Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 370

Show 370 – February 16, 2021

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael             


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~  

MS Google returns to updating major iOS apps after months-long wait

engadget reports ~ Google has left many of its iOS apps without updates since the start of December, raising questions and even creating problems — users briefly saw “this app is out of date” errors when signing into their Google accounts. That drought is finally coming to an end, however. As 9to5Google reports, Google has finally resumed updating its major iOS apps with a revision to YouTube. While it’s ‘just’ a bug fix, it hints Gmail and other apps could get upgrades soon.

It’s not certain just what prompted the long wait. Some had suggested Google had objections to Apple’s app privacy nutrition labels, but the company hasn’t had any objections. It promised that it would add the privacy details as it updated iOS apps, and quietly updated lower-profile YouTube apps (Music, Studio and TV) earlier in February. We’ve asked Google for comment.

There is some pressure to update other apps soon. While Google can push some features through server-side and web updates, apps like Chrome could be vulnerable to security issues if left unpatched. There’s also the chance of future technical issues. If the YouTube fix is the start of a larger wave of upgrades, it could provide relief to iPhone and iPad users who lean heavily on Google services.



Story 2 ~ PIC

ZK Epic Games takes Apple dispute to Australian market regulator

Apple insider reports ~ Epic Games has taken its App Store legal dispute with Apple in Australia to the country’s market regulator, according to a new report.

The “Fortnite” maker has told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that Apple’s “unrestrained market power” is suppressing competition and innovation, and is artificially raising the price of iPhone and iPad apps, Financial Review reported on Thursday.

According to its submission to the ACCC Digital Platforms Services Inquiry, Epic Games says that Apple is forcing App Store developers to pay a 30% “Apple tax” on the games they sell. It adds that the true commission should be closer to the single digits.

The ACCC was already investigating whether Apple and Google abuse their power in their respective app stores. Epic Games had previously praised the ACCC for investigating App Store market power.

Epic Games sued Apple in Australia’s Federal Court in 2020, alleging that the App Store breached multiple sections of the Competition and Consumer Act and the Australian Consumer Law.

That lawsuit claimed that Apple illegally “forces Epic (and other app developers) to only use Apple’s App Store to distribute its software applications to the broad base of iOS device users, and to only use Apple’s payment platform for purchases of their in-app content by iOS device users.”

Apple in December 2020 asked the Australia Federal Court to toss out the lawsuit because Epic Games had promised to settle any disputes and litigation in the U.S.

Epic Games launched its campaign against Apple in 2020, after baiting the company into removing “Fortnite” from the App Store with the implementation of a direct payment system that bypassed Apple’s own. That payment system was a violation of Apple’s App Store guidelines.

The initial litigation, filed in the U.S. in 2020, is still ongoing. Earlier in February, a judge ruled that Apple CEO Tim Cook must undertake a seven-hour deposition in the case, which is slated to go to trial in May.



Story 3 ~ PIC

MS Apple Maps Will Soon Get Waze’s Best Features

Gizmodo reports ~ Features familiar to the Waze crowd are coming soon to Apple Maps.

Available now for developer and public beta users running iOS 14.5, and rolling out to all users later this spring, the new features will allow passengers and drivers to easily report a speed check, accident, or any kind of hazard they encounter while driving. As the feature is meant to be hands-free for those behind the wheel, users can alert Siri to the incident either with a voice command on their iPhone or, if supported, using CarPlay.

To prompt the assistant, just say, “Hey Siri, report…” followed by the event, whether that be an accident, hazard, speed check, speed trap, or just “incident.” Beta users who have the feature will also be able to say things like, “There’s a crash up ahead,” or, “There’s a speed trap here.” Siri will be able to understand commands like “the hazard is gone” or “clear the accident,” as well, and users can also tell Siri things like, “the accident is still here.”




#1 ~ ZK EarthNight is so beautifully designed. you could almost just look at the art as it passes you by. The problem with that is this game is a runner and you need to be on your virtual toes to keep up. 

The only way to get better at this game is to keep replaying it. It was so much fun it reminded me of sonic. I highly recommend this game. You must play this!! I can’t say that enough. 

If you like fast past gaming this is the game you have been waiting for. 

I’m giving this game 5 apples out of 5. 

Perfect graphics, tick!!

Great game play, tick!!

Awesome sound track, tick!! 



#1 ~ ZK PICSx2 First Look at Jared Leto’s Eerie Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League

What becomes of a prophet of mayhem in a world that has already fallen apart?

Maybe he just lurks among the other nightmares in their blighted landscape. Maybe he has indulged all of his most bloodthirsty impulses to the point of boredom. Maybe he hunts down those striving for order until he finds someone still capable of being hurt.

This is the Joker as he appears in Zack Snyder’s new Justice League, an entirely new element the filmmaker decided to add as he completed his original vision of the the DC Comics team-up. 

Jared Leto’s clown prince was not part of Snyder’s original plan before walking away from the movie in 2017 amid a clash with Warner Bros. leadership and grief over a family tragedy, but when HBO Max offered him the chance to finalise his own cut of the movie, the director had a few things he wanted to add to the long-awaited #Snydercut.

Batman’s nemesis was one of them. “The Joker is really the only thing that I thought of in retrospect,” Snyder tells Vanity Fair. “But I will say that it was always my intention to bring Joker into that world.”

When he first began working on DC films a decade ago, Snyder thought he would eventually bring the villain into conflict with Batman in a later project, but after his falling out with the studio, he realised that probably would never happen.

Instead, when given the opportunity to finally finish Justice League his way for HBO Max, he asked for additional photography to fit Joker into the four-hour event, debuting March 18th.

The only real rule about depicting Joker onscreen is that you have to put your own twist on the monster. Variation is not just allowed, but expected. In this case, Snyder chose to cast his Joker as Leto, who played the part (in an entirely different form) in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad in 2016.

Gone are the face tattoos and slicked-back emerald undercut hairstyle of that movie, replaced by a visage that looks like a creature who crawled out of the basement of a long-abandoned insane asylum. Maybe he did. 

Leto is wearing a hospital gown and surgical mask in the photos Snyder released exclusively to Vanity Fair, which the director says is probably a remnant of his escape into the wild when the world fell. In some of his Justice League scenes, Leto’s Joker also sports a bulletproof vest festooned with grimy law enforcement badges. “He has tons of badges,” Snyder said. “Those are his trophies.”


Story 4 ~ PIC

ZK Apple Launches ‘For All Mankind: Time Capsule’ Augmented Reality App

MacRumors reports ~ Apple last week announced the launch of a new augmented reality app that takes inspiration from Apple TV+ series “For All Mankind.” 

The app, built on Apple’s ARKit framework, is designed to offer augmented reality experiences for the 2020 iPad Pro models and the iPhone 12 lineup.

Apple describes “For All Mankind: Time Capsule” as a new augmented reality experience that “brings the world of the popular ‌Apple TV+‌ Series ‘For All Mankind’ right into the homes of fans.”

The app lets viewers uncover memories from “For All Mankind” astronauts Gordo and Tracy Stevens in the decade between season one and season two, which is set to come out on February 19. Viewers can unpack a virtual time capsule, checking out what’s inside and learning new details about the show.

“Join Danny, teenage son of astronauts Gordo & Tracy Stevens, as he examines interactive keepsakes full of details about life, love, and the world of For All Mankind. Every object tells a story: a simple mixtape unveils how young love first began. A home computer holds the secrets to the teens’ changing lives. And items as ordinary as a newspaper and answering machine shed light on impactful events in the lives of Gordo and Tracy Stevens, revealing more about the alternate world of For All Mankind and what’s coming in season 2.”



Story 5 ~ 

MS Aussie big bank-backed IBM blockchain platform Lygon mints first guarantee

ZDNet reports ~ Blockchain fixes the ‘problem of paper’ in the bank guarantee process.

After joining forces in July 2019 to progress work on a blockchain-based bank guarantee platform, ANZ bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), and Westpac announced, alongside IBM and shopping centre company Scentre Group, the formation of Lygon.

On Tuesday, Lygon announced minting the industry’s first standardised digital bank guarantee.

Claimed as the first time blockchain has been used for a commercial banking product in Australia, the “national financial services infrastructure” went live over the weekend, which saw the successful digitisation of a bank guarantee.

The Lygon platform runs on the IBM public cloud. It leverages the IBM Blockchain Platform, which is built on top of Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source blockchain project from the Linux Foundation.

It was designed as a new piece of infrastructure by the group aimed at being “at the crossroads between finance and technology”.

Speaking at the launch on Tuesday, ANZ banking services lead and Lygon chairman Nigel Dobson said the idea came from commercial property owners being frustrated by an archaic process that banks had forced upon them.

“Gave them friction, gave them paper, and gave them worry,” he said.

“The parties that are now involved … have had a truly enduring collaboration around solving an industry problem that is unseen and not much light is shed on it … but it definitely was a pain point and a friction point for many recipients.

“We also thought that the emerging blockchain technology that many of us were analysing and evaluating at the time was in fact the perfect technology and this was the perfect problem for that technology.”

Lastly, what is Blockchain ~ Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain.

The difference 



Story 6 ~ PIC

ZK 20 years of orange cones: The history of VLC

protocol reports ~ How a student project became one of the world’s most popular open-source apps, powering much of modern-day media, without ever creating a huge windfall for its developers.

When students at the École Centrale Paris lobbied for a campus network upgrade in the ’90s, they weren’t really thinking about the future of media. All they wanted was to play Duke Nukem 3D. But the public-private partnership that made the first-person shooter work on their campus network also laid the groundwork for the birth of the popular media player VLC.

Open sourced 20 years ago this month, VLC has since been downloaded more than 3.5 billion times, making it one of the most popular free software projects to date. Software developed for VLC is being used to power some of the world’s largest streaming services. Despite all of this, VLC has largely remained a labor of love, with developers saying no to deals worth tens of millions of dollars.

The story of VLC is about geeks pursuing their passion projects, fighting back countless legal threats and hatching a baffling plan to send Bitcoins to the moon.

The student staff running the campus network of the École Centrale Paris had a problem. The university’s Token Ring network had become much too slow for students living on campus. For years, the technology had done its job, offering access to email and newsgroups. But by the mid-’90s, students wanted more. They wanted to download files, browse the web and most of all play Duke Nukem 3D, which was impossible on the ageing network architecture.

However, the university wasn’t able to provide a network update. In desperate need for an outside sponsor, the students struck a deal with a big French broadcaster, which wanted to use the campus grounds as a testbed for an early version of IP-based TV delivery. The idea: Instead of equipping each dorm room with its own satellite dish and set-top box, students would find a way to stream TV signals over their local network.

“The goal of the project was to show that you could resend the satellite feed and decode [it] on normal machines, which would cost a lot less,” said VideoLAN foundation President Jean-Baptiste Kempf. To achieve this, students developed a video server and a playback app, at the time called VideoLAN Client. The project got passed down as students graduated, and eventually, the team behind it decided to open-source it.

In those early days, much of the work was still focused on the server that redistributed streams across the campus network. No one really had any inkling how successful VLC could become as a cross-platform media player. “It was Linux and BeOS at the time,” Kempf said. “No one cared about Windows and MacOS.”

No one on campus, that is. Weeks after VLC got released as open source in 2001, a developer in the Netherlands ported it to MacOS, causing the first real usage spike. Apple’s initial versions of OS X didn’t come with a built-in DVD player app, and early adopters of the new system flocked to VLC as a replacement. At the same time, a U.K.-based developer ported VLC to Windows, where it became a surprise hit as well. “People were shocked,” Kempf said. “Oh my God, how did that happen?”

One of the reasons for VLC’s unexpected success lied in its Linux roots. Due to the operating system’s lack of native codec infrastructure, VLC was packaged together with all of the codec dependencies necessary to play most video files and formats. That was different from Windows, where the system media player often refused to play videos downloaded from file-sharing networks, requiring users to jump through a bunch of hoops and download third-party codec packs from questionable sources. Using the same dependencies across all platforms, VLC just worked, and it quickly gained momentum as a kind of Swiss Army knife for media playback.

MS Congrats and thanks to all the contributors



How To 1 ~ Again in our renewed effort to leave you with at least 1 How To each week

MS PIC How to Take Scrollable, Full-Page Screenshots of Websites on iOS

Thanks to lifehacker ~ So whatever the reason, capturing a full-page screenshot of a website on iOS is simple.

To start, launch the website in your device’s Safari browser—after you’ve made sure you’re using the latest version of iOS. 

Take a screenshot of a website as you normally would—Side Button + Volume Up, in my case.

If you don’t see two options at the top—Screen and Full Page—iOS is probably being fussy. It is a new feature remember! 

Close Safari, reopen it, and try taking another screenshot. 

These options are critical, as tapping Full Page is the magic sauce.

That little sidebar on the right, which you can scroll through up and down, shows you the entirety of the page that your phone has captured.

When you go to save it, however, you won’t be dropping it in your photo album because your device isn’t technically creating a giant photograph. 

Instead, your iPhone will have converted this mega-screenshot into a PDF, so you’ll need to send it to some other folder on your device, lets say Documents on your iPhone.

more with pics


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Over to Zarn for the sign off

ZK The now infamous “Sign Off”

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