YMUG Newsletter — 2020/04/05

YMUG Newsletter — for the 5th 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 might have listened to the podcast Thirteen Minutes to the Moon which was produced by the BBC last year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon.  It was fascinating and even gripping at moments.

Well, there is now a season two . . . which isn’t about landing on the moon at all.  But I think it’s much more exciting and interesting.  It’s about the near disastrous Apollo 13 flight.  I knew about the mission of course and really loved the film with Tom Hanks.  But the podcast is really deepening my knowledge about what happened and how the flight control team and the astronauts themselves dealt with the problems.  Even how and why the spacecraft was damaged which was news to me.

So a big thumbs up from me for Thirteen Minutes to the Moon, season two.



Here’s another review of the new Macbook Air:


For me the latest (and greatest?) Macbook Air and iPad Pro have made me wonder if I really need a beefy and powerful computer?  If I was going to ‘downsize’ then what to pick?


Something that might be of interest: how to screen share and remote control iPhone, iPad, Mac to help colleagues, friends, and family.


Apple today updated Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, its iWork apps designed for the Mac, to version 10.0 with a new set of features. The updates add support for iCloud Folder Sharing for collaborative files with macOS 10.15.4 installed, plus there are options to edit shared documents offline.


Apple Configurator 2 has been updated to version 2.12 with several improvements, including support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro.


Have I already mentioned this? Plugable 2.5 Gigabit USB Ethernet Adapter offers easy way to upgrade to faster wired connection speeds.


“There are a number of software tools available that will let you sharpen images. You can sharpen images with desktop softwares like Photoshop, GIMP, Paint,  a mobile app, or an online tool. The results largely depend on the tool you use and how blurry your image is.”  I’d be interested in any comments from the photographers in YMUG regarding the advice in this article.


For those of you discussing Zoom in mactalk this week: Video conferencing app Zoom has removed controversial code that shared user data to Facebook — even when those users didn’t have a Facebook account. Zoom insists the data collected did not include personal information, but rather anonymous information about a user’s device. It has apologised for the “oversight” and made changes to the Facebook login process to prevent it.


But . . . Zoom does not use end-to-end encryption.  Is that a big thing?  It depends I suppose.  Oh, by the way, there were two security holes in the Mac version which the company has now mended.



Microsoft wants you to think about its Office 365 subscription service in a whole new light. So on April 21st, the company is renaming the service to “Microsoft 365,” as it adds more AI and cloud-powered tools to make you more productive.  I am a subscriber and, I have to say, it’s good value for money.


Microsoft Edge is becoming the browser you didn’t know you needed, collections, vertical tabs, and immersive reader are particularly compelling.




How to use iCloud Keychain on iPhone & iPad  If you’re not already using Keychain or some other password manager I can highly recommend it!


Apple updates iMovie and iWork Apps for iOS with trackpad and mouse support.


How to use an ethernet connection with iPad over USB-C or Lightning.


Apple has been improving its Notes app each year, and the ability to scan documents within the app in iOS is better than ever.  Try it, it works pretty well.


iCloud Folder Sharing was first announced as a feature of iOS 13. Apple then pulled the feature back in order to work out some bugs. iOS 13.4 brought the feature back, so here’s how to use it across iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.


How to record a FaceTime call.


A video from iFixit showing a teardown of the new iPad Pro and an article by Ars Technica. 



Let’s face it, most smartphones are filthy! Studies show that the average smartphone is seven times dirtier than your toilet. YUCK! Especially in this time of concern about spreading viruses, don’t you want to know that your phone is clean? We have the UV Sanitizer — which kills 99.9% of germs in 15 minutes or less.  Yes, this does remind me of parts of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.


Don’t try this at home: Skeptical about how water-resistant modern iPhones are? Try telling that to the woman who discovered her iPhone in the Thames in London two months after she dropped Still in working order.


Planet Computers is continuing to build very unique physical keyboard smartphones with the launch of its latest flagship, the crowdfunded Astro Slide. It’s a phone with surprisingly robust specs, but the key trick is that it can be used either as a standard 6.53-inch touchscreen smartphone or as a PDA, thanks to the “RockUp” slide hinge mechanism.  I’ve got to admit, I kind of like it!!




One of the most surprising effects of having my wife working from home and my son not working and doing his York College coursework in his room is my almost complete lack of personal space.  I’m a pretty chill person but it’s starting to wear on me.  One good thing about having a border collie puppy is being able to go out for long walks with him.  I’m cheating a bit, I go out more than once a day, but I am getting upwards of five miles of walking which is very good for me and gives me some time not listening to other people moaning.

I found this really interesting for historical reasons: For the past two weeks, since the lockdown restrictions began, BBC news presenter Sophie Raworth has been running to work at lunchtime to present the BBC News at Six and Ten, taking pictures as she passes some well-known landmarks. Here she describes what it is like to commute through the now deserted streets of the capital.


Britain’s big telecoms providers have agreed to lift the data caps on all fixed-line broadband services to help people isolated at home following the coronavirus epidemic, reports Reuters. The companies, which include BT, Virgin Media, Sky, O2, Vodafone, Three, and TalkTalk, committed to support and protect vulnerable customers during the pandemic following talks with the government and telecoms regulator Ofcom.


Apple added a special section in Apple Podcasts called COVID-19: Essential Listening. It features podcasts to keep you informed of the latest news and updates surrounding the coronavirus. You can find it by opening the Podcasts app and tapping the Browse tab at the bottom.


The US government is allegedly attempting to track the coronavirus pandemic by taking advantage of geolocation data generated by online advertising shown on iPhones and other smartphones, intending to learn how the virus is spreading throughout the country.


A new University of California at San Francisco initiative will give you a way to help advance our understanding of the coronavirus pandemic, even if you’re not a scientist or a medical professional. The COVID-19 Citizen Science project welcomes contributions from anyone over 18, so long as they have a phone and can download its app.


Do masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19?


Before they publicly acknowledged the severity of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government sent instructions to two Chinese real estate development companies in Australia. The order: buy up all of the medical “personal protective equipment” they can and immediately ship them to China. Greenland Group bragged in their newsletter about shipping over 3 million masks, 700,000 protective gowns, and 500,000 pairs of gloves. Risland Australia bragged on LinkedIn that a “chartered plane with 90 tons of medical supplies, including 100,000 most needed protective coveralls and 900,000 pairs of medical gloves, has successfully departed from Sydney and arrived in Wuhan.” Greenland said it also sourced bulk supplies of thermometers, antibacterial wipes, and Panadol (acetaminophen), and also loaded up on PPEs in Canada, Turkey, and other countries — all of which now have a critical shortage. China analyst Richard McGregor says it’s not surprising the companies would “publicize their patriotism,” because Chinese “real estate companies are particularly exposed to government whims, as all land is owned by the state.” (MS/Sydney Morning Herald)

With the majority of people who still have a job working from home, Walmart reports a big upsurge in tops for employees wanting to look good during video meetings. Pants and skirts? Not so much. “So, people who are concerned, obviously, from the waist up,” observed Walmart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett. Other retailers are noting a similar trend, and Suitsupply, which provides fine suits for men, quickly jumped on the bandwagon: it posted a photo on Instagram of a man dressed for success …but only from the waist up. Below: just underwear. (RC/CBS)

With salons closed due to physical distancing guidelines, many men have resorted to cutting their hair at home. And instead of opting for a short back and sides, male celebrities have decided to just shave all their hair off.


Mobile phone mast fires are being investigated amid conspiracy theories claiming a link between 5G and coronavirus.  There have been fires at masts in Birmingham, Liverpool and Melling in Merseyside.


Driver stopped on M6 lockdown trip with wife in boot.




With many cities, states, and countries asking people to remain at home, Google and Facebook location data is being used to help determine how many people are complying with the coronavirus lockdown…



Hotel chain Marriott International has today announced that it has been hit by a second data breach exposing the personal details of “up to approximately 5.2 million guests”.


A federal court in Washington, DC, has ruled that violating a website’s terms of service isn’t a crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, America’s primary anti-hacking law. The lawsuit was initiated by a group of academics and journalists with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union.


The Guardian says it has evidence that Saudi Arabia is exploiting a decades-old weakness in the global telecoms network to track the kingdom’s citizens as they travel in the United States.


Over the last few years, Facebook has had a slew of privacy and security blunders and more details about one of them have come to light through a new court filing as the social media company is suing the spyware company NSO Group. It turns out Facebook tried to buy controversial government spyware to monitor iPhone and iPad users.


It was as part of this Apple bug bounty program that Ryan Pickren, the founder of proof of concept sharing platform BugPoC, responsibly disclosed his seven zero-day vulnerabilities discovery that enabled him to hijack the iPhone camera, and says earned him a none-too-shabby $75,000 from Apple for his efforts.





April 5th is the 96th day of this leap year and is also Sikmogil in South Korea.  If you really care, you’ll look it up!

Happy Birthday to:  Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher (b 1588, d 1679); Sir Thomas Hardy, 1st Baronet, English admiral (b 1769, d 1839); Joseph Lister, English surgeon and academic (b 1827, d 1912); Friedrich Sigmund Merkel, German anatomist and histopathologist (b 1845, d 1919); Booker T. Washington, African-American educator, essayist and historian (b 1856, d 1915); Albert Champion, French cyclist (b 1878, d 1927); Walter Huston, Canadian-American actor and singer (b 1883, d 1950); Spencer Tracy, American actor (b 1900, d 1967); Melvyn Douglas, American actor (b 1901, d 1981); Bette Davis, American actress and Herbert von Karajan, Austrian conductor and manager (b 1808, d 1989); Albert R. Broccoli, American film producer, co-founded Eon Productions (b 1909, d 1996); Gregory Peck, American actor, political activist, and producer (b 1916, d 2003); Robert Bloch, American author (b 1917, d 1994); Arthur Hailey, English-Canadian soldier and author (b 1920, d 2004); Roger Corman, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b 1926); Nigel Hawthorne, English actor and producer (b 1929, d 2001); Frank Gorshin, American actor (b 1933, d 2005); Colin Powell, American general and politician, 65th United States Secretary of State (b 1937); Michael Moriarty, American-Canadian actor (b 1941); Dave Swarbrick, English singer-songwriter and fiddler (b 1941, d 2016); Allan Clarke, English singer-songwriter (b 1942); Peter Greenaway, Welsh director and screenwriter (b 1942); Jane Asher, English actress (b 1946); Judith Resnik, Ukrainian-American engineer and astronaut (b 1949, d 1986); Anthony Horowitz, English author and screenwriter (b 1955); Johan Kriek, South African-American tennis player (b 1958); Lana Clarkson, American actress and model (b 1962, d 2003); Victoria Hamilton, English actress (b 1971).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 5th of April:  George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, English archaeologist and businessman (b 1866, d 1923); Douglas MacArthur, American general (b 1880, d 1964); Chiang Kai-shek, Chinese general and politician, 1st President of the Republic of China (b 1887, d 1975); Howard Hughes, American pilot, engineer, and director (b 1905, d 1976); Kurt Cobain, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b 1967, d 1994); Allen Ginsberg, American poet (b 1926, d 1997); Saul Bellow, Canadian-American novelist, essayist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b 1915, d 2005); Gene Pitney, American singer-songwriter (b 1941, d 2006); Charlton Heston, American actor, director, and political activist (b 1923, d 2008).

Some notable historic events that took place on April 5th:  In Virginia, Native American Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe (1614); The Statute of Anne receives the royal assent establishing the Copyright law of the United Kingdom (1710, how interesting, I didn’t realise copyright was so old); United States President George Washington exercises his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States (1792); Archaeologists in Knossos, Crete, discover a large cache of clay tablets with hieroglyphic writing in a script they call Linear B (1900); The first international rugby league match is played between England and an Other Nationalities team (Welsh and Scottish players) in Central Park, Wigan (1904); Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death for spying for the Soviet Union (1951); Fidel Castro declares himself at war with Cuban President Fulgencio Batista (1956).

44 years ago today, on April 1, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne signed a contract founding the Apple Computer Company.




This section is a bit thin, most of the strange news this week ended up in the Coronavirus section!  We live in interesting times.  🙂

The first paragraph of an email I received this week.  Some scams are hard to discern but some . . .

“This is to intimate you of a very important information which will be

of a great help to redeem you from all the difficulties you have been

experiencing in getting your long over due payment due to excessive

demand for money from you by both corrupt Bank officials and Courier

Companies after which your fund remain unpaid to you.”

Students from the Swiss university EPFL have developed a smart bra designed to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. They believe it’s the first piece of clothing that can be used for cancer prevention. They even claim that it’s comfortable and that the tech is “nearly imperceptible.”




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 — 2020/03/29

YMUG Newsletter — for the 29th of March, 2020 ACV (after Corona virus)

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



Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.4, the fourth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October. macOS Catalina 10.15.4 comes a couple of months after the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.3.  There are also security updates for some older versions of macOS so check and see if there’s one for you.




macOS Catalina 10.15.4 adds iCloud Drive folder sharing, time-synced lyrics, and more.




Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls “legacy system extensions” — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they “aren’t as secure or reliable as modern alternatives.”  I got a few warnings when I updated to the latest macOS this week.


Safari in new versions of iOS and macOS includes full third-party cookie blocking.


Apple offering 90-day free trials for Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has warned that certain SSD drives could fail catastrophically if buyers don’t take action soon. Due to a firmware bug, the products in question will be bricked exactly 40,000 hours (four years, 206 days and 16 hours) after the SSD has entered service. “After the SSD failure occurs, neither the SSD nor the data can be recovered,” the company warned in a customer service bulletin.


Plugable has launched a brand new USB-C ethernet adapter, allowing users to upgrade their desktops and laptops with faster wired connection speeds up to 2.5 gigabits per second.


How to record video calls on Mac including FaceTime calls.


How to do a Group FaceTime call on your Apple devices.


Apple is giving developers the option to distribute their apps as universal purchases starting today. This means that customers only need to pay for an app once, and have it on all platforms.


Spike sounds like an interesting combination of an email app and a message app.  I’m going to give it a try.  But not right now, something keeps going wrong.  Someone remind me later.  Thanks.


People should avoid using the microwave at the same time as their wi-fi, media regulator Ofcom has said, as part of advice to help improve internet speeds.  Is that correct?  I’ve never heard that before!  Microwaves should be shielded so the microwaves don’t get out!




Apple releases iOS and iPadOS 13.4 with new Mail toolbar, iCloud folder sharing, trackpad support for iPad and more.  There are also some security updates for older versions of iOS.




The latest iOS lets you use a bluetooth mouse or trackpad; here’s some guidance.


iOS 13.4: How to share iCloud Drive folders from iPhone and iPad.


Compared: Apple’s 2020 iPad Pro versus 2019 iPad Air.


The new iPad Pro is a great tablet and an OK computer.


How to add photos to a new Photos album on iPhone & iPad with iOS 13.


2020 iPad Pro reviews land on iOS 13.4 release day, praising new cursor support in iPadOS.


Apple is aware of Personal Hotspot problems some users are facing after updating to iOS 13, according to a report published last week.


Dell Mobile Connect app update allows screen mirroring of iPhones on Windows PCs.


The best podcast apps for the iPhone according to TechJunkie.


How to transfer photos from Windows PC to iPhone or iPad using iTunes which still exists in Windows world.




Apple releases new 13.4 software for HomePod


Apple releases tvOS 13.4 for fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models.


Apple releases watchOS 6.2 with App Store support for in-app purchases, ECG functionality in Chile, Turkey and New Zealand.


The UK and other European countries are boosting the contactless payment limit, to allow more purchases to be made without the need to physically touch payment terminals, a planned change that has been brought forward.


Imagine earbuds that act as real-time translators for over 30 languages: that’s what you get with the Freesay TWS Simultaneous Translation Earphones.  It would be fun to try them.


The Disney+ streaming service is today launching in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. You can download the app now for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Note that Disney+ requires Apple TV 4K or Apple TV Hd The older third-generation Apple TV (which lacks an App Store) is not supported You can subscribe to Disney+ for £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year.


Cloud storage company Backblaze recently announced a milestone: It now stores one exabyte of data in its servers some of which is mine!  Honestly, I would highly recommend their service; it’s not free but it works and reduces my worries a lot.




I work in the kitchen of my local primary school and this last week we kept serving hot meals to some of the kids of ‘essential workers’; most days that was about four children with about the same number of pack-up meals.  The government (?) decided to stop serving hot meals to reduce unnecessary contacts so I’m off work for the foreseeable future.  But I should get my 80% once that scheme kicks in.  Same with my son whose job at the Designer Outlet outside of York was finally called off.  I figure what with having to wash less clothes and not using as much petrol we’ll have about the same income.  Also my wife is working from home so there’s even less petrol being used  As long as I can keep scrounging wine we should be okay!!  🙂

More governments are relying on phone location tracking in a bid to track and contain the spread of COVID-19. Eight European carriers, including Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), Orange and Vodafone, have agreed to share phone location data with the European Commission to help measure the coronavirus’ reach. That immediately raises privacy issues, but an official talking to Reuters stressed that the EC would protect users.


U.K. iPhone and iPad users who open the App Store this morning are being met with a COVID-19 public service announcement from the British government, signalling an expansion of Apple’s efforts to prominently display official coronavirus alerts on its devices.


All iPhone production in India has been suspended as the country’s prime minister announced a strict 21-day lockdown to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.


Amazon stops taking orders for some non-essentials in France and Italy, it wants to keep vital shipments going during the COVID-19 pandemic.


AND Amazon is offering free access to kid-friendly Prime Video content.


The Verizon mobile network in the US is giving all customers 15GB of extra data during coronavirus outbreak.  Good for them!


Nomad is best known for its iPhone cases, cables, and chargers, but is now diverting resources into the production of medical masks to help with the fight against the coronavirus. It is doing this on a nonprofit basis.


Following Saturday and Tuesdays’ announcements of Apple donating more than nine million N95 ventilator masks to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, the obvious question arises, why did Apple have so many masks? It now appears the answer was a simple one…A state mandate, instituted last year, to protect employees following the recent California wildfires.


Internet Archive offers 1.4 million copyrighted books for free online.


The developers of the game Plague Inc. will donate $250,000 to fight the real-life plague, COVID-19, currently gripping the globe.


Also: Plague Inc. Gaining New Game Mode Letting Players Save the World From a Pandemic.


This site will help you estimate how long your loo roll hoard will last.


The US Department of Justice is keeping busy during the coronavirus crisis: the agency has filed its first—but unfortunately, almost certainly not last—suit to take down a fraudulent scheme allegedly trying to profit off Americans’ fears about the virus.


Also in the US: A nationwide shortage of two drugs touted as possible treatments for the coronavirus is being driven in part by doctors inappropriately prescribing the medicines for family, friends, and themselves, according to pharmacists and state regulators.


You may have heard that Sir Patrick Stewart is reading a Shakespeare sonnet a day BUT he’s posting them on Twitter which many of us avoid like COVID-19.  Here’s a linked story anyway.


Michelle Obama shares her family’s quarantine routine: Online college, conference calls and Netflix.


North Carolina sheriffs find 18,000 pounds  (that’s weight not value) of toilet paper and other products in stolen truck.


Apple has lifted purchase limits previously imposed on iPhone, new iPad Pro, and new MacBook Air purchases made outside of China.  So now you can get a new iPad Pro for you and one for me too!




Google Play, the company’s official repository for Android apps, has once again been caught hosting fraudulent and potentially malicious apps, with the discovery of more than 56 apps—many of them for children—that were installed on almost 1.7 million devices.




March 29th is the 89th day of this leap year and is also National Vietnam War Veterans’ Day in the US.

Happy Birthday to:  John Tyler, American lawyer and politician, 10th President of the United States (b 1790, d 1862); Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, English politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b 1799, d 1869); 10th Dalai Lama (b 1816, d 1837); Cy Young, American baseball player and manager (b 1867, d 1955); Howard Lindsay, American producer, playwright, librettist, director and actor (b 1889, d 1968); Moon Mullican, American country and western singer-songwriter and pianist (b 1909, d 1967); Eugene McCarthy, American poet and politician (b 1916, d 2005); Pearl Bailey, American actress and singer (b 1918, d 1990); Richard Lewontin, American biologist, geneticist, and academic (b 1929); Norman Tebbit, English journalist and politician, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (b 1931, gosh, I didn’t realise he was that old); Judith Guest, American author and screenwriter (b 1936); Terence Hill, Italian actor, director, and producer, star of the Trinity Westerns (b 1939); Eric Idle, English actor and comedian AND John Major, English banker and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b 1943); Speedy Keen, English singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and producer (b 1945, d 2002); Bud Cort, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b 1948); Brendan Gleeson, Irish actor AND Marina Sirtis, British-American actress (b 1955); Christopher Lambert, American-born French actor (b 1957); Amy Sedaris, American actress and comedian (b 1961); Jill Goodacre, American model and actress AND Elle Macpherson, Australian model and actress (b 1964); Lucy Lawless, New Zealand actress (b 1968); Priti Patel, British Indian politician, Secretary of State for the Home Department (b 1972); Jennifer Capriati, American tennis player (b 1976).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 29th of March:  Gottfried van Swieten, Dutch-Austrian librarian and diplomat (b 1733, d 1803); Georges Seurat, French painter (b 1859, d 1891); Robert Falcon Scott, English lieutenant and explorer (b 1868, d 1912); J. Arthur Rank, English businessman, founded Rank Organisation (b 1888, d 1972); Mantovani, Italian-English conductor and composer (b 1905, d 1980); Carl Orff, German composer and educator (b 1895, d 1982); Paul Henreid, American actor (b 1908, d 1992); Helge Ingstad, Norwegian lawyer, academic, and explorer (b 1899, d 2001); Patty Duke, American actress (b 1946, d 2016).

Some notable historic events that took place on March 29th:  Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collects a huge ransom in exchange for leaving (845 AD); Battle of Towton: Edward of York defeats Queen Margaret to become King Edward IV of England, bringing a temporary stop to the Wars of the Roses (1461); King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden abdicates after a coup d’état. At the Diet of Porvoo, Finland’s four Estates pledge allegiance to Alexander I of Russia, commencing the secession of the Grand Duchy of Finland from Sweden, ah so that’s how Finland got to be part of Russia for a while (1809); The United Kingdom annexes the Punjab (1849); Sepoy Mangal Pandey of the 34th Regiment, Bengal Native Infantry mutinies against the East India Company’s rule in India and inspires the protracted Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny (1857); Queen Victoria gives Royal Assent to the British North America Act which establishes Canada on July 1 (1867); Royal Albert Hall is opened by Queen Victoria (1871); John Pemberton brews the first batch of Coca-Cola in a backyard in Atlanta (1886); Last day of V-1 flying bomb attacks on England (1945); Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage (1951); My Lai Massacre: Lieutenant William Calley is convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison (1971); The last United States combat soldiers leave South Vietnam (1973); Operation Barrel Roll, a covert American bombing campaign in Laos to stop communist infiltration of South Vietnam, ends (1973); Terracotta Army was discovered in Shaanxi province, China (1974); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia join NATO as full members (2004); The first same-sex marriages in England and Wales are performed (2014).

March 28, 1996: In a dire message to Wall Street, Apple warns that it will report a $700 million after-tax loss for its most recent quarter.




The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, opened to great fanfare in November 2017. Among its most prized acquisitions featured at the opening were 16 purported fragments of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. But in a blow to the fledgling museum, an independent scientific analysis has now revealed that all 16 of those fragments are modern forgeries.  Oops.


Many people still prefer to read physical books over digital versions, even with the advent of devices like the iPad, for various reasons. Even in the digital world, there are different platforms such as Apple Books and Kindle, which can make it difficult to manage an entire book collection. That’s where Book Track comes in with a tool that allows users to organize their entire library in one place.


Who better to discuss the challenge of working from home while raising kids than the parents who became an Internet sensation when their two children adorably invaded a live BBC TV interview?


President Trump’s attempt to overturn a ruling that prevents him from blocking Twitter critics has been shot down — at least for now.


Since Towel Day will soon be upon us (May 25th,) celebrate your love of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and all things Douglas Adams with this gorgeous “42 Don’t Panic” large beach towel!  Towel day?  When was that started?


“A couple came up to the register with two carts,” said an unidentified woman witnessing an altercation at a Kroger grocery store in Louisville, Ky. — she was recording the scene with her cell phone. A couple was trying to buy some supplies, but the clerk told them there was a limit of three cases, and they were trying to buy 23 cases …of Mountain Dew. No, he was further informed, he would not be allowed to buy three and come back through eight more times. The man started yelling, telling the clerk he was “surprised you have a job.” (RC/CNN)

With North America shutting down from the pandemic, one company is doing its part to make sure Canadians are properly stocked up on an essential product: boxed mac and cheese. Kraft Heinz has seen a 35 percent increase in demand, so it geared up the Kraft Dinner plant in Montreal, Que., to fill it. Instead of working 5 days a week to produce about 3 million boxes, the plant is now operating 24/7 to push out over 4 million boxes a week. They’re prepared for the virus infiltrating the plant, too. If workers get sick, other employees will step in: other line workers first, then mechanics, then managers. “Everyone just feels very, very proud to be feeding 37 million Canadians,” plant manager Danielle Nguyen said “Those 960 employees show up to work every day. To me, they are true heroes.” (MS/CTV)



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. And jokes.


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 — 2020/03/22

YMUG Newsletter — for the 22nd of March, 2020 ACV (after Corona virus)

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



Apple updated its MacBook Air lineup with faster processors and graphics, a scissor switch Magic Keyboard, a lower starting price of $999, and more.  I will be seriously considering a machine like this when next I need to buy one.






Also, Apple updated the Mac mini with double the storage.  Not bad at all.  If the graphics were better I’d get one of these.


How to use Notes on Mac, a complete user guide, I may actually read this whole article; it sounds like I’ve barely touched Notes’ capacities.


A Study ranks the privacy of major browsers. Here are the findings: upstart Brave browser gets the highest ratings. Chrome, Firefox and Safari fall between.  I’ve tried Brave, it works very well I think.


“From today, anyone can use Affinity creative apps completely free for three months. Take 50% off if you want to buy. And we’re going to engage 100 freelance creatives for paid work.” Visit https://lnkd.in/ejPwPcv to find out more.

ViDL is a great free YouTube and video downloader for Mac and apparently works on lots of other sites as well.




Apple today introduced a new iPad Pro with a faster A12Z Bionic chip, a new Magic Keyboard accessory with a built-in trackpad, an Ultra Wide camera, a LiDAR Scanner, and more. In Apple’s description of the new tablet, it calls it “faster and more powerful than most Windows PC laptops.”  In my opinion, most people could live with this and don’t need a ‘proper’ computer.






The updated iPadOS 13.4 is to be released on March 24, and will support both Apple’s new Magic Keyboard with Trackpad, and third-party mice across most recent iPad models.


With the iPadOS 13.4 update, you will be able to use a mouse or trackpad with your iPad as a complement to the touch experience. Apple is naturally promoting the Magic Keyboard accessory for iPad Pro, but you can use any USB or Bluetooth input device like the Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse, too.


Swipe typing arrived with iOS 13 on iPhone for the default keyboard, but did you know you can do it on the iPad as well? Read on for how to use one-handed swipe typing on iPad.


How to remove apps from iPad & iPhone the fastest way in iPadOS / iOS 13.3


On the Mac, you probably know all the tricks for sorting things in the Finder. You can choose icon, list and column views. And you can sort the files and folders in those windows by various dates (added, created, modified), size, name and lots more. Some, but not nearly all, of these sorting options are also available on iOS in the Files app.


The best apps for reading on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.


U.K. cellular network O2 has brokered a deal with Disney to become the UK’s exclusive mobile network distributor for the Disney+ steaming service.  The deal means that new and upgrading monthly customers get six months of Disney+ on O2 as a special offer.


The UK’s only remaining independent phone store is closing its vast network of retail locations on April 3rd, 2020. Dixons Carphone, owner of Currys PCWorld and Carphone Warehouse (CPW), will shutter the latter’s 531 outlets at the start of next month. The company says it will focus on selling mobile gear and packages through Carphone Warehouse-branded areas inside the 305 remaining Currys PCWorld stores.




The Powerbeats are the latest workout-friendly headphones from Beats (and Apple).  I’d be happy to test these if anyone would buy them for me.  Anyone?  Anyone at all?




Apple retail stores will be closed until further notice, according to a new banner posted on Apple’s US website so it’s not clear if that’s worldwide.  I just checked, it’s on the UK site as well.


Microsoft as well.


And a lot of others!


My son works at the Factory Outlet mall just south of York and it appears that at least two-thirds of the shops have closed, some because the parent chain has made the call.  The only food places still open do not have restaurant seating areas AND the tables in the general area have been removed.  Yesterday, in an eight hour shift they sold about £100 worth of clothes.  He’s getting paid and his boss is trying to keep everyone earning as long as possible but how boring.

Several of the major streaming services (Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, etc) have agreed to lower their streaming quality to cope with the huge demand.  That makes sense.



The Israeli government has approved emergency measures for its security agencies to track the mobile-phone data of people with suspected coronavirus.


We can’t tell you precisely how many minutes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus can survive on your iPhone, Mac, keyboard or shipment from Amazon —but there are estimates that give good guidance on what you should do if you think your device has been exposed.  Not for the faint of heart, just sayin’.


Apple has  announced that it’s evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organisations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions.


There’s won’t be a COVID-19 version of Pac-Man, or any other equally tacky game. Apple today banned all entertainment applications that use this pandemic as a theme.


In an effort to help businesses and schools function remotely, Oman is lifting restrictions on some video calling services. Its Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) tweeted that it will allow Skype for Business, Google Meet and Zoom, so that organisations can better communicate “during this exceptional period.”  That’s right, they used to block such things.


Dundee distillery switches production from gin to hand sanitiser.


France has effectively banned recreational cycling as part of its coronavirus lockdown. The sports ministry made the announcement after widespread criticism of the large numbers of people taking to the streets for exercise after a lockdown was imposed on Tuesday.


“With all of us experiencing varying degrees of social distancing and school closures, we have created something that we hope makes our customers’ lives a little easier. At stories.audible.com, you will find hundreds of our titles available completely free. The collection has been handpicked by our editors and is a mix of stories to entertain, engage, and inform young people, ages 0–18. These stories offer a screen-free option that we hope may help break up the day for families with students home from school. There are selections for our listeners in English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Italian. To access the free titles, just visit stories.audible.com from any web browser. The experience is completely free – no log-ins, credit cards, or passwords required. Just click, stream and listen.”

Wether you’re trapped inside because you are currently quarantined or just practicing social distancing, a lot of you are probably really bored right now. To combat said boredom, the folks over at Chaosium has just started offering their award-winning Call of Cthulhu colouring book for FREE via download (PDF).




Financial companies expose 425 GB of data in insecure database.




March 22nd is the 82nd day of this leap year and is also World Water Day.  World Water Day?  What does one do on World Water Day?  Water the garden?

Happy Birthday to:  Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, English politician, Earl Marshal of the United Kingdom (probable b 1367, d 1399);  John Williams, Archbishop of York (b 1582, d 1650); Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh, British scientist (b 1615, d 1691); Chico Marx, American actor (b 1887, d 1961);  Louis L’Amour, American novelist and short story writer (b 1908, d 1988); Nicholas Monsarrat, English sailor and author (b 1910, d 1979); Wilfrid Brambell, Irish actor and performer (b 1912, d 1985); Karl Malden, American actor (b 1912, d 2009); Irving Kaplansky, Canadian-American mathematician and academic (b 1917, d 2006); Werner Klemperer, German-American actor (b 1920, d 2000); Fanny Waterman, English pianist and educator, founded the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition (b 1920); Ross Martin, American actor (b 1920, d 1981); Marcel Marceau, French mime and actor (b 1923, d 2007); Pat Robertson, American minister and broadcaster, founded the Christian Broadcasting Network (b 1930); Stephen Sondheim, American composer and songwriter (b 1930); William Shatner, Canadian actor (b 1931); M. Emmet Walsh, American actor (b 1935); Roger Whittaker, Kenyan-English singer-songwriter and guitarist (b 1936); Haing S. Ngor, Cambodian-American physician and author (b 1940, d 1996); Billy Collins, American poet (b 1941); Bruno Ganz, Swiss actor (b 1941, d 2019); George Benson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b 1943); Rudy Rucker, American mathematician, computer scientist, and author (b 1946); James Patterson, American author and producer (b 1947); the splendidly named Wolf Blitzer, American journalist (b 1948); Andrew Lloyd Webber, English composer and director (b 1948); Lena Olin, Swedish actress (b 1955); Matthew Modine, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b 1959); Beverley Knight, English singer-songwriter and producer (b 1973); Reese Witherspoon, American actress and producer (b 1976).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 22nd of March:  Jean-Baptiste Lully, Italian-French composer and conductor (b 1632, d 1687); Karl Wallenda, German-American acrobat and tightrope walker, founded The Flying Wallendas (b 1905, d 1978); Dan Hartman, American singer-songwriter, and producer (b 1950, d 1994); Walter Lantz, American animator, director, and producer (b 1899, d 1994); William Hanna, American animator, director, producer, and voice actor, co-founded Hanna-Barbera (b 1910, d 2001); Kenzō Tange, Japanese architect, designed the Yoyogi National Gymnasium and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (b 1913, d 2005).

Some notable historic events that took place on March 22nd:  Æthelred of Wessex is defeated by a Danish invasion army at the Battle of Marton (871 CE); The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony sign a peace treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoags (1621); Jamestown massacre: Algonquians kill 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony’s population, during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War (1622); The British Parliament passes the Stamp Act that introduces a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies (1765); In the London Protocol, the three protecting powers (United Kingdom, France and Russia) establish the borders of Greece (1829); Illinois becomes the first state to require gender equality in employment (1872); The first England vs France rugby union match is played at Parc des Princes in Paris (1906); The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicates the throne and the Republic of China is restored (1916); In Eisenstadt v. Baird, the United States Supreme Court decides that unmarried persons have the right to possess contraceptives (1972); Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope suspended between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico (1978); The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium chips (80586), featuring a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64 bit data path (1993); Tara Lipinski, aged 14 years and nine months, becomes the youngest women’s World Figure Skating Champion (1997); Three suicide bombers kill 32 people and injure 316 in the 2016 Brussels bombings at the airport and at the Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro station (2016); A terrorist attack in London near the Houses of Parliament leaves four people dead and at least 20 injured (2017); Robert S. Mueller III delivers his report on the Russian government’s influence on the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election (2019); India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces the country’s largest ever self-imposed curfew, to fight the spread of COVID-19 (2020 . . . now hang on . . . I’m grabbing this from Wikipedia on March 21st . . . who’s the psychic who knew what was going to happen tomorrow?).

March 17, 1988: Apple sues Microsoft for allegedly stealing 189 different elements of its Macintosh operating system to create Windows 2.0.




Autorité de la Concurrence, France’s antitrust body has fined Apple 1.1 billion euros for anti-competitive behavior in its distribution network and an abuse of economic dependence on its resellers, reports Reuters.  Two of Apple’s wholesalers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, were fined 63 million euros and 76 million euros respectively, for unlawfully agreeing on prices, the article adds.


There are numerous ways to evade censorship of the press, but it’s getting increasingly difficult when countries like China and Russia are cracking down on VPNs and similar tools. Reporters Without Borders thinks it has the answer to those mounting obstacles: make the news available in a game that’s rarely blocked. The team has worked with BlockWorks and MediaMonks on the Uncensored Library, a Minecraft map that includes articles from journalists and sites whose work is frequently censored for its unflattering truths. You’ll find articles from murdered Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi (whose fiancée Hatice Cengiz supports the project), the activist-friendly Russian site Grani.ru and the Egyptian anti-corruption outlet Mada Masr, among others.


LEGO Star Wars fan extraordinaire Anthony Ducre build a massive LEGO construction representing the famous Death Star trench run. The diorama, built using over 50,000 pieces, features a motorised track with Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing being chased by Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced x1.


Adding this to my wish list: Flying Spaghetti Monster plush toy with flexible appendages.


“Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week” – Shonda Rhimes after homeschooling her kids for a total of one hour and 11 minutes.

It’s been nearly 25 years since the 1995 conference on women drew world leaders to Beijing, China. But last year, with the help of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives issued a report on what Canada has done pursuant to the Beijing conference’s Declaration and Platform for Action, which Ottawa signed. The report, “Unfinished Business,” says gender inequality (apparently in pay) was reduced by an average of less than 0.25 percent per year from 2006 to 2018; if that average holds, equality will be fully achieved in 164 years. Meanwhile, men have fewer post-secondary degrees than women, according to Statistics Canada, and nearly three times as many men as women are victims of homicide. (AC/Global News Canada)

While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (“the Mormons”) cancelled all gatherings, including Sunday worship services, to combat the COVID-19 virus, the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia says they’ll carry on with services as usual. And, they announced, they refuse to change their traditional sacramental communion, where a priest with a cup of wine dips a spoon in, puts it in the mouth of a parishioner, and repeats for all who want it — with the same cup and spoon. Anyone who is ill should stay home from church, Archdiocese spokesman Rev. Steven Scoutas says, “But once we decide to go to church, we believe there is absolutely no possibility of contracting disease from the holy cup.” The Australian Medical Association says that’s irresponsible, especially since a large percentage of parishioners are elderly. The churches can draw thousands during the run-up to Easter. “We will continue as we have during the centuries,” Scoutas said. (RC/ABC Australia)

Los Angeles County, Calif., Fire Dept. Capt. Dan Engraf and his crew were returning from a medical emergency when they were flagged down. A citizen asked them to rescue their beloved pet, Love, from the top of a large tree, where he had been for nearly 19 hours. The pet in question is an 18-month-old macaw. “Like, seriously? A bird in a tree?” Engraf said. “But she seemed distraught — I didn’t want to say ‘no’.” The truck’s 70-foot ladder couldn’t reach Love, so Engraf called in another truck with a 100-foot ladder, which was able to complete the rescue. Carolin von Petzholdt, Love’s owner, is a bird trainer with “years of experience,” has written a book on “free-flight” training for birds in captivity, and has a YouTube channel on bird training with over 142,000 followers. Love apparently took off for the tree in the middle of a training session. (MS/Los Angeles Daily News)

With panic hoarding of supplies as the COVID-19 virus spreads, hand sanitiser is hard to find. The Little Darlings strip club in Las Vegas, Nev., to the rescue! They have 50,000 bottles, and they’ll give one to each customer while supplies last. “Las Vegas is a tourist mecca,” said manager LeAnna DaPoint, “and we have to do everything possible to stay virus-free.” She noted that “an opportunity to help with the Coronavirus scare is extremely important to us.” (RC/KSNV Las Vegas)



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. And jokes.


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 — 2020/03/15

YMUG Newsletter — for the Ides of March, 2020 CE

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



Five Mac Apps Worth Checkin . . no, you know what?  All the apps in the article are rubbish and generally pointless.  Never mind.

Firefox browser releases ‘Facebook Container’ for those who like it but don’t trust it


For years, online backup service Backblaze has been publishing its hard drive failure statistics, and the company has now released the numbers for 2019. With 124,658 spinning hard drives in operation in 2019, Backblaze’s data is the best you can find.




How to use Look Around on Maps for iPhone & iPad.


Okay, for those fans of ‘cloud’ storage and sync services: How to manage all of your cloud file services from your iPad.


How to unzip files on iPhone or iPad.


I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds on my Mac.  But if I had a good iPad I would definitely check this app out: RSS reader ‘NetNewsWire’ Arrives on iOS


I think there are some really good tips here but the ads are so intrusive I can barely stand to go through the whole article.  Sad.


Apple shares ‘Hermitage’ shot on iPhone Video, previewing over 5 hours of continuous museum footage taken on a single battery charge.


“My kids spent £600 on their iPads without my knowledge.” 




How to record sound with AirPods.




Apple announced that it is closing all of its retail locations outside of Greater China until March 27 due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus, which means Apple Stores worldwide will be shuttered for the next two weeks.


Apple announced that its 31st Worldwide Developers Conference will be a digital-only event with no physical gathering due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus around the world The online-only event will take place in June.  There have beens lots of tech conferences cancelled or delayed.


AAPL bleeds record $97B in valuation over weekend.


How to disinfect iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods, during the coronavirus outbreak.


Apple today updated its support document on cleaning Apple products with new information that confirms it’s okay to to use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox disinfecting wipes for the purpose of cleaning germs from your devices.


Maybe you’re working from home more often these days.  Maybe you need some software to help you have remote meetings with your colleagues.  Apple has posted a list of twelve ‘solutions’.  My wife says Microsoft Teams is brilliant.


How to use your Mac to help the fight against Coronavirus.




Microsoft has said it was part of a team that dismantled an international network of zombie bots. The network call Necurs infected over nine million computers and one of the world’s largest botnets.


Those concerns about police indiscriminately collecting Google location data have some grounding in the real world NBC News has revealed that police inadvertently made a suspect of an innocent cyclist, Gainesville, Florida resident Zachary McCoy, after using a geofence warrant (collecting all location data around the scene of a crime) to look for leads in a March 2019 burglary. McCoy had been using RunKeeper to track his biking, and had passed by the victim’s house three times in the space of an hour — enough to raise eyebrows among investigators looking for suspicious info.


Sensor Tower, an analytics platform that aggregates data on app downloads and usage for developers, has been secretly collecting data from millions of Android and iOS users who have installed popular VPN and ad-blocking apps, reports Buzzfeed News.


The once-popular app Whisper promises a place where you can share secrets anonymously. According to a Washington Post report, however, it left sensitive information that can be tied to users’ confessions exposed to the public for years. Apparently, Whisper kept a non-password-protected database that allowed anyone to freely browse its records.


Comcast just revealed 200,000 unlisted phone numbers.



March 15th is the 75th day of this leap year and is also World Consumer Rights Day, World Contact Day, World Peace Day AND it’s the Ides of March.  Et tu whoever.

Happy Birthday to:  Andrew Jackson, American general, judge, and politician, 7th President of the United States (b 1767, d 1845); John Snow, English physician and epidemiologist (b 1813, d 1858); William Mitchell Ramsay, Scottish archaeologist and scholar (b 1851, d 1939); Harold L. Ickes, American journalist and politician, 32nd United States Secretary of the Interior (b 1874, d 1952); Lightnin’ Hopkins, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (b 1912, d 1982); Arif Mardin, Turkish-American record producer (b 1932, d 2006); Judd Hirsch, American actor (b 1935); Jimmy Swaggart, American pastor and television host (b 1935); Frank Dobson, English politician, Secretary of State for Health (b 1940); Phil Lesh, bassist and founding member of the American band Grateful Dead (b 1940); Mike Love, American singer-songwriter and musician (b 1941); David Cronenberg, Canadian actor, director, and screenwriter (b 1943); Lynda La Plante, English actress, screenwriter, and author (b 1943); Sly Stone, American singer-songwriter, musician, and producer (b 1943); Ry Cooder, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b 1947); Philip Green, English businessman (b 1952); Dee Snider, American singer-songwriter and actor (b 1955); Terence Trent D’Arby, American singer-songwriter (b 1962); Penny Lancaster, English model and photographer (b 1971); Eva Longoria, American actress and producer (b 1975).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 15th of March:  Julius Caesar, Roman general and statesman (b 100 BC, d 44 BC); H. P. Lovecraft, American short story writer, editor, and novelist (b 1890, d 1937); Lester Young, American saxophonist and clarinet player (b 1909, d 1959); Arthur Compton, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b 1892, d 1962); Aristotle Onassis, Greek-Argentinian businessman (b 1906, d 1975); Rebecca West, English author and critic (b 1892, d 1983); Benjamin Spock, American paediatrician and author (b 1903, d 1998); Ann Sothern, American actress and singer (b 1909, d 2001); Thora Hird, English actress (b 1911, d 2003); Mikey Dread, Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer (b 1954, d 2008); David Brenner, American comedian, actor, and author (b 1936, d 2014); Clarissa Dickson Wright, English chef, author, and television personality (b 1947, d 2014).

Some notable historic events that took place on March 15th:  Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger and his fellow conspirators, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus, and several other Roman senators, march to the Capitol following the assassination of Julius Caesar, but there is no response to their appeals to the population, who have left the streets in fear. Caesar’s body remains in its place (44 BC); Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first trip to the Americas (1493); Charles II of England issues the Royal Declaration of Indulgence (1672); French physicist Augustin Fresnel is adjudged the winner of the Grand Prix of the Académie des Sciences for his “Memoir on the Diffraction of Light”, which verifies the Fresnel integrals, accounts for the limited extent to which light spreads into shadows, and thereby demolishes Newton’s initial objection to the wave theory of light (1819); France and Vietnam sign the Second Treaty of Saigon, further recognizing the full sovereignty of France over Cochinchina (1874); First ever official cricket test match is played: Australia vs England at the MCG Stadium, in Melbourne, Australia (1877); Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates the Russian throne ending the 304-year Romanov dynasty (1917); The first Women’s Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge takes place on The Isis in Oxford (1927); Germany occupies Czechoslovakia (1939); Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first President of the Soviet Union (1990); 1.4 million young people in 123 countries go on strike to protest climate change (2019).



UK is to levy additional tax on big tech companies beginning April 1st. The two percent ‘digital services tax’ is strongly opposed by the US.


Calling all forgetful Uber passengers, you’re not the only one who’s left their phone or wallet in the back seat — but there are a few rare riders who forgot a bubble machine, Swarovski crystal binoculars and a Ziploc bag full of quarters.


British man wins world’s best mullet at ‘Mulletfest’


Dyson’s Corrale is a $500 straightening iron with over-engineered plates.  I will definitely pass.


Send your booty to heaven with these unicorn toilet paper rolls.


I’ll take two: Schroedinger’s cat glow in the dark t-shirt.


I’ll have one of these as well: Schrödinger’s cat reversible science plush toy for adults.


Reagan National University was a real institution of higher education. We know this because it was accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the same organisation that accredited Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech. But USA Today looked further and discovered that, as best it could tell, Reagan National was missing some things, such as students and professors. Even the person listed on RNU’s website as its president — “Harold Harris,” not to be confused with “Xuanhua Fan,” the person listed on its business license — lacked the online presence one might expect. RNU did have a campus, if you count two Sioux Falls, S.D., addresses where there were offices and signs that said “Reagan National University.” ACICS had, at least twice, ordered RNU to show why it should be allowed to keep its accreditation. “The campus-level [job] placement rate of 0% is materially below the Council Standard of 60%,” it said the first time; the second time it cited a range of concerns including the lack of necessary equipment in the computer-science program. Before the deadline to respond to that second demand, but after hanging up on USA Today, the university dropped its own accreditation. (AC/USA Today)

“Are you Miss Bryant?” a sheriff’s deputy asked Ruth Bryant at her Roxboro, N.C. home. “It all depends on what you want,” she replied as her friends looked on. The officer told her he was there to arrest her for indecent exposure, and handcuffed her …to her walker. It was all a setup: it was Bryant’s birthday, and she had a bucket list wish to be arrested and jailed before she died; she had just turned 100. She was taken in a squad car to be “booked” at the Person County Jail, and have her mug shot taken. “I’m in the jail-house now! I finally got here!” she squealed as she danced a little jig.But, she told a deputy after riding in his squad car, there’s someone they should arrest for real: “The people who make these low damn seats in all these cars,” she said “You ought to arrest every one of them.” She was returned to her assisted living center to have a laugh with her fellow inmates. (RC/Roxboro Courier-Times, WRAL Raleigh)

What if COVID-19 goes truly pandemic and kills a lot of people? Well, Britain’s National Association of Funeral Directors is ready. NAFD is in “dialogue with the government and local authorities to seek early guidance on steps funeral directors may need to take,” it told the media in a written statement, especially “in the event of a ban on public gatherings,” such as funerals. If that happens, “one option” would be virtual funerals online, “as many crematoria now have these facilities.” Meanwhile, “We could start describing it as a pandemic,” says the World Health Organization, “but at the moment we are saying it is clusters and outbreaks in some countries.” (RC/Sky)



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. And jokes.


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 — 2020/03/08

YMUG Newsletter — for the 8th of March, 2020 CE

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



Did you accidentally give an app a permission on your Mac you didn’t mean to, or maybe just want to check what kind of access various software has across macOS? Follow along for how to check which apps have camera, mic, Photos permissions, and more.


There are three new Take Control e-books available for $10.49 if you follow one of the links below.  You won’t see the discount on the first page but it will kick in!

Take Control of Apple TV:  https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/cart/?add-to-cart=1167&pt=TCMUG&cp=CPN90219MUG

Take Control of Home Security Cameras:  https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/cart/?add-to-cart=569396&pt=TCMUG&cp=CPN90219MUG

Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal:  https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/cart/?add-to-cart=1079&pt=TCMUG&cp=CPN90219MUG

What is a proxy server? It’s a mediator or a replacement server. It gives your computer a different IP. In simple terms, proxy servers add more privacy to your online presence and also save a lot of bandwidth.  Here’s how to set one up on a PC or Mac.




How To Use AirPods To Spy On Others.  This does work with my iPhone 6s and AirPods.


Apple reportedly rejecting coronavirus apps not developed by recognised institutions.


Apple has agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a long-running class action lawsuit in the United States that accused the company of “secretly throttling” older iPhone models, as reported by Reuters.


Police use Apple’s Find My app to track fugitives during fatal police chase.




Are your AirPods acting up and not working correctly? The most probable cause for any malfunction of AirPods is outdated firmware. The good news is that you can update your AirPods firmware easily. The bad news is that you can’t do it without an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.




Over the past couple of years, the privacy-focused browser DuckDuckGo has been compiling a data set of web trackers. The company calls it Tracker Radar. Today, DuckDuckGo is sharing that data publicly and open sourcing the code that generates it.


New Intel chip flaw threatens encryption, but Macs are safe.


A physical security key, like a YubiKey, is an excellent way to bolster your two-factor authentication and help keep your online accounts and data safe from attackers. Here’s what you need to know about using them on iOS and macOS.


Tesco is issuing new cards to 600,000 Clubcard account holders after unearthing a security issue. The supermarket giant said it believed a database of stolen usernames and passwords from other platforms had been tried out on its websites, and may have worked in some cases.


The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced a fine of £500,000 for the international airline Cathay Pacific on Wednesday. It was for a data breach that occurred between October 2014 and May 2018, affecting 9.4 million users.



March 8th is the 68th day of this year and is also International Women’s Day!  Yeah!!

Happy Birthday to:  Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, German pianist and composer (b 1714, d 1788); Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., American colonel, lawyer, and jurist (b 1841, d 1935); Kenneth Grahame, Scottish-English banker and author (b 1859, d 1932); Otto Hahn, German chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b 1879, d 1968); Alan Hale, Jr., American actor (b 1921, d 1990); Cyd Charisse, American actress and dancer (b 1922, d 2008); Douglas Hurd, English politician, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (b 1930 . . . wow, I didn’t realise he’s that old); Richard Fariña, American singer-songwriter and author (b 1937, d 1966); Michael Grade, English businessman (b 1943); Lynn Redgrave, English-American actress and singer (b 1943, d 2010); Micky Dolenz, American singer-songwriter, drummer, and actor (b 1945); Randy Meisner, American singer-songwriter and bass player (b 1946); Carole Bayer Sager, American singer-songwriter and painter (b 1947); Gyles Brandreth, German-English actor, screenwriter, and politician (b 1948); Jonathan Sacks, English rabbi, philosopher, and scholar (b 1948); Gary Numan, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b 1958); Aidan Quinn, Irish-American actor (b 1959).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 8th of March:  William III of England (b 1650, d 1702); Christopher Wren, English architect, designed St. Paul’s Cathedral (b 1632, d 1723); Hector Berlioz, French composer, conductor, and critic (b 1803, d 1869); Millard Fillmore, American lawyer and politician, 13th President of the United States and perpetual good answer on the quiz show Pointless (b 1800, d 1874); Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German general and businessman, founded the Zeppelin Company (b 1838, d 1917); William Howard Taft, American lawyer, jurist, and politician, 27th President of the United States (b 1857, d 1930); Sherwood Anderson, American novelist and short story writer (b 1876, d 1941); Thomas Beecham, English conductor and composer (b 1879, d 1961); Harold Lloyd, American actor, director, and producer (b 1893, d 1971); George Stevens, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b 1904, d 1975); William Walton, English composer (b 1902, d 1983); Joe DiMaggio, American baseball player and coach (b 1914, d 1999); Edward Winter, American actor (b 1937, d 2001); Adam Faith, English singer (b 1940, d 2003); John Inman, English actor (b 1935, d 2007); George Martin, English composer, conductor, and producer (b 1926, d 2016); Kate Wilhelm, American author (b 1928, d 2018).

Some notable historic events that took place on March 8th:  Spanish explorer Diego García de Palacio first sights the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Copán (1576); Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion . . . I wonder where he found it?  In a cupboard? (1618); The New York Stock Exchange is founded (1817); French aviator Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman to receive a pilot’s license (1910); International Women’s Day protests in St. Petersburg mark the beginning of the February Revolution (1917); Egypt re-opens the Suez Canal after the Suez Crisis (1957); Thirty-five hundred United States Marines are the first American land combat forces committed during the Vietnam War (1965); The Fight of the Century between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali commences; Frazier wins in 15 rounds via unanimous decision (1971); Philips demonstrates the compact disc publicly for the first time (1979);While addressing a convention of Evangelicals, U.S. President Ronald Reagan labels the Soviet Union an “evil empire” (1983); Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying a total of 239 people, disappears en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing (2014);  The Azure Window, a natural arch on the Maltese island of Gozo, collapsed in stormy weather; what a shame, I’ve been there (2017).



NASA releases Curiosity’s 1.8 billion-pixel panorama of Mars.


Yes, yes, yes!! A scam call centre that targeted thousands of British victims has been raided by the Indian police, following a BBC investigation.

A Panorama broadcast hacked footage from inside the call centre which showed how staff charged people hundreds of pounds to fix non-existent computer problems.


The first ‘paragraph’ of a scam email I received this week:





NASA accepts applications for astronauts for the first time in four years.  Hmm . . . I wonder if I’m too old now?


At 91 years old, Mickey Mouse has waited a long time to finally get his own ride at a Disney theme park. On Wednesday, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will open inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.


Japan Has Made a Kick-Ass Gaming Bed.  Don’t tell my son.


A British comedian has legally changed his name to Hugo Boss to protest behavior by the German fashion company.


A man in Texas who filmed himself licking ice cream and putting it back in the freezer of a Walmart supermarket has been jailed for 30 days.  GOOD!


Air Wick’s new scented oil diffuser can be controlled with your iPhone.  I’m definitely passing on this one!


Someone made an actual Jack-in-the-box version of Freddy Krueger! He’s from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.  But you already knew that.


This Baby Yoda waffle maker is a actually a thing, i.e. it’s real.


Then there is this Darth Vader pen holder.


There seems to be a new trend in Japan: formal funeral services …for love dolls, complete with rites led by a monk. At least, that’s the claim of the Human Love Doll Company, which offers the service, as well as the tautology, “love dolls are born to be loved.” Silicon soulmates shouldn’t be tossed in the trash as that’s believed to be bad luck in Japan, hence the need for “funerals” to leave your latex lover. The 30,000–90,000 yen (US$275–825) service includes the plastic paramour being “processed by a highly certified industrial waste disposal company” after the rites. At the highest price point, someone will read a letter to your polymeric plaything, and “a part” from the inanimate inamorata’s body will be sent to its owner afterward “as a treasured keepsake.” (RC/Japan Today)



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. And jokes.


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 — 2020/03/01

YMUG Newsletter — for the 30th of Feb . . . oh, wait . . . the 1st of March, 2020.

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



How to restore lost calendars from iCloud.  I hardly ever delete calendar items.  I guess they just keep eating up space on my account.  I should check on that.


How to take a screenshot on a MacBook Pro or any other Mac really.


A vulnerability in WiFi chips made by Cypress Semiconductor and Broadcom left billions of devices susceptible to an attack that allowed nearby attackers to decrypt sensitive data sent over the air.  The security flaw was detailed at the RSA security conference recently (via Ars Technica), and for Apple users, the issue was addressed in the iOS 13.2 and macOS 10.15.1 updates that were released back in late October.


Apple will soon let Mac Pro owners install their own chassis wheels.  Probably.


Speaking of which: Mac Pro’s $400 wheels have no locks to prevent rolling.


There dozens of note taking applications for iOS and Mac, including Apple’s Notes app that continues to get more powerful almost every year. The latest entry into this crowded field is called Tot, and it comes from The Iconfactory — which you may know best as the developers of popular apps such as Twitterrific and Linea Sketch.


Hemingway Vs. Grammarly Review – which is better?  Those are grammar apps by the way.




On macOS you can merge PDFs together using the built-in Preview tool. You can merge PDFs on iOS as well, using the built-in Files app.


How to add text to Photos on iPhone & iPad with Markup.  This is cool.


iPhone: How to send handwritten iMessages. I should try that sometime.  I’ll forget, I just know it.


Five of the best to-do apps for iOS according to MacRumors.


Still have an iPhone 6s? See how much faster the iPhone 11 Pro is in comparison.  I do still have an iPhone 6s and I’m not going to watch this because I know I’ll be envious.


Signal is the European Commission’s encrypted messaging app of choice.  I was going to try it but I don’t have anyone to message.


A proposed EU law would force Apple to make iPhones with user-removable batteries – which is to say, batteries the user could quickly and easily swap out when the phone ran out of juice.


In an interview with Vanity Fair today, Rian Johnson, who directed the popular movie “Knives Out,” shared an interesting tidbit about iPhone product placement deals for films. Apple, he says, allows iPhones to be used in movies, but bad guys aren’t allowed to have iPhones on camera.




How to clean AirPods and the AirPods charging case.  Something I will have to learn.  I love my AirPods.



The best GPS trackers for cats and dogs according to Engadget.




Firefox is rolling out a new privacy feature designed to stop ISPs from tracking the websites you visit. Known as DNS over HTTPS, it will plug a privacy hole when surfing the web.


Data shared with the BBC by digital rights group Access Now, shows that last year [internet] services were deliberately shut down more than 200 times in 33 separate countries. This includes, on one occasion, in the UK.


Facebook isn’t being completely truthful about the data available in its “Download Your Information” feature. Some information is left out.


Facebook sues analytics firm that stole user data through third-party apps.  Funny how when you act poorly someone else is encouraged to do the same.


One of the most vehement arguments against Clearview AI’s practice of scraping billions of photos from millions of public websites to build its facial recognition database was that the company’s data storage and security protocols were both untested and unregulated. On Wednesday, Clearview AI claimed that its facial recognition database was hacked, giving intruders access the the company’s full client list, which Buzzfeed News has acquired.


MI5 chief asks tech firms for ‘exceptional access’ to encrypted messages.  Sir Andrew Parker says cyberspace ‘inaccessible to authorities’ and spies need access to stop serious harm


Apple has announced that starting on September 1, Safari will reject any website that hosts an HTTPS certificate with more than 398 days of validity. Certificates issued before September 1 will not be subject to the change until the date of their next certificate renewal.


The United States Federal Trade Commission announced that it is sending out refund checks totalling over $1.7 million to people who fell victim to tech support scams.  I wonder if the Senate approves?


And this: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday proposed fines against the nation’s largest cellular carriers for selling access to real-time consumer geolocation data to third-party aggregators.


March 1st is the 61st day of this year and is also Saint David’s Day, National “Cursed Soldiers” Remembrance Day in Poland, National Pig Day in the US of A, Self-Injury Awareness Day and World Civil Defence Day. 

Happy Birthday to:  Frédéric Chopin, Polish pianist and composer (b 1810, d 1849); William Dean Howells, American novelist, playwright, and critic (b 1837, d 1920); Lytton Strachey, British writer and critic (b 1880, d 1932); Glenn Miller, American trombonist, composer, and bandleader (b 1904, d 1944); David Niven, English soldier and actor (b 1910, d 1983); Ralph Ellison, American novelist and literary critic (b 1914, d 1994); William Gaines, American publisher (b 1922, d 1992); Deke Slayton, American soldier, pilot, and astronaut (b 1924, d 1993); Harry Belafonte, American singer-songwriter and actor (b 1927); Joan Hackett, American actress (b 1934, d 1983); Robert Conrad, American actor, radio host and stuntman (b 1935, d 2020); Roger Daltrey, English singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (b 1944); Mike d’Abo, English singer (b 1944); Catherine Bach, American actress (b 1954); Ron Howard, American actor, director, and producer (b 1954); Nik Kershaw, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b 1958); Paul Hollywood, English chef (b 1966); Justin Bieber, Canadian singer-songwriter (b 1994).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 1st of March:  Jackie Coogan, American actor (b 1914, d 1984); Jack Wild, Actor (b 1952, d 2006); Bonnie Franklin, American actress, dancer, and singer (b 1944, d 2013).

Some notable historic events that took place on the 1st of March:  The city of Rio de Janeiro is founded (1565); Writs issued in February by Charles I of England mandate that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date (1628); Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba are brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the Salem witch trials (1692); Sweden introduces its own Swedish calendar, in an attempt to gradually merge into the Gregorian calendar, reverts to the Julian calendar on this date in 1712, and introduces the Gregorian calendar on this date in 1753 (1700); The Articles of Confederation goes into effect in the United States (1781); Napoleon returns to France from his banishment on Elba (1815); Yellowstone National Park is established as the world’s first national park (1872); E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York begins production of the first practical typewriter (1873); Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla gives the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri (1893); Henri Becquerel discovers radioactive decay (1896); The Zimmermann Telegram is reprinted in newspapers across the United States after the U.S. government releases its unencrypted text (1917); The Australian cricket team captained by Warwick Armstrong becomes the first team to complete a whitewash of The Ashes, something that would not be repeated for 86 years (1921); The Hoover Dam is completed (1936); The Bank of England is nationalised (1946); Klaus Fuchs is convicted of spying for the Soviet Union by disclosing top secret atomic bomb data (1950); Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses; he dies four days later (1953); The Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, is detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States (1954); The International Air Transport Association finalizes a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization (1956); United States President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps (1961); Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashes on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet’s surface (1966);: Seven are indicted for their role in the Watergate break-in and charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice (1974); Provisional Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands begins his hunger strike in HM Prison Maze (1981); Titanic became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide (1998); The International Criminal Court holds its inaugural session in The Hague (2003); English-language Wikipedia reaches its one millionth article, Jordanhill railway station (2006).



The Smithsonian Institution is releasing a whopping 2.8 million high-res, two- and three-dimensional images from its collections to a new open access online platform. The material comes from all 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo, and it’s available for free to anyone with a web browser.


When Google ditched its desktop Earth app in favor of a web-only experience, it said it was “almost ready” to work on Firefox and other browsers. That was nearly three years ago, but Google has finally delivered on that promise, as Google Earth now works not only on Firefox, but Microsoft Edge and Opera too, the company announced.


Popular mobile game Plague Inc. removed from App Stores in China.


AAPL down 4.75%, other tech giants too, as coronavirus nears pandemic status.  Apparently, Apple has taken the opportunity to buy back some of its own shares.  Sweet.  Then they will be able to sell them again.  That’s how to make money.



Jif and Giphy team up for limited-edition peanut butter to settle the GIF pronunciation debate.


Twitter verified a fake US congressional candidate created by a teenager.


Pope Francis wants you to give up being a jerk online for Lent.  You know who you are!  Yes, you!  Stop avoiding eye contact.


A BP refinery worker in Australia has successfully won back his job after being sacked for parodying the company in a well-known Hitler meme.

Scott Tracey used the popular meme, from the 2004 film Downfall, to portray scenes from company wage negotiations, posting it on a closed Facebook group.


20th Century Flicks is the oldest video rental store in the World (It’s been running since 1982!) Its small, close-knit crew has unwittingly become custodians of the largest collection of DVDs and VHS tapes in the UK (20,000 titles,) and faces a constant struggle to adapt and survive in the age of streaming and downloading.


My hero of the week: In 2015, the boss of a card payments company in Seattle introduced a $70,000 minimum salary for all of his 120 staff – and personally took a pay cut of $1m. Five years later he’s still on the minimum salary, and says the gamble has paid off.


More than 10 years ago, Grace Firth tucked into a snack from Greggs. Somehow, the paper bag ended up on the ground rather than in the bin. Now the 32-year-old student from Stockport has found herself in court, accused of littering.


Finland hosts the world’s first heavy metal (as in music) knitting championship.  Yes, there is a video.


If kinetic energy is converted to thermal energy how hard do you have to slap a chicken to cook it?  Inquiring minds want to know.


In Virginia, letting an F-bomb fly in public could get you slapped with a misdemeanour and up to a $250 fine. “Profane swearing” has been illegal in the commonwealth since 1792, when the fine was 83 cents. Just what bleepin’ words are banned? Well, the state code doesn’t say. But on Wednesday, legislators said to hell with the anti-swearing law: The Virginia Senate voted to repeal it, just weeks after the House did the same.


Valley Forge Elementary School in Tredyffrin Township, Pa., called in police and initiated a “threat assessment” after a student allegedly held up her fingers in the shape of a gun and told a teacher, “I shoot you.” The student was hardly any sort of threat, not just because she’s only 6 years old, but also because she has Down syndrome. School staff familiar with the girl said her actions were “isolated.” The “threat assessment team” found she presented no threat and had no actual intention to harm anyone. Still, police interviewed the parents anyway. “You don’t understand,” Maggie Gaines, the girl’s mother, told them. “This is insane.” The Tredyffrin/Easttown School District says that under their zero tolerance policy, school officials “had to” call police, even though state guidelines don’t require it. “This is not a process that’s going to catch the next school shooter,” commented Senior Policy Advocate Harold Jordan of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. But district officials stand by their policy. (RC/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Croydon, N.H., Police Chief Richard Lee was the only officer in his department; the town’s population is about 750. Last year there was a proposal to abolish the department, but residents voted against that. This year, as Lee sat in on the town’s Selectboard meeting, he was shocked when the three Board members voted to shut down the department to save money. After the vote concluded Selectboard Chairman Russell Edwards ordered Lee to turn over “all police items” including his badge, squad car keys, and town-owned uniforms “immediately,” so Lee stripped down to his T-shirt, briefs, boots, and a baseball cap and started the 7-mile walk home in the snowy 26-degree (-3C) night. He walked close to a mile before his wife picked him up. Lee was part-time, and only earned $17.85 an hour, with no benefits. “This was a well thought out decision,” Edwards claimed, saying the New Hampshire State Police will respond to any calls in town. (RC/Lebanon Valley News, WPTZ Plattsburgh)

“Mad” Mike Hughes, 61, a limousine driver from Apple Valley, Calif., didn’t believe Earth is a sphere. “Do I believe the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee? I believe it is,” he said. “Do I know for sure? No. That’s why I want to go up in space.” And a couple of years ago he built a rocket to launch himself. After several months of delays, he successfully launched himself over the Mojave Desert in a home-made steam-propelled rocket. He landed hard: “I’ll feel it in the morning. I won’t be able to get out of bed.” Still, Hughes brags, “My story really is incredible. It’s got a bunch of story lines: the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. Plus the Flat Earth. The problem is, it brings out all the nuts also.” So, did he “prove” Earth is flat? Well, no: Hughes, who has previously said “I don’t believe in science,” only launched to about 1,875 feet in altitude, or 0.57 km, well short of “space,” which is generally considered to start at 100 km (62 miles) above sea level. He planned to improve his rocket and try, try again.  Last Saturday (22 February), “Mad” Mike took off on another flight, this one apparently being filmed by a TV crew for the upcoming TV series Homemade Astronauts, slated for Discovery’s Science Channel; Hughes was to be its “star.” As the $18,000 steam-powered vehicle shot into the sky, something fluttered away from the rocket: its parachute, which Hughes really needed. Once the rocket ran out of steam, it came right back to Earth, slamming into the desert floor near Barstow, California, at full speed. Total flight time: just under 20 seconds. Mike’s goal was to get to 5,000 ft (1,524m). It’s obvious he didn’t make it to that altitude, but it’s unclear how high he did get. After the first launch’s hard landing, he noted “At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight.” He wasn’t as lucky this time. He was 64.



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. And jokes.


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.)