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NVMUG December 2020 Meeting Report

Northern Vermont Macintosh Users Group

Attending: Bruce Shields, Midge Lubot, Jane Fuller, Stephen Farber, Neil Raphel, and Geof Gonter

December 19, 2020

Meeting Minutes for the Northern Vermont Macintosh User Group

Held via Zoom online

We started the meeting with a discussion about the effects of Vitamin D on many health issues. Jane cited many sources she had from her readings on the internet, citing Vitamin D’s benefits. There was also a discussion of the benefits of some tests that could be run to provide information to make decisions on health.

Neil asked about the broadband initiative in St. Johnsbury. None of the other members had any knowledge of status. There was a discussion on how the speed in the internet is effected by the speed of servers sending the packets and the servers used to route the packets to the requesting computer. Running “traceroute” and pinging the server (using the IP or domain name) you are connecting to can give you an idea of the route taken or response time.. There are available free utilities to trace the route as well. If using a wi-fi connection, the wi-fi router location and speed can be an issue with your speed as well.

Question about internet outages earlier in the week. The issues were with Google services and lasted a couple hours.

We has a discussion about the limitation on large files when attaching them to emails. Most email services have a limitation on the size you are able to send or receive. Drop box, iCloud, DropSend, WeTransfer, TransferNow, pCloud Transfer, SendTransfer, TransferXL, Send Anywhere, and TransferBigFiles are free or low cost services that offer the ability to transfer large files. They have limits on the size of files that can be transferred free, after that is exceeded, there is a cost. PC Magazine has an article on sending large files at https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-send-large-files-over-the-internet.

We discussed Phishing and email scams. Some will be blocked by your email provider, if they have a good filter setup. They may send them to your “junk” mail folder. Gmail seems to be pretty good at sorting out the scams and junk mail. I have the occasional on my iCloud account. On the hand, the provider for the MacChamp website does not provide spam filtering. I get between 1300 and 2000 spam email messages a month on that email account. So I occasionally delete member emails when I delete spam. I try to pursue all the spam email, but I know at least one that I missed.

We discussed the issue with browser extensions, especially in Chrome. I had used Chrome Remote Desktop (A Google developed extension) to connect to a computer to look at issues. Stephen mentioned that many Chrome extensions provided by non-Google developers are security risks and one should be careful when considering adding an extension to Chrome, Chromium, or Brave. Microsoft’s Edge (Chrome based) will also allow installing extensions, but Microsoft asks you to only download extensions from their store, which are verified by them. A June 2020 article to review on the issue: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/06/chrome-extensions-with-33-million-downloads-slurped-sensitive-user-data/. From Stephen:https://chromeunboxed.com/malicious-chrome-extensions-december-2020, (Caution the site is add driven, do not click on the add links or boxes.)

Jane asked about headsets used. AirPods and other earplug type sets were discussed. Jane asked about bone conductive headphones. For those unfamiliar with bone conductive headphones: https://www.soundguys.com/bone-conduction-headphones-20580/. They are an interesting concept and a big plus is if one wants to hear the surrounding noise to stay alert. They come in wired and bluetooth forms.This is the URL to an article she referred to” https://www.headphonesty.com/2019/11/review-aftershokz-aeropex/".

Stephen sends this for those using BigSur and can’t get the last major update: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/12/some-big-sur-users-are-unable-to-update-macos-due-to-an-mdm-bug/

I include this link from Stephen on a good site for Mac information: https://macmost.com and for a twice a month newsletter on Mac hints and other going ons at Other World Computing: https://eshop.macsales.com/blog/. Many of the pulldowns at that site will lead you to a number of other educational items. You have the option on the page of having the Rocket Yard Weekly Digest Newsletter sent to your email.

Our next NVMUG meeting will be a Zoom meeting on January 16, 2021 at 10:00 am. We may know then about the possibility of meeting face to face, but it currently does not look good.


If you wish to attend, please send me an email by 9:30 am, on that date, so I can send send you an email invitation to the meeting. The meetings will continue to be online meetings instead of the meeting room at the Northeastern Regional Hospital in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont.

On Facebook? Visit us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/477957755742285/.

Geof Gonter



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