Cruzio/The Internet Store Newsletter - Number 57, July 18, 2002 1. DSL Modem Sale Coming 2. Watch out! Domain Slamming 3. ShopSite Brown Bag July 25th 4. Get Rid of Spam 5. What Does Spam Do to the Internet? 6. Join Cruzio for Internet-Coffee Talk 7. We've Filled Another Barrel 8. Buddy Bucks 9. About This Newsletter 10. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. DSL Modem Sale Coming This is advance notice to our members of an excellent deal coming up on Cruzio DSL. From August 1st to August 31st, Cruzio will offer DSL modems for just $49.95 with the purchase of a new Cruzio DSL account for a one-year term. That matches or beats the best prices out there, plus you have the benefit of Cruzio's excellent service (not to brag, but really!) If you order new domain and Web hosting from us along with the DSL, the modem is FREE. It's a great opportunity to get high-speed access at an even lower price than usual. If you've heard stories of problems with DSL, rest assured that Cruzio handles anything and everything for you. For the same price, Cruzio will make it painless: you don't have to wait on hold, you don't have to go from department to department looking for people to help you from a nameless, underinformed bureaucracy. We make the calls. We've got great connections. And we get proven results: we're one of the top sellers of DSL in Northern California. Cruzio has DSL sales every few months -- the previous one was in April. We will always let our current customers know about sales in the newsletter, so if you miss the August special, just watch this space for the next. 2. Watch out! Domain Slamming Many domain names, such as "mycompany.com", are owned by Cruzio customers. However, securing a domain name is not the end of the story. The domain's registration must be renewed every year, or every few years, with a payment to a company called a "registrar." Several such companies exist. Now, some registrars are engaging in slamming and sending misleading statements to domain holders. If you own a domain name you will likely receive letters looking just like bills when the domain is near renewal. Trouble is, these are from registrars who have looked you up in public records. They don't have anything to do with your domain name. They want you to change registration to their company -- and they are going about it in a deceptive way. (Note: they are not competitors to Cruzio; we are not a registrar, we simply help customers register domain names.) Sometimes the letter conveys the urgent need to "Renew Now or Lose Your Domain!" The letters look so much like actual bills that many people fill in information and send in payment to the address on the letter. And the fees are generally higher than you need to pay. If it is not a bill, the registrar is required to put a disclaimer somewhere in the letter, to the effect of "transfer is subject to your current registrar's permission". If you read carefully you can find this disclaimer. Of course it's usually in small print. If you want to check your domain name to see when it expires and what registrar it's currently with, go to Cruzio's domain- checking page: http://www.cruzio.com/support/utilities/whois.html and type in your domain, such as myname.com (without "www.") The expiration and registrar information is listed there. If you want to renew with the same company as before, go to that company's Web site or call us; we can help you find it. Or just wait for the real registrar's bill, by email or paper bill. If you have trouble, just call Cruzio Customer Service (831 459-6301.) If you are paying high prices and want to switch to a low-price registrar -- prices range widely -- you can find your own registrar or use the low-price one that Cruzio recommends, GKG.net. Just let our customer service staff know you want to switch and they will help out. If you do send in a payment to one of these shady registrars -- and many large registration companies engage in this unseemly practice, not just fly-by-night firms -- you need not worry about losing your domain, or losing any service. So far, it seems that all the domain registrars are fulfilling their registration duties properly. The only drawback is that you'll probably pay twice what you need to and reward a deceitful practice. So we recommend that you look closely at that mail and let us know if you have questions. 3. ShopSite Brown Bag July 25th So popular, we needed to repeat it! Next Thursday, July 25th, from 12-1:30 pm, Cruzio will hold a FREE Brown Bag Workshop: "E-commerce: Easy and Inexpensive with ShopSite." As usual, the Brown Bag is at Cruzio's downtown Santa Cruz location, 903 Pacific Avenue. Reserve your seat by going to: http://www.cruzio.com/support/business/brownbags.html This Brown Bag will be led by our own Director of Marketing, the personable Kathy Bisbee, who's set up several stores and knows the ins and outs of the program. She does an excellent presentation and is in big demand from our ShopSite customers, so it's a good opportunity to learn -- and bring questions. 4. Get Rid of Spam Spam, spam, bacon, and spam*. Junk email fills our mailboxes and slows our data pipelines. All indicators show that spam is up locally, nationally, and still rising. It's a tremendous problem. Cruzio has done something about it. Over 2,000 members are currently using the free Cruzio Spam Filter and we completely, totally, wholeheartedly encourage you to do so too. You can filter spam from Basic Account mailboxes, now including extra mailboxes (the ones you set up in your Cruzio Control Panel.) We are working on adapting the filters so that private domain names can use them, too. Cruzio's spam filter is FREE and our engineers estimate that it removes over 95% of unwanted junk email. We upgraded the filter in May, so if you haven't looked at it for a while you might want to make sure you are using full power. It's easy. Just go to your Cruzio Account Control Panel, (it's linked at the top of our home page, http://www.cruzio.com ) and push the "Junk Mail Filtering" button. If you've already got some filtering on, but want to use our new extra-strength features, click "Enable Features" in the Advanced Features box. If you have any troubles following the above instructions, our Tech Support Staffers are ready to help you out. It shouldn't take long and will save you so much time. * The name "spam" comes from a Monty Python skit: http://www.ironworks.com/comedy/python/spam.htm 5. What Does Spam Do to the Internet? You know about spam from your own experience: how irritating it is to find spam in your mailbox, how hard it is sometimes to find real email buried in the junk. But what is the effect of spam on the Internet as a whole? Estimates are that from 25% to 50% of all email is spam. So right off the bat, all the equipment, personnel and procedures involved in delivering email have to have twice the capacity that they otherwise would. Bigger equipment is more expensive. Bigger data pipes are, too. Plus, spam isn't like normal email which comes in a more-or-less steady stream. A spammer will send tens of thousands of messages to an Internet Provider all at once, causing overloads and system failures. A large national ISP would receive millions such messages. AOL and Earthlink have both had instances where mail service slowed or halted under a huge load of spam. At Cruzio we find we have to dispatch engineers to coddle equipment and programs which are stressed beyond normal levels. Spammers work in the middle of the night to avoid detection, so we have to work late hours, too. Do spammers pay for sending spam? No, they do not. There is no charge-per-email-sent at any email provider I know of. In fact many spammers use the "first 50 hours free" offered by some companies and are gone by the time the bill comes. Generally, a spammer pays no more than a person with a normal Internet account. Who does pay for spam, then? The carriers, for a start. That means WorldCom, ATT, Sprint, all the big backbone carriers; the switching and routing facilities along the way; ISP's like Cruzio; and ultimately the recipients, who pay higher fees because twice the desired amount of capacity is deployed. In the end, consumers pay for the spam they receive. It's hard to know what laws or organizations can solve the problem of spam. But at least, with Cruzio, you can block it free of charge. There are plenty of resources out on the Web for people who hate spam and want to learn more about how awful it really is. http://spamcon.org is a great one. And Cruzio has a page with spam info: http://www.cruzio.com/support/email/spaminfo.html 6. Join Cruzio for Internet-Coffee Talk Monday, July 22nd at the Boulder Creek Coffeetopia from 8:30-10:30am Tuesday, July 23rd at the Ugly Mug in Soquel from 4-6pm Talk Internet with Cruzio at a coffeeshop near you! Ask Cruzio staff about DSL, Email, ecommerce with ShopSite, Web & domain hosting. At these next visits, Cruzio staff will also show you how to use Cruzio's advanced Spam Filter. Reserve a time for the Spam Filter demonstration in advance at http://www.cruzio.com/support/business/coffeeshops.html 7. We've Filled Another Barrel Cruzio customers (and staff) have filled another food barrel. This is our 3rd barrel this year! As you know, Cruzio will waive the late fee of any customer who brings in 3 cans of food for the barrel. This has proven to be popular with our customers as well as Second Harvest Food Bank. The Second Harvest Piggy Banks located in our lobby have just been emptied and we'll send that along with the barrel. That pocket change adds up. We're sending $30.77. Thanks to everyone for making this a success! Especially thanks to our Barbara, Cruzio's General Manager, who came up with the late-fees-for-food innovation. Even when we aren't doing a focused collection drive, Cruzio can provide food to those in need. 8. Buddy Bucks Would you like $10 credit on your Cruzio account? Tell a friend, family member or acquaintance about Cruzio. If they give us your name, email address, or account number when they sign up (as a new customer), we'll credit your account $10. Would you like $20, $30, $40, or more credit on your account? Just recommend us more than once. 9. About This Newsletter Cruzio doesn't like to waste bandwidth with extra email, but we sometimes have events and announcements that users need to know about. This seems like the most efficient way to let people know what's happening. Hope it's helpful. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions. By the way, we would love to have a regular, predictable schedule for this newsletter...but we simply do not send it unless there is real news enclosed. Thus the haphazard datelines. 10. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) To reach the Cruzio Information Center, for online technical and sales information: http://www.cruzio.com/support To dial in to Cruzio, set your software to dial one of the numbers below (note: we've expanded and joined modem pools, so you may be using another number. If so, don't worry, it still works just fine). 56k: 459-9408 33.6 kbps and under: 459-6230 To call Cruzio: 459-6301............Use this number to check Cruzio's system status, pay your Cruzio bill, find out more about our hours and location, or to reach someone in customer service and technical support. To send email to Cruzio, use one of these addresses: email@example.com ......for technical support firstname.lastname@example.org .......for billing and ordering information Cruzio's location: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Cruzio's hours: Sales hours: 10am-6pm, Monday through Friday; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday Technical support: 10-6 pm, Monday through Friday, 10am - 2pm Saturday System monitoring, including customer-alerted emergencies, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year (leap years, 366 days) Thanks very much from Cruzio: Chris, Peggy, Julianne, Kathy, Mark, Martin, Georgette, Tapati, Pedro, Brittany, Alec, Barbara, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Phil, Laura, Jessi, Alice, Edgar, Alex, Michael, another Kathy, Bhag, another Chris and Maria as well as our groovy intern Ezra (the grownups); Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) This has happened more than once: the kids are asked to clean their room. Jake, 10, and Annika, 7, are cleaning up but feel the need to report that Carly, 5, is not helping. Mom: "Carly, why aren't you helping?" Carly, on various occasions: - "I cleaned it last year." - "I'm asleep." (She lies down and makes loud snoring noises.) - "I'm hibernating." - "I'm laying an egg."