2019 Newsletter: 11/66 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Vale Alan Marcionetti

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Alan Marcionetti. We have recently heard from Mrs Helen Marcionetti that her husband, a long-standing member of SPCTUG, has died recently following a fall which necessitated hospital admission.

The Secretary has written to his widow expressing members' regret and condolences.

He will be sadly missed.


Club News:

Here are the Office-holders and Committee members elected at the AGM held on Feb 26th for the year 2019:-

• President — Ron Ferguson

[ The President and former Secretary have been contacted for details — Ed. ]

Meetings This Week:

Friday Forum - Friday Mar 8th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

Josephine Wiseman has an amazingly simple gadget to demonstrate, as well as a USB microscope which relays pictures to the computer, a Pocket WiFi, and a video of Free Software everyone should have.

Plus the usual Q&A and other discussions.

Communications - Friday Mar 8th - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The usual Q&A and other discussions.

Meetings Next Week:

Programming - Tuesday Mar 12th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm
Web Design - Saturday Mar 16th - 1:30 pm (2:00 pm meeting start) - 4:00 pm

Meetings This Month:

16 2019/03/02 - 14:00-17:00 - 02 Mar, Saturday - Penrith Group
17 2019/03/08 - 09:30-12:30 - 08 Mar, Friday - Friday Forum
18 2019/03/08 - 12:30-15:30 - 08 Mar, Friday - Communications
19 2019/03/12 - 17:30-20:30 - 12 Mar, Tuesday - Programming
20 2019/03/16 - 13:30-16:30 - 16 Mar, Saturday - Web Design
21 2019/03/19 - 09:30-12:30 - 19 Mar, Tuesday - Tuesday Forum
22 2019/03/22 - 09:30-12:30 - 22 Mar, Friday - Digital Photography
23 2019/03/26 - 17:30-20:30 - 26 Mar, Tuesday - Main Meeting

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Tech News:

“What's New in Chrome 73, Arriving March 12”:

See the How-To Geek article by CAMERON SUMMERSON @summerson FEBRUARY 26, 2019, 6:40AM EDT.

Google Chrome
Google Chrome in Dark Mode.

Chrome 73 is set to hit the stable channel on March 12, 2019. Google's new browser update features the beginnings of a built-in dark mode, tab grouping, media key support, and more picture-in-picture powers.

Before we get into the details here, it's worth noting that none of this is guaranteed. While these features are expected (and even planned) to be part of Chrome 73, there's always a chance something gets pulled before it hits the stable channel and may not make its way out of the beta (or even dev) channel until Chrome 74 or beyond.

Dark Mode (on Mac, For Now)

Dark mode is the new hotness on pretty much everything now, and Google should be bringing it to Chrome 73. This feature is available on macOS Mojave but will be making its way to Windows as well — perhaps in Chrome 74.

The biggest issue here? It looks an awful lot like Incognito Mode, which is probably not a good thing.

To use dark mode on a Mac, you'll have to launch Chrome with the --force-dark-mode option, like so:

/Applications/Google\ Chrome.app/Contents/MacOS/Google\ Chrome --force-dark-mode

If you can't wait to get a dark mode fix, however, you can always install one of Google's new Chrome themes to add a little darkness to your browser in the meantime.

Tab Grouping

If you're anything like me, you have 30+ tabs open at any given time. As the number of open tabs starts to rise, however, it becomes harder and harder to stay organized. The new Tab Grouping feature should help with that.

The idea is pretty simple: you can keep similar tabs grouped. So when you're researching for a project, you can bundle groups of tabs together. Sounds good in theory — we'll see how it works in practice.

Media Key Support

Enhanced PiP Features

Improved Sync Settings


Read more

“2019 SHA-2 Code Signing Support requirement for Windows and WSUS”:

See the Microsoft Support article — Last Updated: 16 Feb 2019.

Applies to: Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, Windows 10 Version 1607, Windows 10 Version 1703, Windows 10 version 1709, Windows 10 version 1803, Windows 10 version 1809, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2019 and all versions of Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 2.


To protect your security, Windows operating system updates are dual-signed using both the SHA-1 and SHA-2 hash algorithms to authenticate that updates come directly from Microsoft and were not tampered with during delivery. Due to weaknesses in the SHA-1 algorithm and to align to industry standards Microsoft will only sign Windows updates using the more secure SHA-2 algorithm exclusively.

Customers running legacy OS versions (Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2) will be required to have SHA-2 code signing support installed on their devices by July 2019. Any devices without SHA-2 support will not be offered Windows updates after July 2019. To help prepare you for this change, we will release support for SHA-2 signing in 2019. Some older versions of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) will also receive SHA-2 support to properly deliver SHA-2 signed updates. Refer to the Product Updates section for the migration timeline.

Background details

The Secure Hash Algorithm 1 (SHA-1) was developed as an irreversible hashing function and is widely used as a part of code-signing. Unfortunately, the security of the SHA-1 hash algorithm has become less secure over time due to weaknesses found in the algorithm, increased processor performance, and the advent of cloud computing. Stronger alternatives such as the Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-2) are now strongly preferred as they do not suffer from the same issues. For more information about the deprecation of SHA-1, see Hash and Signature Algorithms.

Read more

[ No user action is required. These changes will be made in the usual 2nd Tuesday of the month updates — Ed. ]


“What Is Wireless HDMI and Should You Use It?”:

See the How-To Geek article by ANDREW HEINZMAN @andrew_andrew__ MARCH 1, 2019, 8:00AM EDT.

Wireless HDMI products have been around for almost a decade, but they haven't gained a lot of popularity. But how does Wireless HDMI work, and should you buy Wireless HDMI products for your home?

Wireless HDMI is an Alternative to HDMI Cables

HDMI cables have been the standard medium for transferring high definition video for more than a decade. But HDMI cables have some obvious drawbacks. A couple of unruly HDMI cables can turn your entertainment center into a rat's nest, and they can restrict your cable box or game consoles to a single room.

You've probably guessed this by now, but Wireless HDMI is a wireless high definition video solution that can solve some of the problems associated with HDMI cables. You can clean up your entertainment center, broadcast a single video source to TVs all over your house, or mirror the display from your phone or computer to your TV.

There are a lot of Wireless HDMI products on the market, and they're all pretty easy to set up. You plug a transmitter into the HDMI port of a video source and a receiver into the HDMI port of a TV, and that's all there is to it.


Wireless HDMI is a Niche Product

What's the biggest problem with Wireless HDMI? The price tag. Most Wireless HDMI kits run for about $200, and they only contain a single transmitter and a single receiver. You'd have to drop more than $1,000 to build up a decent army of Wireless HDMI products, and since they don't support 4K, you might sacrifice some video quality in the process. Not to mention, most Wireless HDMI products can only communicate with one transmitter or receiver at a time. Broadcasting a single video source to multiple TVs is just too expensive and difficult.

Read more

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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

Information for Members and Visitors:

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