2019 Newsletter: 60/61 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Report from the Committee by Stephen South:

The election of our SPCTUG Committee for 2020

Dear Members;

The committee would like to draw your attention to the problems associated with the election of our 2020 committee.

Currently we have four committee members: Our President, Ron Ferguson, our Vice-President John Rose, our Treasurer Anthony Robinson and Stephen South. Currently under clause 18 (5) of the Constitution:

(5) Each member of the committee is, subject to this constitution, to hold office until the conclusion of the annual general meeting following the date of the member's election, but is eligible for re-election for a maximum of three (3) terms.

Therefore, three of our members, Ron, John and Anthony will have to retire at our AGM.

New Committee members

For our club to survive we need at least four new people to stand for the committee next year. I have one term left if I am elected. The committee needs five members under the Constitution Clause 18 (2),

(2) The total number of committee members is to be at least 5.

Unfortunately, I don't think we realised we were in breach of the Constitution with only four members.

Result of not having a committee

If we fail to form a committee, the Dept of Fair Trading is obliged to close the club.

Involuntary cancellation

An association's registration may be cancelled by NSW Fair Trading if: (inter alia) the association has failed to establish and maintain a committee.

The results to our finances.

If this happened, we, the members would lose around twenty thousand dollars as under the constitution Clause 41 (5) the remaining finances must go to a club of "similar purposes".

(5) In event of the organisation being dissolved, the amount that remains after such dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be transferred to another organisation with similar purposes which is not carried on for the profit or gain of its individual members.


Steve South

Please read the attached files from the previous Newsletter for further details and some proposed solutions — Ed.


David Wastie
Nov 21, 2019, 11:18 AM (2 days ago)

I agree with Solution 2.

Unfortunately I have a meeting on the Tuesday of your main meeting and I am unable to attend.

However if I can put my name as a proxy vote Please do so.

To all the committee members keep up the good work

David f Wastie

James Hill
Nov 21, 2019, 8:43 PM (2 days ago)

Hi Bob,

My NON_LEGAL interpretation is to accept the implied 'non-consective terms' so that a member can be re-elected after being off for one year.

Lets change the wording to clarify this !

James Ô¿Ô [ Lost in translation, sorry — Ed. ] Hill

Meeting This Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday Nov 26th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm

November Main Meeting - Norton 360

Dean Williams is Norton LifeLock's Partner Specialist Systems Engineer for ANZ; he is our special guest at the November Main Meeting of the Sydney PC and Technology User Group.

Symantec has presented at and supported the group every year for many years, and we're set for another stellar presentation showcasing the very latest New Norton 360 security suite, packed with innovation and value.

New Norton 360 provides you with advanced layers of protection against viruses, ransomware, malware and other online threats for your PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.

A Built in Secure VPN, so with one click you can help secure your online privacy and stay anonymous. Keep complex passwords with an Easy to use Password Manager, Help protect kids online with Parental Controls & 100GB of Cloud PC Backup.

Most importantly, it comes at an amazing, all-inclusive price with a range of sensible licensing options.

Dean will show us the new interface and all of the fantastic features and benefits the new version provides and answer your questions.

He is also generously bringing two copies of Norton 360 for the raffle, for which we are very grateful!

So please come along to our last main meeting for the year, and learn why New Norton 360 is a must have, fully powered solution for your connected world.

"Cyber Threats have evolved, Norton's protection has too!"


See you on Tuesday night!



Meeting Next Week:

Penrith Group - Saturday Dec 7th - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Current & Upcoming Meetings:

79 2019/11/02 - 14:00-17:00 - 02 Nov, Saturday - Penrith Group
80 2019/11/08 - 09:30-12:30 - 08 Nov, Friday - Friday Forum
81 2019/11/08 - 12:30-15:30 - 08 Nov, Friday - Communications
82 2019/11/12 - 17:30-20:30 - 12 Nov, Tuesday - Programming
83 2019/11/16 - 13:30-16:30 - 16 Nov, Saturday - Web Design
84 2019/11/19 - 09:30-12:30 - 19 Nov, Tuesday - Tuesday Forum
85 2019/11/22 - 09:30-12:30 - 22 Nov, Friday - Digital Photography
86 2019/11/26 - 17:30-20:30 - 26 Nov, Tuesday - Main Meeting

87 2019/12/07 - 14:00-17:00 - 07 Dec, Saturday - Penrith Group
88 2019/12/10 - 17:30-20:30 - 10 Dec, Tuesday - Programming + after-SIG visit to the StarBar
89 2019/12/13 - 09:30-12:30 - 13 Dec, Friday - Friday Forum + lunchtime visit to the StarBar
90 2019/12/13 - 12:30-15:30 - 13 Dec, Friday - Communications
91 2019/12/17 - 09:30-12:30 - 17 Dec, Tuesday - Tuesday Forum + lunchtime visit to the StarBar


Tech News:

“How DNS Over HTTPS (DoH) Will Boost Privacy Online”:

See the How-To Geek article by CHRIS HOFFMAN | @chrisbhoffman | NOVEMBER 20, 2019, 6:40AM EDT.

Companies like Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla are pushing forward with DNS over HTTPS (DoH). This technology will encrypt DNS lookups, improving online privacy and security. But it's controversial: Comcast is lobbying against it. Here's what you need to know.

What Is DNS Over HTTPS?

The web has been pushing towards encrypting everything by default. At this point, most of the websites you access are likely using HTTPS encryption. Modern web browsers like Chrome now mark any sites using standard HTTP as "not secure." HTTP/3, the new version of the HTTP protocol, has encryption baked in.

This encryption ensures that no one can tamper with a web page while you're viewing it or snoop on what you're doing online. For example, if you connect to Wikipedia.org, the network operator — whether that's a business's public Wi-Fi hotspot or your ISP — can only see that you're connected to wikipedia.org. They can't see which article you're reading, and they can't modify a Wikipedia article in transit.

But, in the push towards encryption, DNS has been left behind. The domain name system makes it possible to connect to websites through their domain names rather than by using numerical IP addresses. You type a domain name like google.com, and your system will contact its configured DNS server to get the IP address associated with google.com. It will then connect to that IP address.

Until now, these DNS lookups haven't been encrypted. When you connect to a website, your system fires off a request saying you're looking for the IP address associated with that domain. Anyone in between — possibly your ISP, but perhaps also just a public Wi-Fi hotspot logging traffic — could log which domains you're connecting to.

DNS over HTTPS closes this oversight. When using DNS over HTTPS, your system will make a secure, encrypted connection to your DNS server and transfer the request and response over that connection. Anyone in between won't be able to see which domain names you're looking up or tamper with the response.

Today, most people use the DNS servers provided by their internet service provider. However, there are many third-party DNS servers like Cloudflare's, Google Public DNS, and OpenDNS. These third-party providers are among the first to enable server-side support for DNS over HTTPS. To use DNS over HTTPS, you'll need both a DNS server and a client (like a web browser or operating system) that supports it.


Why Is Comcast Lobbying Against It?

This doesn't sound very controversial so far, but it is. Comcast has apparently been lobbying congress to stop Google from rolling out DNS over HTTPS.

In a presentation presented to lawmakers and obtained by Motherboard, Comcast argues that Google is pursuing "unilateral plans" ("along with Mozilla") to activate DoH and "‍[centralize] a majority of worldwide DNS data with Google," which would "mark a fundamental shift in the decentralized nature of the Internet's architecture."

Much of this is, quite frankly, false. Mozilla's Marshell Erwin told Motherboard that "the slides overall are extremely misleading and inaccurate." In a blog post, Chrome product manager Kenji Beaheux points out that Google Chrome will not be forcing anyone to change their DNS provider. Chrome will obey the system's current DNS provider — if it doesn't support DNS over HTTPS, Chrome won't use DNS over HTTPS.

And, in the time since, Microsoft has announced plans to support DoH at the Windows operating system level. With Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla embracing it, this is hardly a "unilateral" scheme from Google.

Read more »

“Android Malware Records Calls, Tracks Location”:

See the Infopackets article by John Lister on November 20, 2019 at 12:11PM EST.

Google is fixing an Android bug that let hackers remotely capture videos and images without permission. The bug could also have revealed the user's precise location, making it particularly dangerous if exploited by stalkers.

Security researchers at Checkmarx discovered the bug in several default camera apps on a variety of Android phones, including the Google and Samsung apps. (Source: arstechnica.com)

The bug could only be exploited once malware was on the phone, but even then it still shouldn't have allowed such an attack. That's because it involved using a rogue app on the phone to access the official camera apps.

In turn that would let the rogue app bypass the Android permissions system that is supposed to restrict particular functions — such as using the phone's camera — to authorized apps. This meant the rogue app was able to take a photo or record video at any time, even if the phone was locked, the screen turned off, or a voice call was in progress.

Image Files Reveal Location

While that was slightly creepy, what made the bug particularly dangerous is that it allowed the rogue app to take a photo, then immediately examine the EXIF data of the resulting file. EXIF data is attached to every digital photo file which includes details of when it was taken, it's resolution and, in many cases, the precise GPS location.

In other words, a stalker who was able to exploit the bug (and get the malware on the phone in the first place) could not only turn the phone into a spycam, but could also easily get the owner's location at any time.

Read more»

Fun Facts:

“Interesting Factors”:

From: Steve OBrien

I looked at the factors of 111111111 (9 ones) and 1111111111 (10 ones) and they reveal some nice patterns :

Enter a positive integer: 111111111

Factors of 111111111 are: 1 3 9 37 111 333 333667 1001001 3003003 12345679 37037037 111111111.

111, 333, 1001001 & 3003003 are palindromic which is cool.

12345679 is nearly the sequence of digits in order!, just missing 8.


Enter a positive integer: 1111111111

Factors of 1111111111 are: 1 11 41 271 451 2981 9091 11111 100001 122221 372731 2463661 4100041 27100271 101010101 1111111111.

100001, 122221, 101010101 and 1111111111 are palindromic.

Some of the other factors are nearly palindromic, but not quite!


“In Trigonometry, why does tan mean tangent?”:

Have you ever wondered why the trig functions sine and cosine seem understandable, but that tan (or tangent) doesn't seem to have any connection with tangents?

Tangents are straight lines which just touch at a single point on a circle. See the line AC, below, touching the circle at A.

Geometry figure showing sine, cosine and tangent
Sine, Cosine and Tangent

Here we have a circle of radius 1. Let the angle AOB be α. We now drop a perpendicular line from point A to point B. Also at the point A, we have drawn a tangent to the circle, cutting the X-axis at C.

The formula for sin(α) is Opposite over Hypotenuse (or AB / OA). Since OA is 1, this means that sin(α) = AB.

Similarly, cos(α) is Adjacent over Hypotenuse (or OB / OA). This gives cos(α) = OB.

Looking at triangles OAB and OCA, they have the angle α in common. The angle OBA is a right angle, as is the angle OAC, since the tangent makes a right angle with the radius.

So, with two angles matching, the third must equal (90 - α) degrees since the angles in any triangle add up to 180 degrees.

The two triangles OAB and OCA are therefore similar which means that the ratios of their sides are equal.

The ratio AB / OB, must equal AC / OA. In other words, sin(α) / cos(α) equals the length of AC.

Since sin(α) / cos(α) is equal to tan(α), we have found the missing "tangent", namely the line AC.



“How to Draw Amazing Geometric figures”:

You too can produce neat geometric figures like the one, above, for use on the internet.

There are many free and/or paid versions of drawing programs capable of producing accurate (and even interactive) figures for web publication.

The one that I'm experimenting with at the moment is called Sketchometry and hails from Germany — and it's free.

It's quite amazing. You draw a shaky, rough circle either with your finger on a touch-device or with the mouse otherwise. When you release the mouse button or lift your finger, a perfect circle replaces your clumsy efforts. It's just as easy to make perfect straight lines anywhere on the diagram, too.

To make a new line perpendicular to an existing line, just draw a rough approximation down to the line and then make a 90 degree turn along the existing line for a few centimetres. A beautiful, perpendicular line then appears.

You can add any sized text to the figure and click to name new points anywhere too.

You can also add angles with Greek lettering, like α, β, γ or θ etc.

Of course, you can move any of the parts either parallel to their original position, or to rotate them to another place.

Give it a go and produce some stunning art. You could be published, and famous.


Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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