Why the heck did Sympatico disable SMTP authentication?

OK. I'm really p.o'd about this. I've been a (relatively) happy Sympatico customer in the last four years, but recent development this past week makes me think again (hate it when I do that). I found out that I can no longer send my Sympatico emails from my office using my Thunderbird mail client. A little digging underneath the cover and it turned out they (Sympatico) disabled SMTP authentication on their mail server.

If you don't know what SMTP Authentication is, it just means that the mail server requires you to enter a user name and password when you're sending mails through it. In the case of Sympatico, they've turned it off, which isn't so bad except they've also disabled relaying.

OK. What's "relaying"? It means the server's ability to deliver (relay) your mail message to a server other than itself. So if you're using mail1.com's SMTP mail server to send a message to someone@mail2.com, the server at mail1.com has to "relay" the message to mail2.com for delivery. It's not called "relaying" if I'm using mail1.com's server to send a message to someone_else@mail1.com.

Back to Sympatico. What they've done is made it so that if I'm outside of my home office, I can't send mails! A few emails back and forward with their support staff today and I still couldn't get a straight answer on why they did it. Instead, I was suggested to use their web based GetEmail service. Unacceptable workaround! Reason 1: the user interface is fuuugly! Reason 2: I no longer have control over my Sent Items because they're in two places--the web client and my Thunderbird archive. As a side remark, I never delete any of my legitimate emails. Instead, I archive them, which is why the concept of GMail has some appeals to me.

Now, they must have done it out of some sort of security concerns--I, of all people, should understand that. For a small organization, may be, but for an ISP to use this kind of heavy handed tactics? OK, Someone's been spamming our server, we don't know how to stop the individual spammers, so let's treat them all as spammers! They're all guilty! Let's nuke 'em all.

So thanks, Sympatico. I think I'll switch off that email address from now on and seriously start using my YahooMail or Gmail account, which, by the way, supports POP3 and SMTP.

Hmm...Now that I think about it. Sympatico recently joined forces with MSN, and MSN never did like SMTP. I wonder if this isn't all part of some evil master plan to take over the world.

Look at what they did to me: they've made me senile!

Microsoft's AntiSpyware Tool Removes Internet Explorer?

Just came across this rather amusing article on BBspot.com:

Many Microsoft Windows users who downloaded the recently released AntiSpyware program from Microsoft, or had it installed through an automatic Windows update, woke up to a surprise. Unintentionally, the heuristics of the software detected Internet Explorer as spyware, and removed the program from their systems.

If only it were true....