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A Piece of Internet History Lost: IO.com Sold, Services To Shut Down

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the fond-memories dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 123

An anonymous reader writes "The former Illuminati Online domain, IO.com, has been sold, and all existing customers will lose all services associated with the domain. A 1990 Secret Service raid on Steve Jackson Games, then owner of the Illuminati Online BBS and later the IO.com domain led to the creation of the EFF and was an important milestone in the fight for online rights. While the domain has been sold in the past, the services offered to customers always remained unchanged. However, this most recent sale, to an unnamed party, will result in all services being dropped on July 1, and people will lose email addresses, web pages, and shell accounts that many have had for 15+ years." Bad news for me — io.com was my first real ISP, and I was hoping to see if I could revive the account.

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it's not like it was the goatse (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305694)

...is it [goatse.fr] ?

Re:it's not like it was the goatse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306826)

Note: parent link isn't to anything shocking, despite names, and is on topic.

Ha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305696)

First post

Re:Ha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305702)

In the process, you've lost the last bits of relevance you had.

Re:Ha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305886)

and i thought /. couldn't get much worse. i'm waiting for the day when the entire dns comes to a grinding and tragic halt, and when it does icann will do what all tech organisations do when they lose their power... go IP trolling and sue the world :)

Ah well. (1)

AdeBaumann (126557) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305734)

I hope whoever bought it will use the domain for something befitting its history... But I'm prepared to be disappointed.

Re:Ah well. (5, Insightful)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305748)

let's just hope they don't use it for ill, intentionally or otherwise. Think about it, among other things whoever owns that domain now will be able to intercept all mail to io.com accounts, and with the quickness and suddenness of the transfer not everyone's who uses those addresses is going to be able to completely transition off them before the transfer happens

Re:Ah well. (2)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305814)

Where are my mod points today? You make a very good point about the security risks involved in such a domain transfer. How many services use email verification? How many people are aware of all the services they subscribed to over the years? And even if they are, will they have time to track them all down and change all email addresses within one month?

One month is really not enough notification for something this invasive. Of course you can't really forbid someone to sell a domain name they own, but when you have users, they have rights too. I hope they will at least forward all incoming mail to their users' new addresses. If not, the security issues involved are pretty serious.

Re:Ah well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305844)

So if they don't forward it, "the security issues are pretty serious", but if they just read the mail and forward it, that's... not?

Explain your understanding of "security" here, please. To me, these both look like significant privacy/trust issues, but I'm not seeing much security issues. (Unless you're forestalling your assassination with black boxes all over the world set to air everyone's dirty laundry to wikileaks as soon as you die, and the deadman control is a daily email sent through your io account.)

Re:Ah well. (5, Insightful)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305970)

The security issue here is identity theft. If you have access to someone's email account, you can pretend to be him. In this case, the new owner of the domain doesn't have access to old mail, but they do have access to new mail sent to those accounts. Any verification mail sent to those accounts will end up in the hands of the new owner, without the original user of that email account ever knowing.

Re:Ah well. (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306722)

This is what you accept if you don't own your own Internet. Email has always been as secure as a post card. To expect otherwise is naive.

Re:Ah well. (1)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310350)

Perhaps yet another reason for more support of S/MIME. Should your mail server change hands like this, you could simply revoke your signed certificate and move on.

Re:Ah well. (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307710)

let's just hope they don't use it for ill, intentionally or otherwise.

No, that would be iio.com.

Re:Ah well. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305820)

"You could Own this domain! Contact us for pricing!"

"Related searches for 'Illuminati Online' "

"Cheap Flights! Click here!"

Re:Ah well. (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305842)

My first thought too. Seriously though, my bet is either a video game dev, tech company, or a movie studio - leaning towards the former. 2 letter domains are expensive, particularly ones with lots of history - this has to be someone with deep pockets and some reason to want the domain. I wouldn't be surprised to see something like "Illuminati Online, the MMORPG of conspiracy and intrigue... coming soon, from Activision"

Duh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305930)

It's aliens from Jupiter, and they're not interested in the interplanetary internet [wikipedia.org] finally getting around to establishing .ju or waiting for the British Indian Ocean Territory to relinquish .io

Re:Ah well. (2)

olden (772043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306100)

My bet would be a company into something like Flash-based SANs, with marketing guys not interested in the original meaning of IO.com but betting that such a catchy domain name will convince people they really care about IOPS, and/or to try and be perceived as the next big player in that field.
We'll see early enough anyway -- too soon I'm sure for everyone using on io.com today, sadly.

Re:Ah well. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306986)

Really? I figured with a name like "IO.com" it would be the perfect name for a tech company selling SANs, SSDs, Fibre Channel, etc. Hell the ad writes itself "For all your high performance data needs, just think IO!"

Re:Ah well. (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306728)

I'm posting Anon so my brothers will not know it was me that let the secret out. You see Steve Jackson stole the domain from us Masons years ago. We were setting it up for secret online meetings and to hold the secret Mason Wiki for Master Mason access to find out what other Worshipful Masters were up to and to see live camera feeds of the holy grail as it toured the world as well as the other lesser artifacts like water from the fountain of youth, and the secret film of Kennedy being kidnapped by our secret mason strike squad and replaced with a life like dummy. etc...

WE now have it back once again! Our power is now complete! Unite my brothers!

I am glad to let the secret out, They would kill me if I posted this under my real account and traced it back to me!

Re:Ah well. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307690)

I'm posting Anon so my brothers will not know it was me that let the secret out. ...yaddi yada...
They would kill me if I posted this under my real account and traced it back to me!

fail

Re:Ah well. (1)

Donkey_Hotey (1433053) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308560)

I'm posting Anon so my brothers will not know it was me that let the secret out. ...yaddi yada... They would kill me if I posted this under my real account and traced it back to me!

fail

Whoosh

Re:Ah well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310668)

We've traced your connection. You cannot escape us. Retribution will be swift.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305744)

...io.com was my first real ISP...

The ones you used before we're fake?

Re:What? (4, Funny)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305756)

clearly he was on AOL before IO

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307256)

Me too!

Re:What? (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307948)

Thats "Quantum Link" you historical-less cad.

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306562)

Back in the early '90s, there were two kinds of service that you could dial into (aside from bulletin board systems). Online Service Providers (OSPs) offered a large walled-garden network. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provided Internet access. ISPs might have hosted some content (e.g. web or FTP sites for their users), but all of this content was accessible by anyone on any ISP. OSPs hosted content that was only visible within their network. Often, OSPs didn't use TCP, but many of them did provide Internet access via some tunnelling mechanism. Quite often, OSPs would charge more for Internet access than for access to their internal network. Two of the big OSPs were AOL and CompuServe. These typically gave you a fixed number of normal minutes online per month, but charged you more per minute for premium services, of which Internet access was one.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307832)

ISPs back then offered more services than they do now:

1: Shell access. A lot of time, firing up SLIP or PPP was pointless when you just wanted to read USENET or mail.

2: USENET access, perhaps even the ability to read directly from the spool.

3: Mirror FTP servers. This made grabbing Linux distros easy.

4: Actual clued people, not a phone bank in Elbonia.

5: Some ISPs had local events/gatherings. Not just IO, but Eden Matrix come to mind.

Re:What? (1)

MPolo (129811) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309274)

Yep. I had shell access, usenet and FTP from io.com once upon a time. I only had a 386 so didn't try to set up SLIP with them. They literally required you to buy an O'Reilly (or similar) book on SLIP from them in order to sign up for the service. If you could prove that you already owned the book, they would refund a certain portion of the sign-up fee.

Re:What? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309896)

1, 99% of users would have no use for shell accounts... Especially today, when broadband is prevalent so people can leave things running on their own machine... Shells were most useful when it was too expensive to keep a dialup connected 24/7.

2, 99% of users have no use for usenet, and a lot of the 1% only use it for warez, which isnt exactly what it was intended for (or is really suitable for)...

3, Quite a few ISPs still run mirror sites, and they are actually more useful today than they were way back when... In those days, your dialup could download at 2-3KB/sec and you could achieve these speeds from almost any site, these days i have 50mbit/sec from my isp, but due to over subscription of their peering links i rarely get more than 20mbit downloading, yet i can achieve the full 50mbit/sec rate from their internal mirror site.

4, lowest common denominator service... back in the days, 99% of isp customers were clued up people so you could have a useful conversation with them and resolve problems quickly... These days, 99% of isp customers are technically illiterate and won't understand technical explanations, nor be able to follow complicated instructions... Also most ISPs are now run by businessmen rather than geeks, who will happily lie to customers about the true nature of a problem. Back in the days if i couldn't connect, i would call the isp and they would give me a simple response like "router X has failed which links the dialup pool to the backbone, we expect it to be back online in 2 hours"... Being capable of understanding this information, i realise theres nothing i can do and just get on with something else for 2 hours... Recently someone i knew called their ISP to complain about being unable to connect, they had her reboot multiple times, install redundant software, mess with settings, reinstall redundant software for about 4 hours before she gave up... I went to check on it 2 hours later and it worked immediately, turns out the ISP was suffering an outage at the time but company policy was not to admit to any problems and so they wasted my friends time and made her feel it was her fault.

6, economies of scale... i run a small isp, and would love to provide all these services... however doing so would cost more than the big mass market players, and most people would not pay extra even for a better service.

Re:What? (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311694)

I remember CompuServe costing $12/hour. And GENIE (General Electric Network for Information Exchange) changing $18/hour during the day and $6/hour at night.

Re:What? (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306726)

Naw, he was on Juno before IO.

CARES? Proprietary medium of Commercial Speach. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305778)

Phone numbers (like 867-5309), IO.Com, Chat account numbers (like IRC, Skype, ICQ), Slashdot uid's; they all have something in common:
jurisdiction.

When you register something, you have no control over it but to administer it for a short while in the influence of the registrar perview.

All these registration systems build a false sense of commerce and security.

Tor, Meshnet, and Peer-to-peer networks are hated because they are devoid of the impulses that cause a registration to be necessary: and those are the limiting of your activities through regulation.

Re:CARES? Proprietary medium of Commercial Speach. (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306110)

Phone numbers (like 867-5309), IO.Com, Chat account numbers (like IRC, Skype, ICQ), Slashdot uid's; they all have something in common: jurisdiction.

When you register something, you have no control over it but to administer it for a short while in the influence of the registrar perview.

All these registration systems build a false sense of commerce and security.

Tor, Meshnet, and Peer-to-peer networks are hated because they are devoid of the impulses that cause a registration to be necessary: and those are the limiting of your activities through regulation.

Thus says the person registered with the most famous of Slashdot handles.

It's lonely in no-where land... You can see the world but no one can see you. If anyone wanted to send you some data that you didn't first request, no one would know where to send it. I'd PM you on IRC, but you've no handle to speak of. I'd pick up the phone and ring you up from time to time, but you're unlisted. I'd invite you to my private server, but you've no email address to receive it. I'd ask around if anyone has heard how you're doing these days, but no one knows your name...

Line of Sight communications. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306374)

Nice try, tard.

Every IP network-stack essentially can route services to nearby peers depending on what services are requested and forwarded.

You treet a Network like it was an unknown pipe leading to nowhere, but the Nodes all have geo-physical locations that only need to be aware that they in-fact have coordination to eachother by landmark or satellite or Line of Sight.

Remember that Telephones can be treated as Line of Sight communications: military-manufactured radio-wave guns (like what are used to stun crowds) are also used for 1-way commanding of remote listeners.

Particularly you have many points, but one aspect of a authentication key in a registry is that all the others are Accounting while the reality of CB Radio is natural biometrics that is trying to be replicated into a government repository. If the people use a bi-monthly picture to authenticate as their token, and notify their list of interested peers of a change for them to syncronize to prior to taking place, then "address books" can be maintained by someone not intending to be addressed by anyone else other than whom they've notified. This brings the perceptive of a token in a registry as a Seal rather than account of Utility Services.

Re:Line of Sight communications. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307000)

the Nodes all have geo-physical locations that only need to be aware that they in-fact have coordination to eachother by [...] satellite

But who would launch such a satellite? The cryptographic keys to get a message relayed by an existing satellite are controlled by a jurisdiction.

Early shutdown (4, Funny)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305784)

Looks like /. managed to take it down early. Good Job everyone!

I remember the IOBBS... (2)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305810)

I joined just before the Operation Sundevil raid, and remember it fondly. Online roleplaying, beta testing SJ Games products, and brainstorming new games were awesome fun for a 20-something geek with too much free time on his hands. I even got a few of my ideas published in the Hacker and GURPS Illuminati products, and a free copy of GURPS Magic Items just for providing one of the staff with the lyrics to Monty Python's Dead Philosopher song.

Once the web emerged, and I got an ISP with NNTP service, a two-line BBS with a 30-minute per day time limit became passe. But from time to time I did poke back in the web presence.

And I still use the same handle now, just about everywhere, that I used then on IOBBS.

Shame that the regulars who stuck it out this long had to see it end this way. May I suggest you seek refuge in the Kenser & Co gazebo [kenzerco.com] ? Those guys are cut from the same cloth.

fnord (1)

WizardMarnok (2032762) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305890)

All is well.

IO.com ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305906)

Never heard of it, and I suppose many others didn't either. Therefore, for this group of people it wasn't lost, it never existed.

Re:IO.com ? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306052)

Yeah, kind of like the Japanese that lived in America that were jailed and sent to camps during WW2. Didn't happen because you never heard of it too right? Protip: it's called history and archiving history is important. Your childish views that if you never heard of it it doesn't exist or matter is awful.

Re:IO.com ? (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306104)

Hmm, that's very close to a godwin, that is. Comparing WW2 atrocities with the shutting down of an internet domain, old though it may be? Really?

Re:IO.com ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306132)

the stuff that happened to steve jackson games had to do with civil rights and freedom of speech
wave godwin around all you want I guess though, jeeze

Re:IO.com ? (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307500)

Civil rights? Freedom of speech?

Someone bought a domain and decided to not continue the services the previous owner offered. People start talking about how it's a shame such an old and symbolic domain now vanishes. Someone says it isn't a big deal to people who've never heard of it, and someone else compares that to WW2 atrocities - let me call them 'questionable american policies' if you prefer.

Where did the civil rights issue come in?

Re:IO.com ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311064)

Operation Sundevil [wikipedia.org] . You probably weren't born yet.

Re:IO.com ? (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307106)

Pretty much *not* a Godwin, as nobody was compared to the Nazis.

The Nazis weren't the only people to do Evil in history, or even during WW2 ...

Re:IO.com ? (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307510)

Which is why I said "close to a godwin" - and yes, I'm well aware that it was the Americans imprisoning countless innocent asians based on nothing but the color of their skin.

Re:IO.com ? (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307604)

Their slanted eyes also played a role, as did their buck teeth and affinity for raw fish, rice and killing innocent US babies.

Re:IO.com ? (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307666)

You should try innocent US baby sushi before you judge them.

Re:IO.com ? (1)

Sardokaur (2012110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306790)

So the Japanese should still be kept in camps, because that's history and it's important to preserve it?

Re:IO.com ? (1)

xclr8r (658786) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307038)

I assume you are trolling. Recall the saying about history and those that forget history are doomed to repeat it (paraphrased).. Anyways one of the things Italy has done is marked a sign in the Ghetto district of Venice, Italy. On it is basically apologizing for the way the Jewish people were treated. It's a physical reminder and a symbolic one that the perpetrators will not ever forget what was done and as long as that sign stays up a reminder not to do it again.

Re:IO.com ? (2)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306204)

That you never heard of it doesn't mean it never existed, or isn't important. SJGames and IO played an important role in early internet freedom and the founding of EFF. I do hope you've heard of that.

YOU CAN'T MAKE TIN FOIL HATS OUT OF ALUMINIUM FOIL (4, Funny)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305914)

Secret Service raid...Illuminati...led to the creation of the EFF

I knew it! The FOSS movement was a Freemason conspiracy to establish a New World Order through software infiltration. First they took over the server OS market, now they are aiming for the desktop market shares, after that, the entire world!

Re:YOU CAN'T MAKE TIN FOIL HATS OUT OF ALUMINIUM F (2, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306066)

Wrong illumni, you want aluminaughty; Just follow the metallic crinkling sound -- down the hall, too the left, first door into your own mind.

Re:YOU CAN'T MAKE TIN FOIL HATS OUT OF ALUMINIUM F (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36309040)

... after that, the entire world!

Yeah, but where are we going to get 15 pair of lederhosen this time of night Brain! Zot!

Time to delete the Wikipedia page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305980)

need to make room [slashdot.org]

Farewell, IO (1)

j_presper_eckert (617907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306030)

That's what happens when you finally *do* begin to see the fnords. A pity about the relatively short notice, too.

Merry D-Day FRANCE, and have a happy summer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306046)

It was on D-Day FRANCE was freed from the tyranny of the English and went on their way to develop even stinkier cheeses and more costlier wines.

pre-WWIV (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306158)

When in middle school, I loved Car Wars. Shame about the phone bill to Austin.

So when did SJGames relinquish control of io.com?

Brain freeze (0)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306170)

Of course, I'm familiar with the EFF, but I happened to forget what it stands for.

Anybody know offhand (without cheating [slashdot.org] )?

Electronic Freedom Fighters?
Electronic Frontier of Freedom?

Re:Brain freeze (1)

infurnus (1897136) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306186)

Electronic Freedom Foundation

That, or Elicit Frozen Fishsticks

Re:Brain freeze (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310212)

Erisian Fnord Front?

Re:Brain freeze (1)

LVWolfman (301977) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306194)

Electronic Frontier Foundation.

No cheating necessary. I've been a supporter of them since they were founded back when BBS systems were king.

Re:Brain freeze (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306222)

hold on I got this:
Elastic Fighting Ferrets

Re:Brain freeze (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310474)

Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Now get off my lawn...

I subscribed to io.com, way back when (5, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306220)

I remember in my BBS days reading about the SJ Games raid by the Secret Service.

And as soon as I discovered local internet access (mostly through a borrowed account on a VAX at a local school), I started giving SJG's io.com $10/month for a shell account.

But it wasn't just a shell: It was a FreeBSD shell, back when Linux was still a toy, and it had an infallible NetApps backend with snapshots for ~ (which is still rare, even in this day of positively cheap disk storage). It was access to a good news spool, when Usenet was still Usenet. It was a short email address, when such things weren't so special. It was an Apache web server, with a few megabytes of disk quota and plenty of slack if you needed more from time to time. AAnd a personalized anonymous FTP server. And a proper dev environment for building your own software from source.

All on a fast T1. (Remember when a T1 was fast, and a Pentium-based FreeBSD box with 32 or 64MB of RAM could host more than 100 concurrent interactive users? You yungin's will say it's impossible, but it worked well.)

And the operators and managers seemed to actually give a shit about their users' needs. There was a sense of community between the users and the folks running the show that I've never seen elsewhere.

Things were different back then. The web was mostly text, Gopher still was useful, I never minded using Lynx as a browser, and the world's former-best music/discography site (cdnow.com) had an extremely functional and fast interface using...telnet.

Back them, if you wanted new dirt on the latest Linux happenings, you'd look at Matt Welsh's page, as there just weren't any others that were worth keeping up with.

I remember Steve Jackson himself writing on io.com's news (which was more of a .plan than a modern blog) about how he'd given every single desktop in his company proper Internet access, and how he (rightly!) suspected that his was one of the first companies to do so.

Eventually, my io.com account was banished due to a copyright complaint from an outside party. But by then I'd already built my own *nix boxen, and a more proper local ISP than the 9600bps VAX/VMS beast had cropped up that was both worthwhile and was feeding me dual-channel ISDN as a favor, so I never bothered to fight the copyright complaint.

But I still remember the IP address for pentagon.io.com (their first, and primary shell server) from way back when: 199.170.88.5. And I still ping "io.com" when troubleshooting network connectivity: It's a fast and easy way to see that DNS works and that packets are making their way to Texas and back.

But I guess that's gone now, too.

Goodbye, io.com.

Lies! (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307404)

Remember when a T1 was fast, and a Pentium-based FreeBSD box with 32 or 64MB of RAM could host more than 100 concurrent interactive users? You yungin's will say it's impossible, but it worked well.)

Lies! My phone uses a dual core processor and 256MB of RAM and still can't reliably open my contacts list. I call shenanigans.

Sadly the shenanigans are on us these days. Bloated software indeed. 100 users on a Pentium with 32MB of RAM says it all. We have gone backwards since those days.

Re:Lies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307758)

I had a netware 3 box with a 486/33 and 16MB of ram hosting windows 3.11 (for workgroups!) for 120 users. They booted off floppies and were connected to a string of 10meg hubs. Took 15 minutes to get a desktop but from there it was smooth sailing.

Re:I subscribed to io.com, way back when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307668)

Nostalgia just ain't what it used to be.

Re:I subscribed to io.com, way back when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308826)

My story is almost exactly the same, minus the copyright complaint: I still have my io.com shell account and email address, although not for very much longer I guess. I suppose I will maintain it under the prismnet domain, but I know I'll miss io.com. It's a shame.

Re:I subscribed to io.com, way back when (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310086)

I run a 400mhz Sparc, with 256Mb ram and 7gb of disk space... It quite happily handles 50+ users even today, running a mix of irc sessions, esniper, text based mail clients (mutt/pine) and some development.

That said if people are actually interested in a shell service like io.com then i'm sure we could operate something similar.... Most shell accounts commercially available these days seem to almost exclusively cater to script kiddies on IRC just wanting to run large numbers of eggdrop bots...

bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306270)

Bad news. www.tutamee.com

Identity Recall (4, Insightful)

jimm (5532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306636)

I've been jimm@io.com since 1994 or so --- maybe a year or two earlier than that. You know what I'm worried about most? All those open source projects, emails, and other digital resources that point to jimm@io.com are going to be pointing nowhere in a month. It feels like my online identity is being stolen. Except it's not being stolen, of course --- merely recalled.

io.com was bought by prismnet.com years ago. PrismNet changed hands a few times. The last guy who sold it to the current owner (for $20) didn't sell the io.com domain. He kept it but let them use it---until July 1, 2011.

Re:Identity Recall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307182)

That's interesting.
I've been bob@aol.com since 1994

Re:Identity Recall (2)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307470)

Maybe if you got off your backside and bought a $1 domain that you actually OWN (or at least have a guaranteed annual right to) rather than having A@B.com (are you an international corporation?) you wouldn't have that problem.

Seriously, my MOTHER has her own domain name with infinite aliases and forwarding to a proper email account and has had for years and despite several changes in ISP, host and moving onto webmail still has the same address and has never had to inform people of the change. You could have done that YEARS ago and forwarded it to your io.com account and slowly migrated to using the new name until your io.com was merely a mail storage account, rather than actually used for reception or sitting in other people's address books.

There is nothing worse, in this day and age, than seeing a huge lorry go past you on the motorway with "companyname@randomdomainhost.com" (or, worse, randomname.uk.com!) as the email. It's even worse if you'r applying for an IT job and your CV has some Hotmail or freebie ISP address. It costs literally PENCE to have a much more personalised, reliable, controlled and relevant address and has for years.

Re:Identity Recall (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308060)

Oh, I can completely relate to how you feel. Thing is, if you're not in IT, you don't feel that way and sometimes they can't even comprehend that an email address wouldn't be from one of the free or ISP ones.

I have a couple of domains myself, and one is owned by my dad. That domain name is willekens.lu, because our family name is Willekens and we live in Luxembourg. It used to be a pretty expensive and exclusive TLD. Obviously, we all have our firstname@willekens.lu and you'd expect people to easily understand that. Well, most non-IT people simply don't get it. They think you're pulling their leg because that's an email address that "can't be".

A few years ago, I found out that the .com for a dear friends last name was still free. I bought it for him for Christmas and associated it with Google for Domains so he can easily control it himself. (He's gifted with computers, but wasn't in IT back then). He has exactly the same problem as we do with willekens.lu

Finally, there is the risk that the domain name you choose might be hard to spell (especially given the meager selection of these days). When I was young, I got myself my Internet nickname as .com, .net and .org. I thought it was clever. Guess what: it isn't. Sure, it's halfway novel, but try to spell it over the phone. Heck, I wouldn't even know how to pronounce my own Internet nickname even though I invented it. It's horror to spell over the phone, and I have reverted to using willekens.lu most of the time.

Compare that to gmail, hotmail, and yahoo users... They don't have to spell that part at all, only the username.

I agree that for a company, they should use a registered domain, only to look more professional. However, it really only looks more professional to us IT people. My father in law (business owner) has a domain name, but on his lorries and business cards it's still companyname@isp.lu. I told him it doesn't look professional, and he said he didn't care and they are used to how it is now. They won't change.

Re:Identity Recall (1)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308412)

"Obviously, we all have our firstname@willekens.lu and you'd expect people to easily understand that. Well, most non-IT people simply don't get it. They think you're pulling their leg because that's an email address that "can't be"."

As a vanity domain holder myself I experience this exact same problem. Many non-IT people positively brain lock when I tell them my email is firstname@lastname.net/com/org.

Sorry I don't have any earth shattering insight; just thought I'd share that your experience isn't unique.

Re:Identity Recall (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309028)

That's okay... It confirms what I've been thinking a long time. Thanks for that.

Re:Identity Recall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310380)

Having a 2 letter domain isn't something $1 can buy you, typically.

I found the buyer! (1)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306936)

iO TV offers over 120 HD channels, including E! HD, Cartoon Network HD, fuse HD and more! Watch HD movies at no extra charge and hundreds of Free On Demand choices. Best of all, HD is free with iO TV!

Too soon?

Re:I found the buyer! (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311406)

Even the thought of that makes me want to cry. That multi-industry monopoly should be out of business*, not profiting (PDF) [corporate-ir.net] and steamrolling history.

*or at least offering à la carte, and apologizing both for astroturfing [wikipedia.org] and getting away with it [msg.com]

Cablevision (1)

Crock23A (1124275) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306948)

I bet Cablevision bought it so they can have another place to play their IO digital cable rap song.

Handled Poorly by Richards & Richards (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307204)

While it is certainly understandable that the owner of a valuable 2 letter domain that is currently hosting only a handful of customers would want to sell it, owners Richards & Richards have done so in a very shitty way. Only one month's notice, and absolutely no word from them at all to the customers.

"Screw you, io.com users. We don't care how long you've been around, and we don't care how hard it will be for you to adjust to losing an email address that you've had since 1993. We want our $$$ and we want it now. FOAD by July 1 plz thx."

Absolutely shitty behavior.

Apple?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307318)

I thought Apple had hijacked it, since it starts with i, and they own everything with i. :-P

New Owners (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307674)

My first thought was Google (it would fit with their annual conference of that name and they have cash to play with), but shutting down services like that when they take over isn't their style.

There is a TV provider going by that name, it could also be them.

Depending on how much it went for it could just be prospectors hoping to make something out of the two-letter .com name before the new bubble bursts, of course.

if you had been in the office on y2k.. the stories (1)

kaz (121489) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307698)

ahh... to go into the back room and power cycle modems before we got the AS53xx's. custom php ticket server, direct NNTP access w/ a mirror of... well, you know.. on your catalog of... zip drives. unmanaged 3com switches. microwave fries. unlimited cokes. an unauthorized upgrade to the netapp filer from a p90 to a p120 that somehow actually worked by just dropping in the new proc and flipping a jumper.... sendmail recipes from hell. procmailrc's all over the place. redhat vs slackware was alive and well (i wont tell you which had what). bonded POTS lines before my apartment could get ISDN....

It was a beautiful circus of magical mystery. But none of it existed.

EOF

Re:if you had been in the office on y2k.. the stor (1)

mrbill (4993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308626)

Been there, done that. I almost went to work with Jher @ IO after I left Texas.Net, but ended up at OnRamp.
Sitting up on the 12th floor of 7th and Brazos for Y2K, listening to my police scanner and watching the crazyness down on 6th,
chatting with colleagues across town and across the country on IRC as we all did the same thing - waiting for a problem that
"never came" because we'd all worked to make sure it didn't happen.

Re:if you had been in the office on y2k.. the stor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36309892)

ahh... to go into the back room and power cycle modems before we got the AS53xx's. custom php ticket server, direct NNTP access w/ a mirror of... well, you know.. on your catalog of... zip drives. unmanaged 3com switches. microwave fries. unlimited cokes. an unauthorized upgrade to the netapp filer from a p90 to a p120 that somehow actually worked by just dropping in the new proc and flipping a jumper.... sendmail recipes from hell. procmailrc's all over the place. redhat vs slackware was alive and well (i wont tell you which had what). bonded POTS lines before my apartment could get ISDN....

It was a beautiful circus of magical mystery. But none of it existed.

EOF

I remember all that, in addition to the 'circle of power' on the server room floor where we had to resurrect the Deliverator, the surprises the overnight staff would leave for the sales staff in the morning, and a whole bunch of guys and gals learning the ropes of this whole 'running the Internet' thing. Oddly enough, I'm back over where it started now, and trying to keep this article from /.-ing us. :)

Re:if you had been in the office on y2k.. the stor (1)

Zachary DeAquila (31195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312012)

Bah, that was at the *new* office... I was employee #1 there (the first guy who didn't have a stake in the company) - installing BSDi, finally getting a terminal server instead of a big multi-serial-port card... twist-tying modems to pegboard... setting up the Metaverse... serial.io.com, eie.io.com, ... gopher and archie and ftp... signup scripts cobbled together in perl. EFF-Austin and Ho-Ho Con... the world and the internet were very different places back then.

Apple bought it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308026)

It's the new Apple Orgasm site, where fanbois can all climax over the latest iProduct...

FNORD! (1)

Quato (132194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308068)

fnord fnord fnord. Hey! Wait! Don't pick up the ph{#`%${%&`+'${`%&NO CARRIER

awwwwww crap! (1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308094)

My shell accounts! Gone!

And that bastard Jackson still owes me money.

Dumb Question (1)

deadcrow (946749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308302)

OK, a dumb question, but I can't find my answer through google search. Why did Steve Jackson lose control or sell io.com in the first place, so that he could later (now) completely lose the domain?

Re:Dumb Question (1)

kaz (121489) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308524)

to be the most vague and not bring in any drama: DSL

Re:Dumb Question (1)

deadcrow (946749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309210)

How is that any answer? According to this post, "...Steve Jackson Games, then owner of the Illuminati Online BBS and later the IO.com domain", SJ owned io.com. I can find no reference to io.com being a DSL provider, which might counter the posts statement, and explain your intentionally vague answer. So, I ask again, based on the statement in this post that SJ Games owned io.com. How did SJ lose control of io.com?

If my search abilities suck, so be it, but please provide links to what I am missing and/or the search used to find it.

Re:Dumb Question (2)

mparson (83536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308948)

I worked for IO from 1995-1997, I started right after they moved out of the SJ offices to their own space on South IH 35 in Austin.

(I might have some of the facts wrong here, but this is the gist of it, as I remember things)
Steve was a part owner of io.com, but he ran into some troubles, had a criminal accountant that ran off with his money, and he wound up selling his shares of Illuminati Online to his brother so he could save SJ Games.

His brother and whatever other partners were still around, wound up selling to Prism.net soon after, which is when they went from being Illuminati Online to just IOCOM. Steve wouldn't let them keep the 'Illuminati' name, that trademark was his.

I had a lot of fun working with those guys back then.

Fnord.

Re:Dumb Question (1)

deadcrow (946749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310080)

Now THAT is an answer.. THX!!

Sour Dough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36309940)

I suppose I'll always be able to access it on archive.org, but just to be safe, I'm backing-up this recipe for sour dough starter: http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm

Free rsync.net accounts for io.com shell logins (2)

kozubik (969276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310302)

If you have an io.com shell account, we would like to gift you a lifetime free rsync.net [rsync.net] account for the purposes of backing up, and parking, the contents of that shell account.

I have never had an io.com shell, but between rsync and tar+gpg+ftp you should be able to quickly and easily dump the contents of your shell to an rsync.net account.

Just email info@rsync.net and we'll set this up for you. FWIW, this is a continuation of our efforts to support the work being done by Jason Scott [textfiles.com] , the "Archive Team [archiveteam.org] " and the safeguarding of digital history, generally.

This doesn't make sense. (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310508)

Unless the buyer is Microsoft (embrace, extend, extinguish) and even then it doesn't make sense. Why purchase something of value only to discard what is valuable about it? Purchasing IO.com and then removing all users and services is like purchasing a bag of gold, and discarding the gold for the worthless bag. The very value of the site is the users and services!
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