2021 Newsletter: 41/121 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Refurbished SMSA Theatre

New SMSA Theatre

Theatre Unveiling

On Thursday, 29 April 2021, we celebrated the renaming and refurbishment of SMSA's Henry Carmichael Theatre with champagne and canapés, followed by an informative lecture by Dr Lesley Scanlon, exploring the life and achievements of Henry Carmichael.

The newly renovated Henry Carmichael Theatre, formerly known as the Mitchell Theatre, incorporates new seating, AV equipment and sound system, lighting, paint and a redesigned stage. We look forward to welcoming our members and the public to our stunning new theatre over the coming months.


Communications SIG News

Since we have not had any response from our members regarding the Communications SIG, we will be advising our members in the Newsletter that we will cancel all future Communications SIG meetings from the beginning of June 2021.

— Ron Ferguson,

PS: We'll still have two Forums (Tuesday and Friday) so that should probably be enough general Q&A type meetings — Ed. (Newsletter Editor)

Meetings This Week


Meetings Next Week

Programming - Tuesday, 11 May - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm

Hi Team,

We will be running this meeting normally (face-to-face) or using Jitsi; details later by e-mail.

See the Progsig Meeting Reports:


The next meeting is on Tuesday 11th May 2021, at 6 pm.


— Steve OBrien

Friday Forum - Friday, 14 May - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - noon

We'll have the usual Q&A and other discussions.

Communications - Friday, 14 May - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

We'll have the usual Q&A and other discussions.

Web Design - Saturday, 15 May - 1:30 pm (2:00 pm meeting start) - 4:00 pm

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

— Steve South

Schedule of Current & Upcoming Meetings †

32 2021/05/01 — 14:00-17:00 — 01 May, Sat — Penrith Group
33 2021/05/11 — 17:30-20:30 — 11 May, Tue — Programming, L1 Woolley Room or via Jitsi
34 2021/05/14 — 10:00-12:30 — 14 May, Fri — Friday Forum, L1 Carmichael Room
35 2021/05/14 — 12:30-15:30 — 14 May, Fri — Communications, L1 Woolley Room
36 2021/05/15 — 13:30-16:30 — 15 May, Sat — Web Design, L1 Woolley Room or via Zoom
37 2021/05/18 — 09:30-12:30 — 18 May, Tue — Tuesday Group, L1 Woolley Room
38 2021/05/25 — 17:30-20:30 — 25 May, Tue — MAIN Meeting, L1 Carmichael Room
39 2021/05/28 — 09:30-12:30 — 28 May, Fri — Digital Photography, L1 Woolley 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:

Australian Federal MP Craig Kelly, permanently banned from Facebook.

See the iTWire article by Alex Zaharov-Reutt Monday, 26 April 2021 13:52.

There's no free speech on US social media platform Facebook, which has banned independent Australian Federal MP Craig Kelly permanently following a previous temporary ban.

The taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has reported independent Australian MP, Craig Kelly, has been permanently banned from Facebook.

The ABC quoted a Facebook spokesperson stating: "We don't allow anyone, including elected officials, to share misinformation about COVID-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm or COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts."

"We have clear policies against this type of content and have removed Mr Kelly's Facebook Page for repeated violations of this policy."

Kelly reportedly told the ABC he has a "second Facebook page", although that page will presumably be banned, too.

The ABC quoted a text message from Kelly stating: "This was the most popular, highly used political Facebook page in the country. They have burnt and torched and incinerated and obliterated from the record, previous comments and previous things that I'd made."

Kelly is well known in Australia for promoting hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

Further information is available in the original ABC article.

Read More »

How to clean up your Windows 10 Start menu.

Referred by Jeff Garland: See the TechRepublic article by Lance Whitney on April 26, 2021, 6:26 am PST.

The Windows 10 Start menu can quickly become cluttered and disorganised. Here are some tips on how to clean it up.

The Windows 10 Start menu tries to pack in a lot of content, including a list of all installed apps, a tiled screen for your favourite apps and a section for key Windows locations. But all that information can result in a crowded and messy Start environment, especially as you install more and more applications. With just a bit of effort, you can clean up your Windows Start menu, so it's more manageable and easier to navigate. Let's check out how.

First, you can control what details are displayed in the Start menu. Go to Settings, select Personalization and then choose the setting for Start. Here, you can adjust several options (Figure A).

Windows 10 Start Menu Settings.

Figure A

Show App List in Start Menu displays the column with all your installed apps. Turning this off certainly helps reduce the clutter, though it's harder to find certain apps with just the tile screen visible. However, you can easily access the app list by clicking its icon. You can then switch back and forth between the app list and tiled screen, a handy option if you don't need to see both at the same time.

Show Recently Added Apps displays any apps you've recently installed at the top of the apps list. Turning this off reduces some of the clutter in the Start menu.

Show Most Used Apps shows the apps you use most frequently. You can turn this off to cut down on the number of apps listed in the menu.

Show Suggestions Occasionally in Start is another option you can turn off to cut down on the number of apps listed.

Next, click the link for Choose Which Folders Appear on Start. This option controls which Windows folders and locations appear at the left of the Start menu. Turn off any folders you don't regularly access to reduce the number of icons in this area of the menu (Figure B).

Which folders appear on Windows 10 Start Menu.

Figure B

Plus many more suggestions — Ed.

Read More »

Uni group reveals the sordid buggy Linux kernel patch story.

See the iTWire article by Sam Varghese Thursday, 29 April 2021, 09:44 am.

Students and the staff member at the University of Minnesota who were involved in submitting known buggy patches to the Linux kernel project have released a statement that they claim details the entire history behind their actions geared towards writing a research paper.

The statement, which was not attributed to anyone and dated 27 April, said that the research paper had been withdrawn. It was linked online by the Linux Weekly News website, run by Jonathan Corbet, a developer himself.

The group would detail two aspects: the message log of disclosure of the findings to the community; and the patches submitted.

"By showing the details of the patches and the exchange of messages, we wish to help the community to confirm that the buggy patches were 'stopped' during message exchanges and not merged into the actual Linux code," the statement claimed.

However, the story behind the patch sent this month, which led to stable kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman banning the organisation from any further kernel submissions, apparently has a separate story behind it which Corbet promised to reveal.

In a related development, kernel developer Willy Tarreau lashed out at the statements made by developer Giacomo Tesio who had backed the actions of the University group, describing what they had done as "not just ethical, but noble and brave."

Tarreau said: "Do you happen to have the slightest form of consideration for all these individuals who review patches in the evening in their spare time while you're comfortably watching TV on your sofa, probably from a device running Linux, by the way?"

"Because this is exactly the problem here. It's always been known that more reviewers would be cool, but interestingly, nobody has the time to do so. However, it looks like some still have time and budget to send traps and point the finger, saying, 'hey, look, they didn't read fast enough, I got them!'."

"It's like pulling crutches [away] from a single-legged person trying to cross the street, watch her go and laugh once she falls! Demonstrating a well-known weakness is easy. Pointing the finger is easy."

"Helping, however, requires another level, like kindly offering help to that person to cross the street without the fear of being looked at by others if you don't proceed in the best way."

"But surely you don't have time, or you're not qualified for this because I don't remember having seen you any single time responding to a patch here."

"Or maybe you've just figured that you indeed have some time to help with this in the future, and it was an awkward offering from you to kindly propose your help with reviews, in which case I'm sure a lot of developers will be pleased?"

Whether Kroah-Hartman, the Linux Foundation —which funds kernel development — or the foundation's Technical Advisory Board will approve of the University statement and allow individuals from that institution to participate in kernel development again remains to be seen.

Read More »

Fun Facts:

How to Ruin your Webpage with ONE Character.

We'll have a look at some HTML syntax and see what the World-Wide-Web Consortium thinks about HTML tags.

Here's a typical page with a link to the Google search page:


<title>Go to the Google Search page</title>



<p>Click <a href="https://google.com">Search</a> to go to the Google Search page.</p>



The Correct Test1 page

However, changing just ONE character ruins the whole page:


<title>Go to the Google Search page</title>



<p>Click < a href="https://google.com">Search</a> to go to the Google Search page.</p>



The Test2 page ERROR

Can you spot the offending character? Surely any self-respecting Browser can still interpret and render this page easily?

Apparently not!


— Ed.

Meeting Location & Disclaimer

Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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