Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode349

Show 349 – August 24, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael                     


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1

Apple renames Beats 1 to ‘Apple Music 1’, launches two more live radio stations

Apple today announced a revamp of its live radio strategy for Apple Music. The Beats 1 streaming service is being renamed to ‘Apple Music 1’, and Apple is launching two new stations: Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country.

Apple Music Hits will feature the top songs spanning ’80s, ’90s and 2000’s, whilst Apple Music Country showcases the evolving nature of the country music genre.


Just like Apple Music 1 (née Beats 1), the new stations will be hosted by an array of radio presenters and feature programming from guests including Meghan Trainor, the Backstreet Boys, Shania Twain, and more.

The new stations are available exclusively in the Apple Music app, across 165 countries. New daily hosts include Jayde Donovan, Estelle, Jenn Marino, Kelleigh Bannen, Ty Bentli, and others.


Story 2 ~ 

Apple First Company to hit $2TN

Financial Times reported ~ Milestone for world’s largest listed company comes barely two years after it passed $1tn

Apple has hit a $2tn market capitalisation just two years after it became the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

The iPhone maker is the first US group to achieve such a valuation on the public markets and only the second in the world to do so.

The stock crossed the threshold, $477.67, in mid-morning trading in New York on Wednesday, holding there for much of the day before closing at $462.83, up 0.13 per cent, for a market cap of $1.98tn.

Apple’s shares have surged more than 50 per cent this year despite various business challenges, including having to close its retail stores because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is also under growing political pressure over its reliance on China during the US government’s campaign against Huawei, TikTok and WeChat, and has faced prominent allegations of anti-competitive behaviour.

State-backed oil company Saudi Aramco briefly hit the $2tn milestone during intraday trading in December last year on the day after its initial public offering but its stock market fortunes have waned since and it trades at a market value of about $1.8tn. Apple surpassed it last month.

On Wednesday, Apple’s $2tn valuation put it more than $300bn ahead of Amazon, the next largest US company. Apple shares have doubled since their low point in March this year, when panic about the coronavirus pandemic swept Wall Street.


Gaming #1 ~ 

The other side,

Developer is the label

So the other side is an rpg and strategy board game type video game. 

If you like DND and stranger things? If the answer is yes, then this game is right up or well ally. 

It’s a great thinking game how you should move and what weapon you should use who should fight first. 

The game uses a dice rolling system which I felt was a really cool touch. 

3 out of 5 apples. 


How To #1 ~ 

Passwords on iOS, iPadOS and MacOS

Did you know you can go and look up a password and share for example a WiFi password.


full how to in the links

How to share your Wi-Fi password from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

Share website and app passwords with AirDrop on iPad


Story 3 ~ 

US government built secret iPod with Apple’s help, former engineer says

Ars Technica reports ~ An Apple engineer who helped launch the iPod said he helped the US government build a secret version of the device that could covertly collect data.

David Shayer, the second software engineer hired for the iPod project in 2001, said he first learned of the project in 2005, when he received an office visit from his boss’s boss.

“He cut to the chase,” Shayer recounts in a post published on Monday by TidBITS, an online newsletter covering all things Apple. “‘I have a special assignment for you. Your boss doesn’t know about it. You’ll help two engineers from the US Department of Energy build a special iPod. Report only to me.’”

Shayer said that over the next few months, he regularly helped the two men, who he identified only as engineers Paul and Matthew working for Bechtel.

There were mundane tasks, such as Shayer shuttling them from the lobby into the ultra secure quarters where iPod development took place.

And there were the not-so-mundane responsibilities of helping two outsiders to take Apple-provided source code and compile it into the operating system that ran what was quickly becoming perhaps the world’s most iconic music playing device. Among other things, Shayer helped the men find their way around the Windows-based developer tools Apple used at the time to build software for ARM chips.

Shayer said that Apple didn’t allow the engineers access to its source code server directly, but instead the company provided a copy of the source code on a DVD with the agreement it was never to leave the building. (Apple, Shayer said, ultimately allowed the men to retain the modified copy of the OS they created, but not the source code.)

Shayer said he never learned precisely what the modified iPod did. He knew that the engineers were combining the modified OS with some sort of hardware added to a fifth-generation iPod. The objective was to create a device that could record ambient data and write it to the device disk—all in a way that couldn’t be easily detected.




Good Things for when were Stuck Indoors


Story 4 ~

Botched iOS Lightroom update irreversibly deleted users’ photos and presets

TNW reports ~ An Adobe blunder just cost numerous Lightroom users years of work they’ll never get back — and all the company has to offer in return is a sorry.

An update to the Lightroom app for iPhone and iPad irreversibly purged a swathe of users’ photos, presets, and other data that wasn’t already synced to the cloud, PetaPixel reports. Adobe has since confirmed the issue and apologised for the oversight, adding it’s impossible to retrieve lost data.

“We are aware that some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and presets that were not synced to the Lightroom cloud,” an Adobe customer support rep said in a forum. “A new version of Lightroom mobile (5.4.1) for iOS and iPadOS has now been released that prevents this issue from affecting additional customers. “

“Installing version 5.4.1 will not restore missing photos or presets,” the rep further said.

The issue was first reported by a concerned user on the Photoshop feedback forums on August 18, 2020, but other similar complaints have cropped up on Reddit since then.

“After I updated the apps […] all of my pictures and presets [are]gone,” one user wrote. “I really need this to be [fixed] as soon as possible. Please help me as I really need all those pictures and presets.”

“I’ve talked with customer service for [over 4] hours over the past 2 days and just a minute ago they told me that the issue has no fix and that these lost photos are unrecoverable,” another user wrote. “[Over 2] years of photo edits just gone because of Adobe and all they give is a sorry.”


Story 5 ~ 

FBI, CISA  and Australian Security experts warn of a major wave of vishing attacks targeting teleworkers

ZDNet reports ~ Hackers are calling employees working from home and tricking them into accessing phishing pages for corporate domains.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have issued a joint security advisory on Thursday, warning about an ongoing wave of vishing attacks targeting the US private sector.

Vishing, or voice phishing, is a form of social engineering where criminals call victims to obtain desired information, usually posing as other persons.

According to the FBI and CISA, in mid-July 2020, cybercriminals started a vishing campaign targeting employees working from home for US companies. The attackers collected login credentials for corporate networks, which they then monetised by selling the access to corporate resources to other criminal gangs.

Per the two agencies, cybercrime groups started by first registering domains that looked like company resources, and then created and hosted phishing sites on these domains.

The phishing pages were made to look like a targeted company’s internal VPN login page, and the sites were also capable of capturing two-factor authentication (2FA) or one-time passwords (OTP), if the situation required.

Criminal groups then compiled dossiers on the employees working for the companies they wanted to target, usually by “mass scraping of public profiles on social media platforms, recruiter and marketing tools, publicly available background check services, and open-source research.”

Collected information included: name, home address, personal cell/phone number, the position at the company, and duration at the company, according to the two agencies.

The attackers than called employees using random Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone numbers or by spoofing the phone numbers of other company employees.

“The actors used social engineering techniques and, in some cases, posed as members of the victim company’s IT help desk, using their knowledge of the employee’s personally identifiable information—including name, position, duration at company, and home address—to gain the trust of the targeted employee,” the joint alert reads.

“The actors then convinced the targeted employee that a new VPN link would be sent and required their login, including any 2FA or OTP.”

When the victim accessed the link, for the phishing site hackers had created, the cybercriminals logged the credentials, and used it in real-time to gain access to the corporate account, even bypassing 2FA/OTP limits with the help of the employee.

“The actors then used the employee access to conduct further research on victims, and/or to fraudulently obtain funds using varying methods dependent on the platform being accessed,” the FBI and CISA said.




Story 6 ~ 

This Simple Email from Apple Is a Brilliant Example of How to Delight Your Customers

Technology makes it possible to create an incredible user experience reporter reports, I bought wife a new MacBook Air to replace the seven-year-old version she had been using. It was actually a little sad because while that old one had definitely reached the end of its life, it was a great laptop. In fact, at the time, its design was cutting edge (in some cases literally). That said, the new version is better in every way.

Besides, it was finally time, so I ordered her a brand new one. Why am I telling you this? Well, because it arrived today, and what happened next was both amazing, and exactly what you’d expect from Apple. It’s also a great lesson for every business, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Here’s what happened:

Not more than 20 minutes after the FedEx man delivered the package and I had taken it to my office to begin setting it up for her, I received an email from Apple. Not just any email, but a “Explore your Mac with a Specialist online,” email. 

Before I go too far, there are a lot of companies that have automated systems that keep track of when something is delivered. Amazon frequently sends me an email to let me know something has been left on the porch. Sometimes it even includes a photo of a brown Amazon Prime box sitting right there in front of the door. It’s nice, especially since they no longer ring the bell, but, we have a dog. No one approaches our house without us knowing.

This wasn’t that kind of email. This was entirely different. 

First, before we go any further, here’s the most amazing about this email: The timing. It was sent so that I received it while I was setting it up. If I wanted to connect with someone to “dig into key features and apps,” this email was an open invitation to do just that. 

I’ll admit, I’m at least partially amazed by the technology involved. I’m honestly not sure if the email was triggered by the delivery or by my setting up the laptop. It doesn’t matter how, it just matters that someone thought enough to say, “Hey, we should offer this when people are setting up their Mac.” None of those services cost anything–it isn’t a ploy to make more money–it’s simply about the experience.

Second, I love that this email does something totally on-brand for Apple by inviting me to do all the things I might want to do right when I’m setting up a brand new laptop. Not only is the timing perfect, but it’s meeting a real need that I might have at that moment. It really is a brilliant way to use technology to meet a customer where they’re at and deliver exactly the right experience at exactly the right moment.




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