Since we are all still spending a lot of time at home, your club is beginning to add new interactive instructional articles and video presentations on our website to help relieve your boredom. Links to these articles and videos will begin appearing soon in the new “Education” section on our website. Along this line, the Mac SIG had its first Zoom presentation (on macOS Big Sur), which was recorded, and if you missed it, you can watch it here. We’ll have our first live Zoom presentation for Windows users in March, and we’ll send you a Zoom meeting invitation via email.
Some of you reading this still haven’t renewed your club membership for 2021. $20 a year is a great bargain, and it includes all members of your household. You will receive FREE technical support for software and operating systems on your computers, tablets and smartphones and you’ll help fund our Technology Access Program (TAP), which provides over a thousand computer systems annually to needy youth. To renew your TVCUC membership click here.
One last thing…if you would like to be part of the group of volunteers who make things happen in the TVCUC, we’re looking for additional help. You don’t necessarily have to be a geek or computer nerd. For more information on how to join our team, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry McJunkin, President
Technology Access Program (TAP)
As of February 15, TAP has distributed 62 computer systems since January 1, 2021. This brings the all-time total to 8,407 systems distributed, serving 12,517 youths. We are currently experiencing a critical shortage of desktops to refurbish, although we have an adequate supply of finished systems. If you are thinking about upgrading your computer, please consider donating your old one to TAP. And if you would like to purchase a completely refurbished, high-end laptop or desktop, we are allowed to sell a portion of refurbished systems each year, with the proceeds going back to help fund the overall refurbishment effort. To take advantage of this offer, give the TAP office a call at (865) 332-5313.
First Level Support (FLS)
Call volume continues to be relatively high and while we are still supporting members using TeamViewer, without making house calls, most of the calls are closed in a timely fashion. When we cannot handle a call or the situation calls for an in-home visit, we will try to recommend one of the several reputable businesses in the area that will do in-home computer support. If you have a problem, be sure to first attempt to solve it yourself by searching for YouTube videos or doing a Google search on the issue. There are many tools and videos available that we all use to solve issues as they arise.
We have several articles being written that will be on the website soon. They include:
- IRS Scams
- Setting Up a New Windows PC
- File Explorer Explained
We are also working on some Zoom presentations. If you have technology topics you’d like us to write about, send Margie an email. – Margie Krafft, Education Chair.
Mac Users Special Interest Group (SIG)
Mac Users SIG held its first Zoom meeting January 19 and marked it as a successful venture, one that we will repeat. The presentation on the Big Sur operating system was recorded and is available here. The second Zoom presentation is scheduled for Friday, February 26, 10 a.m., on the topic of “Mac Basics and Mission Control”.
The first session had 25 attendees and was received with enthusiasm, particularly by members who have not been able to attend our in-person meetings. The added advantage of the meetings being recorded gives many more members the opportunity to “sit in.” One member commented, “I had the time written down but forgot, so I watched the video. At least for Mac stuff I found this much better than a live presentation because it allowed me to stop the video and try out the different items.” — Karen Brown
The financial situation with the club continues on a sound footing. The budget for 2021 has been established with monthly figures, and the January results were favorable to budget, with revenues exceeding expenses.
The New Google Nest Audio is Already on Sale for $80
Only a few months have passed since Google launched its new Nest Audio, a smart speaker that falls between the Nest Mini and Home Max in the Google hierarchy. It is usually priced at $100, even at Walmart and the Google store, but right now you can save $20 and get the Google Nest Audio for only $80 at Best Buy.
The new Nest Audio stands 7 inches tall and comes fabric-wrapped in any of five colors (chalk, charcoal, sand, sky and sage). There’s a privacy button that mutes the microphone and it can connect with other devices via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It sounds better than the older Google Home speaker it is replacing, equipped with a 19mm tweeter and large 75mm mid-woofer. Overall, it’s a noticeable improvement and is a great value at $80. For now, this is a good chance to get the latest Google smart speaker at 20% off.
Apple Launches New App Store Privacy Labels
“Good on Apple” for making good on its promise to provide better transparency around iOS app data it collects with the launch of new privacy labels on the App Store.
The company first announced its intention to provide nutrition label privacy disclosures back in June during WWDC, and last month Apple disclosed that developers would have to provide this information by December 8th or risk losing the ability to update their apps. Now, following that deadline, Apple is launching the feature officially for all iOS device owners running the latest version of iOS 14.
Apple says the new labels will be required for all apps on all its platforms — that includes iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS — and they will have to be up-to-date and accurate every time a developer submits a new update to the App Store. Apple is also holding itself to the same standard, something the company clarified last week when Facebook-owned WhatsApp criticized the company for an apparent inconsistency in its requirements before Apple said it, too, will provide labels for all its own software.
The company’s own first-party apps will all have the same disclosures on their App Store product pages. In the event an app doesn’t have an App Store product page because it cannot be removed, like the Messages app, Apple says it will be providing privacy label information on the web. Every piece of software on the App Store will also have its privacy label viewable on the web too.