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UK ISP PlusNet Accidentally Deletes 700GB of Email 282

Posted by timothy
from the reality-is-no-excuse-dammit dept.
steste writes "A tale of email woe for PlusNET ISP. According to this announcement they have spent the last month attempting to recover 700GB of accidentally deleted emails. By their estimates, up to 12GB of these had yet to be read by their recipients. Despite the efforts of a data recovery specialist, they have now given up on recovering any of the deleted data. Well that's one way to deal with spam." Spam is one thing; I just wonder how inevitable losses like this one square with the EU-wide data retention laws.
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UK ISP PlusNet Accidentally Deletes 700GB of Email

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  • Conspiracy (Score:5, Funny)

    by zanderredux (564003) * on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:49AM (#15839675)
    "Accidentally deleted", "despite of best efforts"....

    Yeah, right!

  • by krell (896769) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:49AM (#15839684) Journal
    On the plus side, that's 699GB of spams nobody will have to worry about now.
  • by TouchOfRed (785130) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:49AM (#15839685)
    My inbox will say, nothing to see here. Move along.
    • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:14AM (#15839880) Homepage Journal
      That's why I like to run my OWN email server...I can make sure my backups work, and if it fails, I have only myself to blame.
      • by mrxak (727974) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:38AM (#15840047)
        I lost about a thousand emails (I had read most of them, thankfully, only really lost-lost about 20-30, many non-critical) a few months ago because back-ups also failed. I guess that's what I get for doing webmail instead of downloading to an actual client. Oh well, wasn't really my fault. And to be honest I'm not sure I trust the report about back-ups failing. I suspect they didn't have any. At least now I'm back to using a client, where I can do my own back-ups locally.
        • And to be honest I'm not sure I trust the report about back-ups failing. I suspect they didn't have any.

          If your back-up system isn't regularly tested and found to be restorable, then you don't have any, no matter how many tapes/spare hard drives/CD-Rs/whatever you use.

          I do wonder at what stage this sort of cock-up becomes outright negligence. I haven't checked my terms of use recently, but I doubt disclaimers will hold up for long after this sort of mess anyway.

      • I've tried that myself, but 2 problems arised..

        1) my ISP blocks my smtp server
        2) my spam filters aren't anywhere near as good as those i am provided with gmail or even my ISP's servers..
        • by walt-sjc (145127) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:16PM (#15840868)
          1) Use your ISP's servers (or other email service) for outbound mail. In 99.9% of "blocking" cases, port 587 (the MSA port) is still open so you CAN use some other service. Inbound is generally not an issue (unless your ISP is on Planet Stupid. In this case, get a real ISP and not one that delivers "damaged" service.)
          2) Use Spamassassin, and tune it according to the WIDELY available docs. SA even runs on Windows.

        • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @03:10PM (#15841867) Homepage Journal
          "my ISP blocks my smtp server...my spam filters aren't anywhere near as good as those i am provided with gmail or even my ISP's servers..."

          Well, check around. I found most ISP's will offer a business acccount. It is a few dollars a month more than regular, but, like with mine from Cox Cable...I have:

          • Static IP
          • No bandwidth limits
          • No Ports blocked
          • Basic SLA
          It isn't that much more money, and I can run any servers I want, hell, even make a little money hosting small site for people too...

          Check into the 'business account' that many if not most ISP's provide. It may cost a little more, but, that freedom to do and host what you please is quite worth it...to me at least.

      • by palad1 (571416) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @12:16PM (#15840373)
        I ran my own local imap store + fetchmail from my ISP + a very nice backup scheme (scp=>powerbook)

        Then one day, I lost several hard drives in one go (storm). Last week backups were corrupted, had to roll back to 2 weeks backups. I lost 400 mails, my gf lost about 10 mails.

        It's been six months, now I forward everything to several gmail/yahoo accounts, do a local backup of thunderbird's mboxes, and scp the backups to two different machines.

        To this day, I still can hear the screams from my One And Deareast Female User when I cry myself to sleep.

        Bottom line:
          - If you are single, yeah, host your server, it's fun, you learn a lot of stuff.
          - If you are not, paranoïa should be part of your base skillset.
        • by Fred_A (10934) <fred@fredshome.DEGASorg minus painter> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:04PM (#15840777) Homepage
          If you have aerial power lines power (common worldwide in the countryside) surges in a storm are indeed a potential problem so a secure power supply for your server is a must. In most cities, this isn't a widespread problem.

          Running your own mail server provides a number of advantages :
          • it's client agnostic (run an IMAP server)
          • you can setup filters easily
          • you can create as many addresses as you like and mangle them as much as you want


          On the other hand, it does require a little knowhow (with the number of HOWTOs floating around it's really not that hard), a dedicated connexion (although nowadays with widespread xDSL or cable this is much less of a problem than it used to be just a few years ago) and some kind of backup system. Some ISPs won't let you run a SMTP server though, in which case there really isn't much you can do (especially if it's the only ISP in your area as seems to be frequently the case in the US).

          For backups I use a little NAT box with 300GB of RAID 1 storage to dump the essential stuff on my network, including the mail directories. They are also copied to a secondary drive inside the mail server.

          Of course as the story illustrates, there is no absolute security. Your house may burn down, an asteroid may obliterate your region, or you might just type a space in the wrong place in your "rm" command ;)

          Apart from that, I've run my own mail server for ages now and I know I wouldn't want it any other way.
        • Bottom line: - If you are single, yeah, host your server, it's fun, you learn a lot of stuff. - If you are not, paranoïa should be part of your base skillset.

          Single or Not, Paranoia should be part of you skill set. Paranoia I'm sure has stopped some problems on my part. And while it's hard to quantify problems you don't have, I remember the problems I did have before I gained a certain level of paranoia.

          Now, I must prepare for the people who are watching me.

      • If you want real reliability, you pay for a mail service that with a guarantee. I trust their desire not to pay me over my diligence in making backups (I use the "hope my hard drive doesn't fail before I buy a new one" method, and it seems to work).
      • by spyrochaete (707033) <spyrochaete.hyppy@zapto@org> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:31PM (#15841527) Homepage Journal
        I ran a POP3/SMTP server for many years. It was a great experience and I learned volumes. Especially about open relays. One day I investigated why no email was being sent or recieved, and found an 800MB cache file clogging up the works thanks to 40,000 spams being sent from China. That took a little while to mop up.

        Spam became such a nuisance that I recently migrated to Google's free Gmail for your domain [google.com] hosting service. It's webmail and POP3 client complient and the spam filter is a friggin marvel. It intercepts at least 199 of every 200 spams. I highly recommend their service! Free access gets you 25 addresses with 2GB each!
    • What would make me angry is not that data was lost, as that is always possible, but that it was not backed up.
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:50AM (#15839694) Homepage
    and got

    404: The requested URL (hardware/06/08/03/1319220.shtml) was not found.

    Looks like PlusNet aren't the only ones losing things!

    I'm here all night, try the veal.
  • "oops" is spelled "t-h-a-n-k g-o-d f-o-r u-n-e-m-p-l-o-y-m-e-n-t b-e-n-e-f-i-t-s"
    • You're not generally eligible for unemployment benefits if you're fired for a good reason, such as, say, gross incompetence.
  • by Doches (761288) <Doches@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:53AM (#15839719)

    I imagine that if this sort of thing were to happen in the U.S., the government would get involved real quick. Not, you know, because some subscribers got hurt, but because all of those precious, precious terrorist communications that were lost forever, dooming the Fort Worth Convention Center to premature destruction at the hands of an angry Palestian truck driver.

    Or maybe this can't happen in the U.S. at all. Maybe there's some quiet deal where large ISPs can simply back their data up on blade servers in Langley...

    • Or maybe this can't happen in the U.S. at all. Maybe there's some quiet deal where large ISPs can simply back their data up on blade servers in Langley...

      More likely the gov't intercepts and archives them independently, and doesn't grant even the ISPs access. If it happened in the U.S., some gov't employee would be reading those 12GB of unread emails right now and saying to himself "oh man, john137@hotmail.com is going to be realllly pissed when he finds out they shipped his Viagra to the wrong address!"

  • by Yurka (468420) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:55AM (#15839733) Homepage
    Data retention laws do not facilitate or even mandate data retention, nor are they designed to. All they say is that when (not even if) you lose, misplace or destroy data, the government will come and kick your butt into next Sunday. Which is what shall now unfold.
  • by OakDragon (885217) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:55AM (#15839736) Journal
    Speaking for myself, a previously read email is trash. If there's something I want to save, I save it somewhere else, usually in a couple of places.

    But I know people who use email accounts as a repository for their online lives. Gmail is encouraging this attitude, of course. Now I think Google is probably a little more responsible, but it does give one pause.

    Now, for that unread email, that just sucks eggs for those poor people...

    • But I know people who use email accounts as a repository for their online lives. Gmail is encouraging this attitude, of course. Now I think Google is probably a little more responsible, but it does give one pause.

      I store every "insecure" e-mail I get on GMail and I'm happy to delete it from my server and my mobile device knowing that it's likely going to be available via the web.

      For "secure" and/or "important" e-mails, they get stored locally or on my mobile device and possibly even printed out and locked a
      • by artifex2004 (766107) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:49AM (#15840145) Journal
        For "secure" and/or "important" e-mails, they get stored locally or on my mobile device and possibly even printed out and locked away for later retrieval. "Important" e-mails will be archived on GMail but "secure" ones never are.


        What do you mean by "secure"? Surely you wouldn't trust anything that is a security concern with SMTP and possibly also POP3, two protocols where everything is sent plaintext.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Surely you wouldn't trust anything that is a security concern with SMTP and possibly also POP3, two protocols where everything is sent plaintext.


          Four words for you:

          ----- BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE -----
    • by Cthefuture (665326) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:26AM (#15839969)
      Eh? Using it as a file cabinet is how it should be used!

      I have every e-mail I have ever sent or received except for spam. I can't count how many times this has been useful. I don't want to waste time trying to figure out what I should keep or not, I keep it all. I do keep all of them local on my own hardware though. This allows me to protect and backup my own data.

      This is just a case of a poor backup strategy causing data loss that should not have happened.
  • by csplinter (734017) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:56AM (#15839747) Journal
    If the files were only accidentaly deleted and this was noticed in a timely manner, why would it be so damn diffacult to recover the files. I've seen data recovered from a hard drive that was on fire! (not while they were recovering the data :P )
    • "Accidentally deleted" probably means "we had a hardware failure and we're too cheap to recover everything".

      700GB was definitely over a couple of disks, probably a RAID box. If you lose a RAID controller in SOME(not most or all) brands of RAID boxes, it's very difficult to rebuild the map. I saw an NStor RAID box lose a controller, and it was impossible to recover.

      I wonder of how much was recovered was from tape? 12GB of unread email probably means "we didn't have a backup of the 12GB", though that's a L
      • "Accidentally deleted" probably means "we had a hardware failure and we're too cheap to recover everything".

        No: "Accidentally deleted" means that a technician was working on a backup storage system, but also had a window open to the primary, and reformatted the wrong one.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/11/plusnet_em ail_fiasco/ [theregister.co.uk]

        • I love it how that Reg article has a big advert in the middle asking "Do you have too much information?"

          How very apt
        • I've never known a sysadmin who hasn't made this mistake. Just never have I heard of a situation that was more spectacular than this. I still giggle when I remember being a first-year jr admin and I pulled the plug on the Juniper with 2 OC3s and a DS3 rather than the little catalyst 2950.. 2 minutes of downtime for 20k web sites =)
      • by idontgno (624372) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:31AM (#15840011) Journal

        "Accidentally deleted" probably means "we had a hardware failure and we're too cheap to recover everything".

        Actually, "Accidentally deleted" means "wiped the live disk array instead of the new disk array we were going to migrate on to." The Register has a brief writeup [theregister.co.uk].

        System Administrator Lesson 14: Shared consoles and remote administration are convenient, especially for wiping the wrong system. Check system ID before hitting enter!"

      • and this is why i only use RAID 1.. 5 is so nice but when it come down to failures well it hurts.. i am willing to take the speed hit because i know that that drive has a normal ass file system on it and i can stick it in anybox
    • Most mail servers use a RAID configuration to store data. I've successfully recovered data from single hard disks that had indeed caught fire, but never have I attempted (or read documentation on) recovering data that's been striped/mirrored across eight disks.
    • To be fair, they were probably NOT using Windows (which is much easier to recover deleted files from than Unix is.) Also, recovering a few gig on a drive is very different than recovering millions of files totalling HUNDREDS of gigs spanning dozens of drives. Most likely, the drive were not brand-new high density models. Many ISP's still have massive arrays of old 36G drives or smaller (which isn't really a bad thing considering the drive latency issues when supporting a million users. You want to spread yo
  • "Well that's one way to deal with spam"

    Shh! You insensitive clod! Some of us need that spam...how else are we supposed to maintain powerful erections with that "s3xy b@by"!

    Deleted emails? It obviously didn't run linux...ah no wait, hang on.
  • by halr9000 (465474) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:59AM (#15839769) Homepage
    "My bad."
  • ISP Accidentally Deletes 700GB of Email
    I just wonder how inevitable losses like this one square with the EU-wide data retention laws.

    Well, since it was an accident... wait, or was it?
  • Spam is heavy (Score:3, Informative)

    by andrewzx1 (832134) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:01AM (#15839796) Homepage Journal
    I administer an Exchange email server for a small company. On average 60% of all our mail is spam and it adds up to several MB of spam per user per week. If users don't make a daily effort to delete spam, it does fill the email storage. Spam is more than annoying, it costs money in storage and processing. You may laugh at the ISP's problem but I have had to manually delete email from user's accounts when they would process their spam. Yes, we have a professional server spam filter, and it works for 99.8% of the time.
    • This begs another question: Why is 60% of your mail spam? Even CRAPPY anti-spam systems work better than that, so you must not have anything at all.

      Do yourself a favor: put a *nix box (or 12) in front of your exchange box running an MTA with clamav / spamassassin on it. If *nix isn't your gig, buy an appliance (there are many) or outsource your MX to a service. Frankly, IMHO, Exchange should NEVER EVER be directly connected to the internet (for many reasons. Search google.)

      I setup a simple (near zero admini
    • Only 60%? I passed the 60% mark 2 years ago. My current stats are 98% spam 2% legitimate mail - it's a bitch to filter the last few percent (the majority is easy... check for a valid to address and do sender verification.. that kills 90% of it right there (unfortunately along with some mail from systems that insist on having invalid return addresses (hello cisco! Sort out your broken email system!)).

      I currently block over 11 thousand spams a day.. and that's for a small company with 4 employees. I'd hat
    • You might look at AppRiver for spam filtering. We use them as a proxy for our incoming mail, and 99% of it never hits our server at all. Makes things much better than users having to spend their time meesing with spam.
    • Give your users quotas. Setup a periodic check that lets users know they're reaching their quota, with a message saying that if they hit it, they will not receive any new mail. When their mailbox fills up, they'll quickly learn the values of keeping it clean.
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:04AM (#15839807) Homepage
    By their estimates, up to 12GB of these had yet to be read by their recipients.

    Here's the break down:
    • 3GB: Viagra
    • 3GB: Manhood Enhancements
    • 2GB: Lonely Housewives in your area
    • 3.9GB: Loans
    • 100MB: Various GIFs of the Zidane headbutt from the World Cup
  • Technical details (Score:5, Informative)

    by alanxyzzy (666696) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:04AM (#15839810)
    According to this posting at ADSLGuide (which might be the text found at one of the links in the announcement linked to above), the initial problem was exacerbated by the technician trying to create a new volume of the same size as the one he had just deleted. This left a load of orphaned i-nodes on the second and third volumes. http://bbs.adslguide.org.uk/showthreaded.php?Cat=& Board=plusnet&Number=2600008 [adslguide.org.uk]
    • Hmm, interesting way of trying to recover the data, but I have to wonder what lead to his mistake of deleting the three volumes in the first place. That would be the interesting story to me, but unfortunately, it's mostly a story mostly of what followed:

      Firstly you need to understand that in an attempt to recover the data swiftly, the engineer who deleted the 3 volumes in the first place swiftly followed up his error ...

      It's still an interesting story though, with other aspects making things even harder for

    • Re:Technical details (Score:3, Informative)

      by cortana (588495)
      NNG NNG NNG

      dd if=/dev/buggered_disk of=image

      And do all your work on the image file!

      IDIOTS!
  • by Psychotext (262644) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:06AM (#15839827)
    The company I work for offers email services to our clients. We've had hardware failures of course, but then we also have our backups so that in the worst case you're going to lose a day (or whatever it is) of mail. So where were the backups in this case? Sure, it costs money to backup mail... but having seen the reaction from businesses when a day of mail is lost, I'd hate to be in the firing line if we lost more than that.

    Or am I missing the point and actually 700gb of mail was just one day?
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:09AM (#15839844)

    I've been with PlusNet for years, and they were a pretty good ISP until a few months ago. Since then, we've had a string of problems, of which this is only the latest.

    I've had my broadband connection out more than on for weeks at a time, for a start. This in itself is inexcusable. What's even more inexcusable is telling me I had to accept a significant penalty charge if they escalated the fault to my telephone service provider (BT) and they found no fault -- which doesn't sound unreasonable, until you know that the fault was evident using nothing but PlusNet-supplied hardware plugged into a BT-installed phone socket, with no complications whatsoever, and that PlusNet had already indicated that they themselves couldn't diagnose a fault. This was a total loss of service for hours at a time, several days a week, remember.

    On top of that, they decided to forcibly upgrade everyone to "up to 8MB" broadband recently. The ethics of using that term are dubious at best: it's only for downloading; the highest recorded speeds off-peak are more like 5-6; and at peak times you'll be lucky to get more than 1-2. Moreover, they acknowledged ahead of time that there would be significant disruption (for weeks, not hours) to each customer after the upgrade, they said they wouldn't confirm when any given customer was being upgraded (so no idea whether the problems I had were to do with this or some more general issue, then) and they said some customers' performance would actually drop but they wouldn't revert the change if this happened. They had so many problems with this that they have now suspended/abandoned the process, and sent a grovelling e-mail message to their customers.

    Their tech support people have also been completely over-run, partly due to inadequate resources and partly due to their own incompetence (e.g., they totally failed to read a note I'd helpfully left on their system for them clarifying a question they always ask, and asked the question in boilerplate form anyway). To add insult to injury, they've changed their phone system in ways that have repeatedly broken, and now mean you go through several layers of automated menus before talking to a real person. Yes, they really did tell me at one stage that if I was experiencing broadband connectivity faults, I could find more information on their web site.

    And now, of course, we have the e-mail fiasco. It's not the first big e-mail problem: I've recently had legitimate and important messages from the sysadmins of another service I use being bounced because they "contained a virus". (Not according to the other service, whose admins I know and trust, nor according to one well-respected intermediate service that was involved in forwarding the mail.) Moreover, this occurred even when I disabled virus checking for incoming e-mail; they were blocking incoming messages to me against my explicit instructions. Oh, and their new webmail system is poor in functionality and so bug-ridden that you can actually lose data. Some of this, in particular an arbitrary time-out for composing mails using webmail, was regarded as a feature when I asked the support staff about it!

    I don't know what's happened to PlusNet. Perhaps they have simply been victims of their own success, after getting very positive comments for years (they were widely regarded as one of the best ISPs in the UK for a while) and a consequent boost in custom? In any case, the mighty have well and truly fallen, and I (along with many other people I know) am currently investigating alternatives as a matter of urgency.

  • These Things Happen. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by amper (33785) * on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:13AM (#15839875) Homepage Journal
    I feel sorry for the guy who accidentally erased the array, and equally sorry for the people whose data was lost, but these things will happen. Just a couple of months ago, I myself had to dig through a few years worth of backups, because when I transferred abpout 100GB of files from one array to another under Mac OS X Server, I forgot to use the "ditto -rsrc" command, rather than "cp -Rp". Oops. All of the metadata for the files was lost. Not an unrecoverable situation, but it still cost me thousands of dollars in unbillable hours to correct the problem. You can be sure I won't be making the same mistake again, as I am sure the person who fracked the PlusNet system will more than likely never make an equivalent error.

    It just goes to show, for PlusNet's customers, that electronic systems cannot be fully trusted, even when and if multiple instances of the data exist. We can approach an approximation of 100% reliability, but we can't ever fully eliminate the possibility of data loss, especially when human error is involved.

    Another time in an incident that is mostly unrelated to the topic at hand but makes for a good story, I had a customer who lost their array in a PC server. The machine had an array of full height HDDs that would get so hot within five minutes of power up that you couldn't touch them without gloves. To top it off, the tape drive mechanism that was supposedly backing up the system was sitting directly above the arrary, with a backup job that had been running over and over nightly on the same cartridge for over two years (so you can be certain the tape was useless).

    It took about three weeks, but I was eventually able to recover all the data on the array (so far as we were able to determine at the time).
  • NSA has 'em (Score:5, Funny)

    by slcdb (317433) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:14AM (#15839881) Homepage
    They should just ask the NSA to send their copies of the emails to PlusNet.

    Heck, the NSA could turn this into a side business. If they spin it right, maybe they can convince the general public that they're not spying, they're just providing a cutting-edge data backup service!
  • As a BOFH I regularly delete 5-10 gigs of mail a day when users ask me for more space. After all... they DID ask me for more space, so I gave it to them. ;P
  • Quality Company (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WebfishUK (249858) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:21AM (#15839929)
    I've been a PlusNet user for several years now and have nothing but praise for them. Reliable service, competitive pricing and excellent support. However, I've always used Yahoo for my email...

  • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:29AM (#15839994) Homepage
    "Hey what's this big red *Press ONLY in case of federal investigation!* button for?"

    *click*
  • poor intern (Score:5, Funny)

    by theonetruekeebler (60888) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:29AM (#15839995) Homepage Journal
    "Hey, there were a bunch of hidden files in my home directory, so I typed rm -rf .* to get rid of them. That shouldn't take half an hour, should it?"

    (I'm so nervous seeing that on my screen I'm afraid to hit the "Submit" button)

    • by Skapare (16644)

      No, it shouldn't take half an hour. You obviously need to get a faster computer, faster disk, and configure the DMA correctly :-)

      Oh, and I hid some files in your root directory for you to practice on.

  • "Daddy..." (Score:4, Funny)

    by plasmacutter (901737) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:34AM (#15840031)
    "what does this button do?"

    -NOOOOOO!
  • FTA: Our data recovery specialists have been able to provide a partial file list of the email data, but it has since become clear that we will not be able to recover the directory structure. Without the directory structure we cannot recover any meaningful data, due to complexity of associating the data with the relevant customer accounts.

    If they've got the e-mails why not just re-queue it? Surely the "To" field is a bit of a give-away.

  • Spam Filter (Score:3, Funny)

    by weasello (881450) <weasel@nOsPAm.greensheep.ca> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:39AM (#15840059) Homepage
    Spam Filter

    Filter with 0% Tolerance
    Are you absolutely sure?

    [ok] [cancel]
  • ...I don't recall working for PlusNet.
  • by Skapare (16644) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:50AM (#15840151) Homepage

    They had all their eggs in one basket? Where's the live replica machine? Where are the redundant copies? Oh wait, this is a for-profit business. Never mind.

  • Oh, woe... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:52AM (#15840164)
    I guess some Nigerians will have trouble making the rent this month now.
  • but would it be so hard to have a "backup to CD" button on any/all email clients? I mean, all it's gotta do is store all of the data from every email in every folder in the user's inbox (be it imap or pop3) into an easy-to-read file structure of some sort (XML?), right? This isn't off-topic; the biggest reason this is "that big of a deal" is because of how incredibly un-intuitive (or, in some cases, down right near impossible) the method of email backup is. Would it really be that difficult to create a u
  • I'd love to hear a podcast interview with the guy to see what he was thinking, to see if he got fired, to see if he feels sorry, etc. It would be interesting to see how such a public screwup affects a sysadmin.

  • Spam is one thing; I just wonder how inevitable losses like this one square with the EU-wide data retention laws [bbc.co.uk].
    For that matter, how do anti-spam measures that delete mail square with the EU data retention laws?

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