Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 404

Show 404 – Feb 15, 2022

Run Sheet ~ Michael ~ Zarn off sick

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Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Glenn ~ thoughts with you and family

Story 1

An update on AirTag and unwanted tracking

Apple on Friday clarified some information about AirTags. We published the full statement on the Aussie Mac Zone Apple News page.

AirTag lets users keep track of personal items like their keys, wallet, purse, backpack, luggage, and more through the Find My app. Since AirTag’s launch last April, users have written in to share countless stories of AirTag being instrumental in reuniting them with the things they value.

Thanks to AirTag and the Find My app, a customer who lost his wallet on the subway was able to track it down at a station across town. With the help of an AirTag placed inside a medical kit, a parent whose child lost critical medicine on the bus was later able to find it.

AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products. 

Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag. It’s why the Find My network is built with privacy in mind, uses end-to-end encryption, and why we innovated with the first-ever proactive system to alert you of unwanted tracking. 

We hope this starts an industry trend for others to also provide these sorts of proactive warnings in their products.

We’ve become aware that individuals can receive unwanted tracking alerts for benign reasons, such as when borrowing someone’s keys with an AirTag attached, or when traveling in a car with a family member’s AirPods left inside.

We also have seen reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes.

Apple has been working closely with various safety groups and law enforcement agencies. Through our own evaluations and these discussions, we have identified even more ways we can update AirTag safety warnings and help guard against further unwanted tracking.

Working with Law Enforcement

We have been actively working with law enforcement on all AirTag-related requests we’ve received. Based on our knowledge and on discussions with law enforcement, incidents of AirTag misuse are rare; however, each instance is one too many. 

Every AirTag has a unique serial number, and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID. Apple can provide the paired account details in response to a subpoena or valid request from law enforcement.

We have successfully partnered with them on cases where information we provided has been used to trace an AirTag back to the perpetrator, who was then apprehended and charged.

Law enforcement has shared their appreciation for the assistance we’ve provided in helping them find the source of unwanted tracking.

We’ve identified additional improvements we can make in the information we share and the educational resources we provide, and we will be taking action, including making updates to our law enforcement documentation.

Advancements Coming to AirTag and the Find My Network

The following updates represent important steps Apple is taking:

New privacy warnings during AirTag setup:

In an upcoming software update, every user setting up their AirTag for the first time will see a message that clearly states that AirTag is meant to track their own belongings, that using AirTag to track people without consent is a crime in many regions around the world, that AirTag is designed to be detected by victims, and that law enforcement can request identifying information about the owner of the AirTag.

Addressing alert issues for AirPods:

We’ve heard from users who have reported receiving an “Unknown Accessory Detected” alert. We’ve confirmed this alert will not display if an AirTag is detected near you — only AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or a third-party Find My network accessory.

In the same software update, we will be updating the alert users receive to indicate that AirPods have been traveling with them instead of an “Unknown Accessory.”

Updated support documentation:

Today Apple is updating its unwanted tracking support article on apple.com to communicate the safety features built into AirTag, AirPods, and Find My network accessories.

This page now includes additional explanations of which Find My accessories may trigger an unwanted tracking alert, more visuals to provide specific examples of such alerts, and updated information on what to do after receiving an alert, including instructions for disabling an AirTag, AirPods, or Find My network accessory.

There are also links to resources individuals can use if they feel their safety is at risk, such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the National Center for Victims of Crime.

We’re also investigating a series of updates that we plan to introduce later this year, including:

Precision Finding: This capability allows recipients of an unwanted tracking alert to locate an unknown AirTag with precision. 

iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 users will be able to use Precision Finding to see the distance and direction to an unknown AirTag when it is in range.

As an iPhone user moves, Precision Finding fuses input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope to guide them to the AirTag through a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.

Display alert with sound:

When AirTag automatically emits a sound to alert anyone nearby of its presence and is detected moving with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, we will also display an alert on your device that you can then take action on, like playing a sound or using Precision Finding, if available.

This will help in cases where the AirTag may be in a location where it is hard to hear, or if the AirTag speaker has been tampered with.

Refining unwanted tracking alert logic:

Our unwanted tracking alert system uses sophisticated logic to determine how we alert users. We plan to update our unwanted tracking alert system to notify users earlier that an unknown AirTag or Find My network accessory may be traveling with them.

Tuning AirTag’s sound:

Currently, iOS users receiving an unwanted tracking alert can play a sound to help them find the unknown AirTag. We will be adjusting the tone sequence to use more of the loudest tones to make an unknown AirTag more easily findable.

We design our products to provide a great experience, but also with safety and privacy in mind. Across Apple’s hardware, software, and services teams, we are committed to listening to feedback and innovating to make improvements that continue to guard against unwanted tracking.

MS remember Apple designed AirTags for helping you find your lost items not find your stolen items.  Tell the police all you know but don’t go looking for trouble.

Also no one can stop people doing bad things if they choose to do bad things!

the announcement

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2022/02/an-update-on-airtag-and-unwanted-tracking/

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Story 2

Zoom Is Reportedly Recording Mac Users Even When It’s Not Being Used

Zoom users on Mac devices are reporting that the program is secretly recording them via the microphone, even if they’re not on a call.

techtimes reports ~ According to a report by TechRadar, several Zoom Mac users were saying that the app is keeping their microphones on, even if they’re only running it in the background.

Furthermore, the problem seems to be limited to any and all Macbooks or Mac computers using the native version of the app on macOS Monterey.

Numerous user complaints indicate how Apple’s recent visual update, which lets people know whenever an app or device is accessing their microphone or camera, helped them detect the problem. An orange dot will appear in the menu bar whenever the microphone is being accessed (green if it’s the camera).

User complaints apparently started flooding in after the initial release of Monterey, writes The Register. Zoom also put out an update that supposedly aimed to fix the bug, but multiple people said the update never fixed anything at all.

In a specific Zoom community, one user reported that the orange dot kept persisting after the update. When they quit the app, it was only then when they realised they were on a 2-hour call, when they never even used the app in the first place.

Other Zoom Mac users aired their concerns on Twitter, with user Philipp Holly saying that the orange dot has remained on Mac despite the update:

The update, called Zoom version 5.9.1, explicitly says in its official release note that it has already resolved the microphone light issue. But as many other users still report the bug post-update, there’s no apparent way to fix it unless you completely turn the app off after a call.

more

https://www.techtimes.com/articles/271704/20220211/zoom-mac-devices-secretly-recording.htm

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Story 3

TikToker’s warning after ‘dramatic’ Apple Watch discovery

yahoo! lifestyle reports ~A Sydney woman has taken to TikTok to share how she made a surprising discovery after she was diagnosed with a rare thyroid problem in December.

Lauren Rebecca was diagnosed with thyroid hemiagenesis after months of symptoms that included fatigue, temperature sensitivity and weight gain, but it seems as though her Apple Watch may have detected the change in her health before she even realised.

Taking to TikTok, Lauren shared she was stunned to discover that her Apple Watch showed a huge change in her Vo2 max around the same time her symptoms appeared.

She realised that if she had turned on notifications she would have seen the drop in her Vo2 max and could have sought out medical attention earlier.

Your Vo2 max indicates how well you absorb oxygen during exercise, so the drop Lauren experienced meant she wasn’t taking in as much oxygen as she normally does.

“If you have an Apple watch, you need to go and make sure all of these are turned on right now,” she explained. “Because I didn’t and a couple of weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition… essentially I had all the signs and symptoms… but I would have realised something was going on, had my Apple Watch alerted me of changes.

Because instead of me waiting for the symptoms to get really bad I could have wanted a doctor back in October when there was this dramatic drop in a matter of days and had it investigated then.”

She shared a photo of her oxygen consumption from the Health app on her phone, showing the drop she described in October.

“My cardiovascular system isn’t working as well as it once was, which would correlate with when all of my other symptoms started.”

Lauren explained her symptoms as including fatigue, irregular heart rate, and a “serious sensitivity to heat”, irritability and more.

more

https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/tik-tokers-warning-after-dramatic-apple-watch-discovery-023245534.html

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Story 4

Apple Drops 12 Suppliers After ‘Conflict Minerals’ Audit Finds Violations

iPhone in Canada reports ~ Apple on Wednesday filed the report for its “conflict mineral” audit for the year 2021 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — reports CNet.

The filing reveals that Cupertino severed ties with 12 refineries and smelting companies over suspicions that proceeds from their ore sales were being used to finance armed conflicts.

According to the report, Apple dropped a dozen suppliers that mine tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (known as 3TG) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring countries after they refused to participate in the annual audit or “did not otherwise meet our requirements for the responsible sourcing of minerals.”

Apple requires that its suppliers adhere to a strict code of conduct and identify a wide array of risks, including “social, environmental, and human rights risks.” Apple has also pushed its suppliers towards transitioning to renewable energy in recent years.

“At Apple, our respect for human rights begins with our commitment to treating everyone with dignity and respect,” reads the third-party conflict mineral report.

“Apple’s Board of Directors has adopted a human rights policy … that governs how we treat everyone, including our customers, employees, business partners and people at every level of our supply chain.”

“Blood minerals,” as Apple calls them, have at times been used to fund armed groups associated with murder, rape, and other human rights violations in the countries where they are mined, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Since 2009, Apple has released 163 3TG smelters and refiners from their contracts over violations, said the company. Apple started publishing an annual conflict minerals disclosure and report in 2014, and has routinely purged its supply chain of non-compliant companies since.

According to the Wednesday filing, 2021 marks the seventh straight year that 100% of 3TG smelters and refiners in Apple’s supply chain met the standards of its audit.

more

https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/news/apple-drops-12-suppliers-after-conflict-minerals-audit-finds-violations

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ithelp2u   ~ Pic

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AD Blue Ocean   ~ Pic

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How To

All the Free Stuff You Never Knew Your Library Card Could Get You

Haven’t used your library card lately? You’re missing out on a bunch of free stuff.

lifehacker helps us ~ No matter what happens in the world, your local library remains an oasis of calm—a place where you can teach yourself, conduct research, or simply find a quiet space during your busy day. But modern libraries are a lot more than just book repositories; they’ve evolved into community hubs that offer a wide range of services you may not even be aware of.

If you’ve got a library card in your wallet that you haven’t pulled out since you first received it, you’re probably missing out on a long list of perks that are almost always free. Here are some of the things you never knew you could do with your library card.

Digital media and streaming

Netflix just raised its subscription fees, and there’s little doubt that streaming is going to keep getting increasingly expensive. The good news is that your library card actually gives you access to some of the best streaming options around—all completely free.

First and foremost, your library card probably gives you access to Kanopy, a library- and university-specific streaming platform. While there’s a focus on international and “artsy” film and television there, Kanopy offers a huge collection of films, TV shows, and documentaries, including blockbusters and all-time classics. You also likely have access to Libby and Hoopla, which offer access to even more movies and shows—plus eBooks, audiobooks, comics, and streaming music.

MS all this maybe different in your state or country BUT what a great way to start, even it is to test whether you like someone reading to you.

more

https://lifehacker.com/all-the-free-stuff-you-never-knew-your-library-card-cou-1848514406

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How To

Is Your iPhone Running More Slowly Than Usual

iDropNews helps us ~ Even though the iPhone is crazy fast, there will be times when it might start to slow down for no apparent reason.

If that ever happens to you, there are a few things you can try. First, simply restart your iPhone. It might sound like a joke, but it often does work.

You should also try updating your iPhone to the latest iOS release. It’s possible there could be a bug that Apple already fixed. Apple describes even the smallest point releases as including “performance improvements.”

You can also clean up your iPhone storage. Believe it or not, if your iPhone is too full, it will start to run more slowly, so be sure to delete as much useless data as possible. Anything from old screenshots to unused apps might do the trick. If it’s Safari that’s giving you trouble, you can also try clearing your cache and search history. You can do this in the Safari section of your iPhone’s Settings app.

If all else fails, you can always start from scratch by erasing and resetting your iPhone. Keep in mind, though; this will delete everything on your iPhone, so make sure to make a backup before you do it.

more

https://www.idropnews.com/news

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How To

Your iPhone’s Screen Isn’t Responding

iDropNews again helps us ~ If you feel like your iPhone doesn’t register your taps anymore, there’s a good chance you have a faulty display, which is usually a hardware problem. In this case, you’ll need to change your screen.

Before going that far, though, make sure the problem really is your physical screen. If it only happens in certain apps, then the problem is much more likely the app you’re using and not your iPhone hardware.

Sometimes this can also be an iOS-level software problem too, so it’s worth restarting your iPhone or updating to the latest iOS release to see if that does the trick. While your iPhone’s turned off, also try cleaning the screen—and your hands—too. A bit of dirt may be causing the problem.

If none of that works, you might need to look for a display replacement. Just like your battery, you could do it on your own, but if you’re not that tech-savvy, you might want to talk to tech support first.

This is also normally covered by your iPhone’s warranty or any AppleCare+ coverage you may have, so definitely take your iPhone in to an Apple Store or authorised service provider if it’s still relatively new.

more with pics

https://www.idropnews.com/news

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Lastly, Apple has released Security Updates for everything

So please tell your family to do all the updates

 

Thanks to Blue Ocean Webhosting and ithelp2u for their support

Show Promotion

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

 

https://aussiemaczone.com.au/amz404/

there you will see the last 6 weeks shows notes

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

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

AND

Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone

This week we have Apples Press Release re AirTags and use by Baddies

Please show your family.

Thanks to our supporters you our listeners! 

No infamous sign off this week

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