so that it appears EXACTLY as it does within my email program.
If you look closely, you'll notice that the person is complaining that they couldn't read my last reply. That's because in my last reply, I set it so that the <b>&lt;</b> that is used to set off HTML code, was replaced with something that'll show up in an HTML reader like the original shows up in my text reader.

They're complaining that they can't read my email. "Yeah, I KNOW what you mean!" is my unsympathetic thought.

Like all people, I make assumptions about a person based on the information I have. My assumption about people who send me mail like this is normally one of two things:
1) This person is so egotistical that they don't care if I can read what they send; they only care that they wrote it.
2) This person is so stupid that they believe everything that they hear or read, especially advertising.

Neither of these is someone I want to correspond with.

I tried something different today, though; I tried assuming that this person is merely completely clueless about what things like Hotmail actually do, behind their back; and I did some looking to find an explanation I could send this person. I found two links:

<a href="http://www.webfoot.com/advice/email.top.html">A Beginner's Guide To Effective Email</a>

<a href="http://mailformat.dan.info/">Dan's Mail Format Site</a>, especially the <a href="http://mailformat.dan.info/config/">Configuration of email programs</a> section

These are good. I learned a few things I didn't know. I imagine that the person who sent me the above email could learn a LOT, including how to prevent their Hotmail account from sending me crap like I got.


Ellen
nosig
Re: Email follies [message #3852] Wed, 13 July 2005 00:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
Messages: 695
Registered: August 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Senior Member
A mailing list I run suffers from that, as we have a rule about "plain text only".

I had to do a lot of digging, and finally found this link that explains how to set most email programs for plain text.

http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/nomime.html

Alas, it seems that AOL users *can't* send plaintext mail. Well, they can, but if you read the directions on how, and note that they can't *save* that stuff as a default, but have to do it for each and every message, it amounts to "can't".

You might want to include that link somewhere on your site. And I have a "backup" list of several other sites with the same info, as the link I gave is the third one we've used, the other two "went away" over the years.

Re: Email follies [message #3853] Wed, 13 July 2005 00:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
Messages: 695
Registered: August 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Senior Member
Oh yeah, I have been *ever* so tempted to look into a script of some sort that can be run on my POP server that'll bounce messages with MIME type "text, plain" or "text, HTML" and "encoding: base64".

This is a Microsoft atrocity that shouldn't be *allowed* by mail servers. Worse, some Linux mail programs do it, too.
Re: Email follies [message #3856] Wed, 13 July 2005 05:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
Messages: 641
Registered: January 2003
Location: San Francisco
Senior Member
Ellen, I'm not entirely clear on what this is all about. Am I correct in reading that in addition to your formatting complaints, you're objecting to people sending mail to you from services that tack on their own ad at the bottom?

For the last several years, I've been exclusively using free online-access email services -- cswebmail.com , netscape.net , mail.com -- to send plain text while online without (as far as I know) engaging any email programs (e.g., Outlook Express) on my Win98 machine here. (I never use the reply options on websites; I send separate emails from netscape.net or whereever.)

When I send the message, the service inserts its ad text. Sure, it's an annoyance to the reader. But it never struck me as a major concern, and certainly not as a conscious endorsement of the ad by the sender (who never even sees it, except when he gets a reply that repeats his whole message).

Eric

Re: Email follies [message #3859] Thu, 14 July 2005 11:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
Eric wrote on Wed, 13 July 2005 10:59

Am I correct in reading that in addition to your formatting complaints, you're objecting to people sending mail to you from services that tack on their own ad at the bottom?


Not only are you incorrect, I re-read my entire post and I cannot imagine why you could possibly think that, based on what I wrote.

Auto-advertising on the bottom of emails is evil, but most of it has been fairly small and trivial, and not confusable with 'real message', so it's not a problem. More of a sign of ethical failure on the part of the company, IMO. Of course I'd suggest that people move away from those companies... but I can see some advantages to things like webmail for some people. And note that I said 'suggest' rather than 'demand', 'severely recommend', 'order', 'scream', etc.


Ellen
nosig
Re: Email follies [message #4435] Wed, 22 February 2006 05:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Foxen
Messages: 5
Registered: February 2006
Location: 127.0.0.1 (NC, US)
Junior Member
do what tuck would do, run your own email server.

I had experimented with it before I owned a TLD, for now im using gmail as its the least evil of the free webmails, but soon ill have my own email server that will not accept non plain-text emails. nice little error 500 I plan on setting up for that.

now I own foxtecha.com but I havent set up my permanent server for it yet, when I do I want to do it right with freeBSD instead of win2k3.

the guy I live with and rent a room from has time warner cable and subscribes to aol for broadband in it... when I got an email from him I frieked... huge blue text in comic sans MS font...ew.
with a huge ad banner at the bottom (blocked by gmail)

Getting back to the non-text email, I think ill make a custom webpage to direct them to look at once I get it all polished up and running well, some sort of bare bones guide to *cough*getaneffingclue*cough* writing email.
Re: Email follies [message #4438] Wed, 22 February 2006 08:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
Messages: 440
Registered: October 2003
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Senior Member
Foxen wrote on Wed, 22 February 2006 07:27

I had experimented with it before I owned a TLD, for now im using gmail as its the least evil of the free webmails, but soon ill have my own email server that will not accept non plain-text emails. nice little error 500 I plan on setting up for that.


Hmmm. I have my reservations about Gmail. It's not that I consider it "Evil" or anything like that, but...
...the way it is set up, it's only good AS webmail. I tried to use its POP3 feature, and got disgusted.
The thing is, it's too married to its own "no folders" model of organizing messages. This works, IF you only access via webmail (which I frankly dislike -- not Gmail's, but the whole concept, for more than emergency use) and IF you bother to learn its quirks. But the things it does play havok with POP3/SMTP

For instance, if you subscribe to a list (like Yahoogroups), you may not receive back the messages you posted yourself -- Gmail consider them "duplicated" messages (because it already has the copy you sent) and silently deletes the "extra" copies. In the same token, if you send a message to more than one list, it will swallow the extra copies from the lists. If you read the messages online, it works, kinda, because Gmail keeps track of the thing... but if you download the messages to a POP3 account, there's a lot of stuff missing.

My own preference as "best" free e-mail service out there goes to Novell's myrealbox.com -- only I cannot recommend it, because they are not accepting new subscribers. Novell keeps it as a gigantic beta-test of their own email server software, and it has just about any feature you might wish (POP3, IMAP4, forwarding, autoanswer, two different webmail interfaces...)

Failing that, Yahoo is not that bad. I have an old account I only use sparingly nowadays, since Geocities (yes, it's that old, from before the merger) turned off the free POP3 and forwarding services, but it seems to work well enough -- the ads are not TOO obnoxious (the main reason I fled mail.com), the free spam filter keeps the flood under reasonable control (as I said, it's an OLD account, it must be in every spammer's list out there), the mailbox is large enough, and the extra services, like POP3, are available for a fee -- which is more than I can say for Hotmail.

Sir Lee


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: Email follies [message #4439] Wed, 22 February 2006 15:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Raadsel  is currently offline Raadsel
Messages: 21
Registered: September 2004
Location: TX
Junior Member
Sir Lee wrote on Wed, 22 February 2006 07:29


Failing that, Yahoo is not that bad. I have an old account I only use sparingly nowadays, since Geocities (yes, it's that old, from before the merger) turned off the free POP3 and forwarding services, but it seems to work well enough -- the ads are not TOO obnoxious (the main reason I fled mail.com), the free spam filter keeps the flood under reasonable control (as I said, it's an OLD account, it must be in every spammer's list out there), the mailbox is large enough, and the extra services, like POP3, are available for a fee -- which is more than I can say for Hotmail.

Sir Lee




I don't actually consider Geocities that old. The Yahoo account I use is actually an old Rocketmail account; I wish there was an easy way to figure out exactly when I signed up for it, though I'm sure I've had it for more than 10 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocketmail

[Updated on: Wed, 22 February 2006 15:43]

Re: Email follies [message #4443] Thu, 23 February 2006 05:25 Go to previous message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
Messages: 695
Registered: August 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Senior Member
Foxen wrote on Wed, 22 February 2006 02:27

Getting back to the non-text email, I think ill make a custom webpage to direct them to look at once I get it all polished up and running well, some sort of bare bones guide to *cough*getaneffingclue*cough* writing email.


A mailing list I'm on runs all incoming mail thru a filter written in perl. Any sectiuons of the message that are not text/plain get stripped and replaced by a "non-text portions of this message were removed" message.

What *I* want to bounce are any messages with text or html section that use base-64 encoding. There's no good reason for doing such as it more than doubles the size ofg the message, and the only semi-legit use of it (for non-ASCII characters) is better handled by either the character set declaration or UTF-8.

Besides the only places I see it are from basdly configured Ms mail software, spammers, and a very few Linux users who have weird configurations.
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