YMUG Newsletter — the 4th of August, 2019
A collection of news and views, rants and raves, and some goofy news stories compiled by Jerad Zimmermann, Esq.
A PERSONAL NOTE
Okay, I’m back in the saddle . . . well, that’s what John Wayne would say. My Macbook Pro has a brand-spanking new battery and the case has reverted to it’s normal size so my trackpad is working as it should. The repair man told me that, in fact, the battery had leaked a bit in the case but there was no damage. Whew!!
In the past I tried really hard to take care of my battery (and it did last five years or more) but I’m going to try even harder now. I just read another news post about good battery protocols and I’m going to stick with the recommendations. Mostly. As much as I can.
What I find most impressive is that my mid-2012 model Macbook Pro is still functioning beautifully. The keyboard and case are in great shape. I think one reason that persuaded many of us to become Apple users is their build quality.
Anyway, on with the show!!
AN IMPORTANT YMUG NOTE
Quick heads up re memberships.
Many of you will have received a membership renewal request.
Some of you have renewed without difficulty, (thanks, brilliant, wonderful!) but I just discovered that anyone that created a subscription during the testing phase (December 2018 to end Feb 2019) would have been unable to buy a renewal.
I’ve fixed that, (you may have had a note about a cancelled subscription)
if you got a renewal request and couldn’t renew, please try again.
If you get an expiry reminder in August, please renew!
If you have any issues at all, please let me know by replying to this email.
Once this renewal tranche (some 75 of you) is passed, we should have ironed out all the wrinkles
Many thanks for your patience
MACS, macOS, etc
Okay, catching up a bit: As it often does, Apple released updates for all of its device operating systems over a week ago. iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, macOS 10.14.6, and tvOS 12.4 all arrive on supporting devices today (which was the 23rd of July!). Probably the ‘biggest’ change is that iOS 12.4 allows the transfer of settings and data from an old iPhone to one being set up, which is slick.
And then, a week later: It was just over a week ago that Apple released macOS 10.14.6, but the company has already pushed out a Supplemental Update. Released today, the update fixes a heretofore not-widely-known issue involving sleep mode on Macs.
15-inch MacBook Pro mini-review: How much does Apple’s fastest laptop offer?
Want to remove Mail rules from Mac Mail? Or perhaps you need to disable Mail rules when an errant mail rule has wreaked some havoc in the Mail app? Perhaps you created a Mail auto-responder and no longer need that mail rule anymore, or maybe you misconfigured a mail rule which is causing some issues with the Mail app and want to delete that. Whatever the situation, we’ll show you how to remove Mail rules from the Mail app of Mac OS. We’ll also show a troubleshooting trick to disable mail rules manually via the file system.
Some Mac users may wish to turn off FaceTime on their computer, thereby preventing FaceTime calls from ringing on the Mac, and also turning off the ability to make outbound calls too. By disabling FaceTime on the Mac, the Mac will not be able to accept, receive, or make any FaceTime calls, whether they are audio or video calls. This is an easy feature to turn off and on at any time, so you can also quickly re-enable FaceTime if you do want to use the feature on the Mac.
From Jon Brodkin at ArsTechnica: This is a story I never had any intention of writing. Dropbox updated its file-sync application for Mac last month, and the new version contains an annoyance that I would like to eliminate. I figured this wouldn’t be difficult, let alone newsworthy: I’d contact Dropbox, explain the problem, and find out if there’s any way for me to change the annoying behavior. If there wasn’t, I’d recommend that they make a small change to their app, and hopefully my message would be passed along to their development team and they’d eventually make a change. Instead, I learned something both frustrating and fascinating: there are numerous Dropbox support employees who apparently have never used their company’s Mac application and do not understand how it works. As a result, Dropbox’s users have to explain to Dropbox employees how Dropbox’s application works on the Mac.
iOS, iPADS, iPHONES
Apple releases iOS 12.4 with new wireless data migration when setting up a new iPhone and Apple News+ improvements
Alongside iOS 12.4 Apple releases iOS 9.3.6 and iOS 10.3.4 with GPS bug fixes for older iPhones and iPads.
One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud.
How to prevent unsolicited AirDrops to your Apple Device.
Starting November 3, 2019, some iPhone and iPad models introduced in 2012 and earlier will require an iOS update to maintain accurate GPS location and keep the correct date and time. This is due to the GPS time rollover issue that began affecting GPS-enabled products from other manufacturers on April 6, 2019. Affected Apple devices are not impacted until November 3, 2019.
How to Disable Camera Access for Apps on iPhone & iPad.
THE MODERN WORLD AND ‘YOUR’ DATA
Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant, the Guardian has learned.
And, the next week: Apple workers have stopped listening to Siri queries worldwide, the company said this week. Apple plans to bring back human reviews of Siri voice recordings at some unspecified date, but the company said it will only review them when customers specifically opt in to the practice.
A woman has been charged in connection with a hacking breach at Capital One bank that exposed information from more than 100 million credit applications over a 14-year period – what is thought to be one of the largest such attacks in recent years.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in response to ransomware attacks on three public school districts. There’s no word so far on which ransomware variant has hit the school districts or what the exact extent of damages is. Eddie Jones, principal of Florien High School (a school in one of the three affected districts), told KSLA News that his technology supervisor received an alert on his phone at 4am Sunday about unusually high bandwidth usage. Shortly afterward, investigators discovered ransomware on the school servers. Jones says “anything and everything housed solely on the School District’s servers” was lost, including 17 years of his own personal documents.
About 200 million Internet-connected devices—some that may be controlling elevators, medical equipment, and other mission-critical systems—are vulnerable to attacks that give attackers complete control, researchers warned on Monday.
US Attorney General William Barr launched a new front in the feds’ ongoing fight against consumer encryption, railing against the common security practice and lamenting the “victims” in its wake. “The deployment of warrant-proof encryption is already imposing huge costs on society,” Barr claimed in remarks at a cybersecurity conference held at Fordham University Tuesday morning. Barr added that encryption “seriously degrades” law enforcement’s ability to “detect and prevent a crime before it occurs,” as well as making eventual investigation and prosecution of crime more difficult.
August 4th is the 216th day of the year and is also Coast Guard Day in the US. One of my cousin’s husband is in the Coast Guard. I should write them. But why break the habit of a lifetime?
Happy Birthday to: poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (b 1792, d 1822); mathematician William Rowan Hamilton (b 1805, d 1865); fashionista Louis Vuitton (b 1821, d 1892); mathematician John Venn (b 1834, d 1923); Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (b 1900, d 2002); musician Louis Armstrong (b 1901, d 1971); journalist Helen Thomas (b 1920, d 2013); bass player and ubiquitous session musician Larry Knechtel (b 1940, d 2009); actor Martin Jarvis (b 1941); actor Richard Belzer (b 1944); actor Billy Bob Thornton (b 1955); former US President Barack Obama (b 1961); baseball player Roger Clemens (b 1962); comedian Lee Mack (b 1968).
Rest in peace these folks who died on August 4th: story writer Hans Christian Andersen (b 1805, d 1875); the curvaceous Marilyn Monroe (b 1926, d 1962); actor Melvyn Douglas (b 1901, d 1981); actor Victor Mature (b 1913, d 1999); historian Brian Crozier (b 1918, d 2012).
Some notable historic events that took place on August 4th: The father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden are found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home; she was tried and acquitted for the crimes a year later (1892); In response to the German invasion of Belgium, Belgium and the British Empire declare war on Germany (1914); A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and four others (1944); A federal judge sentences Los Angeles Police Department officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 30 months in prison for violating motorist Rodney King’s civil rights (1993).
WWW = WEIRD, WONDERFUL AND WHY
Now even funerals are livestreamed—and families are grateful. One funeral home director estimates nearly 20% of US funeral homes now offer streaming.
The shift toward using an app on your phone to place an order, instead of using your phone to call a place, has made life easier for millions of people. Unfortunately, that shift has the opposite effect on blind and visually impaired consumers, for whom thousands of websites and mobile apps are unusable. Domino’s Pizza maintains one such site, and it’s asking the Supreme Court to let the site stay that way.
Some everyday Viking words you use every day. Probably. What do I know?
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg began his new role as the leader of the House of Commons by issuing a style guide to all staff members in his new office. His rules, according to ITV News, include banning his staff from using words such as “very”, “lot” and “got” when writing to other MPs and members of the public. He also said only ‘imperial’ measurements should be used. Well, that says a lot really.
A stretch of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico was adorned with a set of pink see-saws this week — allowing children (and grownups) to play together across the barrier. The event was “filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness,” says architect Ronald Rael, a leader of the project.
Devon volcano up for sale for £50,000. I assume it’s inactive. Otherwise it could be an explosive situation.
People visiting a medieval cathedral this summer will see the central aisle converted into a crazy golf course. The nave of Rochester Cathedral is home to a nine-hole course each including a model of a different type of bridge.
Some good news: England’s largest retailers are now selling 90% fewer plastic bags than they did before a 5-pence plastic bag fee began in late 2015, the U.K. government says. In the past year alone, the retailers’ sales fell by nearly half, from more than 1 billion bags to fewer than 550 million.
Fans of a popular Chinese video blogger who called herself “Your Highness Qiao Biluo” have been left stunned after a technical glitch during one of her live-streams revealed her to be a middle-aged woman and not the young glamorous girl they thought her to be.
A food evil greater than pineapple pizza has emerged, and we need to band together for some good ol’ fashion public shaming. Sound the ice cream truck alarm, because a accursed food is on its way: hot dog ice cream.
A woman who celebrated her 107th birthday on Wednesday shared her secret to living a long life: stay single. Louise Signore, who lives in the Bronx in New York, maintains a healthy diet and exercises regularly. But she believes the real reason why she’s enjoyed more than a century is because she never tied the knot.
“I have a plan on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth, it would just be gone, it would be over literally in 10 days. I don’t want to go that route…I just don’t want to kill 10 million people. Does that make sense to you?”
A 911 caller told Chicago, Ill., police there was an active shooter in an office building. About 30 employees hid in one closet; others tried securing themselves in restrooms. The block was cordoned off, police went through the place one floor at a time, and even a neighbouring building went into lockdown. But there was no active shooter. There wasn’t even a drill. “This was an instructional training video,” said the building’s tenant, AT&T. “In the case of a drill, our team would have notified our employees in the building in advance.” (AC/Chicago Tribune)
Matty Roberts says he created an “event” on Facebook, but “it was kind of a joke.” Even though it is scheduled from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and located deep into the Nevada desert, the September event notice so far shows about 2 million people say they are going, and 1.4 million more say they are “interested” in going. The event: “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us”, and the post suggests folks “meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction” to “coordinate our entry.” The tourist attraction is 74 road miles from the military site at Groom Lake. Area 51 is the popular name of an Air Force facility which conspiracy theorists believe is where the government keeps captured UFOs for study and technology exploitation. The event notice says that “If we naruto run [use anime ninja powers], we can move faster than their bullets. Lets [sic] see them aliens.” The Air Force says it “highly discourages” anyone to actually try to storm the site, saying only that it would be “dangerous.” (RC/KLAS Las Vegas)
When a flight from Bogota, Colombia, arrived in Barcelona, Spain, police couldn’t help but notice one particular passenger: he was nervous, clearly wearing a toupee, and there was something wrong with it. They pulled him aside since his wig was covering something huge on the top of his head. A search revealed a plastic bag with 503g of cocaine inside. He was of course arrested. Police didn’t name the man, but did release a photo, and put a value on the drugs of about 30,000 euros (US$34,000). (RC/Reuters)
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with help from: Anzir Boodoo and Tim Pinder.
Items for the newsletter . . . reviews, rants, raves, revelations and reflections to: Jerad Zimmermann, your participatory social mores editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest. And jokes.
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SPECIAL PRICING FOR MUG MEMBERS
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.)