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Daily Service Bulletin (M.O.T.D.) Chebucto News Archive Permalink

Updated: 16 October 2009

Internet Town Hall Oct 26th 2009

Chebucto Community Net and the Dalhousie Student Union present an Internet Town Hall meeting open to the public. All are welcome! It will be held at the McInnes Room in the Dalhousie Student Union Building 7 PM to 9:30 PM, Monday October 26th, 2009.

http://chebucto.ca/townhall/

This Town Hall meeting will address four main points about Internet access in this province - the Digital Divide and how poverty keeps people from having access to the net, copyright laws and Digital Rights Management (DRM) issues, net neutrality and controlling the flow of information, and privacy - who has access to your data and what they are doing with it.

Hosted by CBC's Costas Halavrezos, the title of the meeting will be "Who's Shaping Your Digital Future?" and will feature a keynote address by Laura Murray, co-author of Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide and guest speakers David Fraser, privacy lawyer with McInnes Cooper; Terry Dalton, President of ACORN, the Atlantic Canada Organization of Research Networks (which Chebucto is a member of); Darren Abramson, Dalhousie University Professor of Philosophy and Chebucto's own Andrew D. Wright, long-time Office Manager and webmaster for Chebucto Community Net.

In the US, users sharing files are liable to severe penalties. In the UK, refusing to hand over a personal encryption key can land you in jail, with no other crime involved. In Australia, the government is working to put in mandatory Internet censorship. In Canada, the government is working on putting in warrantless Internet data seizure. And in Nova Scotia, the Digital Divide between haves and have nots is leaving a quarter of the population behind.

We think these are important issues, and we want to talk about them. Come out and make your opinions known.


Chebucto Net User Survey

We need all of our users and members to help us. Between now and October 19th 2009 we need you to go to our survey page and answer some questions. The survey page can be found here:

CCN 2009 Survey

Chebucto text service users can type in: gsurvey and hit Enter when they are in Lynx.

The information is completely anonymous and secure and cannot be tracked back to you or to your login. We respect your privacy.

We need this information so we can help serve you better. With it we can tell who is using Chebucto services and help prove that we are serving a public need. It is very important that we get as many people responding as we can.


Wireless service news

Logo: Chebucto Wireless
Chebucto Community Net is in talks with the new owners of Fenwick Tower, Templeton Properties, regarding the future of Chebucto's presence on the roof of Fenwick Tower.

Members of the Chebucto Community Net made a presentation to the residents of Joe Howe Manor, a fixed-income seniors housing project in south-end Halifax to guage interest in bringing low cost high speed wireless service to the building.

Work continues on the technical aspects of the wireless service. As of now the antenna providing the connection from Fenwick Tower is offline awaiting replacement with a bigger, better antenna currently in the Chebucto office. Work on the wireless nodes has continued with small low power usage NanoStation hardware replacing the old PCs previously used as nodes. Software has been specially customized to work on the new hardware.

There has been zero development money from any outside source. All work on the wireless project has been in addition to the regular technical maintenance that Chebucto requires to keep operating.

The areas to be served by the new wireless access will be determined by the residents of metro themselves. There's a map here.

Chebucto is looking for residents able to host wireless nodes, the cornerstone of the network, and when we get enough nodes in a neighbourhood, we can look at bringing network access where it is needed. A node sign-up form is online here.


Scam Alert!

Chebucto users are warned that there are email scams where users are asked for their passwords and other personal information. No matter whom the email says it is from or why they say they need the information, these emails are always a lie. Real organizations do not require you to send them confidential personal information over email. For more information on these sorts of scams, tips to help you recognize these scams and resources to help you find out more, see this Mousepad  column about spear-phishing, yet another in a long line of scams through email designed to snag the unwary.


Help promote Chebucto!

We need your help. We invite our members and supporters to help promote the Chebucto Community Net in the community by printing off and distributing Chebucto brochures and posters from our website.


Chebucto Community Net RSS how-to guide

Chebucto Community Net has posted a guide on how to use our RSS news feed here: chebucto.ca/rss/

Our RSS feed is our way of letting people know fast about important software updates and security alerts as well as new developments at Chebucto. Stay informed with the news as soon as we have it ourselves with our RSS news feed.


Updated - Recommended software list

With the recent interest in Internet security and the rise in various exploits meant to take over user machines, the Chebucto Office has compiled this list of recommended software for user computers running Microsoft Windows.

Web browser: Mozilla Firefox free from Mozilla.com
Current version for Windows 2000, XP, Vista: 3.5.3

Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from Mozilla.com
Current version: 2.0.0.23.

All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla SeaMonkey
free from Seamonkey-project.org
Current version: 1.1.18.

Free anti-virus programs for home users

  • Microsoft Security Essentials: available for free from Microsoft.com
    For Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
    (Requires Windows Validation, i.e. legal copy of Windows)

(Note that both of the following free anti-virus programs also have paid versions which offer additional features):

Anti-Spyware Software:

  • Ad-Aware SE free and paid versions from Lavasoft.de
  • A-Squared free and paid versions from Emsisoft.com
  • Microsoft Windows Defender free for Windows XP from Microsoft.com
    (Requires Windows Validation, i.e. legal copy of Windows XP)
  • Spybot: Search & Destroy free from Safer-networking.org

FTP and SFTP Software: FileZilla free Client Version from Filezilla-project.org

RSS Newsfeed Reader: RSSOwl free from RSSOwl.Org

SSH Client: Putty free from Simon Tatham

The Chebucto Office does not recommend using the Internet Explorer web browser for any use except for accessing Microsoft's own Windows Update page. The popular web browser has been repeatedly successfully targetted by virus writers in particular seeking to break into home computers to use them for criminal purposes such as sending out spam, sending out viruses to break into other computers and being used to disrupt services on other computer systems.

After many reports about vulnerabilities for Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express email programs, and the constant stream of user complaints about randomly altered program settings and difficulty using the program, the Chebucto Community Net Office and the Chebucto Technical Committee recommend our users do not use either Outlook or Outlook Express as their email program.

Keeping Microsoft Windows up to date is also very important. Windows XP users should have Service Pack 3 installed and Windows Vista users should have Service Pack 2 installed. All Microsoft Windows users should make a point of using Internet Explorer to visit the Microsoft Windows Update site at least once a month and download all critical updates.


Cool Chebucto hats available!

[Photo: Cool Chebucto hat - click to see larger photo]   We have available these excellent quality Chebucto Community Net hats. Click on photo to see larger version. These fashionable stone coloured washed cotton Chino twill hats are low fitting with adjustable strap and antique silver ring buckle for a perfect fit and are embroidered with the Chebucto Community Net logo and web address. Machine washable and drip dry with a pre curved peak, this hat will provide years of comfortable wear as well as showing your support for Halifax's own one-of-a-kind independent Community Net.

You can get your very own Chebucto Community Net hat from the Chebucto office for $20 or we can mail it out to you for an additional $10.



 

 

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