2020 Newsletter: 38/89 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Face-to-Face Meetings for August Cancelled:

Because of the uncertainty of our members wishing to attend face to face meetings, I suggest that we advise our members that face to face meetings for August have been cancelled.

— Ron Ferguson,

Meetings This Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday, 28 Jul - 10:30 am (11:00 am meeting start) - 12:30 pm

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

Our 11:00 am July 28th Main Meeting will Zoom Camtasia from the USA.

Over $3,500 worth of Camtasia Video Editing Software prizes still to be won.

— Alex

Penrith Group - Saturday, 1 Aug - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

We have cancelled this meeting until further notice.

Meetings Next Week:


Current & Upcoming Meetings:
(Face-to-Face Meetings for July and August Cancelled)

45 2020/07/04 — 14:00-17:00 — 04 Jul, Saturday — Penrith Group
46 2020/07/10 — 09:30-12:30 — 10 Jul, Friday — Friday Forum, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms
47 2020/07/10 — 12:30-15:30 — 10 Jul, Friday — Communications, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms
48 2020/07/14 — 17:30-20:30 — 14 Jul, Tuesday — Programming SIG, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms
49 2020/07/18 — 13:30-16:30 — 18 Jul, Saturday — Web Design, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms
50 2020/07/21 — 09:30-12:30 — 21 Jul, Tuesday — Tuesday Forum, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms
51 2020/07/24 — 09:30-12:30 — 24 Jul, Friday — Digital Photography, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms [ Discontinued ]
52 2020/07/28 — 17:30-20:30 — 28 Jul, Tuesday — Main Meeting, L1 Carmichael + Dowling Rooms

53 2020/08/01 — 14:00-17:00 — 01 Aug, Saturday — Penrith Group
54 2020/08/11 — 17:30-20:30 — 11 Aug, Tuesday — Programming SIG, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms
55 2020/08/14 — 09:30-12:30 — 14 Aug, Friday — Friday Forum, LG Windeyer (+ ?) Rooms
56 2020/08/14 — 12:30-15:30 — 14 Aug, Friday — Communications, LG Windeyer (+ ?) Rooms
57 2020/08/15 — 13:30-16:30 — 15 Aug, Saturday — Web Design, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms
58 2020/08/18 — 09:30-12:30 — 18 Aug, Tuesday — Tuesday Forum, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms
59 2020/08/25 — 17:30-20:30 — 25 Aug, Tuesday — Main Meeting, L1 Carmichael + Dowling Rooms
60 2020/08/28 — 09:30-12:30 — 28 Aug, Friday — Digital Photography, L1 Woolley + Lawson Rooms [ Discontinued ]


“The July 2020 issue of ASCCA NEWS”:

Greetings all,

The July 2020 issue of ASCCA NEWS to use, peruse and amuse is available on the ASCCA website.

Thanks to all of those clubs who have returned their annual membership forms. Many added comments were thanking ASCCA for waiving membership fees for the coming financial year. Thanks should be going to you, the clubs that have been making such great efforts to keep your members still actively involved and embracing new ways to keep learning.

Don't forget that membership forms still require completing and returning to make sure that we have the latest, correct, contact details for your club and that you don't miss out on any of the advantages of membership. The waived fee for 2020 — 2021 is also available for clubs that have previously become non-financial — you will be welcomed back as members of ASCCA.

Take care, stay safe and keep connected,


Nan Bosler, AM

Editor: Jenny Willcox

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:

“Israeli firm develops bio-artificial pancreas that can cure diabetes”:

See the iTWire article by Sam Varghese Thursday, 23 July 2020 17:21.

An Israeli company named Betalin Therapeutics has developed a bio-artificial pancreas that it says can replace the functions of the human pancreas and cure patients who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes and are insulin-dependent.

The artificial organ is made of pig's lung tissue and insulin-secreting cells.

It can be implanted in the human body and can then connect with his or her blood vessels. It would then be able to measure the body's sugar level and secrete an optimal amount of insulin needed to balance blood sugar.

Dr Nikolai Kunicher, chief executive of the Jerusalem-based company, said in a statement that human trials were expected to begin by January 2021.

Though animal trials are successful, the same result is not always repeated in humans.

Betalin, which has been in business for five years, has raised US$3.5 million (A$4.89 million) and is looking to raise another US$5 million before human trials begin. It is expected that the biological pancreas will cost around US$50,000 per patient.

"This is a new way to treat diabetes," he said. "Today, you only have ways to manage the disease. This treatment is a cure. The diabetic pancreas has lost the function of secreting insulin, and we give it back. The patient should never have to inject insulin into his body again."

Despite announcing on its website on 13 January about the breakthrough, the news does not seem to have received as much coverage as it deserves.

The bio-artificial pancreas will be implanted under the skin during an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia.

Scientists at Betalin Therapeutics said they expected that a cure would be ready within five years and that animal trials had been completed.

Dr Kunicher, chief executive of the Jerusalem-based company, said human trials were expected to begin by January 2021.

There are about 500 million diabetics around the world, and of them, Dr Kunicher said, about 160 million were insulin-dependent.

There are numerous treatments for diabetics, and treatments vary depending on needs. Insulin-dependent diabetics generally take insulin by injection or by using a pump. There are also oral medications for diabetes.

Anyone who uses insulin would be eligible for the Betalin cure.

Betalin advisory board member Sydney Altman, who won a Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1989, said both he and his mother had type 2 diabetes.

His brother died of the disease. He said that when he was approached about the company, he quickly became intrigued.

"This is a new approach," Altman said, adding he believed the bio-artificial pancreas would have a global impact.

Professor Aryeh Warshel, also a Nobel Prize winner (2013 in Chemistry), is a member of the company's scientific advisory board.

Read more »

“How to add Control Panel to File Explorer in Windows 10”:

Referred by Jeff Garland: See the Tech Republic article by Mark Kaelin on 21 July 2020, 12:56 pm PST.

Gaining access to the Windows 10 Control Panel from File Explorer is possible with a Registry hack and a specific code. We explain in detail how to use both.

In an attempt to make Windows 10 more user friendly, Microsoft decided to move many standard configuration options to the Settings menu, at the same time burying the older Windows Control Panel deep behind menus and search boxes. Although this arrangement works for most situations, there are times when a user must have access to the Control Panel.

There are several tweaks and tricks one can use to make the Windows 10 Control Panel easily accessible. Perhaps one of the more useful is to add Control Panel access to the list of available drives and services located on Windows 10 File Explorer. This access requires a delicate tweak of the Windows Registry File and some specific knowledge of class identifiers (CLSID).

This tutorial will explain how to add access to the Control Panel to Windows 10 File Explorer using a Windows Registry File hack.

How to add Control Panel to Windows 10 File Explorer

Disclaimer: Editing the Windows Registry file is a dangerous undertaking. A corrupted Windows Registry file could render your computer unusable, requiring a reinstallation of the Windows 10 operating system and potential loss of data. Back-up the Windows 10 Registry file and create a valid restore point before you proceed.

To add access to the Control Panel to File Explorer, we have to edit the Windows 10 Registry File. Type "regedit" into the search box on the Windows 10 desktop and select the appropriate result. Use the left-hand navigation bar (Figure A) in Regedit to find this specific key: (See the original article for the Figures A-F — Ed.)


We need to create a new key in the NameSpace folder. Right-click the NameSpace folder and select New and then Key from the context menu, as shown in Figure B.

Now you must enter one of these two CLSID codes to the key you just created.

This CLSID code will add access to the large icons view of the Windows 10 Control Panel, as shown in Figure C:

{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D} (Include the curly brackets — Ed.)

This CLSID code will add access to the category icons view of the Windows 10 Control Panel, as shown in Figure D:

{26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683} (Include the curly brackets — Ed.)

Warning: The article reverses these two CLSIDs! Use {21EC…} for the large icons view — Ed.

The choice of which view of Control Panel you want to add is arbitrary and entirely up to you.

Please enter in your CLSID code of choice and then exit out of Regedit.

The Registry showing the Namespace folder

Adding Control Panel access to File Explorer

Open Windows 10 File Explorer to This PC folder and you will now have direct access to the Control Panel located under the Devices and drives section, as shown in Figure E.

Because Control Panel access is part of File Explorer, you can right-click the Control Panel button and pin the link to Control Panel to your Quick Access list, as shown in Figure F.

You may also pin Control Panel to the Start Menu if you wish.

Adding access to the Windows 10 Control Panel to File Explorer will save you some time and perhaps frustration when trying to troubleshoot a configuration setting or device driver problem.

Read more »

“Logitech ERGO K860 Review: The Only Keyboard I'll Use”:

See the Review Geek article by JOSH HENDRICKSON | @canterrain | 21 JULY 2020, 8:00 am EDT.


BUY ON AMAZON contains this odd advice:

“This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location.
Please choose a different delivery location.

Maybe Los Angeles?

The Logitech ERGO K860 keyboard

The Logitech ERGO K860 keyboard

I was born an old man. When I was six or seven, I woke up many nights screaming in pain. Several X-Rays and MRIs later, and the Doctors had a diagnosis — arthritis. It's something prevalent in my family, and arthritis was ultimately the cause of my grandmother's death. I'm telling you all of this to give you a better understanding of why ergonomic keyboards are essential to me, and why I'll only use the ERGO K860 going forward.

Ergonomics Matter

Watching my grandmother as I grew up was a bit like seeing into the future. Her fingers curled in on themselves as she grew older until she couldn't stretch them out anymore to even point at things. But, she didn't take care of herself, she didn't exercise, and she didn't take steps to stave off the worst effects of arthritis. When I was younger, I didn't either.

But in my mid-twenties, I started dropping things — all the time. My hands would seize up, my fingers would refuse to cooperate, and then I'd lose hold of whatever I was holding. That's when I knew I needed to make changes. The first step was changing my keyboard habits. I always used whatever keyboard was available, but now for the better part of a decade, I've been using ergonomic keyboards.

My primary choice has always been Microsoft's excellent keyboards, starting with the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, then moving to the Sculpt Ergonomic, before settling on the latest Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard. I didn't think I'd leave Microsoft, but Logitech convinced me otherwise. And, that's due to nailing the ergonomics basics while providing useful extras.

Nailing the Ergonomic Basics

If you're looking for an ergonomic keyboard, you'll want to see the NIOSH publication on keyboards. [ NIOSH is the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - Ed. ]

Lift in the Right Spot

First, instead of lifting under the far end of the keyboard (near the function row), a keyboard's legs should lift closer to your wrists. The idea is to raise your wrists and prevent bending them back into a pinch. The Ergo K860 does precisely that, thanks to legs under your wrists that offer three distinct angles, 0 degrees (legs put away), -4 degrees, and -7 degrees.

Microsoft keyboards usually tilt at around -7, so I started by trying Logitech's -4-degree option to feel the difference. Within the hour, my hands were on fire, and that's because that small change led me to pinch my wrists. Thankfully, I remembered I could adjust further, and that fixed the problem entirely.

A Comfortable Pad for Your Wrists

After that, you want a comfortable pad for your wrists to rest on while you type. Again, the idea is to prevent bending your hands back, so the pad needs to be higher than some of the keys. Logitech's pad is a three-layer affair, comprising 4 millimetres of memory foam, topped by 2 millimetres of high-density foam, topped by an easy-to-clean knitted fabric.

Compared to the harder plastic pads I'm used to seeing on ergonomic keyboards, it's super comfortable. Logitech managed to create something that both feels good on your wrists and cleans easily. The main downside to Logitech's implementation is that the pad is not removable. If and when the memory foam loses its give, you're stuck with old dense foam.

… more article headings — Ed:

The Right Shape
Going Above and Beyond
Battery Life That Won't Quit
All the Connections
Software That Connects All the Things
Not Enough on Its Own, but a Great Ergonomic Keyboard

Read more »

“The Twitter Hackers Stole Direct Message History From 8 Accounts”:

See the ReviewGeek article by JOSH HENDRICKSON | @canterrain 20 JULY 2020, 10:37 am EDT.

The Saga of the Giant Twitter Hack continues. Twitter posted its first blog on the subject over the weekend and gave us a more in-depth insight into what happened when hackers broke into the company's internal systems. That includes targetting 130 accounts and stealing data from 8 of those users.

In case you somehow missed it, recently hackers broke their way into Twitter's internal tools that give the company access to user accounts. The hackers attempted to take over 130 accounts, and in this latest update, Twitter admitted that it was successful in 45 cases.

Victims include Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, the official Uber and Apple Twitter accounts, and others. Once the hackers had access, they tweeted out a Bitcoin scam, offering to double money for anyone who sent Bitcoin to a wallet. That wasn't true, of course.

Last weekend's security update gives us a better idea of what happened. Twitter stated that the hackers made their way into the company's systems through employees using social engineering techniques. According to the company:

“The attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter's internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections.”

While the Bitcoin scam was one obvious outcome, Twitter found the hackers took another step with eight users. The hackers downloaded account data using the company's "Your Twitter Data" tool available to user accounts. That's a treasure trove of information including direct message history.

Twitter won't say which eight accounts had their data stolen, but did clarify that none of the users in question is verified. That doesn't mean the account itself is small, however, as many users with thousands of followers, like our own Chris Hoffman, yet lack verification.

As Twitter updates us with more information, we'll be here to get you all the details.

Read more »

“Windows 10 May Get Key Security Boost”:

See the Infopackets article by John Lister on 15 July 2020 at 01:07 pm EDT.

Microsoft is testing a new Windows 10 security measure that could neutralize a malware technique. It's called Kernel Data Protection and will protect part of a computer's memory from tampering.

The idea is to protect two essential software parts of a computer: the operating system kernel and drivers. The kernel is the most central part of a system and acts a little like a central command point, deciding what the computer does at any precise moment. Meanwhile, drivers control the way the operating system communicates and interacts with hardware devices.

Within the computer's memory, the kernel is usually kept entirely separate from applications, meaning rogue software can't access it. However, in some cases hackers have been able to use compromised drivers to alter the kernel code stored in the memory, opening up the possibility of installing malicious software and doing some severe damage.

Read-Only Memory The Key

Kernel Data Protection will make it possible to mark some parts of the kernel code in the memory as read-only, preventing it from being corrupted. When this happens, even Windows itself shouldn't be able to alter the kernel code.

The technique is already being tested in the Windows 10 Insider Build program that lets tech enthusiasts be the first to try out new Windows features on the understanding that they may not work as designed and could even cause technical problems.

Digital Rights Management Boosted

Microsoft says Kernel Data Protection could bring some performance benefits as well. For example, if a particular piece of data in the kernel is marked as read-only, there will be no need for software to check periodically to see if the data has changed. (Source: microsoft.com)

It could also be useful for copyright protection and software licensing. For example, the fact a file or application is licensed could be stored in the protected part of kernel memory and acts as a verification tool that can't be maliciously deleted or altered. (Source: zdnet.com)

Read more »

“Huawei says 5G ban effect is showing in Telstra's higher mobile prices.”

See the iTWire article by Sam Varghese Friday, 17 July 2020 11:40 am.

The Australian arm of Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies claims its warnings about the ban on the use of its 5G equipment leading to higher mobile prices in Australia has been aptly illustrated by the fact that Telstra has jacked up its prices.

In a statement, Huawei Australia said the British Government had already confirmed that its 5G ban on Huawei would cost UK operators at least £2 billion ($3.59 billion). These extra costs would be passed on to consumers and would delay 5G deployment by at least three years.

However, the company said the Turnbull Government had made no such admission about the real cost of the 5G ban on Huawei. Still, the Telstra price hike confirmed that Australians would now be paying more for mobile services — and getting second-class 5G technology.

It said local economics advisory firm Frontier Economics had already found that local 5G deployment costs would rise by at least $2.1 billion because of the 5G ban which it correctly forecasts, "will be recovered from consumers through higher retail prices."

And the firm added, globally respected economics adviser Oxford Economics had forecast that the Huawei 5G ban would mean 5G rollout costs in Australia going up by 30%, adding that those higher costs would mean three million Australians would miss out on 5G.

Huawei Australia said before the ban was imposed, the company had planned to contest Telstra's 5G tender and try to win business from its long-time monopoly provider Ericsson.

But Huawei's exclusion meant Ericsson was able to continue its single-supplier relationship without any competition.

Huawei Australia chief corporate affairs officer Jeremy Mitchell said: "Telstra's price hike reveals the inconvenient truth for the Federal Government — The Turnbull Government's 5G ban on Huawei will have to be paid for by ordinary Aussies."

"Without Huawei adding price competition to the market, the European duopoly vendors face no price competition, and we now see consumers paying the price for that."

"Telstra's price hike means an average family of four on some Telstra mobile plans could be paying another $700 per year for their 5G services than they were before."

"Australia already has some of the highest fixed broadband prices in the world thanks to the $51 billion spent on the national broadband network — we are now heading the same way on mobile too."

Read more »

Fun Facts:

“A little more Knot Theory”:

See the three minute YouTube video about telling knots apart.

Take a simple knot and consider the pieces drawn in different colours. Below is the Trefoil Knot having just three crossings.

Each crossing can either be composed of the same colour strands or with three different colours.

A three-crossing Trefoil knot

The Trefoil Knot

This property, "Tricolourable" is an invariant of a knot. When we display the knot on a knot diagram with the minimal number of crossings, the three colour property will remain constant, no matter how we manipulate the knot. We can now prove whether knots are equivalent by checking this property.

Knot invariant called Tricolorable

The Tricolourable property

Checking the Trefoil knot against the Figure-8 knot shows that they are not equivalent since the Figure-8 knot is NOT Tricolourable.

We also see that the first knot has three crossings; the other four.

The Trefoil and Figure-8 knots are not both Tricolorable

The Trefoil and Figure-8 knots are not the same

Here is a more in-depth lecture (52m22s) in a YouTube introduction to knots by the UNSW Lecturer, Professor Norman J. Wildberger.

— Ed.

Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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