Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 401

Show 401 – Jan 26, 2022

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael       

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Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~  MS ~ Pic

Happy Birthday to our Favourite Computer

OK, so it was the Macs 38th birthday on Monday

I posted a story on the Apple News, Aussie Mac Zone page by The New Daily with some of my own comments, see link in the Show Notes.

So 38 Years. WOW

more

https://apple.news/AJvhRmwCpQ1eEXvTg674QJg

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Story 2 ~ ZK ~ Pic

China accused of hijacking Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s WeChat account

The Australian Prime Minister is still yet to retrieve access to his WeChat despite making contact with the ‘Chinese community’ hours ago.

ZDNet reported ~ A Liberal member of parliament has accused the Chinese government of foreign interference after Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s account on WeChat was hijacked.

“It is a matter of record that the platform has stopped the Prime Minister’s access, while Anthony Albanese’s account is still active featuring posts criticising the government,” Liberal representative Gladys Liu said.

“In an election year especially, this sort of interference in our political processes is unacceptable, and this matter should be taken extremely seriously by all Australian politicians.”

As part of the accusations against the Chinese government, Liu said she would boycott using her official and personal WeChat accounts until an explanation was provided by the platform about the incident.

Various Coalition members have also backed Liu’s accusations and boycott, with Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security chair and Liberal Senator James Paterson calling for Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese to follow suit in boycotting WeChat.

UPDATE

ABC reports ~ Chinese businessman reveals why he bought Scott Morrison’s WeChat account

The Chinese businessman who has taken over Scott Morrison’s WeChat account says he bought it because he wanted a platform with lots of followers and insists the transaction had nothing to do with politics.

Key points:

  • The new owner told the ABC that he bought Scott Morrison’s account in November last year
  • He says he is planning to delete all the content posted by Mr Morrison
  • He would not say how much he paid for the account

So forgetting the politics for a minute

Why would I spend time and effort building a following on WeChat only to have it sold out from underneath me.

more

https://www.zdnet.com/article/china-accused-of-hijacking-australia-prime-minister-scott-morrisons-wechat-account/

update

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-24/scott-morrison-wechat-account-chinese-businessman/100778812

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Story 3 ~ MS ~ no Pic

Meta and Twitter want a review of Australian government’s social media laws next year

All testimonies before the Select Committee on Social Media and Online Safety on Tuesday called for social media companies to be held more responsible for the trolling that resides on their platforms.

ZDNet reported ~ Meta (formerly Facebook) and Twitter have called for Australia’s federal government to review the effectiveness of the country’s digital platforms regulation in light of the passing of the Online Safety Act, along with anti-trolling and online privacy laws currently being under consideration.

Both tech giants made these demands in submissions to the Select Committee on Social Media and Online Safety, with Twitter writing that the committee should conduct a review of the online safety space in Australia one-year from its initial report, which is due next month.

The Select Committee on Social Media and Online Safety was established late last year to inquire into the practices of major technology companies and consider evidence relating to the impact social media platforms have on the mental health of Australians. 

The committee’s inquiry was approved by the federal government with the intention of building on the proposed social media legislation to “unmask trolls”.

Twitter said the recent passing of the Online Safety Act and the government’s federal probe only running for three months is not enough time to effectively implement digital platforms legislation.

“With the range of factors that need to considered to holistically advance online safety, we therefore ask for the timeline be extended for the Select Committee Inquiry into Social Media and Online Safety to allow for the effective introduction and implementation of the Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth) and to ensure meaningful consultation with the community,” Twitter wrote to the committee.

Meta, meanwhile, wrote in its submission that the federal government should make statutory reviews of new digital platforms legislation mandatory to ensure they are effective and fit-for-purpose, specifically pointing to the “significant amount of new legislation that has been passed”.

“Policymakers should be alive to the risk of overlapping, duplicative or inconsistent rules across different laws,” Meta said.

Digital Industry Group Inc (DiGi), the Australian industry group advocating for tech giants, including Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Twitter, shared a similar sentiment in its submission to the parliamentary committee. 

In its submission, DiGi wrote that proposed regulatory measures, such as making age verification mandatory on social media platforms, have been put in the limelight without any legislative notice. It said that given the unprecedented implications of age verification of Australians on a range of digital services, it said wider consultation must first take place if it were to be implemented.

DiGi added that the slew of new laws could result in overlap, and recommended that the federal government consider streamlining online safety legislation into a singular Online Safety Act.

more

https://www.zdnet.com/article/meta-and-twitter-want-a-review-of-australian-governments-social-media-laws-next-year/

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Story 4 ~ ZK ~ Pic

Why you should never open these text messages

Aussies are reporting an influx of scam text messages attempting to spook users into thinking they’ve been exposed online.

news.com.au reports ~ The notorious Flubot scammers are out in force again, with thousands of Aussies complaining of an influx of scam texts.

The ‘Flubot’ scam first arrived in Australia in August 2021, characterised by a text from an Australian phone number that enticed users to click on a link that would then infect their device with malware.

Since the first report, thousands of Australians have had the malware texts sent to their phone. In the first eight weeks, 13,000 Australians made a formal complaint to the Scamwatch division of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

At first, phone users were tricked into clicking the scam link by promises of a missed voicemail text. Then this progressed to clicking on the URL provided to track a delivery parcel.

Scamwatch warned that the scammers’ strategy had changed again. Now Australians are being duped into thinking their photos have been shared online.

When they click the link, they are taken to a page saying their phone has been infected. The link claiming to remove the virus is indeed the real malware.

One person’s post on Reddit showing scam texts from five different numbers gathered thousands of reactions on Monday.

“Yep. I got one today that basically said ‘We failed to deliver your order, what are you going to do?’ Then the link. It’s bloody annoying when it happens in the middle of the night,” one person said.

“I‘ve had a huge influx of spam messages after picking up a call from a random number a few weeks ago. The call hung up immediately and my number was likely sold to an ’active numbers’ list. So – if you don‘t know the number, don’t pick up,” another replied.

more

https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/hacking/why-you-should-never-open-these-text-messages/news-story/ff0e5511760e8a4fdb89fcc192aa3bab

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AD ithelp2u   ~ Pic

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GAMING

G#1 ~ ZK ~ Pic

Galaga Wars+

The Classic Space Shooter Game

This weeks game is Galaga Wars+


I don’t need to hype this game it’s Galaga I shouldn’t have to say much than that.
But I’m going to! Lol. This remastered game is just as good as the original.

The graphics are so much better the game play has improved without losing any of the original intensity.

I played this for hours and didn’t want to put it down.

Until my wife told me I had to because I wasn’t listening to our “wonderful” children lol

I’m giving this game 4.2 apples out of 5

This is because of Apple Arcade not because of the game itself.

The arcade platform as good as it is isn’t without its flaws.

Some of the games on here are also have a pay to play Version. When they are brought for arcade this format isn’t changed but you can buy the stuff you need.

So the games become very hard to finish. I’m hoping Apple will fix this in the near future.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/galaga-wars/id1574668118

ENTERTAINMENT

#1 ~ MS ~ No Pic

Apple TV+

Servant is back, AND Fragile Rock

And this Friday, The Afterparty

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AD Blue Ocean   ~ Pic

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How To ~ ZK ~ Pic

How to test your Mac’s internet speed and quality

Macworld helps us ~ The past two years has put new emphasis on how important an internet connection is to our daily lives.

At the same time, some of us have never experienced such slowdowns and erratic performance as in these past two years, coupled with overloading our previously capable home networks. 

Measuring internet networking performance can help us stay efficient, keep entertained, and remain less frustrated.

Several tools can help you measure or monitor your internet and network performance, and many of them are free. 

Many network tools measure (a single snapshot) or monitor (ongoing samples) data going in and out of a single computer. This includes all data traveling within your local network and that being sent to and received from the internet.

This includes macOS’s Activity Monitor (in Applications > Utilities), Peak Hour, and iStat Menus. Peak Hour has the unique ability to also sample bandwidth data from routers and broadband modems that broadcast the information (more on that in a bit).

You can also pick up some information about your network connection in the system Wi-Fi menu. Some routers and broadband modems let you log in and view throughput data or run different network tests.

However, to measure how much throughput you have to and from the internet—the actual real performance of your connection—you have to use a testing tool that interacts with a server somewhere else and then reports on the speed of those interactions. Such tools include Speedtest and the macOS Monterey command-line tool networkQuality.

Activity Monitor

macOS’s built-in Activity Monitor has a Network tab, which has a Data chart at the bottom that starts tracking network traffic in and out of your Mac when it’s launched. This can help you begin the journey to see if your Mac is the problem, an individual app, or the network.

Activity Monitor’s minimal chart reveals that data is flowing and the current performance.

Activity Monitor is located in Applications > Utilities. Click the Network tab, which is located in the upper right, next to the Search icon (the magnifying glass).

Speedtest

The free Speedtest from Ookla checks latency (see below) and upstream and downstream throughput over several seconds and then averaged. The maker sells aggregated anonymised testing data to ISPs and others. Available as a Mac or iOS/iPadOS app.

Only Click the Go button in the circle

MS Another simple speedtester is go to fast.com

more

https://www.macworld.com/article/605118/test-internet-speed-quality.html

How To ~ MS ~ Pic

Your earbuds are gross: Here’s how to clean them properly

USA Today helps us ~ Your earbuds. Unless you clean them regularly, crud builds up in a way that would be embarrassing if anyone else saw it. Here’s how to get rid of it:

Wiping away the crud

Compared to other gadgets, earbuds rack up an extraordinary amount of nastiness. They collect dirt and skin particles, earwax, grease, and sweat. They’re like portable Petri dishes for our biological debris. Yuck.

Luckily, it’s not hard to wipe it all away. First, grab a microfiber cloth.

Lightly dampen it and wipe down the cord and body of each earbud. 

You can use these steps for your earbuds’ charging case, too, but avoid anything wet on the speaker area of your headphones.

You could also use Cleaning Wipes.

Pro tip: If you have white corded headphones covered in dirt and scuffs, use a pencil eraser to buff the dark streaks away.

When cleaning your earbud speakers, you need to be careful. Sharp objects like toothpicks or safety pins can do severe damage. A plastic tool, like a flosser, is a safer option for scraping earwax or other buildups from around the edge. Once you’re done, use a dry cloth to wipe away the junk gently.

One viral TikTok trick recommends Blu Tack, the reusable adhesive putty used to hang up posters, as a safer option. Sculpt it into a ball and press it into your earbud speakers. When you pull it away, it should have picked up all the junk inside your buds.

Here’s what you need to avoid

Whatever you do, don’t run water over your earbuds. Sure, you can use a slightly damp cloth or cleansing wipe – but make sure you soak up that moisture with a dry, soft, and lint-free cloth when you’re done.

Avoid metal or wire brushes. You’ll also want to skip chemical detergents. Plain water should be more than enough for the cord and body of your headphones or earbuds.

more

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/komando/2022/01/23/how-safely-and-properly-clean-crud-your-germy-earbuds/6614735001/

How To ~ ZK ~ Pic

Stunning Black Background Photos at Home

iso1200.com helps us ~ In the show notes is a link to an easy to follow video on how to improve your Portrait Mode photo skills

video

https://youtu.be/FalL262giBw

more

https://www.iso1200.com/2022/01/easy-mobile-black-background-portrait.html

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MS Lastly Apple just announced a new Photography Competition

Apple invites iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max users to capture the little things, in a big way, with a macro photography Shot on iPhone Challenge.

The challenge starts today and runs through February 16, 2022. Winners will be announced in April.

The iPhone 13 Pro lineup features the most advanced camera system ever in an iPhone, and for the first time users can capture sharp, stunning images with a minimum focus distance of 2 centimetres. 

To celebrate macro photography, Apple welcomes you to share your favourite macro photos taken on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #ShotoniPhone and #iPhonemacrochallenge to participate in the challenge.

A panel of expert judges from the industry and Apple will review worldwide submissions and select 10 winning photos. The winning photos will be celebrated in a gallery on Apple Newsroom, apple.com, Apple Instagram (@apple), and other official Apple accounts.

They may also appear in digital campaigns, Apple Store locations, billboards, or in a public photo exhibition.

more

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2022/01/share-your-best-iphone-macro-photos-for-apples-shot-on-iphone-challenge/

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MS

Thanks to Blue Ocean Webhosting and ithelp2u for their support

Show Promotion

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

ZK

https://aussiemaczone.com.au/amz401/

there you will see the last 6 weeks shows notes

MS Email us at Michael or Zarn @ aussiemaczone.com.au

ZK However your listening to us please give us a rating. It helps others find us

AND

MS Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone

Please show you family.

Thanks to our supporters you our listeners! 

Over to Zarn for the sign off

ZK The now infamous “Sign Off”

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