All info is on the portal (or that's what they'll say when asked )unless we have missed an email or two in my school that explained this new filter
Unfortunately - there seem to be a number of people VERY unwilling (or not allowed by someone else) to provide timely information to us.
A simple website that we could monitor for changes would do the job but that seems to be beyond their ability to organise
Can I just ask that if you are experiencing problems with the filtering please can you let us know the specific details so that we can try to address them ideally before schools come back.
The switch to a new system is a major change and there are differences between the two systems which whilst we have tested the software with pilot schools it is very difficult to pick up all the issues that such a major change involves on this scale.
At the moment we are bringing things in on a phased basis, with the aim being that you get a similar level of access as you had before under smart filter but will then bring in new features later on.
With respect to primary school filtering we are not going to forcing schools manage their own filtering, they will still be filtered by a default filtering policy that has been tailored for primary schools. What we will be doing is offering those primary schools that would like the option to have a bit more control over the filtering the capacity to do that.
Also can I clarify that we did not switch the filtering as a cost cutting exercise it was done as our existing filtering license was due to expire and we had to go out and look at the options that were available and Netsweeper best met our requirements.
With respect to the existing white lists we have compared the white lists in Smartfilter against how Netsweeper categorizes sites and have added the lists in. However since we have done that comparison additional sites have been white listed and so some of these may have been missed, please can you let us know about them and we will see if we can get them added back in.
Can I just add that the new filtering should ultimately provide you with much more flexibility for those who want it as you will have a lot more local control over what you get access to. It should ultimately speed things up as websites will be categorized automatically.
Please bear with us to whilst we work towards making the switch as painless as possible.
PS We will investigate the issues with the speed of scanning of the websites
SimpleSi (4th June 2010)
I assume that the Time Outs are not the websites but the net sweeper bieng made to scan every other web page someone accesses?
One feature that needs to be setup which can be achived through a little bit of JS is putting the original url back into the address bar! its a pain having to type the url in again, if it was put back into the address bar f6 then enter would resend the request
I have just queried the fact that they are asking for a password on the unblock form. I assume it is the users email password but we have our own exchange server and not the county hosted services.
We have just issued a memo to staff not use that service but to email us with the URL and we will forward to westfield.
We did the same this morning. They are currently looking into it.
I love the fact that there are links from the LancsNGFL website (NCSL specifically) that had their login page blocked as it was https, but you didn't get any "unblock this page" text, it was just blocked, so emailed them on the filter@ address to get it resolved, which ok, they have done pretty quickly, but if they are managing to block sites they recommend, I hate to think what is going to happen..
I think it's a case of ride the storm and see if it settles. I agree that it is a good thing they are putting more control into our hands, as there are certain aspects of the various sites (YouTube, etc) that are useful for Educational purposes, but I guess it depends on how hard it is to manage and how much extra workload it's going to involve, and whether it will be a default set of rules, but you can set a whitelist for the school that over-rules them, therefore you get additional protection of CLEO blocking the nasty sites, or if we choose to self manage, are we then wholeheartedly responsible for the content that comes to the school?
I know we all got warning of the changeover taking place last Wednesday via the Schools Portal the week prior, but it would be nice to have a little more information to go with all that too, but hopefully that will be coming.
gems.rubyforge.org seems to break the filter horribly, it spends ages scanning it and then seems to start the process again a few times before coming up with a good old squid error.
It seems to scan and think "yes he can view this" but wont then load the actual page, I dont actually want to browse the site iteself, i want to install some gems on a virtual machine, but the "gem install" command simply fetches the .gem files over http. I could install gems under the old Smart Filter as gems.rubyforge was obviously on the whitelist.
Whilst i cant install gems i thought it would be a good move to clone my git repo onto the local machine, it now transpirers that that wont work either. Using the HTTP location for the repo just fails because netsweeper seems to want to scan everysingle file before i can pull it, which of course returns a html page instead of .rb file. The git repo im trying to use is http://github.com/Arcath/rWallpaper
This new filter does seem to work rather well, i am assuming that git hub isnt on the whitelist but i can still brwose the site with a little delay for pages i havent visted yet. But for things that run over http its murder and just prevents them from working, and because they arent blocked i dont get the unblock request form (not that id put my password any where near a un secured connection anyway)
Last edited by Arcath; 8th June 2010 at 11:19 AM. Reason: more info
Well we seemed to have a better internet filtering just b4 when the proxy servers where falling over (CLEO), i don't know if the Netsweeper was offline temporarily
I don't want to be negative about a new system. I of all people know new things don't always go to plan right away and i "could" see lots of benefits (Without knowing actually what this netsweeper will offer in any detail) of it, its just annoying me as its taking me more time to do my job.
As for the scanning, yesterday was the worst, several links where just endlessly "scanning page" without actually doing anything, or after 20min timing out.
I JUST WANT INFO ABOUT THE SYSTEM!!! especially how the filtering from school will work. Will there be a limit on what we can unblock?
On my very first search (apart from last weeks test) on 1st day back
(top result on google for "calendar snooze")
The netsweeper msg came up first and then I got this
Tried it in IE7 - NED box says URL can't be retrievedThe page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression.
reported to Westfield
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