AT LARGE: Eternal circle of support

AT LARGE: Eternal circle of support

I needed to get away from everything last week. So I left the dog with Amber and headed to a friend’s cottage in the woods; nothing like solitude to clear the head.

Not playing fair

Lindows developer Michael Robertson sends free newsletters to subscribers or, at least, those not on It appears email from that passes through MSN Mail POP3 servers gets tagged as spam. This tagging, which seems to have been instituted on January 15, potentially blocks the Michael’s Minutes newsletter to those who subscribe through an MSN Mail account. The MSN Mail POP3 service for members has a host-side spam filter that adds “Spam:” to the beginning of the subject line of email determined, by Microsoft, to be from spammers. This allows members to create a mail rule to redirect or delete e-mail declared to be spam. The capability has been well-publicised within the MSN Mail subscriber community. In other words, depending on rules that MSN Mail users have set for dealing with email that includes the spam tag, they may not receive the “Michael’s Minutes” email news­letters from - even though they subscribed.

One of my spies received a FedEx letter from an independent judging agency claiming he won a sweepstakes sponsored by Hewlett-Packard. The catch: there was also a release stating that HP may use his company’s name for advertisement or trade with no further compensation. My spy called the agency and found out that he was but one of 20 potential winners would get a free half-day infrastructure consultation by HP. “This is one of the most absurd ads I have ever seen,” the spy said. “HP will use my company name in ‘many’ subsequent advertisements just for their consultation.” Give us a break, Carly.

Round and round we go

Another spy of mine ran into an eternal circle of tech support at Palm. He was unable to synchronise a staffer’s Palm m505 with none other than the Palm Desktop software; that became an only slightly smaller problem once the handheld decided to not power up. After following email directions on Palm’s first set of troubleshooting tips that included an uninstall and reinstall of the Desktop software and replacing the cradle, my spy was told that if he still had the problems to simply reply to that email. So he did. And Palm sent him the exact same email as the one he replied to, with the exact same directions.

When I pulled up to the cabin in my car, I noticed that my Harley was already there. “I thought I would surprise you this time, Cringe,” Amber smiled. “How ‘bout it?”

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