2020 Newsletter: 19/34 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour
WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 20 - 25 APRIL 2020

Hello and Welcome,

Club Zoom experiences:

  • Web Design SIG — Convenor Steve South — Saturday, Apr 11. A 5-person conference test worked well, with Alex joining in from Canberra. Share-screen was very useful, showing Editors and Web browsers for about one hour and 30-minutes online time.
  • Programming SIG — Convenor Alex Wong — Tuesday, Apr 14. A 6-person conference worked well. Some joined a little after the starting time, but everyone had good connections including one from Nowra. We saw Web browser output on the screen along with other member discussions for two hours of online time at the normal SIG meeting time of 6 pm.
  • Web Design SIG — Convenor Steve South — Today (Saturday), Apr 18. This meeting is due to start at 2 pm and run for two hours.

Zoom Hints:

  • If you join a meeting and you have your audio and/or video off, hover your mouse over the presenter's image to make the controls visible, below. Then just click Audio On or Video On.
  • The usual layout is for thumbnail videos of each participant along the top of the page, unless there are more than five in which case there will be a "<" or ">" indicating extra to the left or right.
  • You can also click the 9-dots icon to have the whole screen filled with small videos of the participants; the one currently speaking indicated by a light border.
  • If you're using a laptop, raise it with a couple of thick books so that your eye-line is level with the web-cam. Nobody wants to see under your chin with the ceiling in the background.

Meeting This Week:

Tuesday Forum - Tuesday, Apr 21st - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - noon

[ Meeting cancelled until further notice. ]

Meeting Next Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday, Apr 28th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm

This will be a Zoom meeting. Details will be sent later by email.

We will be having a Main Meeting this month on Tuesday 28 April 2020.

Here are the details:

APRIL MAIN MEETING — 1 or 2 hours, we haven't decided yet (probably 1 hour) over the Zoom video conferencing platform, which is free to use from a smartphone, tablet or any computer.

Our special guest in April is Derek Austin from Nuance. His topic is:

PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY 2030: WHAT'S COMING?

So, set your diary for Tuesday 28 April 2020. It will likely be from 6 pm to 7 pm, but we'll update you closer to the time!

Alex

Current & Upcoming Meetings:
— ALL IN-PERSON MEETINGS CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE —

23 2020/04/04 — 14:00-17:00 — 04 Apr, Saturday — Penrith Group
24 2020/04/14 — 17:30-20:30 — 14 Apr, Tuesday — Programming SIG, L1 Woolley Room
25 2020/04/18 — 13:30-16:30 — 18 Apr, Saturday — Web Design, L3 Norman Selfe
26 2020/04/21 — 09:30-12:30 — 21 Apr, Tuesday — Tuesday Forum, L1 Woolley Room
27 2020/04/24 — 09:30-12:30 — 24 Apr, Friday — Digital Photography [ Discontinued ], L1 Woolley Room
28 2020/04/28 — 17:30-20:30 — 28 Apr, Tuesday — Main Meeting, L1 Carmichael Room

ASCCA News:


Tech News:

“ZOOM: 90-Day Security Plan Progress Report: April 15”:

See the Zoom Blog by CEO Eric S. Yuan | APRIL 15, 2020.

Introducing Alex Stamos

Eric introduced Alex Stamos, former CSO of Facebook and the director of Stanford's Internet Observatory, who will be joining Zoom as a consultant to help us identify and implement enhanced security measures. "There is no more interesting or impactful issue than allowing people to live their lives through this quarantine," Alex said. "There's never been a company that has had to scale this quickly, and supporting hundreds of millions of people is a fascinating technical challenge. I'm very excited to join this incredibly fast-moving team."

[ Alex Stamos joining Zoom as a consultant was mentioned by Steve Gibson in his April 14, 2020, Security Now Podcast No 762 at 17m20s — Ed. ]

Read more »

“Zoom security: Your meetings will be safe and secure if you do these 10 things”:

Referred by Roger Foulds: See the ZDNet article by Charlie Osborne for Zero-Day | April 14, 2020 — 12:49 GMT.

As the novel coronavirus spread across the globe, the business landscape was forced to make several swift changes.

Lockdowns and social isolation measures, restricted travel, and the closure of firms not considered to be "essential" services proved to be a catalyst for home working, of which many of us were woefully unprepared to accommodate.

At the time of writing, there are 1.9 million coronavirus cases worldwide. The United States, Spain, Italy, and France are the hardest hit.

Stringent measures that prevent employees from going into offices have required many companies, large and small, to adopt remote and virtual alternatives to stop operations from grinding to a complete halt.

Email and the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) aren't enough; workers and management need to be able to hold meetings, too.

There is a range of virtual conference solutions out there, including Skype, Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, and GoToMeeting. (ZDNet's top enterprise picks can be accessed here).

Enter Zoom.

A few weeks ago — although it may seem like a lifetime — Zoom was not a well-known virtual conference option in the enterprise space. Almost overnight, however, it seemed everyone had adopted the platform as the go-to option to hold lessons, business meetings, and sensitive discussions.

Over 2020, the company has added 2.2 million new monthly users, outstripping the entire 2019 new user base of 1.19 million.

Zoom's explosive surge in popularity, however, has created security ramifications. You could almost feel sorry for the company — with its unexpected growth, the spotlight has also been shone on Zoom's security practices, some of which have fallen short of modern expectations.

In July 2019, a researcher disclosed a severe security issue in which Zoom opened up webcams to persistent spying and compromise; a bug that stayed in place even if the software was uninstalled due to a leftover local web server.

Now, more issues have been uncovered, including security flaws in the Windows 10 build of the platform's software, iPhone user data being sent to Facebook whether or not they had an account with the social media network, and a bug in URL generation that permitted attackers to eavesdrop on private conferences.

We've covered the basics and some useful tips for experienced users in a guide here. To maintain the security of your next meeting, our recommendations are below:

  1. PASSWORD PROTECT YOUR MEETINGS

  2. AUTHENTICATE USERS

  3. JOIN BEFORE HOST [ They recommend NOT to allow users to join before the host — Ed. ]

  4. LOCKDOWN YOUR MEETING

  5. TURN OFF PARTICIPANT SCREEN SHARING

  6. USE A RANDOMLY-GENERATED ID

  7. USE WAITING ROOMS

  8. AVOID FILE SHARING

  9. REMOVE NUISANCE ATTENDEES

10. CHECK FOR UPDATES

[ All of these points are expanded in detail in the actual article — Ed. ]

Read more »

“How to pin Device Manager to the Start Menu”:

Referred by Jeff Garland: See the Laptop Mag article by Bryan Clark | 13 April 2020.

Unlike pinning an app, pinning Device Manager is not straightforward.

You can access Device Manager in various ways — as part of the Settings window, for example, or by using the search box on the Taskbar. If you want to make it more visible, you might want to pin it to the Start Menu.

Unlike pinning an app, pinning Device Manager is not straightforward. Here is a roundabout way in which you can make it happen:

1) Right-click on the desktop to open the context menu.

2) Select New to create a new shortcut.

3) Select Shortcut to create a shortcut for the drive.

4) In the location field, type devmgmt.msc.

5) Click Next to create the shortcut.

6) Type a recognizable name for the shortcut.

7) Click Finish to complete the process.

8) Right-click on the desktop shortcut to open the context menu.

9) Select Pin to Start.

[ See the actual article to follow screen-shots showing each step — Ed. ]

Read more »

“Make sure you've paused Windows Updates”:

See the ASK WOODY article by Woody Leonhard | ISSUE 17.14.1 | 2020-03-13. [ Surely they mean 2020-04-13 — Ed. ]

You, your family, and your friends have plenty to worry about right now without adding potential Windows patching problems to the mix.

Tomorrow, April 14, is Patch Tuesday, and the latest updates start rolling out — possibly with a thud. You don't want to expose your machine to Microsoft's first round of Windows and Office fixes.

Take a minute or two right now to ensure you've clicked Windows 10's "Pause update" feature. In a week or two … or three, we should have a good handle on whether April's fixes pass muster. Security "experts" will urge you to install the latest patches immediately — but very few of them practice what they preach. Sit back, keep your ear to the ground (we'll help), and decide for yourself when it's time to update your PC.

I have step-by-step details in Computerworld. We also have one-on-one help, if you need it, on the AskWoody Lounge.

Woody Leonhard

“What's New in Windows 10's May 2020 Update, Arriving Soon”:

See the How-To Geek article by CHRIS HOFFMAN | @chrisbhoffman | UPDATED APRIL 16, 2020, 8:56 PM EDT.

Windows 10's May 2020 Update is nearly here. Code-named 20H1 during development, this is Windows 10 version 2004. It's much bigger than Windows 10's November 2019 update but still feels like a collection of useful improvements.

This post is up-to-date with features included in Windows Insider builds up to build 19041.207, which Microsoft said was likely the final build on April 16, 2020. We originally published this article on Aug. 28, 2019, and have been updating it throughout Microsoft's development process.

When Will You Get the Update?

As of April 16, 2020, Microsoft is close to releasing a final, stable version of the May 2020 Update. Microsoft hasn't revealed a release date yet, but we expect it sometime in early May.

We recommend you wait for a stable version of the update to become available. When it is, you can head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and you'll be offered the update.

If you want the update early before testing is finished, you can join the Release Preview update track on your Windows 10 PC by heading to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program, enabling Insider builds on your system, and selecting "Just fixes, apps, and drivers." You'll receive early versions of Windows 10 updates and apps before they're released to the wider public. Again, we don't recommend this for most people.

An incredible list of new May 2020 update features: [ Ed. ]

More Control Over Optional Updates
A New Cortana Experience (With Typing)
Cortana Loses Support for Smart Home Skills
Cloud Download for Reinstalling Windows
Bandwidth Limits for Windows Update
WSL 2 With a Linux Kernel
A Faster Windows Search Experience
Disk Type in the Task Manager
GPU Temperature in the Task Manager
FPS in the Xbox Game Bar
Windows Lets You "Make Your Device Passwordless"
Renaming Virtual Desktops
Improved Network Status Information
Built-in Support for Network Cameras
Better Control Over Restarting Apps at Sign-in
Disk Cleanup Won't Delete Your Downloads Folder
Paint and WordPad Are Now Optional Features
A Header in Windows 10's Settings App
Quick Searches in Search Home
Bluetooth Swift Pair Improvements
Text Cursor Indicator
Drag-and-Drop With Your Eyes
Language Settings Improvements
Other Changes

New DirectX 12 Features
More Kaomoji
Mouse Cursor Speed in Settings
Better Account Picture Settings
Optional Features Gets Better
Wi-Fi Warning Redesign
Accessibility Improvements
Install MSIX Files Without Sideloading
Windows PowerShell ISE

Delayed: A New "Tablet Experience"
Cancelled: Notepad Updated Through the Store
On the Way: Calls in the Your Phone App
Already Here: Online File Search in File Explorer

[ All of these features are described in detail in the actual article — Ed. ]

Microsoft has been focused on polish and bug fixes for months before the May 2020 update's release. We're hoping Windows 10's May 2020 Update should be a solid, stable operating system because of all that development effort.

Read more »


Fun Facts:

“Improve your Grammar with Grammarly”:

Here's a great browser extension from the Chrome Web Store: Grammarly. It works in any Chromium-based browser like Chrome, Vivaldi or Edge.

You do have to log in, but you can use your Facebook or Gmail credentials.

Then, just click on the Grammarly icon and you'll see these options:

Grammarly options
Set language to Australian English.

Click "New Document" and a new Grammarly page opens up. You can then either type your text in the browser or copy/paste it into the page after you've composed it elsewhere.

Here's part of this Newsletter's text as an example:

Check part of this Newsletter's text
Find grammar suggestions in this Newsletter's text.

As you can see, there were five suggestions for correcting the text. And that's just using the free version.

You can choose the Premium version ($11.66 per month) which will pick up many more errors.

There is also a Business version ($12.50 per month) which allows for teams of 3 - 149 users. [ How does that work, I wonder? — Ed. ]

You'll be amazed at how much better your text will look afterwards.

If you're a professional writer, you'll want the Premium version.

The text in the screen-shot above, for example, had five more suggestions available, but only for Premium users.

The Premium version would have found 5 more errors
The Premium version of Grammarly would have found five more errors.

Now we'll never know what those suggestion gems were! :-)

— Ed.

“Email from Grammarly”:

Hey, Bob Backstrom! You've been using Grammarly for a few weeks now, and it looks like you're ready to level up!

Grammarly Premium empowers you to put your best foot forward through exclusive access to features like vocabulary enhancement and suggestions for improving style and tone.

Upgrade in the next 48 hours to receive 40% OFF and start writing compelling, effective content with greater confidence.

Get 40% Off Premium.

[ Are they pushy or what? — Ed. ]


Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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