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2:38 am EDT 36°F (2°C) in Carnesville, GA
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I sit 60 miles (about 100 km) from my upcoming delivery in Norcross, GA, which I am going to make after I eat dinner here. Because of that, I don’t have a shitload of time for a long, philosophical update, but there are a few things I wanted to talk about, so I figured I would check in.
First, although I doubt any of you have noticed it, this site has moved to a new home. Due to extremely poor service and several meritless threats to suspend my account for things I (a) haven’t done and (b) lack any control over, I have left California-based Lunarpages with two weeks remaining in the year of hosting I bought from them last November. Last week, while at home, they sent me another message saying they were going to suspend my account because I had allegedly used their services to send spam. This came on the heels of an identical message I received in early September.
The thing is, I have never even used Lunarpages’ SMTP services to send e-mail. Long before I even signed up with Lunarpages, I signed up for a paid account, for which I pay $30 a year, with SMTP.com, a third-party SMTP relay service. The plan I have with SMTP.com limits me to 30 outbound messages per day, which isn’t even one-thousandth the capacity most true spammers require to make any kind of money — but is more than what I need. As SMTP.com states on its website, they monitor all messages sent through their service, and take action against anybody they perceive to be using their services for spamming. It should be obvious, considering all of these facts, that if I send out an e-mail, it is legitimate.
It makes absolutely no sense that Lunarpages would suspect me of spamming, and as a result threaten to suspend my account. The e-mail messages they sent basically said that regardless of the actual facts of the case, it was all my fault and I was the one who was going to suffer the consequences — that it wasn’t their job to look into any of it at all. This is an absolutely unacceptable way to treat a paying customer, and I refuse to take it any longer.
The whole fiasco is even more infuriating when you take into account what I suspect is probably happening. Given the prolific amounts of spam I was receiving while a customer of Lunarpages — close to 100 spams per day on each of my two primary addresses — it seems obvious that Lunarpages’ e-mail systems are anything but secure. Despite my having changed passwords for my e-mail accounts, hosting control panel, and anything else relevant on a semi-regular basis, this flood never abated. What was probably going on was that some hacker was able to use their systems to send out fake messages that appeared to be from me, then turn around and report these fake messages as spam — therefore implicating me as the spammer. My message to Lunarpages is this: if you can’t even get your own shit in order, what gives you the right to threaten me?
After some looking around, I am now with the Arizona-based host Go Daddy. When I signed up with Lunarpages, $95 bought me one year of service; by comparison, about $145 has me signed up with Go Daddy for the next 3½ years. Note that the $95 to Lunarpages didn’t include the registrar fees for the domain name phatpage.org — that ran another $35 per year with Network Solutions. On the other hand, the $145 does cover my domain registration, and this ensures that Larry’s Phat Page will be on the web through at least spring 2010. Unless I decide in the next three-plus years that I no longer want to run a web site — a choice that, right now, I doubt I will ever make — I will renew these services even further into the future when the time comes to do so.
Mind you, the transition to Go Daddy hasn’t exactly been pain-free; I’ve been finding a number of problems with the site recently, mostly related to uploading files via FTP. In particular, many of the Interstate shield graphics used in my Highways section didn’t want to upload properly, sometimes even through three or four attempts. I think I have everything fixed now, but I will continue to monitor the site and fix problems as I find them. Additionally, I must also say that configuring a Go Daddy account to work the way you want it to work is somewhat of a headache, certainly compared to other web hosts I have previously used, but it’s not impossible.
Finally, I have a few words on Michigan football. The fact that I haven’t said much should tell you how well they’ve been playing this year — normally, I do nothing but complain about screw-ups, miscues, and losses. They are 8-0 at this point in the season, having just won a tough victory over Iowa last weekend; there is a very good chance, considering the next three opponents, that they will be undefeated going into the game against that school down south on November 18. In fact, the same can be said for that school down south; they are likewise 8-0 and play three weaklings between now and then.
That game, between Michigan and that school down south, is shaping up to have huge national implications. Since that school down south is #1 in the BCS and Michigan is #2, assuming no upsets between now and then, the winner is a shoo-in for the national championship game in Glendale, AZ next January 8. In fact, it is entirely possible, given a few favorable outcomes of other games, that we could see a rematch of Michigan and that school down south in said national title game! West Virginia and Louisville would probably both have to lose; they play each other November 2, and both still have to play undefeated Rutgers as well. Obviously, USC would have to lose to either Notre Dame or UCLA, or better yet both; they are the only other team even close to that school down south and Michigan in the BCS right now. Still, I think that if Michigan wins a close one on November 18, that school down south will probably remain #2 in the BCS, and we’ll have an all-Big Ten national title game.
OK, I’m out of time, so I have to post this and go.