2021 Newsletter: 37/121 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

The Tuesday Group, the Friday Forum and the Communications Group

Would any of the Members be willing to take on the job of running any of these meetings?

All you need to know is a little about Windows to set up the Club's computer and projector — we can help set that up.

Then talk about current computer topics and field a few Member questions.

If so, let us know by replying to the Newsletter email address.


— Ed.


We simply need someone to hold the cupboard key and be willing to set up the computer. One for the Tuesday Group, the Friday Forum and the Communications Group.

You don't necessarily need to be responsible for running the group. We could ask if anyone who attends those groups would be willing to help set up the room.

— Steve South

Meeting This Week

Main Meeting - Tuesday, 27 Apr - TBA

Meeting hosted by Alex via Zoom.

Meetings Next Week


Schedule of Current & Upcoming Meetings †

24 2021/04/03 — 14:00-17:00 — 03 Apr, Sat — Penrith Group
25 2021/04/09 — 10:00-12:30 — 09 Apr, Fri — Friday Forum, L1 Carmichael Room
26 2021/04/09 — 12:30-15:30 — 09 Apr, Fri — Communications, L1 Woolley Room
27 2021/04/13 — 17:30-20:30 — 13 Apr, Tue — Programming, L1 Woolley Room or via Jitsi
28 2021/04/17 — 13:30-16:30 — 17 Apr, Sat — Web Design, L1 Woolley Room or via Zoom
29 2021/04/20 — 09:30-12:30 — 20 Apr, Tue — Tuesday Group, L1 Woolley Room
30 2021/04/23 — 09:30-12:30 — 23 Apr, Fri — Digital Photography, L1 Woolley Room or via Zoom
31 2021/04/27 — 17:30-20:30 — 27 Apr, Tue — MAIN Meeting, L1 Carmichael Room or via Zoom

† As decided after assessing the Members' wishes (on resumption of face-to-face meetings) via the latest Online Survey.


Tech News:

Phones to Alert Pedestrians to 'Pay Attention'.

See the Infopackets article by John Lister on April 14 2021, at 02:04 pm EDT.

Android phones could soon warn users to stop using their device when walking. The feature will be "entirely optional."

The warnings will come in Google's Digital Wellbeing app. Google's rules say all devices running Android 9 ("Pie") or later must have some form of Digital Wellbeing app, with many manufacturers choosing to install Google's version rather than create their own.

The apps, which are optional to use, have so far concentrated on monitoring screen time and alerting users how long they have spent using their devices in different ways. They often let users easily set particular times of day to hide notifications or to set time limits on how much they use a specific app. (Source: bbc.co.uk)

Heads Up Alert

The 9to5Google site has now spotted code in the latest version of Google's Digital Wellbeing with a feature titled "Heads Up", a description "Get reminders to stop using your phone while you're walking" and a warning to "Use with caution. Heads Up doesn't replace paying attention." (Source: 9to5google.com)

While the full details of the feature's operation aren't available yet, the requested permissions give some clues as to how it will work. Users will have to permit the app to access "Physical activity" data to know if they are moving. Optional "Location" data access will likely restrict the feature to outdoor use or only for work away from home.

Two-Word Warning

The code also reveals that the app will deliver an on-screen notification if it detects phone use while walking. The app will send one of seven two-word messages: "Be careful", "Look ahead", "Look up", "Stay alert", "Stay focused", "Watch out", and "Watch your step".

The most significant limitation to the tool is likely to be the same problem that affects other elements of the Digital Wellbeing apps. People who are aware of a problem such as overusing their devices or putting themselves at risk of distraction while walking can likely take action themselves, while those who'd benefit from alerts are probably unlikely to think about switching on the feature.

Read More »

FIN7 gang member jailed for ten years by Seattle judge.

See the iTWire article by Sam Varghese Monday, 19 April 2021, 10:03 am.

One of the three people indicted by the US over-involvement in stealing millions of credit card and debit card numbers, which were then either used by the gang or sold, has been sentenced to a 10-year jail sentence by the US District Court in Seattle.

Fedir Hladyr, a Ukrainian citizen, has operated as a high-level manager and systems administrator for the FIN7 cybercrime, also known as the Carbanak Group. The other members of the indicted group are also Ukrainians: Dmytro Fedorov and Andrii Kolpakov, the US Department of Justice said in a statement on Friday.

Hladyr was arrested in Dresden, Germany, on an American request and extradited to the US in 2018. In September 2019, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to break into computers.

The FIN7 gang used malware which they developed to attack more than 100 US companies predominantly in the restaurant, gaming and hospitality industries since 2015. Firms that have disclosed attacks linked to FIN7 include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chili's, Arby's, Red Robin, and Jason's Deli.

The DoJ said FIN7 had carefully crafted email messages that would appear legitimate to a business's employees and accompanied emails with telephone calls to legitimise the email further.

Once an attached file was opened and activated, FIN7 would use an adapted version of the notorious Carbanak malware in addition to an arsenal of other tools ultimately to access and steal payment card data for the business's customers. Since 2015, many of the stolen payment card numbers had been offered for sale through online underground marketplaces.

The DoJ said Hladyr had joined FIN7 through a front company known as Combi Security which posed as a cybersecurity shop.

"This criminal organisation had more than 70 people organized into business units and teams," said acting US Attorney Tessa Gorman.

"Some were hackers, others developed the malware installed on computers, and still others crafted the malicious emails that duped victims into infecting their company systems.

"This defendant worked at the intersection of all these activities and thus bore heavy responsibility for billions in damage caused to companies and individual consumers."

Read More »

Ten Windows 10 network commands everyone should know.

Referred by Jeff Garland: See the TechRepublic article by Mark Kaelin on April 19, 2021, 2:28 pm PST.

There are basic Windows 10 network commands entered from the command prompt, which everyone should use for troubleshooting network connection problems.

Living and working in an always-connected world means the quality and reliability of your network connection is vital to practically everything you do on your computer or mobile device. Maintaining a quality network connection, and troubleshooting a connection that fails, are essential skills that everyone should be familiar with at the very least.

For Microsoft Windows 10 users, there are ten basic network commands that you should know and be prepared to use when the occasion calls for it. Some of these commands have equivalents in the Windows 10 GUI, but the command line structure is more effective and efficient for many.

In this how-to tutorial, we list ten basic Windows 10 network commands users should use for troubleshooting network connection problems.

Windows 10 network commands everyone should know.

The quickest way to get to the command prompt in Windows 10 is to use the Windows Key + R keyboard combination to reach the Run dialogue box. Type "cmd" and press Enter to load the command prompt.

1. Ping

Of all the Windows 10 network commands, Ping is probably the one almost everyone knows about and has used before. The Ping command allows you to test the reachability of a device on a network. Pinging a host should return four data packets. If the data packets are not returned, you know there is a problem with your network connection.

To run the basic command, at the prompt type:

ping [host]

Where [host] is the name or IP address of a typical host server (google.com, techrepublic.com, etc.).

Check out Microsoft Docs for a more advanced look at the Ping command and its variables and switches.

2. IPConfig

The IPConfig command is one of the more useful Windows network commands everyone should know and troubleshoot problems. The IPConfig command displays basic IP address configuration information for the Windows device on which you are working. The command will display information for every network adapter that has ever been installed on your Windows 10 computer.

To run the basic command, at the prompt type:


The general information includes IP Addresses for IPv4 and IPv6, the Default Gateway, and the Subnet Mask. Adding the parameter /all to the command will display DNS Server information and details concerning IP Address leases.

Check out Microsoft Docs for a more advanced look at the IP Config command and its variables and switches.

3. Getmac

Every network-capable device on the internet has a unique identifying number called its MAC address. The number is assigned during manufacture and is established in the hardware of the device. Using the Getmac command, a user can determine the MAC address of their various network devices. Some administrators will use the unique MAC addresses of devices to limit what can and cannot connect to a network.

To run the basic command, at the prompt type:


Check out Microsoft Docs for a more advanced look at the Getmac command and its variables and switches.

4. HostName

The Windows 10 HostName network command will display the current name of your Windows 10 computer. The Hostname is the name your computer uses to identify itself to the other devices and servers on your local network. You can find this name in the System information screen in the GUI, but this command is quicker.

To run the basic command, at the prompt type:


Check out Microsoft Docs for a more advanced look at the HostName command and its variables and switches.

Other commands include:

5. NSLookUp

6. Tracert

7. Netstat

8. Arp

9. PathPing

10. SystemInfo

Read More »

Fun Facts:

New Israeli drug cured 29 of 30 moderate/severe COVID cases in days — hospital.

See THE TIMES OF ISRAEL article by TOI STAFF | 5 February 2021, 3:29 pm

Medicine developed at Ichilov moderates immune response and helped prevent deadly cytokine storms. Researchers say; 29 of 30 phase 1 trial patients left the hospital within 3-5 days.

A new coronavirus treatment being developed at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Medical Center has completed phase 1 trials and appears to have helped numerous moderate-to-serious cases of COVID-19 quickly recover from the disease, the hospital said Friday.

Hailing a "huge breakthrough," the hospital said Prof. Nadir Arber's EXO-CD24 substance had been administered to 30 patients whose conditions were moderate or worse, and all 30 recovered — 29 of them within three to five days.

The medicine fights the cytokine storm — a potentially lethal immune overreaction to the coronavirus infection that is believed to be responsible for much of the deaths associated with the disease.

It uses exosomes — tiny carrier sacs that shuttle materials between cells — to deliver a protein called CD24 to the lungs, which Arber has spent decades researching.

"This protein is located on the surface of cells and has a well known and important role in regulating the immune system," said researcher Shiran Shapira of Arber's lab.

The protein helps calm down the immune system and curb the storm.

"The preparation is inhaled once a day for a few minutes, for five days," Arber said. "The preparation is directed straight to the heart of the storm — the lungs — so unlike other formulas… which selectively restrain a certain cytokine, or operate widely but cause many serious side effects, EXO-CD24 is administered locally, works broadly and without side effects."

The medicine will now move on to further trial phases, but hospital officials were already hailing it as a possible game-changer in fighting COVID-19 severe illness.

Ichilov director Roni Gamzu, the former coronavirus czar, said the research "is advanced and sophisticated and may save coronavirus patients. The results of the phase 1 trial are excellent and give us all confidence in the method [Arber] has been researching in his lab for many years."

He added: "I am proud that at Ichilov we are… possibly bringing a blue and white remedy to a terrible global pandemic."

Read More »

Meeting Location & Disclaimer

Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

Information for Members and Visitors:

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