Archives for January 2017

YMUG Newsletter — 2017/01/15

YMUG Newsletter –  2017/01/15


Best Supporting Acting Secretaries:

Tony Crockford:

Chris Brady:

with help from: Anzir Boodoo and Tim Pinder.  Thanks also to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest.


Items for the newsletter . . . reviews, rants, raves, revelations and reflections to: Jerad Zimmermann, your participatory social mores editor:


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.

To subscribe (FREE) to the group, send a blank email to: 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 another thing . . . Jo Morris-Turner has taken it upon herself to write up some mactalk posting guidelines.  They sound pretty good to me and they make a lot of sense.  If you’d like to read them I’ve put them into my Dropbox public folder:



The US consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports has now given the new Macbook Pros a ‘buy’ recommendation after working with Apple and discovering that a bug and a Consumer Reports Safari setting jiggered their previous results.

Backup utility Super Duper! has been updated to macOS Sierra.

Some now hidden preferences you can change via Terminal or Tinker Tool that might help speed up your Mac.

I just grabbed Tinker Tool again (it’s been around a while but I haven’t looked at it in ages) and the guy who wrote it has some other nice software.

Someone has made an app that will deactivate your iSight camera which is probably a bit more elegant than putting tape over it.

Oh dear, Google let Adobe bundle some browser extensions into a security update for Chrome.   Tisk, tisk.

And Google has put ride sharing service Uber into Google Maps.  Convenient, true but it’s all getting far too creepy.



A week ago tomorrow the iPhone turned 10 years old.

We’ve all done it: you’ve set your iPhone down in the house somewhere . . . you would just ‘ring it’ but you set it on silent mode for some reason.  Now what?  Using Find My iPhone you can get your errant device to make a noise.  Not a lot of people know that.

Looks like the best place to get a new iPhone is Angola.  Really?  I guess that doesn’t include transport costs.

A court in the US has decided that Apple can be sued for . . . wait for it . . . monopolising the iPhone App market.  I’m so glad I don’t live there anymore.

China has decided that Pokemon GO! might be a security risk so it’s blocked for the time being.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has decided that since about 96% of Samsung Galaxy Note 7s have been returned they don’t need to post notices about they’re being verboten on planes.  I do wonder about that last 4% . . . people keeping them as collector’s items?



A personal plug here: Hidden Figures is a film (released in the UK on February 17th) about a group of black women ‘computers’ that helped launch America into space.  It’s real history with some real mathematics.  I got the book for Christmas.

The UK’s new Investigatory Powers Act is not going down well with human rights group Liberty.

Voyager 1 and 2 are carrying the oldest working computers not on earth.  They have 69.63 kilobytes of memory.

And they are running some pretty old languages, NASA has trouble replacing team members because no one knows FORTRAN any more.

The oldest working computers on earth might be the ones still used in nuclear missile silos in the US.  How’s that for scary?

Good news from El Salvador: they had a day this last week when no one was murdered.

Hungry and feeling a bit nostalgic?  How about a nice pie with the movie Tron logo but one that actually glows?

Or, if you really want to mix your metaphors: the Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody played on a century old fairground organ.

A man dressed as Darth Vader, shovelling snow while riding on a unicycle and playing flaming bagpipes?  I’m working hard here you know!


January 15th is the 15th day of the year and is Korean Alphabet Day (in North Korea, they sure know how to have a good time there eh?) and Wikipedia Day.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to:  playwright Moliere (b 1622, d 1673), child author Marjorie Fleming (b 1803, d 1811 . . . I saw her on Wikipedia’s list and was intrigued enough to look her up; compiling this list is always interesting because I frequently learn about people I’ve never heard of before), song writer Ivor Novello (b 1893, d 1951), the filthy rich Aristotle Onassis (b 1906, d 1975), father of the H-bomb Edward Teller (b 1908, d 2003), drummer Gene Krupa (b 1909, d 1973), actor Lloyd Bridges (b 1913, d 1998), historian Hugh Trevor-Roper (b 1914, d 2003), are you now being served Frank Thornton? (b 1921, d 2013), Martin Luther King Jr (b 1929, d 1968), metallurgist (?) and politician Margaret Beckett (b 1943), Princess Michael of Kent (b 1945), Strictly Claudia Winkleman (b 1972), tennis player Mary Pierce (b 1975).

Rest in peace these folks who died on January 15th:  Emma, Lady Hamilton (b 1761, d 1815), photographer Mathew Brady (b 1822, d 1896), the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz Ray Bolger (b 1904, d 1987), one of the best pop singers ever Harry Nilsson (b 1941, d 1994), billiards player Minnesota Fats (b 1913, d 1996), lovely actress Susannah York (b 1939, d 2011), the wonderful Roger Lloyd-Pack (b 1944, d 2014).

Some notable events that took place on January 15th:  Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England (1559), the British Museum opens (1759), the Pemberton Medicine Company (later renamed The Coca-Cola Company) is incorporated (1889), the first Super Bowl (US football) is played (1967), Gaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya (1970), Wikipedia goes online (2001).


“The world was gloomy before I won — there was no hope.”

— Donald Trump

“Need further proof that the fix was in from Pres. Obama on down? BUSTED: 19,252 emails from DNC leaked by WikiLeaks.”

— tweet from Rep. Mike Pompeo, July 24, 2016

“Do you think WikiLeaks is a reliable source of information?”

— Sen. Angus King, in hearing yesterday

“I do not.”

— Mike Pompeo

“All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.”

— Donald Trump

“We have 200 dresses, if not more, in stock.”

— Mae Shipe, owner of Mae’s Dress Boutique

“There’s never been less demand for inaugural ball gowns in my 38 years.”

— Peter Marx, owner of Saks Jandel


I haven’t lost my mind!  It’s just that half of it wandered off and the other half went looking for it.

Larry Harmel, 71, was arrested in Baltimore, Md., by an undercover police officer who was posing as a prostitute after he allegedly agreed to pay her for sex. The arrest led him to resign from his position — as the executive director of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association. Harmel, a 30-year state trooper and a former police department chief, was arrested at the place where he took the officer for the deed: a graveyard. An attorney for the MCoPA noted Harmel is “a long, storied, exemplary law enforcement officer and public servant who’s got an unblemished career.” (RC/Baltimore Sun)

After a derailment of a Washington D.C. Metro train, track problems were the chief suspect. Investigators started talking to the track inspectors: policy requires tracks to be inspected twice a week, but many of the track inspectors couldn’t even answer basic questions about what their jobs entailed. Their inspection reports were falsified, investigators say. About half of Metro’s inspectors and supervisors have been fired, suspended without pay, or demoted due to “years” of “a disturbing level of indifference, lack of accountability, and flagrant misconduct,” says Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld. He also noted that no one turned off power to the electric third rail when the derailed train was evacuated, as emergency procedures dictate, putting passengers and rescuers at dire risk. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 President Jackie Jeter plans to appeal the firings, since “what they’ve done is not necessarily falsification in their mind.” (RC/WTOP Washington D.C.)


A  doctor that had been seeing an 80-year-old woman for most of her life finally retired.  At her next check-up, the new  doctor  told  her to bring a list of all the medicines  that had been prescribed for  her.  As the doctor was  looking through these his eyes grew wide as  he realised Grandma had a prescription for birth control pills.

“Mrs. Smith, do you are aware these are birth control  pills?” 

“Yes, they help me sleep at night.” 

“Mrs. Smith, I assure you  there is absolutely nothing in  these that could possibly help you  sleep!” 

She  reached out and patted the young doctor’s knee and  said,  “Yes, dear, I know that.  But every morning, I  grind  one up and mix it in the glass of orange juice  that my 16-year-old  Granddaughter drinks.  And  believe me it definitely helps me sleep  at night.” 


Sign on a chain-link fence:

Is there life after death?  Trespass here and find out


A  man was riding on a full bus minding his own business when the gorgeous  woman next to him started to breast-feed her  baby. 

The baby wouldn’t take it so she said, “Come on sweetie, eat it all up or I’ll have to give it to this  nice man next to us.” 

Five minutes later the baby was still not feeding, so she said, “Come on,  honey.  Take it or I’ll give it to this nice man  here.” 

A few  minutes later the anxious man blurted  out, “Come on kid.  Make up  your mind!  I was  supposed to get off four stops ago!”


Be decisive.  Right or wrong make a decision.  The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.


(Apologies to any blondes who’ve made it this far but some of these are pretty funny. Thanks to Lesley for these by the way.  A great collection.)

Two blondes living in Oklahoma were sitting on a bench talking, and one blonde says to the other, ‘Which do you think is farther away… Florida or the moon?’

The other blonde turns and says ‘Helloooooooooo, can you see Florida ?????’


A blonde pushes her BMW into a gas station. She tells the mechanic it died. After he works on it for a few minutes, it is idling smoothly.

She says, ‘What’s the story?’

He replies, ‘Just crap in the carburettor’

She asks, ‘How often do I have to do that?’


A police officer stops a blonde for speeding and asks her very nicely if he could see her license.

She replied in a huff, ‘I wish you guys would get your act together. Just yesterday you take away my license and then today you expect me to show it to you!’


There’s this blonde out for a walk. She comes to a river and sees another blonde on the opposite bank

‘Yoo-hoo!’ she shouts, ‘How can I get to the other side?’

The second blonde looks up the river then down the river and shouts back, ‘You ARE on the other side.’


A gorgeous young redhead goes into the doctor’s office and said that her body hurt wherever she touched it.

‘Impossible!’ says the doctor.. ‘Show me.’

The redhead took her finger, pushed on her left shoulder and screamed, then she pushed her elbow and screamed even more. She pushed her knee and screamed; likewise she pushed her ankle and screamed. Everywhere she touched made her scream.

The doctor said, ‘You’re not really a redhead, are you?

‘Well, no’ she said, ‘I’m actually a blonde.’

‘I thought so,’ the doctor said, ‘Your finger is broken.’


(I love this one.)

A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting!

Realising that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, ‘PULL OVER!’

‘NO!’ the blonde yelled back, ‘IT’S A SCARF!’


A Russian, an American, and a Blonde were talking one day.

The Russian said, ‘We were the first in space!’

The American said, ‘We were the first on the moon!’

The Blonde said, ‘So what? We’re going to be the first on the sun!’

The Russian and the American looked at each other and shook their heads.

‘You can’t land on the sun, you idiot! You’ll burn up!’ said the Russian.

To which the Blonde replied, ‘We’re not stupid, you know. We’re going at night!’


A blonde was playing Trivial Pursuit one night… It was her turn. She rolled the dice and she landed on Science & Nature. Her question was, ‘If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?’

She thought for a time and then asked, ‘Is it on or off?’


A girl was visiting her blonde friend, who had acquired two new dogs, and asked her what their names were.

The blonde responded by saying that one was named Rolex and one was named Timex.

Her friend said, ‘Whoever heard of someone naming dogs like that?’

‘HELLLOOOOOOO……,’ answered the blonde. ‘They’re watch dogs’


I STILL have a cold.  Sigh.  I’m really sick of being sick now. 



YMUG Newsletter — 2017/01/08

YMUG Newsletter –  2017/01/08


Best Supporting Acting Secretaries:

Tony Crockford:

Chris Brady:

with help from: Anzir Boodoo and Tim Pinder.  Thanks also to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest.


Items for the newsletter . . . reviews, rants, raves, revelations and reflections to: Jerad Zimmermann, your participatory social mores editor:


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.

To subscribe (FREE) to the group, send a blank email to: 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 another thing . . . Jo Morris-Turner has taken it upon herself to write up some mactalk posting guidelines.  They sound pretty good to me and they make a lot of sense.  If you’d like to read them I’ve put them into my Dropbox public folder:



The Consumer Electronics Show took place this last week and the blogs were full of new products.

I didn’t know there were docking stations for Macbooks.  I bet not for my model though.  Not that I need one of course.

A ‘kiddy lock’ iPhone 7 case that stops your offspring from having access to the home button.  Why?  So they can’t accidentally see those pictures you took for your boy friend?

A 256 GB memory stick.  It costs a lot though, I’d just get a portable hard drive.

Oh wait!  Here’s a 2 TB memory stick.  Guess the price.

One I’m kind of excited for: the NVIDIA folks are going to introduce a cloud-based, streaming service which essentially lets you ‘rent’ a high powered graphics card in the sky.  This is very interesting for gamers.

Some lovely covers for your Apple devices including some fab clear ones from Speck who made the Macbook cover I’ve been using for a couple of years.

This could be useful: an Apple Watch band that contains a blood alcohol content monitor.

A triple monitor laptop.  That’s gotta be hard on the battery.

Another useful item: an iPhone 7 case that adds a headphone jack.

Rats, Christmas is over so it’s too late for me to get a smart toaster or coffee maker.

Jealous of all your friends and their ‘smart’ kitchen appliances?  Well, you’re in luck: you can now make your dumb refrigerator smart.

One remote to rule them all!  A universal smart device controller.

A smart hair brush.  Sigh.  That’s enough new products.



Oops, Apple mucked up Preview’s ability to safely edit PDFs in macOS Sierra.  Not good.  Hopefully they’ll get that fixed soon.

An article I’m going to read carefully as soon as I finish the newsletter: a guide to Keychain.  (Thanks Brendan, that’s a really good ‘un.)

How to use macOS Sierra’s Storage Management system to find what apps (and other things) are taking up space on your Mac.

Reminders of how to do SMC and NVRAM resets.  It can help with some hardware issues like your Mac not wanting to shut down.

Some BT customers had trouble getting online last Tuesday.  Your humble narrator was not affected.  My son would have had a hissy fit so I would have heard about it.

The mighty Internet Explorer was replaced with . . . uh . . . I can’t remember . . .  for Windows 10 and is dropping market share rapidly.  So, what other browsers are taking up the slack?

We love our Macbooks but one man involved in the recent shootings in Fort Lauderdale has a reason for loving his a lot even though he’s going to have to get a new one.



Three-quarters of iOS devices that can run iOS 10 are running iOS 10.  I should reword that.

Some ‘new’ board game conversions for iPad.  I know, that sounds a bit weird.  But the article also has links to other classic board game conversions so I thought you might be interested.  (Sadly Scrabble is not available in the UK.  I wonder why?  And how do you play Scrabble on an iPad anyway?)

Apple says customers paid over $240 million for apps on New Year’s Day alone.  They’re going to have to keep making hardware just so they can make more money selling apps.

Maybe you don’t need this article but I bet you know someone who does: how to export photos from an iPhone to Windows.



Need to relax more?  Check out this video narrated by a Dalek.  Don’t be so dismissive, have you tried it yet?  Well, don’t you think you shouldn’t prejudge?  What did you tell your kids when they decided they didn’t like some food without having tried it?

Someone has launched a kickstart campaign to create notepads using the classic Mac font.  I’ll pass.

Norway is going to shut down its national FM radio network and go completely digital.

China gets Apple to pull the New York Times app from their regional app store.  Maybe they should just drop their whole app store?

Gunshot wounds are contagious?  Really?  Well, you can make a mathematical model in which that’s a fair interpretation.  Sort of.

Very brief bits of just about every animated Disney film you’ll ever remember.  It’s lovely really.

So far, only animated characters can be ‘official’ Disney Princesses.  Sind the death of Carrie Fisher some of her fans want Disney to change their rules.  Well, she will only be computer generated from now on.


January 8th is the 8th day of the year and is International Typing Day which I am honouring by ‘doing it’.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to:  General James Longstreet (ask Jo if you don’t know who he is, b 1821, d 1904), naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (b 1823, d 1913), author Wilkie Collins (b 1824, d 1889), author Dennis Wheatley (b 1897, d 1977), actor Jose Ferrer (b 1912, d 1992), actor Ron Moody (b 1924, d 2015), the wonderful actor Roy Kinnear (b 1934, d 1988), some guy named Elvis Presley (b 1935, d 1977), Shirley Bassey (b 1937), Monty Python Graham Chapman (b 1941, d 1989), Stephen Hawking (b 1942), David Bowie (b 1947, d 2016), formerly of The Hollies Terry Sylvester (b 1947), film director John McTiernan (b 1951).  Wow, them’s some talented folks eh?

Rest in peace these folks who died on January 8th:  the stupendous Galileo Galilei (b 1564, d 1642), composer Arcangelo Corelli (b 1653, d 1713), inventor of the cotton gin (we had to memorise that when I was a papoose) Eli Whitney (b 1765, d 1825), Robert Baden-Powell (b 1857, d 1941), Terry-Thomas (b 1911, d 1990), Pierre Mitterrand (b 1916, d 1996 . . . Another person whose birth year and death year have the same last digit . . . Interesting), Lily in The Munsters Yvonne De Carlo (b 1922, d 2007, my first boyhood crush, sigh).

Some notable events that took place on January 8th:  Alfred the Great opens up a can of whoop-ass on the Danelaw Vikings (871), the last execution for blasphemy in England (1697), Bonny Prince Charlie occupies Stirling, has a haggis, banishes some bag pipers (1746), George Washington delivers the first US State of the Union address (1790), future president Andrew Jackson gives ‘dem Brits a proper shellacking in the war of 1812 (1815), the US national debt is zero for the only time (1830), food rationing is adapted in Britain (1940), the Watergate trials begin (1973), British Midlands flight 92 crashes into (or onto?) the M1 (1989), the largest ocean liner ever built, the Queen Mary II is launched (2004).


“It is time for us to come together as one united people.”

— Donald Trump, November 9th

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what do do. Love!”

— Donald Trump, December 31st

“You know what? The fact of the matter is that when he tweets, he gets results…With all due respect, I think it freaks the mainstream media out that he has this following of over 45-plus million people that follow him on social media — that he can have a direct conversation. He doesn’t have to have it funnelled through the media…There’s a new sheriff in town.”

— incoming WH press secretary Sean Spicer, on Trump’s intention to keep using Twitter to make major announcements

“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tix to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary; nothing. I want the people!”

— Donald Trump

“This is not Woodstock.”

— Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, on the difficulty of booking high-profile performers for the event

“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

— Trump team on CIA report that Russia intervened in election to help him, 9-19-16

“It could also be China; it could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. You don’t know who broke into the DNC.”

— Trump during first debate, 9-26-16


— Trump on CIA conclusion that hacking was intended to help him, 12-11-16

“The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russioan hacking’…”

— Trump, 1-3-17

“The media likes to make it look like I am against ‘Intelligence,’ when in fact I am a big fan!”

— Trump, 1-5-17

(After which some clever commentator said: I don’t think the feeling is mutual.)


From a Quara thread about ridiculous reasons for being fired from a job.

“I was fired for wasting company time (about 90 minutes every Friday afternoon) making system backups on a department computer system! It was the last straw as far as they were concerned. So, out the door I went.  Needless to say, I had seen the handwriting on the wall and had already applied for a job across town.

Some few weeks later, I got a panicked phone call, “You made backups, right?” 

I replied, “Weekly.”

“Where did you put them?”

I responded, “I gave them to [my former manager] as I left the company.”

Silence on the other end.


I think we should train illegal immigrants to be guards at the British Museum.  Most of that stuff is theirs anyway.


An Englishman, a Welshman and a Pakistani man were sat in the waiting room of the maternity ward at the local hospital.

A nurse comes out and says to the men “I’m sorry, but there’s a been a mix-up and we don’t know which baby belongs to which mother. Any chance one of you could come in and see if you can help?”

The Englishman stands up and says that he’ll help. He walks into the ward and, a couple of minutes later walks out with what is obviously a Pakistani baby.

The Pakistani man stands up and shouts “What do you think you’re doing?!”

And the Englishman said “Look, one of those babies in there is Welsh, and I’m not taking any chances.”


From another Quora thread about teaching kids to be disciplined.

A friend of mine had two kids: a son who was a freshman in high school and a younger daughter.  Every morning she would make them both lunches for them to take to school. Day after day her son repeatedly forgot his lunch, left it on the kitchen counter and ran out to catch the bus in front of their house. 

One morning after he ran out the door his mom spotted the lunch on the counter and decided to do something about it. As the bus pulled up to the front of their house, she came running out of the house in her pyjamas, bathrobe, fuzzy slippers and hair in curlers while waving his lunch in the air and shouting, “ERIC! ERIC!! HONEY, YOU FORGOT YOUR LUNCH! HERE IT IS!!”. 

Needless to say, he was mortified but he never forgot his lunch again.


A man asked an American Indian what his wife’s name was.

He replied, “She is called Five Horses”. 

The man said, “That’s an unusual name, what does it mean?” 

The Old Indian answered, “It old Indian Name. It mean . . .NAG, NAG, NAG, NAG, NAG!”


(I think I’ve used this before but someone sent it to me and it made me smile.)

A blonde wanted to go ice fishing. She’d seen many books on the  subject, and  finally getting all the necessary tools together, she made for the  ice.  After positioning her comfy footstool, she started to make a  circular cut  in the ice.

From the sky, a voice  boomed, “THERE  ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!”

Startled,  the blonde moved further down the ice, poured a thermos  of cappuccino,  and began to cut yet another hole.

Again from the heavens the voice bellowed, “THERE  ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!”

The blonde, now worried, moved away, clear down to the opposite end of the  ice. She set up her stool once more and tried again to cut achole.

The voice came once more,  “THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!”

She stopped, looked skyward! and said, “IS  THAT YOU LORD?”



A man returns home after a long day looking very haggard.  His wife asks him how the conference in Glasgow went.

“It was fine,” he said, “I met up with George Axehandle who I used to work with.  We caught the same train afterwards.  But when the conductor came around I couldn’t find my ticket.  I checked every pocket three times but in the end I had to pay for another ticket and that was hideously expensive.  But I’ll claim it back from expenses.”

His wife said: “I’m glad you got through that!  I’ve had a problem all day: do you know where our car is?”


Getting over my second bad cold of the Holiday season.  Must remember to get my flu shot soon.  Oh, by the way, one of the funniest things I’ve seen on TV for a long time, Peter Pan Gone Wrong, is still available on iPlayer ’til this evening.  Enjoy!



YMUG Newsletter — 2017/01/01

YMUG Newsletter –  2017/01/01


Best Supporting Acting Secretaries:

Tony Crockford:

Chris Brady:

with help from: Anzir Boodoo and Tim Pinder.  Thanks also to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest.


Items for the newsletter . . . reviews, rants, raves, revelations and reflections to: Jerad Zimmermann, your participatory social mores editor:


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.

To subscribe (FREE) to the group, send a blank email to: 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 another thing . . . Jo Morris-Turner has taken it upon herself to write up some mactalk posting guidelines.  They sound pretty good to me and they make a lot of sense.  If you’d like to read them I’ve put them into my Dropbox public folder:



Consumer Reports is an American product testing agency (not affiliated with the government) and, for the first time ever, they did not recommend that people buy a new Macbook.  Primarily over battery life.  But Apple and some commentators are finding their results confusing.

Did you know you can now use the Photos app online?  It’s all part of  I know, I really should schedule a meeting so I can help clear up what that means.  I’m feeling a bit stuffy and hung-over this morning (we went over to some friends’ house to welcome in the new year last night) and the *&@# dog wanted to go out at 6:30 this morning so I’ll let someone else decide on where and when.  Deal?

Apple’s Maps app now support a lot of the UK public transit systems.

A very good alternative to TimeMachine is Carbon Copy Cloner and it’s been around for a while so it’s been tried and tested.

HandBrake is a lovely video player and converter and it’s been around for about 13 years.  And it’s finally out of its Beta phase!!

Could this be the future of two-factor computer security?  A USB key?  It’s kind of like a dongle that you use to unlock your accounts.  “But what if it’s stolen?” you might ask.  It still requires a password.

This article covers some good topics (different kind of user accounts on a Mac, partitioning a hard drive, etc) but there are a lot of intrusive ads.  Sorry.



Those wild and crazy folks at iFixit have published an article listing the most and least repairable smart phones they took apart in 2016.

And, of course, they also took apart the new Apple AirPods.  I’d love to work for them.

Speaking of the new AirPods, they sound pretty robust!  They’re fairly water and shock resistant.  I would be happy to volunteer my time to test out a pair for the good of YMUGers everywhere.  Who’s in charge of the coffers now?

Is anyone surprised at the new research which suggests that many of ‘us’ might ‘accidentally’ break our iPhones when a new model is released?  It takes me a year just to get used to a new model, no way am I going to want to upgrade more than once every four years or so.

It turns out the new iOS facebook app will help you to find free wi-fi spots.  But, as the article notes, “[w]hen you use this feature, your location history is saved and it allows Facebook to track your precise location history.”  Still it might be handy someday.



Looking for something to do before going back to work or whatever?  What not try the BBC’s really, really hard cheese quiz.  I published this on facebook and a bunch of English folks had a go but, so far, no Americans.  You guys, what are you like?

Some people think that NASA is manipulating the cameras on the International Space Station so we don’t catch site of alien spacecraft or the big hole at the North Pole.

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, a politician wants new computers sold with a porn block installed which you would have to pay $20 to have it removed.  I guess freedom of speech, etc ain’t such a big deal in them parts.

In Texas a couple are suing Apple because their daughter was killed in a car accident where the driver of the other car was using FaceTime.  They say Apple could have made the application safer.  Only in America.

This paper airplane gun is going on my wish list for next Christmas.


January 1st is the 1st day of the new year and was not considered the start of the new year in England until 1752 (before that the year was considered to start on March 25th, not a lot of people know that).  January 1st is also Bloody Mary (the cocktail) Day in the US, Jump-up Day in Monserrat and is Polar Bear Swim Day in the US and Canada.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to:  Paul Revere (b 1735, d 1818), Betsy Ross (b 1752, d 1836), EM Forster (b 1879, d 1970), J Edgar Hoover (b 1895, d 1972), Kim Philby (b 1912, d 1988), Carole Landis (b 1919, d 1948), JD Salinger (b 1919, d 2010), Larry King (b 1929, d 2012), actor Frank Langella (b 1938, he’s quite good if you’ve not seen him), singer Country Joe McDonald (b 1942, “And it’s one, two, three what are we fighting for?”), Don Novello aka Father Guido Sarducci (b 1943), news presenter Fiona Phillips (b 1961). 

Rest in peace these folks who died on January 1st:  mathematician Johann Bernoulli (b 1667, d 1748), JC Bach (b 1735, d 1782), singer Hank Williams (b 1923, d 1953), Maurice Chevalier (b 1888, d 1972), actor Victor Buono (b 1938, d 1982), blues fan Alexis Korner (b 1928, d 1984), amazing Grace Hopper (b 1906, d 1992), cinematographer extraordinaire Vilmos Zsigmond (b 1930, d 2016).

Some notable events that took place on January 1st:  the first traveller’s cheques go on sale in London (1772), the first edition of The Times of London (previously The Daily Universal Register) is published (1788), the legislative union of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland is completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801), Haiti becomes the second independent country in North America (1804), the UK claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (1833), Queen Victoria is declared Empress of India (1877), the Commonwealth of Australia is founded (1901), Nazi Germany passes the “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring” (1934), the European Economic Community is established (1958), Fidel Castro takes charge in Cuba (1959), Denmark, Ireland and the UK are admitted into the EEC (1973), the first British mobile phone call is made (1985), the World Trade Organisation comes into effect (1995), the Euro is introduced in eleven countries (1999).


“Obama has skipped over 50% of his intel briefings.”

— Trump, in a false claim, Sept. 12, 2012

“Fact — Obama does not read his intelligence briefings nor does he get briefed in person by the CIA or DOD.”

— Trump, in a false claim, Sept. 30, 2014

“Obama has missed 58% of his intelligence briefings.”

— Trump, in a false claim, Oct. 6, 2014

“I am, like, a smart person.”

— Trump, explaining why he skips most of his intelligence briefings, Dec. 11, 2016

“I have an absolute way of defeating ISIS.”

— Trump, during the campaign

“ISIS will be gone if I am president. And they’ll be gone quickly.”

— Trump, during the campaign

“I know more about ISIS than the generals do.”

— Trump, during the campaign

“All I can tell you, it is a foolproof way of winning.”

— Trump, during the campaign

“I don’t think they have a strategy. I think that what they know, which is important, is that they are going to need a strategy.”

— adviser Newt Gingrich, on Trump and transition team’s plan for defeating ISIS

“[The CIA. FBI and the Director of National Intelligence have reached a] strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.”

— CIA Director John Brennan memo

“Where is the evidence? [They should turn] over evidence to we, the American people.”

— Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway

“They should stand in front of a camera and make the case.”

— RNC chair Reince Priebus

“[Intelligence agencies] are talking to the media. That undermines our national security, our intelligence operations.”

— Kellyanne Conway

“In the little time that’s left to me — and I hope it will be months rather than years — I just cling to the hope that the world doesn’t turn upside down again as it did then, though there have been some ghastly developments, haven’t there? I’m relieved I never had any children that I have to worry about.”

— Brunhilde Pomsel, secretary to Joseph Goebbels

Police in Gainesville, Fla., are pretty sure they have the right person in custody in a shooting case. Kendra J. McNish, 24, is charged with shooting into a dwelling and aggravated stalking after doing a “Facebook Live” video showing her following her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, threatening to harm the woman, and then shooting into her apartment. The entire sequence was broadcast on Facebook. McNish, whose job is shown as “stylist” on her arrest report, was confronted by police at a cosmetology school. She said she knew nothing of any shooting — but then said “This situation is funny,” and asked for a lawyer. (RC/Gainesville Sun)

A 14-year-old student at Woodland Hills High School in Churchill, Pa., was able to record his principal making threats against him on the phone. “I’ll punch you right in your face, dude,” Kevin Murray allegedly told the special-education student. “I’ll knock your [expletive] teeth down your throat.” And if the boy tried to call the police on him, that will fail, he warned. “When we go down to court, it’s your word versus mine. And mine wins every time.” District superintendent Alan Johnson admitted “The audio may be alarming and embarrassing, but it is worthless as an evidentiary item.” — the principal cannot be charged with a crime. He has still been suspended, but the boy has been charged with violating the state’s “wiretap” law for recording school officials without permission. He did so because his mother didn’t believe the principal was threatening him, and he wanted proof. The family has pulled the boy out of school, and retained an attorney to defend him against the criminal charges. (RC/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Shortly before Christmas, store security officers at a Walmart in Port St. Lucie, Fla., were watching as a man loitered around the exit with merchandise he hadn’t paid for. He was pretty hard to miss: the merchandise was a 58-inch television set, loaded into a shopping cart. The man made a break for it, but security was ready. To evade security, the man actually ran back into the store in a bid to escape. It didn’t help: the store was crawling with police — the store’s “Shop with a Cop” charity event was in full swing. “Several” St. Lucie County sheriffs deputies ran after him, and arrested James Walsh for grand theft, “resisting a merchant,” and resisting an officer without violence. (RC/WPEC West Palm Beach)

Shawna Blackmon, 28, was scheduled to meet Daiwon McPherson, 33, for dinner and drinks. When he didn’t show and didn’t answer his phone, she knew something was up. She reached out to McPherson’s biker community, who told her that he was being chased by the Mobile, Ala., police — and had a gun. Blackmon found McPherson at a nearby gas station, surrounded by police cars with flashing lights, and multiple officers. She approached the officers and said she was going to get her boyfriend’s gun. McPherson dug through his pockets and, instead of a gun, pulled out a ring and proposed to Blackmon — the entire scenario had been arranged by McPherson in cooperation with the police. “I really wanted to bring the bike life and the police together,” he said. “I can’t believe I actually pulled this off.” Blackmon believed the made-up scenario because McPherson had been previously arrested for running from police. “Friday is bike night [so] it was believable,” she said. (MS/Birmingham News)

The program for the Catholic Joy to the World Festival at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre in Colombo, Sri Lanka, included the lyrics of “Hail Mary” — on which those who had gathered to celebrate Christmas were invited to reflect: “Mama told me never stop until I bust a nut / (Something Mary never did) the world if they can’t adjust, it’s just as well, Hail Mary.” If that doesn’t sound like the Hail Mary you know, that’s because it’s not. Instead of the 15th-century text sung in Latin by innumerable classically trained singers, someone accidentally instead printed the lyrics for the 20th-century rap “Hail Mary” by Tupac Shakur. (AC/London Independent)


Quotes from Carrie Fisher:

“Remember the white dress I wore all through that film? George came up to me the first day of filming, took one look at the dress and said: ‘You can’t wear a bra under that dress.’

‘OK, I’ll bite,’ I said. ‘Why?’

And he said: ‘Because … there’s no underwear in space.’

He said it with such conviction. Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn’t see any bras or panties anywhere.

He explained. ‘You go into space and you become weightless. Then your body expands but your bra doesn’t, so you get strangled by your own underwear.’

I think that this would make for a fantastic obituary. I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”

[On merchandising for Star Wars] “I signed my likeness away. Every time I look in the mirror, I have to send Lucas a couple of bucks.”

“I think of my body as a side effect of my mind.”

[on the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney] “I’m now a Disney Princess!”

“Even in space, there’s a double standard.” [On why Princess Leia never got her own light sabre]

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

“They always do [ask me to lose weight]. They want to hire part of me, not all of me. They want to hire about three-fourths, so I have to get rid of the fourth somehow. The fourth can’t be with me. I made a joke!”


The Teacher asked young Patrick Murphy: “What do you do at Christmas time?”

Patrick addressed the class: “Well Ms. Jones, me and my twelve brothers and sisters go to midnight mass and we sing hymns; then we come home very late and we put mince pies by the back door and hang up our stockings. Then all excited, we go to bed and wait for Father Christmas to come with all our toys.”


“Very nice Patrick,” she said. “Now Jimmy Brown, what do you do at Christmas?” 

“Well, Ms. Jones, me and my sister also go to church with Mom and Dad and we sing carols and we get home ever so late. We put cookies and milk by the chimney and we hang up our stockings. We hardly sleep, waiting for Santa Claus to bring our presents.”


Realising there was a Jewish boy in the class and not wanting to leave him out of the discussion, she asked, “Now, Isaac Cohen, what do you do at Christmas?”

Isaac said, “Well, it’s the same thing every year .. . Dad comes home from the office, we all pile into the Rolls Royce; then we drive to Dad’s toy factory. When we get inside, we look at all the empty shelves . . . and begin to sing: ‘What A Friend We Have in Jesus’. Then we all go to the Bahamas.”


Terry Wogan — “Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually, I do. I’ve seen the rehearsals.” (Commenting on the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007)

Alan Rickman — “I do feel more myself in America. I can regress there, and they have roller-coaster parks.”

Victoria Wood — “I once found myself in bed with a man who was a real do-it-yourself enthusiast … he ripped off all his clothes and said ‘What would you like me to do?’ I said, ‘Well, really I’d like you to fix my overflow and re-point my brickwork.’”

Victoria Wood — “I looked up the symptoms of pregnancy … moody, irritable, big bosoms … I’ve obviously been pregnant for thirty-six years.”


DARWIN POST ….. Woman saves herself in Crocodile attack using a small Walking Stick.

This is a story of self-control and marksmanship by a brave, cool-headed woman with a walking stick against a fierce predator.

Here is her story in her own words:

“While out walking along the edge of a creek just outside of our house in Darwin, with my soon to be ex-husband discussing our property settlement, kids and other divorce issues, we were surprised by a huge 5 metre crocodile which suddenly emerged from the murky water and began charging at us very fast with its large jaws wide open. The Croc must have been protecting her young and her home because she was extremely aggressive.

If I had not had my little $5 charity shop walking stick with me, I would not be here today!

Just one hard whack to my estranged husband’s knee cap was all it took….The’ Croc got him easily and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace.

The amount I saved in lawyer’s fees was really incredible and I got the lot.”


David Bowie — “I reinvented my image so many times that I’m in denial that I was originally an overweight Korean woman.”

David Bowie — “I’m looking for backing for an unauthorised autobiography that I am writing. Hopefully, this will sell in such huge numbers that I will be able to sue myself for an extraordinary amount of money and finance the film version in which I will play everybody.”

Kate Bush — “David Bowie had everything. He was intelligent, imaginative, brave, charismatic, cool, sexy and truly inspirational both visually and musically. He created such staggeringly brilliant work, yes, but so much of it and it was so good. There are great people who make great work but who else has left a mark like his? No one like him. I’m struck by how the whole country has been flung into mourning and shock. Shock, because someone who had already transcended into immortality could actually die. He was ours. Wonderfully eccentric in a way that only an Englishman could be. Whatever journey his beautiful soul is now on, I hope he can somehow feel how much we all miss him.”


(One of the best jokes ever.  I heard the first part years ago from a friend at university but I’ve only just heard part two.)

After Quasimodo’s death, the bishop of the Cathedral of Notre Dame sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bell ringer was needed.

The bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews personally and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process.

After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills, he had decided to call it a day.

Just then, an armless man approached him and announced that he was there to apply for the bell ringer’s job. The bishop was incredulous.

‘You have no arms !’

‘No matter,’ said the man. ‘Observe !’

And he began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carillon. The bishop listened in astonishment; convinced he had finally found a replacement for Quasimodo.

But suddenly, as he rushed forward to strike the bell, the armless man tripped and plunged headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street below.

The stunned bishop rushed down two hundred and ninety five church steps, when he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moment before.

As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked,

‘Bishop, who was this man ?’..

‘I don’t know his name,’ the bishop sadly replied, ‘but his face sure rings a bell.”

The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist, the bishop continued his interviews for the bell ringer of Notre Dame.

The first man to approach him said, ‘Your Excellency, I am the brother of the poor armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday.  I pray that you honour his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty.’

The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, and, as the armless man’s brother stooped to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest, twirled around, and died on the spot.

Two monks, hearing the bishop’s cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side.

‘What has happened? Who is this man?’ the first monk asked breathlessly.

‘I don’t know his name,’ sighed the distraught bishop, ‘but.he’s a dead ringer for his brother.”


Well, I’ve been having a very relaxing and lazy Holiday season.  Not doing much and thoroughly enjoying it!  I hope y’all had a great two weeks since last I spoke at you.  Now I’m off to nurse my new year’s hangover and cold.  Talk to you next week.