Hotmail's spent the past few years playing catch up with the competition, but for the most part, it hasn't done anything particularly groundbreaking with its services. Earth shattering might not be the appropriate descriptor for its latest addition, but Hotmail's added a helpful new feature to distinguish plain old spam from the kind that comes form a trusted source. Now, when you get an email from a friend that smells of something sea dwelling -- say a plea for some extra scratch from abroad -- you can select "My friend's been hacked!" from the "Mark as" menu, alerting the powers that be that your friend's account has been hacked. When you mark a missive as junk, you can likewise click a box that reads: "I think this person was hacked!" Once that's done, the spammers are kicked to the curb, and your friend is put through an "account recovery flow" the next time they attempt to log in. On the prevention front, Hotmail will soon roll out a new service that blocks users from selecting common passwords. It might not be enough to coax us over, but maybe this time the other guys could learn a few lessons.
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