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Autoresponder problem and status report
The moderator rejected my earlier post on the AOL/autoresponder situation, so
I'm resending an edited (but longer) version at his request:
The big news this fortnight is that America Online (AOL), which is my
Internet server, has decided to block all communications from the
answerme.com domain, which is where this autoresponder originates. I can
still send material, such as this status report, to the autoresponder, but I
cannot receive material from the autoresponder. Thus, I cannot receive
digests indicating who has accessed the autoresponder, nor can I receive
messages from persons desiring to leave their mailing addresses and such; I
cannot even receive my own status reports. Nobody on AOL can operate the
autoresponder; all AOL members will remain in the dark regarding the status
of my publications.
Anyone who wants to e-mail me a mailing address or other message, please do
so through my regular e-mail address, email@example.com.
The minimal, incoherent responses I have received to date from AOL as to why
they have done this are utterly unsatisfactory. It seems that THEY have
decided that communications from the answerme.com autoresponder are "junk
e-mail" and therefore universally undesired--despite the fact that these
responses are REQUESTED by the recipient! Answerme.com only operates by
request; it never sends unsolicited e-mail.
I do not recall in AOL's terms of service abrogating my right to define what
is "junk e-mail." They have blatantly STOLEN this right from me, and from all
AOL members, by acting in this manner. I have Delete buttons in my AOL
command menus whereby I exercise my right to define "junk e-mail"; I am
certainly not paying AOL to define it for me. If AOL and other large servers
are permitted to get away with this kind of thing, sooner or later there will
come a time when THEY will dictate to us all what we can and cannot send
across the Internet. It is not AOL's business to interfere in the exchange of
communications among persons using the Internet; rather, it is their business
to facilitate this exchange. THIS is what I pay them for, nothing else.
If you find this situation detestable, then e-write AOL demanding that they
unblock answerme.com and cease and desist from blocking any e-mail whatsoever
from their members. Send your own e-mails or, if you are at a loss for words,
copies of whatever parts of this status report you think they should read, to
the following addresses:
Do not bother sending anything to Postmaster@aol.com, because all you will
receive in return is a mindless response from--guess what--AOL's own
This action on the part of AOL will be contested in court by the owners of
the answerme.com domain. But I can't wait for the wheels of justice to grind
out a solution to this problem. I have started taking steps to disengage from
AOL, but exactly how to do this so as to impact my affairs as little as
possible is still not clear. There is no point doing much until I move back
to San Diego, because I will just have to redo everything after I get there.
Meanwhile, I will keep my readers informed via this autoreponder's status
Regarding my publications--to you unfortunate, benighted members of AOL who
can no longer access my autoresponder: I've formatted the pterosaur,
sauropodomorph, and ornithischian sections of MESOZOIC MEANDERINGS #2, and
I'm finishing up the avian (that is, theropodomorph plus avialan) sections.
Tedious job but otherwise no big deal; the rewrites are much more
time-consuming and intensive. And I'm still editing FOLIOS #2.
Still waiting for a new toner cartridge. When it comes, I'll run off my
little backlog of FOLIOS #1 orders. It should be in sometime early next week,
that is about September 8 or so.
Here's the ORDER in which I'll bring out my publications for the remainder of
this year and early next. No time frame, of course, since I can't predict
when the next indexing job will come in to disrupt everything:
ARCHOSAURIAN ARTICULATIONS #11
HISTORICAL DINOSAUROLOGY #1
ARCHOSAURIAN ARTICULATIONS #12
MESOZOIC MEANDERINGS #2 (third printing)--maybe
ARCHOSAURIAN ARTICULATIONS #13 (Volume 2 #1)
I will be in New York for the SVP meeting October 16-19, of course.
Also, I am finally getting things organized for my big move BACK TO SAN
DIEGO. If everything works out, Andrea and I will leave Buffalo before the
winter snows and bring our businesses back to San Diego, sometime toward the
end of October. This WILL disrupt all my work, you may be certain(!). I just
hope that it won't impact it for more than a couple of weeks.