Show 362 – November 23, 2020
Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael
Our Aussie Apple Ramblings
Story 1 ~
MS macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models
MacRumors reports ~ A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines.
A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread.
Users are reporting that during the course of updating to macOS Big Sur, their machines are stuck displaying a black screen. Key reset combinations, including NVRAM, SMC, safe mode, and internet recovery, are all reportedly inaccessible after attempting to install the update, leaving no way to bypass the static black screen.
It appears that the overwhelming number of users experiencing problems are owners of the late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it is unclear exactly how many users of these models have been affected. It is also of note that these are the oldest models supported by macOS Big Sur.
One commenter on Reddit said that they were told by Apple support to book their MacBook Pro in for a repair. Another on an Apple Support thread said that the issue has been escalated to Apple’s engineering team, so Apple should now be aware of the problem.
Until it is clear what may be causing the issue and Apple releases a fix, late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro may wish to hold off on installing macOS Big Sur.
Story 2 ~ Pic
ZK Apple Software Chief Craig Federighi Defends App Tracking Transparency Feature
MacRumors reports ~ Following Apple’s confirmation that it still plans to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and websites, which has attracted criticism from companies such as Facebook, Craig Federighi has explained more about the rationale behind the change to The Independent.
The App Tracking Transparency feature allows users to opt-out of data collection and choose whether advertisers can track their activity. While it was originally supposed to arrive with iOS 14 earlier this year, Apple postponed the feature until early 2021 to give developers more time to accommodate it.
Federighi told The Independent that the new feature can be put down to Apple’s support for privacy as a “core value” that has been present “since the beginning of the company,” citing how Steve Jobs highlighted the Apple II’s ability to allow users to secure their own information on floppy disks and have control over their data.
He said that the feature would ultimately be “better for even the people that are currently, at times protesting those moves,” because it increases trust between users, developers, and advertisers. Federighi also said that similar concerns had been raised in the past about new privacy features, but they did not result in long-term issues, and eventually became widespread across the industry:
We introduced intelligent tracking prevention, several years ago, and at the time, parts of the ad industry were saying that the sky was going to be falling in and that their business was going to be destroyed by the fact that they couldn’t track everyone from website to website to website. Well, in fact, if you look at what happened to the industry, that didn’t happen at all, and yet we also protected user privacy.
Story 3 ~ Pic
MS macOS Big Sur telling Apple what app you’ve opened isn’t a security or privacy issue
appleinsider reports ~ Even before Apple confirmed that Gatekeeper “calling home” wasn’t associated with user information on Sunday night, privacy concerns of bad actors theoretically monitoring app launches with that data are not an issue as one researcher has suggested. Here’s why.
On Thursday, macOS users reported issues trying to upgrade the operating system to macOS Big Sur, while others ended up having trouble running applications even without upgrading. The problem was determined to be server-related, with an issue on Apple’s side preventing Apple’s certificate checking function from working properly.
That same service has been picked up by security researcher Jeffrey Paul, founder of an application security and operational security consulting firm. In a lengthy piece written on Thursday, Paul attempted to raise awareness of a perceived privacy issue within macOS, namely that it seemingly reports back to Apple what apps are being opened up by a user.
According to Paul, Apple’s communications between the Mac and specific servers can be coupled with data stemming from an IP address in such a way that it can create a mass of metadata about a user’s actions. This would include where they are and when, as well as details of their computer and what software they’re running.
By collecting this data over time, this can supposedly create an archive that could easily be mined by bad actors, giving what could be considerable abilities to perform surveillance on a mass scale, possibly levels to the infamous and now shut down PRISM surveillance program.
The problem is, it’s nowhere even close to that dramatic, and nowhere near that bad. And, if they were so inclined, the ISPs have the ability to harvest way more data on users with just general Internet usage than Gatekeeper ever surrenders.
How Gatekeeper works
Apple includes various security features in its operating systems, and macOS is no exception. To prevent the potential use of malware in apps, Apple requires developers to undergo various processes to make the apps function on macOS.
Along with creating security certificates, which can help confirm an app from a developer is authorised and genuine, Apple also mandates that apps undergo a notarisation process. Registered developers send apps to Apple, which are scanned for security issues and malicious code, before being given the OK by the company.
It’s not entirely new, nor is it secret
It is worth pointing out that this potential use case for data isn’t something that is a recent issue for Apple users. Apple has employed Gatekeeper to check certificates with server-based confirmation since it was first implemented in 2012, so it has been active for quite some time already.
If it were a privacy problem as framed by Paul — and it isn’t — it would have been one for quite a few years.
a lot more
Gaming #1 ~ Pic
Knights of the Lost Realm
This game was brilliant! I had so much fun following the adventure to became a knight.
Finding lost treasure battling giant sea creatures and training with masters.
If you like Zelda and those types of adventure games then you will love this.
4.2 apples out of 5.
Entertainment #1 ~ Pic
MS Apple announces second annual Apple Music Awards
Apple announced the winners of the second annual Apple Music Awards, recognising the best and boldest musicians of 2020 and their enormous impact on global culture. The Apple Music Awards honour achievements in music across five distinct categories, and winners are chosen through a process that reflects both Apple Music’s editorial perspective and what customers around the world are loving most. The winners for global Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Breakthrough Artist of the Year were hand-selected by Apple Music’s global editorial team of world-class experts and tastemakers, and the awards for Top Song of the Year and Top Album of the Year are based on streaming data that is reflective of what Apple Music subscribers have been listening to this year.
The Apple Music Awards celebration kicks off Monday, December 14, 2020, with a week of special performances, fan events, interviews, and more, streaming worldwide on Apple Music, Apple Music TV, and the Apple TV app. Fans who are not already subscribed to Apple Music can sign up for a three-month free trial at apple.com/apple-music.
“The Apple Music Awards is our opportunity to recognise and honour the incredible artists who we feel have deeply impacted and inspired the world and our customers, and helped us feel connected through music this year,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “We have an exciting week of music planned in December and are very much looking forward to celebrating together with these artists and their fans.”
And the Winners are ~
Artist of the Year:
Breakthrough Artist of the Year:
Megan Thee Stallion
Songwriter of the Year:
Top Song of the Year:
“The Box” by Roddy Ricch
Also picking up Top Album of the Year with: “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial”
Entertainment #2 – Pic
MS Watch a dramatic rocket launch shot on iPhone 12 Pro lift off in slow-motion video
SPACE EXPLORED reports ~ Apple recently launched the all-new iPhone 12 lineup with notable camera improvements across all four models. We’re still putting the new cameras through their paces, so we thought we would try capturing a rocket launch with iPhone 12 Pro.
Launch providers often give press the opportunity to leave cameras at the launchpad prior to a mission so their rockets can be photographed and captured remotely. No person wants to be anywhere near the launchpad during liftoff for reasons you can see in the video.
Instead, photographers program cameras to trigger at liftoff based on conditions like time, sound, and noise levels. Any number of variables can cause cameras to misfire early or miss the shot altogether. Knowing how to configure the shot’s exposure, shutter speed, and more go into overcoming the obstacle of not actually being there to fire the camera at liftoff.
Shooting with the iPhone introduces its own challenges like overheating, running out of storage, and protecting the hardware. Our video was captured with a 512GB iPhone 12 Pro in Airplane Mode so no cellular or Bluetooth radios were active (something that’s not allowed). We also relied on a mophie powerstation XXL 20K battery pack to avoid running out of power before liftoff.
The footage is from a 270GB video that captured footage over 10 hours. The video was cropped in the Photos app on the iPhone and the watermark was added in LumaFusion on the iPad. The iPhone was mounted on a tripod and attached with a JOBY iPhone mount adapter. Our next move is to spend time editing and adjusting the footage; for now we want to share the footage as it was captured by the iPhone 12 Pro.
How To #1 ~ Pic
ZK Apple’s new ‘Everyday Experiments’ video encourages at-home creativity with iPhone 12
9TO5Mac reminds us ~ Apple has shared a new “Experiments” video on its YouTube channel, shot on the iPhone 12. Apple’s “Experiments’ videos have become popular over the last several years as a way to showcase iPhone camera features, and today’s new iPhone 12 footage focuses on “Everyday Experiments.”
The video is intended to show experiments you can do at home during the coronavirus pandemic. In total, there are three experiments in today’s video:
Good Things for when were Stuck Indoors
REMEMBER TO ENJOY YOUR KIDS and / or PETS that are also stuck at home
Story 4 ~
MS Apple’s secret weapon in AR is right in front of us
cnet reports ~ Sometime in the not-too-distant future, Apple will reportedly unveil an augmented- or mixed-reality headset. Apple hasn’t discussed any headgear yet. But augmented reality is alive and well on the iPhone — and it’s getting better fast.
Apple began its AR journey in 2017, making a splash with virtual Ikea furniture and realistic-looking outdoor Pokemon Go battles. This year, I’ve been standing on street corners scanning fire hydrants with Apple’s new iPhone 12 Pro. I’ve mapped my house’s interior. I’ve navigated lava rivers on my floors.
In many ways, Apple’s depth-sensing lidar sensor on the latest iPhones and iPads, with its advanced 3D-scanning possibilities, feels like the backbone of the Apple headsets of the future.
Facebook, Microsoft and Magic Leap are already exploring goggles and glasses that aim to blend the virtual and real, with more headsets coming in the future using Qualcomm chips. But Apple’s AR mission right now, according to Mike Rockwell, Apple’s head of AR, and Allessandra McGinnis, its senior product manager for AR, is to make everything work better on the device you already have in your pocket.
Layering AR with real-world locations and popping up experiences automatically, while making creative tools and developing assistive tech based on AR’s capabilities, could, in the long run, become the biggest killer apps.
“AR has enormous potential to be helpful to folks in their lives across devices that exist today, and devices that may exist tomorrow, but we’ve got to make sure that it is successful,” Rockwell says. “For us, the best way to do that is to enable our device ecosystem, so that it is a healthy and profitable place for people to invest their time and effort.”
Story 5 ~
ZK Developers see a world of possibilities with new App Store Small Business Program
Every week, half a billion visitors to the App Store engage with 1.8 million apps, from indie games like “Song of Bloom,” to virtual fitness coaches like MySwimPro, to coding apps for kids like Hopscotch. Many of these apps are created by independent developers driven by a single idea. Oftentimes, these developers maintain full-time careers that ultimately fund their ideas until they are launched into the real world.
Since the launch of the App Store, small businesses have been its driving spirit. Now more than ever, these businesses are core to the communities they serve, helping people stay healthy, connected, and learning. Last week Apple unveiled the App Store Small Business Program, a new commission structure to support small and individual developers and spur innovation for the next chapter of apps.
“This is a big opportunity for the indie gaming spirit to become truly mobile,” says Philipp Stollenmayer, a solo developer in the App Store. Stollenmayer, whose latest game, “Song of Bloom,” won an Apple Design Award in June 2020, was drawn to the appeal of iPhone as a new platform for gaming, one in its infancy and in need of its own set of standards. When his first game, “What the Frog,” launched in the App Store in 2013 and won a German Multimedia Prize (mb21), he knew he was onto something.
“I saw a whole world of possibilities and how easy it was to get something out there,” Stollenmayer says. “I had the chance to shape how mobile games work and how they differ from consoles. With mobile games, you use the phone in a much more personal way. I put that inside my games and make that active as gameplay, which is much more valuable than trying to create worlds that might not work so well on a small screen.”
With this Apple announced that developers that earn under US$1M will now pay half the commission they used to, 15% instead of 30%.
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Over to Zarn for the sign off
ZK The now infamous “Sign Off”