Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 209

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Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Story 1

Password-theft zero day imperils users of High Sierra and earlier macOS versions

There’s a vulnerability in High Sierra and earlier versions of macOS that allows rogue applications to steal plaintext passwords stored in the Mac keychain, a security researcher said Monday. That’s the same day the widely anticipated update was released.

The Mac keychain is a digital vault of sorts that stores passwords and cryptographic keys. Apple engineers have designed it so that installed applications can’t access its contents without the user entering a master password. A weakness in the keychain, however, allows rogue apps to steal every plaintext password it stores with no password required. Patrick Wardle, a former National Security Agency hacker who now works for security firm Synack, posted a video demonstration here.

An Apple representative e-mailed the following statement:

macOS is designed to be secure by default, and Gatekeeper warns users against installing unsigned apps, like the one shown in this proof of concept, and prevents them from launching the app without explicit approval. We encourage users to download software only from trusted sources like the Mac App Store and to pay careful attention to security dialogs that macOS presents.

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Story 2

Apple acquired computer vision photo analysis firm Regaind

Apple has acquired Regaind, a French startup that focused on using its computer vision API to recognize content within photos, TechCrunch reports. Apple issued the standard confirmation statement to TC when asked about the company purchase.

Apple already ships features through its Photos app for searching for subjects like dogs and sunsets and Apple’s Memories feature intelligently creates collections of photos based on context, but TC notes that Regaind provided features not currently used in iOS to date:

Regaind goes one step further and can tell you the technical and aesthetical values of your photos. For instance, if you shoot a bunch of photos in burst mode, Regaind could automatically find the best shot and use it as the main shot in your photo library. Regaind could also hide duplicates. […]

Interestingly, Regaind also analyzes your face to determine your gender, age and emotion. It’s unclear if Apple had enough time to leverage Regaind with iOS 11. Apple may have combined Regaind technology with the new Face ID sensor in the iPhone X to reinforce animoji facial expressions for instance. And I’m sure there will be more to come.

Apple has a number of other machine learning and facial recognition firms it has acquired including Emotient, Perceptio, and Turi which have boosted the recent focus on AI features being highlighted in Apple’s software.

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Story 3

High Sierra – one week on

I personally No Issues ~ the install took 45 min and I DO NOT have music or Pictures on my boot drive.

The one thing I find unusual is when backspacing text ~ it has a slight delay removing the letters, whether in a document or a file name!

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Story 4

Happy Birthday 44 years

September 25, 1973

Micro Computer Machines of Canada introduces their MCM/70 microcomputer at a programmer’s user conference in Toronto. Possibly the earliest commercially manufactured device that can now be considered a personal computer, the MCM/70 gained customers at companies such as Chevron, Mutual Life Insurance, NASA, and the US Army. The company worked closely with Intel on the design of their computer and made very early use of the Intel 8008 processor, of which the basic design was used for the future Intel 8086. However, failing to generate venture capital in the Canadian marketplace, the MCM/70 never gained significant market acceptance and by the time the Apple II and other early personal computers were being released, the MCM/70 was relegated to a footnote in history.

http://thisdayintechhistory.com/09/25/the-first-personal-computer-you-never-heard-of/?utm_source=ramcity-[currentdaynumber]-[currentmonth]-[currentyear]-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ramcity-[currentdaynumber]-[currentmonth]-[currentyear]-newsletter

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Story 5

I noticed while preparing the show notes Apple are advertising for Staff

So if you would like a job at Apple maybe now is a good time to apply

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Promote

Aussie Tech Radio @

www.aussietechradio.com

Aussie Tech Security Podcast

and

Aussie Tech Heads Podcast

AND

Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone

(remind ~ how to Favourite)

New Reviews this week

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Story 6

We could do the whole show based just on Fortunes the noughts on Apple Fortunes

But it wasn’t all bad news for Apple. For instance, the company is believed to be making a healthy profit on the sale of each iPhone, further bolstering arguments by industry watchers who believe the iPhone X and iPhone 8 will help Apple reach new financial heights.

This is Fortune’s latest weekly roundup of the biggest Apple news.

  1. Apple kicked off the week right with the release of an update to its free desktop operating system macOS High Sierra. The software includes several new features, including faster performance, thanks to a new file system that allows for quicker transfer and accessibility of folders. It’s available now as a free download in the Mac App Store. However, some users complained about possible security problems that dampened enthusiasm for the update.
  2. After its first weekend of availability, the iPhone 8 and its larger alternative, the iPhone 8 Plus, suffered from lower-than-expected demand, according to research firm Localytics. In fact, the iPhone 8’s early estimated sales were lower than for last year’s iPhone 7 in terms of overall share of the iOS market, according to Localytics. Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus, however, attracted a larger share of customers than the iPhone 7 Plus did in its first weekend of availability last year.
  3. Even if iPhone 8 is having trouble attracting customers, it should still generate a nice profit for Apple excluding assembly and staff costs, among others. According to an IHS Markit report this week, Apple makes $411.06 on the sale of each new iPhone 8, and $510.92 on each iPhone 8 Plus sold excluding those additional costs. Apple, however, hasn’t confirmed iPhone 8 pricing and the amount of profit on individual sales.
  4. The iPhone 8’s glass back panel will cost customers $99 to fix under the company’s warranty, Apple revealed this week. In comparison, Apple charges $29 to fix an iPhone 8 screen that’s under warranty.
  5. There is major debate over Apple’s iPhone X. One report this week suggested that iPhone X is suffering from manufacturing problems with its Face ID scanner, and that fewer phones will be available for their November premiere than otherwise expected. That report spooked investors, who sent the company’s shares down more than 1% in one day. But as I explained this week, worries about the iPhone X is overblown and everything will likely be fine.
  6. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai this week complained that Apple should turn on the FM frequency chips inside its iPhones to allow users in hurricane-damaged areas listen to radio stations for critical information. The problem, however, is that Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 don’t come with FM radio chips.

 

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Story 7

iPhone 8, ‘swollen batteries’, and what you really need to know

There are a small percentage of battery failures every year for every lithium-ion phone. But that won’t stop iPhone 8 ‘swollen batteries’ from making headlines!

Here’s the thing: Every year, every iPhone— every phone by every manufacturer sold anywhere and everywhere around the world — will have some small percentage of battery failures. That can include swelling, combustion, and suddenly failure to charge or hold a charge. It’s the realities of the lithium-ion technology currently used in the power cells. It happens every year. It happens all the time.

It may not be widely known because it didn’t used to be widely reported. A few outlets would cover it but pretty much everyone knew what it was and took it for what it was — a curiosity more than actual news.

This year, we’re getting numerous headlines about it happening twice with iPhone 8. (That’s twice (2x) out of however many hundreds of thousands if not millions already shipped.)

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I know I / we harp on about it – PLEASE BACKUP

3 walk in customers this weekend with liquid damage!

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Be aware

iPhone 8, 8+ and 10 (X) with the glass back is expensive to replace the back because of the induction charging.

Maybe its time to get a case? and AppleCare+ ($189 for iPhone 8, $229 for iPhone 8 Plus)

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