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Question   v5.7 July 2003
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1. v5.7 July 2003
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v5.7 July 2003
0.  Introduction.
1.  New - WebDAV!
2.  Some Upgrades!
3.  New - www.spam.la!
4.  Announcement list opt-in changes..
5.  DHSOTM

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0.  Introduction.

HELLO! Welcome to July's DreamHost Newsletter of the Month, or some such
thing! First off, I just want to apologize for last month's newsletter.
If I had known Robot was going to do such a half-asked job on it, I 
never would have dumped it on him at the last minute just to go skeet 
shooting. I promise I'll never make THAT mistake again. Talk about a 
senseless waste of tableware.

So... from now on, I promise I'm going to just stick with what works: 
writing the DreamHost Newsletter myself. Whether it takes 12 minutes or
22, I will persevere, just to make sure YOU, the Happy DreamHost 
customers, get a quality publication in your inbox. Even if it means
funding 20,000 Maxim subscriptions out of my own pocket. Hey don't 
worry, I can afford it. I run a multi-bajillion dollar company.. when I
do laundry I end up with over $300,000 just stuck in the lint trap. Man, 
I'm so rich I actually buy CDs. Ha ha, no, just kidding about the CDs of 
course!

But enough about ME.. let's see what awesome new features we whipped up
for YOU in the last 24 hours just so we'd have some stuff for the 
newsletter..


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1.  New - WebDAV!

First off, WebDAV! Well technically, I already used "first off" in the
introduction; up there where I was apologizing for Robot (again, I'm 
really sorry. I'm having him sent to the spice mines of Kessel or 
smashed into who-knows-what).

Okay, again: WebDAV! What is WebDAV? Well, it's like this way to publish 
via HTTP (instead of FTP or something like that). And what's it good 
for? Well, you can use it to publish a calendar to the web with iCal or 
 Mozilla that other people can subscribe to (which means your events will
show up in their calendar). Great for things like concert dates, family
birthdays, project deadlines, and Smallville re-runs. I think Apple's
.mac service is about the only place that offers a public WebDAV 
environment besides us. But .mac ain't FREE! I know, neither are we.. 
but if you're getting this newsletter, then you're already paying 
anyway, so it's as close to FREE as NON-FREE can BE! 

There's no additional cost to turn on WebDAV on any of your domains.. 
just go to the new "Goodies > WebDAV" area of our web panel at:

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

And check it out! WebDAV also allows you to make a desktop folder in Mac
OS X that connects straight to a directory on your website. For info on
how to do that, check out this page at apple.com:

      http://www.apple.com/creative/webpro/technology/webdav/

You know, that's actually a pretty good little intro page about what
WebDAV is! So everybody should check it out, even if you're not a mac
user. Because there's stuff that can use WebDAV on every platform out
there! Pretty cool. Maybe just do a google search for "webdav" or 
something. 

Hey, we're now the ONLY web host around that offers WebDAV! I haven't 
checked that fact, but I bet it's true! I'm pretty sure we're at least 
the only host that offers it on ALL our plans at no additional cost. I
haven't checked into that either. I'd have Robot go check but he's half
way to Kessel now.


########################################################################
2.   Some Upgrades!

Last month Robot thought it was pretty funny that we tried to upgrade
Squirrelmail to version 1.4 and failed. Well, who's got the last laugh
now, Mr. Smashed-Into-Who-Knows-What?!

That's right, we do! Because Squirrelmail is now upgraded! I'm not 
really sure what awesome new stuff version 1.4.1 has, but I know that we
at least added two much-requested plugins. There's the new "Notify 
Popup" feature and a javascript-based "QuickSave Auto Message Save and
Recovery". You can access the settings for each of these features in 
the "Options > Display Preferences" area of webmail.

"Notify Popup" will just keep a tiny little browser window open that 
checks for new mail every N minutes (you can specify N), and if there is
new mail, it pulls itself to the front of your screen and optionally 
makes a noise.

"QuickSave Auto Message Save and Recovery" is a little hack to deal with
the super-annoying problem of your session timing out in the middle of 
writing a long email. You go to send it, and you're logged out, losing 
the message you just spent the last 36 hours composing! Nutcracker! But 
now, you won't lose that message (or at least not all of it!)

In case you forgot or never knew, you can access webmail for your domain 
at any time via:

      http://webmail.YOURDOMAIN.COM/


This month we also upgraded our phpmyadmin to version 2.5.2, which has:
    * better support for MySQL charsets
    * LIKE in Select sub-page for non-text fields
    * optional icons for actions
    * better PHP code generation
    * possibility to let phpMyAdmin continue execution of a multi-query
statement even though single queries may fail
    * possibility to display the result of each query of a multi-query
statement
    * display MySQL error code and link to relevant documentation

In case you forgot or never knew, you can access phpmyadmin for any 
MySQL database you host with us, just by going to the hostname you set
up (possibly mysql.yourdomain.com) on the web like:

      http://mysql.YOURDOMAIN.COM/  (but "mysql" is whatever you chose)


As long as we're upgrading, we plan by next newsletter to have MySQL 
upgraded to version 4.0 and PHP to at least version 4.3.2. Funny how 
everything is now in the 4.X versions. Everything except this 
newsletter! We're all the way to v5.7! It just goes to show what a 
mature, robust and feature-complete application this newsletter has 
become. At least compared to PHP and MySQL.


########################################################################
3.  New - www.spam.la!

You know what I hate? When you sign up for some service, and they 
require your email address, and then without your consent, they've 
automatically subscribed you to their monthly newsletter! That is so
sleazy. Just because I subscribe to your service doesn't mean I want my
poor inbox subjected to some stupid marketdroid's lame attempt at humor.
I CAN'T BELIEVE SOME COMPANIES WOULD DO THAT.

But anyway, what a lot of people do when they're forced to give an email
address to get something, is use what is known as a "throw-away" 
address. There are a number of ways to get a throw-away address.

1. You can sign up for a free web-based account at say hotmail or yahoo.

2. If you have your own domain (e.g. you guys), you can use the catch-
all email alias feature to just make up a new email address @yourdomain
for each place. Then if they start to spam you later, you can just turn
that address off.

3. You can register at a place like spamgourmet.com and get an address
THERE that forwards to your real address.. and once it starts getting to
much spam, have THEM turn it off.

And now, there's a cool new fourth way! We just set up a site at:

       http://www.spam.la/  

(SEE all the great .LA domains that are still available?)

Check it out! The way it works is, ANY email sent to ANYTHING@spam.la 
just shows up right there on the main page, for the whole world to read.

So it's great for throw-away email addresses! You don't have to sign up
in advance at the site. When you're registering somewhere like the LA 
Times and they want your email address, just give em something like
hey_robot.how_are_those_spice_mines_treating_you@spam.la and then go to
http://www.spam.la/ to get any confirmation links they need.

Now REMEMBER! Don't use this service for anything that might in ANY WAY
require ANY privacy! Because, hello.. everybody in the world can read 
every single email ever sent to the domain. So this isn't for all 
purposes, but it's gotta be good for some! And it's nice and short and
easy to remember. And after a while when we start getting a lot of spam
to the domain, we may turn it into some sort of auto-spam-reporting 
"honey pot" type thing too. Who knows! We may even turn it into some 
kind of government-sanctioned online spam futures market! We're just 
that c-r-a-z-y!

So go ahead and give it a shot. And even if you already have a different
way of getting throw-away email addresses, maybe some of your friends
don't.. so tell them too! Also don't worry, all email addresses on the
website are obfuscated so that spammers don't end up mining the site for
addresses!


########################################################################
4.  Announcement list opt-in changes..

Nobody ever accused us at DreamHost of being spammers, that's for sure!
Well, nobody except for AOL that is.. you see, AOL is a strange bird.
They're a bit confused sometimes in their efforts to stop spam from 
reaching their clients. For example, if somebody with a DreamHosted 
domain has their email forwarded to their AOL account, AOL thinks that
ALL email sent to them _originated_ from us! That includes any spam they
might receive. So sometimes, AOL gets a bit weird with us and threatens
to block us from sending mail to them.

This would be really bad.. for us and for you. It'd be a lot of trouble
if nobody with a domain hosted by DreamHost could send mail to anybody
at AOL!  We try and explain to them what's going on, but let's just say
it sometimes seems like they're twenty-four eggs short of a dozen. Okay,
what is all this leading to anyway?

Starting now, we're requiring that some addresses added to our 
announcement lists ALWAYS be confirmed. That is, all aol.com addresses
now must be confirmed by the subscriber prior to being added to our 
announcement list feature. Also, a few extra addresses like webmaster, 
info, and abuse@ any domain must also always be confirmed.

This is just a proactive step by us to take us a little bit further from
the danger of being blocked by AOL. A lot of the complaints we get from 
them are actually from announcement lists sent by customers. In most 
cases, it's just the AOL member not remembering when they subscribed to 
the list.. but unfortunately unless they've confirmed through our system
we don't have any documentation on the legitimacy of their subscription.
Adding this new requirement just strengthens our ability to protect our 
Happy customers from the suckiness that would be AOL blocking us! 

AOL really isn't so bad, the main thing here is avoiding anything they 
could use against us to say we are spamming their customers, and 
requiring confirmed opt-in for all AOL subscribers is one such thing.

We don't think this should have too much of an effect on day-to-day 
events around here at all really. We're not making any aol.com addresses
that are already subscribed re-confirm, so most likely this is only 
going to affect new customers anyway! If this goes off super-smooth-
like, we'll hopefully be able to move to 100% confirmed opt-in in the 
near future as well.


########################################################################
5.  DHSOTM 

Sorry about the lack of funniness in that last section! Hopefully this
month's DreamHost Site of the Month winner will make up for that though:

       http://www.gwbush04.com/

That's right, can you believe it? DreamHost hosts what looks like the
US President's official re-election campaign site! Holy mackerel! Our 
new slogan: "DreamHost: If it's good enough for W, it's good enough for
U!"

Get your site right up there along with the PRESIDENT'S.. enter the 
DHSOTM contest today at:

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

Remember, each month's winner is entirely determined by votes from OUR
CUSTOMERS.. whoever has the highest average vote (with a minimum of ten)
at the end of each month, wins! Winning the DHSOTM contest isn't really
an official endorsement from DreamHost itself that your site is cool.


########################################################################

Okay, so that isn't the _official_ site.. sue me!
Josh!

Last updated: Aug 07, 2003.