Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 342

Show 342 – July 06, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael              


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~ 

UK police arrest ‘iconic’ criminals in biggest ever operation after encryption breakthrough

Reuters reports ~ British police said on Thursday they had carried out their biggest operation ever, arresting “iconic” figures and smashing thousands of conspiracies including murder plots after infiltrating a communications service used by criminals.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the cracking of the encryption used by EncroChat, which offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service and was used by criminals to coordinate their activities, had allowed detectives across the country to make almost 750 arrests.

The agency said it also meant a specialist team had been able to stop rival gangs carrying out kidnappings and executions, “successfully mitigating over 200 threats to life”.

Two months ago, French and Dutch investigators infiltrated the platform, which had 60,000 users worldwide and around 10,000 in the United Kingdom and shared the data via Europol, allowing the authorities to monitor criminals’ messages and movements.

EncroChat, which has now been shut down, had advised its users to throw away their handsets on June 13 after realising it had been compromised.

However, British police have made 746 arrests, claimed 54 million pounds in criminal cash, seized 77 firearms, including an assault rifle and sub-machine guns, and more than two tonnes of drugs, the NCA said.

It added that entire networks had been dismantled in the most significant operation of its kind. Other European law enforcement agencies have also used the information to target crime groups.


Story 2 ~ 

Apple honours eight developers with annual Apple Design Awards

Winners are recognised for outstanding app design, innovation, ingenuity, and technical achievement 

Apple last week named eight app and game developers receiving an Apple Design Award, each one selected for being thoughtful and creative. 

Apple Design Award winners bring distinctive new ideas to life and demonstrate deep mastery of Apple technology. The apps spring up from developers large and small, in every part of the world, and provide users with new ways of working, creating, and playing.

“Every year, app and game developers demonstrate exceptional craftsmanship and we’re honouring the best of the best,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “Receiving an Apple Design Award is a special and laudable accomplishment.

Past honourees have made some of the most noteworthy apps and games of all time. 

Through their vision, determination, and exacting standards, the winning developers inspire not only their peers in the Apple developer community, but all of us at Apple, too.”

The Apps

Darkroom, from Bergen Co., is a powerful photo and video editor whose interface is as beautiful as it is easy to use.

Looom, developed by, is an animation playground that takes inspiration from music creation tools.

Shapr 3D, from Shapr 3D ZRT, is a powerful CAD app for iPad that has the potential to drastically transform the architectural and technical drawing workflow.

StaffPad, from StaffPad Ltd., brilliantly converts handwritten musical notations into digital sheet music.

More than 250 developers have been recognised with Apple Design Awards over the past 20 years. The recognition has proven to be an accelerant for developers who are pioneering innovative designs within their individual apps and influencing entire categories. Previous winners such as Pixelmator, djay, Complete Anatomy, HomeCourt, “Florence,” and “Crossy Road” have set the standard in areas such as storytelling, interface design, and use of Apple tools and technologies.

Now the Game winners


Gaming #1 ~ 

Apple Design Awards ~ cont

Sayonara Wild Hearts,” from developer Simogo and publisher Annapurna Interactive, has been lauded for outstanding design since its launch.

“Sky: Children of the Light,” from thatgamecompany, has players flying across sweeping landscapes in a magical kingdom to help celestial beings find their way back to the heavens.

“Song of Bloom,” from indie developer Philipp Stollenmayer, is a unique game with a nonlinear tale packed with clever puzzles.

“Where Cards Fall,” from developer The Game Band and publisher Snowman, is a slice-of-life adventure game in which players build houses of cards to bring formative memories to life.


Gaming #2 ~ 


This comic book based game is such a fantastic challenge.  It’s still a little glitchy but the game play isn’t let down by this at all. 

It’s interesting and a great adventure game that seems to be hiding something more sinister around each turn. I played for about four hours and feel like I’ve only just started the the game. 


Entertainment #1 ~ 

Apple expands international slate with neo-noir thriller “Losing Alice”

“Losing Alice,” a neo-noir psychological thriller from creator, writer and director Sigal Avin, is set to join Apple’s slate of sweeping international original series in a new co-production deal.

“Losing Alice” is a thrilling cinematic journey that uses flashbacks and flash-forwards in a satisfyingly complex narrative that takes the viewer through the conscious and subconscious of its protagonist’s mind. The series follows Alice (played by Ayelet Zurer), a 48-year-old female film director, who feels irrelevant since raising her family. After a brief encounter on the train, she becomes obsessed with a 24-year-old screenwriter femme fatale, Sophie (played by Lihi Kornowski), and eventually surrenders her moral integrity in order to achieve power, relevance and success.

Through the prism of this female Faust, the series explores issues such as jealousy, guilt, fear of ageing, and the complex relationships women have among themselves and each other. But above all, “Losing Alice” is a love letter for the still-too-rare female director.


Entertainment #2 –


Apple to premiere the feature film “Greyhound,” starring Tom Hanks, setting sail globally on July 10


Entertainment #3 ~ 

Apple’s “Little Voice” from Emmy Award winner J.J. Abrams, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson to debut globally Friday, July 10 on Apple TV+

New half-hour coming-of-age drama series.

A love letter to the diverse musicality of New York follows Bess King, a uniquely talented performer struggling to fulfil her dreams while navigating rejection, love and complicated family issues. This is a story about finding your authentic voice — and the courage to use it.


Things coming in new OS’ ~ 

New in tvOS 14 

You will be able to run Shortcuts to lets say “Movietime Netflix” and besides doing the lights, you TV will startup in Netflix.

Or  “Movietime Disney+” and besides doing the lights, you TV will startup in Disney+.

Or  “YouTube” and besides doing the lights, you TV will startup in YouTube.

Shortcuts will be able to see what apps are on the AppleTV and add the to a Shortcut.


How To #1 ~ 

If your Apple TV remote isn’t working

Try these steps first

  1. 1.Find out which Apple TV remote you have. If you have a Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote, charge it for 30 minutes using a Lightning to USB cable and a USB wall charger. If you have an Apple Remote, replace the battery. 
  2. 2.Stay within range of your Apple TV and move anything that blocks the path between your remote and the front of your Apple TV, television, receiver and sound bar. 
  3. 3.Unplug your Apple TV from the wall power outlet. Wait at least six seconds, then plug it back in.

If your remote still isn’t working as expected, follow the steps for your type of remote. After each step, see if you still need help.

Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote*

  1. 1.Press Menu or Apple TV App/Home  on your remote to check if your Apple TV is asleep.
  2. 2.Try to pair your remote again. Point your remote three inches away from your Apple TV. Then press and hold your remote’s Menu and Volume Up buttons for five seconds. If asked, place your remote on top of Apple TV to complete pairing.
  3. 3.If your remote isn’t scrolling as expected, you might have turned Accessibility features on. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and check your settings. 
  4. 4.If you have an Apple Remote (aluminium or white), try it instead of your Siri Remote. Or, if you already set up your Apple TV, you can use the Apple TV Remote in Control Centre for iOS or iPadOS to control your Apple TV.

Apple Remote (aluminium or white)

  1. 1.Unlink your Apple Remote to your Apple TV. On your Apple Remote, hold down Menu and Left for six seconds. Then on your Apple TV, look for  above an icon of a remote.
  2. 2.Link your Apple Remote to your Apple TV. On your Apple Remote, hold down Menu and Right for six seconds. Then on your Apple TV, look for  above an icon of a remote.
  3. 3.Unplug your Apple TV from the wall power outlet. Wait at least six seconds, then plug it back in.


Story 3 ~ 

Michael talked about his wife and his Apple Watch losing connection with their phones

Since the last updates my wife and I are getting a lot of “Connect to Hotspot” notifications because the Watch and iPone are losing Bluetooth connectivity!

You have to, in most cases, turn off Bluetooth on the iPone and turn it back on to get the connection back.

It can happen overnight when they are side by side on their charges.


Story 4 ~

UN reports global e-waste production soared beyond 53 million tonnes in 2019

ZDNet reports ~ That’s equivalent to the weight of 350 cruise ships the size of the Queen Mary 2.

ZDNet reports ~ The amount of electronic waste (e-waste) that was produced globally in 2019 reached a record of 53.6 million tonnes (Mt), up 9.2 Mt in five years, according to the United Nation’s.

The UN defines e-waste as any discarded products with a battery or plug, and features toxic and hazardous substances such as mercury, that can pose severe risk to human and environmental health.

On a per capita basis, however, Europe and Oceania were on top of the chart with just over 16 kg per capita, and America at around 13kg. Asia was on the lower end of the spectrum at 5.6 kg per capita, while Africa was only 2.5 kg.

Based on the numbers per capita, the report identified that the average man, woman, and child discarded on average 7.3 kg of e-waste in 2019 on a per capita basis.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced ambitious plans to be carbon negative by 2030, with the company hoping that by 2050, it will have removed from the environment all the carbon that has been emitted by its business — directly and by electrical consumption — since it was founded in 1975.

MS ~ maybe this is why Apple is, reportedly, not giving us a charger or EarPods with the next iPhone?

MS ~ this is long term scary so PLEASE think about what your doing. Even broken EarPods go to e-waste not just in the rubbish!


Story 5 ~ 

This macOS ransomware disguises itself as legitimate system tasks

The only way to protect yourself is to keep multiple backups of your files, just in case.

INPUT warns us ~ You’re not alone if you think Apple products can’t get viruses. And to be fair there are a lot more written for Windows-based operating systems, but that’s simply because there are more Windows devices out there. Your Mac can indeed contract viruses ( MS not quit accurate statement ) — and your files are very much at risk if you do.

This week a group of security workers discovered a particularly nasty piece of ransomware aptly named OSX.ThiefQuest that disguises itself as macOS and Google processes. The ransomware was originally called EvilQuest — a fitting name, to be sure — but was later changed by its discoverers because they found out a real game by that name already exists.

According to security researchers, OSX.ThiefQuest has been spreading through downloads of pirated macOS apps. In general, you should be able to avoid it by just staying away from those pirated apps. If you do think you’ve been infected, the Malwarebytes app should be able to remove it from your system.

HOW DOES IT WORK? — The ransomware operates by pretending to be a legitimate patch file included with pirated downloads of popular software like Little Snitch (a packet sniffer) and Mixed In Key 8 (DJ software). That “patch” file worms its way into the hard drive as part of the installation process for both of these apps.

Once installed, the virus renames its processes to blend in with system tasks — with names like “CrashReporter” and “Google Software Update” making it very difficult to pick out the ransomware from the pack.

Then the ransomware starts encrypting random files on your computer. Researchers noted the virus messing with everything from Dock Settings files to the system clock. Then, if the virus is able to complete its processing, a ransom message asking for $50 in the next three days pops up. Some researchers noted that the popup even sometimes comes along with a fun robotic voice reading the ransom message.


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