Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 345

Show 345 – July 27, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael

                      

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Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~ 

Google lead says he’s ‘disappointed’ with Apple’s new iPhone security program

Digital Trends ~ Apple’s new hacker-friendly iPhones offer security researchers unrestricted access to devices so that they can easily hunt down vulnerabilities and bugs. But Ben Hawkes, technical lead at Project Zero, a team at Google tasked with discovering security flaws, says he’s “pretty disappointed” with Apple’s latest security program.

Hawkes, in a Twitter thread, said that its team won’t be able to take advantage of Apple’s “Security Research Device” (SRD) iPhones since it appears to exclude security groups that have a policy to publish their findings in three months.

Every time a security researcher discovers a vulnerability, they offer the company a period of time to patch it before it is publicly reported. Project Zero, like many security researchers, has a 90-day policy. However, Apple has kept the control of the timeline to itself and developers who sign up for this new iPhone security program have to agree that they can’t disclose the issues they find until Apple allows them to.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/google-project-zero-apple-iphone-security-comment/

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Story 2 ~ 

Apple Acquires More AI Startups Than Any Other Tech Company

PC Mag reports ~ Apple is leading the AI arms race by acquiring more artificial intelligence companies than Google or Amazon, but does that equal long-term success?

The market for artificial intelligence has exploded over the last decade. While platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana have dominated the market, these companies have not been the source of that growth. Instead, stiff competition between the biggest corporations has led to aggressive acquisitions of AI startups.

The market for artificial intelligence has exploded over the last decade. While platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana have dominated the market, these companies have not been the source of that growth. Instead, stiff competition between the biggest corporations has led to aggressive acquisitions of AI startups.

According to data compiled by CB Insights, there have been a total of 635 artificial intelligence acquisitions between 2010 and September 2019. Those purchases also increased six times over from 2013 to 2018, with 166 acquisitions in 2018 alone—a 38 percent increase year over year. For companies like Apple, Google, and the rest, these purchases can almost always be linked back to a new product or feature.

Leading the charge is Apple, with 20 acquisitions since the 2010 purchase of Siri. As an example, the tech giant acquired Novauris Technologies and Voysis to improve speech recognition of its voice assistant platform. Apple has also bought companies including Perceptio and RealFace to develop its Apple ID technology.

Google had 14 acquisitions

Microsoft 10

Facebook 8

Amazon 7

more

https://au.pcmag.com/why-axis/67824/apple-acquires-more-ai-startups-than-any-other-tech-company

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Entertainment #1

Apple eyes new streaming strategy after Tom Hanks drama breaks records

Fast Company reports ~ World War II epic ‘Greyhound’ gave Apple TV Plus its first bona fide hit. Now executives are looking to double down, insiders say, finally making Cupertino a player in the streaming wars.

According to sources familiar with Apple’s thinking, the success of Hanks’s World War II drama Greyhound (which he both wrote and starred in) has catalysed Apple’s ambitions in feature films, which are now being amped up to (almost) Netflix-like levels.

Going forward, one source says the streamer is discussing plans to release a dozen new movies a year on Apple TV Plus, roughly one a month. Two to four of those would be blockbuster-type titles such as Greyhound and Emancipation, the runaway-slave thriller starring Will Smith and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) that Apple recently acquired for $120 million in a bidding war with Warner Bros., Universal, and other studios. Another source had fewer specifics but confirmed that Apple is telling Hollywood that it’s now in the market for more tentpole-like feature films.

more

https://www.fastcompany.com/90531251/apple-eyes-new-streaming-strategy-after-tom-hanks-drama-breaks-records

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Entertainment #2 –

Apple TV gets free access to classic and contemporary artwork with Enplug Art

9TO5Mac ~ Apple TV includes a nice variety of gorgeous screensavers but what about if you want to display more traditional artwork on your TV or another display? Today, Enplug is launching a free new service that brings the work of thousands of artists to your home or business.

Using a TV as a digital canvas for artwork when not in use has become popular over the past years. Samsung has even created a successful product line out of the feature with The Frame TV series.

Now digital signage software company Enplug is looking to bring that functionality to its paying customers as well as making it free to the public with Enplug Art. The company detailed the launch in a press release today:

Enplug, a leading cloud-based digital signage software provider, today announced Enplug Art – an initiative to collaborate with contemporary artists and some of the world’s most notable museums to bring more than 1,000 works of contemporary and classic art to Internet-connected displays and TVs. This is the first initiative of its kind to bring professionally curated classic and contemporary art into established AV networks in corporate and academic settings, as well as Smart TVs in the home.

Apple TV gets free access to classic and contemporary artwork with Enplug Art

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Entertainment #3 

Apple TV+ orders new thriller series ‘Shining Girls’ starring Elisabeth Moss

 

9TO5Mac ~ Apple today announced it has ordered a new thriller series for Apple TV+ called ‘Shining Girls’. The show will star Elisabeth Moss, who you might recognise as the actress who plays the lead role in popular drama series The Handmaids Tale. The series is based off a best-selling novel of the same name.

The drama follows Moss’s character as a Chicago reporter, who was badly assaulted in the past. She tries to trace down her attacker.

Although all current TV production is on hold due to the coronavirus, Apple TV+ is preparing a competitive slate for 2021 and 2022 as Hollywood work resumes. The company has announced dozens of TV+ projects over the lockdown period, including thriller Echo 3, the Justin Timberlake movie Palmer, Suspicion, The Afterparty comedy, The Shrink Next Door, Emancipation, Killers of the Flower Moon and more.

Apple is also gearing up to air the second seasons of its 2019 slate, including The Morning Show, Servant, See, Dickinson and For All Mankind. Production on season two of most of these franchises were cut short by the pandemic, so we aren’t expecting many to be released (including Apple TV+’s poster child The Morning Show) until sometime next year. However, Apple will be releasing a teaser trailer for For All Mankind season 2 this weekend at a virtual Comic Con panel. 

more

https://9to5mac.com/2020/07/23/apple-tv-shining-girls/

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How To #1 ~ 

5 photo tricks to try with your iPhone while you’re bored in quarantine

Self isolating at home? Here are five great ways you can keep your creativity skills on point.

1. Make a creative composite

2. Practice portraits

3. Still life scenes

4. Make a short film

5. Work on your editing

full how to

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/iphone-camera-photo-tricks-try-at-home-during-lockdown/

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Story 3 ~ 2 pics

Shot from iPhone 4 included in 2020 iPhone Photography Award winners

The winners of the 2020 iPhone Photography Awards (IPPA) have been announced today. This year marks the 13th annual iPhone Photography Awards, crowning dozens of winners across 18 categories — and one of the winning shots was taken with the 10-year-old iPhone 4.

The Grand Prize Winner and Photographer of the Year Award went to photographer Dimpy Bhalotia of the United Kingdom for her image Flying Boys, shot with an iPhone X. You can see this image on the far-left of the header image of this article.

The Grand Prize Winner and Photographer of the Year Award goes to street photographer Dimpy Bhalotia of the United Kingdom for her image Flying Boys. In it, three boys take flight from a wall into the Ganges River, their expressive limbs filling the sky with both tension and exuberance.

https://9to5mac.com/2020/07/22/iphone-photography-award-winners/

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Good Products for when were Stuck Indoors

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Story 4 ~

Apple commits to being 100% carbon neutral for entire supply-chain by 2030

Apple’s own operations have been 100% carbon neutral for more than two years, and received a UN award for this, but the company has today made a bold commitment for the same to be true of its entire supply-chain by 2030. The company is promoting this on its homepage, calling it ‘a planet-size plan.’

Apple started working on greening its supply-chain back in 2015, and VP Lisa Jackson provided an update last year.

The company said its commitment includes boosting its use of recycled materials and recycling of discarded products so that carbon neutrality applies to the complete life-cycle of all Apple products …

Apple laid out a 10-year road-map.

more

Apple commits to being 100% carbon neutral for entire supply-chain by 2030

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Story 5 ~ 

EU General Court overturns Apple’s €13 billion Irish tax bill

The ruling from Europe’s second highest court finds the deal Apple had with Irish tax authorities was not illegal, as argued by the European Commission.

Apple has been freed from paying €13 billion in Irish back taxes, for now, after the General Court of the European Union annulled the decision made by the European Commission (EC) in 2016.

The Commission four years ago ruled the deal Apple had with Irish tax authorities was illegal, saying Ireland had granted Apple €13 billion in unlawful tax advantages, but the EU’s second highest court this week said there was not enough evidence to show the tech giant broke EU competition rules.

“The General Court annuls the contested decision because the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage for the purposes of Article 107(1) TFEU,” the judgement [PDF] says.

“According to the General Court, the Commission was wrong to declare that ASI [Apple Sales International] and AOE [Apple Operations Europe] had been granted a selective economic advantage and, by extension, State aid.”

The Commission’s ruling followed a two-year investigation, which found two tax rulings that Ireland issued to Apple “substantially and artificially” lowered the tax the company paid in the country since 1991.

The deal saw Apple attribute all profits from two of its incorporated companies to a “head office” in Ireland, which had no employees and “could not have generated such profits”, the EC said at the time.

more

https://www.zdnet.com/article/eu-general-court-overturns-apples-eur13-billion-irish-tax-bill/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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Story 6 ~ 

NSW axed law that may have prevented COVID-19 price gouging in 2019

ABC.net.au reported ~ The rising cost of face masks and other essential medical supplies are at the centre of a push by consumer advocates to protect New South Wales residents from price gouging.

The potentially lifesaving products, in increasingly high demand due to COVID-19, have been vulnerable to inflated costs as demand spikes.

Laws to safeguard against price gouging that had been in place for over 70 years were repealed last year by the State Government.

Advocates have expressed concerns that the consumer protections were given away “cheaply” just before the time Australians needed them most.

The market pressures caused by COVID-19 have taken consumers on a roller-coaster ride in 2020.

At times, basic items like toilet paper, hand sanitiser and flour have been scarce or sold at highly inflated prices.

Fights have broken out in shopping aisles, prompting the introduction of rationing.

Medical supplies have also been affected, with one company charging $786 for a single box of face masks.

Some of these chaotic scenes and shady practices could potentially have been avoided with a little-known piece of legislation, according to former NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe.

more

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-25/law-to-prevent-covid-19-style-price-gouging-axed-in-2019/12489408

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