Friday, October 13, 2006

Shaw Internet : They Eat Mail For Breakfast

In our region, there are two high speed providers: Shaw and Telus. Sure it seems like there are more. But the remainder are corporate providers or resellers of Shaw and Telus. For the last few weeks, we've been trying to solve a consistent mail problem: Shaw.
Our Outlook clients POP from our webserver. Because of Mail Relay issues, we SMTP outgoing mail through Shaw. In some cases, Shaw swallows the mail. They delete it before it gets to the destination. Spam filtering is good? Not so much. Here's the message I got:


Hi Guys,
This just came through... can one of you shed soem light on how these are gettting through.

Thanks,
Vxxxxxa

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wxxxk"
To:
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 12:29 AM
Subject: [Tech] Fw: zipping my energy


>
> After the age of twenty-one, your body slowly stops releasing an
> important hormone known as H G H (Human Growth Hormone).
>
> The reduction of H G H, which regulates levels of other hormones in the
> body (including testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and melatonin) is
> directly responsible for many of the most common signs of growing old,
> such as wrinkles, gray hair, decreased energy, and diminished sexual
> function.
>
> Click Here For More Info (http://Lyric008.okmyselftoo.com)
>
> Human Growth Hormone will normally yield the following results:
> - Boost your immune system
> - Rejuvenate your body and mind
> - Feel & look younger
> - Reduce wrinkles, lose weight, decrease cellulite
> - Restore your sex drive and vigor
> - Revitalize your heart, liver, kidneys & lungs
> - Maintain muscle mass
> - Refresh memory, mood and mental energy
> - Sleep soundly and awake rested
> - Help eliminate stress, fatigue and depression
>
> Click Here For More Info (http://Lyric008.okmyselftoo.com)
>
> Sincerely,
> Kearns Lyric
>
>
>
> o pt out of this one time campaign from our website
>
> ----------------------------------------
> CC:
> ----------------------------------------
>


Here's how I replied via my Outlook client:


Hi Vxxxx,
This is repeat of the problem from a day or two ago; and Dxxx's problem from a month ago. xxx The potential for damage could be huge, but it's a fault at the core of sendmail.
Better spam detection could catch these some of these messages, but that is a technology that can fail as well. I think I sent around an anecdote about a friend who builds anti-spam software. My wife sent him a test message about life in Esquimalt. The message was tossed because of the "quim" in EsQUIMalt. Quim is slang for a part of the female anatomy...

Hi Jxxx,
This is a drastic concept to raise: Can we refuse all mail posted from xxx.com users that isn't posted via the XXX server? In other words, if I use xxx I can post mail. If I post from my Shaw account (via the gv.shawcable.net SMTP), it's refused. I'm just asking if this would prevent the other wxxx@xxx.com from posting. Just to be clear for everyone else, this would hamper us from using our Outlook clients for the most part and we're trading the exploit of our mail addresses for exploits that come from using a web interface to send/retrieve mail. Frankly, I think this move would be a big trade down, but it would remedy this problem so it has to be brought up.

All the best,

Mike


Hi Guys,

This just came through... can one of you shed soem light on how these are gettting through.

Thanks,
Vxxxxxa

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wxxxk"
To:
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 12:29 AM
Subject: [Tech] Fw: zipping my energy


>
> After the age of twenty-one, your body slowly stops releasing an
> important hormone known as H G H (Human Growth Hormone).
>
> The reduction of H G H, which regulates levels of other hormones in the
> body (including testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and melatonin) is
> directly responsible for many of the most common signs of growing old,
> such as wrinkles, gray hair, decreased energy, and diminished sexual
> function.
>
> Click Here For More Info (http://Lyric008.okmyselftoo.com)
>
> Human Growth Hormone will normally yield the following results:
> - Boost your immune system
> - Rejuvenate your body and mind
> - Feel & look younger
> - Reduce wrinkles, lose weight, decrease cellulite
> - Restore your sex drive and vigor
> - Revitalize your heart, liver, kidneys & lungs
> - Maintain muscle mass
> - Refresh memory, mood and mental energy
> - Sleep soundly and awake rested
> - Help eliminate stress, fatigue and depression
>
> Click Here For More Info (http://Lyric008.okmyselftoo.com)
>
> Sincerely,
> Kearns Lyric
>
>
>
> o pt out of this one time campaign from our website
>
> ----------------------------------------
> CC:
> ----------------------------------------
>


Here's what they received: (INSERT CRICKETS SOUND HERE)

We tried sending this several times. Only when spam keywords were removed, did the message go through. When I tried to send the same message via GMail and webmail for another domain, the mail went through fine.

Blocking spam is dubious. Shaw has also swallowed messages regarding business trips, messages regarding banking. Information from our bookkeepers. Are you missing mail? Then you're a Shaw customer.

When I phone Shaw about this on the 27th, they said they weren't blocking/filtering. Since then, the problem has continued and worsened. Today I phoned back and refused to accept their excuses. I wanted a definitive answer as to whether or not they were swallowing up spam. They gave me the runaround. I asked to speak to a supervisor. The CSR dweeb put me on hold. Then he came back and said, "Stand by for James..." then dial tone. Way to go, Homer, you don't know how to use a phone and your job is as a telephone representative.

So, I will be forwarding my advice to my company. I will suggest to my bosses that they ditch Shaw. I will ask that they tell all of the staff to ditch Shaw. I will ask that they tell their banker to ditch Shaw: his bank and its 20 branches may actually listen. Does Shaw want to lose hundreds of accounts? Maybe they don't care. I know I care. This is why I am posting this as a blog post. I cannot send it by email because-- for today-- I am a Shaw customer.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Today's Edition of Making Sense of Adsense

My wife, sent this article (http://www.johnchow.com/...google-whores/). To motivate me or anger me? Who's to say.

Anyways, the cool part of this piece are the hard numbers. While the other contender sites only mention how much they net, the first two show off traffic numbers. I could make a million dollars tomorrow, but it might cost me $1.2M to do it. These guys seems to pull it off and here's some of my math:
Lucky Pageviews/mo. Mean Load Bandwidth Viewer Cost Adsense Take Profit Cash per User Cash Per Click
Bastards (users) (KB) (GB) $ $ $

PlentyofFish.com 500000000 7 3500 $ 21,000.00 $ 300,000.00 $279,000.00 $ 0.00060 $ 0.02
Digg.com 200000000 11 2200 $ 13,200.00 $ 250,000.00 $236,800.00 $ 0.00125 $ 0.03

On top of bandwidth there are plenty of other costs : hosting, tech support, et cetera. But these other expenses would be incurred regardless of bandwidth. Bandwidth is the bill that threatened to torpedo YouTube.com. The cash per user is simple math on the Adsense take divided by the pageviews. Cash per click is the same number divided by the usual clickthrough rate: 0.04%.

This proves that if you can get your numbers up, you can make a profit. The precarious part: what happens if your bandwidth gets into five digits on the month before your Adsense hits the six digits.