Blog Updates

I am trying out an updated way to send out emails featuring new blog post. It is a service called Mail Poet and it should send out an email every day that I do a new blog post or posts. I know many readers prefer to just read it by email rather than visiting the blog itself.

I am having to make these changes thanks to Google making changes to their Feedburner service. They say it isn’t going away but that it is turning off email subscriptions.

Hi John,
As we announced earlier this year, we’re making several upcoming changes to support FeedBurner’s next chapter. Here’s what you can expect to change and what you can do now to ensure you’re prepared.
Now starting in mid August, we are transitioning FeedBurner onto a more stable, modern infrastructure. This will keep the product up and running for all users, but it also means that we will be turning down most non-core feed management features, including email subscriptions, at that time.

My guess is that Google isn’t making money on it anymore or at least as much revenue as they would like. It is what it is.

If you have already signed up, I don’t think you much changes other than the format of the emailed blog post.

In the meantime, if you haven’t signed up for email notification, I would urge you to give it a try. You can see where to do it in the picture below. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and it will be in the sidebar. You will get an email asking you to confirm your subscription. I have tried it out and it does work.

UPDATE: This seems to be working but you may need to check your spam filter.

Abandoned Property?

Privacy is a concern of mine so I found this Wall Street Journal report quite interesting. It is entitled, “How to Stop the FBI From Reading Your Email.” The FBI holds that any email that is greater than six months old and is still on a server is abandoned property. As such, they say they don’t need to obtain a warrant to read that email. According to report Jonnelle Marte, this stems from a law written in 1986. I wish she had been a bit more specific as to which law treats it as abandoned property.

The reporter suggests two things to prevent the FBI from snooping into your email. First, there is encryption but both the sender and receiver need to have the key. The second is actually much easier – delete older emails or download them from the server to your own harddrive.

For people using Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or something similar for their email, this is a good reminder to clean out your in-box and archives. While I use Gmail for some things, I tend to use my older email account for more sensitive and personal stuff in combination with Mozilla Thunderbird. It downloads directly to my hard drive and doesn’t leave anything on their server.

UPDATE: The law in question is the Stored Communications Act of 1986. More on the law here. Thanks to Bill G. for the info.