YMUG Newsletter — 2020/05/17

YMUG Newsletter — for the 17th of May, 2020 ACV (after Corona virus)

A collection of news and views, rants and raves, and some goofy stories compiled by Jerad Zimmermann, Esq.



Ask iFixit: I spilled liquid on my laptop—now what?  Spoiler alert: don’t use rice.


Service Battery warning on Mac – do you need to replace the battery?  I’ve just noticed my laptop’s battery says it needs to be serviced but it only has 58 cycles so I’m going to try some of the suggestions here.


The best wireless mice you can buy. Ars Technica spent months researching and testing wireless mice for work and play.


Apple’s MagSafe charging cable was brilliant, designed so it would release if someone accidentally tripped on the cable. For reasons unknown, Apple abandoned this ideas, but now the EVRI Magnetic Tip USB Cable is here to save the day. It works with USB-C devices like the MacBook and iPad Pro,


2020 13-inch MacBook Pro review: The standard macOS workhorse.  A new keyboard and faster performance make this slightly thicker laptop a winner.


A problem I wish I had: How to choose between the new 13-inch MacBook Pro versus the 16-inch MacBook Pro.  If you’d like to help me deal with this dilemma donations gratefully accepted.


System Preferences in MacOS shows a red badge circle icon when there is an available software update for the Mac. This can be helpful for users who want to be notified of software updates, but it can be annoying to other Mac users who are specifically avoiding a particular software update.


How to disable iCloud Drive on Mac.  Why would you want to do that?  Well, if you’re not using it it does take up some of your computer’s time trying to stay in sync with the ‘cloud’.


Tencent security researcher Yuebin Sun today disclosed three security vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac that could allow an attacker to gain root privileges and access sensitive user data.  Adobe patched the vulnerabilities in an update to Acrobat this week, so make sure you are running version 2020.009.20063 or later by opening the app and navigating to Help > Check for Updates.

(That’s pretty much the whole story so no link required,)

There’s a new attack that uses off-the-shelf equipment to take full control of a PC—even when locked—if a hacker gets just a few minutes alone with it. The vector is a familiar one: the Thunderbolt ultrafast interface connects graphics cards, storage systems, and other peripherals to millions of computers.  The hack, which took years to develop, is elegant. Its adept mix of cryptanalysis, reverse engineering, and exploit development punches a major hole in defenses that Thunderbolt creator Intel spent considerable time and resources to erect. Ultimately, though, the technique is an incremental advance in an attack that has existed for more than a decade. While the weakness it exploits is real and should be closed, the vast majority of people—think 99 percent—shouldn’t worry about it.


Chrome will soon block resource-draining ads.


You’ve heard of Zoom, the Skype-like video conference calling service that’s sweeping the world  Of course you have, you’re paying attention.  Anyway, there’s a new e-book Take Control of Zoom that you can now get for a 30% discount by following the link below.


Ever wanted to turn your handwriting into a font? Wanted to personalize your digital stationery or add a flourish to your website? There are a few tools around that can take your own scribblings and turn them into usable fonts for your computer or other devices. It doesn’t take long and as long as you can write legibly, it can produce a decent quality font for almost any use.


Initial failures of Apple’s butterfly keyboard doomed it from the start.




How to save pictures as JPEG instead of HEIC on the iPhone.  Note: I tried this and my iPhone 6s doesn’t have the option listed . . . maybe it’s too old?  Maybe I’ve been naughty and I’m not allowed?


Worried your kids will get up to no good while using your iOS devices? Learn how to disable the touchscreen on iPhone or iPad so that your little ones can watch their favorite videos without accessing other apps and features.


Compared: iPhone SE (2020) versus iPhone SE (2016).


Compared: Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 versus Apple’s iPad Pro.




Gold Apple Watch keeps on ticking after 9 months underwater but it’s not a recommended procedure.



CORONA VIRUS STUFF — skip if you’re fed up with hearing about this (anyone missing Brexit?)

A regional German data protection office reportedly has concerns about the privacy risks posed by customer temperature checks at Apple Stores that recently reopened in the country.


The European Union has rejected the idea of making coronavirus contact tracing apps mandatory for international travel.  Not like any of us are going anywhere soon eh?


The corona crisis is changing the global economy. Production security is growing more important than efficiency. Here is what that might look like.


COVID-19 linked to 30-fold increase in rare childhood inflammatory disease.  The condition is rare, but it could help explain mysteries of COVID-19.


Domestic cats can catch the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, and when kept in very close proximity, they can infect other cats. That’s the finding of a letter published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.


When the novel coronavirus swept through the United States, architect Joseph Badame had cause to say “I told you so!” He didn’t know what calamity was coming, but Badame prepared for nearly everything: he designed and built an 8,500 square-foot, partly-underground house on 3 acres in Medford, N.J., surrounded by an electric fence, plus enough outbuildings and food to accommodate 120 friends and family for a full year. He even thought to stock 4,200 rolls of toilet paper, and buried tanks to hold gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, and heating oil. He installed a coal-fired furnace supplied by “tons” of coal stacked outside. What does he think now, with COVID-19 killing thousands per day? “This is much more severe than I even planned for,” says Badame, now 77, “when you combine the trigger of the coronavirus and then the reaction to it.” But his decades of preparation and million-dollar stockpile of supplies aren’t helping: he lost the house to foreclosure in 2017, and now lives with a friend (RC/NJ.com) .



Key moments in the history of Mac malware – 1982 to the present.


Hiding in not-so-plain sight, deep within the depths of your iPhone’s settings (seven layers deep, to be exact) is a level of location tracking that very few iPhone users are aware of and probably won’t feel comfortable with. Sure, many of us know that our iPhone generally tracks us when we use certain apps to enable it to share personalised information like the local weather, coffee shop recommendations, and more. But in a quick survey I ran with some friends, not one person (out of dozens of people that I surveyed) knew where or how to navigate to this specific screen that I’m talking about here. It’s called the Significant Locations list.  (Jerad note: I’d turned this off months ago and that setting stays even after updates.)


Configuring your iPhone for maximum privacy and security.  How to protect your web browsing from privacy invasions and the surveillance state (Jerad note: I’m not advocating any of this, just passing it on in case you want to have a gander . . . or even a goose.)


US Senate votes to allow FBI to look at your web browsing history without a warrant.



Hackers sell over 73 million stolen user records on the dark web.  This includes over 30 million from dating site Zoosk.




May 17th is the 138th day of this leap year and is also World Hypertension Day and World Information Society Day.  Whatever that means.

Happy Birthday to:  Edward Jenner, English physician and microbiologist (b 1749, d 1823); Maureen O’Sullivan, Irish-American actress (b 1911, d 1998); Archibald Cox, American lawyer and politician, 31st United States Solicitor General (b 1912, d 2004); Birgit Nilsson, Swedish operatic soprano (b 1918, d 2005); Ronald Wayne, American computer scientist, co-founded Apple Inc (b 1934); Dennis Potter, English voice actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b 1935, d 1994); Dennis Hopper, American actor and director (b 1936, d 2010); Taj Mahal, American blues singer-songwriter and musician (b 1942); Jesse Winchester, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b 1944, d 2014); Tony Roche, Australian tennis player and coach (b 1945); Bill Bruford, English drummer, songwriter, and producer (b 1949); Alan Johnson, English politician, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (b 1950); Simon Hughes, English lawyer and politician (b 1951); Bill Paxton, American actor and director (b 1955, d 2017 . . . oh, I didn’t know he died); Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer (b 1956); Simon Fuller, English talent manager and producer, created the Idols series (b 1960); Enya, Irish singer-songwriter and producer (b 1961);Trent Reznor, American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer and  Jeremy Vine, English journalist and author (b 1965); Andrea Corr, Irish singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress (b 1974).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 17th of May:  Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter (b. 1445, d 1510); Catherine I of Russia (b. 1684, d 1727); Lawrence Welk, American accordion player and bandleader (b. 1903, d 1992); Kevin Gilbert, American singer-songwriter, producer and the brother of a friend of mine (b. 1966, d 1996); Tony Randall, American actor (b. 1920, d 2004); Frank Gorshin, American actor (b. 1934, d 2005); Harmon Killebrew, American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1936, d 2011); Donna Summer, American singer-songwriter (b. 1948, d 2012);Herman Wouk, American author (b. 1915, d 2019).

Some notable historic events that took place on May 17th:  George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford and four other men are executed for treason and  Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s marriage is annulled (1536); The children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, is first published in the United Statesl rhe first copy is given to the author’s sister (1900); Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer (1902); Dambuster Raids commence by No. 617 Squadron RAF (1943); Watergate scandal: Televised hearings begin in the United States Senate (1973); Prince Charles calls a proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend”, sparking controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture (1984); The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases (1990).



Are ghosts haunting the British Museum?  Inexplicable noises, spectral sightings, sudden drops in temperature—something strange is going on at the British Museum. As the clamour over colonial restitution grows, Killian Fox investigates the collection’s restless objects.


When AI takes on Eurovision: Can a computer write a hit song?  One Reddit-trained AI’s lyrics? “Kill the government, kill the system.” Whoops.


For those starting their Christmas shopping: Beeline Creative, in partnership with Toynk Toys, have just released these gorgeous Lord of the Rings Geeki Tiki Mugs. The collection consists of a total of 3 officially licensed LOTR-inspired Geeki Tikis featuring the popular characters Gollum, Gandalf, and Frodo.


Fingernail technician Cynthia Renee Covert, 57, made a house call to do nails for Barbara Howell at her Kiawah Island, S.C., home. As Covert worked on Howell’s nails on the outdoor porch, she was “fascinated” by a large alligator in a nearby pond, so after the session she went to get a closer look. Howell warned her that the gator had recently grabbed a deer on the shore. “I don’t look like a deer,” Covert replied — and reached down to pet the beast. Howell and her husband William started screaming at her to get away as William ran to pull her back. Before he arrived the animal grabbed her by the leg and dragged her into the water. When Covert got waist-deep, William says, “she stated in a very calm voice, ‘I guess I won’t do this again’.” And with that, the gator rolled over, pulling her underwater. The pond was still by the time Charleston County Sheriff’s deputies arrived A short time later the gator surfaced, and a deputy shot it in the head several times with his sidearm, causing it to release Covert’s body. The coroner listed the cause of her death as accidental drowning. (RC/Columbia State)



Chief Bottle Washer and television reviewer — Tony Crockford: support@ymug.org

Head of Department of Redundancy Department — Chris Brady: ymug@csjbrady.org.uk

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: news@ymug.org

Thanks to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest.


Join mactalk – YMUG’s official email list discussion group.

You’ll get approximately 5 or 6 emails a day and can have ‘instant’ discussions on Mac related issues.  And other stuff, we’re flexible. By the way, if you’d rather have fewer emails there is a ‘digest’ version which concatenates all the daily emails into one.

To subscribe (FREE) to the group, send a blank email to: mactalk-join@ymug.org and then confirm membership when you receive an automated reply from the group,

If you have any difficulty, please contact Tony Crockford, he’s very nice, smart too.  And I happen to know he has excellent taste in music. –  support@ymug.org

mactalk posting guidelines written by the lovely Jo can be found at: https://ymug.org/category/articles



I’ve put the list of discounts up on the intertubes: The Take Control books are always available to MUG members for 30% off by the way.

(The page below is password protected which I can provide upon request.  And don’t give the link to non-YMUG members or some of the publishers will get ever so cross about it.)




YMUG Newsletter — 2020/05/03

YMUG Newsletter — for the 3rd of May, 2020 ACV (after Corona virus)

A collection of news and views, rants and raves, and some goofy stories compiled by Jerad Zimmermann, Esq.



The Desktop & Documents option in iCloud Drive syncs your most important files to the cloud, making them available across all your Apple devices. But it can be tricky to wrap your head around exactly where it stores those files.


How to setup & use iCloud Photos on a Mac.


A bug has been discovered in Apple’s macOS Image Capture app that needlessly eats up potentially gigabytes of storage space when transferring photos from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac.  I use Image Capture almost every day and have never had this problem.  So, either I’m lucky, I’ve changed some setting or . . . I’m special.  Actually, reading through the article I may have suffered from this problem but my low volume of photos may have masked the issue.  I shall do some checking.



How to view page source in Safari on a Mac.


How and why to use Mac Recovery Mode.  Trust me, you will want to know this.


Some advanced Mac users may have noticed that certain shell scripts with cron, cron jobs, and crontab are either not working at all, or not able to function properly in the newest versions of MacOS, notably Mojave 10.14, Catalina 10.15 and later. Depending on the situation, this may be accompanied by a permissions error, an operation not permitted error, or a script or cronjob may simply fail silently in the background. While there are numerous reasons a cronjob may fail, strict security measures in the latest MacOS releases may also be at fault and cause problems for some users.


For some years now, you’ve been able to activate services by right-clicking with the mouse. Service Station takes this idea and runs with it. Specifically, you can make a user-customisable contextual menu for each file type.


Why did Apple switch back to its keyboard scissor mechanism in 2020?


How to buy a monitor in 2020, something I may be doing this year sometime.  It’s a long story, don’t ask.  Anyway, I’ll be saving this guide.


How to check if someone is using your wifi.  That is, someone you don’t want to be using your wifi. 


Six lessons learned from dealing with an iMac’s dead SSD.


PDFelement 7: The best PDF editor for Mac (according to AppleWorld) gets even better.


Google Meet, Google’s Zoom competitor, is now free for everyone.


A guide to working with Brother printers and your Mac.




Apple finally answered the call many users had asked for with the 2020 iPhone SE. While the device doesn’t come with a flashy new design, or a four-inch form factor, Apple’s budget-friendly offering is an absolute steal.



Camera comparison: 2020 iPhone SE vs. iPhone 8 and iPhone 11 Pro.


iPad Pro diary: I’m keeping the Magic Keyboard for three simple reasons.


Which iPad should you buy? Hands-on with the iPad 7, iPad mini 5, iPad Air 3, and iPad Pro.  Can I just say, that’s too many choices.  But maybe I’m just jealous.


The iPhone is so well-made, stable and reliable that it almost seems like it doesn’t need to be backed up. But you should, and here’s how to backup iPhone.


Why is my iPhone’s backup so large? Maybe you’re just special?  Or maybe . . .


Just when you think you’ve seen everything: an eight-year-old has discovered a way to watch YouTube past Apple’s Screen Time limits by using the iMessage App Store.




It’s about time. After months of leaks and rumours, Intel has pulled back the curtain on its 10th generation “S-series” desktop chips, with the Core i9-10900K leading the pack. For around $500, you’ll get a 10-core processor that can reach up to 5.3GHz, with a base speed of 3.7GHz.




CORONA VIRUS STUFF — skip if you’re fed up with hearing about this (anyone missing Brexit?)

Apple and Google developed their upcoming COVID-19 contact tracing tool in record time, according to a new report from CNBC that details how the two companies came together to create the API.


The National Health Service says it will utilize its own centralised contract-tracing system, rather than deploying the exposure notification technology being developed by Apple and Google.  Let’s hope it doesn’t take a couple of years to roll out.





Australia rolls out COVID-19 tracking app with privacy concerns. Germany, meanwhile, is switching to a more private option.


Germany has changed its stance on Apple and Google’s work to create a contact tracing system for tracking and managing the spread of COVID-19, supporting a privacy-forward decentralised approach instead of using a centralised system.


French telecom company Orange says that it is still in discussions with Apple over allowing its COVID-19 contact tracing app greater access to iOS core features, potentially risking users’ privacy.


Why is video conferencing so exhausting?  Zoom fatigue is a real thing.  So it’s good I’m not doing it!!


Students taking examinations during the coronavirus lockdown say they are being subjected to remote proctoring via their webcams, and it’s creeping them out!


Boost your brainpower in lockdown.  One tip: play video games.  I got this!!


Frontline health workers in the UK are being given free access to video games by some of the biggest companies in the gaming industry, as a thank you for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative, Games for Carers, has been backed by the likes of EA, Sega, Xbox and Konami, and will see more than 85,000 games across a range of genres, ratings and platforms available to download for free.


Or . . . Trapped indoors? Brain turning to mush? Can’t bear to watch another minute of TV? We’ve got a few suggestions: modern board games well-suited to the most common quarantine scenarios of solo play, two-person gaming, and family time. Save the meetups and conventions for when the world gets back to normal; for now, play with the ones you’re locked up with.


With most contact-heavy personal services shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been hard to get a haircut. But if you live in New Hampshire, don’t you dare cut your own hair: that’s a criminal offense punishable by up to a year in prison. It’s similarly illegal to give someone else, even a family member, a shave. Why? Last year, the state’s Office of Professional Licensure raked in $13.2 million in licensing fees, and most licenses are available only after taking hundreds of hours of classes and a written examination; legislators wanted violations in licensing laws to be punished by much more than a slap on the hand. (RC/Manchester Union-Leader)

“I felt like something needed to be done because they’re moving very quickly to open beaches prematurely,” says Daniel Uhlfelder, an attorney in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., who worries that the lack of social distancing by beachgoers will spread COVID-19. His plan: dress up as the Grim Reaper and show up at open beaches around the state. To support his “Florida Grim Reaper Tour,” Uhlfelder is asking for donations — to the political campaigns of candidates running against incumbents like Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, both Republicans. A woman told Uhlfelder he was “scaring people,” and he’s fine with that. “If people are scared,” he said, “then they’ll leave.” (RC/South Florida Sun Sentinel)



Ransomware has emerged as one of the top threats facing large organisations over the past few years, with researchers reporting a more than a fourfold increase in detections last year. A recent infection by a fairly new strain called LockBit explains why: after it ransacked one company’s poorly secured network in a matter of hours, leaders had no viable choice other than to pay the ransom.


A narrowly divided US Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right to freely share the official law code of Georgia. The state claimed to own the copyright for the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and sued a nonprofit called Public.Resource.Org for publishing it online. Monday’s ruling is not only a victory for the open-government group, it’s an important precedent that will help secure the right to publish other legally significant public documents.




May 3rd is the 124th day of this leap year and is also international Sun Day and World Press Freedom Day.

Happy Birthday to:  Margaret of York (b 1446, d 1503); Golda Meir, Ukrainian-Israeli educator and politician, 4th Prime Minister of Israel (b 1898, d 1978); Bing Crosby, American singer and actor (b 1903, d 1977); Mary Astor, American actress (b 1906, d 1987); Pete Seeger, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist (b 1919, d 2014); Sugar Ray Robinson, American boxer (b 1921, d 1989); James Brown, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (b 1933, d 2006); Steven Weinberg, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b 1933); Henry Cooper, English boxer and sportscaster (b 1934, d 2011); Frankie Valli, American singer and actor (b 1934); Napoleon XIV, American singer, songwriter and record producer (b 1938); Doug Henning, Canadian magician (b 1947, d 2000); Liam Donaldson, English physician and academic (b 1949); Mary Hopkin, Welsh singer-songwriter (b 1950); Christopher Cross, American singer-songwriter and producer (b 1951); Sandi Toksvig, Danish-English comedian, author, and radio host (b 1958); Ben Elton, English actor, director, and screenwriter (b 1959).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 3rd of May:  Robert Alda, American actor (b 1914, d 1986); Christine Jorgensen, American trans woman (b 1926, d 1989); Jerzy Kosiński, Polish-American novelist and screenwriter (b 1933, d 1991); George Murphy, American actor, dancer, and politician (b 1902, d 1992); Barbara Castle, Baroness Castle of Blackburn, English politician, First Secretary of State (b 1910, d 2002); Wally Schirra, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b 1923, d 2007); Jackie Cooper, American actor, television director, producer and executive (b 1922, d 2011).

Some notable historic events that took place on May 3rd:  Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city after Congress abolishes the Board of Commissioners, the District’s founding government. The “City of Washington” is given a mayor-council form of government (1802); The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is opened; it is the first steam-hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel (1830); The Government of Ireland Act 1920 is passed, dividing Ireland into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland (1921); The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Shelley v. Kraemer that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities are legally unenforceable (1948); London’s Royal Festival Hall opens with the Festival of Britain (1951); The Off-Broadway musical comedy The Fantasticks opens in New York City’s Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time (1960); The 108-story Sears Tower in Chicago is topped out at 1,451 feet as the world’s tallest building (1973); The first unsolicited bulk commercial email (which would later become known as “spam”) is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States (1978); The sport of geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet (2000); The 3-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann disappears in Praia da Luz, Portugal, starting “the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history” (2007).

April 29, 2010: Steve Jobs pens “Thoughts on Flash,” an open letter to explain why, basically, Adobe Flash kind of sucks. The letter marks the beginning of the end for the once-omnipresent plugin that powered internet browsers for years.




You can’t visit museums in person during pandemic lockdowns, but you might not have to for one of the most prestigious institutions. The British Museum has made (via Motherboard) images of more than half its collection (4.5 million objects) available online, with 1.9 million images available through a Creative Commons 4.0 license.


Want your flowers to glow? If you’re OK with GMOs, that’s now an option.  I would so do this.


Her dance moves are red hot, her style is sizzling. But always one to fan the flames of pop culture, Britney Spears has announced that she accidentally burned down her home gym.


People say this wax museum is the worst in the world and here are 19 pictures to prove it.  It’s in Great Yarmouth by the way in case you’re looking for something to do.


Build one of humanity’s greatest achievements at home with the new International Space Station LEGO set!


Kent R.E. Whitney, 38, the pastor of the “Church for the Healthy Self,” which he started in a strip mall in Westminster, Calif., loved to tell parishioners about the church’s “investment arm,” the CHS Trust. In an era of low interest rates, Whitney “guaranteed” at least 12 percent returns, with no risk due to federal insurance. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says it was a classic Ponzi scheme, and Whitney had defrauded his mostly Vietnamese parishioners of at least $33 million. Whitney, who claimed an income of just $17,539 on his 2018 tax return, sports Rolex watches, drives a Bentley, wears Gucci, owns multiple guns, and rents “various” properties in Newport Beach. David Lee Parrish, 47, was the “co-pastor” for the church, the feds say — and had also assisted in Whitney’s previous $96 million fraud: Whitney was only out of prison for two months when he became an “ordained minister” online, and started the “church” a month later. He and Parrish continued to solicit investors even after a court ordered the CHS bank accounts seized; they were down to $4.4 milion. (RC/Orange County Register)

A postman in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, was caught up short by a large envelope marked “vital survival stuff”: the parcel from Sweden was addressed simply to “David Easson, Somewhere in Sheffield England”. Sheffield has about 600,000 residents, so it took the postie, Darrell Gilmour, a “great bit of detective work” to get it to the correct recipient, said the correct recipient, a freelance radio sports reporter. Marten Wedebrand is a listener, Easson said, who “put a rather garbled CV of mine on an envelope” — details he remembered Easson had said on the air, such as “I think his wife’s name is Helen,” and “they have a child, or a dog, or both.” The contents: six packs of Kvikk Lunsj, a popular chocolate treat similar to a Kit Kat, which was invented in North Yorkshire. Easson said it was an awful lot of fuss, considering Wedebrand “really could’ve just asked for my address.” (RC/BBC)



Chief Bottle Washer and television reviewer — Tony Crockford: support@ymug.org

Head of Department of Redundancy Department — Chris Brady: ymug@csjbrady.org.uk

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: news@ymug.org

Thanks to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest.


Join mactalk – YMUG’s official email list discussion group.

You’ll get approximately 5 or 6 emails a day and can have ‘instant’ discussions on Mac related issues.  And other stuff, we’re flexible. By the way, if you’d rather have fewer emails there is a ‘digest’ version which concatenates all the daily emails into one.

To subscribe (FREE) to the group, send a blank email to: mactalk-join@ymug.org and then confirm membership when you receive an automated reply from the group,

If you have any difficulty, please contact Tony Crockford, he’s very nice, smart too.  And I happen to know he has excellent taste in music. –  support@ymug.org

mactalk posting guidelines written by the lovely Jo can be found at: https://ymug.org/category/articles



I’ve put the list of discounts up on the intertubes: The Take Control books are always available to MUG members for 30% off by the way.

(The page below is password protected which I can provide upon request.  And don’t give the link to non-YMUG members or some of the publishers will get ever so cross about it.)




YMUG Newsletter — 2020/04/26

YMUG Newsletter — for the 26th of April, 2020 ACV (after Corona virus)

A collection of news and views, rants and raves, and some goofy stories compiled by Jerad Zimmermann, Esq.



Some of you may have heard about Apple and Google collaborating on a new ‘app’ or protocol to help develop COVID-19 contact tracing apps.  Naturally, you (being the security conscious person you are) would be concerned about your data being shared.  I heard a good explanation of how it could all work and still keep our data private. 

It was in the most recent edition of the BBC Inside Science podcast:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hgj3

Honestly, it was really clear and straightforward.  I’m going to listen to it again so that I can tell my friends and family about it all.  You can listen via your browser or download the episode (the one on the website is about 10 minutes longer than the one broadcast over the air).

And now, on with the (cough, cough) show!  Just kidding, I’m fine.  A bit bored of course but fine.



Finder is one of the oldest features of macOS. And because of that, sometimes using it can seem a bit less intuitive. Still, it’s one of the best file management systems for macOS. There are a lot of neat tricks and shortcuts for the Finder. But what do you do the file you’re looking for is not appearing? It could be just a temporary glitch or the file in question might be hidden away. Is there any way to fix that? We have solutions for both cases.


Are you the tech-support person for your family and friends? Are you the go-to nerd for fixing up iPhones, Macs and maybe even TVs 1? These days, you can’t just pay a visit to your parents to sort things out, so you’ll have to do it remotely. And if you’re all using Macs, that means screen sharing. You can do this very easily via iMessage — it’s as simple as starting a FaceTime call.


Vivaldi’s alternative browser now blocks ads and web trackers.


Choosing the right video conferencing tool for the job, an overview of 13 different options.


Apple Interface Mysteries is a new e-book, it explains exactly why and how Apple’s products—which are legendary for their easy-to-use interfaces!—have become so complicated and sometimes puzzling.  You can get the e-book with a 30% discount by following the link:


OWC has announced availability of a 4TB M.2 drive. For the first time ever, the new 4TB Aura P12 M.2 NVMe SSDs will be utilised in OWC’s Envoy Pro EX line (Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C) for 4TB of portable storage, as well as the ThunderBlade and Accelsior 4M2, which will each now offer up to 16TB of storage. 


In 2005 Apple shocked the Mac community when it announced that Macs would be moving from IBM PowerPC CPUs to Intel processors. In retrospect, it was the only way to keep Macs relevant in a red-hot PC market, even given the substantial teething troubles. Now it seems Apple may be making another shift, but when it comes to considering ARM vs Intel CPUs, what are the key differences on the horizon for Apple users?




First impressions and reviews of the new iPhone SE are now out, with many praising the device’s flagship performance at a budget-friendly price.  I’ve already decided: it’s going to be my next iPhone.  AND, I just checked . . . if I buy a new iPhone SE through the Apple website they will give me a £50 rebate for my iPhone 6s!  And I can get 0% financing for two years.  What am I waiting for?






Wondering about enabling and using iCloud Photos on iPhone and iPad? If you have a lot of photos and own multiple Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs, enabling iCloud Photos could be one of the more convenient features available to you. iCloud Photos enables the seamless and automatic syncing of all your photos and videos across all of your devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more, and it works flawlessly (most of the time anyway, but always backup your photos and important stuff separately from the cloud).


12.9-inch iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard weighs more than a 13-inch MacBook Air.  But they’re both lovely.


40+ tips to make the most out of your trackpad or mouse on iPadOS 13.4.  Sorry for all the ads but it seemed like a good list.


The best video editing apps for the IPhone


San Francisco-based cybersecurity company ZecOps says that iPhones and iPads may be vulnerable to a flaw involving the Mail app, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.  But that Apple had patched out the vulnerabilities in the latest beta version of iOS.




There appears to be a new character-linked bug in Messages, Mail, and other apps that can cause the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch to crash when receiving a specific string of characters.  In this particular case, the character string involves the Italian flag emoji along with characters in the Sindhi language, and it appears the system crash happens when an incoming notification is received with the problem-causing characters.




Owners of vintage Porsche who also love the latest and greatest tech are in for a treat, as the carmaker will now offer official CarPlay kits for their classic vehicles. It’s all the functionality you expect from CarPlay, but fits in with the retro dashboard of cars like the famous Porsche 911.  Don’t all order one at once!



CORONA VIRUS STUFF — skip if you’re fed up with hearing about this (anyone missing Brexit?)

Why we are isolating: As Ars reported recently, evidence from the 1918 flu pandemic suggests that cities with more aggressive lockdown responses had stronger economic recoveries. There’s more than one way to think about the economics of lockdowns, and a paper due to be published in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis has an entirely different approach. It accepts that lockdowns will hurt the economy compared to business-as-usual but calculates whether that cost is outweighed by the lives that will be saved by social-distancing measures. The answer is yes—by $5.2 trillion. That’s an estimate that changes based on a range of different assumptions, but it represents what the authors consider the most realistic scenario.


Apple and Google’s plan to track the spread of COVID-19 by tracing the contacts of those with confirmed cases through Bluetooth technology on their cellphones got an early blessing on Friday from the U.K.’s privacy watchdog, while the American Civil Liberties Union said it was “cautiously optimistic.”


The first version of Apple and Google’s contact-tracing API will reportedly roll out April 28, Apple CEO Tim Cook says. As noted by French language website iGeneration, Cook revealed the launch date to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who then shared it during a press conference held Wednesday.



As many as a billion mobile phone owners around the world will be unable to use the smartphone-based system proposed by Apple and Google to track whether they have come into contact with people infected with the coronavirus, industry researchers estimate.


France says limitations in iOS are delaying the development of its COVID-19 contact-tracing app.


As the new coronavirus took root across America, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent states tainted test kits in early February that were themselves seeded with the virus, federal officials have confirmed.


Wisconsin’s controversial decision to hold a primary election in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic has led to the infection of at least seven people, Milwaukee health officials say.  According to officials, six voters and one poll worker have tested positive for COVID-19. They added that more cases could emerge in the coming days. It’s also not known how many infections may have happened in other parts of the state.


The pandemic is a challenge for all of us. The economic knock-on effects of the health crisis are themselves another crisis. Many people are wildly casting about, not just for solutions, but for someone to take the blame. It’s hard to punish the SARS-CoV-2 virus, of course; whether or not one regards a virus as a living thing, it is most certainly not a legal person in any sense.  The office of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has apparently decided that, in the absence of any way to sue a virus, the next best course of action is to take to court the entire nation where the disease originated. To that end, Schmitt’s office said yesterday it had filed a lawsuit against “the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party, and other Chinese officials and institutions” for the COVID-19 pandemic.


From adults creating chlorine gas in their kitchens to toddlers guzzling hand sanitiser, Americans seem to be inadvertently poisoning themselves as they try to defend against the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Since the beginning of March—as the COVID-19 pandemic began raging in the US—calls to poison control centers nationwide “increased sharply,” according a new study led by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Fraudsters may have stolen tens of millions of euros earmarked for German COVID-19 financial aid after a province failed to properly check the identity of applicants, according to Handelsblatt. The cybercriminals used a classic phishing scheme: First, they created a copy of the official website used by the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) province to distribute coronavirus aid to businesses and self-employed folks. Then they launched an email campaign to lure users to the phoney website and steal their credentials. Finally, the scammers requested financial aid on behalf of those individuals while using their own bank accounts.


Yes, he really did: US President Donald Trump has been lambasted by the medical community after suggesting research into whether coronavirus might be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body.  And he thought checking out UV was another good idea. Gee, if that worked the sun’s rays would have killed off COVID-19 already.


But he’s not the only one: A federal court has ordered the “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing” to stop distributing a bleach product that Genesis claims is a cure for COVID-19 and many other health problems.


Telecoms engineers have told Radio 1 Newsbeat they’re being threatened and harassed by people who believe they’re working on 5G, which has been wrongly linked to coronavirus.


Corey Jurgensen, 40, donned a 7-foot (2-meter) -tall inflatable unicorn costume to jog, jump and dance around the streets near her Tampa home last week in an effort to cheer up neighbours stuck indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic, yes, there is a picture.


A Florida judge has one request for attorneys showing up for court hearings via Zoom: Get out of bed and put on some clothes!  There is a picture but not of undressed lawyers; you’ll have to Google that yourself.


A well-meaning cleaner who took the opportunity to give a locked-down library a thorough clean re-shelved all of its books – in size order.

Staff at Newmarket Library, Suffolk, discovered the sloping tomes after the building underwent a deep clean.


Peace N Peas Farm will rent Mambo, a 8-year-old miniature donkey, and his friends to crash company conference calls, The Charlotte Observer reported. This camera crowding donkey is “like a pesky little brother” that “doesn’t let anyone relax too long,” Francie Dunlap, Mambo’s owner, said.


In 2017, Elena Manighetti and Ryan Osborne decided to take the plunge many dream of – they quit their jobs, bought a boat and decided to travel around the world.  They asked their families to keep in touch, but with one rule: no bad news.  So, guess what: they knew nothing about the coronavirus outbreak until they tried to put ashore in the Caribbean.


“You can only leave your home with a reasonable excuse, and I think people really need to get educated about that,” said Albury, NSW, Australia, top cop Paul Smith. “People need to look at what is essential.” Mere hours after he said that, a man got into a car crash in nearby Lavington. In addition to a charge of driving while disqualified, the driver was given a fine for traveling for a non-essential purpose: he had told officers he was traveling to see his drug dealer. (AC/Port Macquarie News)

Like most church pastors, Scott Mowery of Immanuel Baptist Church in Butler, Mo., is doing services by streaming video online. He was delivering a sermon via Facebook Live when his wife sent him a comment: “You’ve got filters going on,” the message that popped up on his screen said. “And I’m like, what? What’s going on? I can’t see anything,” Mowery said. Indeed, Facebook was overlaying multiple comical “masks” over his face, such as cat ears, googly eyes, space helmets, and wizard hats. His wife shared the video with a pastors’ wives forum, and from there it went viral, spreading around the globe. “I’ve never had a video with even 1,000 views,” Mowery said. “And I never thought this is what I’d be known for.” (RC/WDAF Kansas City)

Frontier Lighting in Perth, W.A., Australia, joined other lighting companies to put on an outdoor light show to honor the medical workers on the front line fight against COVID-19. “They had a great big floodlight that went high into the sky and changed all different shapes and colors,” reported one caller to a radio station. But the caller wasn’t describing a “light show” — they thought they were seeing a UFO. “We shot a great big love heart into the air and yes,” said Frontier Lighting designer Jared Hawke, “it did look like the UFOs were coming. But we didn’t have anyone letting us know that people were reporting” the light show as an alien invasion. (RC/9News Australia)



April 26th is the 117th day of this leap year and is also World Intellectual Property Day.  There had to be one hadn’t there?  Sigh.

Happy Birthday to:  John James Audubon, French-American ornithologist and painter (b 1785, d. 1851); Eugène Delacroix, French painter and lithographer (b 1798, d. 1863);– Ma Rainey, American singer (b 1886, d. 1939); Anita Loos, American author, playwright, and screenwriter (b 1889, d. 1981);  Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-English philosopher and academic (b 1889, d. 1951); A. E. van Vogt, Canadian-American author (b 1912, d. 2000); Bernard Malamud, Jewish American novelist and short story writer (b 1914, d. 1986); Morris West, Australian author and playwright (b 1916, d. 1999); I. M. Pei, Chinese-American architect, designed the National Gallery of Art and Bank of China Tower (b 1917, d. 2019); Jack Douglas, English actor (b 1927, d. 2008); Carol Burnett, American actress, singer, and producer (b 1933); Duane Eddy, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b 1938); Giorgio Moroder, Italian singer-songwriter and producer (b 1940); Gary Wright, American singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and producer (b 1943); Roger Taylor, English drummer for which band? I got it wrong! (b 1960); Jet Li, Chinese-Singaporean martial artist, actor, and producer (b 1963); Susannah Harker, English actress (b 1965); Melania Trump, Slovene-American model; First Lady of the United States; wife of United States President Donald Trump (b 1970).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 26th of April:  Carl Bosch, German chemist and engineer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1874, d 1940); Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress, striptease dancer, and writer (b. 1911, d 1970); Sid James, South African-English actor (b. 1913, d 1976); Count Basie, American pianist, composer, and bandleader (b. 1904, d 1984); Broderick Crawford, American actor (b. 1911, d 1986); Lucille Ball, American model, actress, comedian, and producer (b. 1911, d 1989); Jill Dando, English journalist and television personality (b. 1961, d 1999); Hans Holzer, Austrian-American paranormal investigator and author (b. 1920, d 2009); Phoebe Snow, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1950, d 2011);Jayne Meadows, American actress (b. 1919, d 2015); Jonathan Demme, American filmmaker, producer and screenwriter (b. 1944, d 2017).

Some notable historic events that took place on April 26th:  William Shakespeare is baptised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (1564); English colonists make landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia (1607); Sybil Ludington, aged 16, rode 40 miles to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British regular forces (1777); Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, in Virginia (1865); The Duke of York weds Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey (1923); The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established (1933); Guernica, Spain, is bombed by German Luftwaffe (1937); Battle of Bautzen: Last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht (1945); SS Ideal X, the world’s first successful container ship, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas (1956); Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania (1964); A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world’s worst nuclear disaster (1986); Under international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country (2005).

How Apple went from bust to five million colourful iMacs sold. It’s the machine that saved Apple, but today as the iMac is just one part of a hugely successful product lineup, it’s easy to forget just how crucial it was. But back on April 19, 2001, Apple reminded us with the news that it had sold its five millionth iMac.




Greenhouse gas emissions are most commonly reported at the national level, which tends to make us compare nations to other nations. This makes some sense, as national policy can significantly influence emissions trends. But it’s easy to forget that borders are just lines on a map, and some lines have considerably more people inside them than others. The citizens of Luxembourg don’t ensure their country’s low carbon emissions because they’re lightyears ahead of the people of China in terms of efficiency—there are just a whole lot fewer of them.  In order to make more meaningful comparisons, you obviously have to calculate emissions per person. And when you do that, the United States really sticks out. (As does Luxembourg, by the way.) It’s not surprising that per capita emissions in the United States are much greater than in India, where millions of people still lack electricity. But why are they also much greater than in the wealthier Western nations in Europe?


Where to watch free movies online without downloading, signing up, or paying.


Reel-to-reel tapes are experiencing a resurgence of interest among audio buffs, but they are prone to degradation, which has been a topic of active research for many years. It’s well known that applying heat can often reverse the damage sufficiently to enable playback, usually by baking the tapes in an oven. Now scientists at the US Library of Congress have determined precisely why this method seems to work, presenting their findings earlier this month on the American Chemical Society’s SciMeetings online platform.


Got the following scam email this last week; I wish I had some kind of catalog to send them, it would be fun to waste their time.  Maybe I can download one from some adult toys website . . .

“Dear supplier,

I got your contact from my intricate research and also currently sourcing from other business site as well.

I am interested in placing some orders with your company and will like to review your products catalogue. I request you to provide me with your company profile , updated product catalog with sample pictures and price list.?

I am anxiously waiting for the reply with detailed price to enable me process my order. looking forward to your productive reply.”

Stuck home and missing your IKEA meatball fix? Fear not, the company has just released the recipe online so you can recreate the dish in the comfort of your own home!  And this isn’t a link to another site, the recipe is just there.  I’m printing it as we speak . . . er, as I type this.


This Millenium Falcon bottle opener / keychain is the fastest hunk of junk in your kitchen.  Is it too early to start a Christmas shopping list Tim?


The Wenger 16999 Swiss Army Knife features 87 tools for almost any situation! The perfect gift for the man who has everything. Its price tag? $9,999.99




Chief Bottle Washer and television reviewer — Tony Crockford: support@ymug.org

Head of Department of Redundancy Department — Chris Brady: ymug@csjbrady.org.uk

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: news@ymug.org

Thanks to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest.


Join mactalk – YMUG’s official email list discussion group.

You’ll get approximately 5 or 6 emails a day and can have ‘instant’ discussions on Mac related issues.  And other stuff, we’re flexible. By the way, if you’d rather have fewer emails there is a ‘digest’ version which concatenates all the daily emails into one.

To subscribe (FREE) to the group, send a blank email to: mactalk-join@ymug.org and then confirm membership when you receive an automated reply from the group,

If you have any difficulty, please contact Tony Crockford, he’s very nice, smart too.  And I happen to know he has excellent taste in music. –  support@ymug.org

mactalk posting guidelines written by the lovely Jo can be found at: https://ymug.org/category/articles



I’ve put the list of discounts up on the intertubes: The Take Control books are always available to MUG members for 30% off by the way.

(The page below is password protected which I can provide upon request.  And don’t give the link to non-YMUG members or some of the publishers will get ever so cross about it.)




YMUG Newsletter — 2020/04/19

YMUG Newsletter — for the 19th of April, 2020 ACV (after Corona virus)

A collection of news and views, rants and raves, and some goofy stories compiled by Jerad Zimmermann, Esq.



How to use Reminders on Mac, a complete user guide.  In case you’re really bored being stuck at home. 


Service Station lets you customize the Finder’s right-click contextual menu to put essential functions just a click away.  And the basic version is free on the App Store.  I’m going to try it out but haven’t had a chance yet.


It’s easy to mute notifications from the Mac Messages app as well. You can choose to mute the entire app or mute texts from individual people or groups instead. Here’s how to do it.  I once accidentally muted my wife; that didn’t go so well.


Do Wi-Fi extenders work with any router?  Read on!!


Find the best video chat app with this mega-guide.


If you’re buying a desktop with photo editing in mind, it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you go in. Not all desktops are created equal, and even if something seems like a good deal, it might be missing out on a key component to make your photo editing experience truly shine. There are four areas you need to keep an eye out for when shopping for a desktop, though depending on how often you edit photos, your needs may change.




Apple announces new iPhone SE with 4.7-inch display, A13 chip, and Touch ID, starts at $399.  It sounds good to me; I think it will be my next iPhone.






By the way, the new iPhone SE is the same size as the now discontinued iPhone 8 so the cases are the same size.  🙂

Comparing the battery life of almost every iPhone since the iPhone 6 including the new SE.


How to connect to wifi without wifi password, sometimes anyway.


YouTuber Jules Gerard managed to get Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 running on his new 2020 iPad Pro without jailbreaking the device.  Why?  Who knows?




HomePod operating system now based on tvOS instead of iOS amid rumours of smaller HomePod.



CORONA VIRUS STUFF — skip if you’re fed up with hearing about this (anyone missing Brexit?)

Princeton mathematician John Conway has died of the coronavirus. He was 82 years old. The British-born Conway spent the early part of his career at Cambridge before moving to Princeton University in the 1980s. He made contributions in various areas of mathematics but is best known for his invention of Conway’s Game of Life, a cellular automaton in which simple rules give rise to surprisingly complex behaviours. It was made famous by a 1970 Scientific American article and has had a lively community around it ever since then. (Don’t confuse it with Milton Bradley’s board game of the same name.)


The UK’s National Health Service is working with Google and Apple to develop an app to assist with the tracking of COVID-19, a system that may be the contact tracing software the two tech giants recently announced was in development.






EU to pressure Tim Cook about privacy in Apple & Google’s COVID-19 contact tracing.


And I guess it’s not going so well with the NHS after all.


Oh well, just forget the whole thing.


Apple sends letter to senators confirming privacy and security of COVID-19 App.


Apple is continuing its work to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 around the world and released a mobility data trends tool from Apple Maps, which provides insight into social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Apple has recently registered the domain name AppleCoronavirus.com, according to a WHOIS record discovered by MacRumors.


Coronavirus: 20 suspected phone mast attacks over Easter.  Sigh. 



Scammers are sending 18 million hoax emails about Covid-19 to Gmail users every day, according to Google.


What is isopropyl alcohol? Is “rubbing alcohol” or “surgical spirit” the same thing? What percentage of isopropyl do I need for electronics work or disinfecting? Can I use anything else on my electronics? And, hey, is this stuff going to catch on fire if I cause a spark?


Pubs, like other public venues, look set to stay shut for the foreseeable future. But what’s going to happen to the contents of their cellars?

Fifty million pints – give or take.


Charlotte Henderson doesn’t want to look like garbage while taking out the trash. In fact, the Aussie is treating the filthy chore like an extravagant event. Despite being in coronavirus lockdown, the Melbourne resident is getting all dolled up before doing housework, even if it means only traveling the length of her driveway.  And yes, there’s a pretty funny video.


Police in Merseyside, England, raided the Hot Water Comedy Club for holding an event in violation of pandemic shutdown orders. They got the tip from a streaming video from the club, which showed a packed audience enjoying the show. Club management says security camera video shows “about 20 officers” showed up to scatter the crowd — but no one was there: they were streaming an event from their video archive, and say the online feed was “clearly” labeled as recorded. (RC/Sky)

The Czech Republic hadn’t yet begun to relax the restrictions it had put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 when police in Lázně Bohdaneč were called out to deal with beachgoers who weren’t wearing anything. Officers told them there were certain parts of their bodies they needed to cover up: by wearing face masks. “Citizens are allowed to be without clothes in designated locations,” the police said in a statement, “but they still must cover their mouths, and only gather in appropriate numbers.” (AC/CNN)

Police in Blackburn, Lanc., England received reports of a reckless driver. Officers pursued the vehicle, but it stopped and the occupant(s) ran. “The driver fled the area, but they kindly left behind their mobile phones, a quantity of cash, and a plastic tub containing … drugs,” a police spokesman said. “We would like to remind people during this time, that running from the police is not ‘social distancing’.” (RC/Lancashire Telegraph)

Star Cinema Grills and District Theaters, of the Houston, Texas, area, bought pandemic insurance, paying $40,000 to be covered for up to $1 million in losses in the event of a pandemic, says attorney Michael Hawash, who represents the company that operates it. As we all know, a pandemic came, so Star Cinema is covered, right? Wrong, the lawyer says the insurance broker told him: the policy doesn’t list “COVID-19” as one of the diseases it covers. But Hawash is suing some Lloyds of London underwriters, arguing that COVID-19 is indeed covered: the virus itself is known as SARS-CoV-2, and the policy does list “SARS-associated coronavirus” and variations thereof. (AC/KHOU Houston)



A very comprehensive primer on mobile privacy and security


Over 500,000 Zoom accounts are being sold on the dark web and hacker forums for less than a penny each, and in some cases, given away for free. These credentials are gathered through credential stuffing attacks where threat actors attempt to login to Zoom using accounts leaked in older data breaches. The successful logins are then compiled into lists that are sold to other hackers.




April 19th is the 110th day of this leap year and is also Dutch-American Friendship Day in the United States.

Happy Birthday to:  Eliot Ness, American law enforcement agent (b 1903, d 1957); Dickie Bird, English cricketer and umpire (b 1933) and  Jayne Mansfield, American model and actress (b 1933, d 1967); Dudley Moore, English actor, comedian, and pianist (b 1935, d 2002); Michel Roux, French-English chef and author (b 1941); Alan Price, English keyboard player, singer, and composer (b 1942); Tim Curry, English actor (b 1946); Ruby Wax, British-based American comedian, actress, and screenwriter (b 1953); Sue Barker, English tennis player and journalist (b 1956); Ashley Judd, American actress and activist (b 1968); Kelly Holmes, English runner (b 1970); Kate Hudson, American actress (b 1979).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 19th of April:  Canaletto, Italian painter and etcher (b 1697, d 1768); Lord Byron, English-Scottish poet and playwright (b 1788, d 1824); Benjamin Disraeli, English journalist and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b 1804, d 1881); Charles Darwin, English biologist and theorist (b 1809, d 1882); Pierre Curie, French physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b 1859, d 1906); Konrad Adenauer, German politician, 1st Chancellor of Germany (b 1876, d 1967); Daphne du Maurier, English novelist and playwright (b 1907, d 1989); Frankie Howerd, English actor and screenwriter (b 1917, d 1992); Norris McWhirter, English author and activist co-founded the Guinness World Records (b 1925, d 2004); John Maynard Smith, English biologist and geneticist (b 1920, d 2004); J. G. Ballard, English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. (b 1930, d 2009); Elisabeth Sladen, English actress (b 1946, d 2011); Levon Helm, American singer-songwriter, drummer, guitarist, instrumentalist, and actor (b 1940, d 2012); Allan Arbus, American actor and photographer (b 1918, d 2013).

Some notable historic events that took place on April 19th:  Captain James Cook, still holding the rank of lieutenant, sights the eastern coast of what is now Australia (1770); John Adams secures the Dutch Republic’s recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, Netherlands becomes the first American embassy (1782); French physicist Augustin Fresnel signs his preliminary “Note on the Theory of Diffraction” (deposited on the following day). The document ends with what we now call the Fresnel integrals (1818); Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex (1927); Actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco (1956); Charles Manson is sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment) for conspiracy in the Tate–LaBianca murders (1971); The 51-day FBI siege of the Branch Davidian building in Waco, Texas, USA, ends when a fire breaks out. 76 Davidians, including eighteen children under the age of ten, died in the fire (1993); Oklahoma City bombing: The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, USA, is bombed, killing 168 people including 19 children under the age of six (1995).



The COBOL programming language was created in 1959 and has been widely seen as obsolete for decades. Yet there are still a fair number of software systems based on the language. The economic stresses of the coronavirus pandemic have created a surge in demand for COBOL programmers. Last week, for example, the governor of New Jersey put out a call for COBOL programmers to help fix problems with the software that runs the state’s unemployment insurance system.


What a good idea, an open source cookbook!  With one of the most hideous welcome pages I’ve ever seen.  Seriously, anyone with any kind of web design skills should contact these people.




Chief Bottle Washer and television reviewer — Tony Crockford: support@ymug.org

Head of Department of Redundancy Department — Chris Brady: ymug@csjbrady.org.uk

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: news@ymug.org

Thanks to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest.


Join mactalk – YMUG’s official email list discussion group.

You’ll get approximately 5 or 6 emails a day and can have ‘instant’ discussions on Mac related issues.  And other stuff, we’re flexible. By the way, if you’d rather have fewer emails there is a ‘digest’ version which concatenates all the daily emails into one.

To subscribe (FREE) to the group, send a blank email to: mactalk-join@ymug.org and then confirm membership when you receive an automated reply from the group,

If you have any difficulty, please contact Tony Crockford, he’s very nice, smart too.  And I happen to know he has excellent taste in music. –  support@ymug.org

mactalk posting guidelines written by the lovely Jo can be found at: https://ymug.org/category/articles



I’ve put the list of discounts up on the intertubes: The Take Control books are always available to MUG members for 30% off by the way.

(The page below is password protected which I can provide upon request.  And don’t give the link to non-YMUG members or some of the publishers will get ever so cross about it.)




YMUG Newsletter — 2020/04/12

YMUG Newsletter — for the 12th of April, 2020 ACV (after Corona virus)

A collection of news and views, rants and raves, and some goofy stories compiled by Jerad Zimmermann, Esq.



99% Invisible is a lovely podcast from America that focuses on design issues.  The host, Roman Mars, has a lovely voice and a gentle sense of humour.  This last week they covered a short history of loo roll and I found it very interesting.  And sometimes very funny.

Anyway, if you’re bored with hearing about COVID-19 and would like to try something different give 99% Invisible a try.  And if you do let me know what you think.

And now, on with the show!!



Apple releases macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Supplemental Update with FaceTime and other bug fixes.  I’ve installed it and noticed nothing different.


Some users experiencing system crashes on macOS 10.15.4, especially during large file transfers.


How to manage open apps and windows on Mac, some good basic tips here.


The five best free drawing apps for Mac


Mozilla has given Firefox’s address bar a refreshed look and a couple of updates that can make searches go faster. To start with, the browser will now enlarge the address bar whenever you want to do a search and will show the popular sites that show up when you type with larger fonts and shorter URLs.


How to import your Chrome passwords into your iCloud Keychain


Singapore has suspended the use of video-conferencing tool Zoom by its teachers, after a “very serious incident” during a home-based lesson. One mother told local media that, during her daughter’s geography lesson, obscene images appeared on screen, before two men asked girls to “flash”.  It’s been a bad week for Zoom.






Microsoft’s gamble on a Chromium-based Edge browser appears to have paid off, at least in the short term. Bleeping Computer noted that Edge is now the second most popular desktop web browser based on usage, with NetMarketShare giving the software nearly 7.6 percent of the market in March, eclipsing a declining Mozilla Firefox with almost 7.2 percent.


Though Apple’s Mac is widely considered to have less problems than its counterparts, it still comes with some common issues including security issues, according to David A Milman, CEO of RESCUECOM, a computer support company. That said, “though common problems exist with Mac, Apple does a lot to help you solve them,” he adds. ” It is easy to see why Mac problems take up the least amount of calls to RESCUECOM for computer repair.”




Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1 with fix for FaceTime bug


iPhone sound not working?  Here’s some things to try.


iPhone 11 pro diary: 28 weeks later, photographing an empty London.  Some eerie images, very interesting.




Apple Releases watchOS 6.2.1 With FaceTime Bug Fix



CORONA VIRUS STUFF — skip if you’re fed up with hearing about this (anyone missing Brexit?)

How do those Coronavirus tests work anyway?


Apple, Google team on ‘contact tracing’ smartphone software to combat spread of COVID-19


As governments around the world urge their citizens to “Stay at home, save lives,” the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is using in-game advertising to get that message in front of a younger audience of video game players. The messaging is already appearing through in-game banners in Codemasters’ Dirt Rally 2.0, which will be offered as a free PlayStation Plus title this month. Rebellion titles like Sniper Elite and Strange Brigade, meanwhile, will display the message before the start of each game. And King’s Candy Crush Saga will insert the PSA amid the usual interstitial advertising for millions of free-to-play players.


Residents of Wuhan, the Chinese city where the COVID-19 pandemic began, were free to move about Wednesday after a government-ordered lockdown was lifted, but only if they have the “green light” on their iPhone. Freedom comes with a QR code residents are required to carry on mobile devices like their iPhones – and can be restricted at any moment should the scanned code flash the wrong color.


Air pollution levels in the UK have dropped significantly in the two weeks since the country went into lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Some cities have seen nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels fall by up to 60% on the same period last year, analysis shows.


Cell tower attacks aren’t just a UK phenomenon. De Telegraaf reports that attackers committed arson or sabotage against several cell towers in the Netherlands, four of them just in the past week.


A man has been fined after he was caught speeding at 110mph on the motorway and told police he had been to London to buy bread The man was stopped by officers at about 22:40 BST on Sunday travelling to Nottingham northbound on the M1. They said he had been in the car with his two young children and claimed bread in London was £1 cheaper.


A “crazy” town has come up with a unique way to fight lockdown boredom – by mooing in unison. Every evening at 18:30 locals in Belper, Derbyshire, gather on doorsteps and lean out of bedroom windows for a two-minute cattle chorus.


Easter Bunny and tooth fairy are ‘essential workers,’ New Zealand prime minister says.


In his 1978 novel The Stand, author Stephen King wrote about a viral pandemic that decimated the world’s population. And he gets it when fans say experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak feels like stepping into one of his horror stories. “I keep having people say, ‘Gee, it’s like we’re living in a Stephen King story,’ ” he says. “And my only response to that is, ‘I’m sorry.’ “


The Australian triathlete Mirinda Carfrae lost out in a virtual race after her husband tripped and disconnected the power cable of her smart bike. Carfrae, a former triathlon world champion, was competing in the inaugural Ironman VR Pro Challenge women’s race from her home in Colorado. She was second in the race, which was broadcast live on Facebook, when disaster struck.


With coronavirus lockdowns in place, an ambulance carrying Preeti Verma, 27, of Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India, was stopped multiple times on the way to the hospital. “But they let us go after noticing my condition,” Verma said: she was in labor. Once at the hospital, “I was blessed with the twins — a boy and a girl,” Verma said “We have named them Covid [the boy] and Corona [the girl].” The parents said they may rename the twins later, but their birth names will remind them of all the hardships they overcame during the lockdown. (MS/Pune Mirror)

A grocery store in Genesee Township, Mich., called police to report a man was “walking around inside the store with his hands down his pants, and touching and pushing around shopping carts while stating that he was infected with COVID-19.” Police found the man in the parking lot, and witnesses reported he had been touching their shopping carts and telling them he was infected Jonathan David-Asher Miracle, 26, was arrested Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton charged Miracle with making a false threat of terrorism, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. (RC/Detroit News, WJRT Flint)

Eduardo Moreno, 44, a train engineer with Pacific Harbor Line at the Port of Los Angeles in southern California, was “suspicious” about the USNS Mercy, and said he thought “it had an alternate purpose related to COVID-19 or a government takeover.” He thus “spontaneously” got into a locomotive and drove it full-throttle down the track toward the white ship emblazoned with red crosses, denoting its mission as a non-commissioned U.S. Navy medical ship. It had docked in Los Angeles to provide medical care as the pandemic overwhelms area hospitals, just as the USNS Comfort was dispatched to New York. The tracks ended long before the speeding locomotive reached the ship, and the train came to rest more than 800 ft (250m) from the dock. Moreno has been charged with train wrecking, a federal felony punishable by 20 years in prison. “You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching,” Moreno told the arresting officer, who witnessed the crash and chased Moreno down as he ran from it. “I had to. People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will.” (RC/Washington Post)

In 2005, “scientists were predicting that bird flu was going to be the next major world pandemic,” says Peter May, the Scottish author of the novel Lockdown, about what a pandemic could do to society. It’s set in London, England, and it’s based on documents created a few years earlier by the U.K. and U.S. governments. May had trouble selling it: publishers found the book “extremely unrealistic and unreasonable.” But in 2020, when someone suggested he write a novel dealing with COVID-19, “I realized that I’ve kind of already done it,” he said A publisher has now bought it, and it’s available as an ebook while being printed (AC/CNN)



Some shirts hide you from cameras—but will anyone wear them? It’s theoretically possible to become invisible to cameras. But can it catch on?  Sign me up!!


Attackers can bypass fingerprint authentication with an ~80% success rate, but don’t panic, it’s hard work.




April 12th is the 103rd day of this leap year and is also National Redemption Day in Liberia and Halifax Day in North Carolina.

Happy Birthday to:  Lily Pons, French-American soprano and actress (b 1898, d 1976); Beverly Cleary, American author (b 1916, I met her and have her signature in a book); Tiny Tim, American singer and ukulele player (b 1932, d 1996); Herbie Hancock, American pianist, composer, and bandleader (b 1940); Bobby Moore, English footballer and manager (b 1941, d 1993); Tom Clancy, American historian and author (b 1947, d 2013); Dan Lauria, American actor and  David Letterman, American comedian and talk show host (b 1947); Jeremy Beadle, English television host and producer (b 1948, d 2008); Scott Turow, American lawyer and author (b 1949); David Cassidy, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b 1950, d 2017); Pat Travers, Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist (b 1954); Andy Garcia, Cuban-American actor, director, and producer (b 1956); Amy Ray, American folk-rock singer-songwriter, musician, and music producer and  Kim Bodnia, Danish actor and director (b 1965); Claire Danes, American actress (b 1979).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 12th of April:  Vsevolod the Big Nest, Grand Prince of Vladimir, who I’ve never heard of but I love his name (b 1154, d 1212); Clara Barton, American nurse and humanitarian, founded the American Red Cross (b 1821, d 1912); Franklin d Roosevelt, American lawyer and politician, 32nd President of the United States (b 1882, d 19145); Josephine Baker, French actress, activist, and humanitarian (b 1906, d 1975); Joe Louis, American boxer and wrestler (b 1914, d 1981); Abbie Hoffman, American activist, co-founded Youth International Party (b 1936, d 1989); Sugar Ray Robinson, American boxer (b 1921, d 1989).

Some notable historic events that took place on April 12th:  The Union Flag is adopted as the flag of English and Scottish ships (1606); American Revolution: With the Halifax Resolves (ah, that explains why it’s Halifax Day in North Carolina), the North Carolina Provincial Congress authorises its Congressional delegation to vote for independence from Britain (1776); Soldiers marching on the Broughton Suspension Bridge in Manchester, England, cause it to collapse (1831); American Civil War: Battle of Fort Sumter. The war begins with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina (1861); The United Kingdom annexes the Transvaal (1877); RMS Titanic was still floating, sorry, I’m a bit of a Titanic and Lusitania anorak (1912); U.S. President Franklin d Roosevelt dies in office; Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes President upon Roosevelt’s death and The U.S. Ninth Army under General William H. Simpson crosses the Elbe River astride Magdeburg, and reached Tangermünde—only 50 miles from Berlin (1945); The polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, is declared safe and effective (1955); The Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, Vostok 1 (1961); The first launch of a Space Shuttle (Columbia) takes place: The STS-1 mission (1981).



The Queen wore a “green screen” dress, and the internet is having a field day


“I’ve been a trooper for almost 10 years and I’ve had a lot of excuses when I’ve arrested people or pulled people over,” said Washington State Trooper Heather Axtman, but nothing like this. After receiving numerous calls reporting a reckless driver on Interstate 5, troopers found it and gave chase at speeds over 100 mph. Troopers could see that the “driver” behind the wheel of the fugitive vehicle was a pit bull terrier. A human was sitting next to the dog holding the wheel and, presumably, had his foot firmly planted on the accelerator. The car crashed, without injuries. Alberto Tito Alejandro, 51, was arrested on “multiple felonies,” including driving under the influence of drugs. “He admitted to our troopers that he was trying to teach his dog to drive,” Axtman said (RC/KOMO Seattle, AFP)

“This is not my expertise,” admitted Daniel Reardon, 27, a astrophysics research fellow at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Vic., Australia. “It’s just something I was working on in my spare time.” His idea was to come up with a way to actively remind people not to touch their faces, which can lead to COVID-19 infections. To do that, he designed a necklace with circuitry coupled with bracelets with strong neodymium magnets, and when the necklace detects the wrist-worn magnets, an alarm sounds. “But I had problems when I stupidly attached these magnets” to his nose, and they, “of course were attracted to each other across my nose and pinched together.” Further experiments resulted in several inside his nose — and he couldn’t get them out. He ended up in the emergency room. “I had two doctors working on me,” he said: “one doctor in each nostril.” They got the magnets out and sent Dr. Reardon on his way. (RC/CBC)



Chief Bottle Washer and television reviewer — Tony Crockford: support@ymug.org

Head of Department of Redundancy Department — Chris Brady: ymug@csjbrady.org.uk

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: news@ymug.org

Thanks to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest.


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I’ve put the list of discounts up on the intertubes: The Take Control books are always available to MUG members for 30% off by the way.

(The page below is password protected which I can provide upon request.  And don’t give the link to non-YMUG members or some of the publishers will get ever so cross about it.)