Tag: email

Flix Premiere review: they sent me promo spam and cost too much

I got unsolicited bulk commercial email (otherwise known as spam) from “Flix Premiere” at an email alias I don’t actually use for anything these days. I unsubscribed without really reading it because it’s spam so as far as I’m concerned they can go get fucked with a rake, but as I waited for the unsubscribe page to load over my blazing fast connection, I glanced at the email once again to see what they were trying to do to gently separate me from my money without wining and dining me first.

Behold our sales pitch…now with 93% less lube and 78% more anus crowbar!

I have to admit that for sketchy spammy email this looks more convincing than usual…so I checked to see if they’re a real company with real products and no apparent malicious intent. They are indeed real, though that’s not going to save them.

Strike 1: Send me random opt-out spam like this and I’m already not interested.

Strike 2: I’ll let them tell you themselves.

Half the price of Netflix! Right Guys? …..guys?

Netflix has seen a nasty subscriber churn hit since they decided it’d be brilliant to jack up the cost for existing customers by yet another dollar per month. Netflix (as of today) now costs everyone $9.99 a month for a typical subscription. We’ll round up everything from here by one cent because that missing one cent is a single penny that represents a long-time pet peeve of mine with such deceptive pricing; yes, you weasely marketer assholes, $9.99 actually IS $10 in our minds, but thanks for insulting our intelligence right out of the gate!

So, in actual sane person dollars, Netflix is $10 a month. The header for Spamalot Films…er, *cough* I mean Flix Premiere…is (in sane person dollars) “just $5.” FLIX PREMIERE LETS ME WATCH ALL THE HIGH QUALITY INDIE FILMS THEY CAN CONTRACTUALLY CHOKE OUT EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO FOR $5 A MONTH?!

Flixy Downer replieth sternly: “Hold your horses, kid. It ain’t Netflix. It’s Flix Premiere, where we think we’re a cable television provider in 2001! It’s $5 to watch one film.”

Holy shit, Flix Premiere is expensive.

What the fuck were these people thinking? Netflix already has tons of indie films and they let you watch as much as you can cram into your face for $10 a month, be it one film or 100 films. Some brilliant idiot actually thought “we can ‘curate’ films no one has heard of from production companies no one has heard of and charge the same amount per two films that Netflix charges for a la carte viewing of both no-name and big-name films and television shows and make plenty of money doing so!

No. No no no. The genie is out of the bottle, guys. A la carte streaming for single-digit monthly subscription prices is here to stay. You’re not going to convince the cord cutting revolution to go all the way back to five-dollar on-demand movies, especially when they’re not big-name films in the first place! Redbox rents physical Blu-Ray discs to people and still does it at 40% lower cost than your no-name streaming movies. What are you venture capital hemorrhaging execs smoking, and can you please keep it very far away from me?

On a positive note, it’s nice to see an interest in independent film. If it were $10 a month a la carte with a one-month free trial just like Netflix, I’d seriously consider joining up and sticking around if I liked it, despite the fact that they came to me under the seedy cloak of being cunty filthy spammers. At $5 a pop, you’re fucked in the head, out of your mind, and there’s no way in hell that I’ll even give them that one little sanity cent I’ve generously added to their prices this whole time.

Flix Premiere also runs around the Internet replying to comments to do damage control as any remotely functional company does, but they suck at it. I’m such a generous lord that I shall paste one of their comments here as a response so they don’t have to. I’ll even respond to that!

Flix Premiere squawked: “the great thing about Flix Premiere is that we’re building a carefully screened and curated selection of good films that might never have been seen anywhere else. All the content is also exclusive to Flix Premiere for at least a year! So if you are hoping to catch these films on Netflix you’ll have to wait somewhat longer.”

First off, I have no way of knowing if your “carefully screened and curated selection” or your definition of “good films” match up with my own subjective tastes, so that statement is meaningless. If you mean “we don’t offer up first year film school student films for $5 apiece” then congratulations, you’ve set the bar very near the ground! Anything beyond that is so subjective that you can’t make objective statements about your collection like that. Exclusive for at least a year? Sounds like you could be screwing over indie filmmakers to me; I want to know how much of that exorbitant $5 you’re really giving them. Yes, I know that my grubby a la carte demands may mean less money available in the pool to pass along, but that would require your members to rent more than two movies a month on average every single month and you’d have far more members on a subscription plan in the first place.

That last jab of yours is your only direct stab at getting customers from Netflix, so let’s address it as clearly as possible right now. I’ll have to wait to see it on Netflix?

Guess what?

I can wait.

Sorry, indie folks. You really shouldn’t have signed away the rights to your own films to a grossly overpriced platform if you wanted me to see it. Having made some short films myself, I can sympathize with your plight, but this is the path you chose. As for Flix Premiere, feel free to leave a comment or two. I am a tough god, but I am a fair god.

tl;dr: Flix Premiere is a nice idea that costs way too much and they sent me spam, so fuck them with a rake.

Yahoo! is now a haven for spammers

Apparently, Yahoo laid off their email abuse staff, because the company now responds to forwarded email with full headers to abuse@yahoo.com with a notice that “abuse reports are only accepted in Mail Abuse Reporting Format.”  Someone on the Internet actually tried to make a script that would format email messages into the correct format, following the guidelines in the RFC for MARF, and all attempts were rejected by Yahoo’s servers.

In other words, Yahoo no longer accepts reports of email abuse.  Notably, I have seen a sharp uptick in the amount of spam reaching my spam folder from @yahoo.com addresses, and now there is no way to report such abuse.  It may be time to blacklist all yahoo.com email and whitelist addresses I know are good.  Word in my shop is that Yahoo has been self-destructing for a while now and this is probably just the latest incarnation of the hellfire that Yahoo will become if it remains on the current path.

Where is the leadership?

How to Fix/Rebuild a Very Corrupt Outlook .PST File

This content is originally from the Tritech Computer Solutions article called How to Fix/Rebuild a Very Corrupt Outlook .PST File.

There’s a very well-hidden program called “scanpst.exe” stuffed in an obscure folder (For Outlook 2000, Outlook XP, Outlook 2003, and older, it’s at “C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI\1033”) that will check and repair a damaged .pst file, and sometimes save your bacon when Outlook complains about a busted .pst file and won’t start. However, in one case we received at Tritech, the scanpst.exe tool detected no issues, yet Outlook XP continued to report “2,847 unknown errors sending” for one item in the outbox that, strangely enough, could not be moved, sent, or deleted. When something like this happens, it’s good evidence that there’s something screwy with the .pst file and you might need to move to a new one. But how to accomplish this feat?

  • Step 1: Close Outlook. Completely. That means it has to be 100% NOT open; sometimes Outlook actually takes a little while to close after it disappears. If in doubt, press Control+Alt+Delete to pull up Task Manager, hit the Processes tab, click on every “OUTLOOK.EXE” listed and hit [End Process] for each.
  • Step 2: Open the “Mail” control panel. Click on “Data files.” You will see a list of Outlook data files that are currently loaded into the mail subsystem in Windows. You need to create a new data file, and be sure to give it a name other than “Personal Folders” at the top, so you won’t get confused in the next steps. The other options you pick really don’t matter; you can accept the defaults for everything and it’ll be fine. Don’t set a password for the .pst file unless you want to make your life painful, though!
  • Step 3: After you see your new data file appear in the list, hit OK or Close to return to the Mail control panel. HIt the first button (it should say something about E-mail accounts), and if you get another screen asking what it is you want to do with E-mail accounts rather than just getting the list, hit the button for managing existing accounts and click Next. At the bottom, under the list of mail accounts, there is a drop-down box for the “default mail delivery location.” CHANGE THIS to match the name of the new file that you created earlier. (If you have two “Personal Folders” entries, you didn’t name it earlier, so choose the LAST file in the list and it should be the correct one.) Then click OK or Close.
  • Step 4: Click on [Data files] again, and the new data file should have an indication that it is now the “default mail delivery location.” This will then allow you to remove the old data file from the list, which is safe to do, so go ahead and toss it now to prevent possible confusion later. Click OK or Close after you’ve removed the old file from the list.
  • Step 5: Close the Mail control panel. Open Outlook again. You may receive warnings about the things you’ve just changed; this is normal and you can simply click through them. You should now have a new, empty set of folders, with no contacts or mail whatsoever. The last step is to bring all of your old mail, contacts, tasks, etc. into the shiny new empty folders file. Go to File, then Import and Export. Choose to import from another program or file, and click Next. In the list, choose to import an Outlook personal folders file (.pst), and click Next again. If you are asked about how to import duplicates, choose to “replace duplicates with items imported” (though technically it shouldn’t matter which you pick). When you finally receive a blank in which to specify the file to import, click Browse.

If you don’t immediately see a file or set of files called something like “Outlook,” “Archive,” “outlook.pst,” “archive.pst,” or similar, you’ll need to manually specify where the file is located, but in my experience you are usually placed in the correct folder without having to fish for it. Choose the original file (highly likely to be “outlook” or “outlook.pst” as that is the default) and click OK. Once you click Next, you’ll get a list of folders and some more import options; the defaults are OK, so click Next (or Import or OK). Voila! You’ve successfully moved your mail from the damaged .pst file to a new one! You could say that you’ve rebuilt the PST database from scratch.

If you need help locating the Outlook folder where these .pst files are stored, it is located in the following path on a typical installation: “X:\Documents and Settings\your_user_name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook” where X: is replaced with your system drive letter (98% of the time it’s “C:”) and your_user_name is replaced with your Windows login name. Local Settings is a hidden folder, so when you browse to your user name folder, you may have to type (with the quotes included) “Local Settings” into the File blank to proceed further. It can be tricky, but if you are persistent, you should be able to locate it. The Windows search tool in the Start menu may also be helpful; just be sure to set the option “search hidden files and folders” if you use it.