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Popular devices like AppleTV, Roku boxes, and any other new device that is going to stream movies or video via the internet to your computer or television, consume many times more bandwidth that what you needed back when you first got your internet service from us. Even though we have repeatedly increased the speed and capacity of our cable modems over the years, the volume of data involved with streaming a high definition movie to your home via that cable modem almost always outstrips the capacity of our regular 5 MB internet service that 90% of our customers still use. So, before you move from opening those devices, to installing them, the internet service to your home is going to be upgraded for you, by us.
Now, for some of you, even doubling your present internet speed might not be enough if your home is an early adopter of many of the latest streaming technologies. If that is the case, we have solutions for you as well. We have two tiers of internet speed that are even faster than the base product that will soon provide 10MB service to the thousands of Glasgow homes and businesses that use our basic product (and all of those speeds are being doubled as well). Just give us a call or examine our website for more information about these even higher speed products.
In most cases, you will not even need to call us for this year’s upgrade to arrive at your home. The process is quite simple, and will happen during the night. You don’t even need a chimney! Your present cable modem has already been reprogrammed, from our office, to deliver the higher speed. All you have to do to implement the higher speed service is to unplug the power cord for about one minute, and then plug it back in. Within minutes the modem will download the new operating file and you will be in the fast lane. In some rare cases, if you still have one of the old gray cable modems, we need to replace those for the higher speed, but that is also very easy. You can just bring it by our office and we will swap your old modem for one of the newer ones.
The EPB Elves have been working for months trying to get our network upgraded so that we can deliver this present to our customers. We only got the last piece of this in place this week. Now we can be a big part of delivering the games, movies, YouTube videos, or whatever content you expect to receive from your new toy, flawlessly and quickly. We know that, with everything else going on over the upcoming holidays, you want things to work as advertised. Getting the higher speed internet service from Glasgow EPB can work magic, just like that Elf on the Shelf!
Though our technology normally functions so well that we completely ignore it, the truth is that beaming live television events to cable systems all over the world involves unbelievably intricate devices working flawlessly, and continuously. For example, when you watch a sporting event on ESPN or a live news program from CBS, NBC, ABC, or Fox, there are satellite earth-stations, many of which are in New York or other places in the northeast, beaming that programming to a satellite parked 22,236 miles over our heads. In turn, that satellite retransmits that programming down to satellite receivers at cable systems and local broadcast stations in thousands of cities across our land. Hundreds of pieces of technology are involved to make these seemingly simple events appear in our homes.
If any component in that route breaks down, your normal television programming is affected. In the case of Sandy coming in right now, the liklihood of breakdown of the satellite uplinks seems considerable. This is something you should know and prepare for.
Of course, we all know power outages to the folks along the coastal areas is assured. Normally their problems would not affect us in Glasgow, but it is not beyond imagination for us to be impacted. The TVA power grid, to which we are attached, is also interconnected with many power grids that will be greatly affected by Sandy. Though unlikely, sometimes trouble in a neighboring grid can ripple out to cause trouble here. Even if the TVA grid is not immediately affected, we will all surely be impacted by the amount of damage about to be done and the amount of electric power distribution hardware which will be consumed to repair the damage. It is likely that we will have trouble finding some conductor and hardware items for the next several weeks, and that can certainly impact our ongoing work to maintain the electric system here in Glasgow.
Finally, spend a bit of time thinking about how the internet might be impacted by Sandy. The area where the storm is hitting is the point where most of the transatlantic cables depart North America headed for other continents. That same area houses dozens of the servers and routers that make your favorite web sites available to us here in Glasgow. If those servers farms should flood or lose power for extended times, our internet service right here in Glasgow will be impacted. It is time to make plans for that as well.
We hope all of our fellow countrymen along the storm's track have good luck and that the plans they have made are effective. This storm is going to present unprecedented problems for us all. I hope we are all ready.
During the equinoxes, as the apparent path of the sun across our sky moves from the northern latitudes toward the southern ones (bringing with it Autumn), our satellite dish has trouble picking up the signals from the satellites out in space which are transmitting the cable programming. Anyone who has driven by our offices, and observed the giant dish looking at the southern sky, has seen the technology we use to deliver most of the cable channels you see in your homes. Except for about eighteen days per year, that dish easily receives those signals from a number of satellites parked out about 22,000 miles in the sky. Of course this applies only to the cable channels delivered via satellite. The ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and other network channels come in over the air to a conventional antenna and that transmission is not seasonally affected.
On those other days, the sun actually moves directly into a line stretching from the sun, to the satellites and then to our dish behind 100 Mallory Drive in Glasgow, Kentucky. For the time that those three elements line up (normally about 20 minutes per day), the satellite dish is blinded by the sun and cannot "see" the satellite. That results in your cable programming getting sparkles in it, then progressively getting worse until it actually falls apart for a few minutes. Then, as the earth rotates and the satellite reappears from the glare, the programming starts returning to normal gradually.
So, over the next few days, anytime between 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. you might see this happening. Do not be alarmed. It just means that Fall is arriving in Glasgow!
There is a move afoot to plan similar facilities for us to use when we are at home, right here in Glasgow. If that idea interests you at all, positively or negatively, you need to get involved. The professionals at our Joint City-County Planning Commission are working on a master plan for alternative transportation (often called a “greenway”) in and around Glasgow. As this process continues, they are asking (begging) the public to get involved by coming to some meetings to discuss the plan. The first meeting is on August 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Glasgow City Council Chambers.
The work ongoing right now is in the development of a long-range plan. No plans are actually being drawn to begin physical construction of anything. Rather, the group is working to identify goals and objectives, and gather input from the community on just what forms of alternate transportation plans they would like the local governments to be considering. You can click on this link http://www.glasgow-ky.com/planning/ to go the information already gathered by Kevin Myatt and his team. They would also love for you to click on the link to the survey on the same page and take a few minutes to answer some questions about how you might interact with a Glasgow Greenway.
Thanks for your attention to this very important project.
One June 1, the TVA wholesale rate goes into its summer mode wherein the energy we purchase from TVA on weekdays, between noon and 8:00 p.m., is more expensive. That means we need your help to achieve the goal of reducing this expense. We need for you to recognize this Time Of Use rate and respond by changing the way your home or business uses electricity.
You will, again, start hearing and seeing reminders from us. There will be commercials on cable television and other media outlets. The main Glasgow Homepage will feature a graph in the upper right hand side of the community’s total energy consumption for the present day. We will do all of these things throughout the summer peak months of June, July, August, and September in our attempt to enlist your help in accomplishing the goal of reducing expenses. This is a job we cannot do on our own.
You can help in many ways. If you install a programmable thermostat you can pre-cool your home or business in the mornings on weekdays by driving the temperature down to 69 degrees or lower. At noon you can tell your thermostat to allow the temperature to drift up to 77 or 78. This will make a huge difference in our energy costs. Additionally, you can avoid the use of the big appliances like the dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, range, and oven on weekday afternoons before 8:00 p.m.
Remember, starting June 1, we need your help in reducing electric usage between noon and 8:00 p.m. for the rest of the summer months.
The Glasgow EPB wants to recognize the local artists in our area, by offering an opportunity to be seen by over 7,000 people each day! The website www.glasgow-ky.com has come to be known as the homepage for the entire city of Glasgow, and with it so has the iconic Glasgow banner logo. For years, the duty of designing and updating the logo has been handled by the EPB, but now we want to use this banner to showcase the talent of our local artists from preschool to senior citizens. Let us see your interpretation of the Glasgow logo in whatever medium you prefer – paint, crayon, chalk, pen and ink, or computer design. The only requirement is that the word “Glasgow” be incorporated in your design – use your imagination!
We hope to have enough entries so that a new design is featured frequently with the name and brief information about the artist. So, pull out those paint brushes, crayons and pencils and turn Glasgow into art!
The new meters allow the individual customers to monitor their energy consumption in real time via any device that supports web browsing, at any location. The graphic shown above is just one of the many ways we are going to be presenting this information to all EPB customers as the AMI project progresses. Very soon, each time we install another new meter, we will be furnishing the customer with a link to a web portal that will allow the customer to see this information on their home or business.
A week ago, when the portal was being developed by Daniel Mooney and Josh Francis, they noticed the information coming in from my home seemed to show energy usage which was far greater than what is normal at my home. You can see what they saw on the graphic from my own meter at my home. The green line represents the energy which was being consumed at my home on February 13, 2012. The regular and cyclical demand spikes approaching 20 kW could only mean one thing – that my heat pump was malfunctioning and the electric resistance heat was coming on instead of the heat pump compressor to warm my home. This information alerted me to the problem and I immediately called a local HVAC maintenance firm to check out the situation at my house.
On Monday, February 20 the technician arrived at my home and found that the blower motor on my heat pump had failed, just like we predicted from reviewing the meter data. The graphic below shows that they repaired my problem about noon that day and that my energy consumption immediately returned to normal.
This event really opened our eyes to just how powerful this realtime power consumption information can be. This information just saved me about $400 worth of energy which would have been consumed at my home before I knew there was a problem using the old methods of being in the dark on my home’s energy usage until the monthly bill arrived. That gives us a number of new ideas.
As we continue to roll out the new meters as part of our AMI project, we are now also working on software that may be able to recognize equipment failures like mine and inform our customers within minutes. This monitoring could be another service we can offer our customers and another way for our customers to benefit from Glasgow EPB’s work to reinvent itself as an “infotricity” utility instead of just a power company. For many years we have been certain that the combination of broadband communications and electric power (creating the new version of electric power that we call infotricity) would allow all of us to save money on our energy bills while we enjoy broadband services which are vastly superior to any offering in any other small community in our country. This latest development seems to, again, confirm that vision.
Stay tuned for your opportunity to view your energy consumption via this new invention from your EPB team. We will continue to bring you the future . . . faster!
Since the transition, some customers have been experiencing problems with returned e-mails; sometimes getting a message along the lines of “unfortunately this message can’t be sent,” and a link to a site called Spamhaus. Spamhaus is a site that collects e-mail information from servers around the world in order to determine the sources of unwanted “spam” email. A list is then published and made available to providers, like the EPB, who can then use the list to determine how to block the spam by “blacklisting” the networks that allowed the spam to be sent and, thus, keep the system running efficiently. It is a great system, and without services like it, we would all be drowning in a flood of junk e-mails. Typically the report is generated by Spamhaus detailing the problem, and the problem can be easily fixed. The provider (in this case the EPB) then simply requests to be removed from their “blacklist,” so that everything returns to normal quickly. Usually this causes a short inconvenience for a few customers and is corrected before anyone even notices.
However, like all things automated, Spamhaus too occasionally breaks, which is what has happened over the last few days. They have placed the EPB on a “blacklist” but gave us absolutely no reason, so we have, in effect, been searching for the needle in the haystack. To make matters worse, Spamhaus is located in England, and they do not have 24 hour support. We immediately engaged Linux Magic, the manufacturer of our new e-mail server, for assistance. We have been working with them the past few days trying to resolve this problem and ensure we are no longer “blacklisted.”
One problem we discovered is that several glasgow-ky.com e-mail accounts had been compromised and were being used by people from out of the country to use our e-mail server to send out spam all over the internet. We have now disabled these accounts and are monitoring the server for more of these. Another problem was found in that some customers had viruses and were also sending out e-mails. These problems were uncovered as a result of our attempts to provide a more user friendly e-mail system for those individuals who use their cell phones for e-mail services.
Our team has worked around the clock since Monday night to resolve these problems. We, along with Linux Magic, continue to monitor the server in our best efforts to prevent any further disruptions in what we feel certain is a superior e-mail product.
Another common question that has been asked by our customers, is “why does the new mail server show that it has blocked 30 spams, but I only see 4 of them in my spam folder?” A very basic answer to a complicated process, each e-mail is rated with a 1 to 10 rating as it passes through the anti-spam system. If you have whitelisted this sender, the e-mail will pass on through. A rating of 1 - 3 will result in the e-mail being delivered. A rating of 3 - 5 will place it in your “spam” or “quarantine” box, depending upon the interface you are using. A rating of 5 or above will block it at the server. The only spam e-mails you will see are the ones with a 3 – 5 rating. Barracuda operated in the exact same manner, it simply didn’t notify you about those 26 e-mails that were blocked with a 5 or above rating. If you want to view your spam with the 3 – 5 rating, simply log into either of the webmail clients and look at your spam folder. You can then move those e-mails, or click on the button in the right hand corner of e-mail pane to whitelist the sender so they will always be directed to your inbox.
As always, if you need any help or have any other questions, please feel free to give us a call at 651-8341 or send an e-mail to email@example.com, and we will do our best to help you. And, if you are reading this information for the first time, please consider becoming a fan of the Glasgow EPB on Facebook, as information pertaining to this upgrade, outages and other important issues is constantly updated. Just click on http://www.facebook.com/glasgowepb.
As we've been mentioning over the past several days. Tonight at midnight the Glasgow EPB
We've been working for several months to make sure that this migration goes as smoothly as we possibly can. We've also given you lots of information over the past weeks regarding this transition. There are just a few key things you need to remember. These are the key differences in this mail server and the old one which might affect you:
- If you are a customer that uses a mail client on your computer (such as Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird, or Windows Live Mail) you will not have to do anything. Your email will work the same as it always have and you probably aren't going to notice anything different at all.
- If you are a customer that forwards email from one account to the other, for example you forward your Glasgow-ky.com address to gmail, then you should log in and check your forward settings in the webmail interface. Over the weekend we wrote a script to import the forwards so it should be fine, just in case it can't hurt to check. You can do this tomorrow morning by logging into the webmail interface at http://mail.glasgow-ky.com and looking under Options>Autoresponder And Forwards.
- When logging into the new webmail interface, you must use your entire email address as the username. For example firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If for some reason you've left all of your mail on the server, then your email will automatically be imported into the new system. To automatically kick this off, you need to log into the webmail at http://mail.glasgow-ky.com tomorrow after the migration. Depending on the size of your mailbox, it might take a few minutes, but your email will show up inside of webmail.
- If you had contacts saved in webmail, we've done our best to import them. If for some reason your contact list inside of webmail doesn't get imported, then give us a call or send us an email at email@example.com and let us know what you're missing and we'll do our best to get it corrected for you.
- Barracuda is going away, we are going to be setting it so that it no longer does any filtering then will be removing in a few days after we're sure that customers have received all of their quarantined mail. The new antispam features are integrated into the email server and the quarantine can be viewed by logging into http://mail.glasgow-ky.com and selecting "Mail Settings" from the drop down box. We have been asked by the mail server creator to not import whitelists yet. The technology the new system uses is different from the Barracuda so it shouldn't have as many false positives as the Barracuda had and shouldn't need as many white lists. Just in case though, we are saving all of your old white lists so we can put them if we need too.
We have been planning this migration for quite some time and we've tried to think of every possible way to make it as painless as possible for our customers. We're sure there will be some issues and we'll have staff on hand to deal with these. If you have any problems after the migration give us a call at 270-651-8341 or send us an email at http://mail.glasgow-ky.com and we'll be happy to help you work through them. Thanks for your patience, and we hope you enjoy the new features given to you by MagicMail.
No one really looks forward to big changes, and that includes us. We just made some fairly sweeping changes to our cable television lineup and we hate to bother you again so soon, but this coming change is one that will make our email system more resistant to threats, more reliable, faster, and more adaptable to porting our email to other devices and easier to use when you are on the road. So, here it comes.
The Glasgow Electric Plant Board will be upgrading our email on the night of January 23rd. We will be removing the Barracuda Spam Firewall, importing user accounts, and importing user address books. We have been working on this improvement for a few months and we are confident that our extra efforts will result in minimal inconvenience for you. All of your existing email on the old system will also be imported such that when you log into the webmail system you should not be losing anything.
This is an upgrade that we are very excited about and which will be adding much new functionality to our email system. You will not only benefit from the more redundant and stable Linux based system, but you will also see the following features.
- You will be able to store up to a gigabyte of email and attachments per mailbox. This means you will be able to keep several thousand emails on the email server where they are safe from things like computer crashes.
- The advanced and integrated antispam and antivirus features mean you no longer have to go two different places to check your spam filter. You can simply do it from inside the new webmail interface.
- The current trend of smart phones, tablets, and other devices which allow remote viewing of email, accounts for around 40% of the “mail checking” on our current system. This new email solution allows for better security policies which make it easier for us to allow you to check email through these devices.
- You will have the ability to manage all of your own email accounts from a central location.
Another new feature with this system is the completely revamped webmail interface. Our current webmail portal, while very functional, lacks a lot when it comes to ease of use and navigation. When using MagicMail you will have the ability to choose from a simple webmail interface called Webmail Lite, or a new and more advanced system called Tuxedo. We will help you pick the one best suited for your use.
Webmail Lite Interface
Tuxedo Advanced Webmail
Tuxedo Calendar System
From inside of either system you will have the ability to send and compose email, manage your address book and manage your settings. Perhaps the most exciting new feature is the ability to manage your “Spam Inbox” as well as customize your spam settings and rules from inside of your mailbox.
We expect this process to go smoothly but, as always, if you have any issues after the upgrade feel free to call us at 270-651-8341 or check our blog, Facebook, or twitter pages for statuses and updated information.