Sunday, May 29, 2011

The mail server at "" rejected the sender's address

I’ve seen the situation a number of times where a client sends an email to a customer where the receiving email server rejects the message. In this case the receiving service is Hotmail.

The mail server at "" rejected the sender's address, <[email address removed]>.  This is a permanent error. "" said, "550 SC-001 Unfortunately, messages from weren't sent. Please contact your Internet service provider since part of their network is on our block list. You can also refer your provider to".

In the past when this has happened I’ve suggested the client contact the customer and ask them for an alternate email address. Another solution is to send the email using a different service provider.

The problem is companies like Hotmail/Microsoft are huge and they’ve probably identified spam or malware being sent from an internet address (IP) which the company sending the email is using and has no control over the IP address. The company isn’t doing anything wrong. The problem is when you send an email it has to go through your ISP. It is this ISP that is being blocked. One the ISP’s customers is probably sending spam or malware and the person sending the email is seen perhaps in the same range, or using the same dynamically assigned IP address.

The person who should receive the email thinks everything is OK on their end. The problem is Microsoft is blocking what the person can receive without their knowledge. I’ve seen this happen a number of times. I’d suggest a good way to fix this problem is to stop using Hotmail, or any other service that uses such a broad brush approach to blocking unwanted emails. Yes no one wants unwanted emails, but to block valid emails is just bad business practice and can lose companies business.

This is one reason I suggest that clients don’t use Hotmail for their business. If a potential customer sent you an email and it bounced you’d lose the business. I’m hoping that Microsoft does not apply the same level of rules to their upcoming Office 365 service or I’ll have to recommend clients not to use that service either. Given there is no way for me to know what Microsoft will do, it does make me now more cautious as to recommending Microsoft services.

In the past one approach clients have used is to simply wait for a few days and send the email again. With blocking it is sometimes done for a set period of time to stop and particular activity. In this instance the email worked perfectly yesterday but doesn’t work today. It is anyone’s guess if it will work tomorrow, but it is worth giving it a go. If it becomes a permanent problem you’ll need to look for a more permanent solution. It is a good backup plan to have a second ISP such as a mobile service provider or a web mail service provider to around this type of problem.


Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Microsoft Previews Next Release of Windows Phone 7 (Mango)

Microsoft Corp. today previewed the next major release of Windows Phone, code-named “Mango,” through a series of media events around the world.... Read More

My aim is providing the above link is to provide a link to the source information provided by Microsoft. I’ve found most media outlets do not provide links to the source material.

By providing this link I’m not endorsing Windows Phone. I would like to review and possibly test the 500 new features before I make comment. I’ve found features that I use with the iPhone such as screen capture, Skype and previously Copy and Paste to be missing on the Windows Phone. Internet Explorer does not display the pages correctly for sites that are important to me. The first release of Windows Phone for me wasn’t enough to convert me from an iPhone. I’m not an Apple fan. I simply review the technology against my needs and the needs of my clients.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Alert: Apple admits to pornographic malware on Mac computers

APPLE has admitted that its operating system had been infiltrated by malicious software that throws up pornographic material on a user's screen in order to get their credit card details. ... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, May 23, 2011

Alert: MailScanner - Warning: E-mail viruses detected

OzEfilter enabled me to know this email I'd receive had originated from China so I decided to check it out.

The email is designed to look like a rejected message from another server on the pretence the email purportedly contained malware. It is obvious that I didn't send the email as it uses one of my public email addresses.

The body of the email starts with the the text:

Our e-mail content detector has just been triggered by a message you sent:

At the bottom of this email is some text For all your IT requirements visit: and a link to a web site in the UK.

It would appear this email is either a marketing email or perhaps its intent may be to trick people to visit the site which could easily be an infected site with malware.

If you receive emails like this you should delete them. Don't use any of the links even if you're curious.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, May 22, 2011

TIP: Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

One of my new clients had asked me to come in and fix an email issue. Emails were going missing. It took some time to determine the client's issue and then provide an approach which worked for the client. I knew this client had a problem because I'd sent them a picture and the picture arrived in their iPhone but did not arrive in their desktop email client.

After checking all the settings I had determined everything was set up as it should be and the most likely issue was the service provider they were using. They'd recently switched to this very well known international web mail service provider and since then emails were not arriving as expected.

The previous service provider was Bigpond which had an issue the previous consultant was not able to fix. I investigated this problem and found a way to work around the Bigpond issue. My experience with Bigpond is getting an issue fixed was unlikely to happen easily and this had already been attempted by the previous consultant. My testing showed Bigpond has an issue receiving emails to a particular account.

With everything now set up and working as expected, an email arrived on the client's iPhone with the message shown above. I'd received the same message and the example above is from my iPhone.

First the subject of the email with "S.x sells" didn't make sense, but the message "Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser." made the client quite concerned and they thought things were again not working.

I showed the client the error wasn't an error and we can all learn something from this. The first line of the email is "Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.". This is because the email is formatted as a web page and should it not display correctly, the user will know what to do. However the first line is also the first line displayed in the limited summary area of an email which caused confusion. Making this informational message the second line of text and not the first could provide a more informative summary for the user and certainly give them less grief. The "S.x sells" made the email even more obscure, perhaps even suspicious and that obscurity is something that should be avoided.

If you're sending out emails to clients you now need to consider many will be receiving your emails on their mobile devices. The first line of text becomes very important. With smart phone usage increasing, you should consider the first line of the email as an important piece of information and not use it as a generic informational message.

Kelvin Eldridge  

Monday, May 9, 2011

How and who is using your GPS data

I read recently that TomTom in Europe apologised to its clients for reselling the clients’ data and how that data was potentially going to be used. In effect government authorities will potentially be able to determine better locations for the placement of speed cameras which in turn increases revenue.

TomTom isn’t the only business that is recording users’ data and I’d be fairly confident that if you’re using a mobile phone your location data is being collected and used in ways you probably can’t imagine. If you’re using a “free” service simply ask yourself, how is the company making money? If you ask that question you’ll start to realise if they aren’t making the money from you, they have to be making it in some way and you may not be entirely happy with how your data is being used.


The problem now is even if we do pay a company for their service, they still seem to think it is their right to use our information for their benefit and I for one don’t think that is right.

TomTom Australia says it is planning to sell GPS data collected about its customers' journeys to road authorities and private companies ... Read More

Keep in mind as the consumer you have choices. You can turn off features of your devices that you aren’t using. In my case I have an iPhone I use only as a portable computer and a low cost dumb mobile phone I use for calls. The advantage of this is the mobile phone can last days on a single charge whereas smart phones need to be charged every day and sometimes multiple times a day.

- Kelvin Eldridge