Posts Tagged ‘email’


Lindsey Graham Has Never Sent An Email?

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Lindsey Graham  I ve Never Sent an Email   NBC

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was on Meet the Press this morning. When the topic got to Hillary Clinton’s private email server, Graham offered,

“I don’t email. No, you can have every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never sent one.”

Seriously? I’ve been sending email for nearly 30 years. How is it possible to live in the 21st Century without email?

More importantly, what does this say about what Senator Graham doesn’t understand about modern life?

Back when I worked at WTNH all my email was sent through a server I controlled. No nefarious purpose. It was just more convenient. They had all my incoming mail, but nothing I sent (unless it came back in a reply) was in their possession.

I suspect that’s why Secretary Clinton did it, convenience. It allowed me to consolidate all my email accounts in one place.

But Hillary Clinton wasn’t a TV meteorologist. She had more of an obligation to officially archive her correspondence, whether it was a law/rule or not.

As sins go, hers is pretty minor.

Lindsey Graham’s admission isn’t a sin at all. But it’s definitely a head scratcher.

What Facebook Messenger Really Is

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014


Facebook messenger has been installed, then uninstalled, twice now. It is dispensable.

Facebook has removed message (email) functionality from its smartphone app. To regain that ability you must install a separate Facebook Messenger app. Its purpose is to elevate
Facebook messages to the level of phone calls, email and texts. No.

There is no way to lessen its grip on your phone. Some annoyances can be turned off, but only for a limited period.

They know how we’re reacting. They know what we’re saying. They can gauge how much we’ll take passively. This is all measured.

In 2014, this is what a price increase looks like. They do charge to use the service. We pay by entrusting our most personal thoughts to them. Now they want more.

The unspoken bargain is they never use it to hurt us… but who knows?

Skyping Is Like Being There… Sorta… Almost

Thursday, July 10th, 2014


I got an email a few minutes ago. No text, just a subject.

You awake? Can you skype?

It’s from a long time friend. She and her husband are making their way through France.

I fired up the app. The cameras came on.

I was poorly lit in a dark t-shirt. They were in white cotton robes sitting in the sun on their patio. A carafe of coffee and two cups sat on the table.

Today’s coffee was good. Yesterday’s not so much.

They are absorbing France. And they’re sharing. Updates and photos come to friends and family in a daily mass mailing.

“Tell Geoff to check his email.” It was husband’s off-camera voice. The photo at the top of this entry was waiting. It’s early morning there, late evening here.

“You’re the only one we could think of who’s awake,” she said to me. We all laughed.

Their vacation sounds great. I love these conversations.

To me, Skype is transparent. That’s its power. Once your conversation gets going (not always easy), it disappears. A conversation on Skype is just like speaking to someone in the room with you.

I enjoyed my quick trip to France.

We Are Doing Security Wrong

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

One of my former co-workers wrote me this morning under the subject: “VERY URGENT!!!!!Help & a favor.”

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about our trip, because it was impromptu. we had to be in Turkey for Tour.

OK — it didn’t come from my friend. It was just made to look like he is writing.

i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a short term loan from you ($2,600). this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home.

I didn’t follow up. Had I replied I would have been led to send the money via Western Union in a way that’s untraceable.

These emails go out because people fall for them!

passwordMy friend’s email password was compromised. Is he the weakest link? Possibly, though recent personal experience shows he may have been sold out by the companies he deals with.

Yesterday eBay asked me to reset my password because of their security problems. This follows Target’s faux pas which led to our credit cards being reissued (and the hassle that followed).

Companies screw up, but I’m obligated to help clean their mess.

In most cases, if a hacker gets hold of your email account he’s got everything! Passwords can be reissued and ownership of a specific email account is all the ID you need!

This is crazy.

Google and a few others have begun offering 2-step verification to cut back on fraud. I tried Google’s offer and switched back. It was an incredible hassle.

Passwords were good protection when the Internet was young and its users mostly trustworthy. That’s no longer the case. We live our lives online. We need a better way.

Facebook’s Email Land Grab

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Most people misunderstand our place within the business of Facebook. If Facebook was a restaurant selling chicken dinners we would be the chicken! Facebook’s real customers are advertisers. We’re the product.

It’s no surprise Facebook’s recent email change wasn’t implemented to make your life better. Facebook’s goal is to make Facebook more ubiquitous… more deeply a part of your life. Anything they can do to become indispensable is literally and figuratively money in the bank.

If you haven’t heard, Facebook has replaced your publicly viewable email address(es) with your Facebook wants you to use Facebook as your email provider.

I don’t want to use Facebook for my email. I like the unified mailbox I’ve set up through Google. As I’ve recently found, having all my email in one easily searched place is very powerful (more powerful and useful than I can explain right now).

Even Facebook understands this really isn’t a good idea for their users. After all, they will continue to contact you via the email address you originally provided them.

In the past I have found email addresses for people I want to reach through their Faceook “About” page. That will now be much more hit and miss.

Here’s PC Magazine’s guide to your switching your viewable address back

Go to your Facebook Timeline or page (get there by clicking on your name at the top left).

Click About. It’s on the left side beneath your profile picture and short information about you.

Look for Contact Info, and select Edit. Next to each of your email addresses are two settings: a) The first one controls who can see each email address: public, friends, only you, or some customized setting, which can include special groups of friends, if you’ve created any. b) The second setting controls whether the email address appears on your Timeline.

Will Facebook relent? If they don’t in the next 72 hours my guess is, no.

Less And Less Email

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Is it just me or is there less and less email arriving every day? Maybe I’ve framed that incorrectly. Is there less and less email arriving in your email account? That’s been my experience.

Nowadays I’m much more likely to get email inside Facebook. Good for Facebook, but not good for me.

It is much easier to keep up with email using programs (or systems) designed for email. Facebook’s messaging isn’t.

There is no simple solution. I’m certainly not going to stop reading Facebook messages.

The power of Facebook is immense right now. The power of Geoff is minimal.

Whatever Happened To Email?

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

I used to wake up to dozens of email messages every day. Now I get very few. People have chosen to communicate via social networks like Facebook and Twitter rather than ‘actual’ email. That’s a problem.

I am a pack rat as far as email is concerned. I try not to throw any messages away.

A few years ago I ran up against Gmail’s storage limit and just bought some more! Problem solved.

Facebook and Twitter both lack the ability to easily look back in an organized fashion. With Gmail (and even my email address is served by Gmail) everything is fully indexed. Everything is easily to find.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve looked for a shred of information contained in an email years old. A few keystrokes entered and it’s there!

I am a very disorganized person. This was the most organized facet of my life!

It’s tough to fight the tide. More-and-more people ask questions or make comments by posting on my Facebook wall, sending me a Facebook message or tweeting. There’s really nothing I can do.

I miss the good old days.

Thanks For Remembering Me

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Email tonight from a viewer via Facebook. Justin Wells was about to test my memory going back 25 years or so.

Hey Geoff do you remember meeting my brother (he passed away in Nov last year)?

One night, back in the mid-80’s I’m guessing, he was driving in New Haven, saw you in a car and asked for your autograph. He said, “Hey Geoff any SNOW tonight?”

As a joke you wrote on a piece of paper (which I still have), “John no snow tonight.”

lol it was funny ta me. My brother was a real big guy. Just though u might remember…anyway good luck with Fox.

I am sad to hear about Justin’s brother. I was glad to hear the story. I am always fearful I’ll hear from someone to whom I wasn’t as nice.

I wrote back.

Justin – vaguely. It sounds like the kind of smart ass thing I’d do. I am sorry to hear about your loss. That’s a real shame.

Justin responded.

Thanks Geoff. You’re a good dude. Glad things worked out for ya. Have a happy 4th.

This is the major thing I learned between jobs There are a lot of people whose lives have crossed mine and who still have a memory. It’s a little overwhelming at first.

Obviously I’ve lead a very public life. When I am at any event I always try to visit every table. I don’t shy away. I enjoy the attention. I absolutely don’t mind you saying hello.

I am not perfect. Surely there’s someone I blew off or treated poorly. Over time that stuff happens to everyone.

Emails like Justin’s tell me what I’m doing is the right thing.

The Hello How Are You Spam Stops

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I just got a blog comment from Richard in the Netherlands.

I have not received any “hello – how are you” spam since 19-09-2010 / 20:28 CET.

That sent me to my spam inbox. The last “hello – how are you” spam was received here Sunday at 2:18 PM EDT (1818 UTC or 2018 CET), ten minutes before Richard’s stopped. Up until that point they had been coming in sporadically sometimes as often as a few a minute other times once every 10-15 minutes.

If you’ve been getting these spam emails would you please check and let me know when yours stopped? I doubt it will unlock any secrets, but it would be interesting to see how tightly controlled this army of spammers was.

Meanwhile I don’t know any more than earlier. This whole thing is a puzzle. We may never know.

Hello – How Are You. The Spamming Continues

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

What the heck is going on? Yesterday I wrote about a spam message making its way across the Internet.

Subject: hello
Message: how are you

As has happened a few times in the past I blogged about something esoteric, poorly covered and curious. There was no one else ‘covering’ this news. Google deemed me the authoritative source. Search: “hello how are you spam” and you come to me.

No problem. I’m glad to help.

My blog traffic began to spike overnight as geeks and nerds from around-the-world tried to figure out what was going on. If you read through the comments you’ll see how perplexed everyone is. Why would a spammer send out millions of emails with absolutely no payoff on his end?

Every possible justification for the spam led to a dead end, save one.

RFC 822 allows for using X- prefix for user generated info. I have no idea what the “X-Mras: Ok” header means, but it seems to only show up in these emails. I created a filter to send any email containing “X-Mras” anywhere in the headers to a special folder. So far the only emails that show up there are these odd “Hello – how are you” type emails.

This sort of email has been showing up for at least 2 years, off and on –the “X-Mras” field seems consistent in all cases (this may change).

For the non-geeky RFC 822 is the 1982 set of rules which govern email. The rules allow you to add your own parameters for your own purpose without telling anyone why. The only requirement is they start “X-.” These spam messages all contain “X-Mras: OK” a combination not seen in any other email.

Does “X-Mras: OK” mean or do anything? We still don’t know, but the more people who dive into this the more likely it will make sense… at some point… just not now.

Earlier I wrote how I received a few handfuls of these messages. I was wrong.

It was possible some were getting ‘stuck’ at the spam box and never making it to Gmail. When I went there and checked the first screen of results showed 20 spams. At the bottom of the page it said, “20 of thousands.”

I’s difficult to say with any authority the resources being pressed into service to send the “hello – how are you” spam. This is an immense undertaking–that’s for sure. And as far as anyone can see there is absolutely no benefit to the spammer–zero!

I’d like to know why he’s doing it.