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.


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