All posts by NFN Editor

Important Updates for our DSL Users

This message was sent out Monday, May 5, 2014 by Roger Kastel, NFNPresident

To provide better support to our current NFN DSL users, Network Tallahassee (NetTally)  – our current whole-sale partner, will take over existing NFN DSL operations effective with the June, 2014 monthly dsl billing period. All billing and support for dsl will be done by Network Tallahassee rather than NFN DSL. This change will NOT affect members who are using DIAL UP services or other Internet Service Providers for their connections (for example, Comcast, Century Link, Nu-Vu/Summit Broadband, etc.).

This change applies only to our current NFN DSL high speed Internet users and they will be given a toll-free number to call for support or billing questions. If you are uncertain whether this change applies to you, please call the Helpdesk at 417-1400 between 9:30am -1:30pm Mon-Sat with your username and a volunteer will look up your account and confirm whether this applies to you.

DSL operations have become increasingly more complex over the years as changes in technology have increased Internet options and Internet-enabled devices. Our all-volunteer staff has decreased in size over the years as volunteers age, move away, or leave for personal reasons. Members currently using NFN DSL will be better served with direct technical support from Network Tallahassee (Nettally) who offers support during their business hours of 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Eastern time and on a callback basis at other times.

Active NFN DSL users will transition over to Nettally at their existing rates but will need to provide Nettally with billing information. This protects you by ensuring that you are the one providing information directly to Nettally. More information will be sent directly to all active NFN DSL users in a separate e-mail from NFN DSL Administration and active NFN DSL users will have until the end of May to provide Nettally with their information.

Active NFN DSL users who do not provide Nettally with their information will be suspended from NFN DSL on May 31, 2014 and will be required to contact Nettally directly after that date for re-instatement which may cause a delay in their re-activation. Seasonal NFN DSL users who are currently suspended need not do anything until they wish to re-activate. Information will be posted at dsl.naples.net.

The Naples Free-Net continues to expand their offerings to members through Education, One-on-One Tutoring, NFN4Good for Non-Profits, Tuesday Tuneups, and E-mail Services. Memberships include premium accounts for a $68 annual tax-deductible donation as well as standard nfn numbered e-mails for which any voluntary contribution is appreciated. We appreciate the many loyal members we have and thank you for your continued support as we seek to serve you in the best way possible.

Roger Kastel
President, Naples Free-Net

NFN users and NFN4Good site owners secure from Heartbleed bug on Open SSL

The good news first, our system administrator , Warren Anderson, reported earlier: “

Warren Anderson Presidents Award 2014“The “Heartbleed” bug affects OpenSSL versions 1.01 and 1.02. Naples Free-Net does not use the affected software. External tests have shown that we are not vulnerable.”

In other words, NFN users information is securely stored and was not exposed.

Mashable posted: The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

Thank you to Steve Hart, who allowed us to use his article, published this morning on Relevanza.

Heartbleed bug on OpenSSL is an open wound

You’ve no doubt read about the Heartbleed bug that could affect websites using OpenSSL encryption for secure services – like financial transactions.

There is certainly no shortage of posts about the bug and it presents potential danger for some websites. An estimate published by ARStechnica suggests approximately 600,000 of a reported 28 million servers and other devices responding to a SSL connection request remained vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. That estimate was made April 8th and at the time it was suggested a third of all servers had received a security patch to fix the vulnerability.

Other estimates suggest two-thirds of all servers dependent on OpenSSL have the potential to be affected.

OpenSSL is an open-source system of software networks which works to encrypt just over half of all websites which need secure connections to do business. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and if your website URL adds an “s” to the http preface on the URL – https – you are probably using OpenSSL.

HeartbleedThe Heartbleed bug, as it’s come to be called, is a recently discovered vulnerability in the software that could allow hackers to access sensitive, important encrypted information such as passwords or, even, credit card numbers on the way from your computer to the web site using the data. There is currently no way to know if any particular site has been exploited because of the flaw but companies are moving very quickly to make patches and mend the flaw.

There are at least two sites (probably others) website users can go to check a site for vulnerabilities. One site is was set up by the security firm, LastPass. Another site was set up by Filippo Valsorda, Twitter and GitHub and can be found here.

Links reading more:

Photo: The Mothership by Trey Ratcliff, StuckinCustoms.com

Learning Programming Languages

Earlier this week we notified our members and the public of our new initiative, one-on-one tutoring sessions. It triggered an interest and George Santos, program manager, takes care of them. One member has had more in-depth tutoring needs. He asked:

“What about writing real code (eg, C++, Python, Javascript, Java)?”

Any computer science program at local universities will cover an array of programming languages. And there are quite a few online learning sites. They offer more problem oriented coding tutorials and are free of charge or a very reasonable priced. All courses are conducted online with coursework published on web pages and in videos, and contain in addition tests, code review and provde a community forum to connect with professors and fellow students.
Make not mistakes: Online courses require a certain amount of self-discipline, curiosity, patience and perseverance, all traits of an aspiring software engineer.

Udacity

CodeAcademy

Make Use Of, one of my favorite technology sites, published a while ago the article:  3 Websites To Get Started With Learning C++ 

The Tech Shell provided in a slighly more recent article: 4 Best Sites To Learn C and C+

This should get people started, that would go more hard core on the learning path.

If you, dear reader know of any additional sites and resources, please post them in the comment section.

Photo: Chicago by Trey Ratcliff, Stuck In Customs

New Initiative: One-on-One Tutoring

The Naples Free-Net (NFN) is launching a new individual training service: One-on-One Tutoring. Members and Instructors will meet, primarily at the NFN Office, or any site, at date/time agreed upon by the parties involved.

Donations are requested per hour or any part of an hour as follows:

  • Premimum Members: $25
  • Standard Members: $30
  • Non-Members: $40

Bring a friend/spouse training in the same subject and get one half off for the second person: $12.50, $15, and $20 respectively per hour/part.

We are offering instruction in all Windows Operating Systems, Digital Photography, Wireless Connections, Skype, Microsoft Office Apps, Wireless Mobile (IPAD, IPhone, Android, Tablets, etc), and most Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram). Also WordPress, Google+, GoogleApps, and the Cloud. We will suit your training to your needs.

Please email us at: tutornfn@naples.net

Include your Name, NFN UserID (first part of your NFN email address as applicable), Contact Information, and the subject(s) you would like to learn more about.

Or fill out below request form:

2014 Volunteer Awards – And the Award goes to….

Monday night, President Roger Kastel presented  this year’s Volunteer Awards at the Annual Meeting. Here are his notes. Photos by Al Martinez.

We start with the Distinguished Service Awards:
The Distinguished Service Awards are presented by the Naples Free-Net Board of Directors for unusual contributions to the NFN.

This years awards are presented to:
Bob Luparello Distinguished Service Award 2014Bob Luparello – has worked tirelessly on the Budget, the Investment program and continuously labors with the Treasurey. His outstanding monthly reports keep us generously informed on the Board.

James MacDonald-labors as the Education Administrator, he dedicates many hours setting up classes at various venues, has been instrumental in setting up NFN for Good programming. Our Education Department is second to none. I take pride in presenting with the Distinguished Service Award.

Birgit Pauli-Haack – working as our Webmaster, spends countless hours working on the NFN website, NFN4Good website and the SWFL 501 Tech Club website. Birgit also serves as a member of the NFN BOD’s and also on the NFN Tech Team. Birgit has come to be one of the indispensible persons I rely on to get things done here at the NFN. I am proud to present you with the Distinguished Service Award.

Mary Ann Wallace – Works as the NFN DSL Administrator, wherein she labors many many hours a week, keeping DSL members access to the World Wide Web available. She has to deal with our member the customer, Century Link – hard line pair supplier and Netally – the actual DSL service provider; and then there is the monthly billing cycle that always seems to have lame credit card problems to deal with, and then there is auditing of the monthly bill from Netally. It is my pleasure to present you with the Distinguished Service Award.

Dennis “Duke” Vasey – Who was tasked with generating a Marketing Plan for NFN. Much study on his part looking at where salebility is generated – you@naples.net being a valuable commodity, the Internet of the future – it’s in your handheld device, generating one-on-one services through Tech services and training. Many categories go into a Marketing strategy, Duke looked at seemingly endless options. A great job has been done by one who stepped up to the plate and did the job at hand. I take great pride in presenting you with the NFN Distinguished Service Award.

Volunteer of the Year Award

The Volunteer of the Year Award is granted to the outstanding NFN volunteer and the criteria used in selecting the recipient are as follows:

  • Hours of service
  • Dedication
  • Gongeniality
  • Minimum of one year of service

The award is voted upon by the BOD’s upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee

This years award is presented to George Santos

George Santos Volunteer of the year 2014George is a volunteer who has great patience in dealing with NFN members and the Helpteam members, for he is the Helpteam Coordinator. He has a tremendous capacity to get things accomplished with the limited amount of Helpteam Volunteers he has to work with. George is a very valuable member of the NFN staff, as he also serves on the BOD’s and as the Vice-President. It is with great pleasure that I present you with the Volunteer of the Year award.

Presidents Award

The Presidents Award is to recognize the activities of a BOD member who, through various activities, has shown a broad perspective in leadership within the organization.

The following criteria is utilized in selecting the recipient :

  • Leadership via committee work w/other volunteers –
  • Broad perspective of the organization –
  • Visionary – –
  • The recipient is chosen by the President

Warren Anderson Presidents Award 2014This year it gives me great pleasure to present it to Warren Anderson, our Systems Administrator. I am constantly reminded of Warren’s vast knowledge of Server administration.His technical knowledge keeps our vast array of migrated old and newer servers up to date, so access to the World Wide Web, for NFN members is always available. I want to personally thank him for all the time and effort he puts in for the pleasure of the Naples Free-Net members. I am proud to present him with the NFN Presidents Award.