(   )
                          (    )
                           (    )
                          (    )
                            )  )
                           (  (                  /\
                            (_)                 /  \  /\
                    ________[_]________      /\/    \/  \
           /\      /\        ______    \    /   /\/\  /\/\
          /  \    //_\       \    /\    \  /\/\/    \/    \
   /\    / /\/\  //___\       \__/  \    \/
  /  \  /\/    \//_____\       \ |[]|     \
 /\/\/\/       //_______\       \|__|      \
/      \      /XXXXXXXXXX\                  \
        \    /_I_II  I__I_\__________________\
               I_I|  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I_II  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I II__I  I     XXXXXXX     I
            ~~~~~"   "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wed, 14 Aug 2019

Privacy is Dead

I was listening to a news radio story about a woman who tried to divorce herself completely from the big five tech companies (you can guess which ones), which did not go well. She found it was effectively impossible, given the hold these companies have on the internet. Many of us here in the gopher underground or on the small internet have done the same, but really how effective is it?

read more after the break...

posted at: 02:12 | path: / | permalink | big5, data, email, privacy, social

Sat, 11 May 2019

Devuan to the Rescue

I mentioned a while back that I was fed-up with systemd [0], and was considering installing Devuan [1] on my personal mail server. I finally did just that and I have to say it has given me reason to like Debian again (by way of Devuan of course). As far as I can tell, Devuan ASCII is indistinguishable from Debian 9, minus the systemd virus.

Systemd led me to give up on Debian, after being a hard-core user since the Slink/Potato days. While my desktop or laptop OS'es tend to vary with my interest at any given time (I've played with lots of GNU/Linux distros plus the three big BSDs at one time or another), my own servers run Debian stable. And back when I did consulting, if given the choice, I would always recommend that my clients use it also (the one exception was in the area of firewalls, where I would recommend OpenBSD). So it's nice to see what many of us consider and know as Debian continue to be developed and supported. Every once in a while I read about problems keeping systemd from infecting software on the remaining sensible GNU/Linux distros, and I hope it does not become impossible.

posted at: 14:40 | path: / | permalink | debian, devuan, email, systemd

Tue, 06 Nov 2018

Email Providers and Pubnix

Cdmnky talks about email providers [0][1]. I tried protonmail briefly but deleted my account, it seemed to me to be a bit gimmicky, and less than useful without direct imap support.

I use and heartily recommend posteo.de. 1 euro a month is a small price to pay for secure, stable and privacy-conscious email that is not hosted in the USA. Despite spending more than that on SDF Meta membership, I don't use SDF email for anything critical. It's too unstable.

read more after the break...

posted at: 12:33 | path: / | permalink | email, posteo, pubnix, sdf

Mon, 04 Dec 2017

On Mutt and Email Servers

I read some recent posts by jynx ([0],[1]) on email, where he mentions mutt and the fact that self-hosting is difficult. I've been using mutt and self-hosting my own domains' email for many years, and have had few problems with blacklisting or blocking. Here is a broad overview of what I do and recommend. I haven't changed this setup in a long time, it just runs.

read more after the break...

posted at: 20:58 | path: / | permalink | anti-virus, email, iptables, mutt, self-hosting, spf

Tue, 12 Jun 2012

Unsubscribe Me Madness

For some reason I was getting marketing email from Barnes & Noble, several times per day. I must have inadvertently missed a checkbox labeled 'spam me' during my last online purchase. Anyway, I finally followed the 'unsubscribe' link and dutifully selected that I no longer wished to receive ANY email. This is the response I got after submission:

Your request to [Modify / Unsubscribe] your email has been successful. Please note that this change will take effect within 10 business days.

10 business days? Really (not even 10 days - 10 BUSINESS days)? So flipping a database flag in my user account takes up to two weeks? Must be a very inefficient database. Funny how when you make a purchase, they charge your credit card within seconds. I would love to see this message instead after buying something online:

Your purchase has been successful. Please note that you will see this purchase charged to your credit card within 10 business days.

posted at: 11:30 | path: / | permalink | email, opt-out, spam, wtf

Wed, 13 Apr 2011

Mail Clients and Editors

My favorite mail client is mutt, and my editor-of-choice is GNU Emacs. The two play quite nicely together, and I still use them for personal mail, via a console SSH connection. This line in .muttrc does the trick:

set editor="emacsclient %s"

Coupled with post.el (which is already in Debian as the package post-el), an emacs minor mode that kicks in automatically when it sees a mutt temp file in a buffer, and email is quite painless.

Work is a different story, calendaring, obscure formats and attachments make using those two awkward at best, especially in a remote console. At some point you'll have to respond to an invite, or view some bloated binary attachment. Gmail works OK, but can be slow and does not support external IMAP accounts, not an ideal situation for me. So far, I've found the only (non-outlook) mail client that handles everything reasonably well is thunderbird 3.1 with the calendaring plugin. Of course, its builtin editor is atrocious, it can't handle quoted text, and always likes to re-format text for you (no pasting code snippets in email). I found a reasonable compromise with the 'external editor' plugin for thunderbird [0], coupled with tbemail.el [1]. You just use 'emacsclient' in the external editor options dialog. It works quite well.

Below are links to local copies ([2], [3]) in case the main sources ever disappear.

posted at: 08:48 | path: / | permalink | editors, emacs, email, thunderbird