Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 363

Show 363 – December 02, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael               


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Xmas video ads

Story 1 ~ 

MS Apple expands partnership with (RED) to combat HIV/AIDS and COVID-19

Apple’s 14-year partnership with (RED) has raised almost $250 million to fund HIV/AIDS programs

Apple ~ As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Apple is offering more ways than ever for customers to support (RED)’s fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa while simultaneously protecting those communities from COVID-19.

In 2006, Apple joined (RED)’s mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last 14 years, Apple’s partnership with (RED) has led to almost $250 million in donations for the Global Fund’s HIV/AIDS programs that offer prevention, testing, and counselling services. Since 2006, Apple-supported grants have provided over 10.8 million people with care and support services, helped with distribution of more than 167 million HIV tests, and provided 13.8 million people with ongoing access to life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

This year, communities around the world are grappling with HIV/AIDS as they also work to respond and protect against COVID-19, particularly for vulnerable populations. COVID-19 has created challenges in accessing care, diagnostics, and supplies, often disrupting crucial HIV/AIDS programs. To alleviate these challenges and ensure continuity in life-saving HIV/AIDS services, Apple’s contributions were redirected to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response at the onset of the pandemic earlier this year. Thanks in part to support from Apple and Apple customers, the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response has been able to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the communities most affected by HIV/AIDS and provide critical support in health systems threatened by the COVID-19 outbreak.

These funds have allowed for additional contact tracing in South Africa, helped secure critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and emergency medical equipment in Ghana, and enabled the purchase of motorbikes to deliver HIV treatment to local communities that have been unable to seek in-person health services due to COVID-19. Apple also donated millions of units of PPE to the Ministry of Health in Zambia, including both surgical masks sourced from its supply chain as well as face shields designed and produced by Apple.



Story 2 ~

ZK 4th Australian Podcast Awards 2020

As chosen by over 60 international and Australian judges.

And the winners are

Podcast of the year


The judges chose Birds Eye View from all our 2020 Gold winners to receive our best-of-the-best award.

“Raw, insightful, heartbreaking and empathetic. Like Ear Hustle, the show offers a window into the lives of incarcerated people, but here, centring the voices and inner lives of women in a men’s prison. As an independent project, this represents a high creative, sonic and ethical watermark for Australian podcasting.”

Listeners’ Choice


After a public poll receiving over 45,000 votes, you chose Life Uncut with Britt and Laura to walk away with the Gold award.

Podcast Champion


Each year we ask out finalists and judges to nominate a person or company that has championed Australian podcasting.

This year, the production company Audiocraft take the accolade, for six years of inspiring conferences for podcasters of all sizes – culminating in its biggest ever year in 2020, despite all that this year has thrown at us all.

Now on the link their are 24 more categories with the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners listed



Story 3 ~ Pic

MS Apple patents new MacBook’s Touch Bar with Force Touch technology

9TO5Mac reports ~ While we’re waiting for new redesigned MacBooks next year, a new patent application was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office today revealing a new version of the Touch Bar that looks exactly like the current one, except that this new model features Force Touch.

Force Touch sensors were introduced for the first time with the first generation Apple Watch and they allows the screen to identify the touch pressure in order to perform different actions based on touch intensity.

This technology was then introduced to the MacBook trackpad in 2015, so it could work just like a regular trackpad even without a mechanical button. iPhone 6s got 3D Touch in the same year, which is basically the same technology but unfortunately it was discontinued in recent iPhones.

And although Apple Watch also no longer has Force Touch, Apple may still have plans to add this feature to another product. As reported by Patently Apple, the company’s latest registered patent shows a new Touch Bar that is sensitive to touch pressure.

The patent filed in May 2019 clearly shows the Touch Bar on MacBook with new circuits that make Force Touch work. There are no further details on how it would work, but it’s not hard to imagine Force Touch on the Touch Bar being used to avoid accidental taps — which is something many MacBook users complain about.



Gaming #1 ~ 


Warp Drive

This game is insanely fast paced. The future style race  vehicles are very cool to look at but the best part of them is they are totally up gradable. 

This is an arcade style race game so each track is different from the next. 

This was a fun game I’m giving it 3.7 apples out of 5.



Entertainment #1 ~ Pic

MS A Charlie Brown Christmas

Apple ~ The Peanuts gang will deck the halls with the premiere of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” streaming on Apple TV+ on December 4.

The holiday special will be available to enjoy for free from December 11 through December 13.



Entertainment #2 – Pic

ZK Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special

Also starting on December 4 ~ Faced with a holiday cheer crisis, the North Pole knows there’s only one person who can save the day: Santa’s great friend Mariah Carey. The Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey, creates a fabulous and star-studded spectacular to make the whole world merry! 

The special lineup also includes guest superstars Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Misty Copeland and Mykal-Michelle Harris. Extra special appearances are also made by Carey’s twins, Moroccan and Monroe


Good Things for when were Stuck Indoors

REMEMBER TO ENJOY YOUR KIDS or PETS that are also stuck at home


Story 4 ~

MS Speeding up data collection to help save the Great Barrier Reef

ZDNet reports ~ The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. However, it is under great threat.

A recent study by the ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies revealed that the Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral in the past three decades to mass bleaching events caused by rising water temperatures.

Reef corals have an annual reproduction event every November and December that has the potential to see healthy coral spread their larvae, with the help of the ocean’s current, to parts of the reef that have been affected by bleaching.

The challenges faced by researchers are figuring out how to identify and map these healthy reefs, how to evaluate the way reefs can be protected, and how to monitor the dangers faced by corals. Due to the large geographical range of the Great Barrier Reef — roughly the same size of Italy — researchers have only collected data regularly from approximately 5-10% of the reef.

In a bid to ramp up data collection, conservation organisation Citizens of the Greater Barrier Reef has launched the Great Reef Census project.

The project aims to bring together stakeholders across tourism, including visitors and divers, science, research, and business to assist and scale data collection from across the reef by capturing images of the reef.

Reminder ABC in Australia has a special Reef show on this coming Friday and Saturday.



Story 5 ~ 

ZK Apple not playing its part on electronic waste reduction, says UK

9TO5Mac again ~ Apple has been accused of not playing its part in electronic waste reduction in a new report in the UK, despite initiatives like the iPhone recycling robot seen above.

The Cupertino company prides itself on its environmental stance, including specific programs designed to reduce the amount of electronic waste, but was called out for two practices …

The Guardian reports that Amazon, Apple and eBay were all specifically named.

Global giants such as Amazon and Apple should be made responsible for helping to collect, recycle and repair their products to cut the 155,000 tonnes of electronic waste being thrown away each year in the UK, say [legislators].

“A lot of it goes to landfill, incineration or is dumped overseas. Under current laws producers and retailers of electronics are responsible for this waste, yet they are clearly not fulfilling that responsibility,” the MPs (Members of Parliament) wrote […]

Globally, thrown-away computers, smartphones, tablets and other electronic waste have a potential value of $62.5bn each year from the precious metals they contain, including gold, silver, copper, platinum and other critical raw materials such as tungsten and indium.

It might seem surprising that Apple was targeted, when the company is boosting its use of recycled materials and offers both trade-in and recycling programs, but MPs say that the company falls down in two areas.

Electronic waste reduction – Apple criticisms

First, many of its products are either difficult or impossible to repair by owners.

The inquiry by MPs heard that tech companies such as Apple had been found to glue and solder together internal components, making any repair nearly impossible.

MPs said consumers did not have control over the products they owned, they could not take components out to repair themselves and there were no access manuals on how issues could be fixed.

Second, the repair charges by Apple are so high that it discourages repair.

“The charges proposed for repair by Apple in particular can be so expensive it is more economical to replace the item completely,” the report said.

Apple responded by highlighting its work in electronic waste reduction.

We were surprised and disappointed with the Environmental Audit Committee’s report, which does not reflect any of Apple’s efforts to conserve resources and protect the planet we all share. There are more options for customers to trade in, recycle and get safe, quality repairs than ever before, and our latest Apple Watch, iPad, and iPhone lineup all use recycled material across key components. We will continue to work with parliament and the government to document Apple’s industry-leading commitments and to support our common effort to leave a clean economy and a healthy planet for the next generation.

MS My 2 bobs worth – because we as users want things like better water proofing this adds a lot to the cost of repairs. I just had my sons Apple watch fixed by a non-authorised repairer and one of the things they get you to sign is that the Water Proofing wont be as good. This also applies to Apple iPhones.

Also on later Apple watches you can’t use Tap to Pay.  This is all to do with keeping their costs down.



Story 6 ~ Pics


Apple presents App Store Best of 2020 winners

Apple celebrates 15 of the amazing apps and games that inspired the world in 2020

Apple today presented its App Store Best of 2020 winners, recognising 15 apps and games that proved to be essential for making life easier, healthier, and more connected this year. Notable for their high quality, creative design, usability, and innovative technology, these apps and games are equally celebrated for their positive cultural impact, helpfulness, and importance.

“This year, more than ever before, some of our most creative and connected moments happened in apps. This was thanks to the amazing work of developers who introduced fresh, helpful app experiences throughout the year,” said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow. “Around the world, we saw remarkable efforts from so many developers, and these Best of 2020 winners are 15 outstanding examples of that innovation. From helping us stay fit and mindful, to keeping our children’s education on track, to helping fight hunger, their impact was meaningful to so many of us.”

The independent developer of Wakeout! brought gentle exercise to home offices and classrooms with light-hearted and inclusive movements designed for everyone. Vast fantasy worlds in games like “Genshin Impact,” “Legends of Runeterra,” “Disco Elysium,” “Dandara Trials of Fear,” and Apple Arcade’s “Sneaky Sasquatch” delivered a great escape, while Disney+ offered a sense of unlimited possibility that many craved. Whether it was to facilitate distance learning through Zoom, create daily routines with Fantastical or lull us to sleep with Endel, the App Store Best of 2020 winners helped us live our best lives at home.

AND THE WINNERS ARE – ZK read first then ME

iPhone App of the Year:

Wakeout!, developed by Andres Canella

iPad App of the Year:


Mac App of the Year:

Fantastical, developed by Flexibits

Apple TV App of the Year:


Apple Watch App of the Year:


iPhone Game of the Year:

“Genshin Impact,” from miHoYo

iPad Game of the Year:

“Legends of Runeterra,” from Riot Games.

Mac Game of the Year:

“Disco Elysium,” from ZA/UM

Apple TV Game of the Year: “Dandara Trials of Fear,” from Raw Fury

Apple Arcade Game of the Year: “Sneaky Sasquatch,” from RAC7



MS Show Promotion

Show notes link each week on show upload, the link being


there you will see the last 6 weeks shows notes

MS Email us at Michael or Zarn @

ZK Just search Aussie Mac Zone on Google Podcast, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast or whatever player you use


MS Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone

(remind ~ how to Favourite)

Thanks to our supporters you our listeners!

Over to Zarn for the sign off

ZK The now infamous “Sign Off”

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