2020 Newsletter: 28/54 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Zoom News:

See the Review Geek article by JOSH HENDRICKSON | @canterrain | 3 JUNE 2020, 10:31 am EDT.

Zoom will only offer end-to-end encryption to paid users.

When you're on a Zoom video conference, your data isn't end-to-end (e2e) encrypted. While Zoom does encrypt the calls, it does so using the same technology as your browser, and the company can decrypt your call at-will. Zoom previously promised to move to e2e encryption, but now the company says it will only do so for paying users.

Read more »

Computer Club Dues:

We respectfully ask Members whose annual memberships fall due to pay as usual.

The Club is still providing services to Members, like Zoom meetings, and technical advice through e-mail and other means.

Thank you all.

Payment details:

General — $45
Senior / Pensioner — $40
Under 21 — $25

Cheque subscription payments are no longer accepted, but you may deposit cash at any NAB branch.

Bank Transfer: To "Sydney PC User Group Incorporated", BSB/Account: 082-080 579584892.

IMPORTANT: Please identify your payment with your name when making a bank transfer.

For new memberships, you can print out the Membership Form for joining at a future face-to-face Club Main meeting.

— The Club Committee.

Meetings This Week:

Programming - Tuesday, 9 Jun - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm

We will be running this meeting using Zoom; details later by e-mail.

Friday Forum - Friday, 12 Jun - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - noon

We have cancelled this meeting until further notice.

Communications - Friday, 12 Jun - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

We have cancelled this meeting until further notice.

Meetings Next Week:

Tuesday Forum - Tuesday, 16 Jun - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - noon

We have cancelled this meeting until further notice.

Web Design - Saturday, 20 Jun - 1:30 pm (2:00 pm meeting start) - 4:00 pm

We will be running this meeting using Zoom; details later by e-mail.

Current & Upcoming Meetings:

37 2020/06/06 — 14:00-17:00 — 06 Jun, Saturday — Penrith Group
38 2020/06/09 — 17:30-20:30 — 09 Jun, Tuesday — Programming SIG
39 2020/06/12 — 09:30-12:30 — 12 Jun, Friday — Friday Forum
40 2020/06/12 — 12:30-15:30 — 12 Jun, Friday — Communications
41 2020/06/16 — 09:30-12:30 — 16 Jun, Tuesday — Tuesday Forum
42 2020/06/20 — 13:30-16:30 — 20 Jun, Saturday — Web Design
43 2020/06/23 — 17:30-20:30 — 23 Jun, Tuesday — Main Meeting
44 2020/06/26 — 09:30-12:30 — 26 Jun, Friday — Digital Photography, [ Discontinued ]



Greetings to all,

We have uploaded the June 2020 Newsletter to the ASCCA website.

I don't have to tell you that the world around us has changed and is challenging us repeatedly. ASCCA has been endeavouring to provide information, suggestions, and a help desk to assist clubs and their members to keep connected despite clubrooms across Australia being closed.

ASCCA's Directors decided that there was another way we could offer assistance to the network of Seniors Computer Clubs across Australia. That is the headline story for the June Newsletter — yes it is true — we have waived membership fees for the 2020-21 financial year.

Read about:

  • ASCCA waives Club membership fees for the next financial year
  • A personal message from The Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Health and Medical Research
  • It is National Reconciliation Week
  • Microsoft offers free virtual workshops
  • View details of ASCCA online sessions
  • We want your stories from COVID-19
  • Regional Achievement and Community Awards are open for nomination
  • Catch up with Shades of SWADE

Take care, stay safe and keep connecting,

Fond regards,


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:

“What should I do about all the GDPR pop-ups on websites?”:

See The Guardian article by Jack Schofield | Fri 6 Jul 2018 01.01 AEST | Last modified on Mon 8 Jul 2019 18.31 AEST.

Barbara is continually being interrupted by pop-ups about the new GDPR. Is there anything she can do?

“Because of GDPR, it feels as though my internet access — my access to information — is now more restricted. I am constantly being interrupted by pop-ups that want me to agree to the website's privacy policy, use of my data and so on, to "personalise my experience". After recent revelations about the unauthorised use of personal data, I'm wary of agreeing without checking what their proposals are. Still, I often close the page because there are too many options and it's too much of a bother. Am I too paranoid? Barbara.”

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) only came into force on 25 May [ 2018 ], and it will take a while for some websites to adapt. Breaking the rules can result in fines of up to €20m, so at this point, information providers are probably more paranoid than you are.

Despite having two years' warning, some companies have still not prepared for GDPR's arrival. Tronc, a giant American publisher, blocked access to the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and many other papers. A message says: "Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged in the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market."

Lee Enterprises, which owns 46 daily newspapers and more than 300 other publications, has taken the same approach. Try to read the Arizona Daily Star, and you get an error message that says it is "Unavailable due to legal reasons". The rubric explains: "We recognise you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore we cannot grant access at this time."

Feel the speed!

Of course, the GDPR does not prevent websites from serving information, including advertisements. Nor does it prevent them from collecting data or using cookies — small text files stored on your devices — if these are needed to provide services. For example, log-in cookies don't need a pop-up notice. Sites only require active consent to use the information for other purposes, such as targeted advertising and marketing.

Websites target advertising based on tracking and profiling users. It's why I see ads for foreign holidays, financial investments and funeral services rather than dating sites, payday loans and job opportunities in the armed services. Websites allow it because advertisers demand it.

Read more »

“Here are some typical GDPR pop-ups”:

Showing cookies from manage.cookiebot.com
From https://­manage.cookiebot.com/­en/­signup

Showing cookies from iubenda.com
From https://­www.iubenda.com/­en/­help/­5525-cookies-gdpr-requirements


The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has updated its Guidelines 05/2020 on consent under Regulation 2016/679. This update is crucial as it aims to remove any ambiguity on the official position regarding several aspects of cookie usage. Perhaps most significantly, these latest guidelines clearly state that *Cookie Walls are prohibited and that the EDPB does not consider consent via scrolling or continued browsing to be valid.

With that said, these latest guidelines are in contradiction with some local Member State laws, most notably, those of Italy and Spain. Therefore, in such cases, it's difficult to say with any certainty to what extent the latest guidelines will apply or be enforced as ultimately, it will be up to the local Data Protection Authority to decide.

*A cookie wall is a hybrid cookie banner that obtains something like a user consent but leaves out any choice for the user to granulate their consent to certain types of cookies rather than others. It works by blocking access unless a user clicks 'o.k.' to all cookies and trackers.

Showing cookie pop-up from theguardian.com
From https://­www.theguardian.com/­technology/­askjack/­2018/­jul/­05/­what-should-i-do-about-all-the-gdpr-pop-ups-on-websites

— Ed.

“Australia's first 1000Mbps consumer NBN plan is here — and it's just AU$149 a month”:

See the TechRadar article by Jasmine Gearie 2 days ago (1 Jun 2020).

I feel the need… for surprisingly affordable 1Gbps broadband.

Internet service provider Aussie Broadband has just launched access to the NBN's latest and fastest consumer NBN speed tier, a 1Gbps service offering unlimited downloads at speeds of up to 1000Mbps — and it's selling for a surprisingly affordable AU$149 a month.

With a download speed of 1Gbps, this brand new 1000/50 tier will be four times faster than what was previously available to consumers, with top speeds formerly maxing out at 250Mbps.

Given Aussie Broadband is the first in the market to offer NBN 1000, the ISP has warned it's as yet unable to provide definitive numbers on peak evening speeds, with managing director Phillip Britt saying it is a "best-effort service".

"We think that the plan should achieve off-peak speeds of up to 80-90%, depending on the technology type," says Britt.

"For the moment, we will be advising customers our peak evening speeds for our 250Mbps plans as a baseline until we have collated enough data from our network testing."

With the peak evening speeds for Aussie Broadband's NBN 250 plans currently listed as 215Mbps, that means you'll be getting these speeds at the very least — but it'll likely be a lot faster.

Even if the peak evening speed is just 215Mbps, this NBN 1000 plan will far outpace Aussie Broadband's NBN 100 deal, which promises a typical evening speed of 86Mbps.

Can you get it?

Before rushing to sign up though, you should be aware of a couple of caveats. Namely, the plan is only available on two types of NBN connection — fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) and hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC). And while all FTTP connections can sign up for 1000Mbps, that speed will only work with a select subset of HFC installations — estimated to be roughly 7% of the total.

To see what's available in your area, you can check your address on Aussie Broadband's website — note that you may need to select 'Build your own' to see the higher-speed 250Mbps and 1000Mbps plans.

Aussie is also recommending eligible customers get themselves a Wi-Fi router that will be able to cope with the super-fast speeds. They also suggest the Google Nest Wi-Fi, as standard modems may not be able to handle distribution of that higher download bandwidth around the home.

If you're connected via HFC but have found you can't access that 1000Mbps tier, there is some slightly consoling news: Aussie Broadband has dropped the prices on its 250Mbps plans to make them more competitive with this new 1Gbps offering.

The ISP has announced its mainstream NBN 250/25 unlimited plan will fall from AU$169 to AU$129 each month, while they have reduced the NBN 250/100 unlimited plan (for users who need extra upload bandwidth) from AU$219 to AU$209.

Read more »

Fun Facts:

“A4 Paper and a Clever Hash Function”:

Here is a puzzle involving the folding of an A4 piece of paper.

See the YouTube video by Matt Parker, 11 Jan 2016, from the standupmaths Channel.

A4 paper has proportions of top (1) × side (√2). Start by folding the top edge down so that it co-insides with the left-hand side of the paper.

The paper now has a top square marked out and a smaller-sized rectangle at the bottom.

Then fold over a triangle from the rectangle so that the former vertical edge rests horizontally at the bottom of the first fold.

See three screen-shots showing the progress so far:

Showing the original A4 piece of paper

Showing the first fold top-to-side

Showing the second fold in the rectangle, below

The problem is now to find the perimeter of the new shape.

We won't be showing the answer because Matt Parker doesn't give away the answer either.

His observation is that the answer is a surprise, and he wants some way of telling you that you've got the right answer, but not telling you the value.

Sounds intriguing.

What he comes up with is a brilliant hash function that will do just that.

The method:

Take the value that you get and enter it into your calculator.

Press the √ calculator key five times.

Read out the first six non-zero digits after the decimal point.

Sort them into ascending order.

If you get the number 234477, then you have the correct answer.

Amazing — Ed.

Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

Information for Members and Visitors:

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