Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Says Mail Functionality Is Returning, but Some Users Might Be Missing Up to Two Weeks of Email

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Yahoo, which had been glacial in giving users information about problems with its high-profile Yahoo Mail product over the last several days, said last night that it had restored access to the accounts of most affected users, although it warned that some might still have issues.

“Most affected users should now be able to access their Yahoo Mail accounts on the web and our apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8,” the company wrote on its help blog. “Most users should be able to log into their accounts, and send and receive messages. We’re continuing to restore access for all affected users.”

But in finally giving more frequent updates, the company also acknowledged several other related problems, including that many emails during the recent outage may not be appearing in some consumers’ inboxes.

“We’re starting to deliver emails that were sent to you during the outage. Because we have a backlog, it may take us a bit of time but rest assured we’re trying to deliver them as fast as we can,” said Yahoo, noting that it expected all emails would be delivered by this afternoon.

Perhaps more troublesome — and indicative that this communications crisis had been going on longer — was the news that some users’ emails between November 25 and December 9 “may not be showing up in your Inbox — we’re still working on bringing all accounts up to date.” It was not clear from the post why this was so or if it were related to the recent outage, typical of the lack of PR savvy in dealing with this situation.

The Yahoo Mail problems have been myriad since CEO Marissa Mayer launched a redo of the service last year. Many users protested the design changes, including the removal of the popular tabs feature.

But the outage has further gelled the dissatisfaction in Yahoo Mail, which remains one of the largest email providers in the world. It has been made worse by the slowness in Yahoo’s response to the situation, as well as the lack of communications about it, despite the obvious impact on both individuals and small businesses.

In the when-it-rains-it-pours category, Yahoo confirmed that its Flickr photo-sharing site was down for a short period of time today, which was unrelated to the mail kerfuffle.

Until it is all resolved — the last update was last night at 11:15 pm PT, about POP mail access being restored, with Yahoo saying it was still trying to restore IMAP — what say we enjoy a little Elvis, who always makes things seem better:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik