Problems with Comcast and switching to a new email address

Discourse may have gotten confused—there’s no telling. For best results, use the Web interface.

You weren’t receiving email because you (or something in your email client, or Comcast) marked TidBITS Talk as spam, so SendGrid stopped sending email to you. I’ve fixed that.

It’s got to be Comcast, I don’t have any Tidbits marked spam. I know this happened before and I don’t know how to fix it - sorry! :frowning:


All I can suggest is considering a better email provider (and using your own domain) next time you’re in a position to switch. Comcast has long been a major problem for email-based services.

I do have some domains of my own, but they have issues too. Comcast tends to be the most stable (which isn’t saying much) and they are the only high speed provider choice that I have. I can certainly try one of the others, or a gmail or yahoo account…. or how about my iCloud email?


Your email address can be completely separate from your email provider—that’s what Joe was talking about in that article. So the best approach would be to set up your own domain and then configure Gmail to use that.

In my experience, Gmail is the best, followed by iCloud (which drops some mail on the ground when it thinks it’s spam) followed by Yahoo. Comcast has made my life miserable on too many occasions for me to ever recommend them.

I assume you’re only ranking the options Diane listed. How is Microsoft’s, from a list manager perspective? My brother still uses a address but that’s basically an alias for

Oh, I know it can be separate, just that I also know I have disappearing emails from my own domains and they can never say why. So I pretty much switched everything over to Comcast over the years. I also know I miss emails from them, and haven’t even attempted figuring that out. Some of my groups are on Yahoo and Yahoo has its own issues with groups.

I see about giving gmail or iCloud a shot - I have emails set up for both, though I rarely use either.

No Outlook, Curtis! Never lol



Personally, I’d stay away from gmail. It’s “free” so you are paying for it by giving Google unfettered access to your data.

Which is why I don’t really use it anymore. I first set it up to relay Eudora email through it while away from home. I think I have one old mailing list on it that I never read anymore, and once in a blue moon someone emails me there. iCloud sounds like a good choice then.


Google stopped scanning email contents to deliver targeted ads in 2017. If, like me, you only use it through Apple Mail clients you won’t even see ads at all (which would be targeted based on other data like your ip and search history, if you leave yourself logged in all the time).

I don’t believe a single word. With the record companies such as Google and Facebook have, why would I trust a single thing they claim about how they do business?

Bottom line is Google is a big fat corporation who would rather bathe in acid than give away anything. If you are getting a service for “free” they are monetizing your privacy.

Some people think it’s ok to pay for services that way. That’s great. But let’s not act as if there’s a free lunch to be had here.

I’ve always been quite critical of Apple’s cloud efforts and services. Frankly, I just don’t think they take reliability/uptime as well as keeping customers informed serious enough.

That said, one thing I absolutely admire about Apple is their stance on privacy. They don’t trick people into “free” services to then rob them of their privacy. You pay for iCloud through your high-priced Mac or iOS device. But then you’ve paid for it, for good. And Apple has no reason to mine your data and sell it off to some advertising schmuck. I think both their actions and industry observer reports underline that that commitment is indeed truthful and serious.

Have you never heard of a loss leader? Have you never heard of “freemium” products or services?

Curtis Wilcox wrote: “Have you never heard of a loss leader? Have you never heard of “freemium” products or services?”

Loss leader is a good match for Cloudflare’s DNS service, not so much for google mass-market services. Google definitely has customers–advertisers. gmail and their other ‘free’ services exist solely to attract the fodder–user data–that they indirectly sell to their real customers.

Google’s mass-market services aren’t freemium either, because you can’t get a paid account from google unless you’re a business or institution, and even then they routinely violate user privacy so they can make more advertisers more happy. (Makes google more happy too, since now they’re collecting money from both sides.) E.g., storing K-12 student data (which is protected by FERPA) for the future, then when the student stops being a student, they start monetizing all that stored data. They say 'oops, it was an accident and won’t happen again. Then it happens again.

My still current recommendation for email is, even though they had a bout of dropping some tidbits mail on the floor a while ago (not enough to get me unsubbed). $50 per year if you want to use your own domains. They include more features than just email–you can host static web pages, and they also have webdav, caldav and carddav for file, calendar and contacts syncing needs. The $50 account gets you 25 GB email space plus 10 GB of file space. ($90 gets you 100 GB / 50 GB.)

I’ve run my own mail server for many years, and $50 a year is a good price for reliable service that won’t go belly up or sell out to a data aggregator. If only they’d add mailing lists for an extra fee, I’d drop my own server in a nanosecond. Mail servers, especially for outgoing mail, are a constant hassle and need a surprising amount of care and feeding–just ask Adam!

One other possibility that I don’t have experience with might be to move the domains to They include what looks like nice fairly basic email features in the domain registration fee, and also caldav. But afaict they don’t include web sites or carddav, or mail service for domains that they don’t host. I also don’t know how well they work. Getting a domain there to try it out is on my list, but not all that high up.

What I wrote wasn’t specifically about Google, it was to counter the claim that free services must be monetizing your privacy with alternatives. Yes, Gmail can be an enticement to have an account with Google that, assuming they aren’t taking the risk of lying about scanning your email, still helps them collect more data because most people will leave themselves logged in so their profile includes their use of search and YouTube.

Google One is a paid service anyone can buy, I don’t know if it changes the terms of service, it’s basically just a higher storage quota (though one you can share with others). You don’t have to have a business to pay for G-Suite, just a domain name, $5/user/month; I have a grandfathered free tier (up to five users, 15GB/user).

I’m all set to switch my email over to iCloud, but the email continues to show my last name, even after I’ve changed it in iCloud directly. I’ve signed out and signed back in.

Any idea how to fix it? iCloud settings on the computer and online show it correctly, but Mail will not.


Well never mind, that was convoluted. In Mail, it’s Preferences, then click on the account, click on the email address (mine is a drop down because I have iCloud and me), then you see “edit email address”. Click that and it brings me back to iCloud on the web, to a screen I didn’t see when I was there. Guess I can change my Apple name back now. Sorry!


1 Like

We don’t have a huge number of subscribers from, but I’ve always viewed addresses with some level of suspicion. I can’t say that I’ve had real trouble with them, but I wouldn’t recommend someone use them, since I feel as though they were abused by spammers a lot back in the day, and still take the hit for that with some filters today.

Not to keep beating this horse, but if you go back and carefully read Google’s announcement, you’ll find it is wonderfully full of loopholes and misleading language. I’ll bet my next Mac Pro they are sill happily scanning your email content in a different way for different purposes. And, like Simon, I trust them only slightly more than I trust Zuckerberg to actually keep their word without an “Ooopsie! We promise to do better next time!” Google, like Facebook, can keep getting away with it because, one, people, no matter how angry, have married their workflows to this abusive behavior, and like an abused spouse, keep coming back for more. Two, we don’t have comprehensive privacy laws in the US (yet) and though the EU laws helped us somewhat as an accidental byproduct of the technical challenges of maintaining two levels of privacy laws, until we have genuine, hardcore legislation that attaches criminal liability to breeches of privacy (and simple decency), these companies giving you “free” services will continue to take advantage of you in every manner they can get away with.

I look forward to seeing Pelosi and company sell us out to the Google/FB/Twitter/et al special interests, by letting them write the coming US privacy legislation next year, just like insurance and pharma wrote the ACA (and this is not just a slam on the Dems; this is a slam on the utter incompetence of our past and current Congress to grasp huge issues, especially those technical). Take another look at DMCA, copyright, and whatever else you like to know that special interests and big corps are going to always win in this country.

I’ve been having the same problems on and off with Discourse. After a few weeks or days of receiving TidBITS emails, I just stop getting them and have to ask to be reinstated. I find it much easier and more convenient to read and reply to TidBITS and Talk in Mail. It just started happening again a few days ago.