November 15th, 2006

Demons of stupidity

How to send an email to 9,542 people

x-posted to boggyb and techsupport

How to send an email to nine thousand, five hundred and forty-two people:

Put every one of the 9,542 email addresses in the To header. Send email.

Wait for a good hour or so while your email client sends 9,542 seperate emails. I'm wrong, SMTP actually allows multiple destination addresses to be given for one email. Worst-case is merely sending 95 seperate emails. Of course, it still fans out to hit every one of those 9,542 inboxes.

Piss off any of those 9,542 people who are using Outlook Express, as Outlook Express wedges solid with 100% CPU usage when given 200kB of To header to parse. Annoy any of those 9,542 people who are using Thunderbird, as Thunderbird's renderer does strange things when given 200kB of To header to parse. Annoy any of those 9,542 people using Pine, as Pine crashes when commanded to show full headers of an email with 200kB of header.

And piss off the administrators, who have just had nearly 2 gigabytes of email pass through their servers.

Nice one, Student Union Comms Officer.


Irritatingly, this doesn't seem to actually violate RFC 2822 as long as the lines are no longer than 998 characters. Grrr.
  • Current Mood
    pissed off pissed off
Demons of stupidity

The stupid people have found something called "email". Fear.

...annnnnd that's the third email this week with 9,542 different email addresses in the To header. And they're all using the same list, which makes me suspicious that it's been copied out of the first email by the other two. Not to mention that this list of valid email addresses (and consequently, user accounts) is a blatent violation of the Data Protection Act over here, as well as good security policies.

You know what? I'm not going to even read this email entitled "New Student Night!". If they can't be bothered to send it sensibly, then I can't be bothered to read it. It shall merely be deleted unread. *plonk*

Learn to send emails, folks. Contrary to popular belief, it's not actually that hard to realise that it's better to use Bcc, or heaven forbid aliases such as everyone@ that are specifically designed for this purpose than it is to dump every single valid email address in the To field and fry the mail server with nearly two gigabytes of what is probably unwanted junk.

I stand by my belief that RFC 1855 should be read before anyone is allowed to send email. For something that was written in 1995, it's still very relevant.
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed