August 8, 2018 Meeting

Elections and Computer Technology

Maurice Green, PhD

Computers have become indispensable in modern election campaigns.
Maurice Green has been involved in a number of local elections in support of grass-roots initiatives and local candidates. He will demonstrate and discuss some of the uses of computer technology in election campaigns, including:

  1. Use of computer databases, voter rolls and voter histories to identify likely supporters
  2. User demographics for targeting social media advertising
  3. Computer mapping for campaign organization

The meeting will be held at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, 4249 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. We will be meeting in the Library/Card Room across the hall from the Lodge Room.

For those who enjoy the schmooze, we will have the no-host pre-meeting dinner st 5:30PM in the Bistro Café on the first floor.

June 13, 2018 Meeting

Drone Technology

Manie Kohn has been the center of National Media attention as the FIRST Trained, Certified and Fully Insured Drone Pilot in the USA, a pioneer in introducing SUAV technology safely and thoughtfully into the commercial space and enjoys a reputation as a trusted “Best Practices” consultant, sharing his journey including evolving regulations, risk management concerns and opportunities. His standing in the industry as an educator, instructor and an industry leading “Drone-O-Grapher” has gained him unique relationships with Emergency Services and Law Enforcement including San Mateo County Sheriff Department, San Francisco Fire Department, San Mateo County Harbor Patrol.

For more information checkout the Drone Knowledge Center on the PPA (Professional Photographers Association) website

The meeting will be held at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, 4249 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. We will be meeting in the Library/Card Room across the hall from the Lodge Room.

For those who enjoy the schmooze, we will have our regular meeting, including coffee and cookies.. And, of course, we will still have the no-host pre-meeting dinner st 5:30PM in the Bistro café on the first floor.

For those of you who have difficulties traveling or for whatever reason can’t join us at the Elks Lodge, the meeting will be broadcast as a live video feed using ZOOM software starting at 7:15 PST.

To join the SPAUG meeting online, use the following link:

Or by telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 558 8656  or +1 669 900 6833
Meeting ID: 446 757 944

Take Pepper With a Grain of Salt

A group of researchers have found substantial security issues in the SoftBank Pepper robot, including unauthenticated administrative capabilities. The findings were detailed in a paper, published this month, written by Alberto Giaretta of Örebro University in Sweden, along with Michele De Donno and Nicola Dragoni of the Technical University of Denmark.

Read more…

Other researchers found that these robots are susceptible to ransomware. Ransomware for robots is an increasing risk, as these devices can be exploited and locked to the detriment of business operations, according to research from IOActive,  Researchers found that they could exploit an undocumented function that allows remote command execution on both the Pepper and NAOrobots—two of the most used in businesses, research, and education worldwide. With these robots, and others that perform similar functions, cybercriminals could use ransomware to halt their work, display inappropriate content or language to customers, or perform violent movements during work.

Read more…

It’s Safe to Go Back in the Water

Sue Kayton says it’s safe to install the newest 18.03 update to Windows.  She  has installed it on more than 50 computers with success.

Here are her instructions BEFORE YOU UPDATE YOUR SYSTEM:

  1. First, run a DISK CLEANUP
    1. Right-click on the START menu and enter “Disk Cleanup” in the SEARCH box. Right-click on the program name and select “Run as Administrator” OR
    2. Click on the START menu, select “Windows Administrative Tools” and right-click on “Disk Cleanup”. Select “More” > “Run as Administrator”
    3. Select the OS disk, usually ‘C’, and click OK.
    4. Windows will list the files available for deletion. Select the folder you want to delete and click OK
  2. Run CHKDSK
    1. Open an elevated command prompt  (This link will take you to a  tutorial that will show you different ways to open an elevated command prompt that will run as administrator  in Windows 10. You must be signed in to Windows as an administrator to be able to open an elevated command prompt.)
    2. At the DOS prompt in the window enter “CHKDSK /F” to fix any disk errors.
    3. Enter “exit” to close the command window.
  3. Make sure Safe Mode is enabled. Enable Safe mode during boot to help you recover from a possible virus infestation or bad video driver.  Under Windows 10, by default you cannot use F8 during boot to enter safe mode. To enable safe mode, open an elevated command prompt and type in the following three lines, one at a time.
    1. bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
    2. bcdedit /timeout 3
    3. bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy (note that the last line may give an error message because it may already be enabled.)
  4. Reboot your system
  5. Back up all your data

NOW you can run the update.

After the update, you will need to fix the following:

  1. Shares will be messed up.  You will need to re-create your shared permissions, especially for turning off password-protected sharing
  2. If you use a NAS, you may need to manually turn on (turn Windows features on or off) the protocol SMB 1.0
  3. Your Windows games (Solitaire, Freecell, etc.) will need to be reinstalled.  Use this link and make sure to UN-CHECK the box to install WinAero, which is malware.
  4. The update will suppress the ‘confirmation dialog’ on the Recycle Bin when you delete something. To recover it:
    1. Right-click on the Recycle Bin and select “Properties”
    2. Check the box  “Display delete confirmation dialog”.

How to Opt Out of Facebook Sharing

How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing

You shouldn’t have to do this. You shouldn’t have to wade through complicated privacy settings in order to ensure that the companies with which you’ve entrusted your personal information are making reasonable, legal efforts to protect it. But Facebook has allowed third parties to violate user privacy on an unprecedented scale, and, while legislators and regulators scramble to understand the implications and put limits in place, users are left with the responsibility to make sure their profiles are properly configured.