Friday, May 14, 2004

Autoresponses gone bad.

This morning I got an auto-response from someone at User Group Network. It said, basically, "you can't email me; go to this URL instead." The fact that I got this means that their auto-responder automatically responded to my auto-responder, which is not supposed to happen.

So, I hit their contact URL to tell them their auto-responder needs more brains. I wrote a polite note:

I received an automatic response from _@user-groups.net for an email that I did not send. Normally I can filter such responses, but this one didn't have enough to identify it. I'd like to talk to an admin about how to improve the system you're using.


I submit to their form, and I get "internal server error." I tried it again as I was writing this, and it worked. At least, I guess it worked; it took me to their index page. I see it also sent me an automatic reply.

Software like this is what gives challenge/response a bad name. It's too bad. People see these things and think challenge/response is just a bad idea. It's like saying cars are worthless because the 1903 Fords lacked power steering.
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