MGG 464: When Pressing Play Just Isn’t Enough

| Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Dave & John cruise right out of the Labor Day weekend and into your podcast stream with this week's episode of Mac Geek Gab. Topics are decided by you, and this week your questions (and their answers!) included how to create your own personal cloud on your Mac, pesky web page loading in Safari, iTunes rentals that won't start mid-flight, and more. They also continue the conversation about email encryption and answer your questions about WiFi extensions, always a popular topic this time of year. Download, press play, and enjoy!

MGG 464: When Pressing Play Just Isn’t Enough

Sep. 3, 2013 — Download: MP3 Version or AAC Version


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Please stop linking to the (leaked) documentation pages for Optimum’s IMAP service - it’s called imapBETA for a reason, a point ENTIRELY lost on the speaker of this podcast - who selfishly avails himself to a non-production service that is CERTAIN to go away, without considering the consequences of you broadcasting it on this podcast (did it go out on Twitter, too?):

This is what’s going to happen:
- unauthorized participants are clogging the limited resources in the beta pool (you didn’t think beta meant “sized to production”, did you?

- the IMAP beta service is going to be shutdown, likely before the full production service has been rolled out. Neither the DNS name or the very expensive SSL certificate are going to be renewed (Dec 2013) under the beta name.

- 100’s, if not 1000’s of unauthorized IMAP beta users (that do NOT receive official communication that are beta-related) are going to wake up one morning to notice their accounts can no longer receive incoming mail.

- thanks to Apple, changing IMAP into POP3 accounts and vice versa doesn’t seem possible under IOS. The difficulties in setting up the account with the beta name (involving having to enter a WRONG password, only to change it later, as account setup will NOT work without a correct server name on which IMAPS service is detected - AND you can’t change it later!)) point strongly to this:
There’ll be pain here , and lots of it, as users will have to DELETE , then ADD a new account to switch back to POP3. And all their mail, if it is no longer on the server, will be gone (or they have to leave and use the defunct IMAP account in place).

Almost all of these users will then call in and stress Optimum’s call center with a failure scenario they were NOT (yet) trained to do - complete with “what do you mean I won’t be able to get my old emails on the IMAP account” nightmare support scenarios - and while doing so cost Optimum THOUSANDS of dollars in combined support call costs.
Plus, add that all of these people will experience a great deal of frustration, disruption of their personal lives and waste of THEIR personal time, because they accessed the service in an unsanctioned way. Is it fair for Optimum having to hold the bag for this? I certainly don’t think so.

Just say no to leaking/using not-yet-supported services, because you don’t know the true cost of doing so.

John F. Braun

The page with the IMAP information has been removed, and I called Optimum to confirm that this is not a supported feature at this time.  I fully understand what a beta is, and agree with the points that you made, except for my motivation for doing this being selfish, that that I somehow leaked this information.  I’d argue that if they are running a beta program, making the information available for any customer to find via their support site, and allowing them to login with their current credentials, isn’t the best way to control access.  I did nothing more than search for IMAP and found the information.  We’ll mention on the next show.

John F. Braun

I switched from their beta IMAP server back to POP3, and since I had switched all of my clients over from POP3 to IMAP, no POP3 retrievals had occurred, and no messages were lost. They are again happily being retrieved by Gmail’s POP3 pickup feature.


Sorry to have sounded accusatory. Re-posting a leak is not a leak, of course, it’s journalism smile The leak is all’s alone - and that seems to be underscored by the linked pages dropping dead, as I just noticed.

Selfish = was not meant as derogatory either : many, MANY people would (like to) use IMAP (and especially IMAP-SSL) if the service was offered, and will do anything to make use of it if they can find it, as in this case. Can’t fault people over excitement for something they really badly want, can I! The consequences of this rush to the gates of the yet-to-be-opened-candy-store seemed too dire though.

It’s been maybe 5 years that Google’s Gmail (free) and Yahoo had IMAP-SSL service (the latter only as paid service?)  available…and US ISPs finally following their lead is a good thing.



John F. Braun

Thanks again for the heads-up, I’ve sent out a notification via Twitter and Facebook, and will mention on next show.  Fortunately, their IMAP implementation didn’t touch the POP3 stuff, so the worst that will happen is someone will get a bunch of unread messages when switching back.

As for Yahoo, I recently found an account I hadn’t used for a while, am not paying for, and when I entered my account information, OS X found an IMAP server.  As far as I can tell is production since there’s no beta in the mail server name.

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