Problems with iPhone flash or Outlook junk issues?

Ted Landau
18 November, 2013
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For today’s Bugs & Fixes, I offer potential remedies to a couple of unrelated problems, each too minor to justify an entire column to itself.

Preventing washed-out iPhone flash photos

Ever since getting my iPhone 5s, I’ve been having trouble with flash photos. Especially in very low-light situations, the result often has been a washed-out picture, as you might get if the flash level is set far too bright. As there is no way to manually adjust the flash level, I was unsure how to deal with this.

After checking online, I found a 2010 Apple Support Communities thread that described a similar issue with prior iPhone models. One recommendation was to remove your iPhone’s case, assuming you were using one.

I was sceptical. I had used the exact same case with my iPhone 5 and had never had this problem. Still, I gave it a try. To my surprise, removing the case had an immediate and dramatic positive effect on my flash pictures. I can only assume that the iPhone 5s’s new True Tone flash and my particular case (a Moshi iGlaze, which I otherwise consider outstanding) do not play well together.

Resolving Outlook’s junk mail misdirection

I owe Microsoft an apology. I have long complained about how poorly Outlook (from Office for Mac 2011) filters my junk mail. In particular, mail from some of the lists to which I subscribe would keep getting sent to junk mail despite my efforts to prevent this.

It didn’t matter if I selected ‘Mark as Not Junk’ for a particular message. The next email from the same domain went to junk mail again. It didn’t matter if I added the email address to my Contacts list. Nor did it matter if I added the address’s domain to Outlook’s Safe Domains list. The messages still wound up in my Junk Email folder.

As it turns out, I only had myself to blame for this confusion.

One clue was that these emails were typically labelled as ‘Uncertain Junk’. This led me to consider whether I might have created a rule that was behind the mishandling.

Sure enough, after selecting the Rules command from Outlook’s Tools menu, I located a rule that I had set up long long ago, designed to catch mail that I did not want to go directly to my Inbox. I had set the rule to detect certain words in a sender’s email address that often indicate the mail was spam. I further set the rule so that such messages were marked as… you guessed it… ‘Uncertain Junk’. That way, I could still detect and attend to them if desired.

One of the words in this rule list was ‘mailer’. As it turned out, this word was also in the addresses of the emails that were unintentionally going to junk mail. Understandably, rules you create override all other settings to the contrary. As a result, these messages were being misdirected to junk mail. Deleting the ‘mailer’ item from the rule list resolved the matter. Lesson learned.

by Ted Landau, Macworld

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