2020 Newsletter: 11/89 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meetings This Week:

Programming - Tuesday Mar 10th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm

Hi Team,

See the Progsig Meeting Reports:


The next meeting is on Tuesday 10th March 2020, 6pm, SMSA.


Steve OBrien

Friday Forum - Friday Mar 13th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

It might be interesting to try the great LaTeX (pronounced LAY-Tek) formatting system. On Windows, you download the MiKTeX program. This will produce professional-looking formatting, especially for mathematical expressions.

Did I mention that it is completely free to use on Windows, Linux and iOS?

An opening paragraph testing the LaTeX formatting language
Formatting with the LaTeX package

LaTeX uses a text-based input file with the .tex extension and produces output in PDF format.

In fact, the image above is just a screen-shot of the PDF output.

Plus the usual Q&A and other discussions.

Communications - Friday Mar 13th - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The usual Q&A and other discussions.

Meeting Next Week:

Tuesday Forum - Tuesday Mar 17th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

Current & Upcoming Meetings:

15 2020/03/07 — 14:00-17:00 — 07 Mar, Saturday — Penrith Group
16 2020/03/10 — 17:30-20:30 — 10 Mar, Tuesday — Programming SIG, L1 Woolley Room
17 2020/03/13 — 09:30-12:30 — 13 Mar, Friday — Friday Forum, L1 Woolley Room
18 2020/03/13 — 12:30-15:30 — 13 Mar, Friday — Communications, L1 Woolley Room
19 2020/03/17 — 09:30-12:30 — 17 Mar, Tuesday — Tuesday Forum, L1 Woolley Room
20 2020/03/21 — 13:30-16:30 — 21 Mar, Saturday — Web Design, L1 Woolley Room
21 2020/03/24 — 17:30-20:30 — 24 Mar, Tuesday — AGM + Main Meeting, L1 Carmichael Room
22 2020/03/27 — 09:30-12:30 — 27 Mar, Friday — [ Digital Photography, L1 Woolley Room ]


“March ASCCA Newsletter”:

Greetings all,

The March ASCCA Newsletter may be downloaded from the ASCCA website.

On 8 March we celebrate International Women's Day, so special greetings to all the Women in our lives — Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts, Grand-daughters and Great grand-daughters.

ASCCA is always proud to acknowledge Women everywhere and this year especially fits into the ASCCA ethos as one of the IWD Missions in 2020 is to celebrate digital advancement and champion the women forging innovation through technology.

The NSW Seniors Festival was held last month and ASCCA had a stand at the Expo and were kept busy for the two days giving out information about the seniors computer club nearest to where they lived to hundreds of seniors who wanted to learn more about using their computer, mobile device or to learn about Be Connected opportunities.

ASCCA has a vacancy on the board for a treasurer. If this position could be just right for you please contact ASCCA at ascca@ascca.org.au.

There is exciting news from the three shades of SWADE in WA, NT and NSW!

Stay safe.

Regards, Nan.

Nan Bosler, AM

Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association
Level LG, 280 Pitt St SYDNEY 2000
(02) 9286 3871

ASCCA acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their connection to land, waters and community.
We pay our respects to them, their cultures, and to their elders past, present and emerging.

Tech News:

“Kr00k — A serious vulnerability deep inside Wi-Fi encryption”:

See the ESET article by antivirus company ESET — Global Headquarters ESET, spol. s r.o. Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

What is Kr00k?

Kr00k — formally known as CVE-2019-15126 — is a vulnerability in Broadcom and Cypress Wi-Fi chips that allows unauthorized decryption of some WPA2-encrypted traffic.

Who is affected?

The vulnerability affects all unpatched devices with Broadcom and Cypress FullMac Wi-Fi chips. These are the most common Wi-Fi chips used in today's client devices, made by well-known manufacturers including Amazon (Echo, Kindle), Apple (iPhone, iPad, MacBook), Google (Nexus), Samsung (Galaxy) as well as devices under many other brands.

Wi-Fi Access points and routers are also affected by Kr00k, making even environments with patched client devices vulnerable. All-in-all, before patching there were more than a billion affected devices.

How do I know if I'm still vulnerable to Kr00k?

Make sure you have updated all your Wi-Fi capable devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, and Wi-Fi access points and routers to the latest operating system, software and/or firmware versions. According to our information, patches for devices by major manufacturers have been released by now.

Inquiries whether your devices with affected chips have been patched — or if your device uses the affected chips in the first place — need to be directed at your device manufacturer.

Where can I find more information?

For more details, please read ESET's Kr00k white paper published at WeLiveSecurity.com. ESET researchers presented the results of this research at RSA 2020.

Read more »

“SETI@home Search for Alien Life Project Shuts Down After 21 Years”:

See the BleepingComputer article by Lawrence Abrams | March 3, 2020 10:12 AM.

SETI@home has announced that they will no longer be distributing new work to clients starting on March 31st as they have enough data and want to focus on completing their back-end analysis of the data.

SETI@home is a distributed computing project where volunteers contribute their CPU resources to analyze radio data from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).

Run by the Berkeley SETI Research Center since 1999, SETI@home has been a popular project where people from all over the world have been donating their CPU resources to process small chunks of data, or "jobs", for interesting radio transmissions or anomalies. This data is then sent back to the researchers for analysis.

In an announcement posted yesterday, the project stated that they will no longer send data to SETI@home clients starting on March 31st, 2020 as they have reached a "point of diminishing returns" and have analyzed all the data that they need for now.

Instead, they want to focus on analyzing the back-end results in order to publish a scientific paper.

"It's a lot of work for us to manage the distributed processing of data. We need to focus on completing the back-end analysis of the results we already have, and writing this up in a scientific journal paper," their news announcement stated.

Users who wish to continue to run the SETI@home client may do so, but will not receive any new work until the project decides whether they wish to start sending work to clients again.

For those who wish to donate their CPU resources, SETI@home suggests users select another BOINC project [ Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing — Ed. ] that also supports distributed computing.

H/T [ 'Hat Tip' or 'Thanks to' — Ed. ] Ghacks.net.

Read more »

“Windows 10 Tips”:

Referred by Jeff Garland: See Windows Tips by Microsoft.


Fun Facts:

“How far away is the Horizon?”:

Last week's puzzler:

Imagine you're at the beach, standing on the shoreline (lucky you!).

Off in the distance you see a ship on its way out to sea. Slowly it appears to get smaller and smaller, until it drops over the horizon and out of sight.

How far away does the ship get before it starts to disappear? In other words, how far away is the horizon? Take a guess… 6km, 10km? More? Maybe less?

The good news is, we can work it out!

Picture a line, starting from your eyes and going straight all the way to the horizon. We'll call the length of this line d. Once we know what d is in terms of numbers, we will know the answer to our question!

A triangle - from the Earth's centre to your eye level, then out to the hprizon, back to the Earth's centre
What is the distance to the horizon?



(r + h)2 = r2 + d2

And by rearranging to solve for d, we get:

d = √2rh + h^2

Suppose you're 1.5 m tall, and standing at sea level — this means you're about 6,371 km, or 6,371,000 m, from the center of the Earth.


d = √2 × 6371000 × 1.5 + 1.5^2 = 4371.8419…

So the horizon is 4,371.8 m or 4.4 km away!


Under the square root sign, are the expressions h^2 and 1.5^2 which look plain ugly.

Here's what you get if instead you code them as h2 and 1.52 under the square root sign using HTML:

d = √2rh + h2


d = √2 × 6371000 × 1.5 + 1.52 = 4371.8419…

Some browsers, as well as the email client Thunderbird, render these expressions correctly, but all Chrome-based browsers show the square root sign rising higher up over the power of 2. That's because the power is higher than the base characters — very strange looking and ugly!

Hence the search for a better typographic layout program.

Here's what it looks like in LaTeX:

How far away is the horizon?
The horizon distance formatted with the LaTeX package

Much better — Ed.

PS: You can download the Windows version of MiKTeX to give it a try. Click on 'All downloads' if wanting the 32-bit version.

Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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