Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 321

Show 321 – February 10, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael



Aussie Tech Radio

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.


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Story 1

Apple officially acquired NeXT 23 years ago, changing everything

Apple insider reminds us ~ Most college students today have only known Apple as the fashionable, popular, commercially competent, and trend setting global technology giant it is today. However, 23 years ago Apple Computer, Inc. was struggling to survive while trying to sell Macs in a PC world centred around Microsoft Windows. Things began to change after Apple acquired NeXT in a surprise deal that was announced in the last week of 1996 and was completed on February 7, 1997.

Jobs, jobs and a lot of work

Apple’s acquisition of NeXT Software 23 years ago most obviously provided the company with a modern operating system foundation. NeXT’s advanced software and development tools promised to replace the old Mac System Software that had debuted back in 1984. The “classic” Mac software platform had grown outdated and difficult to modernise without breaking the software that ran on it. 

More importantly, however, the infusion of new management from NeXT served to clear out the unfocused fiefdoms at Apple that each sought to promote their own pet projects, often at the expense of other parts of the company. Bad management and an increasingly dysfunctional corporate culture had caused Apple to crumble from its Golden Age of the late 1980s into an increasingly irrelevant collection of teams, collectively coasting along on past successes while looking for other companies to adopt and build its platforms. 

Rather than aggressively inventing the future, the Apple of the mid 1990s was seeking to develop openly licensed software that other PC and device makers could license. It began licensing both its classic Mac OS and the new Newton OS developed to power handheld “PDA” tablet devices. 

Both strategies weakened Apple’s ability to deliver great products and deploy important technologies itself. Instead, these licensing deals made Apple dependent upon the whims and cost cutting conservatism of various hardware partners, much like Google’s Android has over the past decade. 

The acquisition of NeXT also famously brought Steve Jobs back to the company he had cofounded twenty years earlier. Jobs initially seemed content with playing an advisory role. But rather than selling off the stock he gained in the deal and leaving to start something new, Jobs began assembling a competent management team with the goal of turning Apple around. 

Part of that included leveraging Apple’s remaining core customers and valuable technologies, but it notably also included boldly saying no to a series of initiatives and strategies that were not working—including OS licensing and a series of internal initiatives and projects that showed limited prospects of commercial success or popular adoption.

It took less than a year for Apple to lay out a clear product strategy for its future. It took several more years to fully implement this strategy centred around a modernisation of the Mac system software, which Apple eventually branded as “Mac OS X.” To most people, it did not appear likely that Apple could find enough interest in Macs to ever turn the company around. However, Apple’s new management team focused its efforts on a wider market of emerging trends, particularly involving mobility, music, photos, and digital video. 

Many of Apple’s critics insisted that the company should build Macs running Windows NT, effectively becoming another low-value commodity PC maker. Instead, Jobs recruited Tim Cook, then an operations manager at Compaq, and put him in charge of modernising Apple’s global operations, enabling Apple to sell its own hardware in a sustainable profitable way while continuing to develop its own software and development tools to differentiate Macs from generic PCs.

more at ~


Story 2

Tasmanian Government launched RiskReady fire, flood assessment tool for homeowners in silence

The State Government has quietly launched an online tool that allows Tasmanians to quickly and easily understand whether their home is at risk of bushfires and landslides, but is not publicly promoting it — despite the state being in the middle of bushfire season.

Key points:

1/ RiskReady ‘went live’ in mid-December, but hasn’t been promoted by government agencies

1/ The State Government says it will promote the online tool “at an appropriate time”

3/ The Greens say RiskReady is helpful, but useless without promotion

The RiskReady feature, developed over 12 months at a cost of about $50,000 by the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC) with the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) and other agencies, was completed in mid-December.

Available now on the TasAlert webpage, RiskReady allows people to enter an address and quickly determine whether a property is likely to be exposed to a range of natural hazards, including bushfire, landslide, coastal erosion and coastal inundation.

The data was already available on the Government’s LIST (Land Information System Tasmania) website and other channels, but RiskReady distils the information into an accessible and understandable format, with the option of generating a PDF report listing all the hazards and their degree of foreseen risk.

The feature was developed as part of the Government’s climate change action plan and aims to improve community resilience to natural hazards by providing advice on how property owners can reduce the risk of property damage, with links to detailed risk mitigation and preparedness advice.

But while the tool became active in mid-December, there has been no promotion of it by the minister responsible, Peter Gutwein, or DPAC, and very little mention of it by other agencies.

Mr Gutwein was the minister for environment while RiskReady was being developed, and has recently made himself Climate Change Minister.

Greens MP Rosalie Woodruff said it made no sense that the Government hadn’t promoted the tool.

“Every single day that goes by is a day that people could be making potentially life-saving decisions about how to manage their property,” Ms Woodruff said.

“They’ve spent money, and public servants have done very important and excellent work getting this tool up and ready. We understand that public servants have been barred from promoting it.”

Ms Woodruff said the Government appeared to be “playing politics” by holding off making an announcement.

She said RiskReady would be helpful for people to manage bushfire management, but there needed to be public information about it.

“A live website is effectively useless unless it’s accompanied by promotion,” she said.


Story 3

iOS 13.4 Beta was released last week

iCloud Folder sharing has been re-introduced since disappearing during the initial beta period.

Also 9to5Mac found that it  “contains strings of code that reference an unreleased “CarKey” framework that would enable an iPhone or Apple Watch to lock or unlock compatible vehicles and start the engine to drive.”


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Vertical Hold





Sneaky Sasquatch 

So you have to sneak around the national park stealing food from campers.

To keep up your energy for the abundance of side missions you need to do to save your park from developer’s.

Be sure to hide from the rangers otherwise you get kicked out and have to start all over again. 

A cute and funny game I’m giving it 3 out of 5 apples. 




I know this was one of the first games I reviewed but I really didn’t give it much of a chance… So here we are looking back on it and giving it the review it deserves. 

It’s a silly little game throwing your Avatar, a house, golf clubs, cats. 

And much more. 

It is a bit funny.

And I can see why people like it. 

It’s just there are so many of these type of game’s. 

Look it’s not for me and I do understand that it’s pretty much similar cricket through the ages, but I guess that’s the point.


I give it 1.2 apples out of 5





Official Star Wars Apple Watch Bands Land In Australia

Mac prices Australia reports ~

The Ultimate Gift for Star Wars Fans

MobyFox has announced the arrival of four official iconic Star Wars bands for Apple Watch in Australia. Each with 26 interactive and interchangeable watch faces. Landing in time to celebrate the launch of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the third instalment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

The collection contains four Apple Watch bands, each featuring an iconic Star Wars design. They are made from a soft-touch silicone material, which is both sweat and UV resistant. They also feature silver buckles and an exclusive Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire designs.

All bands have been designed for Apple Watch and are compatible with Series 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. However, they are only available for the 44/42mm Apple Watch case size – no 38/40mm is available.

Each box includes 2 strap length pieces: SM (Small/Medium) and ML (Medium/Large). Allowing the straps to fit wrists between 14 and 21cm.

Watch faces

In addition to the bands themselves, a companion app allows you to choose from a wide range of static and animated Star Wars watch faces. In fact, each band includes 26 different watch faces. An additional 80 watch faces are available via an in-app purchase – spanning the original trilogy and hero characters.


the stylish and unmistakable monochrome helmet design is accompanied by the Galactic Empire crest.

Darth Vader

shows off the power of the Dark Side with a distinctive black band and glistening galaxyscape.

Rebel Classic

a stylish Rebel Alliance inspired imprint, complete with the iconic red Starbird, a white band and black scratch textures.


pays homage to the greatest ship in the galaxy with eye-catching orange highlights inspired by the Rebel Alliance flight suit.

Pricing and Release

Official Star Wars Apple Watch bands are available at a Recommended Retail Price of A$69.95 each. Each band can be purchased online from

MobyFox is distributed in Australia by Try and Byte Group, a family run business with over 30 years of experience in the Apple accessories space.




Apple TV+’s ‘Foundation’ is Ireland’s largest-ever, creating over 500 jobs

MacDaileyNews reports ~ International productions filming in Ireland include Foundation, an Apple Original drama series for Apple TV+, that chronicles the epic saga of The Foundation, a band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it.

The series is based on Isaac Asimov’s novel series of the same name. After many years as a trilogy comprising Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation, the series was expanded by two prequels, and two sequels.

The series is the largest production ever to film on location in Ireland, creating over 500 production jobs. Several training initiatives are underway for new entrants into the industry in the Limerick region, with over 40 skills development participants on the show. Irish talent is represented across the production, including award winning costume designer Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, who leads a large costume department.

David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight,” “Terminator: Dark Fate”) serves as showrunner and executive producer for the series.

Skydance Television is producing the series with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross serving as executive producers. Josh Friedman (“Avatar 4,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) and Robyn Asimov also serve as executive producers for the series.

Foundation stars Jared Harris (“Chernobyl”), Lee Pace (“Halt and Catch Fire”), Lou Llobell (“Voyagers”), Leah Harvey (“Fighting with My Family,” “Les Misérables”), Laura Birn (“Helene,” “The Innocents”), Terrence Mann (“Sense8”), Cassian Bilton (“A Devil’s Harmony”).

Wild Atlantic Pictures is the Irish production company for the series.


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How To 1

How to use iCloud aliases to send and receive email shows us ~ You can have up to three aliases that connect to your iCloud account.

Sometimes it’s useful to have an email address that’s not your primary one. You might want to sign up with a service or use it to subscribe to an email list, and not trust that it won’t be reused and deluged with unwanted mail you can’t unsubscribe from.

Apple lets you set up to three additional email-only identities with, called aliases. That lets you preserve your primary address for whatever purpose you like while having these three alternative identities that you can use to filter email and even delete if you want to abandon the address altogether—not an option with your primary address, which is often the account name for your Apple ID.

Macworld wrote in April 2019 about setting up aliases, which is handled only at (In brief: Log in, click the Mail icon, click the gear icon, select Preferences, click Accounts, and click Add an Alias.)

The Accounts tab lets you manage aliases by selecting it in the list at left. You can opt to disable an alias, which keeps it associated with your account, but it stops receiving email and cannot be used as a “from” address to send messages. You can also delete it, which frees up a slot if you had three aliases allotted. (You may be unable to reclaim it later if you delete it, so take care in making that decision.) 

Incoming email is tagged in the From line with the alias, which lets you use filtering in any email program or rules at or in email apps to decide what happens to a message based on the alias to which it’s addressed. (I offer instructions on creating such a filter in this 2019 column.)

If you want to send a message from an alias, you may have to enable it wherever you want to use it— syncs to Mail, but Mail can’t choose which addresses may be used for sending. iOS and iPadOS don’t appear to sync these changes with or macOS. Here’s where to find the settings:

At, in mail preferences, click the Composing tab and then check the box next to any address you want to enable sending from. You can also choose which is the default sending address for Click Done.

In macOS, launch Mail and choose Mail > Preferences > Accounts and then click the iCloud entry. From the Email Address list, you can select your default send from address, but select Edit Email Addresses and iCloud is opened to the settings in the previous bullet point.

In iOS and iPadOS, go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts > your iCloud account > iCloud > Mail, which is found at the very bottom. Turn on and off individual addresses in the Allow Sending From list. You can pick the default address by tapping the address next to the Email field, even though it’s greyed out and looks like it can’t be selected from.


How To 2

How to Find Your Location History in Google Maps

To see your location history in Google Maps, you must be logged into your Google account, and you need to have been logged into your Google account on your smartphone or your laptop as you moved about locally or traveled in the past.

After you are logged in to Google, go to on a desktop or laptop web browser or on your smartphone, and you will be presented with a map-enabled search utility. In the location history control panel on the left, you may select date segments to see, in one through seven-day increments, or up to 14 or 30-day increments.

After you select your date segments and ranges, you are shown your location and a travel trail of your positions for the time period. These tracks are zoomable and you can get a detailed history of your travels. You may also “delete history from this time period,” or delete your entire history from the database. This is part of Google’s effort to offer both transparency and user control when it comes to private location data.


Story 4 

Apple’s latest iPhone 11 ad emphasises low-light camera performance with Night mode

Apple has shared a new video on its YouTube channel today promoting the Night mode feature on iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. In the video, Apple offers side-by-side comparisons of images taken with and without Night mode enabled.

Cleverly set to the Smashing Pumpkins song “We Only Come Out At Night,” Apple’s video focuses on the dramatic effect Night mode can have on iPhone photography.

Apple rarely makes side-by-side comparisons in its advertising, but this video is a clear exception. The purpose of the ad is to show how Night mode can help improve iPhone images in low-light environments. “Take more naturally looking photos in low-light with Night mode on iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro,” Apple touts.

This iPhone 11 Night mode ad comes just a few days after closed submissions for its Shot on iPhone competition focusing on low-light photography. Apple will announce the winners of that contest on March 4


Story 5 

Foxconn makes masks for its iPhone workers amid coronavirus crisis

Foxconn, the electronics company that supplies Apple, has begun manufacturing its own surgical masks, allowing Chinese workers to churn out iPhones uninterrupted as the coronavirus crisis continues.

The Taiwanese company’s production lines have been shut down because of the disruption caused by the outbreak, slowing down the supply chain that feeds Apple’s global retail network.

However, in a statement released via the Chinese social media platform WeChat, Foxconn said it hoped to get around the problem by switching some of its own production lines to make masks, for its own staff and to supply the soaring global demand for them.

It hopes to increase production to 2m masks by the end of the month.

“In this war against the epidemic, every second counts,” the company said.

“The earlier we take precautionary actions, the earlier we can prevent the virus, the earlier we can save lives, the sooner we can overcome this.”

Foxconn, which has previously come under scrutiny over poor conditions endured by workers making iPhones, said it had already begun a test run of masks at its main manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, southern China.

They will initially be produced for internal use by its hundreds of thousands of employees, the majority of whom work in factories in mainland China.

After that, it will begin supplying masks to the wider public, from whom soaring demand has caused shortages as people trying to protect themselves from the virus.


Story 6 

Apple removed 18 smelters and refiners in 2019 for flouting conflict mineral code of conduct

Again from appleinsider ~ Apple in a report on mineral sourcing issued last Thursday said 18 smelters and refiners that were not willing to participate in third-party audits were removed from its supply chain in 2019, resulting in a 100% audit participation rate for the fifth consecutive year.

In a disclosure to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple detailed efforts to responsibly source so-called conflict minerals — tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold (3TG, collectively) and other minerals — used in the production of iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod touch, Apple TV, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Apple Card, Beats products and all Apple branded accessories. 

Apple, like other U.S. corporations, are beholden to sourcing legislation designed to cut conflict minerals out of the supply chain. As defined by law, conflict minerals include 3TG and other common minerals used to finance conflict in areas like the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

At the end of 2019, Apple found none of its recognised 267 smelters and refiners to have sourced 3TG that directly or indirectly funded armed groups in the DRC or adjoining countries. Of those 267 entities, 24 were known to be sourcing from the DRC or a nearby country. 

The year started with 323 smelters and refiners, though 36 were removed due to erroneous or unintentional reporting by suppliers. Apple requested the removal of 18 smelters and refiners for failing to meet predefined standards including participation in third-party audits, acting on corrective action plans or meeting Apple’s supplier code and requirements. Another two were found to be out of business. 

Members of Apple’s supply chain must follow the company’s Supplier Code of Conduct and Supplier Responsibility Standard on the Responsible Sourcing of Materials, which requires suppliers to “engage with smelters and refiners to assess and identify a broad range of risks beyond conflict, including social, environmental, and human rights risks.” Along with standard OECD Due Diligence Guidance, Apple fields a supplier responsibility team, integrates additional safeguards in its code of conduct and regularly engages with suppliers. The company also supports and assists in the development of industry standards on responsible sourcing and fosters on-the-ground reporting through various independent programs. 

Apple’s efforts to minimise conflict minerals is one facet of a larger responsible material sourcing initiative. The tech giant has long touted its various environmental projects and in 2017 set a goal of one day relying solely on recycled and renewable minerals and materials across its product line. 3TG are among the 14 materials prioritised in the project, Apple said.


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