Updated: 15 September
Sunday! Chebucto at Word on the Street
Chebucto Community Net and the Halifax Regional Community Access Program
will be sharing a booth at this year's Word on the Street
literacy festival at Pier 20 on the Halifax waterfront Sunday, September
19th, 2004. In celebration of Chebucto's 10th anniversary, there will be
birthday cake as well as presentations and a chance to win a 17 inch
flatscreen Compaq V710 monitor with our Solve 6 contest, co-sponsored by
Halifax Regional CAP Association and Brilliance Computers, Kempt Road in
To play the Solve 6 contest, click on the Solve 6 link above. Contestants
go to six different Chebucto Community Net and Halifax Region CAP
Association websites and answer the six questions to be found there. The
sixth clue will be given at Booth 25 at Word on the Street between
11 AM and 3 PM with the draw for the winner to be held there at
Chebucto Board member resigns
Reg Hody, Chair of the Chebucto Internal Committee resigned last week. He
was elected to a two year term at this past year's Annual General Meeting.
Director Bill Matheson has agreed to be the new Chair of the Internal
Committee and a nominating committee has been tasked with finding a new
Director to fill the remainder of the two year term.
The Board of Directors is the group of 12 volunteers charged with running
the Chebucto Community Net. Any person with a paid up membership in the
Chebucto Community Net is eligible to become a Director, whether the
membership is Assisted, Full, Supporting, Sustaining or any of the Family
membership categories. Please consider volunteering. Technical knowledge
helpful but not essential. Interested parties can send an email to
email@example.com with a brief write-up about themselves.
Live Webcam Coverage
Chebucto volunteer Andrew Wright manned the webcam at the top of Fenwick
Place all afternoon Monday August 2nd 2004 for the tallest view of the
Parade of Sail in Halifax. There will be a photoessay posted soon. Some
50,000 visitors to the Chebucto website dropped in to enjoy the show. This
is down somewhat from the previous Parade of Sail held in 2000, which was
held on a regular work day rather than a holiday.
2004 Parade of Sail success
Internet security news - new updates available!
Internet security continues to present an ongoing problem for computer
users and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. Users must
protect themselves and their computers from being taken over and used for
Windows XP users should download and install Service Pack
2, a rewriting of the Microsoft Operating System which includes
security fixes and program updates as well as an improved built-in
firewall to help protect against network attacks on the computer. This
important update is free to download from Microsoft Windows Update
and is recommended for our users.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser, used by the majority of people
on the Internet and bundled with the Microsoft Windows Operating System
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.
In light of this continuing and worsening problem, we recommend to our
users not to use the Internet Explorer web browser (except for accessing
Microsoft's own Windows
Update site). We recommend users download and use the free Open Source
Mozilla Firefox web browser, available for download at no cost at
Mozilla.org. Mozilla Firefox has
been updated this week to a new and improved version. Other browsers are
available for users to use as well. A list of web browsers available for
download can be found here. Please note that
many of these listed browsers are still using Internet Explorer as their
While Microsoft has put up many Internet Explorer related patches on their
Windows Update site and
we strongly recommend users download these patches, there are almost daily
accounts of other, still unpatched, security issues. Still, many users of
Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer do not keep up to date
with patches, leaving themselves particularly vulnerable to having their
computers exploited. Chebucto Community Net has the policy of immediately
suspending Internet access for computers which have been detected as being
New secure online renewals
The Chebucto Community Net is pleased to announce that we can now offer
secure online credit card payments for Chebucto membership renewals and
service fees. The new service, available from our home page or directly
uses Internet standard 256 bit high-grade encryption to transmit credit
card information securely to Chebucto's server in Halifax. Once there the
information is stored using 1024 bit encryption. Transactions are
processed next business day.
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. The 1024 bit
encryption used to store the information on Chebucto's server has 1.7 x
10 313 possible keys and is even more secure. The service
is temporarily using a secure certificate issued by the Chebucto Community
Net which users must accept before they can access the site. This
temporary certificate offers the same 256 bit encryption as a regular
Incoming mail more than 92% garbage
In June 2004, Chebucto Community Net received 2,312,880 pieces of mail. Of
this amount, 1,898,924 pieces (82.10%) were tagged as spam and 241,204
pieces (10.43%) were caught as viruses. A mere 7.47% of the mail was
delivered to user mailboxes or 172,752 emails.
In the chart above, daily mail totals for the month of June 2004 are
represented. Blue is the total amount of mail that came in that day, dark
red is the spam, orange is viruses and finally green is the mail delivered
to user mailboxes. A small portion of the delivered mail is actually spam
that slipped through the spam filters, but there is no way to determine
how much of that there is.
Chebucto joins ACORN-NS
Chebucto Community Net has joined ACORN-NS, the Atlantic Canada
Organization of Research Networks - Nova Scotia. As a result, Chebucto
users can now enjoy the best possible connections to universities, schools
and major Canadian research centres, with routes in some cases more than
ten hops shorter than this time two months ago. Each hop between two
computers adds lag time to all communications between them; the fewer
hops, the better and faster the connection. Chebucto Community Net is now
peered with all the major Nova Scotia networks except Aliant, the
telephone company, which for reasons of its own will not enter into a peer
relationship with any local Nova Scotia network. In a peer network, all
traffic is treated as if it was local, thus is faster, more direct and
there is no cost for bandwidth between the peers.
In addition to the network benefits from belonging to ACORN-NS, Chebucto
Community Net is now part of a number of major projects ACORN-NS is
involved in, such as the Metro Dark Fiber initiative, which is putting in
high speed networking capacity for future use around Halifax.
New 1-800 Access for
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
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.
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
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
mousepads may be purchased from the Chebucto Office for $5 each or mailed
out for $15 each. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Chebucto Users still tops in *.NS.CA
SETI, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, has been processing
their radio telescope data with home users' computers for years now. Using
screensaver which runs whenever the user computer is not in use, SETI
has had more than 2,059,000 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 33,000 results, representing more
than 57 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. The SETI software is in the process of being upgraded and
is now integrated with BOINC, a distributed computing
platform which will allow home users to split their computing power among
different projects at the same time.
Outlook user email advisory
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.
Mozilla Thunderbird, available free for Windows, Macintosh and
Linux from Mozilla.org is a popular
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