#122, December 18, 2008

1. Reliable Backup Power at Cruzio
2. Obama, Benjamin Button, Vampire Weekend: Write Your Own "Best Of 2008"
3. Holiday Gifts for Geeks, Artists and Grandpas
4. Heads Up! Internet Explorer Security Alert
5. The Battle Against Spam: One Victory 
6. A Cuddly Cruzio Bear: For You. Free.
7. Easy Way to Do a Holiday Letter: Blog It!
8. Progress on Email Upgrades
9. Smart Investments Go Local
10. Cruzio Will Match Your Donation to Second Harvest
11. Upcoming Classes at Cruzio
12. Help Shakespeare Santa Cruz
13. Moving?
14. Get Cruzio Credit with Buddy Bucks
15. About This Newsletter
16. How to Reach Cruzio (Dial-in or Tech Support)

1. Reliable Backup Power at Cruzio
When the lights go off, Cruzio is on. We have substantial automatic power
backup on our communications equipment and in our offices. We will deliver
your email and keep your website up and running through power outages.

Recognizing that we're in an area with frequent power fluctuations, not to
mention earthquakes, Cruzio has prioritized emergency preparedness since our
earliest days. And now that wind and rain are in the forecast, you can rest
easy knowing your email, your sales orders, and your Internet data are waiting
for you, dry and safe.

Best of all, if you have a website on Cruzio, even if your office is without
power, the whole world can still do business with you through the Web. 

2. Obama, Benjamin Button, Vampire Weekend: Write Your Own "Best Of 2008"
What did you like best in 2008? What were your favorite songs... most-loved
movies...  most significant events? List them in your mini-blog and hundreds
of people will check them out on Cruzio's central blog page. 

To see other people's writing, pictures and videos, visit our site:

And here are instructions on how to get started blogging (it's easy):

3. Holiday Gifts for Geeks, Artists, and Grandpas
Okay, it's officially the last minute. And perhaps there are some presents you
still need to buy. Turn the obligation into an opportunity to improve
someone's life:

	-- Buy a friend a Cruzio class. They can redo their Website with
		cutting-edge tools and the patient help of an expert.
		If your friend is starting a new venture, what better gift
		than putting the business online? Buy your friend a Classes gift
		certificate at http://classes.cruzio.com

	-- If your friend already has a site, get them ranked high in Google.
		Cruzio will compile a customized report, detailing how to get their
		site to the top of the search engines.

	-- The ultimate unique gift: a personal domain name. If his name is
		Bob Tweegle, get him bobtweegle.com. He can get email at
		his own name. Yes, that is cool. Try out names at
		http://www.cruzio.com and order one on the spot. (The box says
		the name is for a website, but you can use it for just email or
		even just bragging rights).

	-- Gizmo? How about a cool little flash drive? Lots of memory, tiny
		package. Teens love them for carrying homework to and from 
		school. They're on sale at Cruzio -- prices are lower than ever.

	-- More cool electronic gizmos, like a box that plays your iPod
		through your car stereo (simple and easy -- it works great!). 

	-- No matter what you select, you'll also get our cuddly Cruzio
		teddy bear. We're giving one away with each account. Even if
		the gift you choose is invisible, like DSL or Web hosting,
		the bear will look cute under the tree. Come in to our store
		in downtown Santa Cruz and pick one up!

4. Heads Up! Internet Explorer Security Alert
Microsoft recently announced a serious problem with all current versions of
its Internet Explorer browser. The flaw may allow Internet criminals to
take control of your computer and gain access to financial information like
passwords and bank account numbers. 

Security experts, including Cruzio, have long recommended you use another
browser, such as Firefox, rather than IE. If you currently use Internet
Explorer, we recommend you download Firefox free from Cruzio's website:
Just click the green "Firefox" button in the right column to start the download

5. The Battle Against Spam: One Victory 
Year after year, Cruzio fights the increasing mountains of spam. Sometimes
we've got it under control. Other times the spammers make a technical leap
and we're rushing to put up newer, stronger barriers. We're part of a large
community of ISPs working together against junk email, and every so often we
can point to a significant, though often impermanent, victory. 

Last month was such a time.

In early November, the Washington Post reported on a vast spam-spewing network,
publicly naming (and shaming) the Internet backbone carriers who'd been turning
a blind eye to the conduct. The inquiry centered on a company called McColo, which
was finally shut down on November 11th, 2008.

Spam immediately dropped 70% to 75% worldwide.

The spam house was located right under our noses -- in San Jose. This shows the
difficulty in identifying and apprehending spammers.

After being kicked off their network, McColo's management looked for other
places to settle. In the month since their shutdown spam volumes have crept
back up to nearly their old levels again.

But this effort has shown that the very vastness of the botnets sending
spam and viruses around the Internet makes them big targets. When they fall,
they fall hard.

Spammers' income comes mostly from fraud and identity theft. From Cruzio's perspective,
the more spam we can prevent from getting delivered, the harder spammers will find it
to make money and the more secure our customers will be. We'd love to put them out of

The more spam *you* filter out and the more careful you are about opening
too-good-to-be-true offers or fake postcards the better off we'll all be.

If you suspect you may have a compromised computer, please let Cruzio know. One computer
can infect thousands of others. Our experts can tell you if a scrubbing is needed.
We can then provide you with instructions to do it yourself or we can complete the
cleaning and protection for a reasonable fee. To make an appointment with Cruzio
Computer Care, go to

To read about the Wild West world of spam attacks and hot pursuits, we 
recommend Brian Krebs's blog on the Washington Post:

6. A Cuddly Cruzio Bear: For You. Free.
It took us over a month to select the perfect bear. Cuddly, definitely.
Soft. Carryable. With small brown eyes and a wrinkly nose. It's a primal
need, a teddy bear.

Extensive research concluded in a result that will satisfy even the most
cold-hearted bear snob. Small enough to take camping with you but cuddly
enough to make all the difference. Wearing a Cruzio t-shirt.

And it's free for you because you are a Cruzio member and we appreciate
you. Please come in and get your bear, one to a customer. Happy holidays!

7. Easy Way to Do a Holiday Letter: Blog It!
Your family and friends really do want to see what you're doing
these days. They'd love to see your pictures and chuckle at your stories.

In the long-ago past of a few years ago, this meant making color
photocopies of family newsletters, laboriously assembling and mailing.
It all had to be done -shudder- well in advance. And the holidays have
a way of sneaking up, don't they?

But now it's so much easier.

Just blog it.

You can use your free mini-blog: log in to http://www.cruzio.com and click the
mini-blog tab on your profile page. Or set up a more personalized blog
with Cruzio's Website Plus or Premium (WordPress blog software included).

8. Progress on Email Upgrades
Cruzio has just purchased ten new multi-terabyte units to increase email
capacity. Greatly expanded storage will soon be available to all cruzio.com
email customers at no extra charge.

This is just the first step in our major email upgrade. Soon you'll be
seeing a new Webmail interface. Lingering quirks and oddities of
our current system will be cleared up. We're closely following the
items mentioned by members who took our customer survey earlier this 
year -- we're addressing all the issues mentioned and we think you'll
be very happy with the results.

Our engineers and designers are working on the email upgrade even as we
write. They expect to have improvements in place in the first quarter of 2009.

9. Smart Investments Go Local
Hard economic times can be a reminder that investment need not be an 
anonymous check sent to a faraway broker. Maybe it's better to put our
money into real progress that we can see close to home.

Better roads, better schools, better buildings, better parkland. One of
the best investments we can make is to feed hungry people and support
cultural institutions in our own community -- see items 9 and 12 below. 

Cruzio is also investing in our community through infrastructure improvements:
we're bringing more of our equipment and spending into Santa Cruz County with
major upgrades completed in 2008 and more planned for 2009. Stronger communications
and data capabilities help our community grow and prosper, and Cruzio will
be playing a part.

10. Cruzio Will Match Your Donation to Second Harvest
Cruzio is matching donations to Second Harvest Food Bank until December 31st,
2008. When we see the check from a Cruzio member, we'll match the amount (up
to a total of $2,500) and send the checks along to the charity where the money
will be used to buy food.

Simply make out a check to "Second Harvest Food Bank" and send it to:
	903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101 
	Santa Cruz, CA 95060

And remember, throughout the year Cruzio will waive your late fees if
you bring three cans of food to our barrel. To learn more about Second
Harvest Food Bank, see:

11. Upcoming Classes at Cruzio
Unlike many computer learning centers, Cruzio continues supporting you after
class is over. You are welcome to return for an individual session with an
instructor afterward. Those sessions are called "Cruzio One on One" and
they're held on Wednesday afternoons.

As for (slightly) larger classes, our most popular are coming up in the next
few months. One favorite is "Search Engine Optimization Secrets," where
our experts examine your website in advance and give you a list of
recommendations for improving your rank in Google and Yahoo. We then discuss
our analysis in class. Learn from your own site, and from your classmates'.

Another popular class is "One Night Website" (or "One Day Website," offered
earlier in the day). If you want to create or update your Web presence, this
is the class for you. We'll train you in the latest Web 2.0 technology that
makes creating and maintaining a website much more flexible and expandable.
And if you'd like to add a shopping cart to a new or old website, try "Start
Making Money Online."

If you know anyone who gets nervous around computers, send them to Cruzio's
"Internet 101" class. We've got patient, knowledgeable instructors who'll walk
people through basic Internet tasks and answer any and all questions.

Browse the schedule for the next few months below. Check
http://classes.cruzio.com for more up-to-date information; schedules
occasionally change.

January Class Schedule
Internet 101, Thursday January 8 9:00-11:00am
Plan Your Web Presence, Thursday January 8 12:00-1:15PM
One Night Website, Tuesday January 13 5:00-8:00pm
Start Making Money Online, Thursday January 15 9:00-11:00am
One Day Website, Thursday January 22 9:00am-12:00pm
Search Engine Optimization Secrets, Tuesday January 27 5:30-7:30pm

February Class Schedule
Plan Your Web Presence, Thursday February 5 12:00-1:15PM
One Night Website, Tuesday February 10 5:00-8:00pm
Internet 101, Thursday February 12 9:00-11:00am
Start Making Money Online, Tuesday February 17 5:30-7:30pm
Search Engine Optimization Secrets, Thursday February 26 9:00-11:00am
One Day Website, Saturday February 28 9:00am-12:00pm

March Class Schedule
Plan Your Web Presence, Tuesday March 3 12:00-1:15PM
One Night Website, Tuesday March 10 5:00-8:00pm
Internet 101, Thursday March 12 9:00-11:00am
One Day Website, Thursday March 26 9:00am-12:00pm
Search Engine Optimization Secrets, Tuesday March 31 5:30-7:30pm

12. Help Shakespeare Santa Cruz
For years, Cruzio has sponsored Shakespeare Santa Cruz. During that time 
we've enjoyed Hamlet, Lear, Shaw, and Beckett. We've picnicked in a redwood
glen while human-size fairies sang and danced around us. Now SSC needs
help, right away: $300,000 in donations are required by Monday, December 22nd,
or the whole program may be shut down.

As of this writing, $224,216 has been raised -- great progress given the short
lead time.

If you care about Shakespeare Santa Cruz, please donate here: 

If SSC does not reach its goal of $300,000 by December 22nd, your gift
will be refunded.

Many thanks from our community. See you at the next show!

13. 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 cancelling 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. Call us at 
459-6301 or email office@cruzio.com.

14. Get Cruzio Credit with 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. 

15. 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 support@cruzio.com 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.

16. How to Reach Cruzio (Dial-in or Tech Support)
To reach the Cruzio Information Center, for online technical and
sales information:

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 the left side of the page:
  or call Cruzio toll free, 1.800.303.3302

If you've got a problem, but can still surf the Web:
	Most questions are answered in Cruzio's Support Forum at

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:
  	support@cruzio.com ......for technical support
	office@cruzio.com .......for billing and ordering information

Member services contact form:

Support Contact Form:

Or leave a message for us in the forums:

Cruzio's location:
	Santa Cruz: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Cruzio's hours:
	Sales hours: 10 am-6 pm, Mon to Fri; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday
	Technical support: 8 am to 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, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, James,
	Juana, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Westi, Andrew, Jaime,
	another Chris, yet another Chris, Jake, Shawn, Zachary, Carlos,
	another Jake, Sandi, Amber and McKinley;
	Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids)

Welcome to the twins, Emmett Steven and Grace Ann!

Annika, age 13, when asked wouldn't she prefer a fruit smoothie to
a milkshake: "I am not going to waste this time of my life on 
healthy foods."