Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 322

Show 322 – February 18, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael



Aussie Tech Radio


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

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Story 1

“Those Apple Keyboards are Horrendous” – Screenwriting Oscar Winner Slams MacBook Keyboards

Cinema5d tells us ~ Director Taika Waititi won his first Oscar for the Best Adapted Screenplay for his movie Jojo Rabbit. He used the opportunity to complain to journalists about how Apple messed up the keyboard with its recent MacBooks. Apple’s Butterfly keyboard design used in MacBooks since 2015 has not been overly popular among Apple’s customers and now the company seems to finally understand that as the new 16″ 2020 MacBook does not have this type of keyboard anymore.

Taika Waititi, also known as Taika Cohen, comes from the East Coast of New Zealand. He has been involved in the film industry for several years, initially as an actor, and now focusing on writing and directing. Taika became a blockbuster director with his film Thor: Ragnarok in 2017. 

During the meeting with journalists after winning his first Oscar, Taika Waititi criticised Apple for a bad keyboard design in its latest MacBooks. When asked what he thought writers should be demanding in the next round of discussions with producers, he said: “Apple needs to fix those keyboards”.


Story 2

Router lifetime on box in UK

Routers sold in the UK will have to have their support life span in clear writing on the box.

I think this was talked about on a Relay.FM podcast during last week.  I listen to a couple of theirs.

I would like to see that on every tech product!  Apples current standing on this is basically they will support a product for 7 years.

But not sure where it is written down.



Story 3

Apple’s free learn-to-code Swift Playgrounds sandbox arrives on Mac

The Verge reports ~ Nearly four years after it launched as an iPad-exclusive in 2016, Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app is now available for Mac as part of Apple’s Catalyst app initiative, designed to help bridge the software gap between its macOS and iOS platforms (via 9to5Mac).

The free app cleverly disguised as a video game teaches kids how to use Apple’s Swift programming language, and to maybe build apps of their own. Now that it’s on Mac, it might be easier for kids to publish those Swift apps, too; they can now use those skills on the same laptop they’d need for the company’s Xcode software. Xcode isn’t available on Apple’s tablets.

Apple’s product page also says your code will seamlessly move from iPad to Mac as you write it, and the new app comes with a few Mac-exclusive features, like the option to drag and drop snippets of common code directly into your lesson with your mouse or trackpad. According to 9to5Mac, it also has support for the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, but they don’t say how it might help.

MS while I was researching this story I found out that Parrot Drones and Sphero SPRK+ and LEGO® MINDSTORMS can be controlled by what you program into Swift Playgrounds


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This week the first game I’m talking about is

Card of Darkness ~ An Epic Card Adventure 

This game is awesome you need to chose the best way out of the level by playing the cards in front of you.

You can also play all the cards for extra points. Each level gets harder as you get stronger. You get magic spells, swords and scrolls once you have defeated all sub levels of each “Castle” you move on.

This game for me is what it’s all about, you have to think about your next move, you only have a certain amount of life throughout the levels, so each move really counts.


I had lots of fun playing this. It’s definitely a keeper. 4 out of 5 Apples. 




HOGWASH! ~  Multiplayer Barnyard Bedlum

Now though this game looks like a ton of fun it was hard to control on my iPhone but I’m guessing with Apple TV and a controller this game would be a blast.

So you can either play as the pig or the farm hand. The Pigs job is to be as muddy as possible and dirty up the things the farmer holds dear.

The Farmhand needs to clean the mess and stop the pigs. 

Sounds simple enough right?

But it’s not it’s funny and fun for what I could play of it.

I will definitely revisit this one on the big screen.

So for the time being I hold my rating. 


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Story 4 

Gmail for iOS adds attachment support for Apple’s Files app

Slashgear reported ~ Google is making it easier for Apple mobile device owners to attach files to emails using their iPhone or iPad. In an announcement this week, Google said that it has added support for Apple’s Files app to Gmail on iOS; this means you’ll be able to directly attach files from this app using the Gmail app. The change is rolling out now to all Gmail users on iOS.

Apple mobile device owners have a number of file apps to choose from, including the excellent Documents by Readdle. Some people prefer to stick with Apple’s own Files app, however, perhaps in an effort to keep everything neatly organised. Until now, this was a problem for Gmail users who regularly attached and set files using their iPhones.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Google announced it started rolling out support for Apple’s Files app to all Gmail on iOS users on February 12. It may take a couple of weeks for the feature to arrive for everyone, however, so remain patient if you’re not yet seeing the support.


Story 5 

Coronavirus cruise treated with 2000 iPhones deployed to everyone stuck on board

9to5Mac tells us ~ In a more curious example of how iPhone is involved with the coronavirus outbreak, the Japanese Ministry of Health is set to hand out over 2000 iPhones to passengers stuck onboard a Princess cruise ship near Japan.

Reported by Macotakara, Japan is giving out the iPhones so that “there will be one unit of phone per cabin in every passengers cabins and crew rooms.”

The reason for handing out the iPhones with Softbank service is to give passengers access to the Japanese Ministry of Health app that will allow passengers on the cruise ship to chat with a doctor.

So far, over 100 people on the ship that has been quarantined since last week have been confirmed to have coronavirus.

The reason that passengers would need an iPhone given to them to access the health app is that there are many that wouldn’t be able to download it from an iOS App Store or Google Play Store registered in a different country than Japan.

It seems likely the passengers will have to return the iPhones at some point but considering the contagious scenario involved here, who knows…


Story 6 

Malware Threats On Macs Outpace Windows For First Time Ever

Gizmodo reports ~ It’s generally accepted that Macs are safer and less malware-prone than Windows PCs. Well, not anymore ( MS a bit of click bait ). A new report says that for the first time ever, Mac-specific threats outpaced PCs by a rate of 2:1 in 2019.

The report comes from Malwarebytes, an antivirus software maker. In its 2020 State of Malware Report, the firm says it found the volume of Mac threats increased year-over-year by more than 400 per cent. While it attributes some of that number to a larger Mac userbase, the company calculated the number of threats per endpoint on both Mac OS and Windows. The results? In 2019, the company detected an average of 11 threats per Mac endpoint compared to 5.8 threats per Windows PC endpoint. Compared to 2018, Mac endpoint threats rose from 4.8 to 11.

As for the reason behind the drastic increase, Malwarebytes says it’s likely due to increased market share. As more people use Apple computers, they become more attractive to bad actors. The report also notes that macOS’s built-in security has yet to sufficiently tackle adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) compared to malware.

According to the report, Mac threats also differ significantly from those faced by PCs. While Windows machines are more likely to face traditional types of malware, the most prevalent Mac threats are adware and PUPs. The latter mostly consists of “cleaning” apps like MacKeeper and MacBooster. On the adware side, NewTab topped the list. NewTab is an adware family that redirects browser searches to earn “illicit affiliate revenue” and is often spread via fake flight or package tracking pages, fake maps, and face directions. Overall, adware and PUPs are considered less dangerous than traditional malware. That said, the increased number indicates these types of threats are becoming more aggressive.

Adware is also a problem for Windows too, with roughly 24 million detections on PCs. That’s an increase of roughly 13 per cent for consumers and 463 per cent for businesses. Also, seven out of the top ten consumer threats were some sort of adware variant. Windows PCs were also targeted by Emotet and Trickbot, two types of Trojan botnets, as well as new ransomware including Ryuk, Sodinokibi, and Phobos.

The main takeaway is that no, your Apple computer isn’t more immune to malware and maybe you should take security more seriously. Adware freaking sucks.


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Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 322

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