[hcs-d] Webmail

Joe Zimmerman jzimmerm at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Oct 30 14:08:13 EDT 2008

Agreed: outsourcing to anyone, whether it's gmail or M2W, is a Really Bad Thing. Harvard has enough clout to reroute the T around the Yard, but some internet company can monitor our private correspondence and turn it over to the government without even telling us?

I don't think the naming schema is that terrible, though. With address books, autocomplete, mailto: links, etc., people don't type full addresses by hand very often, and john.smith.09 at college.harvard.edu is a lot more informative and impressive than jsmith at fas.harvard.edu. Plus, these addresses could persist for life, until people start routinely living longer than 120 years. (Y2.5K?) What I'd really like to see, though this will never happen, is any.reasonable.name.permutation.2009 at harvard.edu. MIT students get @mit.edu; why not? (Answer: resistance is feudal. *rimshot*)


Joshua Kroll wrote:
> I think I suggested that the equipment costs would be around $50,000,
> not the total cost. Keep in mind that they already have mail admins on
> their payroll, and they likely wouldn't need more of them in a new
> system. I imagine, though, that the equipment cost is insignificant
> against personnel and electricity costs. But that's OpEx, and they're
> already paying a significant portion of it.
> The argument that outsourcing is cheaper somehow says that Mail2World
> can figure out a way to do the same thing with lower opex. I don't buy
> that at the size of FAS IT. But maybe I'm missing some economies of
> scale. I could maybe see them being a little cheaper. But I think
> control is worth the admittedly-small premium.
> On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 1:14 PM, Bruno Afonso <bafonso at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I would have been happy with gmail outsourcing but unfortunately it
>> has serious legal drawbacks.
> Most of these apply to any outsourcing. Mail2World has just been more
> accommodating, as I understand things, so that some of these issues
> appear to go away. Under the threat of a subpoena, who knows what
> would happen?
> Josh
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