Category Archives: Uncategorized

My problems(s) with Hosted Email

Control. The biggest “problem” for us was the lack of control. You no longer have access to the server itself, but instead to a Management console which will vary depending on which vendor you choose. You can no longer see logs to see if a piece of email arrived or left the server. You may or may not even have the ability to add or delete users, instead you have to request this be done for you. 

Mailbox retention. Since you pay by the user, the tendency is to close a mailbox soon after an employee departs instead of keeping it open for a while to monitor for client emails. 

Spam. While you have some control over Spam, you probably won’t have the control that a service like Postini or a device like Barracuda will provide. Some services barely allow access to your quarantined email or just send you notices of what is quarantined.  The spam filter on our particular service was pretty lax. It kind of has to be as it is filtering email for a wide population as opposed to being tuned to a particular organization’s needs. 

Scanning. A lot of companies have a multipurpose machine that scans to email. Two out of three of our scanners could not send to an external email server. We had to reconfigure them to scan to file. Even if they could scan to email, it would have gobbled up bandwidth as the attachment would have to travel out to the server and then back down to the individual. Not very efficient. Also if the method of moving files inside an office is to use email, expect more time (and bandwidth) to be spent moving those files for the same reasons. 

Speed. If the client is using Outlook, expect email startup to be slower depending on how you have it configured. We had to turn on caching as Outlook was looking to the email server way too much and receiving emails with large attachments really slowed things down. 

Email disclaimers. You will have limited or no control over this depending on the service you choose. We wanted to have email disclaimers everywhere, including inside of Encrypted emails, and that proved very difficult for them to do.  They ended up getting it done, but it is a plain text disclaimer that has the providers name stuck in the middle. Also, the rudimentary disclaimer software they used, did not differentiate between an external and internal user so the disclaimers tended to build up in an email conversation. 

Encrypted emails. Sending an encrypted email is a very unforgiving and complicated process. With our service, first you MUST put the word [ENCRYPT] in the subject line. Failure to do it exactly as shown will cause the email to go out unencrypted. The first time a recipient gets an encrypted email, they must register supplying their name, address, phone number, create a password and a pin (in case they forget the password) Problem was the clients tended to forget both password and pin. There was no way for the client to automatically recover a forgotten password and there was no way for me to change it. I had to email our hosted email providers and have them delete the users “account” and re-email the encrypted document and have the client start all over. 

Network alerts. Many of our network devices were unable to provide alerts to an external email server. 

Email archiving. We found out it just archived incoming emails from external sources. Check on that. I hear the Microsoft product archives both. 

Disk Storage. Most providers limit the size of your Mailbox. We have some users that like to keep everything they send and receive. This could become an issue for some users. There was also no way for me to monitor the mailbox size from the management console. 

Support. Depending on the service you select, you may be dealing with a re-seller as we were. We used a service called ExchangeDefender which was re-sold to us by our now former IT consultant. I suggest you stay away from them. On the flip side of that, you have services like Office 365 where you are dealing with M$. Dealing with Microsoft is no picnic, either. 

As you can tell, we were never really happy with a hosted solution, but stuck with it because of the perceived cost savings. Also, with the mail server being outside the network, this can be an advantage, particularly if you have a lot of users who work outside the office or you have temperamental internet access. However, with Server Virtualization becoming mainstream, it is no longer necessary to have a separate box for the email server making it now more cost effective to bring it back in house.

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TiVo streaming coming to iOS this summer | ZDNet

Something (my wife) tells me I am going to have to go out and get this as soon as it is available. TiVo streaming coming to iOS this summer | ZDNet.

While you could always get a SlingBox, this seems like a more elegant solution.

This Just In: 3-D Isn’t a “Crucial” Television Feature – Lauren Goode – Product News – AllThingsD

A good reason for buying a 3D set is that it makes 2D TV content look better. That is because the processor behind a 3D set has to be better (to support all the 3D content) That processor makes your 2D content look better.

This Just In: 3-D Isn’t a “Crucial” Television Feature – Lauren Goode – Product News – AllThingsD.

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/04/3d-makes-2d-better-maybe-its-not-so-bad-then/

 

Forced to fly solo, even on family vacations – WTOP.com

The airlines are killing their own industry. It gets more and more difficult to fly each year. They overbook, they charge luggage fees and now this nonsense. People will simply just stop flying as the aggravation is just not worth it.

Forced to fly solo, even on family vacations – WTOP.com.

Bing’s Social Search

Giving Bing’s social search a go. At first I was skeptical that it was going to simply publish everything I searched for online. That would not be cool. But it seems that is not the case.  You search for something and it asks you if you want to ask your friends. So you post a question and it appears on your wall.  However, then your friends must have to visit your wall to see it, so I am not sure how useful this will be. Also, we really don’t search this way. When we input our search terms we expect instant and hopefully relevant results. I think M$ is just trying something different to set itself apart from Google. Otherwise, it’s just Search.

Comcast Switches to Usage-Based Broadband Billing – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD

If Netflix didn’t like Comcast’s stance on Net Neutrality, they are really going to hate this as this may make Netflix (or Hulu, YouTube and any other video service) usage more expensive.

Comcast Switches to Usage-Based Broadband Billing – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD.

GM to Stop Advertising on Facebook – WSJ.com

Not surprised. I rarely click on a FaceBook ad. However, clicking on an ad in Google is something I have done a lot. It just seems more natural to click on an ad that is at least related to what you are searching for.

GM to Stop Advertising on Facebook – WSJ.com.

This is why I went back to a Point and Shoot camera

Wow!!! How many pictures would you have to sell to justify this baby to the wife?  That makes the Microsoft Surface I was looking at earlier seem like a bargain. This lens is so big that you mount the lens on the tripod and your camera just hangs on the back. I am sure it takes beautiful shots but …. Wow!

I recently purchased a Canon sx40 HS camera. $350. It is much lighter than my DSLR. Has Image Stabilization, better zoom, higher megapixels, shoots video. In some cases the pictures may not be as good and in other cases they should be even better. Of course, my current DSLR (Rebel XT) is about 6 years old. To get the same features on a comparable DSLR would probably cost me several thousand dollars. I just found that lugging a DSLR around took the fun out of it. I wanted a camera that was as much fun to use as my iPhone is,  but takes better shots. I think this one will do the trick at least I hope so. It is going to get a good workout when I go out to Las Vegas  in June.

How to harden your smartphone against stalkers—iPhone edition | Ars Technica

There is some good advice here. Your Apple account is becoming more valuable by the day. After the bank it may be my most important account.

How to harden your smartphone against stalkers—iPhone edition |Ars Technica.

What was their first clue?

20120512-203604.jpg

I was searching for a good NASCAR app and came across this app. Almost every person who reviewed this app gave it 1 star and left comments like “total ripoff” and “complete fraud”.

Perhaps if they had read the apps description they may have noticed the rather creative spelling of the word “physics”.

That and the name of the company who created this app was listed as Sex Pretty Asian, LLC.