Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 376

Show 376 – April 01, 2021

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~  

MS Happy Birthday Apple

On April 1, 1976, Apple Computer Company was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. 


Story 2 ~

ZK Apple Maps speed camera feature now rolling out to more countries including Australia.

9TO5Mac reports ~ iOS 14 saw the introduction of Apple Maps speed camera alerts, but this was initially limited to the US, UK, and Ireland. We’re now seeing it rolling out to a number of additional countries.

Apple bills the feature as a warning to anticipate slowing traffic …

A helpful heads-up to slow down. Maps lets you know when you’re approaching speed cameras and red‑light cameras along your route so you can anticipate potential slowing traffic ahead. You can also see where individual cameras are located on the map.

While navigating with Apple Maps, you will see a yellow icon with a camera in the location of a speed camera. We have at least seen the location of cameras in the Haarlem region. The function may be rolled out even further, so you will not see it everywhere. You will only see the cameras during route guidance

Don’t forget that this Easter Weekend is Double Demerit time!!



Story 3 ~

MS Warner Music and Rothco launch Saylists on Apple Music to aid speech therapy

ZDNet reports ~ MS I want to start by saying this is really cool.

The curated playlists feature music tracks where patterns of repetition of the most challenging speech sounds have been identified.

Warner Music and Accenture Interactive’s Rothco have teamed up to launch Saylists, a playlist of songs that have been curated specifically to aid speech therapy.

One of the most successful therapeutic methods used to help overcome speech sound disorder is through repetition of difficult syllables, words, phrases.

Apple Music used an algorithm developed by Rothco to carry out a data analysis of song lyrics of 70 million tracks in its catalogue to identify songs where patterns of repetition used to train specific speech sounds were most present and would be helpful for speech therapy. This was narrowed down to 173 songs that resulted in the creation of an initial 10 saylists.

Each saylists has been categorised accordingly to the most commonly challenging speech sounds in the English language: ‘CH’, ‘D’, ‘F’, ‘G’, ‘K, ‘L’, ‘R’, ‘S’, ‘Z’, ‘T’.

The custom-built sayslists feature tracks such Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa for the D playlist; Right Here, Right Now by Fatboy Slim for the R playlist; and Good as Hell by Lizzo for the G playlist.

“Our goal was to help redefine the long and often painstaking journey that young people with atypical speech can experience. Several members of our team who worked on ‘Saylists’ themselves grew up with SSDs, so it’s a personal project as well,” Rothco chief creative officer Alan Kelly said.





Cosy Grove 

Is another oddball ghost survival game in Apple Arcade.

I would be excited if this wasn’t a running theme with arcade.

They are all fun to play and they all have a slightly different storyline, but how many of these can we play? 

How many are Arcade going to  make?

3.2 apples out of 5 because it actually a good game.


G#2 ~ ZK 

Pokémon Go boosts franchise to $100B in all-time sales, beating Star Wars and Mickey Mouse

9TO5Mac again ~ The Pokémon franchise launched back in 1996 on Nintendo’s Gameboy and it’s had an amazing 25-year run so far. And thanks to Pokémon Go’s global success and staying power since 2016, the franchise has hit the milestone of $100 billion in all-time sales.

New data from SafeBettingSites says that Pokémon has become the world’s most valuable media brand. With $100B in all-time sales, that puts it ahead of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and Hello Kitty.

Pokémon has had a range of hit games over the last 25 years but Pokémon Go has been the catalyst to becoming the world’s most valuable media franchise. Even though it was released in 2016, Pokémon Go saw over 100 million downloads in 2020 with $1.2 billion in player spend. That made it the third-highest-grossing mobile game behind PUBG and Honor of Kings.

Other new games like Pokémon Home and Quest also have millions of players and added to the franchise’s value. Meanwhile, the “movie adaptation, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (2019), earned the second-highest at the box office out of any video game movie as of March 2021 with gross earnings of $432M.”



#1 ~ MS

Apple TV+ announces “The Year Earth Changed,” an uplifting wildlife documentary special narrated by David Attenborough, heralding Earth Day 2021

Timely special highlighting nature’s resiliency is set to premiere globally, along with new seasons of “Tiny World” and “Earth At Night In Colour,” Friday, April 16, on Apple TV+

In celebration of Earth Day 2021, Apple TV+ will debut “The Year Earth Changed,” an original documentary special narrated by Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning broadcaster David Attenborough, along with the second seasons of documentary series “Tiny World” and “Earth At Night In Color.” Set to premiere globally in more than 100 countries on April 16, 2021, each of these groundbreaking originals will captivate and inspire viewers to herald Earth Day, the world’s largest annual environmental movement.

“During this most difficult year, many people have reappraised the value and beauty of the natural world and taken great comfort from it,” said Attenborough. “But the lockdown also created a unique experiment that has thrown light on the impact we have on the natural world. The stories of how wildlife responded have shown that making even small changes to what we do can make a big difference.”

Showcasing exclusive footage from around the world after an unprecedented year, “The Year Earth Changed” is a timely documentary special that takes a fresh new approach to the global lockdown and the uplifting stories that have come out of it. From hearing birdsong in deserted cities, to witnessing whales communicating in new ways, to encountering capybaras in South American suburbs, people all over the world have had the chance to engage with nature like never before. In the one-hour special, viewers will witness how changes in human behavior — reducing cruise ship traffic, closing beaches a few days a year, identifying more harmonious ways for humans and wildlife to coexist — can have a profound impact on nature. The documentary, narrated by David Attenborough, is a love letter to planet Earth, highlighting the ways nature bouncing back can give us hope for the future. “The Year Earth Changed” is produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, directed by Tom Beard, and executive produced by Mike Gunton and Alice Keens-Soper.


#2 ~ MS

Returning for Season 2, “Tiny World”

Narrated and executive produced by Paul Rudd (“Ant-Man”), grants viewers a unique perspective into the natural world, illuminating the ingenuity and resilience of the planet’s smallest creatures. With over 200 species filmed and 3,160 hours of footage, the six-episode docuseries shares surprising stories and spectacular cinematography that spotlight small creatures and the extraordinary things they do to survive. Captured on film for the first time are anemone shrimp, which clap to signal their intent as cleaners of predatory fish; the “biting” behaviour of fang blenny fish, filmed in slow-motion with unprecedented use of phantom high-speed cameras; and Etruscan shrews, known to be the hungriest mammals on earth. 



Story 4 ~

ZK Australia’s COVIDSafe app costs AU$100,000 per month to keep running

ZDNet reports ~ Australia’s coronavirus contact tracing app, COVIDSafe, was sold as “digital sunscreen” with people encouraged by the Prime Minister to download the app in order to have life return to some form of normal.

There have been over 7 million downloads of the app, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s logged into, or being used by individuals that have the app taking up real estate on their phone.

The app has received scrutiny from the country’s security community from day one, and it has only accounted for a total of 17 cases found, with 81 close contacts of those 17 identified through the app, too. The Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 also previously said the app significantly under-delivered on Scott Morrison’s promise that the app would enable an opening up of the economy in a COVID safe manner.

As previously disclosed by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), the app cost in excess of AU$5 million.

DTA CEO Randall Brugeaud told senators on Thursday night that the cost to keep the app’s lights on, so far, has been around AU$900,000.

“The spend to date on the app is AU$6,745,322.31, that’s to 31 January,” he said.



Story 5 ~ 

MS MacBook university fraud sees sister and brother pocket $4M

9TO5Mac again ~ A MacBook university fraud saw a sister and brother pocket $4 million. The sister over-ordered MacBooks meant for university employees, and the brother then sold them on Craigslist.

One amusing element is the frustration their main buyer expressed in a text when Apple launched new MacBooks shortly after they’d bought a batch of older ones…

A sister and brother have admitted over-ordering hundreds of new MacBooks for “a private university” in Silicon Valley to steal and sell the expensive gear for millions of dollars.

Patricia Castaneda, 37, of San Carlos, California, worked at the university’s School of Humanities and Sciences, and was responsible for ordering replacement laptops for the faculty and its staff who were entitled to a new one every three years.

Over the course of 10 years, starting in 2009, she methodically over-ordered and then sold them on, initially for cash through ads on Craigslist, and then through a man she met through one Craigslist ad, again in cash. 



Story 6 ~

ZK AEC confident in its security posture with external audits not welcome

The Australian Electoral Commissioner said on Tuesday night that it is ‘very, very, very confident’ its systems are ‘incredibly robust’.

The Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers has dismissed the proposal to allow a non-government researcher to conduct a security audit on its systems.

The prospect of security researcher Vanessa Teague, who has experience in finding holes in electoral systems, was raised by One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts during Senate Estimates on Tuesday night. Rogers said “frankly” that Teague would not be welcome to perform an audit on the AEC systems.

“We work with a range of partners, including the Australian Signals Directorate, the Australian Cyber Security Centre, we’ve had our internal code audited and checked,” he said.

“And not being rude, I’m sure that Dr. Teague is a wonderful person, but we’ve had sufficient checks in place to assure ourselves that that system is running smoothly.”

Roberts subsequently pushed for the commissioner to give a “resounding guarantee of the cyber integrity” of the system, to which Rogers refused.

“No one would sit in this chair and give an unequivocal guarantee about that issue,” he said. “I would be cheapening the guarantee by giving it.”



How To 1 ~ 


Losing an AirPod sucks. Try this hidden trick to locate your lost earbud

Cnet tells us ~ Apple’s wireless earbuds are small, easy to misplace and expensive to replace. We’ll show you how to locate them using an app you may already have.

No matter which pair of AirPods you have — a second-generation device, the AirPods Pro or the AirPods Max, earbuds can get lost, misplaced or even carried away by the family pet. Small earbuds, especially, can fall between couch cushions, fly under furniture or wedge deep into a pocket.

I’m grateful for Apple’s Find My app that’s built into every iPhone, iPad and Mac. I most often use it to play a sound to locate my iPhone around my home, but occasionally I use the same tool to find a lost or misplaced AirPod earbud. 

It’s not immediately obvious that you can just use the Find My app to track down more than just your phone or tablet, but it’s possible and — under the right circumstances — useful.

How to find your lost AirPods, AirPods Pro or AirPods Max

After realising your AirPod is nowhere to be found, take a deep breath, grab your iPhone and open the Find My app. Tap the Devices tab, then find and select your AirPods on the list. Alternatively, you can use your computer to visit to help find your lost devices.

If your AirPods are within Bluetooth range of your iPhone, you’ll see their current location on a map and have the option to play a sound on one or both earbuds. Tap Play Sound and start listening for a chirping sound to come from each earbud. If one AirPod is in the charging case, it won’t play any sound. 

The sound will gradually get louder as it plays for two minutes. If you can hear it, but not find it before the sound stops, then tap Play Sound again. 

You can switch which AirPod the sound is playing on by tapping the L or R button in the Find My app. When you’ve found both AirPods, tap Stop. 



MS Show Promotion

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Over to Zarn for the sign off

ZK The now infamous “Sign Off”

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