Vikshepa Blog

Mental Distractions

26 Mar 2022

2022-03-26 Mail servers and providers

I don't have the courage to run my own mail server. First, there's the difficulty with getting the security right. Second, there's the problem that my home server goes down whenever there's a problem with the electricity (I will get a UPS one day). Third, there's the likelihood of getting blacklisted by the big companies.

I mainly use Fastmail for my personal email. Fastmail has a tiered accounts system. I pay $25 a year for 2GB mail storage; my wife pays $45 for 30GB mail storage. The cost is a bit higher for new users. Only the higher-priced plan permits the use of a personal domain but, because we have a shared plan, I can use it too, as well as having Fastmail manage also a couple of other domains. The cheaper plan also provides a gigabyte of file storage, which is handy.

I will never run out of mail storage, because I can use Fastmail offline and store the mail on my own computer. Today I realized that since I have stopped using email on my phone, I may as well archive all of it locally. I will continue to use IMAP, rather than POP3 in case I am travelling without a computer and wish to reinstate the account on my phone.

Using Fastmail (or another service) locally in this way ensures that mail is not left on the server for a hacker to snoop on, and it is possible to set up PGP so the email provider is unable to read encrypted email at any point.

If it were not for the shared plan, and the awkwardness of asking my wife to move herself (and our domain name) to a different service, I would probably replace Fastmail with Disroot.org, which suits my ideals better. Although it lacks Fastmail's superior webmail experience, it would be ample for my needs. Links of the day

Crows possess higher intelligence long thought primarily human https://www.statnews.com/2020/09/24/crows-possess-higher-intelligence-long-thought-primarily-human/

Open source ‘protestware’ harms Open Source https://opensource.org/blog/open-source-protestware-harms-open-source

Microsoft is tied to hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign bribes, whistleblower alleges https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/25/22995144/microsoft-foreign-corrupt-practices-bribery-whistleblower-contracting

In India, Modi’s vindictive Hindu nationalists have a new target https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/.premium-in-india-modi-s-vindictive-hindu-nationalists-have-a-new-target-the-hijab-1.10693069

What Le Corbusier got wrong (and right) in his design of Chandigarh https://scroll.in/magazine/1019474/what-le-corbusier-got-wrong-and-right-in-his-design-of-chandigarh

EU negotiators agree new rules to rein in tech giants https://www.politico.eu/article/eus-digital-markets-act-adopted/

EU officials have agreed on landmark rules clamping down on anti-competitive abuses by the world’s largest technology platforms, in a move that will set the standard for leveling the playing field across global digital markets.

In an agreement brokered Thursday evening, negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on the Digital Markets Act, which establishes a series of prohibitions and obligations for companies including Google, Meta, Apple and Amazon, and a number of smaller platforms. It is likely to include accommodation platform Booking and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The new rules for so-called gatekeeper platforms, derived from years of antitrust enforcement in the digital economy, include restrictions on combining personal data from different sources, mandates to allow users to install apps from third-party platforms, prohibitions on bundling services, and a prohibition on self-preferencing practices.

Parliament also succeeded in convincing the Council of interoperability requirements for messaging services, meaning outfits such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or iMessage will have to open up and interoperate with smaller messaging platforms. For group chats, this requirement will be rolled out over a period of four years.

Tags: email
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