[Thunder.Net Communications]

Thunder.Net Frequently-Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Q: Where can I find more information about thunder and lightning?
A: We have posted some information at lightning.thunder.net.

We commonly get asked this question by children in school researching reports on weather and meteorology. We believe they come to us because they simply enter "thunder" into their web browser and it takes them to thunder.com.

While we're willing to help by posting some info and links, please be aware that is not the best way to perform research on the Internet. You should enter search terms into a web search engine. Some good ones for children are Google and Yahoo.

Q: Can I buy your thunder.com or thunder.net domain?
A: In case you thought you're the first to ask, you're 16 years too late for that. The answer has always been...

No. They're not for sale. The domains are in use.

With that said, people ask anyway. It's a frequent question. As the famous quote goes, "What part of 'no' didn't you understand?"

Perhaps people ask anyway on the theory that "everyone has their price." That may or may not actually be true. You'd have a real challenge trying to convince an unmotivated party to sell. Sale prices in recent years indicate prime dictionary-based domain names are worth many millions. (Example: in March 2008, fund.com was sold for US$10M.) If you wanted to be different from all the others asking the same question, your initial offer would have to break records for domain name sale prices, and leave room to negotiate up. Is that realistic? It doesn't matter. The point is to deter you from asking.

Also, some people tell us that they think thunder.com is not in use because its home page is redirected to thunder.net. It is in use - though it might not be evident if you're not an invited participant.

Q: What is your policy on spam and net abuse?
A: We endorse the Internet Spam Boycott project, and the principles behind it. We have a zero-tolerance policy on spam and other forms of net abuse, whether sent to or by any user of our domains and sites. Our e-mail server software is configured so that it will not act as an open mail relay.

In cases of spam sent to our users, domains or sites...
This domain is located within the State of California. The sending of any unsolicited email advertising messages to this domain will result in the imposition of civil liability against you in accordance with California Business & Professional Code Section 17538.45.

In cases of spam sent from our users, domains or sites...
In most cases of spam complaints reported to us, the sender of an abusive message has falsely placed the thunder.com or thunder.net domain name somewhere in the message - it did not actually originate from these domains. Another common case involves other domain names which contain "thunder" as part of a larger word, but the complaining party didn't read it correctly and complained to us instead.

Please check such messages carefully for signs of forgery - if you still believe it came from thunder.com or thunder.net, report it to abuse@thunder.net. If any such abuse originates from our domains or sites, it would be a policy violation and it will be stopped. Remember to include the full set of SMTP message headers with any spam complaint - it would be impossible to help you without that information.

Any of our users in violation of this policy will be given one chance to stop and then terminated immediately if any of the following conditions are true...

Q: Why is my e-mail being "rejected as spam" by Thunder.Net?
A: Our spam filters found your message to match enough spam-like patterns that it could not be accepted. We mark messages as spam if they're likely, but only the most aggregious ones are automatically blocked with the "rejected as spam" message".

While we make an effort not to have "false positives" (legitimate messages mistaken for spam), please understand that spammers are making continuous efforts to foil spam filters. As spammers change techniques, filtering technology changes and vice versa - consider it like a war. We receive literally tens of thousands of spams or attempted connections from spammers every day.
SpamCop Blocking List (SBL)
MailPolice.com Blocklist

Q: Why is my e-mail being returned with an "administrative prohibition" from Thunder.Net?
A: This error most likely occurs when the sending server, which is probably at your ISP or e-mail provider, has been reported for originating or relaying spam messages. They've probably been added to a public blocking list for spammers or open relays. Other less-common but possible reasons for an administrative prohibition on a server are

We must refuse mail from these hosts because of the enormous volume of spam that our users would receive from them. If you weren't aware of how big a problem this is, see the Internet Spam Boycott web site for more info.

Here's what your options are if you find yourself in this situation:

If you are an e-mail user...
Contact your ISP and notify them that they're on a spam blocking list. You're paying them money and can reasonably demand that they run a more professional operation than that. If they are unable to get themselves off the blocking list, find a better provider.
If you are a mail server operator...
You can only fix this by fixing your own server. You need to fix your mail transfer agent (MTA) software to prevent "open relays" where spammers can use your site to forward their mail. They do this because most responsible sites already reject mail from them and must find a vulnerable site to relay through. Unfortunately for you, they're using your system to deliver their unwanted solicitations. Don't delay in getting this fixed - you and your users will only find more systems blocking your mail until you do. Here are some links to help you fix your system.

Q: Why is my e-mail being returned with a "bad reverse hostname lookup" from Thunder.Net?
A: Your mail was rejected by Thunder.Net because your server or your ISP's server does not identify itself.

Spammers often neglect to set the "reverse hostname lookup" for servers they use, or try to spoof a different host name. They do this for an obvious reason - they don't want you to know who they are. But it's rather easily detected. If a legitimate system is operating this way, it is misconfigured and needs to be fixed by its owner/administrator.

This method has never been sufficient alone to turn away all spams. But as part of a combination of anti-spam techniques, it is useful and does reject many hundreds of spams every day at our sites. This is why many mail servers require hosts to identify themselves. If you have a legitimate server whose mail is rejected this way, ask your support or system administrators to fix it.

If you are an administrator for your site, you need to set a PTR record in your DNS corresponding to the reverse lookup of your A record. See RFC 1912 "Common DNS Operational and Configuration Errors". For small providers, if you don't own your IP addresses, you'll need to contact your upstream provider to have them update the PTR records for your hosts.

Q: Can I get web hosting on Thunder.Net?
A: Web hosting, DNS, and e-mail list services at Thunder.Net are by invitation only. So if you have to ask, the answer would be no.

In return for the assistance they provide us, we refer such requests to Layer42 Networks.

Q: Have you ever been struck by lightning?
A: No. But one of the owners of the thunder.com and thunder.net domains had a lightning strike in his yard in September 1999.

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