YMUG Newsletter — 2017/01/01

YMUG Newsletter –  2017/01/01


Best Supporting Acting Secretaries:

Tony Crockford: support@ymug.org

Chris Brady: ymug@csjbrady.org.uk

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


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


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

You’ll get approximately 5 or 6 emails a day and can have ‘instant’ discussions on Mac related issues.  And other stuff, we’re flexible.

To subscribe (FREE) to the group, send a blank email to: 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.    support@ymug.org

And another thing . . . Jo Morris-Turner has taken it upon herself to write up some mactalk posting guidelines.  They sound pretty good to me and they make a lot of sense.  If you’d like to read them I’ve put them into my Dropbox public folder: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1799495/MACTALK%20POSTINGS%20ETIQUETTE.doc



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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

“I am, like, a smart person.”

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

“I have an absolute way of defeating ISIS.”

— Trump, during the campaign

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

— Trump, during the campaign

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

— Trump, during the campaign

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

— Trump, during the campaign

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

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

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

— CIA Director John Brennan memo

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

— Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway

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

— RNC chair Reince Priebus

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

— Kellyanne Conway

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

— Brunhilde Pomsel, secretary to Joseph Goebbels

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

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

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

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

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


Quotes from Carrie Fisher:

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

‘OK, I’ll bite,’ I said. ‘Why?’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

Here is her story in her own words:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

‘You have no arms !’

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

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

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

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

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

‘Bishop, who was this man ?’..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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