Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 320

Show 320 – February 03, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael

                       

ithelp2u

Microseconds

Still again a BIG THANKS to all the firefighters, defence personnel and volunteers across Australia and all the visiting ones from overseas.  THANKS

And also the wildlife workers and volunteers.

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Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Happy Birthday iPad ~ 10 years, and they said it would not last!

Story 1

Apple Sold more Tablets than Samsung and Huawei Combined in Q4 2019 with Double Digit Growth for the Quarter and more

From Strategy Analytics, Thursday afternoon we learned Apple and Lenovo were the only 2 companies in Q4 2019 to show Tablet Growth

Apple with 22.7% and Lenovo with 8.3%.

Also we learned that Apple was the number one smartphone Vendor in the World in Q4 2019.

Again the only companies showing growth were Apple, Xaiomi and OPPO. The later 2 maybe because of their release dates?

https://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2020/02/apple-sold-more-tablets-than-samsung-and-huawei-combined-in-q4-2019-with-double-digit-growth-for-the-quarter-and-more.html

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Story 2

Apple to close its entire China operation ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Apple has confirmed it is shutting down its entire operation in mainland China until at least February 9 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s February 1, 2020. As of a report at 6:02 am ET, the coronavirus death toll is at least 259. Globally, almost 12,000 people are reported to be infected. Since its detection in the Chinese city of Wuhan, cases of infection have been reported globally, including in the UK. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

You might well remember the Sars epidemic that broke out in 2003. Also a coronavirus, Sars infected around 8,100 people over the course of eight months, this latest virus has surpassed that in just one.

And those are just the official figures, a mathematical model has led experts from the University of Hong Kong to suggest that more than 75,000 people may have been infected by the virus in Wuhan. Make no mistake, the coronavirus outbreak is a human tragedy, lives have been lost and may yet continue to be lost.

But everything is connected to everything. This means that beyond the loss of human life, the coronavirus could prove to be a real problem for Apple.

The Chinese city of Wuhan is a key manufacturing base in the country, a major producer of display panels. China as a whole is, of course, a manufacturing powerhouse. It’s the heart and soul of Apple’s supply chain. Aside from a small number of plants in India, and its Texas Mac Pro facility, Apple makes nearly everything it sells in China. It’s estimated that the factory in China which carries out the final assembly of iPhones employs 230,000 people, more than the population of all but 83 US cities. The surrounding nations, for example Taiwan, are also key links in the Apple supply chain. Nearly all of the components required for final assembly in China itself are made in factories close by, or in neighboring countries.

Labor

The problems thrown up by the coronavirus outbreak are extensive. The most obvious and immediate problem for Apple (and all of the companies that use China as a manufacturing base) is the impact on the human workforce in the country. If the coronavirus continues at its current rate, the impact on the population could be tremendous. The Hubei province, in which Wuhan is situated, is home to 60 million people. China is an extensive country with an enormous population, so whilst it might be able to absorb the impact of a diminished workforce, there will still be an impact.

Beyond the workforce is travel and movement. As a recent Forbes report noted, the problem extends well beyond manufacturing in Wuhan. The virus has struck during China’s Lunar New Year celebration, a time when most work stops and many citizens return home to celebrate. Willy Shih reckons that probably every factory in China’s coastal manufacturing hubs has some workers who traveled home to Wuhan over the holiday. As you can imagine, the high population density, close working conditions, and dormitory accommodation make for ideal conditions when it comes to spreading a virus. As such, the re-opening of many of these factories has been delayed:

https://www.imore.com/coronavirus-outbreak-could-be-devastating-apple

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Story 3

Apple WebKit engineers unveil proposal to make SMS one-time passcodes more secure

Apple’s WebKit team is proposing a change to the format of SMS one-time passcodes. The WebKit team’s hope is to make the two-factor authentication process more secure, and the proposal outlines two goals to help achieve that.

ZDNet details the proposal, which was shared by Apple engineers on GitHub this week. The first goal is to make it possible for SMS one-time passcodes to be associated with a URL. To do this, Apple engineers propose adding the login URL to the SMS itself.

Part two of the proposal centres on standardising the format of two-factor authentication SMS passcodes. This would allow browsers and mobile applications to detect the one-time passcodes and recognise the domain. From there, the browser or app could “automatically extract the OTP code and complete the login operation without further user interaction.”

Thus far, both Google and Apple engineers have backed the proposal. Mozilla has not yet commented on the proposal.

Below is the format of SMS one-time passcodes that Apple’s WebKit engineers propose. The first line is meant for users to recognise where the message is coming from, while the second line is for the website or app to read and complete the verification:

747723 is your WEBSITE authentication code.

@website․com #747723

With iOS 12, Apple added a new security code auto-fill feature, which automatically reads SMS one-time passcodes and fills them in on the originating site. This new proposal takes things to the next level, with a particular focus on improving security and adding one more layer of protection for users against potential phishing attacks.

https://9to5mac.com/2020/01/30/apple-webkit-sms-2fa-proposal/

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Reminder this week we are bought to you by

Microseconds 

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Gaming

#1

Cricket Through The Ages

This game had me laughing so much! It’s weird quirky and just a bit of alright.

I don’t even like Cricket! But I can’t stop playing it.

This game will be staying in my play list for a while. 

It’s Just so much fun everyone should be playing thing this. 

4 out of 5 Apples

Gaming

#2

GRINDSTONE

Your a sort of Viking  style warrior fighting monsters. this is a level game, like candy crush or Sega’s gems ( for those of you as old as me )  the aim is to slay the  coloured monsters as many of one colour as you can for a big run. It’s what all gets you  the most points. 

This game will not win any originality awards, but it’s addictive game play like the other games in this style is what will bring you back to it. 

Overall it is what it is yes it’s fun but it’s not new.

So I give it 2.5 Apples out of 5. 

O

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Entertainment

#1

Apple TV+ review: ‘Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet’ is funny and incisive

The latest series to launch on Apple TV+ is the service’s first comedy series. It’s a clever, sometimes hilarious look at life in the offices of a gaming company, and comes from the creative team behind “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/02/02/apple-tv-review-mythic-quest-ravens-banquet-is-funny-and-incisive

Entertainment

#2

Apple TV gains 11 new underwater screen savers for you to sit and stare at

Apple has added 11 new underwater screensavers for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K users to enjoy. Anyone who is using the Aerial screensaver will automatically see them added to their rotation.

We don’t know exactly when these new screensavers were added but 9to5Mac spotted them this week. There also appear to be HD and 4K versions of the screensavers so you can enjoy them in the very best quality depending on the hardware you have at your disposal.

The new arrivals mean there are now more than 80 screensavers for Apple TVs to choose from when twiddling their thumbs. The new arrivals are:

Alaskan Jellies x2

Tahiti Waves x2

California Dolphins

California Kelp Forest

Costa Rica Dolphins

Cownose Rays

Gray Reef Sharks

Humpback Whale

Red Sea Coral 

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Reminder this week we are bought to you  by

ithelp2u

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How To 1

You Can Now Stop Facebook From Tracking Your Activity on Other Websites. Here’s How

inc.com shows us ~ The ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tool allows you to control what information about you is tracked and associated with your Facebook account.

As of Tuesday, you can now turn off the collection and sharing of data that sites and apps send to Facebook. You might have had some idea that Facebook was keeping tabs on what you do, but I’m willing to bet you’ll be surprised by the volume of information Facebook has about you. In fact, as I wrote earlier today, even your Ring doorbell app is sharing information with Facebook.

Websites and apps use Facebook’s Pixel and software development kit (SDK) to collect information about your device and your activity, and send that to Facebook. Facebook uses that information to then show you targeted ads. 

It’s why people are convinced Facebook must be listening to their conversations since they see ads in their News Feed for the very products or items they were just talking about. Here’s a newsflash: Facebook doesn’t need to listen to your conversations. It already knows so much about you, it can practically read your thoughts. 

If you don’t believe me, the “Off-Facebook Activity” tool that Facebook announced back in August is finally available. Go take a look at exactly what Facebook has collected about you. You might be surprised at all of the sites and apps you use on a regular basis who are sharing information about what you do. 

Here’s how to find out what sites are sending information to Facebook about you. The “Off-Facebook-Activity” tool isn’t easy to find (though you can click that link to go directly to it). If you want to navigate there, click on the drop-down carrot in the top right of the desktop version of Facebook. Then select “Settings” and “Your Facebook Information.” There you’ll find an option for “Off-Facebook Activity.”

There you’ll find a list of all the sites that are sharing information with Facebook, and you can clear your history (removing this information from your account), turn off tracking for specific sites, or disable this tracking completely. To be clear, if you turn it off, Facebook will still receive information about your activity, it just won’t be associated with your account.

Also, turning off this type of data sharing does mean that you won’t be able to use Facebook to log in to other apps or sites. Never mind that you shouldn’t be using it, for this very reason, but if you are, you’ll be logged out and have to create a new login for those accounts or apps.

I don’t often give Facebook credit for considering the privacy interests of its users, but this is a welcome step in the right direction. The company has often had a hard time balancing its need to know as much as it can about you so that it can monetize that information, with the ability for users to control what information is being collected and tracked. While there are still a lot of changes Facebook will have to make before it can really claim to be a “privacy-protective” platform, this is a good start. 

https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/you-can-now-stop-facebook-from-tracking-your-activity-on-other-websites-heres-how.html

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How To 2

Apple Providing Free Replacement AirPods Pro Tips Under AppleCare+

Customers who have AirPods Pro that also purchased an AppleCare+ protection plan for $29 appear to be able to receive free replacement tips for their ‌AirPods Pro‌. 

Multiple MacRumors readers have reported being provided replacement tips at no cost after going through Apple’s support repair steps for the ‌AirPods Pro‌

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Story 4 

Apple Arcade promo whimsically takes over Apple.com

MacDailyNews reports ~ The homepage of Apple.com has been taken over by an Apple Arcade promo where game characters jump on iPhones, Sonic the Hedgehog drives around the 16-inch MacBook Pro, other characters jump off an iPad Pro and take seat to watch Apple TV 4K, capped by a full animation for Apple Arcade with Pac-Mac temporarily eating the disclaimer (it reappears after a second, likely for legal reasons).

https://macdailynews.com/2020/02/02/apple-arcade-promo-whimsically-takes-over-apple-com/

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Story 5 

Apple Launches 2020 ‘Back To University’ Offer

9to5Mac reports ~ Apple has officially started its annual Back To University promotion in Australia (and New Zealand). Offering a range of offers including free wireless Beats and special educational pricing on a new Mac and iPad, 20% off AppleCare+, Apple Music student pricing, and more.

Products eligible for the promotion include most Mac and iPad models including MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, iPad, and iPad Pro. However, seems to exclude the new Mac Pro. Each product comes with special discounted pricing and a free pair of wireless Beats by Dre. headphones.

Special pricing on a new Mac is up to A$300 off the Recommended Retail Price and A$80 off a new iPad Pro. A list of all savings by each model can be found at macpricesaustralia.com.au/sales/educational-pricing/

Further to free Beats and special pricing, Apple is also offering:

20% off AppleCare+, a product which extends the warranty and service of an eligible device

Discounted Apple Music membership with free Apple TV+

The Apple Back To Uni promotion is available to University students and teachers and ends on March 16th, 2020.

https://www.macpricesaustralia.com.au/2020/01/apple-launches-back-to-university-deal/

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Story 6 

Apple Accepting Donations For Australian Bushfire Relief

Also from Mac Prices Australia ~ As the devastation from Bushfires around Australia becomes increasingly realised, Apple has started accepting donations. By partnering with the Australian Red Cross and is in addition to the donation Apple made themselves.

‘Donate to Australian Bushfire Relief’ banners has been added to Apple’s website and several of its services. Including Apple Music and the iTunes Store. Making it easy for customers to donate. To support the bushfire relief, the full amount donated will be transferred to the Australian Red Cross. Amounts accepted are as follows: $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $150.

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Show Promotion

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

https://aussiemaczone.com.au/amz320/

there you will see the last 6 weeks shows notes

Email us at Michael or Zarn @ aussiemaczone.com.au

Spotify – just search Aussie Mac Zone

AND

Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone

(remind ~ how to Favourite)

Thanks to our sponsors, this week being

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AND

ithelp2u

& our supporters you our listeners!

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