|Volume 1, Issue 4||
|Look closely before paying any Web "bill"|
Lots of companies use snail mail solicitations to
lure in new customers. And that's fine by me. After all, this is
America and capitalism reigns.
August, however, that sentence had changed to "THIS IS NOT A BILL.
THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED
ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER." All in large, bold capital letters
— about three times larger than before. A voluntary change
Perhaps. Or was ICLS asked/ordered to make it more obvious that
it was indeed a solicitation?
2530 Berryessa Road # 912
245 8th Avenue #366
There was no phone number on the ICLS Web site, so I checked out the site ownership and found 905-948-0921 listed with the San Jose address above. A reverse directory search said it was probably unlisted. Calling it, I got the default answering/fax machine voice telling me to leave a message or send a fax. No business name was used. An added note: 905 is the area code for Ontario. . .Canada! That's a long way from San Jose.
If you ever get a questionable mailing, send
it to me before you pay a penny.
|Slammers get slapped|
Another sneaky mailing delivered via the U.S. Postal Service is the"Domain Name Expiration Notice". It looks like a bill from "your" registrar. It's not. It's a classic prospecting spam, known as "domain slamming". It may arrive via the mail or by e-mail. The slammers hope you'll move your domain to their company by replying to a domain renewal notice.
It's not just the consumers who are up in arms about domain slamming. The Federal Trade Commission has gone after VeriSign for similar marketing practices. (Network Solutions is a subsidiary of VeriSign.) A sample of one of VeriSign's "renewals" is still online.
Domain Registry of America (DRoA), which sent me the "renewal" above, was taken to court by Register.com. Register.com won a stay against DRoA, whom it also accused using Register.com's brand and logo.
You can read a lot of irate messages regarding DRoA in "Dr. Bacchus' Journal". A Google search revealed a lot of webmaster warnings, from around the world, some alleging DRoA was using deceptive e-mails, as well.
The contact phone number on the DRoA Web site is another 905 area code. . .Canada, remember? Personally, I think that kind of clashes with the U.S. flag in their logo. DRoA's Buffalo, New York mailing address is. . .you guessed it, Mail Boxes, Etc.
If you registered your domain name with DreamHost (through me, or at my instruction), one free domain name registration is included in your annual fee. If you get a notice from anyone else, let me know before you pay!
|Your latest reading lesson|
"Aoccdrnig to rseeacrh at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmotnat tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.
"The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.
"Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig, huh?"
I wasn't able to verify the authenticity of this statement at the University of Cambridge site(s), but decided it really didn't matter. You just have to read it to know the concept is valid. Even Google can read it. When I googled for "Aoccdrnig to rseeacrh at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy", it asked me, "Did you mean: According to research at Cambridge University?"
(Update: Since this newsletter first came out in mid-September 2003,
Matt Davis, from Cambridge, started snooping around on
his own. Check
out his posts.)
|A client wrote. . .|
"Sandy Hershelman is a creative professional, who has repeatedly crafted an effective marketing tool for Chimacum Schools. As the editor of our award-winning newsletter, Sandy's suggestions have added great punch to the final product. She is very personable, has great communications skills, and is always there when I need her. Sandy was well worth every dollar we've ever spent on her!"
Dr. Mary Lynne Derrington
|Copies of Chimacum School Matters and other newsletters may be accessed through this link.|
|Keeping Mr. Mac happy: Turn off gzip|
October, Jon Muellner (Winds Eye Design) gave me a heads-up. He couldn't
access my newsletter.
"On IE 5.2, on the Mac, it is just a bunch of odd text characters. Trying to then go to just http://www.sandyhershelman.com, it asks what application I want to use to open the file because it can't recognize it as HTML. I think it believes it's a compressed file," Jon wrote. "Netscape 6 works fine as a clickable link, (as does) going directly to the site through the URL. I use Eudora Pro for all mail. Not sure what's happening, the code looks fine..."
I quickly e-mailed my other Mac tech-friends and asked if they had
any issues/solutions. It seemed to be strictly an issue with Internet
Explorer 5.2 for the
Mac. We bounced around some possible explanations, but nothing really
came of it.
then sent the key. This image to the right allowed me to find an answer.
"Internet Explorer doesn't know how to handle the type of file you have selected. You can choose to save this file to your disk or you can configure a Helper Application for this file.
MIME Type: application/gzip compressed"
I didn't know what the heck gzip compression was, but I did know that was the phrase to use when I went "googling".
I found clues within Google's search results:
"Sometimes MSIE says that it's receiving an unknown MIME type
and wants the user to download and save it (I don't have it in front of
me, but I think the MIME type it's seeing is application/gzip-compressed
or application/x-gzip-compressed). These should be text/html -- and that's
how they show up when I turn compression off."
There were a few other comments, as well; very few, but enough to have me ask my host if they used gzip compression. The answer was, "Yes, this is because of the gzip compression we use on our servers. We don't know exactly what are the conflictions, but I've seen a few other customers having the same problem. You can go over your codes and try to track down the problem, but if you'd rather have us turn off gzip compression, we can do that, too. It will increase bandwidth slightly, so it's up to you whether you'd like to do that."
I knew the problem wasn't in the HTML code. I had them turn off the g-zip compression to the Home Builders' site. Bob tested it. "Hooray, it worked, and thank you," he wrote. YEAH!!!
A different tech turned off the gzip compression to the rest of
my sites. He added a comment to my observation that, "Research indicates
the newest Mac IE cannot handle gzip compression easily (at all?)."
Do note he "used to use" Mac IE. If this was a new issue for both Jon and Bob, both longtime Mac users and faithful upgraders, perhaps it's the latest version of IE running on the newest Macs that is the issue? I honestly don't know for sure.
I present this to you all for two reasons: 1. The Mac users amongst you will probably run into this again with other sites, living on hosts using gzip compression. 2. There was very little about this issue online and compiling such data online allows it to be found by others. . .and this is a good thing.