Email Shocker--kausfiles On Your Side! kf's crack I-team spoke with AOL spokesperson Nicholas Graham and AOL Postmaster Charles Stiles about the problem we MSN/Hotmail people have had emailing AOL customers [see below ].
AOL's version: AOL says it blocked only messages--several million of them--that Microsoft mistakenly routed through a new server, a rerouting that created two problems:
1) The new server stripped each email of the sender's individual "x-originating IP address" and substituted the server's address, with the result that "5 to 10 million messages" looked like they were coming from a single previously unknown sender.
2) The server lacked a "reverse DNS" record. Don't ask me what that is--it apparently works like a return address and is an important security feature.
At the same time there was an unexpected surge of millions of messages coming from Hotmail to AOL. Faced with an avalanche of emails without personal IP addresses from an unknown server, AOL decided to "close the door" on them and send then back.
Sounds plausible enough. Over to you, Microsoft. ...
P.S.: The story is also looking like maybe less of a big deal than I'd thought it was. AOL's reps called it "hiccup" that will be "resolved very soon"--i.e. by Microsoft!--because it's in both companies' interest to do so. ... I know I haven't had any problems since I blogged about it! If your problems have been miraculously fixed too, let me know and I will shift into full Sullivanesque Gloating Mode. ... Update: Microsoft's lame response. ... 10:06 P.M.
Don't trip over the unopened LAT on the way out: Just when you were thankful you'd read the last credulous introductory profile of CNN CEO Jonathan Klein that takes his hack spin at face value--a point you probably passed about a month and a half ago--comes the Los Angeles Times with ... a credulous introductory profile of CNN CEO Jonathan Klein that takes his hack spin at face value! ... Except this profile's longer, with more hack spin (and more hack spin)! ... It seems Klein want "to push the coverage 'beyond the headlines'"! ... He's bringing "'synergistic' energy" to the network! ... Joe Hagan of the NY Observer had more a more skeptical stance back on January 17. ... But, you know, if the Los Angeles Times hasn't covered it, it hasn't really happened yet, has it? ... The Times reports that CNN producers "say they like what they're hearing from Klein"! Yes, they say that. But do they like what they're hearing from Klein? I'm not so sure. Times reporter Ned Martel makes virtually no effort to assess Klein's now-assessable "storytelling" strategy. ... Actually, Martel doesn't even try to explain what Klein's strategy is beyond substanceless BS. ("[H]e wants on air talent to connect to stories, not just deliver them." ... "Any business that forgets about its customers is in big trouble.") ... OK, there is one buried paragraph saying that "within the network, people find it curious that Klein would 'hang Tucker [Carlson] out to dry.'" That's it for criticism, though. ... P.S.: Is it significant that, in fact, Klein's much-cited "storytelling" concept isn't even mentioned? Has CNN already junked it? ... P.P.S.: Suddenly the LAT strategy of preventing Web users from actually reading its showbiz articles (by hiding them behind a subscription firewall) is beginning to make sense. It's a damage-control mechanism! ... 6:12 P.M.
Have U.S. generals ever been through a U.S. roadblock in Iraq? Drudge briefly linked to this excellent CSM piece which asks that question after describing how easy it is for innocent, law-abiding Iraqi drivers and their passengers to get killed by U.S. fire. There's also a horrifying account in Evan Wright's Generation Kill. ("[A U.S. Marine] asks the father, sitting by the side of the road, why he didn't heed the warning shots and stop. The father simply repeats, 'I'm sorry,' then meekly asks permission to pick up his daughter's body.") ... Can average drivers detect so-called warning shots? Wright writes:
In the dark, warning shots are simply a series of loud bangs or flashes. It's not like this is the international code for "Stop your vehicle and turn around." As it turns out, many Iraqis react to warning shots by speeding up. Maybe they just panic. Consequently, a lot of Iraqis die at roadblocks.
Surely our roadblock practices have done muchmore to alienate Iraqis than the Abu Ghraib abuses. Roadblocks wind up killing innocent families, not humiliating suspected insurgents. ... Wright does describe some efforts by Marines to improvise a better policy, with spotty results. ... Update: WaPo, NYT. ... 1:12 A.M.
Sunday, March 6, 2005
Not-on-Time-Warner: Am I the only person having persistent trouble getting emails through to people with "aol.com" addresses? ... Answer: No! Here are some responses [emphases added]: