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Tuesday, September 19, 2000

That's One with Six Zeroes

Ever wonder how long it takes to get to a million? Just over two weeks. Deliverator, our mail machine, delivered one million e-mail messages in the last 16 days.

Saturday, September 16, 2000

A Conspiracy For Everyone

Here's more neat wallpaper from the talented and Illuminated Modesty: ( Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Credit Cards Online

Effective immediately, Illuminati Online can no longer take credit card information in any form over the net. This means we cannot take card numbers and expiration dates either through a website or via e-mail. If you wish us to charge your credit card, you will have to give the information in a phone call, by fax, via regular post, or in person. This will remain in effect until we can resolve the problem with our merchants or our software.

Honestly, folks, we are not trying to make life harder for you. But pressures have mounted on merchants who take credit cards via the web to the point that now the major credit card companies have changed the data they want when a card is authorized. Our credit card software does not send all the data they now require and we are looking into other options. Until we can make new arrangements, however, we are limited in the ways we can handle your credit card information.

The purported reason for these new requirements is that web-generated credit card transactions are subject to a much higher rate of fraud. That may be, but we want you to know that we have never treated your credit card information lightly. Every morning we inspect the credit card charges that are going in that day and look for anything that may seem unusual to our clients. If we find something, we stop the charge and either correct it or contact you. We no longer treat annual renewals as automatic. We contact you by e-mail and ask if you want your card charged for another year. We have taken every step possible to insure that your card is never charged without your permission. If an error is made, credit is extended promptly. As a result, our chargeback rate has been nearly zero.

Be that as it may, we still have to conform to the new requirements, and we will need your help. If you wish to give us card information, please do it by phone, fax, regular mail, or personal appearance. If you want to stop using your account, *please* notify us, preferably in writing (e-mail is fine for this) so that we *know* to stop charging your card. And if you have any quarrel at all with the way your card has been charged by us, please do not hesitate to contact us before you contact your credit card company. We can and will make it right.

Wednesday, September 6, 2000

Connectivity maintenance

At 11:30pm on Thursday, September 7, IO's DS-3 (45 Mb) circuit to the AMAP (Austin Metropolitan Access Point) will be taken down while the phone company re-routes our DS-3 circuit. The circuit will be unusable for at least 15 minutes between 11:30 p.m. Thursday evening and 6:00 a.m. Friday morning.

Alternative routes are hard-coded in our routers, and most data should route around the AMAP connection automagically. The routes should all revert
back to their original condition when the links are re-established.

Most of the ISPs that peer at AMAP use the same phone company for their circuits, so it is likely that each one of these companies will intermittently fail at different times during this maintenance window.

Access to Giganews normally follows routes across this link, so during this period, communication between IO and Giganews may be spotty. Once the phone company has completed this work, all routes through the AMAP link should be back to normal.

Our default backup route is through Exodus, and most major Austin ISPs and companies also peer at Exodus. If everyone's configurations are correct then downtime should be nil and latency should only increase slightly. We'll keep you posted on our NOC page ( )

Thursday, August 24, 2000

You have less SPAM!

In the continuing effort to stamp out SPAM on the Internet, IO has made additional configurations to our existing SPAM filters. The latest of these is support for RSS (Relay Spam Stopper - ), in addition to the existing RBL (Realtime Blackhole List - .)

Both of these services check the originating host of every e-mail message on our system and verify that the originating host is not listed as a 'known spam house.' If and when one of these known spam hosts tries to deliver mail to the IO mailservers, our mailserver will bounce the message back to the original sender with a note stating which database has listed them as a spammer.

Additional information and links about the continuing fight against SPAM can be found on our help web pages at .

Monday, August 21, 2000

IO Users Help Rescue 82 (!!) Dogs

After a massive rescue effort, Heart of Texas Labrador Retriever Rescue has 82 new dogs to care for as of late last week. The efforts of many volunteers and donations have brought these dogs to new temporary homes, where they can be fed, cared for and rehabilitated to an adoptable state.

IO users Jane and Rick Fish have donated the use of their online web store ( to receive and process tax-deductible donations via credit card.

The full story of the rescue, along with links to make donations and info on how you can help, can be found at (

Thursday, August 3, 2000

Microsoft sues United States!!!

I guess we should have expected this. The best defense IS a good offense, and what is more offensive to the computing public's welfare than Bilco?

And by the way, IO is running a BIG sale on bridges this week.

Ken Jackson (

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