1&1 tightens up Email spam rules

I use 1and1 for my personal and business websites as well as for our clients. We’ve had a client recently that was not receiving emails from one of their colleagues and of course the other company’s IT person said it was our problem. Having been an email administrator for many years I always like to look into the bounced back messages, smtp connection info, email headers, and more to track down a problem. This particular issue was perplexing because there where not many posts on the net about it. When someone was trying to send an email to a domain hosted at 1and1 it sent this error after the RCPT TO line:

421 invalid sender domain, possibly misconfigured

I tested at http://www.wormly.com/test_smtp_server (which is a great site btw) to get test the error.

So I sent an email to 1and1 support to see if they could help. This was the very speedy response:

The circumstances you have just described is caused by a RFC-non-compliant configuration of the despatcher-domain. The MX-Server
of the domain has no registered A-record, but merely a CNAME-record this is why the e-mail is rejected by our e-mail servers.

You can find some general information about this topic here:


To provide the e-mail delivery as fast as possible again, we kindly advise you to inscribe the target domain of the CNAME-record as MX-record. For further information, please contact the provider of the despatcher-domain.

Looks like the 1and1 is blocking any non RFC compliant domains. In the rfc spec above it says:

10.3. MX and NS records

The domain name used as the value of a NS resource record, or part of
the value of a MX resource record must not be an alias.

Additional section processing does not include CNAME records, let alone the address records that may be associated with the canonical name derived from the alias.

So if you are a DNS admin or setup DNS for clients make sure to have the MX record for your domains be A records (they directly resolve to an ip) not CNAME records. So far I have had to email a couple of hosting companies related to this issue. I applaud 1and1 for locking down their email servers even more to thwart spam, but it would have been nice to have had a link or faq on their site explaining what was going on. Thus the reason for this lengthy blog post.

Some other posts on the web about this issues:

Useful links to test out DNS and MX records:

Earth Day at the Salisbury Zoo

Chrissy recommended that Carla and I take the kids to the zoo yesterday because it was Earth Day. So we all went down to the zoo to check things out. My mom and dad were down for the weekend so they followed us. Matt and Chrissy met us there for the fun as well. Parking was crazy because the zoo was packed full, but we found a spot near the bridge and walked a ways to get there. It WAS packed yet we could get were we needed to go without to much hassle. We saw all the usual animals as well as alot of others that they brought for the day. My personal favorite was the baby screech owl. *read in Napoleon Dynamite voice* Matt said he saw a SWEET hawk before lunch that I missed. *end ND voice* We finally wrapped up a great day by visiting the Backstreet Grill around the corner on rt 12. I had an awesome bacon cheeseburger!

So check out another animoto video I made of our day.

And check out my pix on flickr:

You lookin at me, punk?

Look mom animals

Don’t use cruise control while driving in the rain.

An interesting email my friend DP sent me via email:

I wonder how many people know about this? A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago and Totaled her car. A resident of Kilgore , Texas she was traveling between Gladewater & Kilgore. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence!

When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened he told her something that every driver should know – NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON. She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain.

But the highway patrolman told her that if the cruise control is on when your car begins to hydro-plane and your tires lose contact with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an airplane. She told the patrolman that was exactly what had occurred.

The patrolman said this warning should be listed, on the driver’s seat sun-visor – NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE PAVEMENT IS WET OR ICY, along with the airbag warning. We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed – but we don’t tell them to use the cruise control only when the pavement is dry.

The only person the accident victim found, who knew this (besides the patrolman), was a man who had had a similar accident, totaled his car and sustained severe injuries.

If you send this to only one person who doesn’t know about this, then it was all worth it. You might have saved a life.

NOTE: Some vehicles (like the Toyota Sienna Limited XLE) will not allow you to set the cruise control when the windshield wipers are on.

Remember kids no cruising while raining and lights on when your wipers are on.

More HPL memories in honor of the batcave burning down

Yes it was a sad day to see my old office burnt to a crisp. The Eric Bennett memorial futon will now only be a memory of the likes of Randy, Cone, Jeremy Heslop, Matt Brenneman and for a very short while Larry Lentner. So in honor of the fun times we had while I was there I uploaded a bunch of videos Randy, Patrick and I took. Enjoy,

More after the break…

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New Blog at Vox

Janell asked me the other day where to setup a blog that would be easy to use. I had heard an Inside the Net interview with one of the creators of TypePad and the company Six Apart about their latest creation Vox. She described it as an easy way to share photos, blog about life and much more. She was right. It’s a really easy way to blog. If you would like to try it out I have a few invites. Just shoot me over an email.

I’ll be posting some over here as well as at jheslop.com. Depending on how it goes over there I might migrate my blog to point to vox. So Stay Tuned