NEWS ITEMS FROM OUR MEMBERS (REPLACES BITS & BYTES)
NASA A fascinating briefing on NASA's plans for the first flight of a powered aerial vehicle on another planet: The helicoptor Ingenuity. Play the included video.
Dark Patterns An article on how Websites use tricks to make you say yes
Easter Egg Fun!
By Dorothy Fitch, Green Bytes Editor
No, we're not talking about dying hard-boiled eggs. We are talking about surprises that programmers sometimes insert into their code for us to enjoy—if we can find them!
According to Wiki, "Easter egg is a term used to describe a message, image, or feature hidden in a video game, film, or other, usually electronic, medium. The term used in this manner was coined around 1979 by Steve Wright, the then Director of Software Development in the Atari Consumer Division, to describe a hidden message in the Atari video game Adventure, in reference to an Easter egg hunt."
Since then, various software companies, including Microsoft and Apple, have inserted Easter eggs into the software they distribute. This practice, likely to the great disappointment of programmers, was halted by Microsoft when it began its Trustworthy Computing Initiative in 2002, which helped it sell to big businesses and the military. Steven Jobs stopped allowing Easter eggs in the early 2000s.
However, this doesn't mean there are no more Easter eggs to uncover in the software on your computer. Let's take a look at some of these hidden gems.
Google's search engine has many tricks to entertain you. For example, go to Google's main page, search for the following words or phrases, and see what happens.
· do a barrel roll
· Google in 1998
· number of horns on a unicorn
· answer to life, the universe, and everything [a reference to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy"]
· number of horns on a unicorn and answer to life, the universe, and everything
Search for the following terms and look at the "Did You Mean:" suggestion above the search results.
· wubba lubba dub dub [a reference to a Rick & Morty tune]
· anagram [the suggestion offered is an anagram of anagram]
· define anagram [the suggestion is an anagram of those words]
· recursion [the suggestion is recursion, basically defining recursion: in computer programming, recursion is the process of defining a problem (or its solution) in terms of itself]
You can also type these into Google for an instant game experience:
· play tic tac toe
· play snake
· play pacman
Here's a list of Google Easter Eggs (Wiki).
______________________long form text area designed for your content that you can fill up with as many
The hidden fingerprint inside your photos
An In-Depth article from BBC Future, delving into all the hidden information that digital photographs hold.
In case anyone is curious about Zoom, in an article about notable billionaire wealth gains during the pandemic:
"Eric Yuan, co-founder of video-conferencing technology Zoom, saw his wealth rise by $8.4 billion during the pandemic year, a gain of 153 percent. A year ago, Yuan had $5.5 billion which increased to $13.9 billion. Last year Zoom paid no federal income taxes on its $660 million in profits, which increased by more than 4,000 percent."
Clearly, Zoom is doing well financially.
An interesting article about your privacy:
Windows vs. Ford.
For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on. At a recent computer expo (COMDEX) : Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,
"If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."
In response to Bill's comments,
Ford issued a press release stating:
If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash.........twice a day.
2.. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3.. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
4.... Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5... Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.
6...... The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.
7...... The airbag system would ask, "Are you sure?"before deploying.
8....... Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
9........ Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
10......... You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.
PS - I'd like to add that when all else fails, you could call "customer service" in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!
Please share this with your friends who love - but sometimes hate - their computer!
Here is a variety of information from Microsoft about new capabilities available on Office.
An Interesting Story about a Cat Filter
San Diego Parks and Recreation Department is offering free one hour phone consultation about computers and other technology. Call 619.236.6906 or e -mail firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Do you use WiFi to move information areound your home? There may be a bettr way:
There is a great emphasis on Cybersecurity these days. Here is the January Newsletter from the security service Malwarebytes, which specializes on that subject:
Here is an excellent article on how to recycle your old elctronics - Computers, CellPhones, Batteries, etc.:
San Diego Oasis recently completed their 2020 Get Connected Technology Fair.
It was recorded and can be viewed now. Click on the title above, pick the day or days you want to watch, and when you find a subject of interest, click View Video
This space is reserved.
With more and more organizations turning to ZOOM for their virtual meetings, Zoom Etiquette is becoming very important. Here is a very helpful article on the subject:
President Stan Follis recently received an inquiry from a SCG member wanting to know where to donate electronic equipment or a used comuter. He fouond that an organization called COMPUTERS2KIDS is doing a great job of recycling and refurbinshing old computers. With so many kids now out of school and trying to learn at home, many low income families are struggling. Click the organization's title above to learn more.
Below is a link to a Workshop session on What's New with Windows 10
Lots of interesting information
Do you have programs on your computer that you no longer use? Are they taking up valuable space? Would you like to get rid of some?
At a recent SCG Zoom meeting, there was a discussion of converting old movies, videos, pnotographs, etc. to digital format. Gini Pederson offered to look up the company where she had that done. Here is what she provided:
8305 Vickers St.
Good News! I have tried in the past to show a YouTube video during a Zoom meeting, but no one could hear the sound. Luckily, I have just discovered how to set the system up so sound from a video comes through lound and clear.
Now we can have some videos played during our weekly SCG Zoom meetings.
Windows 7 has reached End Of Life (EOL)
What does that mean? MalwareBytes has written an excellent article on that subject. You can read it here:
A member suggested that we post an article explaining Bitcoin.
Unless another member stes up to offer such an article, I am going to rely on Wikiedia. Here is what they have to say on that subject:
If that is too much for you, try this discussion in Investopedia:
Hank Drayton would like to conduct an on-line session with interested Seniors Computer Group members, as a Video Conference. He would use the program called Zoom.
If you are interested, please send Hank an email at HankDfrmSD@aol.com
Please tell him if you have a camera and/or a microphone connected to your computer, or have a laptop, or if you have an iOS or Android smartphone.
Hank will take a few days to gather the responses, send out instructions, and then schedule a test.
Tired of all those robocalls? Apparently almost everyone else is too.
You are probably getting your share of the 180 million calls each day. About half of the calls are spam, compared with 4% two years ago.
Two inventions are behind the robocall surge. Fist is Voice Over Internet Protocol Dialing--the system used by apps like Skype. The other breakthrough is "neighborhood spoofing" which allows the caller to indicate the call came from the same area code as the recipient/s number. Ugh.
And if you respond to "push this button" if you would like to no longer get these calls, that merely tells the bad guys he has a valid number. Don't do it.
Do some people really fall for this? Yep. 523 suckers in New York fell for the Social Security scam, and lost $3.8 million .A New York nurse in her 60s was terrified by the FBI scam, did as she was told and and gave up $337,105.
Does it pay off? The FCC charged Adrian Ambrovich $120 million for making 96,768,223 robocalls over three months in 2016. He said he couldn't pay it. He lives in a large gated community in Miami with countless art treasures in his house which doubled as his office. .
The US Senate is working to outlaw the calls.
The slate of officers for 2020 that appears above in the October section was elected by acclamation at the Business Meeting 11/9/19.
Nimesh Shah, who found us through Gini Pederson's web site IteachYou, has volunteered to teach some Saturday sessions. His first presentation, entitled "Managing Files", will be on Saturday, Nov. 16. Attendees are encouraged to fill out a Presentation Evaluation form, found in the Events section of our web site.
Senior Computer Group Board of Directors 2020 Proposed Slate
President Stan Follis
Vice-President Adm. Wil Wakely
Secretary Alice King
Treasurer Ray Schlador
VP-Programs Hank Drayton
VP-Publicity Louise Gillingham
Appointed by President
Need technical support for your smart phone? Ross Milloy reminds us that all you need to do is call 611 from your phone and you will be connected directly to customer support at your phone provider. No charge, no wait, no fuss. Need technical support for your smart phone? Ross Milloy reminds us that all you need to do is call 611 from your phone and you will be connected directly to customer support at your phone provider. No charge, no wait, no fuss.