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Gmail Corrupting Attachments

I recently received a report that attachments sent to Gmail from some servers were being corrupted. At first, I assumed that the reporter was mistaken, or that perhaps the problem was with the sender's mail client or server. One of my colleagues had already conducted some tests of his own and found that PDFs and TIFFs he tested with were indeed being corrupted. I had to investigate. Some quick tests proved that the reporter and my colleague were correct. Below is detailed information about the tests I conducted and my findings.

How Not to Email Your Customers

There are many different ways that organizations can manage customer lists and deliver email to all of their customers at once. Some mailers will generate a unique email to each customer, possibly replacing fields in a form letter, while others will basically use the "BCC" field to send a one email to many recipients. An important characteristic of these methods is that the recipients will not be able to see each other's email addresses. Today, Cardstore.com sent out an email to customers without using either of the above methods.

Something Amazing Just Happened

Something amazing happened on Wednesday. It's doubtful you missed it, but you might not have recognized just how amazing it really was. The unprecedented Internet blackout showed us something incredible: Major websites demonstrated the ability to quickly sway political dialogue. It has been easy to see for many years that big media can influence political dialogue. Media slant, sometimes the result of unintentional bias and sometimes the result of direct influential efforts, has had an impact on many political discussions and legislative proceedings over the years.

On SOPA, PIPA and the Internet Blackouts

Today, many websites are participating in a blackout inspired by the Stop Online Piracy Act ("SOPA", H.R.3261) and PROTECT IP Act ("PIPA", S.968) bills currently being considered by Congress. These two bills, which are very similar to one another, are intended to extend copyright protections and enable better defenses against copyright infringement by international websites.

Fedora 15 with stock kernel on Rackspace Cloud

I recently found myself needing a more bleeding-edge cloud server than the Fedora 14 servers I have been running on Rackspace Cloud. Rackspace is not yet offering a Fedora 15 image for new servers, so I needed to start with a Fedora 14 system and upgrade it. I also needed the kernel to be more current than the 2.6.34.1 kernel Rackspace currently uses with Fedora images, and I am not sure the upgraded userspace would work with that kernel and init image pair anyway.