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Warning!
For Windows Live ID Users

BEK - Local News & Info!
Keep Informed About Your Local Telecommunications Cooperative

National Broadband Plan Causes Uncertainty for All North Dakota Communications Cooperatives, Like BEK

OTHER BEK NEWS:

This Month's FAQ
What Is An IP Address?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In August

Short Tutorial
Creating Compressed Files And Folders


Hi BEKNet Customers!

This August issue is filled with all kinds of tips to help you do all kinds of things, including outsmart scammers, save money, and make the most of your free time. It starts with a warning about a Windows Live ID scam that's circulating via e-mail, and a reminder to keep up your regular precautions against phishing. You'll also learn about the purpose of an IP address, and find out how to create compressed files and folders. We think you'll also enjoy the variety in our Great Sites section; these resources feature everything from caffeine counts in popular foods to 137 years of content from Popular Science.

The goal of each of our eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting.

To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!

- The BEK Internet Team
 

 

 

Warning! – For Windows Live ID Users
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If you receive an e-mail like the one pictured here that appears to be from Microsoft Customer Support, be careful. There are fraudulent e-mails now circulating that have a subject line about confirming your e-mail address for Windows Live ID. They are not from Microsoft as claimed, and are simply part of a phishing scam.

Ironically, the e-mail's message pretends to actually be concerned about the security of your personal information and recommends that you don't click on the links placed in the e-mail. Instead, it says to copy and paste the desired link into your browser's address bar.

Sample Scam Download Graphics to View


Microsoft reminds users that it will never ask you to provide your username, password, date of birth, country, credit card information, or other personal information via e-mail. And you should never enter your password anywhere besides the official Windows Live ID sign-in page.

Here are additional tips to help you avoid phishing scams:

  • Your first level of defense is to secure your computer. To do this, keep your firewall turned on and make sure all of your software (including antivirus and antispyware software) is up to date, along with your operating system.
  • Do not click on links within an e-mail unless you're absolutely certain about the source, and don't reply to suspicious e-mails.

Scammers know that a small percentage of users will fall for their tricks. Armed with information, you don't need to be one of them.

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BEK - Local News & Info! – Keep Informed About Your Local Telecommunications Cooperative
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Internet Help Desk: The Help Desk is available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday - Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding major holidays.

The Help Desk number is 1-888-475-2361. The BEK Business Office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, excluding major holidays.

BEK BYTES "tips"

·  Proxy Server Settings: Recently we have had quite a few customers call in to report they cannot load webpages however, they can send/receive email. One place to check is Proxy Server. This is located in Internet Explorer. Click on Tools, Internet Options, Click on the Connections Tab, Click on the LAN Settings button which is located in the lower right corner. There should not be a check mark by Proxy Server. If there is, take the check mark out and click OK. Now you should be able to load webpages.

·  Next month – watch for information on Securing a Wireless Router.

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National Broadband Plan Causes Uncertainty for All North Dakota Communications Cooperatives, Like BEK
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By Derrick Bulawa, GM & CEO
BEK Communications Cooperative
(condensed version*)


National Broadband Plan
As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) passed by the US Congress in February of 2009, Congress mandated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) develop a National Broadband Plan (NBP) to make broadband Internet service available nationwide, much like telephone service and electricity. In March of 2010 the FCC published to Congress the plan which is designed around, among other things, the use of the existing Universal Service Fund (USF) cost support mechanism, which is vital to the financial health of most rural telephone cooperatives, like BEK. The idea of transitioning the existing USF mechanism to build out broadband Internet services is not bad on the surface because BEK currently uses these funds to deploy phone service, fiber, broadband and digital TV services. However, as we begin to understand this plan, we see that it compromises the future of all rural communications cooperatives including BEK. 

Second-Class Citizens
The most disturbing part of the NBP is that it discriminates against the entire rural population of the country. The FCC Chairman outlined one objective of this plan in a news release, which is to provide 100 Mbps to 100 million homes (all cities) by 2020. This is an exciting goal, but this goal excludes the remaining 36 million rural homes, like yours. In the NBP it states that the rural homes will not be funded to support Internet speeds of 100 Mbps, but will only be funded to support Internet speeds of 4 Mbps, which is less than most BEK members receive today.

The Economics of BEK
BEK has invested in and operates a $65 million network which is used to provide phone service, broadband Internet service, digital television service, medical communications, emergency services, distance learning, cellular tower connections, cable TV service and business communications. Virtually all of the communications provided within BEK's 5,700 square mile service territory passes through this network.

Policy
Decades ago, Congress established a universal service policy for telephone communications, which required rural areas have access to communications services at prices that are affordable and reasonably comparable to those available in urban areas. BEK Communications Cooperative has fulfilled these obligations for 58 years and most recently has completed 60% of its Fiber to the Home project based on assumptions that the regulators would support this same universal service philosophy for broadband. Should the policies contained in the NBP come to pass, all rural communities (including those served by BEK) will find themselves on the slow side of the broadband digital divide in the future. This in turn will raise the cost of your communications tremendously, which will be devastating to our economies, quality of life and economic opportunities. 

Solution?
There may be a solution. U.S. Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) have introduced H.R. 5828, the Universal Service Reform Act of 2010. It includes several proposals that are an improvement over the NBP. The biggest improvement over the NBP is that this bill would allow comparable services to be made available in rural and non-rural areas.

Take Action Now
Please contact your congressional representatives and urge them to support regulatory action that ensures that Universal Service Funds will be available to High Cost areas, comparable service speeds will be available at comparable market prices and equal access to broadband for all Americans. Urge them to support the Universal Service Refrom Act of 2010. You will find several letters by clicking on the link below, which can be downloaded, personalized and sent to our congressional representatives and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

*For more information and access to the NBP letters, please go to www.bektel.com and click on "National Broadband Plan Info" along the left side navigation.

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OTHER BEK NEWS:
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BEK Sports News

The 2010 Fall BEK Sports Calendar is now available www.beksports.com.

Tailgate Parties are Back!
Join BEK and local sponsors at upcoming tailgates and the $500 half-time Punt, Pass and Kick Contest. Interested parties can register at the sponsor booth by the end of the 1st quarter for a chance to participate. Contestant is guaranteed at least $25 for trying. Contestant will be given three chances to punt, pass or kick a football through the goal posts, from the 5, 10 and 25 yard lines. Contestant must choose a separate method at each yard line (punt, pass or kick.)  Successful goal winnings:  5 yard line = $50; 10 yard line = $100; 25 yard line =$250. If the contestant makes all three, he/she will get a $100 bonus! Total amount available to win = $500. The amount NOT won, of the $500 available winnings, will be donated to the school hosting the game. Also register at the sponsor booth for door prizes. Both kids and adult prizes will be given away!

2010 Tailgate Schedule:

  • Tuesday, August 24 Tri County @ Kidder County (Steele)
  • Saturday, August 28   Richland/Colfax @ South Border (Wishek)
  • Friday, September 10  Napoleon @ Strasburg-Zeeland
  • Friday, September 17 Richardton/Taylor @ Wilton-Wing
  • Tuesday, October 12   South Border @ Napoleon
  • Friday, October 15 Milnor/North Sargent @ Linton-HMB

More details to follow in the September BEK Beacon and the BEK website: www.bektel.com.

BEKTV News:
FREE Local HD Channels now available
BEK is now offering FREE local HD channels to Digital BEKTV subscribers!!!
If you are a BEK fiber customer, you can now get the local channels in high definition (HD) at no cost to you to on one TV stream. HD is all about vivid colors and clarity, amazing picture sharpness and extreme details never displayed on regular television. Here's your FREE local HD lineup from BEKTV:

  • KBMEHD – PBS 703
  • KNDXHD – FOX 704
  • KFYRHD – NBC 705
  • KXMBHD – CBS 712
  • KBMYHD – ABC 717

Go to www.bektel.com for more details.

Get $25 Cash Back with Starz and Showtime.
Subscribe to Starz for contemporary hit movies, original series and documentaries and get $25 cash back. 

Subscribe to Showtime for box office favorites and original series and get $25 cash back. 

Call 1-888-475-2361 to subscribe to Showtime and/or Starz and get $25 cash back today! Cash back offers end 12/31/2010.

NFL Red Zone Coming Soon to BEKTV
Get ready football fans; this fall BEKTV proudly presents NFL Red Zone, channel 781 (Variety Package)!
Every Sunday host Scott Hanson will deliver key moments from across the league. Most importantly you will see every touchdown from every game. Don't miss the unforgettable game finishes brought to you by NFL Red Zone. Call 1-888-475-2361 to subscribe to the Variety Package today!

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This Month's FAQ – What Is An IP Address?
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Thumbprint Download Graphics to ViewQuestion: What exactly is an IP address and what is its purpose?

Answer: An Internet Protocol (IP) address is an electronic serial number that takes the form of four numbers separated by dots; an example would be 10.50.50.50. Every machine connected to the Internet—computer or any other Web-enabled device—has an IP address. IP addresses are used by routers to forward messages from one computer to another over the Internet.

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Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In August
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Curb Your Caffeine
www.mayoclinic.com – If you're like most adults, you probably drink some combination of coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks each day. While these beverages can give you a boost, too many of them can be harmful to your health. Mayo Clinic's "caffeine content" site recommends no more than 500 to 600 milligrams of caffeine per day. This helpful site also shows you the amount of caffeine in many popular brands, including foods and medications you might not have considered.

Get It Write
www.paperrater.com  – High school and college students will appreciate this handy tool. PaperRater analyzes academic papers for plagiarism, spelling, grammar, style, word choice, and readability. This free service is maintained by linguistics professionals and graduate students, and allows you to correct many common mistakes before you turn in your papers. The site also includes a vocabulary builder and a blog with helpful writing tips. It's like having an English professor at your service 24/7!

137 Years of Popular Science
www.popsci.com – Rocket ships, dinosaurs, sports medicine, computers, and the future of technology—Popular Science has covered it all in its 137 years. Now, the magazine has partnered with Google to offer its entire archive for free browsing. Each issue appears just as it did at its original time of publication, complete with period advertisements. It's a fascinating trip down memory lane for science buffs.

Cool Summer Treats
allrecipes.com – There's nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a cool, creamy treat. This site offers dozens of recipes that feature ice cream, including ice cream sandwiches, sherbet, sorbet, and ice cream pies and cakes. For each recipe, you can read reviews, write your own, save to a recipe box, or share with friends. You can also check out videos, and subscribe to the baking newsletter.

Dog-friendly Destinations
www.dogfriendly.com – Remember poor Snoopy being turned away by the sign that read "no dogs allowed"? Don't let this happen to your pooch! This travel site lists accommodations, parks, attractions, stores, and outdoor restaurants where dogs are welcome all over the world. You can search by location (country, city, state), or by destination, such as campgrounds, beaches, attractions, and dog parks. And don't forget to check out the site's blog for the latest dog news.

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Short Tutorial – Creating Compressed Files And Folders
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Compressing files and folders decreases their size so they take up less storage space and can be transferred to other computers more quickly than uncompressed files. (You might think of this process as the electronic version of using vacuum-compression storage bags for extra clothes or blankets.) It's particularly handy, for example, when you have a long list of files to e-mail to someone, since you'll be able to attach just one compressed (or zipped) folder with everything in it instead of attaching 10 or 12 files individually. To create compressed files and folders, follow the steps below:

Creating Compressed Files and Folders Using ...
Computer Operating System:
Windows XP

1.    Using the "My Computer" method, click your cursor arrow on the "Start" menu and then click on "My Computer."

2.    When the My Computer window opens, locate the file or folder you would like to compress.

3.    With the file or folder selected, click on the "File" menu. Select "New" from the resulting drop-down menu and then select "Compressed (zipped) Folder" from the secondary drop-down menu.

4.    When the compression is complete, your new zipped file will appear; the icon for the file or folder will appear to have a zipper on it. Type a name for the new compressed file and press the "Enter" key.

5.    Alternately, you can right-click on the file or folder you would like to compress and select "Send To" and then "Compressed (zipped) Folder" from the resulting pop-up menu.

Creating Compressed Files and Folders Using ...
Computer Operating System:
Windows Vista

1.    In Windows Explorer, right-click the file or folder you would like to compress.

2.    When the pop-up menu appears, select "Send to . . ." and click "Compressed (zipped) folder" from the submenu.

3.    A compressed file is created using the name of the folder or file you are compressing. The icon for the compressed file or folder looks like a bundle of books with a belt around it to indicate its compressed status. (Note: If you have a separate compression application installed, the icon may look different.)

4.    You can add files or a folder to an existing compressed folder. Simply drag and drop the files or folder on top of it and the new material is automatically added.

Creating Compressed Files and Folders Using ...
Computer Operating System:
Windows 7

1.    In Windows Explorer, right-click the file or folder you would like to compress.

2.    Go to "Send to . . ." and click "Compressed (zipped) folder."

3.    A compressed file is created using the name of the folder or file you are compressing with the file extension ".zip" added to the end. The icon for the compressed file or folder has a zipper on it to indicate its compressed status. (Note: If you have a separate compression application installed, like WinZip, the icon may look different.)

4.    You can add files or a folder to an existing compressed folder. Simply drag and drop the files or folder on top of it and the new material is automatically added.

Alternate option:

1.    In Windows Explorer, click to go to the folder in which you would like to create a compressed file. This can be any folder on any drive.

2.    Right-click anywhere in the pane of Windows Explorer that lists the folders and files. Make sure you do not click on a sub-folder.

3.    From the pop-up menu, go to "New" and then click "Compressed (zipped) Folder." A compressed folder named "Compressed (zipped) Folder.zip" appears. The icon has the "zipper" image, indicating it is a compressed file. This is an empty compressed file, waiting for you to add material to it.

4.    Rename the file in some way that is meaningful to you.

5.    The file now can be treated like any normal folder; you can drag other folders or files into it or out of it. The folders or files you drag into it will be compressed.

Creating Compressed Files and Folders Using ...
Computer Operating System:
Mac OS X 10.5

1.    In the Finder window, click your cursor arrow on the file or folder you would like to compress.

2.    Click your cursor arrow on the "File" menu and select "Compress '[the name of your file or folder]'" from the resulting drop-down menu.

3.    When the compression is complete, your new zipped file will appear with the existing file or folder name and will now show the extension ".zip" added to the end of its name. The icon for the file or folder will appear to have a zipper on it.

4.    Alternately, you can right-click on the file or folder you would like to compress and select "Compress '[the name of your file or folder]'" from the resulting pop-up menu.

Alternate option:

1.    Click your cursor arrow on the file or folder you would like to compress.

2.    Right-click your cursor arrow on the selected file or folder and select "Compress '[the name of your file or folder]'" from the resulting drop-down menu.

3.    When the compression is complete, your new zipped file will appear with the existing file or folder name and will now show the extension ".zip" added to the end of its name. The icon for the file or folder will appear to have a zipper on it.

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We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings here. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins, click here.

Thanks for your business!

Happy Surfing,

BEK Internet Team
Internet Insights

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Problems with your internet service? Need to ask a question?

Call Toll Free 1-888-475-2361
or email bekcomm@bektel.com

BEK Communications
200 E Broadway
Steele, ND 58482-0230

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