A week or so ago, I started getting clumps of emails from email@example.com to my Hotmail account. The emails said something to the effect that as a part of a new anti-spam crusade, they would periodically be asking users to sign in and verify their humanity by typing in some letters and numbers shown in a semi-scrambled image. I use Mail.app close to exclusively and so I have been employing httpmail to use my Hotmail account as if it was a normal IMAP account for some time. I have a friend, a PC user, who uses some flavor of Outlook to check his Hotmail account and he's having the same problem.
Well, in the last couple of days, the frequency of these emails has increased following the power law. It has gotten to the point where I get dozens of these emails each time I open Mail, and if there is not a repsonse from Hotmail staff to the help request I put in that totally solves the problem, I am going to have to cancel my Hotmail account (or at least remove it from use in Mail, which means never using it).
This is very frustrating for a number of reasons. First, the only reason I had to use a hack like httpmail to make Hotmail work with Mail is that Hotmail does not itself provide support for the IMAP or POP standards. Also, the hypocracy of suddenly flooding my inbox with spam in an attempt to prevent an obvious and useful use of their service in a so-called attempt to prevent spam is shockingly irrating. Just the pure disregard for customer practices takes my breath away.
I am not normally a Microsoft basher, but this experience puts me in mind of this recent article about the company's imminent demise.
If any of you out there in blogland know how to fix this problem, via a more legitimate way of checking Hotmail from Mail or anthing else, please let me know. I would love to avoid the hassle involved with canceling my account, but at this point, I don't know how many other choices I really have.