Updated: 26 January 2010
Internet Town Hall News
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.
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
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.
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:
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
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
Current version: 2.0.2.
Free anti-virus programs for home users
- Microsoft Security Essentials: available for free from
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):
free and paid versions from Lavasoft.de
A-Squared free and paid versions from
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
SSH Client: Putty free from
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
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!
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.
Go to the Beacon
Go to the Services