YMUG Newsletter – 2017/09/17
A collection of news and views, rants and raves and some dodgy jokes compiled by Jerad Zimmermann, Esq.
A PERSONAL NOTE
Sorry for not being able to put out a newsletter last week. Saturday the pain from my ‘procedure’ was so intense I really couldn’t concentrate; I even thought I might have to go to A&E. Imagine someone dropped a bowling ball on your naked foot, that kind of pain but continuing for hours. Fortunately it began to abate. Monday morning I was feeling a lot better. The pain has largely vanished but there is still some swelling. The real annoyance is not being able to get around owning to these incredible lumps of plastic (orthopaedic shoes) I’m supposed to wear for the next month or more. No driving (okay by me), no cycling, it’s hard to even walk much. Stairs are a major chore. Hopefully it will all be worth it. I am about half-way through my Columbo boxed set of DVDs.
Anyway, it’s good to be back with y’all! Now, on with the show, er . . . news!!
NEW iPHONES, NEW APPLE WATCHES, NEW iOS
On Tuesday Apple had one of its big product announcement events in their new Steve Jobs Theater.
iPhone 8 and 8 plus:
The iPhone 8 and 8 plus come with iOS 11 installed, have a new cpu chip, dual back camera on the 8 plus, glass back and can be charged wirelessly. Ars Technica likes it.
Oddly enough, Apple’s wireless chargers won’t be ready ’til next year. Until then lucky owners will have to rely on chargers made by other companies.
Here’s some chargers that will work.
Here’s a list of comparisons between the iPhone 8 and the 8 plus.
In case you’re wondering if the iPhone 8 is much of an improvement over an iPhone 7 here’s some info:
Intrigued? Here’s some of the iPhone 8 contracts being offered by UK companies.
iPhone X: (oohs and aahs from the crowd)
Here’s another list of some of the new features:
Ars Technica’s opinion:
No home button! It’s all gestures from now on. Sigh. Oh and Face ID. Which brings up some privacy and security issues. One US Senator has brought up the privacy issues in congress
Famously, during the presentation, Face ID failed to recognise the presenter, Craig Federighi, and he had to enter his pass code. Apple’s explanation is that several people handled the phone before the show and it tried to identified them as Craig which it failed to do. After a number of failures it requires a pass code.
Face ID will only store one face at a time. It’s supposed to work with sunglasses or if you’ve grown a beard. It’s infrared you know.
Apple Watch 3:
If you get an Apple Watch 3 you can get its own cell connection so no need to have an iPhone as a relay. But it will only work in one country.
Ars Technica’s thoughts.
Apple TV 4K:
macOS AND MAC STUFF
You might have missed Apple’s update to iTunes and this time there is something significant: the new version no longer has an iOS app store. This will affect the way many of us acquire and update apps on our iOS devices. In the future you will only be able to find, download and update iOS apps via the App Store app on the device. I’m a bit miffed at this: I frequently read about an app I’d like to try on a website and am able to get it via iTunes but now I’ll have to grab an iOS device and download it. A newly acquired iOS app will still download to all your linked iOS devices (verified) so that is good. I just wish Apple had a Mac app that could access the iOS app store. Maybe if enough of us complain? Anyway, it’s one update you might want to forgo although, I assume, the app store will probably become non-viable on older versions of iTunes eventually.
Additionally, I have been having lots of problems with this new iTunes: my computer has spontaneously rebooted twice while using the app while syncing podcasts with my iPhone. This means iTunes thinks it has copied them to my iPhone but it hasn’t. Then I’ve had to go through each podcast that didn’t get transferred, toggled it off, sync, toggle it on and sync again. It’s bad enough that I wish I hadn’t updated.
If, like me, you have updated to the app-less iTunes here’s a guide for dealing with apps:
Apple is trying to restrict cookies in Safari (thank you Apple!) and guess what? Advertisers do not like it. “Apple’s unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love. Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful. Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice.”
Apple’s response in full:
(Personal note: I hate advertising and wish it would all go away so anytime Apple makes it easier for me to avoid being targeted I am all for it!)
By the way, macOS High Sierra will be released on September 25th.
And here’s the bottom-line on APFS, the new Apple file system.
Avira has introduced a free security suite for Mac users. I’m going to give it a try. It has a free VPN; I’ve just set my location to Austria. Which means I can’t use BBC iPlayer on its website. Maybe Austria is not the best choice . . .
(Oh dear, Avira’s VPN locked up and I had to reboot my machine. I’ll experiment further but not right now. The anti-virus bit seems okay.)
How to use Siri to identify a song. I might try this . . . guess I’ll have to turn on Siri.
If you’re using Office 2011 for Macs then you’re going to have some trouble with macOS High Sierra. In fact, you might have problems with Office 2016. Me, I’m an Office 365 subscriber so I should be okay . . . should be . . .
Bloc 2 is a website building app for Macs that requires no coding ability!
Trello can help you handle a complex series of tasks. It’s a project tracker . . . I guess. At least it’s free.
Do we need another Mac word processor? Probably not BUT here’s Mellel anyway. One feature it has that sounds interesting is setting it up to convert a whole document from American to British English.
Logitech has introduced a new trackball/mouse device which I’d love to have . . . too bad it costs $99.
Google has promised to stop scanning emails to help with its ad targeting. But for how long?
PHONES, TABLETS, ETC
iOS 11 will be released on September 19th after many beta releases for testers and developers. I’ll install it as soon as I can and report any issues or problems on mactalk.
Here’s a guide to which devices will be able to experience the splendour of iOS 11 on Tuesday the 19th.
Minor fuss of the week: Except for personal photos who really wants a fancy wallpaper on their iPhone? Let alone some of these:
A video review of some writing apps for iOS devices including the one I use, Scrivener.
How to compress videos on your iPhone or iPad using Video Compressor which is free.
Naughty baseball players, stealing their opponents hand-signals with an Apple Watch.
Oh dear, some apps on Google Play charged users for fake services without the users’ knowledge.
If you’d like to read a 245-paragraph review of Android 8.0 today is your lucky day!
WWW = WEIRD, WONDERFUL AND WHY
If you’ve heard about the hacking problem with Equifax here’s some info:
There’s a 250-metre long ‘fatberg’ in a London sewer. And someone has to get rid of it. In case you thought your job was rubbish.
Thinking of moving? Someplace warmer? Like Surrey? Now the most expensive region in the UK for buying beer.
The police are using dogs that can sniff out hidden USB drives.
An air freshener and a lighter caused a car to explode in Southend.
During hurricane Irma the Tesla motor company remotely modified some of their vehicles in the Florida region so they would cut into what is normally battery reserve so the owners could get out of the area.
Proof that we are in the ‘end times’: British warships will soon have Siri-like voice controls.
(I used to work for a US military contractor whose remit was to QA software on Trident submarine trainers. Assuming the software on the actual ships goes through a similar validation procedure . . . I’m glad I’m not in the Navy.)
The authorities in California have decided to ban drone deliveries of legal marijuana. Gee, I wonder what they’re worried about?
Love these iOS-controlled lawnmowers, but if I had $3000 to buy one I’d probably already have hired a gardener.
I’m not a big Elon Musk fan but he has a sense of humour good enough to allow a two minute compilation of Space X’s failures to be released.
Okay, when I lived in America I did follow American Football. But since when is it popular enough over here to have a BBC weekly roundup programme?
Anyone want a ‘Handmaid’ Mermaid Blanket? Lots of colours are available.
September 17th is the 260th day of the year and is also Operation Market Garden Anniversary in the Netherlands.
Happy Birthday to: mathematician Bernhard Riemann (b 1826, d 1866 . . . wow, didn’t realise he died so young); outlaw Billy the Kid (b 1859, d 1881); author of more than 600 books John Creasy MBE (b 1908, d 1973); one of my favourite authors Mary Stewart (b 1916, d 2014); singer Hank Williams (b 1923, d 1953); the lovely Roddy McDowall (b 1928, d 1998); race car driver Stirling Moss (b 1929); astronaut Edgar Mitchell (b 1930, d 2016); actress Anne Bancroft (b 1931, d 2005); tennis player Maureen Connolly (b 1934, d 1969); author Ken Kesey (b 1935, d 2001); mountaineer Reinhold Messner (b 1944); actor John Ritter (b 1948, d 2003); lead singer of The Tubes Fee Waybill (b 1950); actress Cassandra ‘Elvira, Mistress of the Dark’ Peterson (b 1951); race driver Damon Hill (b 1960); director Baz Luhrmann (b 1962); snooker player Ken Doherty (b 1969).
Rest in peace these folks who died on September 17th: Hildegard of Bingen (b 1098, d 1179, not a bad run for those days); composer Franz Xaver Sussmayr (b 1766, d 1803); slave Dred Scott (b 1795, d 1858); fashion designer Laura Ashley (b 1925, d 1985); pool player Willie Mosconi (b 1913, d 1993); philosopher Karl Popper (b 1902, d 1994); US Vice President Spiro Agnew (b 1918, d 1996); actor Red Skelton (b 1913, d 1997).
Some notable events that took place on September 17th: Boston, Massachusetts is founded (1630); the US Constitution is approved (1787); abolitionist Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery (1849); Joshua Norton declares himself Norton 1, Emperor of the United States (1859); the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American military history (1962); Lt Thomas Selfridge becomes the world’s first airplane fatality when the Wright Flyer piloted by Orville Wright crashes (1908); Lord of the Flies is published (1954); the Camp David Accords are signed by Israel and Egypt (1978); the 1988 Summer Olympics begin in Seoul (1988); the New York Stock Exchange reopens after the 9/11 attacks (2001).
FUNNIES, ETC (SOME MATERIAL MAY BE OFFENSIVE ALTHOUGH I AM TRYING TO AVOID THE REALLY HIDEOUS STUFF)
“Aristotle, Archimedes, Galileo, Tesla, Faraday, Newton, Pasteur, Einstein, and Edison. Among the greatest scientists in world history. What do they all have in common? Not a single one of them ever wrote about man-made climate change.”
— radio host Mark Levin
“I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than ‘climate change.'”
— Ann Coulter
“I would say it’s humility. With the gravity and responsibility of being President of the United States and commander-in-chief of our armed forces, sir, I would say that with that gravity and responsibility have come a great deal of humility…There’s a great deal of humility there.”
— Kellyanne Conway, asked by Pat Robertson what Trump characteristic stands out in her mind
“Before long, Black Lives Matter will join forces with ISIS to bring down our legal constituted republic. You heard it here first.”
— 2015 tweet by Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., who until recently has been under consideration for a post in the Trump Administration
“It looks like it could be something that will be not good.”
— Trump on Hurricane Irma
“We are building our future with American hands, American labor, American iron, aluminum and steel. Happy Labor Day!”
— Trump tweet, accompanied by photo in which the First Lady is wearing a dress by a Greek designer that was made in Italy with French materials
“Alone in your room and want company? RENT-A-FISH”
— A service offered at a Belgian hotel
— A for-sale sign on a Michigan home. It’s next to a cemetery.
When you’re deep asleep and not dreaming, where the [heck] are you? There’s total blackness, it’s nothing, right? So I’m hoping that’s what death is, that it’s all gonna go. I don’t want to deal with any consciousness afterward.
— Harry Dean Stanton
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 26, allegedly planned a one-man terrorist attack on Windsor Castle in England. He used his GPS to navigate to the castle, but didn’t quite get the destination entered correctly: it brought him to the Windsor Castle Pub, less than a mile away from his intended target. Once he realised his mistake, Chowdhury headed instead to Buckingham Palace in London, an hour and a half away — which took him right past Windsor Castle. At Buckingham, he got out of the car and allegedly attempted to attack people with a four-foot-long samurai sword. Officers tackled him, and Chowdhury was charged with one count of “preparing to commit an act or acts of terrorism.” Police were able to collect evidence of Chowdhury’s travels using his dashcam and navigation unit — installed in his car because he’s an Uber driver. (MS/London Telegraph)
Liam Smith, a postgrad student at England’s University of Bristol, says his first date with a woman he met on Tinder went well. After dinner, they went to his flat “for a bottle of wine and a film.” She needed to use the loo, and afterward it “would not flush,” she told him. The “panicked” woman fished her poop out of the bowl, wrapped it in tissue, and threw it out the window — except that the window doesn’t actually go outside, so the smelly package was in the wall. After confessing what happened to Smith, the unnamed woman — who he described as an “amateur gymnast” — “climbed in head first after her own turd,” he said. After she got it, they realised she was stuck upside-down in the window. After 15 minutes of failing to get her out, Smith called Avon Fire and Rescue service to help, and documented the rescue with pictures. The fiasco came to light when Smith posted a plea on GoFundMe to fund replacing the window firefighters destroyed to get her out. “I’m not complaining,” Smith said, as “they did what they had to do.” The appeal went viral, bringing in 14 times his 200 pound (US$265) goal. Smith promised to split the excess funds between two charities: one that builds flush toilets in developing countries, and the firefighters’ charity for “the brave men and women who risk their lives for us.” (RC/BBC)
(I heard about the above story on a US news programme and now I’ve seen some of the pictures. It really happened.)
(From a Quora thread)
There’s an old joke in my country (Romania) about the people in a certain part of our country, Oltenia. Oltenians live in poorer conditions compared to other parts of the country and aren’t so technologically advanced, so inevitably jokes in the spectrum of Stone Age Oltenians had to come up.
Q: What did Oltenians do when they saw the first airplane flying?
A: They went to the mountains to look for its nest.
Can you cry under water?
How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
Why do you have to ‘put your twopence in’… but it’s only a ‘penny for your thoughts’? Where’s that extra penny going to?
Once you’re in Heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?
Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
What disease did cured ham actually have?
How is it that we put man on the moon before we worked out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
Why is it that people say they ‘slept like a baby’ when babies wake up like every two hours?
If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?
Why are you IN a movie but you’re ON TV?
Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?
Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They’re going to see you naked anyway.
Why is ‘bra’ singular and ‘panties’ plural?
Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp which no decent human being would eat?
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?
If the professor on Gilligan’s Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can’t he mend a hole in a boat?
Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They’re both dogs!
If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME stuff, why didn’t he just buy dinner?
If corn oil is made from corn and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
Did you ever notice that, when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out of the window?
Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?
Why do banks charge a fee on ‘insufficient funds’ when they know there is not enough money?
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?
Why do they use sterilised needles for death by lethal injection?
Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?
Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?
Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
Why is it that no matter what colour bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?
Is there ever a day that mattresses are not in a sale?
Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialised?
Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?
Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?
How do those dead flies get into those enclosed light fixtures?
Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that’s falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?
In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?
How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?
Yearly Dementia Test!
It’s that time of year for us to take our annual senior citizen test. Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it’s important to keep mentally alert. If you don’t use it, you lose it! Below is a very private way to gauge how your memory compares to the last test. Some may think it is too easy but the ones with memory problems may have difficulty.
OK, relax, clear your mind and begin.
- What do you put in a toaster?
Answer: ‘bread.’ If you said ‘toast’ give up now and do something else. Try not to hurt yourself.
- Say ‘silk’ five times. Now spell ‘silk.’ What do cows drink?
Answer: Cows drink water. If you said ‘milk,’ don’t attempt the next question. Your brain is over-stressed and may even overheat. Content yourself with reading more appropriate literature such as Auto World.
- If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?
Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass.
If you said ‘green bricks,’ why are you still reading these???
- Without using a calculator – You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales.
In London, 17 people get on the bus. In Reading, 6 people get off the bus and 9 people get on. In Swindon, 2 people get off and 4 get on. In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get on. In Swansea, 3 people get off and 5people get on. In Carmathen, 6 people get off and 3 get on.
You then arrive at Milford Haven… Without scrolling back to review, how old is the bus driver?
Answer: Oh, for crying out loud! Don’t you remember your own age… It was YOU driving the bus!
Why teachers drink:
The following questions were set in last year’s GED examination These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds) ……. and they WILL breed.
Q. Name the four seasons. A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.
Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink. A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.
Q. How is dew formed? A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.
Q. What causes the tides in the oceans? A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight.
Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on? A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed.
Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections? A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election
Q. What are steroids? A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs
Q.. What happens to your body as you age? A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental
Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty? A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery
Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes? A. Premature death
Q. What is artificial insemination? A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow
Q. How can you delay milk turning sour? A. Keep it in the cow
Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorised? (e.g. The abdomen) A. The body is consisted into 3 parts – the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels : A, E, I,O,U..
Q. What is the fibula? A. A small lie
Q. What does ‘varicose’ mean? A. Nearby
A man sees a sign outside a house – ‘Talking Dog For Sale.’ He rings the bell, the owner appears and tells him the dog can be viewed in the back garden.
The man sees a very nice looking Labrador Retriever sitting there.
“Do you really talk?” he asks the dog.
“Yes,” the Labrador replies.
After recovering from the shock of hearing the dog talk, the man asks, “So, tell me your story.”
The Labrador looks up and says, “Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I was sold to the SAS. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one imagined that a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at Heathrow Airport to do some undercover security work, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded several medals. Then I got married, had a few puppies, and now I’ve just retired.”
The man is amazed. He goes back into the house and asks the owner how much he wants for the dog.
“Ten quid,” the owner says.
“£10! But your dog is absolutely amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheaply?”
“Because he’s a lying bastard, he’s never been out of the garden.”
An elderly couple were having dinner one evening when the husband reached across the table, took his wife’s hand in his and said, “Martha, soon we will be married 50 years, and there’s something I have to know. In all of these 50 years, have you ever been unfaithful to me?”
Martha replied, “Well Henry, I have to be honest with you. Yes, I’ve been unfaithful to you on three occasions during these 50 years, but always for a good reason.
Henry was obviously hurt by his wife’s confession, but said, “I never suspected. Can you tell me what you mean by ‘good reasons?’
Martha said, “The first time was shortly after we were married, and we were about to lose our little house because we couldn’t pay the mortgage. Do you remember that evening I went to see the banker and the next day he notified you that the loan would be extended?”
Henry recalled the visit to the banker and said, “I can forgive you for that. You saved our home, but what about the second time?”
Martha asked, “Do you remember when you were so sick, but we didn’t have the money to pay for the heart surgery you needed? Well, I went to see your doctor one night and, if you recall, he did the surgery at no charge.”
“I recall that,” said Henry. “And you did it to save my life, so of course I can forgive you for that. Now tell me about the third time.”
“All right,” Martha said. “So do you remember when you ran for president of your golf club, and you needed 53 more votes?”
Chief Bottle Washer and television reviewer — Tony Crockford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Department of Redundancy Department — Chris Brady: email@example.com
with help from: Anzir Boodoo and Tim Pinder.
Items for the newsletter . . . reviews, rants, raves, revelations and reflections to: Jerad Zimmermann, your participatory social mores editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest. And jokes.
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