YMUG Newsletter — 2020/04/19

YMUG Newsletter — for the 19th 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.



How to use Reminders on Mac, a complete user guide.  In case you’re really bored being stuck at home. 


Service Station lets you customize the Finder’s right-click contextual menu to put essential functions just a click away.  And the basic version is free on the App Store.  I’m going to try it out but haven’t had a chance yet.


It’s easy to mute notifications from the Mac Messages app as well. You can choose to mute the entire app or mute texts from individual people or groups instead. Here’s how to do it.  I once accidentally muted my wife; that didn’t go so well.


Do Wi-Fi extenders work with any router?  Read on!!


Find the best video chat app with this mega-guide.


If you’re buying a desktop with photo editing in mind, it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you go in. Not all desktops are created equal, and even if something seems like a good deal, it might be missing out on a key component to make your photo editing experience truly shine. There are four areas you need to keep an eye out for when shopping for a desktop, though depending on how often you edit photos, your needs may change.




Apple announces new iPhone SE with 4.7-inch display, A13 chip, and Touch ID, starts at $399.  It sounds good to me; I think it will be my next iPhone.






By the way, the new iPhone SE is the same size as the now discontinued iPhone 8 so the cases are the same size.  🙂

Comparing the battery life of almost every iPhone since the iPhone 6 including the new SE.


How to connect to wifi without wifi password, sometimes anyway.


YouTuber Jules Gerard managed to get Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 running on his new 2020 iPad Pro without jailbreaking the device.  Why?  Who knows?




HomePod operating system now based on tvOS instead of iOS amid rumours of smaller HomePod.



CORONA VIRUS STUFF — skip if you’re fed up with hearing about this (anyone missing Brexit?)

Princeton mathematician John Conway has died of the coronavirus. He was 82 years old. The British-born Conway spent the early part of his career at Cambridge before moving to Princeton University in the 1980s. He made contributions in various areas of mathematics but is best known for his invention of Conway’s Game of Life, a cellular automaton in which simple rules give rise to surprisingly complex behaviours. It was made famous by a 1970 Scientific American article and has had a lively community around it ever since then. (Don’t confuse it with Milton Bradley’s board game of the same name.)


The UK’s National Health Service is working with Google and Apple to develop an app to assist with the tracking of COVID-19, a system that may be the contact tracing software the two tech giants recently announced was in development.






EU to pressure Tim Cook about privacy in Apple & Google’s COVID-19 contact tracing.


And I guess it’s not going so well with the NHS after all.


Oh well, just forget the whole thing.


Apple sends letter to senators confirming privacy and security of COVID-19 App.


Apple is continuing its work to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 around the world and released a mobility data trends tool from Apple Maps, which provides insight into social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Apple has recently registered the domain name AppleCoronavirus.com, according to a WHOIS record discovered by MacRumors.


Coronavirus: 20 suspected phone mast attacks over Easter.  Sigh. 



Scammers are sending 18 million hoax emails about Covid-19 to Gmail users every day, according to Google.


What is isopropyl alcohol? Is “rubbing alcohol” or “surgical spirit” the same thing? What percentage of isopropyl do I need for electronics work or disinfecting? Can I use anything else on my electronics? And, hey, is this stuff going to catch on fire if I cause a spark?


Pubs, like other public venues, look set to stay shut for the foreseeable future. But what’s going to happen to the contents of their cellars?

Fifty million pints – give or take.


Charlotte Henderson doesn’t want to look like garbage while taking out the trash. In fact, the Aussie is treating the filthy chore like an extravagant event. Despite being in coronavirus lockdown, the Melbourne resident is getting all dolled up before doing housework, even if it means only traveling the length of her driveway.  And yes, there’s a pretty funny video.


Police in Merseyside, England, raided the Hot Water Comedy Club for holding an event in violation of pandemic shutdown orders. They got the tip from a streaming video from the club, which showed a packed audience enjoying the show. Club management says security camera video shows “about 20 officers” showed up to scatter the crowd — but no one was there: they were streaming an event from their video archive, and say the online feed was “clearly” labeled as recorded. (RC/Sky)

The Czech Republic hadn’t yet begun to relax the restrictions it had put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 when police in Lázně Bohdaneč were called out to deal with beachgoers who weren’t wearing anything. Officers told them there were certain parts of their bodies they needed to cover up: by wearing face masks. “Citizens are allowed to be without clothes in designated locations,” the police said in a statement, “but they still must cover their mouths, and only gather in appropriate numbers.” (AC/CNN)

Police in Blackburn, Lanc., England received reports of a reckless driver. Officers pursued the vehicle, but it stopped and the occupant(s) ran. “The driver fled the area, but they kindly left behind their mobile phones, a quantity of cash, and a plastic tub containing … drugs,” a police spokesman said. “We would like to remind people during this time, that running from the police is not ‘social distancing’.” (RC/Lancashire Telegraph)

Star Cinema Grills and District Theaters, of the Houston, Texas, area, bought pandemic insurance, paying $40,000 to be covered for up to $1 million in losses in the event of a pandemic, says attorney Michael Hawash, who represents the company that operates it. As we all know, a pandemic came, so Star Cinema is covered, right? Wrong, the lawyer says the insurance broker told him: the policy doesn’t list “COVID-19” as one of the diseases it covers. But Hawash is suing some Lloyds of London underwriters, arguing that COVID-19 is indeed covered: the virus itself is known as SARS-CoV-2, and the policy does list “SARS-associated coronavirus” and variations thereof. (AC/KHOU Houston)



A very comprehensive primer on mobile privacy and security


Over 500,000 Zoom accounts are being sold on the dark web and hacker forums for less than a penny each, and in some cases, given away for free. These credentials are gathered through credential stuffing attacks where threat actors attempt to login to Zoom using accounts leaked in older data breaches. The successful logins are then compiled into lists that are sold to other hackers.




April 19th is the 110th day of this leap year and is also Dutch-American Friendship Day in the United States.

Happy Birthday to:  Eliot Ness, American law enforcement agent (b 1903, d 1957); Dickie Bird, English cricketer and umpire (b 1933) and  Jayne Mansfield, American model and actress (b 1933, d 1967); Dudley Moore, English actor, comedian, and pianist (b 1935, d 2002); Michel Roux, French-English chef and author (b 1941); Alan Price, English keyboard player, singer, and composer (b 1942); Tim Curry, English actor (b 1946); Ruby Wax, British-based American comedian, actress, and screenwriter (b 1953); Sue Barker, English tennis player and journalist (b 1956); Ashley Judd, American actress and activist (b 1968); Kelly Holmes, English runner (b 1970); Kate Hudson, American actress (b 1979).

Rest in peace these folks who died on the 19th of April:  Canaletto, Italian painter and etcher (b 1697, d 1768); Lord Byron, English-Scottish poet and playwright (b 1788, d 1824); Benjamin Disraeli, English journalist and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b 1804, d 1881); Charles Darwin, English biologist and theorist (b 1809, d 1882); Pierre Curie, French physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b 1859, d 1906); Konrad Adenauer, German politician, 1st Chancellor of Germany (b 1876, d 1967); Daphne du Maurier, English novelist and playwright (b 1907, d 1989); Frankie Howerd, English actor and screenwriter (b 1917, d 1992); Norris McWhirter, English author and activist co-founded the Guinness World Records (b 1925, d 2004); John Maynard Smith, English biologist and geneticist (b 1920, d 2004); J. G. Ballard, English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. (b 1930, d 2009); Elisabeth Sladen, English actress (b 1946, d 2011); Levon Helm, American singer-songwriter, drummer, guitarist, instrumentalist, and actor (b 1940, d 2012); Allan Arbus, American actor and photographer (b 1918, d 2013).

Some notable historic events that took place on April 19th:  Captain James Cook, still holding the rank of lieutenant, sights the eastern coast of what is now Australia (1770); John Adams secures the Dutch Republic’s recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, Netherlands becomes the first American embassy (1782); French physicist Augustin Fresnel signs his preliminary “Note on the Theory of Diffraction” (deposited on the following day). The document ends with what we now call the Fresnel integrals (1818); Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex (1927); Actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco (1956); Charles Manson is sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment) for conspiracy in the Tate–LaBianca murders (1971); The 51-day FBI siege of the Branch Davidian building in Waco, Texas, USA, ends when a fire breaks out. 76 Davidians, including eighteen children under the age of ten, died in the fire (1993); Oklahoma City bombing: The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, USA, is bombed, killing 168 people including 19 children under the age of six (1995).



The COBOL programming language was created in 1959 and has been widely seen as obsolete for decades. Yet there are still a fair number of software systems based on the language. The economic stresses of the coronavirus pandemic have created a surge in demand for COBOL programmers. Last week, for example, the governor of New Jersey put out a call for COBOL programmers to help fix problems with the software that runs the state’s unemployment insurance system.


What a good idea, an open source cookbook!  With one of the most hideous welcome pages I’ve ever seen.  Seriously, anyone with any kind of web design skills should contact these people.




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.


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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.)