1

East SIG Report October 2022

Neil Muller

After welcoming members to the October meeting of the East SIG, host Frank Maher then outlined the nights agenda below: 

Presentation 1: Q&A with Georg Skarbek
Presentation 2: Current Scams and Preventions by Dave Botherway
Main presentation: Multimedia home setup and upgrade issues by Rod Jones

The first presentation of the night was Q&A by George Skarbek. As there were no questions for George, we moved onto the second presentation by Dave Botherway on Current Scams and Preventions. The catalyst for this presentation was the recent hack of Optus customers personal information.

As an Optus customer, Dave displayed a letter he’d received from Optus. The letter includes the following paragraph on what data was exposed. “No financial information or passwords have been accessed. The information which has been exposed is a combination of your name, date of birth, email, phone number and/or address associated with your account. No ID document numbers or details have been affected.” In Dave’s case, his Driving Licence was not part of his personal stored data, but other customers in the audience have had their Driving Licence and Passport exposed.

George Skarbek commented that there was no need for Optus to retain customers Driving Licence or Passport. After confirming new customers identity, Optus’s data could have simply ticked a box that these details were established, as there was no need for Optus to retain Driving Licence or Passport details. 

Other audience members had received similar letters and commented on their experience. One member noted that there is a necessity for businesses to keep customers personal detail to verify they are who they claim to be. However, this should not be to the extent of keeping Passports and Driving licence numbers. A way around this problem is for the company to provide the customer with a reference number, which the customer then quotes when dealing with the company. If hackers get this number, it is useless to them.  

Dave followed by displaying over 20 examples of current scams. Most of the scams shown were sent by text messages, but emails and fake items for sale that seem to be too good to be true, are currently common as well. The text message always includes a link that the scammers want you to click on. The type of scams included here are for parcel pickup or non-delivery, penalties for non-payment of a service, refunds offered and family members needing money. 

 

A trick suggested by an audience member that when receiving emails is to hover over the URL link in these messages to see the real URL. Often when expecting a parcel, it’s very easy to click on the link in these messages. Another member suggested to protect yourself you should run your PC as a standard user rather than Administrator.

 

A selection of the scam text messages Dave presented are shown below.  

 

DHL, Shipment status changed, check @; here: 

http://www.baiwheels.com/dhl/?xuq6&8yo86

 

UPS hello, failure of delivery, for more information go here: http://test.carolinecalvertcreative.com/5/?u.a64r028

 

FEDEX: We were unable @ to ship your package: /

http://techvcrypto.xyz/9/?sv8.v26osp /

 

I’m at the checkout at coles and brought the wrong card 

with me. Can you please send me 150.1 will pay

you back when i get home. bsb 633 123 acc 196 902 985

 

EastLink.: The overdue fee in August is about to be fined, To avoid any severe penalty, Please check and complete on time Http:// full URL not shown here

 

I am an Woolworths project manager, we are hiring a team, You can work from home, daily salary: 200+whatsapp understand wa.me/12185022651

 

Your mobile service contains incorrect or out of date 

Info, to avoid termination please correct it now. 

D-ROUTE0824 www.optus.com.au.nc-mn.co/authorise

 

The main presentation was by Rod Jones on his journey planning his future TV viewing options. Rod has recently sold his house and detailed his plans to setup a proposed 85-inch 8K QLED TV at his new residence. 

 

Issues Rod encountered and had to solve included:

  • What is the latest technology available?
    • What do all the acronyms mean?
      Rod needed to investigate and understand the technology behind the acronyms and whether they are useful for his TV setup. e.g.

      • ARC (Audio Return Channel) is a later generation of HDMI that allows 2 directional signals, especially for the audio channels. The benefit of ARC is that it reduces the number of cables needed.
      • eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) – This technology proved unsuitable in Rod’s situation, as each appliance needed to have this feature to work.
      • Dolby Atmos. Rod was unaware there were 2 types of Dolby Atmos, one a lossy audio format, the other was superior lossless audio.
      • CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) allows for HDMI devices to be controlled with one remote control.  
  • What was the best layout and technology for placing speakers?
    Rod previously had 7.1 audio with rear speakers, but now plans to have Dolby Atmos at his new residence. Dolby Atmos gives height to the sound by bouncing audio off the ceiling. 
  • What picture format is best for a room that is well lit?
    QLED TV is considered better in a lighted room, but OLED is considered to have a better picture. Rod plans to adopt a QLED screen as his room is well lit. 

According to CNET.com:

    • QLED TV picture quality varies more than OLED. QLED is brighter, can produce bigger and smaller sizes (and cheaper) & is less affected by light in the room
    • OLED has better contrast and black level, has better uniformity and viewing angles, resolution, colour, video processing but picture burn-in can occur.
  • All OLED screens can burn-in, and they’re more susceptible than QLED, however, burn-in shouldn’t be a problem for most people.

  • What size screen should I adopt for a viewing distance of 3.8 metres?
    Rod referred to a chart when selecting screen size. The chart recommends the minimum distance to view the screen, so you don’t have to turn your head more than 300   from one side of the screen to the other. For a distance of 3.8 metres, the optimum screen size is 85-inches.
  • What HDMI cable is best for a 4K or 8K screen? 

Cheap HDMI cables are unlikely to work with 4K. Rod recommended and purchased a certified cable rated for an 8K TV.

  • What devices will I need to buy and what existing equipment do I keep? 
  • What are the best wiring options for connecting a Denon A4700 amplifier to the TV, along with a PVR (Personal Video Recorders) & a Blu-ray player? 

 

In conclusion, Rod summarized how his new TV setup will compare with his original setup.

  1. The TV will now be viewed directly through the TV rather than the signal coming through the PVR. Previously Rod viewed the TV through his PVR, with the signal sent from the PVR to the TV. This setup did not allow him to use the “TV Smarts”.
  2. In future Rod plans to connect a Hard Drive to the TV to record directly from the TV, rather than the PVR.
  3. With all the APPS available on the TV, Rod plans to watch more streaming TV.
  4. The new setup with CEC will require fewer remotes
  5. Rod plans to pair his hearing aids with TV, but first needs to solve an audio delay problem.
  6. If installation becomes too difficult, Rod will employ an expert.