2020 Newsletter: 20/89 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Another Conference App — Whereby:

This program (from Måløy, Norway) requires no download to run but runs directly in your browser.

The free version allows just four participants. That's no good for the Club, but might be useful for family talks.

It provides Screen Sharing as well as a Chat feature.

You can hide the screen controls to give larger participant pictures and is so easy to use.

Give it a try.

— Ed.

Meetings This Week:

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

This Meeting will use Zoom. Details will be sent later by email.

We will have the monthly Main Meeting 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:


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!


Penrith Group - Saturday, May 2nd - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

[ Meeting cancelled until further notice. ]

Meetings Next Week:

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

[ Meeting cancelled until further notice. ]

Communications - Friday, May 8th - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

[ Meeting cancelled until further notice. ]

Current & Upcoming Meetings:

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

29 2020/05/02 — 14:00-17:00 — 02 May, Saturday — Penrith Group
30 2020/05/08 — 09:30-12:30 — 08 May, Friday — Friday Forum, L1 Woolley Room
31 2020/05/08 — 12:30-15:30 — 08 May, Friday — Communications, L1 Woolley Room
32 2020/05/12 — 17:30-20:30 — 12 May, Tuesday — Programming SIG, L1 Woolley Room
33 2020/05/16 — 13:30-16:30 — 16 May, Saturday — Web Design, L1 Carmichael Room
34 2020/05/19 — 09:30-12:30 — 19 May, Tuesday — Tuesday Forum, L1 Woolley Room
35 2020/05/22 — 09:30-12:30 — 22 May, Friday — Digital Photography, [ Discontinued ], L1 Woolley Room
36 2020/05/26 — 17:30-20:30 — 26 May, Tuesday — Main Meeting, L1 Carmichael Room


Tech News:

“JITSI: 8x8 launches Video MeetingsPro solution”:

See the iTWire article by Peter Dinham | Friday, 17 April 2020 05:36.

Integrated cloud communications platform provider 8x8 has launched its Video MeetingsPro solution powered by open source community vendor Jitsi.

The company also announced that Jitsi.org and 8x8 video meetings solutions would run on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, offering optimised cloud security and performance, "perfect for workloads like video meetings".

"Secure video meetings are a critical part of the day-to-day work of everyone around the world," said Vik Verma, CEO of 8x8.

"Our Video Meetings, powered by Jitsi open-source technology, are designed from the ground up with security and privacy in mind to give peace of mind so public and private organisations of every size can confidently use them to conduct confidential business meetings.

"This is true for all of our video meeting products, both paid and free. We collaborated with Oracle to further enhance our strong product and technology platform with Oracle Cloud's top-tier security, performance and affordability. We are looking forward to further scaling our global reach with the Oracle go-to-market team."

8x8, a member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), also announced that its 8x8 video meetings solutions, Powered by Oracle Cloud, will be available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.

"The Oracle Cloud Marketplace offers an intuitive user interface to browse and search for available applications and services, as well as user ratings and reviews to help customers determine the best business solutions for their organisation," says 8x8.

"Oracle Cloud delivers great price-performance for resource-intensive applications like video meetings. As the world redefines working from home, video meetings are one of our fastest-growing workloads. We are excited to have 8x8 and the Jitsi open-source community on our cloud infrastructure platform," said Vinay Kumar, Vice President, Product Management, Oracle.

Read more »

“Microsoft Delays Windows 10 Security Deadline”:

See the Infopackets article by John Lister on April 16, 2020, at 02:04 PM EDT.

Microsoft is delaying its end of support for machines running older versions of Windows 10. It's the latest alteration made because of people working from home.

The change affects any computers that you haven't updated since the big twice-yearly update in October 2018, formerly known as version 1709 for business users and 1809 for home users.

It might seem odd that some people are running those versions given the option to have Windows automatically update regularly. However, it's also understandable that some people might not have updated at that point as the October 2018 update was something of a disaster. One possibility is that the Windows Update mechanism is corrupt, or another part of Windows is preventing the upgrade from occurring.

Security Fixes Would Have Ended

The original plan was that Microsoft would stop supporting version 1709 for business this week and version 1809 for home users next month. That would mean there would be no more help with problems and no more security fixes.

It's a fairly drastic measure that's intended to make sure people keep updating Windows, even if they remain a year or more "out of date."

Upgrades Could Be an IT Nightmare

The big problem is that this could mean businesses are having to manually upgrade networks and individual PCs, or switch to automatic updates and deal with a backlog of more than a year's worth of potential problems. Either way, that could prove extremely tricky for IT staff when people are working remotely. (Source: theregister.co.uk)

Microsoft has now put back the deadline to October 13 for business users and November 10 for home users. It's stressed that this doesn't affect support deadlines for later versions of Windows 10 or any other Microsoft applications such as Office 2010. (Source: microsoft.com)

Are You Stuck on an Old Version of Windows 10?

If you're still running Windows 10 version 1709 or 1803, your operating system may be corrupt. If you would like help updating to the latest version of Windows 10, contact Dennis, and he can manage it for you remotely. You can find out which version of Windows 10 you have by clicking on the Start menu, then type in "winver" (without quotes). It should say something like Version 1909 (OS Build 18363.778).

Read more »

“Watch Out: Microsoft Windows WSL1 Currently Borked With Ubuntu 20.04”:

See the Phoronix article by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 12 April 2020 at 06:44 AM EDT.

Microsoft announced that there were issues with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) currently running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS so users should either wait for Microsoft to release a fix, upgrade to WSL2, or stick to using the older Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is running into an issue on WSL1 due to the operating system shipping Glibc 2.31. With the updated GNU C Library there is a change to nanosleep() in using CLOCK_REALTIME. But Windows Subsystem for Linux did not build in CLOCK_REALTIME support so now users need to wait for Windows Subsystem for Linux to add CLOCK_REALTIME support into their Glibc handling with WSL.

While Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is officially shipping in two weeks, a WSL1 fix for it outside of Windows Insider builds will likely not see a fix to extinguish this issue "for a couple of months."

Until Microsoft ships a fix to the masses, WSL users should stick to using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or otherwise switch over to using WSL2.

More details via this warning post from Ubuntu.

Read more »

Fun Facts:

“Grammarly Premium is even better”:

Grammarly Premium does indeed pick up more mistakes. Even in the Disclaimer, below.

It did not like passive voice or wordy sentences.

See if you can spot the three corrections in the Disclaimer from the last newsletter.

— Ed.

“Finding Cube Roots by Origami”:

As we know, a geometric compass and straight-edge construction can give us intersections between lines and circles. These are first and second-degree polynomials and algebraically can only produce rational intersections or at most involving square-root values.

Using the normal X-Y plane, for example, we could have lines y = 3x - 7 and 2y = 7x - 17.

Solving these equations to find the intersection gives the point (3, 2).

Putting x = 3 into the equations give: y = 3 × 3 - 7 = 2 and 2y = 7 × 3 - 17 = 4, so y = 2.

With circles, we can find intersections involving square roots.

Try finding where the circle x2 + y2 = 625 (radius 25, centred at the origin) meets the line y = 2x - 5 (going through the points (0, -5) and (1, -3)), say.

This leads to the quadratic equation x2 - 4x - 120 = 0, giving x = 2 ± 2√31 and y = -1 ± 4√31; an easy construction using compass and straight-edge.

What about cube-roots?

A remarkable geometric discovery, in 1936, led to an Origami solution as recent as 1986 [ See below for references — Ed. ]

Use paper-folding to find the cube root of a number
Let us find cube-roots using Origami.

After the folding, we have the ratio of the length "a" (top corner to the black dot) to "b" (black dot to bottom edge) equal to 32.

We won't prove that here, but refer you to the Mathandmultimedia article by Guillermo Bautista and the Cutoutfoldup article by Laszlo C Bardos.


“Peter Messer discovered this Origami cube-doubling in 1986.

You can solve any cubic equation with Origami as long as you can construct the coefficients. Margherita Piazzolla Beloch proved this in 1936, but independently "rediscovered" by three more mathematicians in 1989, 1995 and 2000.”

Amazing — Ed.

Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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