Gmail gets a new forward emails as attachment option

Google is rolling out a new feature on Gmail that enables the forwarding of emails as attachments in the email service.

Gmail users who use the web interface currently can forward individual emails only. While that is useful at times, forwarding multiple emails can be a time consuming process as each email needs to be selected individually when it needs to be forwarded.

We’ve heard from you that there are situations where attaching emails makes more sense than forwarding separate emails, like wanting to forward multiple messages related to a single topic. With this new functionality, you can do exactly that. Sending emails as attachments allows you to write a summary email message to your recipients, and attach the set of supporting emails that recipients can directly open in their mail client.

To make things easier for users, Google is rolling out a new feature on Gmail currently that allows users of the service to forward emails as attachments.

One of the main advantages of the new feature is that it allows users to forward multiple emails in one operation.

google-gmail attach emails attachment

All that it takes is to select one or multiple emails on Gmail, right-click the selection, and select the forward as an attachment option from the context menu.

As is the case with most new features on Gmail or Google updates, the feature is being rolled out gradually to all Gmail users. It is enabled if the “forward as attachment” option is visible in the context menu. Google started the rollout of the feature on December 9, 2019 for rapid release domains and plans to complete the rollout by January 21, 2020.

Google notes that users may also use drag and drop to attach selected emails as attachments on Gmail. The operation may not be as convenient as using the right-click option as it is necessary to juggle between two interfaces (email list and compose) when using drag & drop.

Emails that are attached to emails are saved as individual .eml files that most email clients can read. Attachments are not limited according to Google (You can attach as many emails as you’d like), and eml files can be opened with a click when they arrive in Gmail.

Now You: do you forward emails often?

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Email client Thunderbird 68.3.0 is out

The Thunderbird team has released Thunderbird 68.3.0 recently. The new version of the new major branch of the email client is a security and maintenance release for the most part that fixes several issues discovered in previous versions of the email client.

Thunderbird is offered in two branches currently: the 60.* branch with legacy support for extensions, and the new 68.* branch that focuses on WebExtensions for the most part. Currently, Thunderbird 68.* is only offered as an update on Thunderbird 60.* devices if the calendar add-on Lightning is installed.

Thunderbird 68.3.0

thunderbird 68.3

Thunderbird 68.3 fixes several security vulnerabilities. You find detailed information about each on the official security advisories page. The email client is not affected by critical issues; the highest severity rating is high.

Here is a short list of fixed issues:

  • CVE-2019-17008: Use-after-free in worker destruction
  • CVE-2019-13722: Stack corruption due to incorrect number of arguments in WebRTC code
  • CVE-2019-11745: Out of bounds write in NSS when encrypting with a block cipher
  • CVE-2019-17009: Updater temporary files accessible to unprivileged processes
  • CVE-2019-17010: Use-after-free when performing device or
  • CVE-2019-17005: Buffer overflow in plain text serializerientation checks
  • CVE-2019-17011: Use-after-free when retrieving a document in antitracking
  • CVE-2019-17012: Memory safety bugs fixed in Firefox 71, Firefox ESR 68.3, and Thunderbird 68.3

The official release notes list two additions to Thunderbird 68.3.0. Extension developers may use the newly implemented Message Display Toolbar Action WebExtension API, and navigation buttons are now available in content tabs in the application.

Windows users who use Thunderbird may notice that the new email icon has changed on the system.

The remaining changes address issues in previous versions of the email client. None of the issues appear to be major, e.g. that attachment icons were not always correct in the write pane or that the drag & drop reordering of accounts was not working on the Instant messaging status dialog.

Users who noticed that toolbar buttons of add-ons would not show up in the menubar after start won’t experience that issue anymore in the new Thunderbird version.

Now You: which email client do you use?

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A look at the email forwarding service AnonAddy

AnonAddy is an open source email forwarding service designed to protect an Internet user’s email addresses from spam and other unwanted emails.

Most Internet users use one or a handful of email addresses on the Internet. They use these to sign-up for services, do their online shopping, communication, and any other activity that requires an email address (and those that don’t require an email but allow emails to be added to accounts).

The use of a manageable number of email addresses improves manageability but it opens the door for unidentifiable spam, profiling, as well as privacy and security issues.

Using individual email addresses for each service on the Internet would make spam sources identifiable right away, and it would improve privacy and security. Problem is: it is cumbersome to create that many email addresses unless aliases are supported.

Tip: find out if your email address has been sold.

Email forwarding services may assist users, and one these is AnonAddy. The service is available in free and paid versions; paid versions offer more features and make things more comfortable to use.

Note: Email that is sent to your email address flows through the service’s servers. The service does support GPG/OpenPGP though. An option to self-host is also provided.

Setup is quite easy: you pick a username and password, add your “real” email address, and verify the email address. Once the account is set up, you may get started using it right away. AnonAddy offers two main options to create aliases:

  1. Create them on the fly using the format [ANYTHING]@username.anonaddy.com. Anything can be any valid email username and the service will create the aliases automatically when the first email arrives that references it.
  2. So-called UUID emails may also be created; these are random email addresses that use the format UUID@anonaddy.me. Free accounts are limited to 20 of those, the limit is upgraded to 50 for the Lite plan ($1 per month) and unlimited for the Pro plan ($3 per month).

What happens when emails are sent to an alias or UUID email address? The email is forwarded automatically to the “real” email address.

You may use the dashboard that AnonAddy provides to manage aliases, recipients, domains and usernames. Each alias is listed on the dashboard and you may set these to inactive or trash them in case you no longer need them.

The actual email that arrives in the inbox of your “real” address includes the alias so that you can link spam or other unwanted content that you receive to a specific service.

Recipients are a user’s working email addresses that all the aliases and UUIDs of AnonAddy get forwarded to. Free accounts support up to two, Lite five and Pro 20.

One of the limitations of the free account is that replies are not supported. While you may reply using the “real” email address, it is generally not recommended as you will expose it to the service. Lite and Pro plans support anonymous replies (20 and 100 per day).

Another restriction of the free account that bandwidth is limited to 10MB per month. The developer of the service states that the 10 Megabyte limit is good for around 140 plain text emails per month. Lite and Pro increase the number to 50 MB and 500 MB respectively.

The limit may be sufficient for sign-up activities but probably not for other activity (e.g. conversations per email with others).

AnonAddy’s paid accounts support a number of additional features: Both Lite and Pro benefit from email queue priorities over Free accounts, and both support additional alias domains and custom domains (Lite 1, Pro 5).

Closing Words

AnonAddy is an open source project that anyone can sign-up for or self-host. The free plan works fine for light use cases, e.g. account sign-ups on several Internet sites per month, but users who use it more actively may run into the, rather low, quota sooner than later. That leaves paid plans or self-hosting as the two available options to use the service.

Setup and use of the service is comfortable and straightforward. One issue that especially free users may run into is that spammers may look up the service to protect against detection; the issue is not unique to AnonAddy though and it can be somewhat mitigated in the paid accounts.

You could also use disposable email addresses – if not blocked by the service you want to sign-up for — as one-time email addresses.

Now You: Do you use email forwarding services or tricks?

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Thunderbird 60.9.1 and 68.2.2 have been released

The Thunderbird development team has released two updates for the two supported branches of the email client. Thunderbird 60.9.1 and Thunderbird 68.2.2 are now available; both releases fix issues in the email client but don’t introduce new features to it.

Thunderbird is offered in two versions currently. Thunderbird 60.x is the classic version of the email client while Thunderbird 68.x is the new version that is based on new code and as a result not fully compatible with all extensions released previously for the email client.

The team released Thunderbird 68 in August 2019 but did not include automatic update options from Thunderbird 60.x to the new version unless the calendar extension Lightning was installed. Thunderbird users may download the installer from the official project website to upgrade manually, but automatic upgrades are prevented unless the extension is installed.

Some users noticed that the profile that they were using in Thunderbird previously was not loaded after they made the upgrade to the new version. The profile contains all configured email services, all emails, installed extensions, and any other user data such as information about changed preferences.

Thunderbird 68.2.2

Thunderbird 68.2.2 fixes the upgrade issue that occurred when a 64-bit version of Thunderbird was upgraded from version 60 to 68.

Then upgrading a 64bit version of Thunderbird version 60 to version 68, the existing profile wasn’t recognized and a new profile was created.
Note: If your profile is still not recognized, select it by visiting about:profiles in the Troubleshooting Information.

The new version has two unresolved issues according to the release notes:

  • Add-ons are updated automatically when Thunderbird 60 is upgraded to 68; this may disable some extensions even if compatible updates are available. Thunderbird users may open the Add-ons Manager to reinstall these if they are compatible with Thunderbird 68.
  • LDAP lookup is not working when SSL is enabled. Workaround: Disable SSL or switch off option “Query OSCP responder servers” in the certificate settings in advanced options.

Thunderbird 60.9.1

thunderbird 60.9.1

Thunderbird 60.9.1 is an automatic upgrade for the 60.x branch of the email client. The new version fixes an issue with Google authentication (OAuth2) which is used to authenticate Google accounts to integrate them into the email client.

The version has two unresolved issues of its own according to the release notes. Both are long-standing issues and not new:

  • Twitter is not working currently due to changes that Twitter made to the API.
  • Windows network shares addressed via drive letters are addressed via UNC now.

Closing Words

Both updates are not really must-have updates unless you are affected by one of the issues that they resolve. If you noticed issues with Gmail accounts in Thunderbird you may want to upgrade as the new version may resolve those.

Now You: Which version of Thunderbird do you use currently, if any? (via Born)

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Manage your Todo.txt with Thunderbird using this extension

Remember our article about Todo.Txt? We told you how easy and efficient it is to create your very own cross platform task management and reminder file system.

The beauty of the system is that you can use any text editor with it. But it doesn’t stop there, if you are a Thunderbird user, there is another way to manage your Todo.txt right from the email client.

Manage your Todo.txt with Thunderbird using this extension

The Todo.Txt extension requires the Lightning add-on for Thunderbird and access to your Todo.Txt and Done.Txt to work. The Done.Txt acts as an archive for your completed tasks, i.e, any task that you have marked as done is moved from the Todo.Txt to Done.Txt.

You’ll need to restart Thunderbird after installing the add-on. Once you have installed and restarted, click on the Calendar tab or Task tab and you will see a Todo.Txt calendar in the left sidebar. Personally, I prefer the Task tab since it displays the tasks in a better way.

But before you start to use the add-on, you need to set a Todo.Txt file for the add-on to access. The extension can read tasks that you may have from your existing Todo.Txt so that your existing tasks may be displayed in Thunderbird.

How to set the location of the text files in the Todo.Txt Thunderbird Extension

Click on the Thunderbird menu > Add-ons > Todo.txt; this will bring the Todo.txt add-on’s preferences window in to view.

The page that opens allows you to select the location of the text files (todo and done). Use the browser button to pick the file from the local system.

There are 3 other options on the page that are enabled in the add-on’s settings. The first two let the add-on use Thunderbird’s functionality and creation timestamp. The third option is to display the “Projects and Contexts” in the title.

Todo.txt Thunderbird extension

Let’s go back to the Task tab; you should now be able to see the Todo tasks. Don’t have any? Let’s create one. Please refer to the previous article (linked in the first part of this post) regarding the syntax of Todo.Txt. Right-click on Thunderbird’s main pane to create a new task and give it a title and use the syntax for setting a due date.

For e.g., if I want to create a task called “An Example task”on my home computer and set tomorrow as the due date, it will look like this: An Example Task @HomePC due:2019-10-10.

Todo.txt Thunderbird task

To mark a task as completed, click on the check box next to it and the add-on will archive it to the Done.Txt. You can also mark it as completed by right-clicking on a task. You can optionally add descriptions to the tasks, but remember these aren’t part of a normal Todo.Txt. Similarly, you can also set due dates using Lightning’s task editor, but I find it better to preserve the Todo.Txt format, especially if you’re using it on other devices.

That’s it, the rest is up to you.

Note: I wanted to write about this add-on earlier, when I wrote the article about Todo.Txt, but the add-on’s compatibility with Thunderbird 68 was uncertain at that time. Thankfully, v2 of the add-on was released a few days ago to address the very issue. It is not available on the add-ons repository yet, the developer mentions that he has submitted to Mozilla for verification. I used the source code to build the current release from GitHub and tested it. The official version should be available soon.

Todo.txt Thunderbird version 2

Now you, what are your favorite Thunderbird add-ons that you use alongside Lightning?

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