Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Another Bracing Day in the Digital Era!

This morning I discovered that, email-wise, I’d been bombed almost back to the stone age. In my email client, Entourage, I saw I had no email, which is not possible, so I went to check webmail online and found the interface looking quite different and the name of the service different and my contact list different in that it used to contain however many email addresses and now it contains none at all. My inbox showed just one ancient email, sent by my father last week.

I called the usual tech support number and was advised that, per their desire to provide excellent service, they were unable to provide any service whatsoever: I could not speak with anyone nor even leave a voice mail, but their recorded message provided enough of a clue that I was able to reconfigure Entourage to receive email, which I know because that one elderly email I saw in webmail then turned up in Entourage. I can also send email to others, as confirmed by my father, but I can’t receive it, including test messages from myself. These don’t even end up in webmail, so either they will turn up in a flood later, or however many messages that were sent to me are gone for good.

Per my practice of relaxed, continuous awareness, I noted a feeling of disliking.

I did a bit of searching online and found the website for one related entity, which advertised 24/7 support and listed a phone number. Its logo, by the way, looks like a vagina plus ovaries. I saw a very similar graphic the last time I visited my ob/gyn. I called the number and got a message saying no assistance would be forthcoming due to the holiday, namely whatever holiday they are celebrating today in Dubai, where this outfit is located.

A mild but unmistakable wave of xenophobia, possibly jingoism, swept over me: this fly-by-night cheap email service has served me well for many years, but maybe it’s time for some good old American email!

Possibly everything will fall into place: I’ll reach someone at the support number and get Entourage configured so as to receive email. Or I won’t even have to do that: email will start turning up in webmail—it will be reassuring if it includes the test messages I sent myself—and then in Entourage.

But I have a strong suspicion that I’ll never be able to reach anyone at that number and email will never start to turn up. Well, whatever. Fortunately, I have an email address associated with my excellent American Internet service provider, also known as my savagely hated telephone company.
I’ll see if I can configure Entourage to fetch that email, and notify anyone really crucial to use that address instead. Yes, of course that includes you!

Huh! I feel a simplifying force underway. It’s not a bad feeling.

As for getting these Dubai-ese email “providers” to stop charging my credit card monthly, well, as you know, it’s not a matter of letting my financial institution know that. Legally, it’s not my decision to make. It’s up to the biller to tell my financial institution it no longer wishes to receive funds via my account. I’m sure there is someone in Dubai doing that right this minute, or, possibly, not.

However, if email doesn’t start trickling into view, this will be an actual case of fraud, which should make it easy enough to stop the monthly billing. If necessary, I can cancel the credit card itself, which, oddly, would probably create fewer problems than having my long-term email address disappear.

I think I don’t have to explain why I won’t be transitioning to a “smart” apartment that turns my bed covers down for me and starts warming up my dinner when it detects that I
m 20 minutes away by bicycle. There’s a lot more one can lose than one’s email address, and a lot of juicy data that remains private unless you yourself put it online.
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