Cruzio Newsletter - Number 105, June 11, 2007 1. We'd Like Your Opinion 2. Brown Bag Workshop this Thursday: "Online Photo Galleries" 3. Two Hands-on Classes in June: "One Day Blog" & "One Day Photo Gallery" 4. Port 25 5. Cruzio Staff Goes to Google 6. Gizmo of the Month: The Humble Earbud 7. Computer Slow? We'll Install Memory 8. How *Not* to Choose a Password 9. Class Schedule Through August 10. Buddy Bucks 11. Feed the Hungry, Get Late Fees Waived 12. Moving? 13. About This Newsletter 14. How to Reach Cruzio (Dial-in or Tech Support) 1. We'd Like Your Opinion We always pay attention to your ideas, questions, compliments and suggestions for improvement. Now, for your convenience and ours, we'd like you to give us your opinions via a short, interesting survey: http://survey.cruzio.com This survey is constructed with Cruzio's own Web 2.0 tools -- the same tools available to members with newer Web hosting on Cruzio. Surveys are an easy and useful feature to add to your Web site. So as you take the survey, think to yourself "would I like to give a survey like this one?" and that question's natural corollary, "how cool would that be?" As for our survey's immediate use: Cruzio is not a giant, impersonal company. Your opinions will quickly be read by top management. We can't adopt every clever suggestion, but we will use your input to help us plan and make decisions. So please take the survey. It will only take you five minutes and we very much appreciate it. The survey will be active until July 13th -- but why not take it now? Again: http://survey.cruzio.com 2. Brown Bag Workshop this Thursday: Online Photo Galleries "Photo Galleries for Artists and Families" Thursday June 14, 12 - 1:30 PM $10 903 Pacific Avenue, Downtown Santa Cruz Online photo galleries organize your digital photographs and artwork into a pleasant published format. It's easy to add new photos and captions. And rather than send a few pictures at a time, you can simply email your family, friends or customers a link to your latest shots. Your folks can download the photos they like, and if you're a professional you can sell your work over the Web. To find out more, come to our low-cost Brown Bag workshop this Thursday. We'll describe the tools and options, everything you need to get started, and if you'd like additional help you can follow up with our more intensive Hands-on Photo Gallery class (see below). Lunches from the Java Lounge are available for an additional $7. Space is limited, so register today: http://classes.cruzio.com/workshops.html 3. Two Hands-on Classes in June: "One Day Blog" & "One Day Photo Gallery" "One Day Blog," Thursday June 21, 9 - 11 AM $99 "One Day Photo Gallery," Thursday June 28, 9 - 11 AM $99 903 Pacific Avenue, Downtown Santa Cruz Is it time to jump-start your blog or your online gallery? Here's the opportunity to do so. We'll make sure you have all the tools and necessary expertise at hand, so that in just a couple of hours you'll be well on your way. In the "One Day Blog" class, two creative, experienced instructors -- Mike Brogan and Jessi Hance -- will describe how to install and customize the blogging software that comes free with a Cruzio Website Plus or Premium account. Then they will help you actually set up your own blog right then and there. You'll be seated at a computer with everything you need, and with a maximum of eight students to two teachers you'll get attention and answers just when you need them. On the following Thursday, learn how to publish photographs or artwork on the Web using convenient (and free) gallery software. With the help of patient instructors, you'll create a gallery on your own live Web site and put in the first pictures. When you leave that morning, it will be ready for more. This is a great class for someone with far-flung family, and even better for professional artists who wish to display and sell their work at low cost. It's taught by our consummate professionals Mike Brogan and Edgar Landeros. Both Hands-on classes require Cruzio Website Plus or Premium. If you need to start Web service or aren't sure, please give a quick call to our Customer Service team, 459-6301 option 2. If you don't already have this service, starting or switching is easy and inexpensive, and you'll gain a wealth of free tools and features. For more information, and to register, check: http://classes.cruzio.com/hands_on.html 4. Port 25 As we mentioned last month, in our never-ending fight against spam we need to make a change to the way a small percentage of Cruzio accounts use our email servers. Because we don't want anyone to be caught short, we are giving plenty of advance notice on this change -- we will not carry it out for at least another month. If you are using port 25 on Cruzio's network for a non-Cruzio mail server -- for example, if you've set up your own mail server on a DSL line -- you'll be affected by the changes. Please contact us, we have workarounds available for every customer. If you are part of the 95 percent of Cruzio members who are *not* doing this, don't worry about it. You won't notice any change at all. This is not an immediate fix to the spam problem, but in the long run, if every ISP controls port 25 access, spam will be reduced for all of us. 5. Cruzio Staff Goes to Google Two weeks ago a group of Cruzio staff went to the Google Developers Forum to learn about new tools and techniques to improve our Web site. You'll be seeing a number of enhancements to our site in the near future as a result: new maps, better newsfeeds (especially on our Spanish site, http://www.micruzio.com ), and nifty slide shows. We take our position as technology advisors seriously and we often attend Internet technology forums. We take advantage of our closeness to Silicon Valley to attend symposia hosted by some of the largest hardware and software organizations in the nation, such as Apple Computer and Usenix. At these conferences, we learn how to fight spam, how to move data faster, how to keep data secure. Our field moves quickly and we want to provide you with the latest tools, as well as pass on the latest knowledge. 6. Gizmo of the Month: The Humble Earbud What other gizmo could transform a mundane jog or a stroll down a busy sidewalk into an auditory environment of your own choosing? Without earbuds you could not hear what your MP3 player was playing. The earbud works like an ear, only backwards, taking intelligence and converting it to sound. Another marvel of technology that would have passed for a religious experience a few centuries ago. But mainly, it's a little teeny thing that you can easily lose. Or the delicate "bud" part can get squished under something, and then you can't listen to your music. It's really best to have a spare. We just want you to know you can get them at Cruzio, only $4.99 a pair. Buy your earbuds any time: Cruzio will ship to you or hold them until you get to downtown Santa Cruz to pick them up. http://shopcruzio.com/accessories.html (By the way, our beautiful online shop uses ShopSite, software which is available to Cruzio customers. It was created by Jessi Hance and Bruce Emond. Nice job!) 7. Computer Slow? We'll Install Memory If your computer chugs, groans, or crashes on big files, more memory can make your life more liveable. At Cruzio we can purchase the correct memory for you and install it for just $49 plus the price of the memory. Call Computer Care -- 459-6301 press 5. If slowness is caused by other reasons, such as overloaded startup routines or virus infection, we can help with that, too (and slowness can indicate a security problem which may be putting your private data at risk!). See our list of Computer Care services on http://www.cruzio.com/services/tech_services/ 8. How *Not* to Choose a Password Malevolent computer hackers (often called "crackers") don't have to be smart if they can count on computer users to be lazy. One vulnerable area is your password, the front door to your online accounts from Internet access to shopping to banking and more. Choosing a good password and keeping it secret is important to everything the password protects, which is usually private or valuable information about you. Statistics, however, show that a large number of people are unintentionally putting the safety of their personal information -- and sometimes their family's or company's whole network -- at risk. First: choosing a password. As President Skroob said in the movie Spaceballs: "12345? That's AMAZING! I've got the same combination on my luggage!" And so do many other people. Here, in order, are the top 10 passwords, courtesy of PC Magazine: 1. password 2. 123456 3. qwerty 4. abc123 5. letmein 6. monkey 7. myspace1 8. password1 9. blink182 10. (your first name) As PC Magazine says tartly, "If you recognize yours [in the list], you may as well hand over your wallet or purse to the first person you see on the street." Crackers have programs which quickly try thousands of passwords to get into an account. They will have no trouble decoding the passwords above. Also, some have programs which search your hard disk and try all the words found in your email and other files. So the name of a family member or dog may not be as secure as you might wish for, say, access to your bank account. Or, as one user on Digg said, "I should never have named my dog Password." Longer passwords that don't use dictionary words and do combine letters and numbers are best. Numbers in the middle rather than the beginning or end of the password are preferable. For an article describing the why's and how's, visit: http://www.schneier.com/essay-148.html Next there's the matter of keeping a secret. A recent study by the ITC Institute in England showed that, when asked politely, 64% of people simply told a questioner their passwords. In this study, the researchers pretended to take a survey. They asked office workers what they thought was the most common password, and then what their own password was. A majority of people, and even many professionals attending an IT conference (22%), gave the "researcher" their password. Although Microsoft has discussed getting rid of password security altogether ( http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6039177.html?tag=nl ), it's not going to come to pass soon. Better to think up a couple of really good passwords, commit them to memory, and then the next step: don't tell anyone! Passwords are secret (this is important to tell your kids, too). For more tips on security, look for our Security Brown Bag workshops, given every few months for low cost at Cruzio. 9. Class Schedule Through August June 14th "Photo Gallery" Brown Bag 21st "One Day Blog" Hands-on Class 28th "Photo Gallery" Hands-on Class July 12th "Web 2.0 Tools for Business or Non-profit" Brown Bag 24th "One Day Blog" Hands-on Class 26th "One Night Web Site" Hands-on Class August 16th "Troubleshooting Your Computer" Brown Bag 23rd "Photo Gallery" Hands-on Class 25th Computer Care Clinic 30th "Advanced Blogging" Hands-on Class This schedule is subject to change, so please check our Web site to confirm and register: http://classes.cruzio.com 10. Buddy Bucks Recommend us to friends, family, colleagues: if a new customer gives us your email address, registration number, or full name when they sign up you'll get $10 credit to your account. If two friends sign up, $20. Three friends, $30. It just goes on and on. 11. Feed the Hungry, Get Late Fees Waived If you're late on a payment to Cruzio, turn it into a donation to hungry folks in our community. We will waive your late fee if you bring 3 cans into our office for our Second Harvest Food Bank barrel. Learn more about this charity at http://www.thefoodbank.org 12. Moving? If you are moving your home or office, please contact Cruzio. We're here to help the Internet portion of your move go smoothly. It's best to let us know several weeks ahead of time, especially if you have DSL or if you're canceling a phone line. We can often save you from an interruption in Internet service and prevent costly fees -- but you've got to let us know. For more information, please see http://www.cruzio.com/services/highspeed_access/move_dsl.html 13. 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. 14. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) For all the information you could ever want about Cruzio and the our community of Santa Cruz County, California: http://www.cruzio.com 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). Dialup (in Santa Cruz County): 459-9408 Nationwide Dialup: Look up local number on our Web page: http://www.cruzio.com/support/dialup_isdn/nationwide_numbers.html or call Cruzio toll free, 1.800.303.3302 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. 722-6200 .......... Cruzio's number in Watsonville. 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 locations: Santa Cruz: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Watsonville: Plaza Vigil, 23 E. Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 Cruzio's hours: Sales hours: 10 am-6 pm, Mon through Fri; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday Technical support: 8 am - 6 pm, Mon to Fri, 10 am - 2 pm 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, Mark, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, James, Juana, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Edgar, Brian, Westi, Andrew, Jaime, another Chris, yet another Chris, Diana, and Maria; our awesome interns, Brian, Cindy, and Helen; Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Waking Carly up for school last week: Carly: "I don't feel well this morning." Mom: "You must be tired, you went to bed really late last night." Carly: "I couldn't sleep, it wasn't my fault." Mom: "I didn't say it was your fault." Carly: "Yes, but your voice was faulty."