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Updated: 2 October 2005

Daily Service Bulletin Chebucto News Archive

Chebucto Webcam back online!

[Photo: new Fenwick Place Webcam] The Fenwick Place Webcam came back online this week. The webcam, located on top of the tallest building in Halifax, features a new home-built mount constructed by Chebucto volunteers Chris Wood and Johnathan Thibodeau and a new high resolution video camera.

[Photo: Johnathan Thibodeau on the Fenwick Place roof Sept. 2005]
Installed by Johnathan Thibodeau and Andrew Wright September 29th, hits to the new webcam page tripled immediately to about 15,000 a day. The webcam, originally installed for the July 2000 Tall Ships visit, ran continuously until this past winter, when a broken mount for the camera was followed by failure of the camera itself. During special events such as last fall's historic first visit of the Queen Mary 2, there have been as many as 250,000 visits to the site a day.

Ad campaign helps new memberships

A print ad campaign to help bring in new Chebucto members appears to have had some results. September 2005 new signups are up to the highest level since 1999. Ads for Chebucto were printed in The Coast, the Dalhousie Gazette and the broadsheet Flying Cow.

Chebucto Board member resigns

Bob Ashley has resigned as a Director of the Chebucto Community Net Society due to job-related relocation. He was elected to the Board of Directors at the April 2005 Annual General Meeting.

The Chebucto Community Net Society is the body which runs the Chebucto Community Net. Its twelve directors are elected to two year terms, six directors coming up for election each year. In the case of a director resigning, the Board appoints a new director to serve the remainder of the term.

Chebucto adds new Secure Mail services

[Graphic: secure padlock.]  New Chebucto Secure Mail Services offer the safest email access available. It is now possible to receive Chebucto mail using several different methods with the security of 256 bit strong encryption, better than the 128 bit internet encryption many banks use for their online services. With Chebucto Secure Mail, no one with access to the internet connection between you and Chebucto can see your password or read your mail. There is currently no known way to break 256 bit encryption except to try all possible 256 bit keys. There are 1.1 x 10 77 (a number with 77 zeroes after the one) such keys and estimates on how long to try them all range into several hundred trillion years.

Full documentation of how to use secure WebMail, secure POP3, secure IMAP and even Chebucto's text service and PINE using secure SSH is online.

Chebucto services maintenance window

The Chebucto Technical Committee wishes to advise Chebucto users of upcoming regularly scheduled planned maintenance downtimes. Chebucto Community Net services may be unavailable between 3:30 AM and 4:30 AM Tuesdays to allow for system upgrades. Some or all Chebucto services may go down with minimum or no warning during this maintenance window as systems are shut down and restarted.

Chebucto Community Net RSS how-to guide

Chebucto Community Net has posted a guide on how to use our RSS news feed here:

By putting up an RSS news feed, Chebucto Community Net is now able to alert our users and supporters in a fast and timely manner not only to important Chebucto news but also important general news such as new critical updates to widely used software or new security or scam alerts. We hope that people will take advantage of this new service to keep themselves informed fast and easy.

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
Updated with security fixes to version 1.0.7.

Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from
Updated with security fixes to version 1.0.7.

Anti-Spyware Software:

Firewall: Zone Alarm free and paid versions from

Free anti-virus programs for home users (Note that both of these programs also have paid versions which offer additional features):

FTP Software: FileZilla free from

RSS Newsfeed Reader: RSSOwl free from RSSOwl.Org

The Chebucto Office does not recommend using the Internet Explorer web browser for any use except for accessing Microsoft's own Windows Update page. Internet Explorer has been the subject of a number of reports recently pointing out vulnerabilities and security issues. The popular web browser has been 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.

Windows Users can find a selection of email programs available for download here and Macintosh users can find a selection of email programs here.

The recommendations for anti-spyware software and firewall software are in response to an increasing number of user machines that have been compromised to the point of unusability by advertiser-supported software and associated spyware and malware. Anti-spyware software can be updated with new definitions, the same way as anti-virus software is and can scan and fix problems as anti-virus software can. Note that it is not a substitute for anti-virus software and our recommendation to our users to have a good anti-virus program and keep it updated has never changed. The three anti-spyware programs we recommend can all be used on the same computer without problem.

Firewall software is also effective in helping users control their computer not only as protection against outside network attacks but to provide control over what programs on the user computer are allowed to access the internet.

Keeping Microsoft Windows up to date is also very important. Windows XP 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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