Ashley Richards

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Google Gmail Bug Routes Emails to Wrong Address

March 31st, 2007 Posted in Business, Tech

Looks like Google has a dirty little secret. Gmail emails have been routed incorrectly to the wrong recipients. I’ve been receiving emails for a woman whose email address is similar to mine, minus a period between the first and second half of the username. So I thought people were accidentally adding the period – turns out that’s not the case.

I got another email for her today from a website and thought that there’s no way she’s giving people the wrong email address across the board. Checked the headers, and yes indeed the emails are going to the wrong account.

I went into Gmail Help and filled out their contact form. So far all I’ll gotten is an automated response. So I checked out the Gmail discussion boards, and, wouldn’t you know, there are over a thousand entries about people getting wrong emails. This bug looks to have been a known issue for quite some time, so why hasn’t Google done anything about it? Or even better why haven’t they at least notified users with similar email addresses that there is a possibility that their emails are being routed incorrectly?

I couldn’t imagine what would happen if someone out there had personal information in an email that would then make it possible for someone to steal the other person’s identity if they accidentally received the email. I’m not talking about social security numbers, but more like the answers to standard security questions or little things that can help you inpersonate someone. This bug allows for some wicked social engineering to occur.

Sharing information is in Google’s DNA, so when they go into a space where they need to keep information private can they do it? Can they make sure that if there is a breach in security they are equipped to take the necessary steps to rectify the situation? So far I haven’t seen it. And now they have a product where they hold on to my credit card number, Google Checkout. Hmmm…after this mix up, I don’t trust them with it.

Update – 29 February 2008

I logged into my Gmail account today and saw a little tiny link next to the address in “To” field with the username without the dot. The new Gmail help center faq now says that the email is routed correctly and that there is no other account using my username without the dot. So I wonder what happened with the other person’s account. Did they try to create the account and never realized it wasn’t actually created? And why didn’t Google ever send me an email with this information after I had requested account support? Hmmm…not very good with customer service when it’s not related to advertising it seems.  Or maybe it’s just that Gmail is undersupported.

Tragically Hip at The Fillmore

March 28th, 2007 Posted in Concerts, Unphotographable

Overheard at The Hip concert:
Boy: Are you Canadian?

Girl: No

Boy: Well, you look Canadian.

Girl: Um, thanks?

Boy: Can I buy you a beer?

Yes, someone did use that as a pickup line at The Hip concert. So cute.  So Canadian.

It was a fantastic concert. I’m not sure you could see The Hip in such a small venue up in Canada. They played all my favorites. I still think Gordie can be a bit funny when he performs.
Brendon is trying to figure out how to get the photos and video off my crippled Verizon Razr. Once I have those, they’ll be up on Flickr and YouTube. Hopefully they came out okay.

I got a D.

March 4th, 2007 Posted in Business

On Friday, my team went through a training session on our personality types. And it turns out that I’m a Dominant-Conceptual (D/C) type.

This all started the week before when we took an assessment test where they presented four words to us and we have to choose which on best describes us – at work. (I was interrupted twice in the 10 minutes it was suppsed to take.) So this would be the personality that we exhibit while working, and only at work. In typical psych test fashion there were times where the words hardly described me at home or work, or they were words I would used to describe my behaviour at work but not in my personal life. And there’s the problem.

So we went through all the training and I still don’t feel comfortable with the assessment of myself. I talked with the instructor and she said that if that’s the case then I probably am being forced to use those two personality types – being someone I’m not. And because of that I’m probably stressed out. And I am.

What she said made me cry and think that I was in the completely wrong job. But, couldn’t it just be that work right now is very stressful because we’re under staffed?
So the test results could be:

  1. I really am the type of person that the test says I am, and I’ve been conditioned to think those traits are wrong.
  2. The test is completely wrong.
  3. Or the test is fundamentally flawed because it fails to look at the person as a whole.

I wasn’t sure, so I phoned my mom. (mom knows everything) She was in complete agreement with the test. In her words “You can get on your high-horse and take over.” Hmm..well, I don’t think I’m that bad at work considering my coworkers were surprised with the evaluation.
Sounds like it’s a combo of 1 and 2. Girls are taught that we aren’t supposed to be dominant. If you are all the other girls call you bossy. Bossy is bad. And no one plays with you. Also, how can you get a good idea of who someone is if you’re looking at only one aspect of their personality. You get a much better understanding of a person’s reaction to a situation if you know who they are at work and home. I just want to throw the damn test results out the window now.