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Question   v5.3 March 2003
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v5.3 March 2003
0.  Introduction.
1.  Razor Spam Blocking!
2.  SSL Jabber! (and Yahoo transport back!)
3.  More Disk Space!
4.  Announcement Lists Improvements
5.  DHSOTM


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0.  Introduction.

Welcome everybody, to the April 2003 DreamHost Newsletter! APRIL FOOLS!
This is the March newsletter.. please ignore that it came out in April.
I was going to write it a bit earlier, but I was involved with a protest
that took up most of my weekend. You see, I don't like how things have
been progressing recently, and I thought it was important to air my
personal disagreement with certain world events.

I'm fed up with the idea that March Madness should go through April 7th!

So, in protest, this weekend I peacably withdrew myself from the
DreamHost office pool. Actually, I had for all intents and purposes
withdrawn myself before the tournament even began, with picks like Wake
Forest in the championship game and Florida in the final four. I just
thought I should make it official in order for my dissention to carry
some real weight.

As I've now officially withdrawn, it also seems only fair that I get my
money back. I mean, if I'd really _wanted_ to be in this pool in the
first place, I obviously would have picked at least ONE of the Final
Four correct.

Oh, speaking of the Final Four.. please read the Final Four sections to
this months' newsletter, (plus DHSOTM!) you might as well since you've
already read this Intro!


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1.  Razor Spam Blocking!

Just like Marquette, nobody thought DreamHost would implement a server-
side spam filtering feature anytime soon! Well.. we did! 

Although we still plan to add more server-side spam filtering in the
future, possibly through a "bayesian" filter or a SpamAssassin-style
program, we have made one fairly simple step already in fighting spam
being deliverred to our customers: vipul's razor!

You may ask, "What is vipul's razor, and how does it help him shave?"

Well, basically it's just a centralized database of known spam in
circulation. So, now from our filters panel:

https://panel.dreamhost.com/?tree=mail.filters

you can easily turn on or off Razor filtering! When it's on for a user,
all incoming email will be compared with the centralized server database
and decided if it's spam. If so, it will be automatically placed in the
spam folder you specified at our filters panel!

There is a small chance some mail will be incorrectly filtered as spam
when you use vipul's razor. Periodically, you should check your spam
folder to see if there were any mistakes! If so, you can help improve
the reliability of the central server just by copying that message into
your "blocked non-spam" folder when you move it back to your inbox.
Messages in that folder will periodically be used to help update the
central database and then deleted.

Conversely, any spam that does slip into your Inbox you can put in your
"unblocked spam" folder and have automatically reported as such!

Read more about Razor at:   http://razor.sourceforge.net/

Keep an eye out for more news from the DreamHost spam-fighting front!


########################################################################
2.  SSL Jabber! (and Yahoo transport back!)

Texas was the only secure pick to make the NCAA Final Four this year,
and coincidentally SSL Jabber is the only secure feature to make the DH
Final Four!

This month we finally added some support for secure Jabber connections
to all our plans. What that means is you can now have ENCRYPTED instant
messaging at your own domain!

In order to set it up, you must have/get a regular secure certificate
for your domain. That means you'll have to have a unique IP and a bunch
of other stuff, which you should read about at:

?area=700

But once you've got a secure server running on your domain, all you
have to do to get secure Jabber going is add a user like regular from
our Jabber panel:

https://panel.dreamhost.com/?tree=goodies.jabber

Keep in mind, not all Jabber clients support secure connections, so if
you want to use this, you'll have to find one that does.

ALSO, note that your encrypted connection is only secure for messages to
other jabber users at the same domain! Instant messages sent to other
jabber servers won't be encrypted.

And a final note.. the Yahoo Jabber transport is back! (Jabber
transports allow Jabber to work with other non-Jabber systems. So now
we've got them all: ICQ, AIM, MSN, and Yahoo!)


########################################################################
3.  More Disk Space!

Syracuse has added forty more points than their opponents in the four
games they played to reach the Final Four. And now DreamHost is adding
FIFTY more megabytes of storage to all four of our Shared Hosting plans!

Well, there's really not much more to the announcement than that!
Effective immediately we've raised the disk storage limit on all shared
hosting plans (for new AND current customers) by 50MB. A quick FAQ:

Why'd you do it?
I dunno, it just felt right I guess. 

Do my user quotas automatically increase 50MB?
If you haven't set any quotas yourself, then you don't have to do
anything, they'll all be updated. If you have set your own quota for any
of your users (ftp/shell/mailboxes/etc..) then the quota you set will
stay as it is. If you want to raise it some now, feel free to do so
through our web panel of course!

What can I use this extra 50MB of space for?
Anything you'd like... website files, MySQL databases, email, archived
files, bragging to your friends... anything!

Do you think Syracuse might win the NCAA tournament this year?
Not a chance.


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4.  Announcement List Improvements

Kansas made the Final Four two years in a row, in a testament to their
reliability. Similarly, DreamHost has been having trouble with their
Announcement List system for two weeks in a row, in a testament to their
reliability!

What happened was about two weeks ago our announcement list system was
getting hopelessly backed up (something like 94 announcement lists were
stuck in the queue for over two days!). We cleared out the queue
manually, but we knew something had to be done. So, we re-wrote a large
part of our announcement list sending function to use much more
efficient bulk-email sending processes. 

Then, there was a little bit of a period as we made the transition a bit
over a week ago where there were some more snafus, and some mailing
lists went out multiple times while others apparently didn't go out at
all. Ugh.

But fortunately, the switch was soon made, and things looked like they
were a lot better. That was, until the middle of last week when the
announcement list server started having weird issues with its hardware
clock (it was running waaaaaaay too slow!) which caused some more
problems with outgoing announcement lists. Again, some lists didn't go
out while others might have gone out multiple times as we tried to get
a grip on the problem!

As of today however, we think we've got the announcement list problems
all sorted out! There was one (final?) bug where lists with lines
longer than 1024 characters weren't going out, but that's been sorted
too. So please, try and rebuild your confidence in our list system, and
give it another shot if you've been disheartened in recent weeks!

(It seems dealing with bulk email is a pain no matter whether receiving
or sending!) And always remember our very strict anti-spam policy.. see:

http://www.dreamhost.com/spam.html


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5.  DHSOTM 

We made a tiny little change in the DHSOTM (DreamHost Site of the Month)
section of our web panel this month:

https://panel.dreamhost.com/?tree=home.dhsotm

We changed the default sort order to be Most Recently Added as oppposed
to Highest Overall Score. What this means is new sites will get more
exposure for longer, and therefore have a better chance of winning the
DHSOTM contest sooner. This little itty bitty sort order change should
result in a much fresher, vibrant, and wacky DHSOTM area! Go enter your
site today. You must.

As a result, March's fabulous winner is a site that was only submitted
on Thursday!

      Conrad Grodd (Model):  http://www.doubleparker.com/conrad

It's a nicely laid out flash portfolio site for Conrad Grodd, male
model. Some might say he looks better than even Derek Zoolander. One
thing I can say, when you visit the site be sure to check out what's in
the title tag, and also be sure to click the "ALL" link!

Something tells me somebody wasn't expecting their site to win DHSOTM so
soon! Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!


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Until Wake Forest wins a national title,
Josh!

Last updated: Apr 02, 2003.