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Re: RBL report..

On Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 11:01:12AM -0500, jpb wrote:
> Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 28, 2000 at 11:33:41PM -0800, Joseph Carter wrote:
> > > often than not knows better.  (Let pacbell.net's shoody NT mail server
> > > route MY mail?  NOT LIKELY!)
> > 
> > Have you ever had mail actually disappear through their server, or do
> > you just distrust it because it's running on NT? Seriously?
> > Hell, Joseph, have you ever stopped to read one of your own posts to
> > see what you really sound like?
> > 
> > > So there's at least a margin of error.  And don't you EVEN TRY to tell me
> > > that if I don't like my ISP that I should get another.  There are an awful
> > > lot of people out there who simply CAN'T DO THAT.  Expecting them to is
> > > even more of an example of just how wrong the DUL is from its beginning.
> > 
> > What is the exact reason why you cannot get another ISP Joseph?
> > Have you been blacklisted by all the others in your area already?
> In a lot of areas, if you want DSL or cablemodem you're stuck with only
> one (usually pretty clueless) ISP to choose.  

> And fyi before I started using uucp over tcp, I used to lose mail
> going through bellsouth's server.

this is one of the several methods that have been suggested (numerous
times) for dialup/dynamic users to reliably receive and send their mail.

other methods suggested include: smtp-over-ssh and relay authentication
using pop-before-smtp, SMTP Auth, or SSL certificates as provided by

> Now that I switched to Time-Warner and a cablemodem, I still have to
> route my outgoing mail via uucp to my machine at work because the
> dynamic ips I get on my cablemodem are spamblocked by the servers at
> my brother's university.

this point has been made before - it doesn't matter whether debian uses
the DUL or not, dialup users are going to have to relay their mail
through legitimate mail hosts anyway as DUL is a very popular service
with mail system administrators, and getting more popular every day.
eventually users will have to relay their mail somehow if they want to
send any mail at all.

you were lucky enough to be able to set up something at work. many
others will be able to setup something similar. debian developers
should have the option of a uucp account from one of the debian servers
(trivially easy for us to set up). 

other, less fortunate, dialup users will have to beg or buy a mail
service from somewhere. providing this service could be done as a
commercial venture (there are already commercial services offering uucp
accounts), or as a non-profit co-operative. it's not rocket-science.

a free (or low cost) uucp mail service is a perfect adjunct to a
dynamic DNS service, it's not terribly difficult to set up or to
administer...and could be entirely automated just by performing the
necessary setup actions at the same time as the dynamic DNS setup is

it wouldn't cost a lot to run - the price of a nice big machine (say
$5000), plus rack-space in a co-lo facility (dunno what it costs in the
US - can't be more than what it costs here in Australia which is around
$300/month - $AUD300 = $USD183). i'll over-estimate and say $10,000 for
the first year, and $3600 per year after that.

spread that cost out over 100 initial users, and you have a startup
cost of $100/person and $36/person per year after that for a reliable
mail service. that's well within the financial reach of a small-medium
sized group of people....and that's even without attempting to get any
sponsorship for the project (maybe one of the linux hardware vendors
would donate a server for a good cause -- and for good publicity, of

the only risk here is that someone - or some incorporated association
- has to take the risk of putting up the money for the server and the
first few months co-lo fees up front.

as a commercial venture, it's even easy to see how it could be
profitable - you've got low startup costs and low yearly co-location
costs. charge $5 or $10 (or perhaps more) per month and you've got
enough income to expand the service as needed (i.e. buy more servers and
more rack-space) AND make a nice little profit, not enough to retire on
but more than enough to pay for itself. provide a good reliable service
and you'll keep your customers for years - most people want to keep
their email address for as long as possible (forever, if they can).

hell, if nobody bothers doing it as a non-profit co-op, i'd be tempted
to run it as a commercial service myself.

the hardest thing would be screening out spammers from abusing the
service - but that may not be such a problem, setting up uucp would
be a barrier to entry for most spammers....and you could require new
subscribers to send a PGP signed scan of a photo id card to prove their
identity (just like debian does for new developers).

BTW, by using stunnel and openssl you can ssl encrypt the entire uucp
session, giving you a secure AND reliable mail service. for a (very
brief) mini-howto of how this can be done with taylor uucp and postfix,
see http://taz.net.au/postfix/uucp/


craig sanders

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