Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

Interesting Read

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/whats-the-worst-e-mail-mistake-you-ever-made/Good post by one of the Freakanomics authors, and a cautionary tale in this day and age of automatic address completion.I’m sure almost every one of us has inadvertently included someone on an e-mail we didn’t mean to.  Sometimes it’s because the helpful mail program autocompleted and you misread or didn’t notice what it used.  Sometimes it’s because you sent to a mailing list and didn’t know who the full audience on that list was.We occasionally get requests to recall mail that was accidentally sent.  Former Outlook users often mistakenly believe you can unsend a mail, since Outlook offers that option.  Alas, that’s not how e-mail works, and Outlook obfuscates that from the user.When Outlook tries to recall a message, it’ll do one of two things.  If the mail server of the recipient in question is the Exchange server to which it’s also talking, the server will obediently pull the message out of the mailbox.  Otherwise, it simply sends a specially crafted e-mail that asks the recipient not to read the message.  That’s about it.In some very rare occasions we’ve been able to prevent a mail from going to someone to whom it wasn’t meant to, only because the recipient was someone on our server, and we could expunge the message from their mailbox before they got to it.  But if it’s someone outside our mail server… well, there’s not a lot we can do.So this is just a helpful reminder to take a look at those addresses up in the top of the e-mail and make sure you know who your audience is.–Craig


Written by Craig Stacey

May 9, 2008 at 7:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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