applewatchI’m a big fan of apple products.  I have ipads, iphones, macbook pros and ipods.  Apple is the company that seems to always show up at the party late but always leaves the party as the most popular person there.  Even though they may not have the best product there.

I don’t think that OSX is the best OS in the world.  I think that Windows does alot of things better.  So I use both PC’s and my Mac to work with.  On paper there have always better phones, music and video players.  But the Apple experience, the quality of the product, the way it just feels in your hand, is better then any other product.

I’ve always been interested in the wearable technologies market.  Heart Monitor watches, Fitness bands, Gesture control devices, Google glasses… Been trying them all for the last couple of years.  I’m a big fan of Thamlic Labs MYO Device.  Just got my retail Myo yesterday.  But I’ve been very interested in the “Watch” type device.  The “do it all” device that sits on your wrist.  Yup the watch device…. That thing that we don’t wear anymore.

I had the Fitbit Force…. Loved it.  The form factor was great and I thought it was the most accurate step counter…. Okay stride counter… Temperature seemed to affect vertical steps.  I had to give that back because of a recall.  I have now been wearing the Garmin Vivofit.  Its a toy.  Its not very accurate.

But in comes the Apple Watch.

Late to the game as usual but more than just a fitness device.  From an appearance standpoint it doesn’t look as innovative as we had hoped.  No curved interface.  It looks, I hate to say it, like a watch.  It doesn’t have an enormous display but that’s ok I wouldn’t want a monitor on my wrist.  And you’ll have to charge it once a day, but I’m betting based on past experience, you’ll have to charge it more frequently.  The bands will be changeable to make a better fashion, business or sport accessory.  All sounds kinda humdrum….

Having to say Iwatch would have been a lot easier… But this is probably part of Apple’s strategy to just own the watch market by just becoming the “watch”.  You know the same way we call everything ipods now.  So from now on when someone says watch we all know it means apple watch which will dominate everything anyway.

It will definitely be a game changer.  Get ready to throw out your fitness bands.  The watch will basically be that familiar IOS that were so used to using but with improvements to make it usable in a smaller form factor.   The crown is a simple re factoring of a old idea allows you to keep your fingers off the display so you can see the display!

It comes with a number of sensors to help it track of your health and fitness.  Coupled with your iphone it will be able to extend its sensors and provide an even better experience.  Hmmm… Parallel process device in the future?  So I think it will become the definitive fitness device which will provide step counting, activity monitoring, accurate GPS mapping and heart rate monitor.  But that will only be the start…  I think we’ll see other types of health sensors make its way to the device… Oxygenation, blood sugar, etc…

I’m still having a hard time with the type of app that would be best for this form factor.  Fitness apps are the easiest.  I don’t like the “Dick Tracy” phone in a watch idea. I don’t want to speak into my watch.

I think that it will be ideal for Event notification – Where do I have to be.. What’s coming up on my schedule.

Mapping or locationary type apps…. Turn here, go here.

News and information ticker… Like sporting events, stock prices.

And Payment and Airport port checkin.  This is the silent game changer.  This is the real game changer.  Where apple now becomes the new “Credit Card”

With the release of the watch sdk I’m sure we’ve only seen a fraction of its potential.

So late to the party again… But definitely, the product that will dominate the market going forward.

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Since I started noticing some of my mail messages bouncing back as spam I’ve been trying to correct the issue.  The biggest problem when you start getting bouncebacks is that you really don’t know how many message are being rejected.   Most companies won’t generate a bounceback.  Their philosophy is that its better to reject the mail and not let the spammers know that they got rejected.

So I’ve taken a number of steps and made a few changes to the my Office365 environment to ensure that my mail is getting out or that I at least know that my mail is considered  spam so I can fix it.

So here is my advice to you:

  1. Don’t use Images in your Signature – I use a QR code and a Company logo.  Better SPAM filters use a scoring system to flag messages as spam.  The existence of images could be considered spam and therefore your messages may be rejected.
  2. Don’t use URL shorteners in your Signature or email body – URL shortners allow you to hide the ugly URL’s and provide a simple shorter string.  These are seen as URL redirection.  To a spam filter they are seen as away of obfuscating  your intent.  To a spam filter you may be taking the intended recipient to a bad website.
  3. Try to use simple text.  HTML content increases your score.  Add everything together and you maybe considered spam.

When my messages were being rejected  I stated that the Office365 servers were considered SPAM servers.  Well that was true and not true.  Office365 will check every message going out of the service.  They themselves will score your message and make some intelligent decisions on it.  If your message is considered outbound spam, office365 makes a routing decision.  Its decision is intended to reduce the impact of outbound spam on legitimate emails.  So it routes the message through a series of high risk routers.  So these routers can potentially be flagged as spam producers but they don’t impact what are considered legitimate mail routers.  So my mail message, in its simplicity, was routed through one of these highrisk server.

Office365 provides  you with a a number of things that you can do to reduce the chance of being considered spam.   All of these can be done in the ECP administration client.  I’ll give specific details in the next blog entry but here are the choices that you can make.

  1. Use a smarthost.  This allows you to route mail through a separate service.
  2. Create a connector to the client – you can add your client as a smarthost.  This means that any message that goes to a specific client will use a specific connector and therefore not be considered spam by office365.
  3. Get a notification from Office365 on what mail it considers spam.  At least if you know your mail is considered spam you can take steps to fix it.
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Since we’ve been migrating companies off IBM Lotus Domino we made the decision a couple of years ago to migrate ourselves.  We decided that we no longer wanted to host our own mail servers.  Why should we.  The cost of a cloud based email provider was so cheap..

I’ve long suspected that some of my mail was not being delivered to clients.  Most anti-spam products silently delete mail.  The recipient doesn’t get it and the sender doesn’t get notified.  But I started noticing that some reply messages would sometimes have a warning in the subject line.  Sometimes it was the content of my original mail message being flagged.   For example I use a URL shorten-er to refer to this blog.  That is flagged as a potential threat.

Sometimes it was the sender ip address.  This is the part that I had difficulty with.  I’m no longer the sender.  I’m using a shared service that comes from Microsoft.  So Microsoft is now the sender.  So lets think this through.  I send and receive mail through microsoft services.  Microsoft uses multiple data centres and load balancers to send and receive mail.   Those servers are shared by other companies.  Could other users of the same service be sending out potential spam.  Could their recipients be blocking their mail.

But hold on a second… If their mail is getting flagged as a spam… That means that the office365 IP addresses are getting flagged as spam IP addresses.  Then that means that my mail is also considered spam.

Last night I got a whole bunch of these responses to my email messages:

Your message wasn’t delivered due to a permission or security issue. It may have been rejected by a moderator, the address may only accept email from certain senders, or another restriction may be preventing delivery. For more tips to help resolve this issue, see DSN code 5.7.1 in Exchange Online – Office 365DSN code 5.7.1 in Exchange Online – Office 365. If the problem continues, contact your helpdesk.

The problem with this is that you don’t have a lot of control over the Office365 servers.  And you can only take care of this when you get notified.  And even then its out of your control.  You’re at the mercy of Microsoft and when they can re-establish service.  And that’s after they keep telling you that its impossible.

The real problem is that this happens more often the I realize.  This time I was given a message which told me.  How often has it happened with out being notified.


Posted in IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment