Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 347

Show 347 – August 10, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael            


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 

27-inch iMacs get an upgrade

The ultimate desktop now features much faster performance, SSDs across the line, an even more stunning Retina 5K display, and higher quality camera, speakers, and mics.

Up to 10-Core Processors and More Memory Capacity

Whether composing a new song with hundreds of tracks, compiling thousands of lines of code, or processing large photos with machine learning, the 27-inch iMac, with the latest 6- and 8-core 10th-generation Intel processors, has pro-level performance for a wide range of needs. Up to 65% faster.

Next-Generation AMD Graphics

For GPU-based rendering, editing multiple streams of 4K video, or playing a graphics-intensive game, the 27-inch iMac has more powerful next-generation AMD graphics. iMac delivers up to 55 percent faster graphics performance from its Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics.

SSDs and Apple T2 Security Chip Across the Line

The 27-inch iMac now comes standard with SSDs across the line, delivering blazing-fast performance up to 3.4GB/s for launching applications and opening large files.

Retina 5K Display Now with True Tone and Nano-Texture Option

With 14.7 million pixels, 1 billion colours, 500 nits of brightness, and support for P3 wide colour, the Retina display on iMac delivers an immersive front-of-screen viewing experience. And now the stunning Retina 5K display on the 27-inch iMac features True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts the colour temperature of the display to match a user’s ambient lighting.

The new iMac offers a nano-texture glass option — first introduced on Pro Display XDR — for even better viewing under various lighting conditions, such as a bright room or indirect sunlight.

Improved Camera, Higher Fidelity Speakers, and Studio-Quality Mics

For customers using their iMac more than ever to connect with friends, family, and colleagues, the FaceTime HD camera now features 1080p resolution, with speakers that enable variable EQ for better balance, higher fidelity, and deeper bass.

In addition, a new studio-quality microphone array enables users to capture high-quality audio for improved FaceTime calls, podcast recordings, Voice Memos, and more, right on their iMac.


Story 2 ~ 

Also Updates to 21.5-Inch iMac and iMac Pro

Apple today also announced that its 21.5-inch iMac will come standard with SSDs across the line for the first time. Customers can also choose to configure their 21.5-inch iMac with a Fusion Drive.

iMac Pro now comes standard with a 10-core Intel Xeon processor. Designed for pro users who require workstation-class performance, iMac Pro features Xeon processors up to 18 cores, graphics performance up to 22 teraflops, up to 256GB quad-channel ECC memory, and a brilliant 27-inch Retina 5K display.


Gaming #1 ~ 

Microsoft condemns Apple’s App Store policies

Apple will not approve Microsoft’s xCloud gaming service

Microsoft is now rebuking Apple over its stringent developer restrictions and its stance on cloud gaming apps, which the iPhone maker does not allow on the App Store for apparent violations of its guidelines. In a statement attributed to a Microsoft spokesperson, the company tells The Verge, “Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.”

Apple earlier today elaborated on its controversial position to not allow services like Microsoft’s upcoming xCloud and the competing Google Stadia platform to exist on the App Store because the company cannot review individual games available on cloud platforms. A number of other App Store guidelines also bar cloud services from existing on iOS unless they are designed more like remote desktop software.


Microsoft says Apple is denying consumers the benefits of such technology through unfair enforcement of its App Store rules. It also accuses Apple of treating gaming apps unfairly while allowing other media services to exist on the platform even when they “include interactive content,” a nod it sounds like to Netflix’s inclusion of interactive programming akin to text adventure games like last year’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.




Entertainment #1 ~ pic1

New Apple film reveals full power of the iPhone – and it’s incredible

creative bloq shows us ~ Apple’s latest addition to its ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign is an epic journey through cinematic history, and proves exactly what’s possible when shooting a film using an iPhone (which is good, as that’s kind of the point).

Filmed by Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle, the nine-minute film, titled ‘The Stunt Double’ (see it below) is the first in the campaign to be shot vertically, and the footage is tailor-made for this format, something that Chazelle was hyper-aware of and calls “part of the fun” in the accompanying Making Of video. 

The vertical format, with the black space around it initially feels slightly ‘off’ (we’re so used to seeing everything set horizontally and filling the screen). However, it quickly becomes clear that the vertical format is the jewel in the film’s crown. With the action taking place vertically (think parachutes dropping from the sky) and close ups that go slightly offscreen, the unusual styling left us inspired to see what we could achieve with one of the best camera phones.

Viewers follow the whirlwind of a stunt double’s career. It’s a plot that lends itself to the aim of the campaign, with the diverse styles making use of the entire cinematic range, including contrasting colour palettes such as vibrant old Hollywood (just like La La Land – Chazelle’s Oscar-winner), cool action thriller, and black and white silent film (to name just three).

the video



Entertainment #2 – pic

Apple TV+ unveils first look at “Long Way Up,” a new original unscripted series starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman

Apple TV+ today unveiled a first look at “Long Way Up,” an epic new motorcycle series, starring and executive produced by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, which reunites best friends after more than a decade since their last motorbike adventure around the world.

The first three episodes of “Long Way Up” will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, September 18, and new episodes will roll out weekly.

Covering 13,000 miles over 100 days through 16 border crossings and 13 countries, starting from the city of Ushuaia at the tip of South America, Ewan and Charley journey through the glorious and underexposed landscapes of South and Central America in their most challenging expedition to date, using cutting-edge technology on the backs of their electric Harley-Davidson LiveWires in order to contribute to the sustainability of the planet.



Entertainment #3 ~ pic

Ted Lasso

A new comedy starring Jason Sudeikis who plays Ted Lasso, a small-time college football coach from Kansas hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer.

The 10 episode series starts next Friday


Things coming in new OS’ ~ 

MacOS Big Sur

Has come to “Public Beta”.

Please remember this is a Beta so although this version is fine the next update may BREAK something you NEED.


Story 3 ~ 

MacBook Pro Battery Problems Confirmed By Apple

Forbes reports ~ MacBook owners have been expressing concerns online over the intermittent lack of battery charging on their MacOS powered laptops. Apple has confirmed the details of the problem, and it is a design failure in the user interface.

MacBook owners have been expressing concerns online over the intermittent lack of battery charging on their MacOS powered laptops. Apple has confirmed the details of the problem, and it is a design failure in the user interface.



Good Products for when were Stuck Indoors

Stouchf Magsafe to USB-C Power adapter


Story 4 ~

Hacker finds security breach in Microsoft Office that leads to taking control of macOS, now patched

9TO5Mac reports ~ Former NSA hacker Patrick Wardle found a security breach in Microsoft Office for Mac that can lead hackers to take control of the entire Mac. Wardle was able to gain access to the computer with just a simple Office document containing malicious codes.

As reported by Vice, the breach is based on the “macro” feature, which allows users to automate some tasks in Microsoft Office apps with custom commands and instructions. These attacks are common on Windows, but Wardle now demonstrates that something similar is possible on macOS as well.

While the attack requires user interaction to work, the hacker warns that some people might still allow it as they may not understand the risks.

To inject the malicious code, the hacker used different breaches and bugs that he found in Microsoft Office apps. He created a file in SLK format to bypass the macOS security system. Since this particular format is used by Microsoft Office, macOS doesn’t ask users if they really want to open the file, even if they have downloaded it from an unknown source.

MS- So please please do any updates for Office or Outlook. Go to help and “Check for updates”



Story 5 ~ 

IBM helps bring supercomputers into the global fight against COVID-19

At IBM, I have the privilege of working with colleagues who have dedicated their lives and careers to advancing science and creating innovative technology that can be a force for progress in the world. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic we have been working closely with governments in the U.S. and worldwide to find all available options to put our technology and expertise to work to help organisations be resilient and adapt to the consequences of the pandemic, and to accelerate the process of discovery and enable the scientific and medical community to develop treatments and ultimately a cure.

Now, in collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Energy and many others, IBM is helping launch the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which will bring forth an unprecedented amount of computing power—16 systems with more than 330 petaflops, 775,000 CPU cores, 34,000 GPUs, and counting — to help researchers everywhere better understand COVID-19, its treatments and potential cures.

How can supercomputers help us fight this virus? These high-performance computing systems allow researchers to run very large numbers of calculations in epidemiology, bioinformatics, and molecular modelling. These experiments would take years to complete if worked by hand, or months if handled on slower, traditional computing platforms.



Story 6 ~ pic

Phil Schiller advances to Apple Fellow

Apple has announced that Phil Schiller will become an Apple Fellow, continuing a storied career that began at Apple in 1987. In this role, which reports to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Schiller will continue to lead the App Store and Apple Events. 

Greg (Joz) Joswiak, a longtime leader within the Product Marketing organization, will join the executive team as senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“Phil has helped make Apple the company it is today and his contributions are broad, vast, and run deep. In this new role he will continue to provide the incredible thought partnership, and guidance that have defined his decades at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“Joz’s many years of leadership in the Product Marketing organisation make him perfectly suited to this new role and will ensure a seamless transition at a moment when the team is engaged in such important and exciting work. I’m thrilled that the whole executive team will benefit from his collaboration, ideas, and energy.”

Schiller has helped guide Apple’s products as well as its marketing for 30 years. He most recently led the effort to plan and execute Apple’s first-ever virtual Worldwide Developers Conference. The event, notable both for its innovative software and hardware announcements as well as its creative and much-praised execution, set a new standard for what virtual events can achieve in the era of COVID-19.

“It has been a dream come true for me to work at Apple, on so many products I love, with all of these great friends — Steve, Tim, and so many more,” said Schiller. “I first started at Apple when I was 27, this year I turned 60 and it is time for some planned changes in my life. I’ll keep working here as long as they will have me, I bleed six colours, but I also want to make some time in the years ahead for my family, friends, and a few personal projects I care deeply about.”

Joswiak takes on the role of senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. This organisation is responsible for Apple’s product management and product marketing, developer relations, market research, business management, as well as education, enterprise, and international marketing.

Joswiak brings more than 20 years in leadership roles across Apple product marketing and has served as the vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing for the past four years. Joswiak has overseen the product management and product marketing for numerous breakthrough products including the original iPod and iPhone. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.


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