YMUG Newsletter — for the 26th 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.
A QUICK REVIEW
Some of you may have heard about Apple and Google collaborating on a new ‘app’ or protocol to help develop COVID-19 contact tracing apps. Naturally, you (being the security conscious person you are) would be concerned about your data being shared. I heard a good explanation of how it could all work and still keep our data private.
It was in the most recent edition of the BBC Inside Science podcast: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hgj3
Honestly, it was really clear and straightforward. I’m going to listen to it again so that I can tell my friends and family about it all. You can listen via your browser or download the episode (the one on the website is about 10 minutes longer than the one broadcast over the air).
And now, on with the (cough, cough) show! Just kidding, I’m fine. A bit bored of course but fine.
MACS, macOS, ETC
Finder is one of the oldest features of macOS. And because of that, sometimes using it can seem a bit less intuitive. Still, it’s one of the best file management systems for macOS. There are a lot of neat tricks and shortcuts for the Finder. But what do you do the file you’re looking for is not appearing? It could be just a temporary glitch or the file in question might be hidden away. Is there any way to fix that? We have solutions for both cases.
Are you the tech-support person for your family and friends? Are you the go-to nerd for fixing up iPhones, Macs and maybe even TVs 1? These days, you can’t just pay a visit to your parents to sort things out, so you’ll have to do it remotely. And if you’re all using Macs, that means screen sharing. You can do this very easily via iMessage — it’s as simple as starting a FaceTime call.
Vivaldi’s alternative browser now blocks ads and web trackers.
Choosing the right video conferencing tool for the job, an overview of 13 different options.
Apple Interface Mysteries is a new e-book, it explains exactly why and how Apple’s products—which are legendary for their easy-to-use interfaces!—have become so complicated and sometimes puzzling. You can get the e-book with a 30% discount by following the link:
OWC has announced availability of a 4TB M.2 drive. For the first time ever, the new 4TB Aura P12 M.2 NVMe SSDs will be utilised in OWC’s Envoy Pro EX line (Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C) for 4TB of portable storage, as well as the ThunderBlade and Accelsior 4M2, which will each now offer up to 16TB of storage.
In 2005 Apple shocked the Mac community when it announced that Macs would be moving from IBM PowerPC CPUs to Intel processors. In retrospect, it was the only way to keep Macs relevant in a red-hot PC market, even given the substantial teething troubles. Now it seems Apple may be making another shift, but when it comes to considering ARM vs Intel CPUs, what are the key differences on the horizon for Apple users?
iOS, iPADS, iPHONES
First impressions and reviews of the new iPhone SE are now out, with many praising the device’s flagship performance at a budget-friendly price. I’ve already decided: it’s going to be my next iPhone. AND, I just checked . . . if I buy a new iPhone SE through the Apple website they will give me a £50 rebate for my iPhone 6s! And I can get 0% financing for two years. What am I waiting for?
Wondering about enabling and using iCloud Photos on iPhone and iPad? If you have a lot of photos and own multiple Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs, enabling iCloud Photos could be one of the more convenient features available to you. iCloud Photos enables the seamless and automatic syncing of all your photos and videos across all of your devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more, and it works flawlessly (most of the time anyway, but always backup your photos and important stuff separately from the cloud).
12.9-inch iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard weighs more than a 13-inch MacBook Air. But they’re both lovely.
40+ tips to make the most out of your trackpad or mouse on iPadOS 13.4. Sorry for all the ads but it seemed like a good list.
The best video editing apps for the IPhone
San Francisco-based cybersecurity company ZecOps says that iPhones and iPads may be vulnerable to a flaw involving the Mail app, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. But that Apple had patched out the vulnerabilities in the latest beta version of iOS.
There appears to be a new character-linked bug in Messages, Mail, and other apps that can cause the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch to crash when receiving a specific string of characters. In this particular case, the character string involves the Italian flag emoji along with characters in the Sindhi language, and it appears the system crash happens when an incoming notification is received with the problem-causing characters.
Owners of vintage Porsche who also love the latest and greatest tech are in for a treat, as the carmaker will now offer official CarPlay kits for their classic vehicles. It’s all the functionality you expect from CarPlay, but fits in with the retro dashboard of cars like the famous Porsche 911. Don’t all order one at once!
CORONA VIRUS STUFF — skip if you’re fed up with hearing about this (anyone missing Brexit?)
Why we are isolating: As Ars reported recently, evidence from the 1918 flu pandemic suggests that cities with more aggressive lockdown responses had stronger economic recoveries. There’s more than one way to think about the economics of lockdowns, and a paper due to be published in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis has an entirely different approach. It accepts that lockdowns will hurt the economy compared to business-as-usual but calculates whether that cost is outweighed by the lives that will be saved by social-distancing measures. The answer is yes—by $5.2 trillion. That’s an estimate that changes based on a range of different assumptions, but it represents what the authors consider the most realistic scenario.
Apple and Google’s plan to track the spread of COVID-19 by tracing the contacts of those with confirmed cases through Bluetooth technology on their cellphones got an early blessing on Friday from the U.K.’s privacy watchdog, while the American Civil Liberties Union said it was “cautiously optimistic.”
The first version of Apple and Google’s contact-tracing API will reportedly roll out April 28, Apple CEO Tim Cook says. As noted by French language website iGeneration, Cook revealed the launch date to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who then shared it during a press conference held Wednesday.
As many as a billion mobile phone owners around the world will be unable to use the smartphone-based system proposed by Apple and Google to track whether they have come into contact with people infected with the coronavirus, industry researchers estimate.
France says limitations in iOS are delaying the development of its COVID-19 contact-tracing app.
As the new coronavirus took root across America, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent states tainted test kits in early February that were themselves seeded with the virus, federal officials have confirmed.
Wisconsin’s controversial decision to hold a primary election in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic has led to the infection of at least seven people, Milwaukee health officials say. According to officials, six voters and one poll worker have tested positive for COVID-19. They added that more cases could emerge in the coming days. It’s also not known how many infections may have happened in other parts of the state.
The pandemic is a challenge for all of us. The economic knock-on effects of the health crisis are themselves another crisis. Many people are wildly casting about, not just for solutions, but for someone to take the blame. It’s hard to punish the SARS-CoV-2 virus, of course; whether or not one regards a virus as a living thing, it is most certainly not a legal person in any sense. The office of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has apparently decided that, in the absence of any way to sue a virus, the next best course of action is to take to court the entire nation where the disease originated. To that end, Schmitt’s office said yesterday it had filed a lawsuit against “the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party, and other Chinese officials and institutions” for the COVID-19 pandemic.
From adults creating chlorine gas in their kitchens to toddlers guzzling hand sanitiser, Americans seem to be inadvertently poisoning themselves as they try to defend against the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Since the beginning of March—as the COVID-19 pandemic began raging in the US—calls to poison control centers nationwide “increased sharply,” according a new study led by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fraudsters may have stolen tens of millions of euros earmarked for German COVID-19 financial aid after a province failed to properly check the identity of applicants, according to Handelsblatt. The cybercriminals used a classic phishing scheme: First, they created a copy of the official website used by the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) province to distribute coronavirus aid to businesses and self-employed folks. Then they launched an email campaign to lure users to the phoney website and steal their credentials. Finally, the scammers requested financial aid on behalf of those individuals while using their own bank accounts.
Yes, he really did: US President Donald Trump has been lambasted by the medical community after suggesting research into whether coronavirus might be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body. And he thought checking out UV was another good idea. Gee, if that worked the sun’s rays would have killed off COVID-19 already.
But he’s not the only one: A federal court has ordered the “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing” to stop distributing a bleach product that Genesis claims is a cure for COVID-19 and many other health problems.
Telecoms engineers have told Radio 1 Newsbeat they’re being threatened and harassed by people who believe they’re working on 5G, which has been wrongly linked to coronavirus.
Corey Jurgensen, 40, donned a 7-foot (2-meter) -tall inflatable unicorn costume to jog, jump and dance around the streets near her Tampa home last week in an effort to cheer up neighbours stuck indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic, yes, there is a picture.
A Florida judge has one request for attorneys showing up for court hearings via Zoom: Get out of bed and put on some clothes! There is a picture but not of undressed lawyers; you’ll have to Google that yourself.
A well-meaning cleaner who took the opportunity to give a locked-down library a thorough clean re-shelved all of its books – in size order.
Staff at Newmarket Library, Suffolk, discovered the sloping tomes after the building underwent a deep clean.
Peace N Peas Farm will rent Mambo, a 8-year-old miniature donkey, and his friends to crash company conference calls, The Charlotte Observer reported. This camera crowding donkey is “like a pesky little brother” that “doesn’t let anyone relax too long,” Francie Dunlap, Mambo’s owner, said.
In 2017, Elena Manighetti and Ryan Osborne decided to take the plunge many dream of – they quit their jobs, bought a boat and decided to travel around the world. They asked their families to keep in touch, but with one rule: no bad news. So, guess what: they knew nothing about the coronavirus outbreak until they tried to put ashore in the Caribbean.
“You can only leave your home with a reasonable excuse, and I think people really need to get educated about that,” said Albury, NSW, Australia, top cop Paul Smith. “People need to look at what is essential.” Mere hours after he said that, a man got into a car crash in nearby Lavington. In addition to a charge of driving while disqualified, the driver was given a fine for traveling for a non-essential purpose: he had told officers he was traveling to see his drug dealer. (AC/Port Macquarie News)
Like most church pastors, Scott Mowery of Immanuel Baptist Church in Butler, Mo., is doing services by streaming video online. He was delivering a sermon via Facebook Live when his wife sent him a comment: “You’ve got filters going on,” the message that popped up on his screen said. “And I’m like, what? What’s going on? I can’t see anything,” Mowery said. Indeed, Facebook was overlaying multiple comical “masks” over his face, such as cat ears, googly eyes, space helmets, and wizard hats. His wife shared the video with a pastors’ wives forum, and from there it went viral, spreading around the globe. “I’ve never had a video with even 1,000 views,” Mowery said. “And I never thought this is what I’d be known for.” (RC/WDAF Kansas City)
Frontier Lighting in Perth, W.A., Australia, joined other lighting companies to put on an outdoor light show to honor the medical workers on the front line fight against COVID-19. “They had a great big floodlight that went high into the sky and changed all different shapes and colors,” reported one caller to a radio station. But the caller wasn’t describing a “light show” — they thought they were seeing a UFO. “We shot a great big love heart into the air and yes,” said Frontier Lighting designer Jared Hawke, “it did look like the UFOs were coming. But we didn’t have anyone letting us know that people were reporting” the light show as an alien invasion. (RC/9News Australia)
TODAY IN HISTORY
April 26th is the 117th day of this leap year and is also World Intellectual Property Day. There had to be one hadn’t there? Sigh.
Happy Birthday to: John James Audubon, French-American ornithologist and painter (b 1785, d. 1851); Eugène Delacroix, French painter and lithographer (b 1798, d. 1863);– Ma Rainey, American singer (b 1886, d. 1939); Anita Loos, American author, playwright, and screenwriter (b 1889, d. 1981); Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-English philosopher and academic (b 1889, d. 1951); A. E. van Vogt, Canadian-American author (b 1912, d. 2000); Bernard Malamud, Jewish American novelist and short story writer (b 1914, d. 1986); Morris West, Australian author and playwright (b 1916, d. 1999); I. M. Pei, Chinese-American architect, designed the National Gallery of Art and Bank of China Tower (b 1917, d. 2019); Jack Douglas, English actor (b 1927, d. 2008); Carol Burnett, American actress, singer, and producer (b 1933); Duane Eddy, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b 1938); Giorgio Moroder, Italian singer-songwriter and producer (b 1940); Gary Wright, American singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and producer (b 1943); Roger Taylor, English drummer for which band? I got it wrong! (b 1960); Jet Li, Chinese-Singaporean martial artist, actor, and producer (b 1963); Susannah Harker, English actress (b 1965); Melania Trump, Slovene-American model; First Lady of the United States; wife of United States President Donald Trump (b 1970).
Rest in peace these folks who died on the 26th of April: Carl Bosch, German chemist and engineer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1874, d 1940); Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress, striptease dancer, and writer (b. 1911, d 1970); Sid James, South African-English actor (b. 1913, d 1976); Count Basie, American pianist, composer, and bandleader (b. 1904, d 1984); Broderick Crawford, American actor (b. 1911, d 1986); Lucille Ball, American model, actress, comedian, and producer (b. 1911, d 1989); Jill Dando, English journalist and television personality (b. 1961, d 1999); Hans Holzer, Austrian-American paranormal investigator and author (b. 1920, d 2009); Phoebe Snow, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1950, d 2011);Jayne Meadows, American actress (b. 1919, d 2015); Jonathan Demme, American filmmaker, producer and screenwriter (b. 1944, d 2017).
Some notable historic events that took place on April 26th: William Shakespeare is baptised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (1564); English colonists make landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia (1607); Sybil Ludington, aged 16, rode 40 miles to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British regular forces (1777); Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, in Virginia (1865); The Duke of York weds Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey (1923); The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established (1933); Guernica, Spain, is bombed by German Luftwaffe (1937); Battle of Bautzen: Last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht (1945); SS Ideal X, the world’s first successful container ship, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas (1956); Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania (1964); A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world’s worst nuclear disaster (1986); Under international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country (2005).
How Apple went from bust to five million colourful iMacs sold. It’s the machine that saved Apple, but today as the iMac is just one part of a hugely successful product lineup, it’s easy to forget just how crucial it was. But back on April 19, 2001, Apple reminded us with the news that it had sold its five millionth iMac.
WWW = WEIRD, WONDERFUL AND WHY
Greenhouse gas emissions are most commonly reported at the national level, which tends to make us compare nations to other nations. This makes some sense, as national policy can significantly influence emissions trends. But it’s easy to forget that borders are just lines on a map, and some lines have considerably more people inside them than others. The citizens of Luxembourg don’t ensure their country’s low carbon emissions because they’re lightyears ahead of the people of China in terms of efficiency—there are just a whole lot fewer of them. In order to make more meaningful comparisons, you obviously have to calculate emissions per person. And when you do that, the United States really sticks out. (As does Luxembourg, by the way.) It’s not surprising that per capita emissions in the United States are much greater than in India, where millions of people still lack electricity. But why are they also much greater than in the wealthier Western nations in Europe?
Where to watch free movies online without downloading, signing up, or paying.
Reel-to-reel tapes are experiencing a resurgence of interest among audio buffs, but they are prone to degradation, which has been a topic of active research for many years. It’s well known that applying heat can often reverse the damage sufficiently to enable playback, usually by baking the tapes in an oven. Now scientists at the US Library of Congress have determined precisely why this method seems to work, presenting their findings earlier this month on the American Chemical Society’s SciMeetings online platform.
Got the following scam email this last week; I wish I had some kind of catalog to send them, it would be fun to waste their time. Maybe I can download one from some adult toys website . . .
I got your contact from my intricate research and also currently sourcing from other business site as well.
I am interested in placing some orders with your company and will like to review your products catalogue. I request you to provide me with your company profile , updated product catalog with sample pictures and price list.?
I am anxiously waiting for the reply with detailed price to enable me process my order. looking forward to your productive reply.”
Stuck home and missing your IKEA meatball fix? Fear not, the company has just released the recipe online so you can recreate the dish in the comfort of your own home! And this isn’t a link to another site, the recipe is just there. I’m printing it as we speak . . . er, as I type this.
This Millenium Falcon bottle opener / keychain is the fastest hunk of junk in your kitchen. Is it too early to start a Christmas shopping list Tim?
The Wenger 16999 Swiss Army Knife features 87 tools for almost any situation! The perfect gift for the man who has everything. Its price tag? $9,999.99
Chief Bottle Washer and television reviewer — Tony Crockford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Department of Redundancy Department — Chris Brady: email@example.com
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.
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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.)