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Hotmail Delivers Far Fewer Emails with Attachments 315

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the dead-letter-office dept.
biednyFacet writes "It has long been suspected that there is a silent policy that makes Hotmail automatically delete the majority of attachments to save on bandwidth and internal disk space. Therefore it really doesn't matter if every client has access to 2GB of storage since they don't deliver the attachments to fill that space up anyway. If that truly is the case, then Microsoft may be liable for several hundred million cases of conspiracy and mail fraud."
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Hotmail Delivers Far Fewer Emails with Attachments

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  • by bluephone (200451) * <<grey> <at> <burntelectrons.org>> on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:52AM (#19923311) Homepage Journal
    Oh dear lord. Email is not ruled by the same laws governing the USPS. There is no mail fraud here people! And conspiracy? Give me a break. At worst it's false advertising. It's like the name "Microsoft" just turns of the "rational thinking" switch.
    • by Architect_sasyr (938685) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:55AM (#19923327)

      Email is not ruled by the same laws governing the USPS.
      Assuming the statistics are correct (81%? I've never lost a single email) I would assume that the laws are EXACTLY the same as the USPS (or the AusPOST for that matter). ;)
      • by ameyer17 (935373) <slashdot@ameyer17.com> on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:02AM (#19923375) Homepage
        Yeah, because Hotmail is a pseudo-governmental entity with special rules governing it. Now, they might be liable if discarding the attachment caused some sort of damages. I suspect this may be partly because of an attempt at spam filtering since many spammy emails have attachments.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Because hotmail is usually sooooooo good at stopping actual spam emails...
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by ameyer17 (935373)
            Yeah, I hear their spam filter sucks. I never said their attempt was particularly successful.
        • by jsse (254124) on Friday July 20, 2007 @03:24AM (#19924021) Homepage Journal
          I suspect this may be partly because of an attempt at spam filtering since many spammy emails have attachments.

          Quite the opposite.

          Fyi., typical spams are less than 100K overall, so majority of the commercial spam filters are not scanning mails for spamming when individual size exceeds 500K. Of course you could change the default, but the performance would be dragged down severely.
      • Proof or citations that might support your argument are lacking. To my knowledge, there is no law for email reliability and certainly no requirement that every piece of email be delivered. The law that governs those servers appears to be, "MS's property, MS's rules," and they can bloody well decide that they don't want to store certain attachments if they so desire.

        I run my own email server, and I don't see anyone trying to force me to keep certain attachments here. For what it's worth, I've stopped accepti
    • by SnowZero (92219) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:58AM (#19923345)
      No kidding, "conspiracy and mail fraud" is way over the top. There's probably a loophole in the ToS anyway to cover this.

      What you will probably see is angry users and complaints; That's the right way to solve this sort of thing. I wish the populate would try complaints or a boycott instead of jumping immediately to calls of corruption and a class action lawsuit.
      • by zCyl (14362) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:03AM (#19923391)

        There's probably a loophole in the ToS anyway to cover this.

        Like giving people a full refund? :)
        • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:58AM (#19923669)

          Like giving people a full refund? :)
          MS could probably afford it.

          Hotmail has been running for many years with what, millions of users, that's got to be a LOT of ad impressions that users have paid with to use the service. Let's say 10 impressions per session, at an average of 3 sessions per week for 2 million users for 10 years.

          That's 10 * 3 * 52 * 2,000,000 * 10 = 31,200,000,000 ad impressions.

          Assuming Hotmail has been dredging the users' email to provide targeted impressions, that's got to be at least 0.1 cents per impression, so 31B * $0.001 = $31M.

          So $31M as a bare minimum to give people a full refund. That's certainly within MS's reach.

          Oh wait, you thought because the users only indirectly pay MS through the fees MS charges advertisers for the user's attention that really the user's weren't paying anything at all? Like MS ever gives away something for nothing.
          • by Akoman (559057) <medwards@walledcity.ca> on Friday July 20, 2007 @03:15AM (#19923979) Homepage
            You totally missed the joke. This is regarding the fact that you are supposed to be able to receive a full refund for unused OEM copies of Windows on your computers but this has traditionally (and I believe continues to be) impossible to actually obtain. Which is probably a EULA thing or something equivalent to a TOS.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            It's pretty simple: you are allowed, in return, to display some of your ads to Hotmail staff.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Stanislav_J (947290)

            So $31M as a bare minimum to give people a full refund. That's certainly within MS's reach.

            Considering as how a large portion of Hotmail accounts are obtained with totally bogus sign-up information, I'd be willing to bet most of that money would end up absolutely nowehere. The folks that use Hotmail to engage in dubious dialogue and activities behind a spouse/partner's back, or to register for throwaway one-time visits to sites that require an e-mail address, or just in general to have some small, pathe

            • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Friday July 20, 2007 @06:32AM (#19924803)
              Dear Friend,

              Please do not be offended to receive my message in this manner as I ought to have sought your consent and approval before e-mailing this proposal to you. I acted as I did due to the importance and urgency the situation demanded.

              I own just over half of the 'Spam' accounts on hotmail and I will soon receive just over half of the $31 million dollar refund. I need some help transferring this money out of Nigeria...
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by suv4x4 (956391)
            Man you're so convincing, you gotta get a lawyer and demand your money back right now. If someone laughs, ignore 'em, it's because they're jealous they didn't think of it first.

            I'll try, with your, permission, the same business model to see if I can get the New York representatives pay me, because of all the billboards.
      • by spoco2 (322835) on Friday July 20, 2007 @02:41AM (#19923851)
        I mean, I have had a Hotmail account since... um... 1998 or 1997 or something, a very long time anyway, and NOTHING that I've sent to or from it with attachments has EVER gone 'missing' in the wild.

        Is it possible that this guy, who has questionable scientific methods, maybe created his emails (which he doesn't show us their contents so we can't check) in such a way that they looked liked SPAM? Attachments are awfully popular in spam, and if he was creating these random emails with random attachments then they probably looked a fair bit like spam to the Bayesian filters.

        If he had created REAL emails with, oh, I dunno, a PURPOSE, then they probably wouldn't have been filtered.

        It's just a guess... I have no proof, other than I've never, ever come across this 'phenomenon' of his, and he just doesn't even address Spam filters until late in the comments on his article, and even then he doesn't seem to 'get' how they work.

        I might just do some tests and see what happens... I'll report back with what I find.
    • by eclectro (227083) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:01AM (#19923361)

      the name "Microsoft" just turns of the "rational thinking" switch.
      No, it just turns the screen blue.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by smilindog2000 (907665)
      False advertising is probably more accurate. However, Microsoft is not the only culprit. Yahoo regularly drops my e-mails if I attach a multi-megabyte file, without any bounce or warning. Also, I pay for this mail service, so it's not just the free accounts. When e-mails with large attachments do get through, they are often quite delayed, like an hour or more. Yahoo also forwards hundreds of spam e-mails to me every day, and SFAIK, there's not much I can do about it. The right place to stop spam is wh
      • by Nutria (679911) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:05AM (#19923399)
        Yahoo regularly drops my e-mails if I attach a multi-megabyte file, without any bounce or warning. Also, I pay for this mail service, so it's not just the free accounts.
        [snip]
        Yahoo also forwards hundreds of spam e-mails to me every day, and SFAIK, there's not much I can do about it.


        Sure you can!! You can stop paying Yahoo for shoddy service.

        • Sure you can!! You can stop paying Yahoo for shoddy service.

          I wish :-) It's a company account, and only my e-mail address seems to be widely known to spammers. Everyone else seems fairly happy with the service, especially since you can check your mail on-line (which I almost never do).
          • by Bert64 (520050)
            Are there any email accounts which you can't check online?
            I dont think my mail server needs to be disconnected from the internet before it will let me read the mail that's on it...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:18AM (#19923465)
      Not only mail fraud and conspiracy - don't forget kidnapping (if the attachments were ever sentient) and probably murder (same)
    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday July 20, 2007 @02:10AM (#19923733)

      Oh dear lord. Email is not ruled by the same laws governing the USPS. There is no mail fraud here people!


      If Microsoft, like many other online service providers, advertises or solicits business via the mail (certainly, they've done that for MSN, though I don't know if they have for Hotmail per se), it is governed by the same law that governs anyone else making such solicitations (not the USPS, but other postal service users).

      OTOH, any online fraudulent solicitations by Microsoft would be more likely to be wire fraud, but Microsoft may be insulated from such charges from "free" users since Microsoft, while it uses them to get money from advertisers who hope to target them, does not get money or property from the users directly.

      On the third hand, depending on how they market to advertisers, they may be guilty of fraud (regular, wire, mail, or all three) if they've misrepresented to them the kind of service their advertising will be associated with, since that is quite arguably a material misrepresentation directly to induce the advertiser to give money or property to Microsoft.

    • by sumdumass (711423)
      It may be more then false advertising. How about wire fraud. I know it might be a stretch but then again, the more Email is being used and accepted in court cases as evidence for or against others, something might be covering it.
    • it's a stretch but it could be considered wire fraud, if we can think that microsoft saved money by doing this intentionally. but it's a really far stretch. maybe if you all paid for those hotmail accounts there might be something to the argument. The service agreement that all users agree to when they create an account is likely iron clad anyways.
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      Not only that, but it's a free service...
      And it never guaranteed to deliver all your mail, or even *any* mail at all. Infact, you have absoloutely no guarantee of service. Didn't you read the signup agreement?
  • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Friday July 20, 2007 @12:58AM (#19923347)
    It's amazing that Hotmail drops "up to" 81% of all attachments! My gosh, one would certainly begin to wonder why nobody else has noticed this and why there hasn't been a massive uproar! This lone, rational crusader has found a massive conspiracy hiding in plain sight!

    Haha. I've pooped more meaningful articles.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brandybuck (704397)
      Since when do conspiracy mongers need facts? Make shit up and publish it, that's their motto.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I think it would have carried more weight if it included other free email providers not just ISPs to compare to.
      • Or more than 4 email accounts. With something as easily tested as this, any actual research would be laughed out of the journal for using so few test subjects.
        • by sumdumass (711423)
          I didn't RTFA but what files were weeded out or droped? Most of the mail servers that I admin drop all executables without regard to the file extension into a special folder. A link is then added if one of the administrator account sees or knows the file is expected. And then of course, there is the antivirus that strips most all of the virus's from the email.

          I would say that about better then 80% of the legit files get through without any issues. But that 80% of legit files is probably less then 50% of all
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by walnutmon (988223)
      I spent about 10 minutes googling stuff such as "hotmail failed delivery" and adding or subtracting words... Most of the hits I got were unrelated, "dude, i didn't get emails!? wtf?"

      I got this hit, which is remotely interesting [iis-aid.com]... Basically the guy states that starting in April hotmail has had issues getting mail in from certain mail servers... I got the link from Wikipedia...

      Regardless, the fact that there isn't a big uproar is usually a pretty good indication that there isn't anything insidious goi
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by robosmurf (33876) *
        I'm a hotmail user and I can well believe the loss rate.

        However, I can also believe those who state that they have never lost mail.

        Why? Because they are being eaten by hotmail's spam filters, which, despite no mention of this in the hotmail documentation DO siliently delete mail. No, they don't end up in the junk mail folder.

        Thus, if you get attachments from accounts that don't get caught by the spam filter, then you won't see a loss.

        However, if someone random sends you an attachment, then hotmail is very l
  • by jomagam (512625) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:00AM (#19923355)
    I've been using Hotmail infrequently for years and never lost an attachment.
    • by DMNT (754837)
      A small sports club I'm working for as a webmaster, postmaster, listmaster and .*master often gets complaints that the members haven't received the mails sent on lists even though they have joined the mailing lists and that they have a valid hotmail address in there. Yet I've never thought about the reason why some are dropped and some are not - but I guess the attachments have something to do with this.

      This definitely is the case, no bounces or anything are sent. Today I sent them mail that everybody shoul
  • Spam filter? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Corbets (169101) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:00AM (#19923357) Homepage
    I know we all love to bash MS, but they are *good* at making money and unlikely to put themselves in quite such a position where it'd be easy to sue them (well, successfully).

    I think the "over-zealous" spam filter explanation is much more likely...
    • Re:Spam filter? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gujo-odori (473191) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:20AM (#19923489)
      There's nothing anyone could sue for; like most everything else, Hotmail comes with no warranty, express or implied. And because they don't charge for it and have no SLA, the biggest shyster lawyer in the world couldn't throw anything at that wall that would stick.

      The spam filter idea is indeed the most likely cause, though. I've been in the email security business for four years and was a postmaster at an ISP before that, and this phenomenon has "spam filter" written all over it.

      Well, OK, second most likely. I read TFA and what it really has written all over it is "bullshit." Description of the test mails is pretty sketchy, doesn't mention if the attachments were fake, real, or some mix of the two, if they contained spam or viruses or not, etc. (if they did, it would certainly produce numbers like TFA puts up), no samples of the mails used, etc. In short, it bears little resemblance to what one might call a "real" study. I'm sure I'm not the only mail admin who read it and called BS.

      The whole thing reads like nothing but a smear job on MS, and a million miles from unbiased. I dislike MS as much as anyone, but TFA is just whack. I mean, there's so many bad things about so many MS products that we *know* are true, why does somebody need to make up stuff like this?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DrSkwid (118965)
        Not all hotmail is free :

        http://get.live.com/1586062162?workarea=1 [live.com]
        The Windows Live Hotmail Plus yearly subscription of £14.99 (inc VAT) includes 4 Gigabytes of total Windows Live Hotmail account space, the ability to send larger attachments up to 20 MB, no graphical ads, and exemption from the account expiration policy. Refund only available if cancelled within one month from purchase and automatically renews yearly unless cancelled. You will receive a renewal letter 30 days prior to the renewal date.
        • Interesting, thanks for that info.

          We can certainly infer, based on that, that there is a maximum message size of some value less than 20 meg for free accounts. That could certainly explain some undelivered mail, both inbound and outbound; however, it would be very bad behavior indeed on Hotmail's part if the response to an over-sized mail were to drop it on the floor rather than give it a 5xx bounce.
    • Indeed. From TFA, it sounds like what he was sending back and forth was megabytes of meaningless garbage. Entirely possible that an aggressive spam filter would dump it. It should, if it's doing a good job.

      And, er, good luck on trying to convince millions of Joe 'n' Jane Sixpacks (who are not, typically, sending 1.9 Mb PowerPoint slides to each other) that a hyperaggressive spam filter is a bad thing.

      (I leave entirely aside the digg.com(TM) style teenage hysteria about mail fraud and conspiracy. Geez, t
    • Microsoft has just allocated one billion US dollars on fixing problems with the XBox -- and still posted a sizable profit. So, one must ask: (a) how likely is it that they wouldn't pay a few hundred extra dollars for extra disk drives, and (b) how likely is it that they'd give a damn if anyone sued them anyway?

      My guess is that Microsoft will have bought the drives in bulk (it's cheaper and easier) and are very unlikely to be coming even remotely close to being in a position where Hotmail couldn't be alloc

    • by Carewolf (581105)
      Oh. Like GMail?

      GMail lose around 50% of emails with zip-files attached. If you are lucky, they will even tell you they have lost it, because they thought it contained viruses. I had 4 PDFs I generated myself, that I just couldn't send through GMail, until I re-packed them using RAR.
  • This is cool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kingdon (220100) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:01AM (#19923363) Homepage
    No, stop the microsoft-bashing long enough to look at what is going on here.

    The left hand invents a bloated file format that makes a 2000-byte document take up a megabyte (or whatever the exact anti-compression ratio is). (For current purposes, we'll say Microsoft Office. Not the only offender, but the most amusing in this context).

    Now, the right hand figures out that they don't feel like sending all those bloated bits over the wire. Users will eventually figure out they should be sending plain text, perhaps.

    Just sit back and watch the show. If we had *tried* to promote open standards in email, we couldn't have done this well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by slittle (4150)

      The left hand invents a bloated file format that makes a 2000-byte document take up a megabyte (or whatever the exact anti-compression ratio is).

      I don't have real Office here, but I've got OpenOffice. Lets see... 2048 bytes of English text...

      DOC(6, 95): 64k
      DOC(97): 68k
      Office 2003 XML: 16k
      ODT: 20k

      Of course, the ODT is compressed with ZIP and the DOC isn't.

      ODT uncompressed: 120k.
      DOC(95) compressed: 5k.

      And that's ignoring the fact that the *Office suits and their formats are designed for complex layout, so th

  • by ChromeAeonium (1026952) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:05AM (#19923401)
    That seems a bit extreme to call it conspiracy and fraud. Lots of MS related things don't work half the time. Is it a conspiracy when IE doesn't load an image?
    It may be worth noting that the first three paragraphs of the article were ranting about how much Microsoft sucks, so at least we know there was no bias.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:06AM (#19923411)

    It has long been suspected that there is a silent policy that makes network routers automatically drop packets to save on bandwidth. Therefore it really doesn't matter if every client has access to 1 GB/s of Ethernet, since the routers don't deliver the packets to fill up that bandwidth anyway. If that's truly the case, then router manufacturers may be liable for several hundred billion cases of conspiracy and wire fraud.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      From TFA:

      If Intent Can Be Proven, Cisco Could Face Millions Of Packets Fraud Charges

      Cisco's market capitalization is approximately $133 billion dollars. Let's put that into a bit of perspective. That's enough money to feed and provide medical care for every single AIDS orphan in Africa for 101 years. To put it another way, it's a pile of stacked $100 bills 10 feet wide, 24 feet deep and 16.8 stories high.

      You would think that someone in San Jose, California could take time out from counting all tha
  • I'm skeptical (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WoTG (610710) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:09AM (#19923427) Homepage Journal
    Someone would have noticed if 80% of emails with attachments were not delivered! Really, there are millions of hotmail.com users. At least a few of them get email attachments once in a while.

    I'm guessing this "test" used emails that looked like spam. It would help to know which ISPs were used and how the messages were sent.

    Or maybe there wasn't really a test and this is all just Slashdot spam.

    Anyway, I expect that a hundred people are sending each other hotmail attachments right now, so we'll have better data in a few hours...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tokul (682258)

      Someone would have noticed if 80% of emails with attachments were not delivered!

      And some people noticed [gmane.org] that something is wrong with hotmail.

      Email servers should not drop messages. Messages must land in some mailbox or they must bounce back to sender.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by WoTG (610710)
        Well, I can't comment on the gmane thread re: squirrelmail.

        But about bounces, I don't expect them anymore. The huge volumes of SPAM have made me disable bounces for at least one domain that I manage - the NDR bounces were piling up in the queue by the thousand.

        Even if I do get bounce backs from messages that I send, I wouldn't normally notice them since all of the NDRs get filtered straight to junk box at my end. Again, this is because of all the joe-job spam runs with spammers using my domains in the fro
      • by jimicus (737525)
        Email servers should not drop messages. Messages must land in some mailbox or they must bounce back to sender.

        Keyword here is "should". There's plenty of things can go wrong on a mail server which can stop that from happening - and the larger and more complicated the mail system gets, the more likely this is to happen.
    • by Delgul (515042)

      I'm guessing this "test" used emails that looked like spam.

      And this is what we call 'false positives' since it obviously was NOT spam. Typically you should have much less than 1 in 1000 of those for legitimate mail if your spam filtering is to be any good. If M$'s spam filtering takes out so many messages it really really sucks big time. So, even from M$ i can not believe this is true. Something else must be happening...

      Frankly I cannot believe that so many mails get lost. But then afain, I only use my hotmail account to connect to MSN with Gaim and never EVER use

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by robosmurf (33876) *
      They would, and for one, I have.

      I've complained bitterly about this to hotmail support without result.

      The problem is that the 81% is misleading.

      If the mail is coming from a known sender, then it is likely to get though, which is why people don't see a loss.

      However, mail from a random address with an attachment is very likely to get silently dropped (no, it doesn't end up in the junk mail folder). Most users probably ARE losing a lot of mail, but as this mail is probably from people who have not mailed them
  • apples and oranges (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moderatorrater (1095745) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:10AM (#19923431)
    Comparing and ISP's mail service to Hotmail is like comparing apples to oranges; they're both email suppliers, but ISP's charge you lots of money a month and have significantly lower amounts of email.

    Also, the article takes a lot of pains to say how perfect the experiment is. A perfect experiment would have included at least a handful of other free email services.
    • by belmolis (702863)

      This was only a test of whether Hotmail drops email with attachments, not a comparison of Hotmail with other services. There was therefore no need to include other free services. Moreover, the article explicitly states that the test was done using PAID accounts, not the free service.

      • It was a test of whether or not it drops more emails than other email services. So it was a comparison. Second, while he used a paid account, hotmail is still primarily a free service and more similar to other online services than to an ISP. An ISP services a relatively small geographic location, the free email providers service multiple countries. The sheer numbers of subscribers, volume of use and types of use are also going to be more similar between the free services. Therefore, they would have been a m
        • by belmolis (702863)

          It was a test of whether or not it drops more emails than other email services.

          The article does not say this. You're reading into it something it doesn't say.

    • by billstewart (78916) on Friday July 20, 2007 @02:04AM (#19923703) Journal
      If you RTFM, you'd see that this was paid Hotmail service, not just the free service. So they ought to be providing professional quality service, and apparently they're not.


      And as far as other ISPs charging you lots of money per month, that's not normally the case for *email* service. My DSL service does cost me about $50/month (but I've got static IP addresses), but my mail-forwarder is $15/year, my ISP where I've got a shell account and run procmail is $7/month, and my wife uses Fastmail as an email provider for $19/year (they've also got free mail and $15-onetime options.)

  • Bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dedazo (737510) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:14AM (#19923447) Journal
    What the fuck? I regularly send myself emails with all sorts of attachments from work to my Hotmail account. Other than the occasional spam false positive, I've *never* once failed to receive them. This is an infantile "investigation" at best, another AdSense dollar troll "let's bash Microsoft because it's cool" FUD blog whore with a chip in his shoulder and some really painful grade school grammar.

    Oh, and he never does mention if he checked his fucking spam folder. I wonder what's in there.

    Seriously, this is just too fucking much. Made worse of course by the fact that Slashdot is now partaking on the page impression revenue. Next comes Digg and every other "news" website. Spreading FUD on teh interwebs sure is profitable!

    • Oh, and he never does mention if he checked his fucking spam folder. I wonder what's in there.

      That's a valid point, he didn't check his spam folder. However, let's say that Hotmail flagged 80% of the emails in this test as 'spam', despite the emails not being spam - that's not very good either.

      Overall TFA did attempt to control for various factors, but the spam issue is indeed an oversight. Another problem is the lack of control for not having attachments - no emails were tested that lacked attachments

    • No, he doesn't say if he checked the spam folders, but his outgoing mail from Hotmail to them got lost too. If he checked and didn't find them, that's interesting. If 81% ended up in spam buckets, then of course that's just probably-overactive spam filters.


      It's possible that it ended up in the spam folders on his other ISPs - certainly *I'd* expect email from Hotmail containing a random attachment to be spam :-)

      • If 81% ended up in spam buckets, then of course that's just probably-overactive spam filters.

        So long as the bucket's in his mailbox, like a spam folder, that's okay as far as I'm concerned. I'd only be worried if messages were silently discarded by the ISP. Once it's accepted, NOTHING should ever be dropped... I'd be lynched if I tried something like that.

        The type (translates to "anything") and size (translates to "anything") of the attachments are mentioned in the vaguest terms, and nothing else is s

    • by joe 155 (937621)
      Well for my part, to counter you, I've only ever tried to send an attachment once in hotmail in the last 4 years or so and only tried to receive one or two in about that time (I only use it for an account for GAIM). Anyway, I can tell you anecdotally that not one of them successfully reached the other side. I've also heard a lot of people complain that hotmail is really bad at spam insomuch as it blocks legitimate e-mails and then tries to make people pay thousands of dollars to get registered as "not a spa
  • Gmail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tsa (15680) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:20AM (#19923493) Homepage
    This 'research' has much more value if the way Hotmail handles attachments can be compared to Gmail. This is just MS bashing in my eyes now.
  • Makes me wonder what kind of spam/virus attachments this guy sends.
  • Profit? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Z80xxc! (1111479) on Friday July 20, 2007 @01:38AM (#19923571)
    1. Send a bunch of emails with attachments and with titles like "V!agra", "OEM CHEEP Sotware", "Slashdot Daily FUD", etc.
    2. Never check spam box
    3. Write an article full of FUD
    4. Submit is to Slashdot
    5. ???
    6. Profit!!
  • by akkarin (1117245) on Friday July 20, 2007 @02:07AM (#19923721)
    From the article:

    Each day, I would log onto Hotmail-1 and send/receive that day's twenty emails to Hotmail-2
    Did he ever consider that the spam filters at Hotmail, or his ISP of choice, considered it suspicious that he sent 20 email, all within a few minutes of each other, all with attachments, all to the same account?
  • 1) e-mail isn't United States Mail, in the United states mail fraud only applies to U.S. mail. Even is you send a real item some other way (such as Fed Ex or private courier), it's not mail fraud unless you send it through the mail.

    2) Microsoft is above the law anyway.

  • I've been using hot mail for a long time (since 1998?) and have not observed this problem.
  • by snotty (19670) on Friday July 20, 2007 @02:24AM (#19923787) Homepage
    Disclosure - I work for Microsoft... but come on... this is not even good enough to be a April Fools day joke...
  • hmmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by WeeBit (961530)
    Quick! everyone test that theory. Best way to find out is to send attachments to Hotmail accounts. In the news... Hotmail was brought to it's knees after several hundred thousand users tested the service to see if their attachments would actually get through. Film at 11. /nutty humor
  • by SmlFreshwaterBuffalo (608664) on Friday July 20, 2007 @02:46AM (#19923875)

    Therefore it really doesn't matter if every client has access to 2GB of storage since they don't deliver the attachments to fill that space up anyway.
    Don't worry. They more than make up for it with extra spam to fill the void.
  • ... I propose that nobody replicate the stated methods and compare their results with those from the article. An empirical test with hard data would make it impossible for everyone to prove their point by stating they never noticed what they didn't objectively test for, as well as making everyone who thinks the author is an idiot look like an idiot. Any such test would almost certainly prove the author to be as wrong as a football bat, but no matter how easily done it might be, it's far easier and lots more
  • by MLease (652529) on Friday July 20, 2007 @03:21AM (#19924011)
    I have a Hotmail account I use as a backup for my real email. I send attachments all the time (usually around 70-80K, sometimes as much as 300K), and have not observed any losses. I'm not a M$ fan, but this article seems to be overstating the case, at best.

    -Mike
  • They simply remove spam/virus attachments. If you say, they removed more than that, then probably their anti-virus program is over eager. Just because it is M$ it is not necessarily evil.
  • If you look about two thirds down the comments, the author describes his methodology, and the word 'random' appears a little too often. At the moment about 80% of the spam that I receive in my spamtrap account has an attachment and consists of random strings of text. While I have seen that Hotmail is far too ready to dump legitimate mail into the Junk folder and let junk through, I don't believe that it does so at the level by which the author describes.

    In addition, why use Hotmail? There are better free s
  • Scientific Method (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Friday July 20, 2007 @04:53AM (#19924367) Journal
    Easily solved: Someone repeat their experiment and see if what they claim checks out.
  • Does anybody care? E-mail is a heap of toss anyway. For every one legitimate e-mail, I get about ten assorted others peddling dodgy shares, "men's health" products, replica watches and counterfeit software. And I have paid for a domain name and MX record, and own the machine to which it points.

    Hotmail is an even bigger heap of toss than ordinary e-mail. Providing an e-mail address costs someone money (for the domain registration, and the maintenance of the server -- to say nothing of mains and net).
  • by Afty0r (263037) on Friday July 20, 2007 @06:03AM (#19924705) Homepage
    I run an email server and a list with about 60 members which has regular daily discussions about a card game... my hotmail members do not receive about 10% of emails sent to the list - I've tested and verified this by adding a new Hotmail account of my own to the list.

    There are no patterns - size/sender/attachment etc. The mails do NOT appear in the spam folder, and I can watch the SMTP logs in real time as the email is accepted by Hotmail, only to have it never arrive. I simply recommend that people do not use Hotmail and instead use another free email service like GMail.

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