Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 346

Show 346 – August 3, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael       


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~ 

Revenue up 11 percent and Earnings Per Share up 18 percent to new June quarter records

“Apple’s record June quarter was driven by double-digit growth in both Products and Services and growth in each of our geographic segments,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “In uncertain times, this performance is a testament to the important role our products play in our customers’ lives and to Apple’s relentless innovation. This is a challenging moment for our communities, and, from Apple’s new $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to a new commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030, we’re living the principle that what we make and do should create opportunity and leave the world better than we found it.”

“Our June quarter performance was strong evidence of Apple’s ability to innovate and execute during challenging times,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. 

“The record business results drove our active installed base of devices to an all-time high in all of our geographic segments and all major product categories. We grew EPS by 18 percent and generated operating cash flow of $16.3 billion during the quarter, a June quarter record for both metrics.”


Story 2 ~ 

Victoria and Queensland to kick-off mobile phone detection camera trials

The cameras in Queensland can also catch people who fail to wear a seatbelt.

ZDNet ~ Both the Victorian and Queensland governments have announced that they will each be testing the use of phone-detection cameras on the roads to catch drivers illegally using their mobile phones while driving.

In Victoria, the three-month trial will begin on Wednesday, July 29 and involve placing the high-resolution cameras across several metropolitan and regional locations. 

The testing will focus on ensuring the technology that is designed to detect mobile phone use behind the wheel and the possibility of other illegal driving activities, such as not wearing a seatbelt, can operate accurately before it is potentially rolled out.

At the same time, the trial will help the state government understand how the phone-detecting cameras could be integrated with existing road safety camera systems.


Gaming #1 ~ pic


So what seemed like a good idea for a game, slowly ( and I mean slowly) 

Became a let down. It boasted to allow you to build fighting bots and take part in amazing robot wars. 

You could choose some basic upgrades for existing tech that’s it. And the battles were pretty automatically set up. 

I was very disappointed.

Graphics were good I guess that’s an up sell?


But other than that I don’t have anything good to say. 

So it gets half and Apple. 

I won’t be replaying this game because I feel I’ve give it enough of my time already. 



Entertainment #1 –

James Blake — creates a new song from his home

“It feels like a dream that I’m sort of walking through and I’m able to affect what happens in it.” James Blake lets us inside his brain as he writes the new song “ASK FOR MORE.” Remote cameras were set up in the GRAMMY® Award winner’s home studio, capturing his entire creative process as he worked on writing, recording and editing the song over a 24 hour period. From time spent crafting a melody at his piano, to looping and pitching the melody and adding layers, instruments and vocals in Logic Pro X on his MacBook, to editing it into a finished song. Completing the track just after 1am.


Entertainment #1 

A climate change promise from Apple


Is the latest short video on Apples Youtube page.



Story 3 ~ 

The plan for Australia’s first Indigenous-focused startup accelerator Barayamal

ZDNet again ~ With world domination in his sights, Barayamal’s founder Dean Foley is on a mission to make a big impact on First Nations entrepreneurship.

Dean Foley, a Kamilaroi man from rural New South Wales, graduated year 12 and decided to head to Canberra to pursue a career in the Australian Airforce as an analyst.

Around three years into his post, a colleague placed a book on entrepreneurship in front of him. Foley called that a “lightbulb” moment. He packed up and moved to Brisbane, motivated by the idea of changing the definition of “success” he’d always known; having a job and paying the bills was no longer good enough.

Foley told ZDNet he began reaching out to anyone he could in order to learn as much as he could. He began studying a graduate certificate in business administration at university while working part-time in retail. During that time, he got invited to an accelerator program run by the University of Queensland.

“I thought, why wouldn’t it be good to have something, a very similar event, to promote First Nations entrepreneurship and bring everybody together and have a good time,” he said. “A couple of months later, I ended up running the world’s first Indigenous startup weekend, which was pretty cool.”

What emerged was Barayamal, which aims to inspire, educate, and support Indigenous entrepreneurship.

“I knew there needed to be more done to support Indigenous entrepreneurs. Government has made all of these policies since the 70s to support Indigenous people and spent a lot of money with undesirable results — I think they’re on track with two of the seven ‘close the gap’ targets, after 10 years, so I thought I might as well try and do something, we need to stop relying on other people and do it ourselves,” he said.

Foley began reaching out to programs across Australia and teamed up with corporate accelerator Slingshot to bring his idea to life.

“With a zero-dollar budget, ended up running the world’s first Indigenous business accelerator end of 2016 and I was fortunate enough to get some more support from a law firm in early 2017 and officially kicked things off,” Foley explained.



Story 4 ~

Rise of ARMs: How changing Mac’s processor could change the world

Some say once all a ship’s parts have been replaced, after years of service, it’s no longer the same ship. Mac may not be Macintosh any more, but Apple’s revival of an old idea suggests history may not have changed as much as we think.

The return of the ARM processor and RISC technology to the public discussion of the desktop computer market is like stumbling upon an episode of “Friends” when flipping through the “Favourite Channels” on your TV remote. First, you get a little giggly smile, a moment of heart warmth, watching those formerly young folks with their rainbow umbrellas dancing. You remember the sillier moments when characters did things you didn’t expect, back before TV became saturated with such moments on a daily basis.

Then, for the next five minutes of show, the characters recite a script you’ve seen played out so often, you can almost see in your mind the directors’ handwritten margin notes. You know where it’s going already. So you consider bowing out and hunting for something that won’t lead you down Exactly the Same Tired Sitcom Path.

Since the 1980s, the most successful (i.e., most widely read) technology news stories have been about competing methods: MS-DOS vs. DR DOS, GEM vs. Windows, Apple vs. IBM, Motorola vs. Intel, RISC vs. CISC, Linux vs. Windows, Europe vs. Windows, Apple vs. Windows, Apple vs. the music industry, Apple vs. ___. Most of my career has been about covering technology issues that were best symbolised with a fulcrum.

So the fact that Apple’s recent news resuscitates the 30-plus-year-old RISC vs. CISC debate should be welcomed by any tech news publisher that appreciates the heart-warming power of reruns. During the pandemic, when it’s hard to manufacture a story with a harder impact than the everyday troubles of just going outside, we can use all the reruns we can get.



Story 5 ~ 

Australian government sues Google for misleading consumers in data collection

New lawsuit says Google didn’t adequately explain a 2016 policy change.

engadget ~ The Australian government has filed its second lawsuit against Google in less than a year over privacy concerns, this time alleging the tech giant misled Australian consumers in an attempt to gather information for targeted ads. The Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC), the country’s consumer watchdog, says Google didn’t obtain explicit consent from consumers to collect personal data, according to a statement.

The ACCC cites a 2016 change to Google’s policy in which the company began collecting data about Google account holders’ activity on non-Google sites. Previously, this data was collected by ad-serving technology company DoubleClick and was stored separately, not linked to users’ Google accounts. Google acquired DoubleClick in 2008, and the 2016 change to Google’s policy meant Google and DoubleClick’s data on consumers were combined. Google then used the beefed-up data to sell even more targeted advertising.

From June 2016 to December 2018, Google account holders were met with a pop-up that explained “optional features” to accounts regarding how the company collected their data. Consumers could click “I agree,” and Google would begin collecting a “wide range of personally identifiable information” from them, according to the ACCC. The lawsuit contends that the pop-up didn’t adequately explain what consumers were agreeing to.

“The ACCC considers that consumers effectively pay for Google’s services with their data, so this change introduced by Google increased the ‘price’ of Google’s services, without consumers’ knowledge,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims. Had more consumers sufficiently understood Google’s change in policy, many may not have consented to it, according to the ACCC.

Google told the Associated Press it disagrees with the ACCC’s allegations, and says Google account holders had been asked to “consent via prominent and easy-to-understand notifications.” It’s unclear what penalty the ACCC is seeking with the lawsuit.

Last October, the ACCC sued Google claiming the company misled Android users about the ability to opt out of location tracking on phones and tablets. That case is headed to mediation next week, according to a February Computer World article.


Story 6 ~ 

Westpac to bring 1,000 call centre jobs back to Australia

The bank promises that customer calls will now be answered by someone in Australia.

Westpac has vowed to bring 1,000 call centre roles back to Australia from overseas in a bid to improve support for customers and reduce the risk of offshore disruptions.

According to the bank, the new roles — to be filled by new and existing employees — will be based in Westpac’s local call centres and provide processing and operational assistance to functions like home lending and consumer finance.

“When a customer calls us, they will be answered by someone in Australia,” Westpac CEO Peter King said.

“This has partly been made possible due to the extraordinary shift in work patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic and upgrade to our technology infrastructure in recent years, enabling teams to work effectively at home or in other locations.”

The bank estimates the new roles will increase costs by around AU$45 million per annum by the end of the FY21.

King said implementing this new plan would take about 12 months, which will give the company time to work through its existing obligation with overseas partners.

Despite the decision to move its call centre roles back to Australia, Westpac said it will maintain its relationship with its overseas partners in “certain areas” of technology and operations.

Australian telco Telstra made a similar move in March, announcing in response to the coronavirus pandemic that it would be recruiting an extra 1,000 temporary call centre workers in Australia, after its Filipino call centre had to be shut down due to COVID-19 measures taken by Manilla.



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