Thursday, March 24, 2011

More on Communications

Finally got a note from a Comcast tech, on one of their forums, regarding my outgoing email. She asked several questions: Was I using the Mac's Mail program? Getting error messages? Did I have a URL or phone number in my sig?

Yes, no, and yes. My blog's URL has been down there under my name on all outgoing email for three or four years, and why would that all of a sudden matter?

Guess what? It matters. I couldn't tell you why, but when I amended the sig so that the URL wasn't there, those messages started getting through.

Raises more questions than it answers. Why, if it was toodling along just fine for years did it suddenly make a difference? How do they know it's even there, do they somehow scan all the outgoing mail for such? Why?

Will a URL elsewhere in the message cause the system to choke? (First time I tried it, it did. I sent two messages, one with, one without, the one with a URL in the body of the text hasn't gone through. )

Will it hang if I reply to a message and the sender had a URL in it? I'm standing by to find out, but so far, it looks as if that stalls it, too.

Since I haven't changed my set-up–same software and hardware–and it works just hunky-dory with Gmail, then logic would seem to dictate that the fault lies with Comcast.

They are checking into it further. We'll see what's what.


Gotten some more back-and-forth from Comcast, suggestions to try this or that, and I'm doing it. With the embedded sig gone and changing the SMPT port number, it seems as if it might fix the problem. For a while, I'm going to send double messages to my correspondents, one via Comcast, the other via Gmail, and ask 'em how many came through, one or both. When they both get through, then it's solved. If they don't, I'll just confine my outgoing messages to Gmail, and to hell with it ...

Nope. Wasn't my email program. Apparently somebody out there in other ISP land thought my blog URL under my sig was spam and so reported it to to Comcast who stopped sending it out. Didn't bother to contact me and tell me. Anyway, in theory, it's fixed.

We'll see.


Long as we are on communications, a short tale of the telephone. Early this morning–early for me is before 9 a.m.–my cell phone rang. Time I woke up and got to it, the caller was gone, and when I looked to see who it had been, it was that old devil Anonymous.

I won't be returning that call.

Here's a heads-up for anybody who phones me, cell or landline: If you have blocked your caller ID because you don't want me to know who you are? Then I probably don't want to talk to you. Unblock it; otherwise, I'm going to assume it's because you have something to hide–your identity. This intent usually goes along with the idea that if I know who you are, i.e., somebody trying to sell me something or get me to invest in their worthy cause, I won't want to talk to you.

In this, you would be correct. 

I'm on the no-sales-call lists, home and mobiles, but that doesn't screen out all the commercial folk, and it doesn't apply to non-profits. I further have an electronic answering device on the landline that screens numbers I don't have programmed into it, and it picks up after the first ring and tells people if they are selling something to go away. If it rings again, then either I have their number on file, or they have punched a button to call through because they aren't computers or salespeople. If they are selling something and they continue past the warning–a deep and vaguely-menacing voice provided by the zapper company–then I feel justified in hanging up on them. So generally, if my phone rings, it's somebody to whom I'm willing to talk, and I answer it, but not always ...


Jim said...

One problem with the anonymous stuff...

At work, I will return calls or make work calls to people using my personal cell phone. (The job picks up a tiny portion of the bill if I remember to file all the paperwork monthly...) Since it's my personal number -- I generally block it when I make those calls. (Last thing I want is some of the folks I deal with having a direct line to me...)

So there are legitimate reasons to block your number...

Steve Perry said...

Sure, I get that. But since most of my experience with ID blocked calls falls into the sales or begging categories, I don't take them. So if you know me well enough to call me, you won't fret that I know who you are. If you don't know me, you probably aren't going to get to, if you do it anonymously.

Back the old days, if it rang you either answered it and found out who it was, or you let it ring and didn't. Now, since I can see who is buzzing, I have a little more choice. Tools of the times ...

Ian Sadler said...

Hey Steve,

Off topic but a gadget for you..


Steve Perry said...

Cool toy, Ian.

I've got Samson's CO 1U USB condenser mounted in a shockmount spider on a mike stand right next to the computer that I use for music or voice recording and it's a lot higher quality than the price would indicate.

The Meteor Mike looks great as a table-top device.

Jordan said...

GoDaddy has/had this same problem. Back in '08, I had an associate's emails to me bounce back, which came via a GoDaddy-esque forwarder.

Inquiring with them, they evidently used to filter mails to prevent phishing scams, etc. But, instead of using the site to screen out hosts who weren't supposed to be sending email (the *intent* of the site), they screened every URL *in* the email against the spamhaus list.

Since the guy had a URL in his sig which resolved to a google-hosted blog (and thus not registered anywhere as an email host), godaddy asked spamhaus about the URL, it showed up as invalid (FOR EMAIL!!!) and godaddy punted the email.

Just FYI. Another possibility to explore.