Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 361

Show 361 – November 16, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael



Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~ 

MS Warning Issued For Millions Of New iPhone 12 Users

Forbes reports ~ Apple’s new iPhone 12 range is selling like hot cakes, but millions of potential upgraders should now hold fire. 

Spotted by MacRumors, large numbers of users are reporting that SMS messaging on the new iPhone 12 models is broken. Complaints range from being unable to send or receive SMS, to missing messages in group chats and no notifications for the SMS messages which do get through. The problem also appears to be hitting some older models.


Story 2 ~ Pic

ZK Pandemic sends Optus on AU$262 million drop into first half net loss territory

ZDNet reports ~ Singaporean-owned Australian telco Optus reported on Thursday it was the latest telco to have its earnings smashed by the global pandemic and associated downturn.

Across the half year to September 30, Optus saw revenue drop 9% to AU$4.1 billion, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by almost a third to AU$997 million.

By the time the numbers hit the bottom line, the telco reported a net loss of AU$27 million, compared to AU$235 million in profit posted for the first half of 2019.

In its consumer business, revenue and EBITDA was down by 11% to AU$3.4 billion and 31% to AU$924 million, respectively. The company received AU$209 million in payments from NBN, a drop of 27% compared to last year.

“Optus mobile service revenue was down 2% as customer growth, roaming and prepaid revenues were impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown and global travel restrictions which resulted in reduced inbound and outbound travellers and fewer overseas students to Australia,” the company said. “Operating revenue was also impacted by Optus’ COVID-19 customer support measures.”

The telco said without the impacts of the pandemic, it would have reported low single-digit growth.



Story 3 ~ 

MS That Peter McKinnon MagSafe wallet video proves what’s wrong with the tech world

When slating a product gets clicks and views, guess what happens.

Apple announced the Leather Wallet with MagSafe alongside the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro lineups last month and it’s been getting heat ever since. Things got worse when reviewers were seeded with the thing and the videos started to appear on YouTube. And then things got a bit silly.

We’ve all seen the videos. People taking their iPhone 12 with the leather case stuck to the back and then making it fall off when they put it into their pocket. The takeaway? Using the Leather Wallet with MagSafe would drive you insane because it would forever be falling off your iPhone every time it goes near a pocket. Seems fair enough, really.

McKinnon really seems to like this thing. But if you pay attention to what he’s saying and showing, I think he’s stumbled upon a problem. Not a problem with the wallet, but a problem with the way things work in the tech world.

See, on the subject of the wallet falling off whenever it gets within a three-mile radius of your pocket, McKinnon has other thoughts. The wallet, he says, attaches perfectly fine and can’t be shaken off when it’s attached properly. Going further, he showed what happened when he put his iPhone – 12 Pro Max, a gargantuan slab of glass – and wallet into the pocket of his skinny jeans. Spoiler: it was fine.

But how can that be? We’ve seen YouTube videos, Instagram posts, and Twitter comments waxing poetic about just how woeful the leather wallet is. So what gives. Does McKinnon have a special wallet? Special magnetic jeans?

No. He just puts the thing into his pocket like someone who isn’t trying to make the wallet fall off every time.

the video



Gaming #1 ~ Pic

The pathless

This game was soooo!!! Good.

From sliding flaming arrow shots to massive ninja jump. Following the path of the pathless was a breath of fresh air. 

Visually stunning with a story line to match. 4 apples out of 5

I insist all our viewers play it write to me and tell me what they think. 



Gaming #2 ~ Pic

Federal Judge Tosses Apple’s Theft Claims in Ongoing Epic Games Legal Fight

MacRumors reports ~ A California federal judge on Tuesday dismissed some of Apple’s counterclaims against Epic Games in its ongoing antitrust battle over Apple’s App Store fees (via Bloomberg).

Apple and Epic have been in a legal fight since August, when Apple removed Fortnite from the ‌App Store‌ after ‌Epic Games‌ introduced a direct payment option in the app, defying the ‌App Store‌ rules. ‌Epic Games‌ promptly filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of anti-competitive actions.

In September, Apple filed a counter suit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic of theft and sought extra monetary damages beyond breach of contract.

In October, Epic filed a motion ahead of Tuesday’s hearing seeking the dismissal of Apple’s counterclaims of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and conversion, along with its punitive damages bid.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted ‌Epic Games‌’ motion for judgement, throwing out Apple’s two claims for lost ‌App Store‌ fees and other monetary damages.

“This is a high-stakes breach of contract case and an antitrust case and that’s all in my view,” Gonzalez told Apple’s lawyers, according to Bloomberg. “You can’t just say it’s independently wrongful. You actually have to have facts,” the judge said, adding that the rest of the breach-of-contract case moves forward.

Apple told Bloomberg that it disagreed with the judge’s decision, adding that it was clear that Epic breached its contract with the company. Epic in October had a preliminary injunction dismissed by the same judge, meaning Fortnite will remain unavailable on the ‌App Store‌ for the duration of the lawsuit, assuming that the app remains in violation of the ‌App Store‌ Review Guidelines. The case continues.




Good Things for when were Stuck Indoors



Story 4 ~

MS Google Photos to end free unlimited storage from June next year

ZDNet reports ~ The only users that will be exempt from this policy change are Pixel smartphone users.

Google has announced that it will soon start charging for Google Photos storage once users upload more than 15GB onto their accounts, after providing the free service for five years.

The change, which will occur on 1 June 2021, will mean users must pay for additional storage on Google One if they wish to upload photos beyond the free 15GB limit.

The only users that will be exempt from this policy change are Pixel smartphone users, who will still be able to upload “high quality” photos without any limits after June next year.

In making the announcement, Google said photos or videos uploaded in “high quality” prior to 1 June 2021 would not be counted towards the 15GB storage limit.   

Other policy changes that were announced by Google were updates to Google Drive. Also from 1 June 2021 onwards, Google workspace documents, spreadsheets, drawings, and forms will start to count against users’ storage space, including the free 15GB storage limit.

According to Google, the policy changes are an attempt to “bring our policies more in line with industry standards”. 

Google added that it would also delete any data from inactive accounts in instances where they have not been logged into for at least two years.



Story 5 ~ 

ZK Services Australia has a lot of data and it’s trying to use it for the greater good

ZDNet again ~ CEO says the agency isn’t going back to pre-pandemic service and design.

Services Australia CEO Rebecca Skinner joined the agency in March, a week before the country started to feel the impacts of COVID-19. She said the pandemic fast-tracked the agency’s focus on “agility” but touted the use of “human-centred design” had helped it make quick change.

“We’ve known for years that digital and agile was where we were headed, but now when there was this thing called a pandemic on our doorstep, meaning we needed to be advancing quickly towards the future,” she said, speaking at the Digital Transformation Agency’s Human-centred Services Digital Summit on Thursday. “There’s no pandemic playbook you can pull off the shelf to manage this.

“Our pathway to the future is through human-centred design.”

With thousands of citizens flocking to Centrelink shopfronts to determine if they qualified for support, Skinner detailed what the agency did to up its response to those making JobSeeker claims.

“In the public sector it’s easy to think about the scale of what we’re facing as the problem. But every startup founder will tell you scale like this is the holy grail … because it’s scale that gives you data and it’s that data that gives you information and intelligence about your systems in action,” she said.

Staff were taking tens of thousands of phone calls. Skinner said with speech analytics, that was an asset — a “bank of intelligence”.

“We could take the thousands of hours of audio and work out very quickly what people were finding difficult,” she said.

Services Australia also had online interaction data.

“Here’s a lot of people logging into myGov, navigating to Centrelink, starting a JobSeeker payment claim, and stopping somewhere in the process before they hit submit. Have they moved to JobKeeper, or are they just stuck in a Bermuda Triangle called next steps?” she continued. “Well, with a program called Tealeaf, we could track the customer pathways and work out what was happening.”

The agency also had “screens and screens” of payment and performance data.

“We started to build a data heat map, who’s accessing what and where, how is this changing? And do we have the capability in place to respond?” Skinner said. “We could monitor all these things and report that information to government day to day. In future, we want to make it more like minute to minute.”

The agency has since pushed out a new guide after sending it through two rounds of testing with customers. She said there was an “immediate uptick” in the number of people who moved from the guide to myGov and a decline in people going straight from the JobSeeker claim guide to the Phone Us page.

Also helping the agency, she said, was public servants temporarily moving into frontline roles, including the IT development team.

“Now they had to use the systems they built. … there are three of them that our customer facing staff has to grapple with, often simultaneously, all designed differently, and using different words,” Skinner explained. “It turns out that working in three separate systems, while you’re trying to help a customer, isn’t anyone’s idea of great design.”



Story 6 ~ 3 x Pics

MS Apples One More Thing event

iJustine and I agree. Having John Hodgman back is AWESOME. And the best way to end the event.

So I have a MacBook Air on order. AND I was amazed that they released 3 computers at the event. MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13”, both at the same price as the Intel ones. Also a Mac mini at $100 off the previous model pricing!

Remember these are there top selling Macs, so to start with there most loved models shows a lot of confidence!

So here are some hands on tests.

With Apple’s first Apple silicon Macs due to arrive in the coming days, early benchmark testing on Wednesday reveals the company’s new M1 chip outperforms its top Intel-based machines.

A Geekbench test result from a “MacBookAir10,1,” the designation of Apple’s just-announced MacBook Air with M1 chip, reveals a single-core score of 1687 and a multi-core score of 7433. The 8-core processor was clocked at 3.2 GHz.

By comparison, aggregate scores compiled by the benchmarking site show the M1 blowing past all mobile Macs, all current Mac mini configurations and a healthy portion of iMac specs. That includes the late-2019 MacBook Pro with Intel Core i9-9980HK processor clocked at 2.4 GHz.

So we wait for the new Macs on Friday and hope to get results on the weekend re Battery Life and speed doing “normal stuff” with “normal apps”.


MS Show Promotion

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Thanks to our supporters you our listeners!

Over to Zarn for the sign off

ZK The now infamous “Sign Off”

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