Payday Loans: Not Even Necessary

I have no problem helping a client address deliverability issues, even if their industry or politics encompass something I don't personally approve of.  My friend Mickey Chandler and I (who have very different political affiliations) have worked capably together to help address deliverability and compliance issues for various political senders on both sides of the US political spectrum.

But payday lending holds a special place in my (dark) heart.

Masking WHOIS Information: No Abuse.net for you

The WHOIS process and protocol isn't just some nerd thing that goes back a hundred years; it's a valuable public directory for savvy internet users to be able to identify who owns a given domain name. Spam and security investigators find it a valuable tool -- even if sometimes bad guys submit bogus details, commonality of information across domains allows them to paint a clearer picture of who is behind a bad act or how broad that bad act may be.

SpamAssassin 3.4.0 Released

The Apache Software Foundation just announced the release of SpamAssassin 3.4.0 via a message posted to the SpamAssassin announcements email list by project chair Kevin A. McGrail. Release notes menion that "this is a major release.  It introduces over two years of bug fixes and
features since the release of SpamAssassin 3.3.2 on June 16, 2011." To learn more, head on over to their website.

Gmail Oops

As reported over on the iDownload blog (and as mentioned to me by others), Gmail had a significant oops lately. Apparently, there was some system glitch that resulted in some actions (such as "delete" and "report spam" being applied to a message other than the one a user selected. Perhaps not all Gmail users were affected; I didn't receive the notification that other Gmail users have reported receiving.

In case you're curious, here's what the notification said:

Important Notice

You may have been impacted by a recent issue in Gmail that inadvertently caused some actions (e.g. delete, report spam) taken while viewing a message to be applied to a different message. The issue occurred between January 15 and January 22 and is now fixed.

We encourage you to check your Trash and Spam folders before February 14, 2014 for any items you did not intend to delete or mark as spam and move them back to your inbox. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Gmail: Reach the people you know more easily

On January 9th, Google announced that your Google+ contacts (people in your G+ circles) will now automatically show up as contacts inside of Gmail.

This isn't really a good thing, from my perspective. A lot of (OK, just about all of) my G+ connections are acquaintances or people who know me from the industry (many of whom I do not know personally). Making the ability to email in Gmail automatically visible to all of those folks feels like something akin a privacy violation. I don't really want to end up on somebody's huge CC list of forwarding some joke or political complaint. I think if folks want to contact me, they can go to my website and actually click on the contact me link.

I think this is auto contact enabling is a bad idea. If you agree and want to disable this new functionality, Consumerist explains how to do so: Go into "Settings" in your Gmail account, and under the "General" tab you will find an "Email via Google+" entry where you can change the setting so that "no one" of your Google+ contacts is automatically given the ability to send you email from inside of Gmail.

Ask Al: Help! My email address is being used in spam! What do I do?

Evan writes, "Hi Al, My email address has just been compromised and now I am receiving hundreds of System Administrator and Mail delivery failure notices sent to my inbox from all those poor people who have received unwanted spam from my address. I noticed your name on the web when I went searching to find out how and if I can stop this happening and was hoping that you might have some ideas other than changing my email address?"