Lost emails: no notification

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by mallen1, Jun 28, 2007.

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  1. mallen1

    mallen1 Registered Member

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    Since June 3, 2007 I have lost >30 emails on receipt and >6 on send, including, but not specific to, multiple email notifications from Wilders. This represents a small to modest percentage of my overall emails: I have no way of knowing the true percentage. Of course, these emails are the ones I've been made aware of and the sum total is most certainly higher. I have received no error message or notification of any type from any of my 24/7 security software apps (see below), nor my ISP/email server (Comcast), nor my email client (Outlook Express), nor my browser (IE7). I have, of course searched every inbox, expecially my spamfilter's.

    Outside of a filtering defect at the email server level (Comcast in my case), is there any possible explanation. Even a remotely plausible explanation with probability approaching zero?

    Overand the past 48 hours, I've submitted help tickets to all of my 24/7 real-time security applications, and the ones who have responded so far don't seem to feel that it's within the power of their software to block my emails without notification, even if corrupted or mis-set.

    Thanks for reading my dilemma. This has professionally damaged me more than I thought possible.

    Any thoughts, especially ones out of the box would be most appreciated.

    If you have any ideas, silly ones included, please post them.

    -Mark
    REAL-TIME 24/7 APPS
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  2. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Assuming that you have checked all potential spam filters and the Comcast's Screened Mail inbox (you need to configure webmail to make this visible and it's only accessible by webmail - there are no notifications of screening), it could also be at the gateway level. For example, I've had significant difficulty with communication between myself and DrWeb/Dialogue Science - it turns out they were sending from a range of IP's that Comcast had blacklisted (these do not make it to Screened Mail). I think I cleared that up on Comcast's side, but the only way it was apparent was that I clearly expected to receive an email and I had to use an alternate gmail address to verify filtering on one path.

    Blue
     
  3. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    I am with Tiscali and email users have suffered from lost emails which went unreported by them until they probably felt they had no choice but to say something. It's not really clear what the truth is in this matter. the first I knew about it was when Tiscali sent me an email about it.

    The emails I sent still appeared in the sent items folder and no notification about non delivery was sent.


    I would suspect your ISP after my experience!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/30/ntiscali130.xml

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/01/tiscali_email_spam_doubts/
     
  4. mallen1

    mallen1 Registered Member

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    Hey people, thank you very much.

    BTW, neither of your responses made it to me via instant email notification. I either have to develop good telepathic skills and quick or log on every couple hours.

    I just concluded a 2hour on-line chat w/ Comcast's Customer Service, although if it were up to me, I'd retitle that division. They washed their hands of the whole matter and said it was our fault, my fault, Spyware Warrior's fault, Castle Cops, Harvard Med's fault, Yale, Dartmouth, Northwestern Med and U. Penn Medical Center's fault. Oh, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami and U. Southern Illinois Medical Center too, (I almost forgot) it's their fault as well.

    Good thing my career as a physician isn't important to me or I'd be upset :cautious: .

    Again, thanks people.

    -Mark
     
  5. Marja

    Marja Honestly, I'm not a bot!!

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    Read your articles, Stapp..what a ridiculous situation!!

    Don't these IPS's realize "your" business IS the basis of "their" business?

    Maybe they need more competition to keep them on the ball-
    there should be some measure of accountablity!

    Until then, guess you will have to develop your esp, mallen1.:)

    Marja:cool:
     
  6. mallen1

    mallen1 Registered Member

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    You know Marja, since I was a little kid I've thought it would be the absolute coolest thing ever to read minds.

    Well, necessity being the mother of invention . . . :cool: OK, which eye am I blinking? . . . :ninja: are my lips open or closed?

    They're closing in on me o_O

    Take Care,
    -Mark
     
  7. mallen1

    mallen1 Registered Member

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    And for those who cannot get enough of my personal problems, I'm so ticked I feel like sharing my experience with Comcast' Online Chat Support, right up unto the moment I was hung up on!

    You folks, for free, for no good reason beyond altruism, y'all have been ten times more helpful than the ISP I cut a big check to every month. Again, thanks. You guys are cool. And to be fair, I do bear some responsibility for a certain sarcasm and breech of civility in the midst of the attached *.txt dialogue (diatribe).

    Take Care,
    -Mark

    ~Private support chat removed. No private emails or chats allowed without both parties agreement that they will be posted on the forums. -Ron~
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2007
  8. Marja

    Marja Honestly, I'm not a bot!!

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  9. mallen1

    mallen1 Registered Member

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    I'm a bad person :oops: .

    Sorry guys; now I know better. I'm going out back for some self-flagellation.

    -Mark
     
  10. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    No matter what most people say, the Internet is still a very unreliable environment, especially concerning the traffic of e-mails. Spam unfortunately has become a desease that is affecting many services, and overloading networks.

    If I want to be sure somebody ought to receive my e-mail, I usually notify by phone first, and request phone confirmation upon reception.

    Like for traditional mail, I for one would be prepared to pay a small fee to 'register' my e-mail, but then i'd like the system to track my message and make sure it is delivered, just a thought.
     
  11. coolbluewater

    coolbluewater Registered Member

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    next door to Redmond
    I rarely use my ISP's email service anymore, except to forward certain emails from my Web-based email accounts for downloading into Eudora.
    Sorry to hear Comcast sucks.
     
  12. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

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    I absolutely agree. Email is a convenience to save on postage stamps and nothing more in my case. :D ;)
     
  13. mallen1

    mallen1 Registered Member

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    I wish I had that luxury. In my profession, correspondences are often limited to those of the electronic variety. As absurd as this sounds, should I have sent this stuff in a real stamped letter, it would have immediately ended up in the trash.

    The paradox is that this happened anyway, just the cyberspace variety.

    What to do, what to do. I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees (or something like that). Someone lend me an appropriate quote!

    Miserable insipid miscreant sycophant weirdos :ouch: .

    Oh well.

    Take Care,
    -Mark
     
  14. mallen1

    mallen1 Registered Member

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    To complex this dilemma further, I received a "Mail Delivery Subsystem" email notice from Comcast with Subject: Returned mail: delivery problems encountered. In a nutshell, my email bounced. OK.

    Two problems:
    1) I received this notification from Comcast 2 days, 9 hrs, 32 minutes after I had sent the "undeliverable" email.

    2) It happened to be a time-sensitive packet to Northwestern Medical. Their rule couldn't be clearer: "emails only: no phone calls". Doctors are psycho-competitive and without that boundary their phone would never stop ringing. I work in a tough business: they had moved on while I assumed they were in process of evaluating my documentation.

    Life's a bitch and I'm trying to stay objective, so allow me to ask the community a couple questions regarding #1:
    a. is there any technological explanation for it taking >57 hours for Comcast's ISP to process and return to me this information?

    b. is this within the bounds of acceptable time-frames, assuming the most complicated, time-consuming scenario, i.e. am I out of line for perceiving Comcast to be at fault for anything. Is it normal to attempt to re-send a problematic packet for that many hours without concurrently notifying the sender? Again, am I misunderstanding the way stuff's done with email?

    c. is there anything on my end that could cause or contribute to such a delay? If so, is there information I can provide that would be helpful in answering or approximating an answer to that question.

    Thanks for letting me vent re #2,

    Take Care,
    -Mark :blink:
     
  15. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    This time lag would typically be from the receiving mail system, not Comcast. Was there a listed reason for it being refused? Check any details.txt or similar attachment.
    You're experiencing email failures in circumstances that are not normal, nor expected. It might be time to review what's occurring on your machine before the mail goes out, or examine what's going out a little closer. Are there attachments that exceed cumulative attachment size limits on the receiving side? Do you have some type of preprocessing occurring on your machine? Do the addresses look correct? What mail client are you using (Outlook or Outlook Express)? Could your client spam filter (Ella) be an issue here? Also, I've noticed that the antispam of the beta ESS (if you're using that right now instead of NOD32 and possibly in addition to Ella) can be touchy. In either case, have you viewed the associated spam folders to see if mail is being placed there inappropriately? Although it's possible that you have a single overriding problem, let's not eliminate multiple mail centered problems working in unison quite yet.
    With respect to the delay, no. With respect to the generic problem, possibly.

    You're quite right to be concerned and a little frustrated. This is not normal, but let's take the deconstruction a step at a time.

    Blue
     
  16. mallen1

    mallen1 Registered Member

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    Blue, Thanks a million for posting. I attached the automated response regarding the delivery failure. From a layman's perspective it sounds like my ISP just tried over and over for two and a half days then quit trying. If you can help decode it, that would be great. Before I wrote here, I submitted tickets to all my security software support sites with detailed info re settings, other concurrently running programs, heck even my processes. They have all responded that it's not technically possible for their product to interfere in this manner with an ISP/email server structured as Comcast is. I've been through all my in-boxes, even the illogical ones, like "Drafts" BTW, I use Outlook Express, XP, IE7.

    Yes, there was an attachment. But this was an international academic institution and they requested these monster (5MB) forms sent back attached as a PDF. But the deal is it was their forms that I filled out. I can only assume they know their own parameters, and besides, they would have received no response from anyone if it exceeded their ISP's size limit, which would have red-flagged even the slowest administrative assistant. And yes, I'm positive the address is correct.

    Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.

    Take Care,
    -Mark

    REAL-TIME 24/7 APPS
    Prevx2
    Eset NOD32
    SUPERAntiSpyware
    Ella OE Spam-Filter
    TrueMobile 2300 Router, Firewall Enabled
    Windows Firewall
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2007
  17. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    I'm not a mail expert, but that's what it says, it basically gave up. The failure is indicated on the recipient side. There's no a whole lot more in there. Since it's a transient failure, a resend is typically recommended.

    I would still look at total mail message size to verify limits are not being exceeded. The limit is 10 MB net on the Comcast side, but it really doesn't seem to be the problem.

    That's pretty large for a pdf form, and you've used the plural (forms). What was the total message size set? You might contact the nmh.org webmaster (contact info is on their site) to verify you're not being rejected for some other reason (I realize the error code should be different if this is the case).

    I verified the address as well, yes it is correct.

    Have you tried the following - use the Comcast webmail client to perform the send operation? This should quickly eliminate any mail client issues on your side and place the problem on the receiver side if the same error is obtained. At that point you really have to follow-up with the recipient side.

    Blue
     
  18. mallen1

    mallen1 Registered Member

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    Blue, again thank you for your help. I did resend it, but doubled my efforts by uploading my info to YouSendIt.com, this years incarnation of an FTP intermediary host. Pretty slick website. After login, enter recipient's email and four mouse-clicks later, 1kB to 1GB of stuff is waiting for the so notified recipient to download for 7 days. For the commercial version of course you get more time, bigger box, prettier interface.

    Back on track here I come: sum total was 6.1 MB, largest individual file was 5.02. That one was 16 pages, 8.5 x 11, full of text/images. I don't know a thing about PDF algorithms. Does that seem excessive: 5MB for 16 pretty pages with my edits and tags all over the place?

    I haven't tried to send directly from Comcast's web-mail. Good thought.

    But you know something, I have to take a beat, step back and look at the big picture. I'm a user, a customer who sent an email. Metaphorically, Comcast stood around knocking on Northwestern's door for two and a half days before thinking' to tell me about it. You and I throwing our cumulative IQ points at my problem is the smart thing to do if I want my stuff to get where I send it but it tends to divert attention from the fact that something is amiss. You know what I mean? A simple person walking down the street hearing this story, knowing nothing about computers, ISPs or emails, a normal guy would say, "that don't sound right".

    Anyhow, thanks again for your time and your IQ points. Me, they help.

    -P220ST
     
  19. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    My pleasure, I do wish I had a clearer answer for you.

    A lot of folks end up embedding bitmap graphics in pdf, which defeats the purpose of vector rendering. It could be a reasonable size, the key thing is that it shouldn't be a size that generally balked at.
    They have to design for many scenarios, including lack of availability if a site goes offline for a day or so for service or if it is a new domain and the name hasn't propogated to the entire net. The seemingly long time is likely designed to accomodate those and similar exceptional scenarios.

    Blue
     
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