Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Solving the Email Mystery

For some time now, I’ve not been able to receive emails when new comments are posted to the site, despite the settings being enabled in the Movable Type control panel to do so. So, seeing as Wednesday is my afternoon off, I decided to look into it.
The Movable Type manual’s troubleshooting section suggests two fixes: correcting the location of Sendmail, or specifying an SMTP server. I was pretty sure that Sendmail would be in its default location – the server uses a relatively common RedHat setup – and adding SMTP support would require the downloading of an additonal module from CPAN.
Then I remembered some problems I was having with mail forwarding from my account (the one on the side bar). MyRealBox rejected the email because apparently is a source of spam (come again?), so that address now forwards mail to my university account. It turns out that it was also blocking these automated emails, on the assumption that they were spam :(. Changing the address on my profile to my university email seemed to fix the problem.
I have no idea why this domain has been branded a spammer, especially as neither SpamCop nor the three other blacklisting services have blocked it. It is yet more evidence in favour of Bayesian filtering technologies, as opposed to simple blocking lists, which can block a lot more than you can bargain for.


  1. I use POPFile for my personal spam-blocking needs. I think it is based on that technology (Bayesian), and it works quite well.
    One downside of it is that it takes forever to train it. Because I don’t get more than 10 spam emails per day, it took me more than a month to bring POPFile up to my expectations (at least 98% accuracy).

  2. this comment is for harry and neil…..told you so……

  3. “could prompt social unrest” – yeah, from racists like you appear to be. But what has that got to do with Neil solving his email mystery?

  4. hahaha…yeah evry1 is racist arent they….tony blair, iain duncan smith, charles kenndy, oh yeah i am a massive racist…this is blatant sarcasm..i live in bradford i have grown up not far from here, if i was racist i wud not last 2 minutes, i do not judge people by their skin colour, nationality or religion, i judge people by thier personality and morals, and its obviuos that u are an ignorant and arrogant bastard that i dont wanna know or get to know. i think i said my peace on you harry, now go play with yourself in front of a screen.