Last week, Novell sent an email to its partners that has suddenly become a HUGE source of traffic on Novell’s Community Chat forum, as well as various mailing lists such as the NGWList, TTP, etc. The text of this email is available here.
Essentially, the policy states that patches for most products (other than security patches) and access to the KnowledgeBase for current Novell products will require the purchase of maintenance on your Novell products. Colleen O’Keefe, a Senior VP at Novell, has tried to justify this in her post on the matter by suggesting that the “burden” of paying for services like support packs should not be borne solely by current maintenance customers. To that we whole-heartedly say “hear, hear”! Services like SUPPORT PACKS should be included in the price of the software, not by paying maintenance. Customers expect that the software they purchase works, and if it does not, the idea that the customer should PAY to get a fix for the bugs is outrageous.
If you are indeed “mad as hell” like we are, and you haven’t decided to just throw in the towel, let Novell know you’re not going to take it! While posting in the public forums is a good “visible” way to get your opinions counted, please also consider sending some email. Some folks who would probably be interested are:
John.Dragoon; Colleen.Okeefe; Jeff.Jaffe
Of course, all of those above are portions of email addresses at novell dot com (I’m being a good Internet citizen here and avoiding putting their actual email addresses in the post for the bots to read – I don’t want them having to wade through a lot of spam to get to the important email messages you WILL be sending them!).
If you are a concerned customer, consultant, employee or supporter of Novell in any way, please take the time to let Novell know that this is a really bad idea!
As we mentioned to you last month, the Caledonia Guide to Moving GroupWise was due out the first week of September. Well, here it is, September 7, and we’re ready to ship! I thank all of you who have pushed me ever so gently to get it finished 🙂
Thanks so much to everyone who has proofed, edited, offered moral support and chocolate! But if you notice any oddities while reading, please let me know!
Mac users rejoice! If you are anything like me (and I suspect you all are!), then you get very annoyed with a certain feature of the GroupWise 8 Mac Notify program.
When you receive a notification on the Mac, and the popup alerts you to a new message, any action on that popup diverts you from where you are and takes the focus back to the GroupWise client. For example, if you are working in OpenOffice (which I’ve been toiling away at for days), and a notification pops up, clicking “clear” or “delete” will switch you to the GroupWise client, rather than simply clearing the notification and leaving you in OpenOffice to continue your work.
Today, quite by accident, I discovered a nice little workaround for this. I’ve been using Mac Spaces more and more, and I noticed today that if if I’m working in Space 2, and GroupWise is loaded in Space 1, the Notification will pop up in Space 2, but clearing the notification window will NOT move me to GroupWise. This got me so excited (I know – pathetic), that I immediately changed my Spaces layout to have three spaces rather than the default two. I have now assigned GroupWise to Space 3 (which I don’t intend to use for anything else), and I will never again have my focus hijacked by the GroupWise 8 Notify!
Of course, if you don’t typically use Spaces at all, you could simply turn it on, and assign GroupWise to Space 2. I chose to use Space 3 because I do routinely keep certain programs in Space 1 and others in Space 2. Even though GroupWise is now in a separate space all of its own, a Command-Tab, or clicking on the GroupWise icon in the dock takes you directly to the program, so you will barely notice that GroupWise is not sitting in Space 1!
I still have it on my wishlist for Novell to fix this annoying little feature of the Mac GroupWise 8 Notify program, but I can live with this workaround for now 🙂
I’ve been working non-stop on our new book, The Caledonia Guide to Moving Groupwise.
It seems like these are some of the biggest questions I see over and over: “How do I move my GWIA to a new server?” “How do I migrate GroupWise from NetWare to Linux?” “How do I move GroupWise from one Linux server to another”? This book has been designed to walk the administrator step-by-step through all manner of GroupWise moves, and is useful for all versions of GroupWise.
As we’ve done before, we’re offering this guide at a 20% discount for our loyal pre-purchasers. We’ll sell the book for $32.00 US right up until the minute we “set it loose” for download. After the book is available for immediate purchase and download, the price will be $40.00 US.
Find out more about the book here. And of course, if you wish to wait until the book is available for immediate download, we’ll be sure to send out an announcement at that time as well!
Novell has a great offer for exiting GroupWise 8 sites, and sites upgrading from prior versions. Get Teaming 2 for $1 per seat. The offer requires that you purchase maintenance for the licenses for one year, but is still a great bargain. Teaming 2 looks great from here, and it something that GroupWise sites should consider for enhancing their collaboration solutions.
Today McAfee released it’s quarterly threat report wherein it reports that spam is up 80% from last quarter. This brings the spam percentage of all email to 92% by their estimation. I liked the line in the report that says “If the economy could rebound as spam has done in second quarter, we would all be much happier with our retirement accounts.”
I recently sent a message to our anti-spam customers that described the situation as follows (this was when Postini had esimtated that spam was at 94% – I’m too lazy to recalculate for 92% – I think you get the picture though):
“If we can block 99% of the junk destined for your mailboxes, approximately 16 junk mail messages would make it through to a user’s mailbox for every 100 real messages that are delivered. At 98% that would be 31 messages per 100 messages. At 97% that is 47 messages per 100 real messages! So at a 98% effective rate for blocking spam, to the end user it appears as if they are receiving one spam message for every two real messages they receive. In reality, they are having over 1500 messages blocked for every 100 they receive.”
As I discussed just a couple of days ago here, it’s pretty cheap for marketers to hire someone to spew their message forth. I can’t see how we can get ahead of this game as long as it is so lucrative. Maybe one of our readers has the answer to this never-ending dilemma!
Today I made a startling discovery (sarcasm here of course). Nothing is private on the Internet. Very naïve, I know. I’ve had the same email address at caledonia.net for something like twelve years, and so it’s not surprising that my address is EVERYWHERE on the Internet. But if you look closely, it’s not available in the past few years except by accident. We have public addresses like info, sales, etc., but I try to keep my email address somewhat private on the Web just to avoid spam.
Today I found out that a mailing list, of which I’ve been a member for many years, is sending a “tweet” each time a message is posted. I know it must have sounded like a “cool” idea at the time it was implemented, but in so many ways it’s very uncool. Here are a few problems with this.
- The message contains only header information, so there is no “content” really to the tweet. It contains only the subject line, the sender and the date/time of the message.
- But more importantly, the message contains the full name and email address of the original poster.
So, I created a new account on a public mail system to subscribe to this mailing list. Within minutes of posting my first message with this account (which was forwarded on to Twitter), I received a spam message from “Twit With Ease ~ Twitter Tips” congratulating me on subscribing to their Twitter Tips Newsletter. Of course I never subscribed to such a thing, and the only two places this email account have ever been seen (and only in the past hour or so) were on the mailing list and on Twitter.
Now, some people who I’ve been discussing this with say “No big deal if your email address gets harvested. You have good anti-spam filters.” It’s true enough that I have good anti-spam filters. However, I don’t see any need for my server to have to work so hard to keep my email box clean. If I can get a spam message to a harvested email account on Twitter only minutes after first appearing there, then how much more spam should I expect to this account?
I think the lesson here is that there is a lot of “cool” stuff available in social networking. However, some ideas sound good initially, but have greater negative ramifications than their potential benefits.
Okay – so not exactly a GroupWise post, other than the fact that since GroupWise syncs so effortlessly to my iPhone I’m using it all of the time, so an iPhone post is SOMEHOW related – right?
Anyway, a number of people were interested recently in the mobile apps on the Google Voice site that allow access to Google Voice from Android and Blackberries, and I heard from a number of people wondering why there was no iPhone version. While there are rumors that Google is indeed working on such an app, I guess there are those who aren’t aware that there are TWO apps for the iPhone already that allow for Google Voice access from the iPhone. They are VoiceCentral and GV Mobile (GV Mobile also has a free version). Both of these full featured apps cost $2.99 in the US store.
I have them both (I know, I know). For the time being, I have to say I like VoiceCentral better, if only because it shows the voice mail transcript, and GW Mobile does not seem to do so. That said, the GV Mobile site seems to have more information on “what’s coming” and they have some interesting things happening in upcoming versions. For example, landscape mode, and the ability to use the program for more than one Google Voice number. I haven’t seen information yet on what the VoiceCentral folks have planned for the future. Since I DO have two Google Voice numbers (one personal and one business), I actually use both VoiceCentral and GV Mobile currently – one for each number.
So, if you’ve seen the buzz about Google Voice and wonder why they don’t have a Google branded iPhone app, it could very well be that they didn’t see a need to reinvent the wheel right out of the box. I suspect Google with have their own free app down the road, and as these things tend to go, it might be that they will simply buy of one of these already available options.
I found this article on ComputerWeekly.com regarding the availability of botnets for hire to be quite fascinating! While botnet activity encompasses more than just spam (which we as email consultants are most interested in), the spam that is generated by these computer armies causes us as email consultants, administrators and users considerable grief!
Kaspersky Laboratories has conducted a study to find just what it costs to hire a botnet to do the dirty work for spammers and other cyber thugs and criminals. Some of the activities relating to email are quite interesting:
- Hiring a botnet for DDoS attacks costs from $50 to thousands of dollars. While it’s difficult to say if Caledonia has ever been targeted by a botnet, we’ve certainly seen DDoS attacks against our email servers over the years.
- Email address lists can be had for between $20 and $100 per million
- spammers charge $150 to $200 per million addresses to send the spam for a company
- Targeted spam blasts can be sent for $70 for small mailing of a few thousand names and can reach $1,000 for of tens of millions of names. Still a bargain if only a fraction of a percent of recipients bite!
As we’ve said many times, until it’s not a profitable endeavor, spam will continue to grow and thrive. It’s just too reasonable a price to get junk send out to stop it.
So, on that note, enjoy a happy (and hopefully spam-free) weekend!
Dean Lythgoe of Novell, Inc. recently announced that Novell is giving away free training to a limited number of customers to help them get ready for GroupWise 8. Here’s what Dean says:
To apply, simply tell us information such as how long you have been working with GroupWise, how many users you currently support, what your favorite feature is, and any other interesting experience you have had with GroupWise that would encourage us to pick you!
Our team will review all applicants and announce the winners by October 8, 2008. Technical Training for GroupWise Administrators will be delivered using Novell’s ATT Online format with a live ATT instructor and hands-on virtual labs. Additional end-user training on the new client features for selected accounts will be available in either self-study or face-to-face instruction.
For further details and the opportunity to register, follow this link!
Novell Collaboration Solutions Homepage