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Deep Sky Tech. Services Newsletter (SNL) #1

released January 31, 2003


Table of Contents


Welcome

Welcome to the first newsletter we are hoping will become a permanent part of Deep Sky Technologies, Inc.

Please read through this Services Newsletter (SNL) as it pertains to services provided by Deep Sky Tech. There is loads of information important to customers of Deep Sky Tech. contained in here, and even more will be made available in future issues.

We hope you enjoy this first issue and let us know what you would like to see in the future!


Corporate Update for Deep Sky Tech.

A Message from Steven G. Willis
President, Deep Sky Technologies, Inc.

Many of you are long time customers of Deep Sky Tech. It seems to be a family atmosphere that develops between the staff here at Deep Sky Tech. and our customers. I am certain much of this comes from the extremely low churn rate of our customers. Much I am sure also comes from the fact that when you call into Deep Sky Tech., quite often it is 'the boss' that answers the phones.

I like being able to do this for our customers when at all possible. I like that we have a small business that works often on a first name basis with everyone. It makes it much easier for us to provide personal service to each and every one of you whenever possible. These are good things to me, good things for Deep Sky Tech., and most importantly these are good things for you and your business.

Considering the economic conditions of the last few years, especially in the high tech. sector, it is clear that not every business in the world has been as fiscally acute as previously expected. One of the most common questions I hear from customers I speak to involves the current state of business.

So, I figured I would supply at least some basic information regarding the state of Deep Sky Tech. for you, our customers. This is especially invaluable considering the high rate of bankruptcies we are seeing from companies in the world. I want to make certain this is not something to be of concern to you in relation to services from Deep Sky Tech. Since this month, January 2003, is the sixth anniversary of Deep Sky Tech., it is an ideal time to go cover this for our customers, as well.

Fiscal year 2002 (same as calendar year 2002) was another profitable year for Deep Sky Tech. I am happy to say that we have yet to have a year since the founding of Deep Sky Tech. in which we were operating in the red. It is important to me to be running a business that is not losing money at any time if at all possible. It just does not seem to make sense to me to ever have a company lose money to gain things like market share, industry positioning, or strategic advantages.

Gross revenues for 2002 were up approximately 15% from the previous year, one of the smallest increases we have experienced yet. Even so, 2002 was the best year so far for gross revenues at Deep Sky Tech. This is primarily due to our cutting of much of our consulting services accepted into Deep Sky Tech., pruning of a couple of unprofitable hosting clients, new product sales, and increases in hosting services and advertising gains.

Net revenues for 2002 increased over 50% from the previous year. This is a very positive sign from years past, our best margin on revenues ever as well as the most net revenues Deep Sky Tech. has ever had in a single year. These result came primarily from conservative fiscal spending, a large shift in our revenue sources from consulting services to product sales and hosting services, and cuts in long term liabilities.

By the numbers, these are all very positive signs for our company. I am very pleased with the changes we enacted a few years ago to move in this direction. These changes have enabled us to acquire the means to reinvest in the company to expand our products and services lines. This is what we have been working towards in the last year in expectations that 2003 will be probably the most exciting year yet at Deep Sky Tech.

I feel as though this is going to be our first year of significant growth and expansion into new and exciting services for all of our customers. And, I am happy you will be coming along for the ride!


Reporting Spam to Deep Sky Tech.

Looking to get rich quick?

Want to earn $380k a year working from home?

Know where the best online casino is located?

My Nigerian friend needs help with his money!

Wanna see my pictures?

Well, it has to be said, that last one really can be over the top for me to have written. But, they are all subjects that I am certain many of you are all too familiar with in your email. Of course, all of these are examples of what many would consider to be spam, also known as unsolicited bulk email (UBE).

By far, spam is the single largest problem on the 'net. For instance, take a look at C|Net for some of the latest news regarding spam online:

http://news.search.com/search?version=x&tag=ex.ne.fd.srch.ne&q=spam

Comparatively, the email servers at Deep Sky Tech. are not being hit too hard by spammers. In communicating with other service providers around the world, we know that our company and our customers have not been impacted nearly as large as other companies have been with this growing problem. Even compared to the average email account in the world, the email accounts at Deep Sky Tech. are considered below average for the amount of spam received on a daily basis.

But, this in no way means that this is not a problem. Spam is a very serious problem for our customers in that it is a waste of time to have to sort through your In Box to find real email amongst all of the spam. For Deep Sky Tech., the irritation this causes for our customers is no end of annoyance for all of us. Even more importantly there is an issue of bandwidth usage that spammers are hogging for their unwanted and often nefarious purposes. And, this does not even begin to address the time, cost of services, and effort that goes into addressing the issue of spam on a daily basis at Deep Sky Tech.

Within the Support section of our web site there is more information about spam. It would be good for all customers to read through this information to become familiar with the nature of spam and the ill effects it can have on everyone:

http://www.deepskytech.com/whatis_spam.html

For many years now, Deep Sky Tech. has provided a means for spam to be reported. There are particular requirements for reporting spam to Deep Sky Tech. These requirements make it possible for us to identify the source of the spam and to block traffic from that location in the future. Reporting spam to Deep Sky Tech. is the best means to prevent the problems of spam from growing and to alleviate the impact spam has on your time. You can read all about reporting spam to Deep Sky Tech. In the Support section of our web site at:

http://www.deepskytech.com/report_spam.html

It is important to follow these instructions completely when reporting spam. The inclusion of the long headers in a spam report is mandatory for us to be able to track the source of the spam.

At Deep Sky Tech., we have been working very hard to address the issue of spam. New systems have been under development to address this exact issue. And, much of the impact of spam and our spam blocking systems will eventually be put under the control of you, our clients. Future issues of SNL will cover more details on these services as they become available.

For now, please report the spam you receive. And, pass these instructions on to all of your users, as well. Spam reports are invaluable to all of us to help fight this growing problem!

Scheduled Spam Blocking Service Update

Installation Time: Feb. 2nd, 01:00 - 05:00 GMT

Systems Effected: Email Servers, SAME Access

As of May 2002, Deep Sky Tech. put into place an IP specific spam blocking system in our email servers. This was the first implementation of spam blocking we tried to provide a temporary solution to the growing problem of spam. Though our email servers have always been secure from being used to send spam by spammers, the issues of spam being received into our email servers was a problem seeming without end.

It was estimated at that time that this temporary spam blocking software, a commercial piece of software, would be able to handle the load required for approximately 12 months. This estimate included a doubling of the amount of spam handled and blocked every 6 to 8 weeks from even entering our servers. As of early December, quite unexpectedly, this temporary spam blocking software reached its maximum capacity (shows how quickly the problem of spam has grown in the world, and for all of us). This meant that our list of spammers to be blocking in our email servers could no longer grow.

We decided at that time to obviously continue collecting and filing our list of spammers to eventually block. And, we immediately began development of our own spam blocking systems internally within Deep Sky Tech. We had originally not expected to have to undertake this development until the late spring of 2003, but we unfortunately had few alternatives to choose from. This development was placed at the highest priority level possible for our engineering staff.

The first implementation of this new spam blocking software is now complete and ready to be posted into production. We are planning to move this new software into production on Sunday, February 2nd, between 1 and 5 AM GMT (beginning Saturday night 9 PM Eastern).

This installation should not impact email services significantly at all. And, most importantly, no email should be lost in this process other than those from sources known to have been used for sending spam. But, during the installation period, you may find access to our email servers either slow or temporarily unavailable.

This new spam blocking software is the first step Deep Sky Tech. is making to provide the list of blocked email servers known for sending spam to you, our customers. In the near future, an update to this software will allow you to select which servers to block and which not to block, as your needs may be.

It must be said, also, that no system for handling spam blocking is foolproof. We know that even with the existing spam blocking systems, and the new systems to be installed this weekend, sometimes legitimate email can be adversely affected. The first step though will provide a more user friendly result to email that is blocked so it can be tracked more easily and corrected if needed. As well, since this new system was developed fully by Deep Sky Tech., we will be able to provide a means in the near future for the archiving of all email, even those considered spam. This will allow for a fallback mechanism for those customers that have email contacts being adversely affected by this issue.

As always, if you have any questions at all on this subject, feel free to contact Deep Sky Tech. at your convenience. We are here to answer your questions as best we can and help you in the most efficient way possible.


Q1 2003 Invoices

As many of you have already noticed, invoices for Q1 2003 have not been posted yet. The usual schedule for billing is the posting of invoices at the beginning of the calendar quarter with almost all invoices being listed as net 30.

Due to the large amount of development work over the last 8 weeks within Deep Sky Tech., and the frayed schedules over the holidays and into the new year, invoices have not been posted yet.

Over this weekend, invoices will be finally posted to cover Q1 2003. Due to their being posted almost a month late, we will be setting the posted dates to February 1st with a due date of February 15th (net 15) for almost all invoices.

Obviously, we expect to be more than understanding and flexible if this is a hassle for any of our customers. If this causes a problem with any AP departments, please let us know. Hopefully, this will not cause any inconvenience though as we work to get back on scheduled again with our billing.


What is the Deep Sky Tech. SNL?

At Deep Sky Tech., we have found over the years that keeping all of our clients up to date with the information important to all of the services we offer is a much more daunting task than any would expect. The breadth of services included with your hosting package, whether it be with a shared hosting service, dedicated hosting package, or Store-Secure.com e-commerce solution, we knew very early that it would be almost impossible to keep documentation and notification to all of clients completely up to date.

A few years ago, we built the infrastructure to provide a regular newsletter through email to our clients. This would become a means for us to dedicate a specific amount of our time to making certain details, documentation, and technical specifications for our products and services available in a timely and convenient format. As well, it would be a simple means for us to keep in contact with you on a more personal level, addressing current issues that are important to all of us.

The Deep Sky Tech. SNL is sent out to all of our customers that have access to manage services within Deep Sky Tech. So, not everyone using our services receive the SNL, rather only those administrative and technical contacts that we work with on a regular basis. Basically, if you have access to the SAME interface at Deep Sky Tech., you should be receiving a copy of Deep Sky Tech.'s SNL. Though, you should probably consider forwarding at least parts of the SNL to other members in your organization or to some of your customers that also use Deep Sky Tech. for hosting.

There are a lot of changes coming to Deep Sky Tech. this year, changes that we have been planning for more than a year. A lot of our time and efforts have gone into researching, testing, and implementing many new services for our customers. And, some existing services that have become a little too antiquated will be updated and reconfigured. A great deal of this time has been spent making certain that these changes do not impact existing services to any significant degree. Rather, we are looking to expand the products and services we offer without affecting any existing services you are already familiar with, and most importantly without having to charge any more for the new services. There will be more on this in the coming issues of this newsletter.

At some point in the near future, we will be posting these newsletters online, as well. This will allow you to go back through past newsletters for information that we may have previous provided. This way, there is no need for you to keep an archive at your location of all of the service details we provided in these newsletters. We will handle organizing this information for you in a simple format online in the very near future. Once this is available, we will obviously notify you in a future issue of Deep Sky Tech.'s SNL.

With each issue of Deep Sky Tech.'s Services Newsletter (SNL) we hope to concentrate on one at least one particular subject in greater depth than usual. Some subjects may encompass such a large amount of information that it would be impossible to cover in detail in such a small newsletter. In these cases, we venture to cover details as they may specifically relate to our customers or to the services we offer. In time, this should provide a means for a wealth of service knowledge to be accumulated for you to reference at your convenience.

Finally, since this is a new undertaking, we must ask for your kind patience. We do not expect every issue to go out smoothly. Formatting, content, and delivery errors are expected. When this occurs, please be patient with us while we iron out the kinks in the systems.

If you do encounter any problems in the formatting or delivery of Deep Sky Tech.'s SNL, please let me know. As expected, we hope to make this service as hassle free as the existing services you are already familiar with from Deep Sky Tech.


Cheers!

Well, I hope this was a good break from your normal Friday afternoon of business. And, more importantly, I hope this first issue of the Deep Sky Tech. SNL has provided some useful information for your online adventures.

As always, if you have any questions about any of these items, feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience.

In the meantime, we will be hunkering down to try to catch up on our backlog of work.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Cheers!

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