It’s about time

“A generation ago, computing usually took place in a single mainframe or personal computer. Now it is routinely spread across thousands of independent processors in machines that can be separated by a few feet or entire continents.

Chip designers have long struggled to maintain the precise timing needed to order mathematical operations inside individual computing chips. And synchronizing these vast ensembles of them has become the limiting factor in the speed and processing power of what Google describes as “planetary-scale” computers.”

Read the whole interesting article at www.nytimes.com.

Deceived by Design

“User-experience designers and marketers are well aware that many people are so eager to start using a new service or complete a task, or are so loath to lose a perceived deal, that they will often click one “Next” button after another as if on autopilot — without necessarily understanding the terms they have agreed to along the way.” — www.nytimes.com

The Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet), a government agency that promotes and protects the rights of consumers, has published a report in English [pdf link] on how Facebook, Google and Windows 10 use dark patterns to manipulate users.” — www.metafilter.com

“In graphic and web design, a dark pattern is “a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.”[1][2][3] The neologism dark pattern was coined by Harry Brignull in August 2010 with the registration of darkpatterns.org, a “pattern library with the specific goal of naming and shaming deceptive user interfaces.” — wikipedia.org

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:

https://zoom.us/j/446757944

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…