2019 Newsletter: 52/58 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meetings This Week:

Tuesday Forum - Tuesday Oct 15th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

The usual Q&A and other discussions.

Web Design - Saturday Oct 19th - 1:30 pm (2:00 pm meeting start) - 4:00 pm

Hi everyone,

Our next meeting is the 19th October and I hope to be there. I am much improved. We have two meetings left this year so I had hoped we could discuss what we would like to do next year.

Before the cancellation of our meeting in August and my stay in Hospital in September, I was going to look at Writing Mode which allows us to create some impressive textual visual effects. So we can have a look at Writing Mode and discuss any topics of interest.

See you all on Saturday the 19th.

Steve South

Meetings Next Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday Oct 22nd - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm
Digital Photography - Friday Oct 25th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

Current & Upcoming Meetings:

71 2019/10/05 - 14:00-17:00 - 05 Oct, Saturday - Penrith Group
72 2019/10/08 - 17:30-20:30 - 08 Oct, Tuesday - Programming
73 2019/10/11 - 09:30-12:30 - 11 Oct, Friday - Friday Forum
74 2019/10/11 - 12:30-15:30 - 11 Oct, Friday - Communications
75 2019/10/15 - 09:30-12:30 - 15 Oct, Tuesday - Tuesday Forum
76 2019/10/19 - 13:30-16:30 - 19 Oct, Saturday - Web Design
77 2019/10/22 - 17:30-20:30 - 22 Oct, Tuesday - Main Meeting
78 2019/10/25 - 09:30-12:30 - 25 Oct, Friday - Digital Photography


“ASCCA Pitt St Sydney Courses
October November December 2019”:

Greetings all,

Our new course program has now been released.

Click here to read or download the course program in PDF format.

Some people have reported that the above link does not work for them. If so, try this one:


Jean Martin

Empowering Australian seniors through technology

Level LG | 280 Pitt Street | Sydney | NSW | 2000
P: (02) 9286 3871 | W: www.ascca.org.au
E: training@ascca.org.au
FB: www.facebook.com/ASCCAau

Tech News:

“Industry appears to think encryption law review is an eyewash”:

See the iTWire article by Sam Varghese | Thursday, 10 October 2019 12:00.

It's beginning to look like the tech industry has finally cottoned on to the fact that the Federal Government's repeated reviews of the encryption laws that were rushed through Parliament last year are just an eyewash.

That probably accounts for the fact that the ongoing inquiry into the legislation by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Dr James Renwick has received just 15 submissions.

Dr Renwick issued a media release last week, extending the date for submissions to 1 November and stressing that though there had been numerous submissions to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, he could not treat those as submissions to his inquiry unless they were submitted to him.

The law, officially known as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, was passed on 6 December 2018, without any amendments with the Labor Party supporting its passage.

Soon after, a review of the law by the PJCIS was announced with a reporting date of 3 April. But the only thing that this committee did was to put off any decision on amendments, instead asking Dr Renwick to review the law and report back by 1 March 2020.

Prior to the passage of the law, numerous local and foreign organisations and companies appeared before the PJCIS. Apart from the government agencies, hardly any company offered support for the law which weakens the protections offered by encryption.

But despite all the technical arguments against law, the government has turned a deaf ear, insisting that the concerns of industry are due to a misunderstanding of the legislation.

Read more »

“How Windows 7's "Extended Security Updates" Will Work”:

See the How-To Geek article by CHRIS HOFFMAN | @chrisbhoffman | OCTOBER 9, 2019, 6:40AM EDT.

Windows 7 isn't long for this world. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft ends "extended support" for Windows 7, and it will stop getting security updates. But there's a way around it: Paying for "Extended Security Updates."

Normal Security Updates End on January 14, 2020

First released on October 22, 2009, Windows 7 is nearing its tenth anniversary. On January 14, 2020, Windows 7 will leave "extended support." Microsoft will stop issuing routine security updates, and software developers will eventually stop supporting it with recent versions of their software. New hardware may not function on Windows 7 if hardware manufacturers don't do the work to support it specifically.

Basically, it's Windows XP all over again. Windows 7 might have more staying power, but it'll gradually get left behind by software and hardware developers. More security holes will be found in it — many of the same flaws found in Windows 10 affect Windows 7 — and Microsoft won't patch them. This old operating system will become less secure. Microsoft has been warning people about this for years, and now the date is nearly upon us.

Microsoft May Issue Some Free Security Updates

If Windows XP has taught us anything, it's that Microsoft may release some security updates for Windows 7 to everyone anyway.

Even in 2019, five years after support expired, Microsoft took the rare step of issuing a security update for Windows XP. The Windows Update pipeline for XP had apparently long been shut down, so Windows XP users have to download and install this update manually — but it was available.

Still, Microsoft hasn't patched all the security holes for Windows XP. The company won't patch them all for Windows 7, either. Particularly bad holes — like the Windows XP flaw that could enable a worm to spread across the internet by infecting those old Windows XP machines — may be patched. But don't rely on getting security updates for most flaws Microsoft patches in other versions of Windows.

Organizations Can Get Extended Security Updates

The average home computer user should leave Windows 7 behind and upgrade to a modern, supported version of Windows like Windows 10. If you have software or hardware that requires Windows 7, consider isolating that Windows 7 machine from the internet or running that software in a virtual machine on a modern version of Windows.

For businesses that need more time before upgrading, Microsoft sells "Extended Security Updates." In other words: Microsoft will continue creating security updates, but you can only get them if you pay up.

These are designed as a stopgap. These updates will get more expensive every year. Microsoft wants businesses, governments, and other organizations to move to a modern version of Windows. That financial cost will hopefully encourage it.

Home Users Can't Buy Them

The average Windows 7 user can't buy these updates, however. They're only available to businesses and other organizations.

Some good news: Instead of just being available to large companies with volume licensing agreements, Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) will be available to businesses of any size — even small or mid-size companies.

Microsoft won't sell you these updates directly, and they're not available through normal retail channels. According to Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft officials said these ESUs must be purchased "from qualified Cloud Solution Provider partners." A Microsoft blog post about Windows 7 support invites interested parties to "Please reach out to your partner or Microsoft account team for further details."

Read more »

“Andy Rubin teases new Essential phone with 'radically different' form factor”:

See the TechRadar article by Stephen Lambrechts | Wed Oct 9 2019.

CEO shows off new long and narrow 'half-width' device

If you're worried that non-foldable smartphone design has gotten stale and familiar in recent years, you may find Essential's next Android handset to be right up your alley.

In a series of surprise tweets today, Essential Products CEO Andy Rubin has revealed a prototype of what could be the company's Essential Phone follow-up, tweeting out numerous pictures and even a video.

In a statement published by 9to5Google, the company confirmed that it's "been working on a new device that's now in early testing with our team outside the lab. We look forward to sharing more in the near future."

Currently referred to simply as 'GEM', the upcoming phone has a long and slender design, appearing roughly half the width of your average smartphone in 2019. So far, the handset has been shown off in four different color options.

On the front of the device, we can see what Rubin describes as a "New UI for radically different formfactor [sic]", with one image showing numerous stacked apps on a single screen, and another image displaying an unspecified and slimmed-down maps app.

Essential's new slimmed-down phone
Essential's new half-width phone.

Read more »

“Any laptop or PC can get Wi-Fi 6 with this single upgrade”:

See the TechRadar article by Mark Knapp | Wed 9 Oct 9 2019.

One small component, one huge difference

The new Wi-Fi 6 standard is here in a pre-release form, replacing the older 802.11ac Wi-Fi found on many recent laptops, desktops, and mobile devices with 802.11ax.

But, just because the standard is available for manufacturers doesn't mean devices are getting hardware to support it. It's still new, and even some of the best laptops come without it. But, we've got good news: In many cases, you can add Wi-Fi 6 to your device after you've bought it.

How you get Wi-Fi 6 support on your device will depend on the type of device you have. Right now, there are few Wi-Fi 6 modules, and support for AMD systems doesn't appear available just yet. But, if you have a device powered by a 64-bit Intel processor, you can likely make the upgrade. Intel and Killer Networking have cards available, and more options will surely be coming in time.

If you have a desktop computer, you can use PCIe connections to add in networking cards, while laptops can use an M.2 slot to fit in the necessary module. We'll go into a bit more detail below.

Adding Wi-Fi 6 to a desktop

The currently available Wi-Fi 6 modules from Killer Networking and Intel are M.2 cards targeted at laptops, and they won't work in desktop M.2 slots as is. But, that doesn't stop them from working in desktops. You can add in one of these cards by using a PCIe adapter like this one.

The M.2 card will slot into the converter, and then the converter will go into an open PCIe slot on your desktop's motherboard. The converter should also provide antennae that connect to small slots on the Wi-Fi 6 module. Once that's slotted into your computer, a quick driver installation will have you up and running on Wi-Fi 6.

Read more »

Fun Facts:

“Puzzle: Is 36 the only triangle-square number?”:

Here are the first few triangle numbers:

• ( 1 )

• • ( 3 )

• •
• • • ( 6 )

• •
• • •
• • • • ( 10 )


• •
• • •
• • • •
• • • • •
• • • • • •
• • • • • • •
• • • • • • • • ( 36 )

This puzzle is the subject of a 1 minute YouTube video by Matt Parker in the standupmaths Channel. Prepare to turn down the volume slightly.

He shows that 36 is a square number ( 6 × 6 = 36 ) and also a triangle number ( 8 × 9 / 2 = 36 ).

Are there any other square/triangle numbers?

What, apart from 1? 1 is a square ( 1 × 1 = 1 ) and also a triangle number ( 1 × 2 / 2 = 1 ). We think he forgot about that one — Ed.

SPOILER: YES there are others, otherwise there'd be no story :-)

The next few: [ Calculators ready! ]

352 = 49 × 50 / 2

2042 = 288 × 289 / 2

11892 = 1681 × 1682 / 2

69302 = 9800 × 9801 / 2

The question: What is the pattern and does it go on forever?


Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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