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[Aroid-l] Administrivia: UCE blockers, and replys again

  • Subject: [Aroid-l] Administrivia: UCE blockers, and replys again
  • From: Steve Marak samarak@gizmoworks.com
  • Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2005 00:07:52 -0600 (CST)

Aroiders,

Please pardon the non-aroid intrusion, and it's length.

Replys: as mentioned (many times) before, Aroid-L is set such that if you just 
reply to a post, your reply goes not to the sender of that post, but to the 
list. We try to catch anything that goes to the list accidentally, but (a) 
we're not perfect, (b) sometimes it's hard to tell, and (c) this will cause a 
significant delay to your post. (If it's not clear in one quick glance that the 
post is meant for the whole list, then it has to wait until there's time to 
read it a few times, decide if it's personal, then figure out who it's intended 
for, try to find their e-mail address, and forward it on to them. Lately I 
don't have time to do all that but about once a week.) The incidence of such 
posts has gone up again lately, so it's time to repeat the mantra.

UCE blockers: UCE, or "unsolicited commercial e-mail", is better known by the
name of a well-known meat product which rhymes with "ham". (I'm avoiding the
term because some people's blockers are set so over-sensitively that the word
itself causes a message to be blocked.)

Periodically we have a problem with someone who gets so fed up with UCE that 
they purchase one of several packages which use a "challenge-response" scheme - 
when you send them something, they don't get it. Instead, you get a message 
back asking you to go through some procedure to basically ensure that you are a 
real person and not a mass mailing program. I hate these programs; they, along 
with HTML postings and large attached files and simply inappropriate posts, are 
the banes of a listowner's existence.

Don't get me wrong, I hate UCE. And I'll bet I get more of it than anyone on 
this list, between the hundreds of e-mails I get every day for myself, plus for 
Aroid-L, plus professionally, across a half-dozen e-mail addresses.

The problem with these programs, from my standpoint, is that if someone on
Aroid-L uses one of these programs, then - because posts from Aroid-L show up
with the name of the actual sender - everyone who posts to the list winds up
with this strange message from someone they may not even know asking them to go
through some weird procedure so that the someone can receive e-mail from the
poster. If you change e-mail addresses - as people do constantly - you'll be
asked to do it again the next time you post. I've even seen 2 people using such
programs (from different vendors) get into a standoff, where both programs were
requesting the other person to do something but neither person was aware of it
because the other program's request had been blocked by their program. 

So, 2 things re UCE blockers: if you use one, then PLEASE read up on how to set
it to accept all posts from any mailing lists you are on, regardless of the
apparent sender. The information is in the e-mail headers, and you may have to
read a little to find out how to do it, but the other list subscribers will
appreciate it. Not just of Aroid-L, but of any mailing list you to which you
belong. (Perhaps I should mention here that I have a strict policy - I never
ever follow the directions in posts that appear to come from UCE blockers, for
several reasons.)

The other: I'm going to be experimenting with some list settings over the next
day or two, to see if I can help this problem a little. Rather than seeing my
name as the sender, for instance, you may see a generic term like "Aroid-L". If
I decide to make any change permanent which seems likely to significantly
affect what people see, I'll send out another administrivia post to let you all
know.

Again, sorry for the side trip.

Steve

-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com
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