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

Updated: 26 January 2010

Internet Town Hall News

[Photo: Internet Town Hall speakers] Chebucto Community Net and the Dalhousie Student Union presented a public Internet Town Hall meeting in the Dalhousie Student Union Building October 26th, 2009 to present and discuss four major issues facing Canadian Internet users.

http://chebucto.ca/townhall/

About one hundred people came out to hear about 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.

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

The meeting was judged to be a success by the organizers and led directly to Chebucto Community Net being accepted as a member of the Community Access Program (CAP). Feedback on the meeting, excerpts of which were broadcast by CBC Radio Maritime Noon over the first week of November, 2009, has been wide-ranging. Links to the CBC audio are on the Town Hall page.

Chebucto Community Net is planning smaller regional Internet Town Hall meetings for early Spring 2010.


Chebucto Net User Survey

Organizers of the Chebucto Community Net User Survey want to thank all the people who took part. About one fourth of Chebucto users participated in the survey. 60% of Chebucto users are over the age of 55 and only 6% of respondents are under the age of 35.

Results of the survey are still being analyzed but one fact revealed by the survey is a direct relationship between age over 35 and lack of experience with computers, with one half of senior citizens stating they would like to have more knowledge and training with computers. About one fourth of respondents aged 36-55 needed more training.

The Chebucto Community Net Board of Directors is investigating the possibility of offering user training to our members in some form.


Wireless service news

Logo: Chebucto Wireless
After months of negotiations, Chebucto Community Net Board members were unable to come to an agreement with the new owners of Fenwick Tower. All Chebucto Community Net assets including the Chebucto Wireless transmitter and the Chebucto Community Net Webcam have been removed from Fenwick Tower and Dalhousie University has now removed its fiber-optic cable running to the top of Fenwick Tower.

At the present time the Chebucto Wireless service is offline while a new home is found for the transmitter. The Chebucto Webcam too is awaiting word on a new home with a new view of Halifax.

Late in 2009 members of the Chebucto Board made a presentation on the wireless service to the residents of Joe Howe Manor, a residence for fixed-income seniors. Since then Chebucto has been repeatedly turned down for grant applications to help fund the project. Current plans are to use a different transmitter location with new parts being available for order in March 2010.

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.


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, Windows 7: 3.6.

Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from Mozilla.com
Current version: 3.0.1.

All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla SeaMonkey
free from Seamonkey-project.org
Current version: 2.0.2.

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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