Sour Grapes
Of course we're Fair and Balanced!


Look out!

I'm reading e-mail via Outlook at a client's system. A message I want to respond to has some content that's been blocked: "To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of some pictures in this message." No problem. When I click on Reply, I get the following message in a dialog box:

To complete this action, Outlook must download content from a server other than your e-mail server. This could verify to the sender that your e-mail address is valid and increase the amount of junk e-mail you receive in the future.

I can check a box labeled, "Please do not show me this dialog again," but other than that, the only two choices are OK and Cancel. OK means, "Go ahead; download the blocked content and let me reply." Cancel means, "I changed my mind, I don't want to reply." Where's the choice that says, "Don't download the blocked content, but let me reply to the content that isn't blocked"?

Not only isn't there one, there's simply no way to reply without downloading the blocked content. Here's what Microsoft's Support website says on the subject:

If you have the Don�t download pictures or other content automatically in HTML e-mail option turned on, and you want to forward, reply to, or edit an e-mail message that contains blocked external content, you must download the full body contents of the e-mail message.... If you click OK to the warning message, and subsequently download the previously blocked content, Outlook 2003 does not provide any method to block or re-protect the message as it was originally presented.

Note the word must. What Microsoft is saying here is, "It's potentially harmful, so we'll block it for you, but if you want to do anything with the non-harmful parts, you must load the potentially harmful parts first." Phooey!

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