This is the second edition of Gizmoe in 2018.

Gizmoe will also be posted on from

3rd April 2018.

All is set for the Federation AGN and Symposium on the 8th and 9th May at the Hamilton Airport

Hotel and Conference Centre. Invitations have been sent to all Learning Centres so if you would like

to attend please register via your Learning Centre. We will be limited to 120 people so please be

sure to register early. It would be great to have good representation from the Waikato/BoP Centres

as the very reason the Federation moves the event around the country is to give easier opportunity

for people in each region to attend and enjoy the networking opportunities. AGM documents are

being finalised and will be sent to all Centres within the prescribed timeframes.

I was very disappointed to be told the Minister for Seniors (Hon Tracey Martin) has now declined our

invitation to attend the Symposium. When I first meet the minister in December 2017 she gave a

strong “yes I’ll be there” response but due to parliamentary pressure – “the house is sitting on that

day”, the minister is not able to attend. Not wishing to be put off I then invited her to our dinner the

night prior but was told “the minister is busy” – what a shame!

When asked for an update on what progress the Minister had made with government funding for

SeniorNet the follow two statements were provided:               

 The Minister for Seniors is very supportive of initiatives which are aimed at improving

digital literacy amongst Seniors

 Funding for new/continuing programmes form part of Budget 2018 prioritisation

process which is currently under review and the outcome of this exercise will be covered

in the budget announcement by the Minister of Finance which is due on 17th May

So, we shall keep our fingers crossed!

Keep up the great work all the volunteers are doing to help others….

Learn something new every day!

Grant Sidaway Executive Officer

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My Experience with Fibre.

Ian Turner. (Ian helped set up the SeniorNet Federation and was the Chairman for many years)

I was interested to read the piece in the February 2018 Gizmoe by my good friend Ray McDonald

about how things went when he was connected to fibre. In fact, so interested, that it got me going

to write this piece, not as a reply to Ray’s one, but as a humorous reminiscence.

I have always been almost obsessed by computers (I once learned with students as I taught them

how to program the second computer that ever came into NZ) and have usually purchased whatever

was the latest technology. So, when fibre connections were first mooted, I got really excited. Then

further excited when I found that our area would be one of the first to be so served.

It took some time before it happened, but eventually our street was connected. All cabling was

underground and they made a really good job of it without leaving any disturbances.

So, I applied for a connection. A few days later a new modem arrived, and I thought I was on the


(I still have the modem in new condition, free to a good home for the cost of a courier.)

Problem. We are up a shared right of way with two other houses having access from the drive. By

the legislation of the time, the permission of the other owners was required. One would not give it.

Real frustration!! The cables were so near, yet so far away!! But there was talk of the legislation

being changed, so perhaps it was just a waiting game.

Over a year later, a Vodafone salesman arrived at our door. He suggested that he could get the

connection organised, so I signed a contract on the proviso that it happened. But again, we were

frustrated. No agreement was given. The new legislation was in the pipeline, but the time it was

taking seemed never–ending.

Then I saw an advertisement for a wireless system. Supposedly close in speed to fibre. So I signed up

for it. The modem arrived a few days later and we were all go after about the hour that it took to get

the exchange switched over. More about that later.

Then the tenants in the house where approval had been declined changed. The new people were

super tech–oriented and had to have fibre. So I was asked to agree to the installation !! I gave it

albeit somewhat reluctantly after their two refusals for my own connection !!

Some time later the cable was installed up the drive and across the front of my house. Again a great

job was done with no disturbances.

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Then the tenants changed again, and the new ones don’t appear to want fibre. So cables are in

place, but none of the three houses have a connection. Every time I go up or down our drive I see a

coil of cable ready to be connected to our house.

But more on the wireless connection: I am very happy with it. The speed is more than satisfactory

for my uses. I often look at news sites and many now have a lot of advertising at the top of the page

and that slows the download anyway.

We also installed five Uniden SSE35 wireless telephones around the house and the base unit simply

plugs into the wireless modem. So apart from one very short cable between base phone and

modem, we have no cables in or outside

the house. That’s very convenient in a

house that is almost impossible to wire.

We bought the Uniden because of the

number of handsets we could have and

because the units are a good size for use

by older people.

 The wireless modem operates the same

way as a mobile phone, but with our old landline number.

So, when we went on holiday last year, we simply picked up the modem and a phone and took them

with us. We just needed to plug in power and wait a minute or two as the unit booted up. We then

had all the communication facilities we have when at home. Everyone could still ring us 200 Km from

home, on the usual landline number and without toll charges.

For us, wireless works so well I won’t reconsider a fibre connection.

Ray take note, you can’t take your fibre connection with you when you go on holiday !!

Facebook privacy

The title of this article may well be an oxymoron given the issues exposed in the past few weeks with

data collected by a UK firm from millions of Facebook users then apparently put to use to sway

people in the us to vote for Mr Trump. Of course, many, if not most of us already understood

through maturity that something offered for free is often too good to be true! In this case I think it is

fair to say that is partly correct as it would appear the trade–off for using social media apps like Face

book is that your information can be sold on to marketing companies keen to identify you as a likely

purchaser. Its called profiling. For example, by narrowing down your likes/dislikes, age, location etc

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an advertiser can quickly determine ideal products and services you could potentially purchase,

Google is nifty at it as well! In fact, almost without exception all the free applications are at it too!

So, what can you do? Let’s concentrate on Facebook with the knowledge that similar aspects could

also apply to other social media applications.

1. Have you read the terms and conditions – of course they are long and frightening, most

terms and conditions are! However, if you feel it’s too onerous then opt out. At least read

the terms and conditions then you will know what you will be signing up for. Here is a link to

the Facebook terms and conditions:

2. There’s a great array of settings in Facebook but making a start with basic privacy settings

will get you on the right road. You can always dig deeper later. Click on the question mark

symbol in the top right of any Facebook page when you’re logged in, and select Privacy

Check–up, an easy–to–follow walkthrough of your current settings relating to "Posts", "Apps"

and "Profile".

3. Posts – check your default sharing setting. I recommend the Friends setting over the Public

one. When set to Public all your posts can be seen by anyone on or off Facebook. Unless

you're a celebrity or running a page that is used to generate interest in a business you run,

you will likely want to keep your activity restricted to those you have Friended.

The Friend setting has a few tweaks you should be aware of as well.

By clicking on the sharing setting button, then the More Options button, you will see the

Custom option. Click on that and you will see that you can include all your Friends while

excluding the names of certain Facebook friends you don't want to see your updates. It is

also important to note that the Friends of anyone tagged in your post or photos will be able

to see that post unless you uncheck the option in this window.

Keep in mind you can change the sharing settings of any individual Facebook update by

clicking on the sharing button to the left of the Post button. You can even go back to change

settings of previous posts by clicking on the people icon at the top of the post, to the right

of the date stamp.

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4. Apps – Each app on the site you agreed to install has permission to post to your Friends list

unless you told it otherwise at the time you installed it. Can't remember? This part of the

tool shows you each app attached to your account and what sharing permissions it has.

These settings also control who can see that you have the app installed. Its very important

you check this!

If you don't use the app anymore, delete it by clicking on the x.

5. Profile – it’s here you can see the privacy setting on your email addresses, birthday,

hometown, relationship status and other personal details about your life. Under emails it

will show the one you registered with when you first signed up for Facebook as well as one

Facebook has assigned to you (which you likely will never use. For your birthday, the sharing

settings are split between the day/month and the year. That way your Friends can wish you

happy birthday on Facebook on your special day without necessarily knowing your exact

age. For hometown, this setting only affects what your Friends can see. Advertisers and

others may still access this information, especially if you are using the Facebook app which

tracks your location automatically.

Finally, if you have set a relationship with another Facebook user, it will be shared unless

you set otherwise.

Please note that this is only a partial list of the information you're sharing. To see the full

list, click the My About Page button, which will take you to your profile page. On there, you

can review the various sections—Work and Education, Places You've Lived, Contact and

Basic Info, Family and Relationships, Details About You, and Life Events —and make changes

hovering over each and clicking the link that appears.

I hope this will not put you off Facebook or other social media applications. With the right

caution applied social media is a fabulous technology tool to be enjoyed.

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The right plan for the right price.

Whether you use your internet to catch up on news, stocks, emails, or with friends and

family – our Basic Home Broadband plan could be just what you need. At a price that’s right.

Sign up to an open term plan and get 40GB of data for $39.99* a month with an eligible On

Account mobile.

With this 12 month term you will get:

– 40GB of internet data

– Free Ultra Hub modem ($14.95 P&H applies)

– Option to add calling for only $10 extra a month, includes National calling

Call Vodafone now on 0800 787 251

 Broadband not available everywhere. $14.95 modem delivery fee. Residential use only. Non–standard

installation charges may apply. See conditions/residential–fixed for full

terms. *$10 extra each month if your broadband plan is not linked to an eligible Vodafone On

Account mobile plan.

Facebook and SeniorNet

They say advertising pays off in the long run. Well in this case it certainly has. A couple of

weeks ago I had a call from a person saying she would like to volunteer her time to help

with SeniorNet, with project management skills I jumped at the idea and meet her a few

days later. She said se saw one of “our cars” and thought yes that would be great. Even

when I told her that we only have one car with SeniorNet branding it failed to put her off.

Liz is now working on a project for us to revitalise our Facebook presence in an effort to gain

additional members through social media. We have been a bit lax in the social media space

so hopefully Liz can provide us with the tonic we need.

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CERT NZ – Certainly doing their best to fight Cyber Crime

CERT NZ released this week its final figures for 2017, showing that New Zealanders reported

more than $5.3 million lost to cyber security issues to CERT NZ, New Zealand’s dedicated

cyber security unit. Nine incidents involved losses of over $100,000 each. From the nine

incidents, $2.8 million in total loss was reported. Its fair to say cyber crime is increasing in

New Zealand so the establishment of CERT in April 2017 has proven to be very timely.


If you or any your organisation you are associated with experiences a cyber security threat –

or if you suspect you may have been exposed to one – contact CERT NZ any time at or call 0800 CERT NZ, Monday to Friday, 7am – 7pm.

Census 18– a SeniorNet Success

We asked for your help and you certainly gave it! At very short notice we were asked by

Statistics NZ to provide help at our Learning Centres for people wanting to complete their

on–line census form. Our learning Centres responded well, very well in fact! It would seem

collectively we helped over 2,000 people complete their forms with many Centres

advertising in local newspapers helping to promote the service. Over a period of

approximately two weeks many Learning Centres were kept busy with reporters asking

questions and writing articles. In addition, I gave five radio interviews one morning TV

appearance and three newspaper reports. All in all, well done everyone, thank you for

getting behind this it not only provided much help in the community but also lifted our


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