Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 308

Show 308 – October 28, 2019
Run Sheet ~ Michael 

Aussie Tech Radio 


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~ pic 

iPod Anniversary 

page2image2933200.pngCult of Mac reminds us ~ October 23, 2001: Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the first iPod, a device capable of holding an entire music library in a highly portable package. The first-generation device boasts a 5GB hard drive capable of storing “1,000 songs in your pocket.” That may not sound too dazzling in a world in which people can stream the massive Apple Music library from their iPhones. But it was a game- changer at the time! 

iPod changes the course of Apple history 

Much as the iPhone was Apple’s attempt to reinvent mobile phones, the iPod was the company’s attempt at creating an MP3 player that wasn’t horrible to use. It took advantage of a brand-new 1.8-inch  hard drive under development by Toshiba. Jon Rubinstein, Apple’s senior VP of hardware engineering, took the new storage device to Steve Jobs and convinced him that the technology existed to build an amazing portable music player. 

As CEO of Apple, Jobs got a lot of the credit for the iPod at the time. But creation of the revolutionary device was truly a collaborative effort. In addition to Rubinstein, Apple engineer Tony Fadell oversaw development of the hardware. Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing director, came up with the idea of a scroll wheel to navigate users’ song lists. 

The name “iPod” came from a freelance copywriter, Vinnie Chieco, who recalled the famous 2001: A Space Odyssey line, “Open the pod bay doors, Hal.” 

Watch the Launch

Full story ~ absolutely worth the read 


Story 2 

Apple TV app launches on Amazon Fire TV devices 

Although NOT available in Australia this goes to show Apple and Amazon and becoming besties again. 

Apple just released the Apple TV app for Amazon TV devices, starting with the Amazon Fire TV 

Stick 4K and the older HD model. Support for Amazon Fire TV Cube, Fire TV (3rd generation penchant design) and some other models is coming soon. 

The TV app experience on Amazon’s platform mirrors the functionality of the Roku app, which launched last week. Users can watch their purchased iTunes movies and TV shows, access Apple TV Channel subscriptions and watch Apple TV+ content when the streaming service launches on November 1st. 

Apple is keen to get the TV app in front of as many eyeballs as possible with opportunities to sell customers on recurring subscriptions, whether that is through reselling channels like HBO, Showtime and Starz or attracting subscribers to its collection of original content TV shows and movies through Apple TV+. 

To get the app on the Fire Stick, search for “Apple TV” in the app store or use Alexa and ask “Alexa, find the Apple TV app”. 2019/10/24/apple-tv-amazon-fire/ 


Story 3 ~ pic 

Forbes reports ~ New iPhone Threat: These 17 ‘Trojan’ Apps May Be On Your Device— Delete Them Now 

Apple iPhone users are being warned to check their devices against a list of malicious apps disclosed in a new report. The exposure of such dangers on Google’s Play Store 

has become a theme this year, with apps laced with adware, subscription fraud and worse exposed and removed. Now Apple is taking its turn in the spotlight. A new report from the research team at Wandera claims that 17 apps from one developer load a malicious clicker trojan module on an iOS device. 

Apple says that the apps in question have been removed from the App Store, and upon examination did not contain the trojan malware as claimed. Instead, the apps were removed for including code that enabled the artificial click-through of ads. A spokesperson for Apple confirmed the removal of the apps and that the App Store’s protective tools have been updated to detect similar apps in the future. 

According to Wandera, the trojan focused on ad fraud, but also sent data from the infected device to an external command and control server. 

Wandera told me that an even more worrying element of the malware, one not included in the write- up, is a set of devious techniques to evade detection. The malware triggered only when loaded with an active SIM and left running for two days. We have seen this before on Android— an attempt to hide from security researchers in lab conditions. 

Here is the list of infected apps: 

RTO Vehicle Information
EMI Calculator & Loan Planner
File Manager – Documents
Smart GPS Speedometer

CrickOne – Live Cricket Scores Daily Fitness – Yoga Poses
FM Radio PRO – Internet Radio
My Train Info – IRCTC & PNR (not listed under developer profile)

Around Me Place Finder
Easy Contacts Backup Manager

Ramadan Times 2019

Pro Restaurant Finder – Find Food
BMI Calculator PRO – BMR Calc
Dual Accounts Pro Video Editor – Mute Video
Islamic World PRO – Qibla
Smart Video Compressor 

For its part, Apple disputes that any such compromise took place, there was no danger beyond isolated click fraud, it says, emphasising that the company patrols the App Store to identify and remove any apps that represent a danger to users.


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Aussie Tech Radio 




Skate City Review ~ Curtis 

Skate city is a side scrolling skateboarding game that takes you to 3 locations around the world while completing challenges along the way. 

Unlike other skate games which have you doing certain button combinations to do tricks the controls for Skate city are very simple, just swipe in different directions on the screen to perform a variety of tricks and grinds. 

There are a bunch of challenges to complete such as setting high scores, racing other skaters and dodging pedestrians while completing tricks. Each challenge has a 3 star rating which earn you credits, the better you do the more credits you earn. 

These credits can be used to unlock more levels, increase your skills and unlocks more tricks for you to perform, and of coarse you can also unlock clothing options for your skater. 

The game is not very large and didn’t take me long to complete and I did find it slightly frustrating at times as a slight mis-swipe can have you doing the wrong trick but I would still really recommend playing Skate City. 

With a great sound track and fairly smooth controls it’s easy to get immersed in the game. 


Quick Stories ~ pic 

Today October 29 , Apple released the long expected AirPods Pro.

Their is a story up on Aussie Mac Zone Apple News page.


Also to for those in NSW our Digital Drivers License was released to all.

There is a Services NSW app on Apples App Store and Google Play Store.

Although due to a quote “ glitch “ most / all have not been able to apply as quote “ we are a little busy, try again later “



Story 4 

9to5 Mac reports ~ Amazon and Google smart speakers can eavesdrop and phish owners; HomePod safe 

We’ve known since the spring of last year that Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers can eavesdrop on owners, and even phish them via voice. 

However, new research shows that new malicious apps with these capabilities continue to be approved by both companies. 

The two vulnerabilities, demonstrated in videos below, occur because both companies make their speakers smarter by allowing third-party developers to create apps or “skills” for them. Apple’s HomePod is safe because the company doesn’t allow this type of third-party access… 

The way third-party apps should work is that the microphones are active for only a short time after the smart speaker asks the user a question. For example, if I tell Alexa to ask my supermarket app to add something to the basket, the app will check my order history for the exact product details, then Alexa will tell me what it found and ask me to confirm that’s what I want. It will then activate the Echo Dot’s microphone for a short time while it waits for me to say yes or no. If I don’t reply within a few seconds, the microphone is switched off again. 

However, malicious apps can leave the microphone activated — and recording what it hears — for much longer. It’s achieved by using a special string that creates a lengthy pause after a question or confirmation, the mic remaining on during this time. 

This type of attack would not be possible on HomePod because the only way a third- party app can interact with Siri is via Apple’s own APIs. Apps have no direct access.


Reminder this week we are bought to you by 



Story 5 

Quick thinking and an Apple Watch helped save a woman from sexual assault 

Digital Trends reports ~ A woman in Calgary, Alberta used an Apple Watch to call for help after a man broke into her apartment and attempted to sexually assault her, authorities said. 

After the man allegedly broke into a woman’s home this past April, she was able to use her Apple Watch to text her boyfriend, asking him to call the police. The woman was laying on her couch at the time, and her iPhone was out of reach — which meant her Apple Watch was the only way to send out a quick text, authorities said. 

Police arrived at her home in time to arrest a man, who later pleaded guilty to several charges related to the incident, including break and enter with the intent to commit sexual assault. 

“[She] remembered that she was wearing an Apple Watch on the arm draped over her head. She used the watch to text message her boyfriend,” Crown prosecutor Rose Greenwood said during a court hearing on Tuesday, according to the Calgary Herald. “Paralysed with terror, [she] pleaded with her boyfriend, over text message, to call the police.” 

The man used a copied key to enter the woman’s apartment as she was sleeping on the couch, prosecutors said, and she later told police that she thought she was going to die. 


Story 6 

Top scams that catch out many older Australians 

The Age reports ~ Phone or online 

fraud can leave you scarred. Here’s some tips to help you fight back! 

It started out as a call similar too many others normally received from a telco service provider. After moving house, Queenslanders John and wife Margaret were having difficulties with their internet and phone connection. 

When a call came about their National Broadband Network connection, it did not feel out of place. The caller told the couple they required access to their computer to fix the problem.
“To connect they said my Microsoft account required updating,” John says. 

“They told me there was a $3.80 charge and asked if I’d accept the charge. I was so silly and gave them my credit card details.”

At that moment, the 73 year old’s fears rose. He had become a victim of a scam.
“Before I could blink, they were into my bank accounts. Right before my eyes, large withdrawals were taken – first $36,000, then $10,000 and $1000 lots. The amounts were going out as fast as lightning.” “After emptying the bank accounts, they moved onto my credit card.” Frantic, John called his local Westpac branch, who put him through to its fraud department. 

“The bank was onto this with speed,” he said “As more money came out, the bank reversed each withdrawal. Almost $70,000 was withdrawn.” 

John is scarred by his experience and says he now rarely picks up the phone. “As soon as I hear a foreign voice I hang up. I’ve learnt my lesson and we limit internet banking.” He said he was sharing his experience as a warning to others to be alert and guard against being caught out, too.
Ben Young, Westpac’s head of fraud, said scams can happen to anyone, anywhere. “Older Australians are more likely to be targeted because there is the perception they have accumulated more wealth over their lifetime,” he said. “Scammers also know that elderly Australians can be more vulnerable, which is why this demographic is often targeted with technology based and romance scams, or scams that threaten their safety and security.” 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website reports the top three scams with largest amounts lost are investments scams, followed by dating and romance fraud and false billing scams. 

Linda, 49, was involved in two romance scams that cost her almost $60,000.  Like many, she fell victim to the notorious Nigerian scam with a man requesting money and a second time she met a man online and flew to Morocco to visit him. 

Red flags 

“In the end it turned out he just wanted a visa,” she said.  Linda has not been able to recover any of the lost money. She has lodged papers with Interpol and says there is almost no support when you are caught out. 

“I went through a very difficult time and almost starved,” she said.  She warned others to note any red flags, such as the way emails are typed and use of the English language. “If they ask for money, block them and run,” she said. “Scammers are extremely intelligent and simulate real life scenarios to rope you in. They almost hypnotise you.” While many people do not tell others they have been scammed because of perceived shame, Westpac’s Mr Young said it is always a good idea to inform family and friends. “This will give you a support network and it could help them just in case they are targeted, too,” he said. If you think you have been scammed, you should contact your bank as soon as possible. 

“The earlier you notify your bank, the stronger the chance of stopping the scam or recovering lost funds,” Mr Young said.

In a bid to raise awareness to scams in and online security, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) ran a Stay Smart Online campaign this month to raise awareness about the ways people can protect themselves online. According to the security watchdog, there have been more than 13,500 reports of cyber crime received by the ACSC since July, 2019, alone. To report a scam, visit the ACCC Scamwatch website ( ). The site also shares advice specifically for older Australians how not to get caught out. 

Tips to help detect a scam 

★ Be alert on the phone and online and be suspicious of requests for money – even if they sound or look official. Be extra cautious if something sounds too good to be true.

★ Don’t be pressured into making any decision. Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency through short deadlines, fake emergencies or threats of legal action.

★ Scammers will often ask you to use an unusual payment method, such as gift cards, iTunes cards or virtual currency such as Bitcoin.

★ Don’t respond to phone calls or e-mails offering financial advice or opportunities – just hang up or delete the email.

★ A good rule of thumb is to never provide your personal information or security details in response to an e- mail or phone call.

★ Be wary of people you meet social media or online dating sites who after just a few 

contacts try to move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email.

★ Take simple steps to protect your computer, such as installing security software and turning on automatic updates. 

Please please tell your family and friends. I know we hart on it nearly every week but we are the nerds we have to help the normal people!! 

Full Story 


Story 7 ~ pic 

Apple TV+ 

There is at least 1 BIG billboard in Sydney advertising “Morning Wars” on Apple TV+. 

Remember November 2 in Australia! 

A link to all the trailers we have so far. 


Show Promotion 

Show notes link each week on show upload, the link being

there you will see the last 6 weeks shows notes 

Email us at Michael or Zarn @ 

Spotify – just 

search Aussie Mac Zone
Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone (remind ~ how to Favourite) 

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& our supporters you our listeners! 

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