Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 311

Show 311 – November 18, 2019

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael




Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Following on from last week.  A BIG thanks again to all the Rural & City Fire Fighters around the country!!

Story 1

So the big news is Apple released, via just a press release, a 16” MacBook Pro

A slightly bigger case than the 15”, so that rumour was incorrect.  It has 6 speakers, 2 that are vibration cancelling. 3 Broadcast Microphones, some conjecture here. 100wH Battery, the largest battery allowed on an aeroplane. 16” Display, with brighter denser pixels.  AND a new scissor keyboard based on the Magic Keyboard from 2018 with slightly more travel and more spacing between the keys. It also has a physical Escape key, with a Touch Bar and the keyboard is apparently quieter.

I went to an Apple store on Saturday to test the machine.  I in the few minutes I was testing noticed very little except for the noise.  The 16” MacBook Pro was next to a MacBook Air, so I would type on the Pro then the Air. AS someone who was never bothered by the travel, really I did not notice much there.

Lastly here it can have unto 8TB of storage.  Not cheap but SSD prices from Apple are reducing slowly.

Pricing starts at A$3,799 and goes to A$9679, A$3250 is just for the 8TB SSD.


Story 2

Earlier last week a new app also launched ~ The augmented reality app helping veterans, and others manage anxiety

Three or four times a week, whenever he needs to calm his mind, Steve Mills launches the Healium AR app ( Heal as in make better ) on his iPhone. His favourite spot to use it is in a park on the banks of the slowly churning Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Sometimes I walk down to the riverfront here and sit on a bench and look at the water,” says Mills, as he motions to the app, open on his phone. “And using this just puts me in a really good state of mind.”

Mills starts one of Healium AR’s guided meditations by first syncing his Apple Watch, which transmits his heart rate to the app. As he takes deeper breaths, his heart rate slows, and a solar system of planets illuminates in front of him, thanks to the app’s use of augmented reality (AR). Healium AR blends storytelling, neuroscience and game design so users can harness their feelings to power virtual worlds and find a sense of calm.


Story 3

NSW drivers, keep your hand off ~ BUT I’m sure this will expand to many others Staes & countries

Are you ever tempted to send a quick text or change a song on your mobile phone while driving behind the wheel?

Well you better think twice because new cutting-edge cameras catching drivers on their mobile phones will be rolled out across NSW by the end of the year.

This means by December 2019:

The NSW government will spend $88 million on rolling out fixed and portable cameras across the state to detect motorists using phones.

Unlike speed cameras, there won’t be any warning signs to alert drivers as they approach.

The covert cameras will operate 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions.

Until March 1, 2020, errant drivers will receive a warning letter but after that, ignoring the law will cost motorists a $344 fine and five demerit points.

The move to implement the world’s first mobile phone detection camera program follows a six-month trial of three cameras which recorded 8.5 million vehicles and found more than 100,000 drivers using their phones illegally.

The high-definition cameras will operate 24 hours a day and use artificial intelligence to spot drivers using their phones, regardless of the weather. And unlike speed cameras, there will be no warning signs to alert drivers as they approach them.

Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said unfortunately some drivers haven’t received the message and think they can continue to put the safety of themselves, their passengers and the community at risk without consequence.

“There is strong community support for more enforcement to stop illegal mobile phone use with 80 per cent of people we surveyed supporting use of the mobile phone detection cameras,” Mr Constance said.

The NSW government will spend $88 million on rolling out fixed and relocatable trailer-mounted cameras which will move across a network of locations statewide, targeting illegal mobile phone use anywhere, anytime.

The covert cameras are set to bring in $280 million dollars in yearly revenue. They’ll be installed this December at various locations and gradually expand to perform 135 million vehicle checks annually by 2023.

If one of the 45 cameras catches you using your phone while driving, you’ll receive a warning letter up until March 1, 2020. After that, drivers will be slapped with a $344 fine and five demerit points.


Reminder this week we are bought to you by





Zarn reviews Apple Arcade Pinball Wizard


Apple TV+

My wife and I this week

Watched the first 3 episodes of Morning Wars.  And it definitely gets better as the show expands the story line.  The premise is based on the News Desk superstar, played by Steve Carrell, being dropped for being a sex predator.

Also based on the changing role of news in the Social Media age.

It is a thing whether we wish to accept it or not.

We also watched 2 more episodes of Dickinson.  And although set in the 1890s, with its expectations and injustices, it is very contemporary in its language!

Also there are more Movies coming in January after they have been at the cinema.

And lastly on video news, I was lucky enough to go to see Ford v Ferrari last Thursday night.

      • Just as the first pitstop was about to happen in the movie, which is what I’m into having done that.  My Apple Watch went off to say “we’ve noticed you heart rate is over 100BPM but you don’t appear to exercising”!
      • You can pre-order Ford v Ferrari on Apple TV for release in December
      • And I thought it was just for car nerds like us BUT Friday night at Castle Hill 1 session was sold out at least an hour before the start time. And they put on extra sessions.  And Saturday night at Blacktown Twin Drive In 3 of the 4 sessions which means 2 sessions were a minute apart playing at the same time.


Story 4

A friends iPhone issues

Hitting Mute when talking, dialling accidentally after hanging up, etc.

We talk about the issues


Reminder this week we are bought to you  by



Story 5

Police tout “scam” of drug dealers weighing drugs with iPhones 

In a tongue-in-cheek social media post, a police department in North Carolina recently made its community aware of a “scam,” in which “untrustworthy drug dealers” are using iPhones, rather than scales, to weigh drugs before selling them.

On the department’s Facebook page, which includes a picture of an iPhone, the Mint Hill Police Department asks gullible community members to come to the police department and “schedule to meet with one of our officers who can assist you by weighing your purchase to ensure that you didn’t get cheated out of what you paid for.”


Story 6

Hundreds of iPhones stolen from festival, recovered

Police in Palm Beach County, Fla., recovered more than 100 iPhones that had been stolen the previous weekend from the Electric Daisy Carnival in Orlando. Per CBS 12, the phones, as well as stolen credit cards, were found in the car of 25-year-old man who was subsequently arrested. Those whose phones were stolen are advised to contact the Orlando Police Department.

A different man, 34, was arrested in Orlando for stealing 30 other phones, including iPhones and Samsung models, from the same carnival, reports Click Orlando.


Story 7 

Cortana iOS app to go dark in Australia, UK, Canada on January 31

Microsoft is changing plans for its digital assistant, with the software giant withdrawing availability for Cortana’s iOS app for iPhone and iPad in a number of major territories starting from January 31, with users forced to use other apps to access content previously synchronised with Windows desktops from their mobile devices.


Story 8 

Also while at the Apple Store on the weekend I got to try the new AirPods Pro. WOW

Although again only for about 10 minutes, but WOW.

The sales person spent a few minutes sorting our the best ear tips for me.  Then we tested the Active Noise Cancelling / Transparency Mode. WOW.

So the store was reasonably filled with people and when the noise cancellation was applied, real silence. Transparency Mode, which gives you surrounding noise amplified by the inbuilt mics so you have a sense of what’s happening around you because these in canal earphones are designed to block you ear to the outside world.

These are now on my Christmas List, I’m looking at you Zarn!


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