BMUG News October 2018

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BMUG Newsletter

October 2018

Greetings!

As someone who unfortunately missed the last general meeting, I am sorry. I believe there was a discussion of Mojave, the new Operating System for Macs - led by David Dixon. And then there was an interesting discussion among members about the applications we choose to use, or not - see the posting of the notes for the meeting to see all the things people considered (http://www.bellarinemac.org.au/index.php/our-activities/bmug-meetings/meeting-notes/75-2018-10-october-notes).

And how do we get the best out of our Internet connections? It seems that we can be offered no end of different stories about what is happening and still be left with less than we expected. After 3 hours on the phone with very helpful Optus people last week, a man appeared to replace a modem that no long ago was exactly what I needed. This one is too? When will the next one be needed? Peter Poteralski had some stories and hints about what to do. The notes of the meeting will include these and David's notes too (asap).

My experience with Optus and Telstra is a bit like my experience with electricity - I don't know how many 'smart' meters' we needed - they didn't stay 'smart' for very long!

Last month's meeting seems to confirm the notion that as BMUG members we have a lot of expertise to share. While some of this is made available publicly, on our FAQ and Product Review pages of the website, some are better being talked through with colleagues.

We need your help!

BMUG is an association of people interested in using their Macs. We have been producing a newsletter along with planning and providing a meeting on a monthly basis. Doing a newsletter is a big job and, to be honest, one that can only be done by a single person with help. As your president, I have tried to put together some interesting things each month and been well supported by other members of the Committee. Now, please, if you have time or skills, help us with this task. If you find something you think will be interesting for others, send in a link. If you do something or learn something interesting - successful or otherwise - please share it via a short email. Contact us!

Next Meeting

The meeting on November 13 will have several themes. First, we want to follow up on the theme of Mojave and see what has been learned about it in the last couple of weeks.

Then we will have a fun activity - we can be too serious!

Next, we will discuss the difference between software that you buy and own (is there any like that anywhere - usually you just buy a licence) and software that you can use for a long as you like once you have paid for it/the licence, and thirdly free software - and what is meant by 'open source'.

We have heard a number of stories about people who have had a problem with their computer/software and then had to pay a lot to have the problem fixed. On some occasions, the provider should have fixed the problem for free. We will remind ourselves of the legislation that affects consumers and see what we can learn about this. Finally, have you thought about when the battery in your computer might die? Batteries are so important these days but they do not always last for a long as you might like. We will learn about their role and what they might do.

After the meeting, as it is a month of an odd number (11 for November), we will hope you can join us for dinner at Chang Noi Thai at 64b The Terrace, Ocean Grove - Ph: 03-4202 0229. As always, you are welcome to invite others to join us.

Learning more about your Apple products

Just how much do you know about using the various products you have? It is, of course, not necessary to know too much but sometimes you can learn to do something that turns out to be really useful. Peter Oakley has alerted us to a site that is 'jam-packed' with things to help you learn new tricks. You can visit https://macmost.com/ and there you will find a range of tutorials that are offered at several levels of competence - you can start modestly and work on to the top skills!

A few things to work on might include:

Apple, the company: What are they up to?

This week we read some staggering news:

  • I cover Apple, and this past week the news out of the world’s most valuable public company was not a new gizmo or doodad, but rather a withering critique of the technology industry from one of its most prominent members.Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, rebuked his Silicon Valley peers in a speech to European officials on Wednesday, criticizing them for building a “data industrial complex” in which our personal information “is being weaponized against us with military efficiency.”
  • As a result, he said, algorithms have magnified our worst tendencies and “rogue actors and even governments” have used our data against us “to deepen divisions, incite violence and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false.”

This was posted by Jack Nicas, a reporter for The Times’s bureau in San Francisco on the Ne York Times pages under the category Technology - The Week in Tech: Apple Goes on the Attack (this page will change).
Why not listen to what Cook had to say? See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVhOLkIs20A

Tim Cook, CEO Apple
Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple

Keeping an Eye on what's Happening...

Way back in the early eighties, a group of hi-tech colleagues started writing emails to each other, providing commentary on the tech developments of the world, proposals for adoption of certain technologies in Australia, including policies, and critiquing government developments. What's changed - well, this was an email list - no 'social media' on those days. The format was plain text and some of us remember having to argue for our inclusion to this exclusive club. With significant foresight, Eric Wainwright and Tony Barry kept copies of all the emails. The remarkable thing is that today, one of the most informed and interesting Australian sites to monitor is still that email list - called 'Link'.

All the emails for all those years are still available. You might find it interesting to read comment from some of the significant early players in Australian online systems. Eric was Deputy Director-General at the National Library and the architect of a lot of what we got. Tony Barry was at ANU. Tom Worthington, at ADFA, was and has continued to be very smart about things we should and could do and in Victoria we have enjoyed many years of good ideas from Jan Whitaker. Roger Clarke has kept an eye on things to do with security and privacy, and many others have contributed invaluable advice.

You can see what's what at http://mailman.anu.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/link (You might notice some similarity between the name of the currrent maintainer and the originator.)
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