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Updated: 4 May 2004
New Windows virus hitting computersW32/Sasser is a new virus which affects users of Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 who have not downloaded the latest patches from Microsoft. Unlike other viruses which require a user to take action and download a file or open an attachment, this new virus requires no user action at all to infect a vulnerable computer other than the computer being connected to the internet over a standard graphical access PPP connection.
Microsoft Windows users can find the patch for their version of Windows which prevents infection by the Sasser virus here. Detailed information on this virus can be found here and anti-virus software company Symantec offers a Sasser removal tool here.
Our advice to all Chebucto users running any version of the Microsoft Windows Operating System, Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser or Microsoft Outlook Express email program is to keep these updated with the latest patches from Microsoft, available from the Windows Update site: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
We also urge our users to have up-to-date anti-virus software and to keep the virus definitions for it updated.
Update on spam, spam and more spam.Additions to the spam filtering rules have resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of spam bypassing the filters and hitting Chebucto users. One estimate had the reduction as high as half of the previously missed email being caught by the new filter rules.
The growth in the amount of spam and virus mail hitting Chebucto has generated a lot of user feedback and questions. A letter was sent out to all Chebucto users explaining the current situation.
Chebucto's two email servers are now receiving and processing anywhere from 100,000 to 175,000 email messages a day. Coping with this flood of mail while trying to develop methods for improving Chebucto's spam filters has been keeping technical staff and volunteers busy for the last several weeks. While there is no one easy solution to the problem, a number of different approaches are being considered, developed and tested out.
Webcam to get new lens!The Chebucto Community Net webcam will be getting a new lens installed soon. The new lens is to replace the current four year old lens which loses focus in dim light. The replacement lens is in plenty of time for the 2004 Tall Ships, July 29 - August 2.
During Tall Ships 2000, the Chebucto Webcam was receiving 5,000 hits a minute - more than 1.5 million hits for the week long visit. During the final Parade of Sail the webcam was manned and following the action. Weather permitting, Chebucto will be covering the 2004 Parade of Sail live.
Chebucto AGM ReportAbout forty members turned out for the tenth Annual General Meeting of the Chebucto Community Net Society held Thursday, April 8th at 7:30 PM in Room 406 of the Dalhousie Arts Centre. Click on the AGM graphic to see the full reports presented at the meeting.
Four members of the Board of Directors stood for re-election: Mark Alberstat, Reg Hody, Treasurer Bernie Hart and Chair Marilyn MacDonald. Joining them were Tom Daly from the Halifax Regional Development Agency and Tanya Moxley from the Halifax Region Community Access Program. All six were elected by acclamation for a two year term.
Volunteers Mark Alberstat, Ed Dyer and Chris Wood were each honored with a certificate of appreciation presented by Chair Marilyn MacDonald. A reception held after the AGM drew a healthy crowd to the Arts Centre Sculpture Court.
New 1-800 Access for Plus!Chebucto Plus users needing dialup access while travelling across North America can now connect using a toll-free 1-800 Access number. Time on the 1-800 Access line is booked in advance in one or two hour increments, $6.00 per hour or $10 for two hours. 1-800 Access details here
The 1-800 Access service has been a popular request for some time now. For the present, 1-800 Access is good only from anywhere in North America but if demand is sufficiently high, it could conceivably be expanded in the future.
When we were tenChebucto Community Net is celebrating its first decade and we're looking for ideas and people interested in helping out with organizing the festivities. If you are interested in helping out, please get in touch with the Chebucto Community Net office here.
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.
Chebucto Newspaper Column Give-aways!Chebucto's Mousepad newspaper column, written by Chebucto Board member Mark Alberstat with occasional help from some fellow Chebucto volunteers, is now archived here at Chebucto. The column is published every second week in the Sunday Chronicle Herald. The Mousepad focuses on computers and internet technologies and how they can be used by people for an almost infinite variety of purposes. People can write in questions to the column and if they are used they will get a cool new Chebucto Community Net mousepad. Email questions to the Mousepad at email@example.com
Chebucto mousepads may be purchased from the Chebucto Office for $5 each or mailed out for $15 each. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
Chebucto Users still tops in *.NS.CA SETI processingSETI, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, has been processing their radio telescope data with home users' computers for years now. Using an innovative screensaver which runs whenever the user computer is not in use, SETI has had more than 1,909,000 years of high quality computer processor time donated to it.
Of all the computer domains ending in the letters NS.CA, denoting Nova Scotia, chebucto.ns.ca now ranks number one, producing more than double the results of both the government of Nova Scotia and the vast resources of EdNet, the schools network combined. Current stats here. Chebucto users have sent in more than 29,000 results, representing more than 54 years of CPU time that would otherwise have been wasted.
In project news, re-observation of 226 points in the sky containing
many of the best candidates generated from the first two years of
SETI@home data has resulted in no positive matches. Researchers are
currently working to identify a new set of candidates for re-observation
using the remaining data while more comprehensive sky surveys using newer
hardware are carried out.
Outlook user email advisoryAfter the continuing wave of viruses specifically targetting users of 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. Mozilla Thunderbird, available free for Windows, Macintosh and Linux from Mozilla.Org is a popular alternative.
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