Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yahoo pings, but don't sing

I recently read an article somewhere comparing the various free web-based e-mail systems (I think) that spoke about how reliable Yahoo was.

I think I made a comment to who whoever posted it that while Yahoo might handle ping requests (the only method being used to monitor "uptime" for the various systems) it often was in one failure mode or another for me that had nothing to do with pinging.

Today was a good example. First of all I don't check my yahoo mail frequently any more because it has become a spam magnet and Yahoo's spam detector seems to be a random number generator, sending about 25 percent of the obviously spam messages to my inbox, while sending about 25 percent of the precious few real e-mail messages I get on Yahoo to the spam box.

But today I decided to check, and after waiting for server (I think I've been on ole 309 for a few years now... why does only Yahoo need to reveal all sort of internal information about what server your mail is hosted on, oh, that's right MSN does the same thing don't they? ... I got this message:

Connection Timed Out

But I was persistent and after an hour or so got in long enough to get my Outlook-like interface of the new Yahoo mail long enough to actually click on a message I wanted to see. Instead I got this:

We're sorry, but there appears to be a problem loading the message "Lulu Ink! October 2007". Click here to try again

I tried again, and again.

Finally, I decided to see if I could switch some options on or off to shake something loose in this poor excuse for an e-mail system. Instead I got:

Not finding any sort of "status" page for Yahoo mail, I finally visited some sort of self-help forum where Yahoo users cry on one another's shoulders. Apparently the problem was common. Will it get reported in the news? Well, not any of the news associated with the WSJ, or it is just All Things Digital that is in love with them?

They never failed to return a ping though. I guess there is something in that.

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