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.

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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.

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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.   http://www.suekayton.com/software/Win7Games4Win10Anniv.exe
  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.

The Question May Never Arise but…

Does a USB drive get heavier as you store more files on it?

Believe it or not, they get lighter. USB drives use Flash memory, which means the the ones and zeros of your data are stored on transistors. When you save data, a binary zero is set by charging the float gate of the transistor, and a binary one is set by removing the charge. To charge it, we add electrons, and the mass of each electron is 0.00000000000000000000000000091 grams. This means that an empty USB drive (which mostly holds zeros) weighs more than a full USB drive (which has ones and zeros). Add data, reduce the weight.

However, you would need to weigh more USB drives than exist on the planet together at once before the difference in weight became easily measurable.

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DO NOT Install Any Microsoft Updates

DO NOT INSTALL ANY MICROSOFT UPDATES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

This is from Sue Kayton, our Computer Doctor

There is a major problem with latest update from Microsoft.  See this article:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4091240/usb-devices-may-stop-working-after-installing-the-february-13-2018-upd

Turn off automatic updating immediately.

To turn off, do a search in Windows for Services.  You will see a pop-up with a gear and the word Services.  Click on it.

 

The computer will think for a few seconds, then you will see an alphabetical list of services.  Scroll almost all the way to the bottom to see Windows Updates.  Double click on it.

 

 

 

Change Automatic or Manual to Disabled.

 

 

 

 

 

Click on Apply, then on OK.

Reboot the computer and automatic Windows updates will be turned off.

In a few weeks, you’ll want to re-enable the updates once Microsoft has fixed the problem