Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 178

Show 178 – Feb 20, 2017

Run Sheet ~ Garth & Michael & Karen

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Also before we get going I said last week “Apple services to double over the next 12 months ~ I should have said over the next 4 years”


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Story 1

Apple Stock hits an all time high

FastCompany tells us why ~ What a difference a few months make. After hitting a low point in May of last year, Apple’s stock has rallied back 47%, and it just hit an all-time high today. Shares catapulted past $134.54 a few hours ago, beating a previous high in April 2015.

So what’s going on? Part of the answer lies in the fact that Apple has been buying back stock—6% of the total since September 2015, as CNBC’s Eric Chemi pointed out. So there are simply fewer (read: more sought-after) shares on the market today.

But there’s more to it than that. The real answers likely have more to do with Apple’s future than its past. If anything, the company’s fundamentals have gotten worse since 2015, and yet it’s not hard to find analysts saying that Apple stock is still a good buy. Some expect the price to keep moving up this year, perhaps into the $160 range.


Story 2 – Some Aussie news, Yeah

Business Insider Australia reports ~ Music and tech investors gave $6 million to an Australian startup making headphones that adjust to your hearing

An Australian startup that invented headphones that optimise sound according to strengths and weaknesses of the user’s ears has scored $6 million seed funding from tech and music industry investors.

Melbourne’s Nura attracted funds from Blackbird Ventures, the former chief of Google Access, Craig Barratt, and music industry figures Ric Salmon and Brian Message from ATC Management, which represents the likes of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey.

The latest capital injection came after the company last year raised a then-Australian record of $2.5 million on Kickstarter in three weeks to create the prototype of its flagship product Nuraphones.

“Nura has developed unique technology that dramatically improves how we hear music. I’m excited to see them delivering on their vision as they begin to ship their first product,” said Barratt.

Nuraphones detect which frequencies the user’s ears hear well and don’t hear well in a 30-second test. The device stores this information in a profile and subsequently boosts sounds for the user at frequencies that need it, resulting in a customised listening experience other headphones can’t match.

The 30-second diagnostic is performed by playing sounds that provoke “otoacoustic emissions” – tiny sounds ears produce that can indicate which frequencies are being delivered to the brain and which aren’t.

“We don’t hear with our ears, we hear with our brains. Nuraphones are the only product that can automatically, precisely and objectively determine how our ears shape the sound our brain perceives. This is fundamental to perfecting the transmission of music and the way consumer audio systems are designed,” said Nura co-founder and chief executive Kyle Slater.

The company said the seed funding would be used to scale up production of its headphones, which have swelled in demand since Business Insider first reviewed a prototype in May last year.

Blackbird Ventures partner Rick Baker said praised the founders’ “passion” for music and hailed Nuraphones as “a revolutionary product”.

“It will blow you away when you hear your personalised sound,” he said. “We have seen Nura grow from three to 12 people in 15 months, build a sophisticated global supply chain and become Australia’s biggest Kickstarter campaign. They have a long term vision and a talented team.”

The full production release date of Nuraphones was not disclosed, but the company said they would be available for $399 “later this year”. Current pre-orders are discounted to $299 per headset and the product is available in both wired and wireless form.

ATC Management’s Salmon said that he and his team are frequently approached about new audio technology.

“Often, like hearing a band’s first demo, it doesn’t lead anywhere but the first time Kyle introduced me to the Nuraphone prototype, it was immediately obvious they were sitting on a game-changer.”


Story 3 – Some Aussie news, Booo

On Friday a bomb threat forced evacuation of Apple’s flagship Australian store

The three-floor Sydney outlet, located on George Street, was cleared out just prior to 1 p.m. local time “as a precaution” during a “police operation,” a spokesperson for the police informed Business Insider. Photos from, though, show a police dog joining officers in the building, and the site quotes one witness as saying that he “heard store employees talking about a bomb threat, not a drill.”

During the incident, the area was cordoned off and traffic was diverted. Police left not much later, and shoppers formed a line to get back in.

Apple has periodically been subject to bomb threats, including not just its retail stores but even some of its offices and infrastructure.


Story 4

Russian hacking group Fancy Bear broadens its cyber-espionage campaign with new malware for Macs

The Xagent malware that is designed to collect and transmit hacked files from iPhones to servers operated by hackers is now targeting Macbooks, say security researchers at Bitdefender labs. Fancy Bear also known as APT28 is also known for its advanced cyberwarfare tools for penetrating Windows, iOS, Android and Linux devices.

More from IBTimes UK

How Russia hacks: FireEye analysis exposes main tactics used by ‘Fancy Bear’

Russia-linked DNC hackers launched wave of cyberattacks hours after Trump victory

Fancy Bear hacker group ramped up zero-day attacks before Microsoft, Adobe released patches

Why advertise with us

The latest payload is specially designed for victims running Mac OS X to steal passwords, grab screenshots and steal iPhone backups stored on their Macbooks. OS X is the current series of the Unix-based OS developed and marketed by Apple, which means all Macbooks models released in 2016 along with any other Mac on the OS X is vulnerable.

The malware acts as a backdoor that possesses advanced cyber-espionage capabilities and is planted on the system via the Komplex downloader. Once installed the mechanism checks if a debugger is attached to the process and if it detects one, it terminates itself to prevent execution


Reminder a few more have contacted us re –

AMZ get together

We are planning a couple of Aussie Mac Zone get togethers in April.  eMail Garth or myself your Suburb so we can figure out central locations.

The more people for each state will decide where we go.

A few people have emailed so far.

I’m thinking Saturday April 1, for Sydney as Glen will be down from Queensland (Also it is Apples Birthday)


This Weeks Discussion



Aussie Tech Radio @

Aussie Tech Security Podcast


Aussie Tech Heads Podcast


How To 1

Carrying on from the Russian Hacking Story

  • download free malwarebytes from their website (this is not an ad)
  • run it, restart and run again, and then maybe once a week
  • Now open iTunes
  • connect your iPhone and/or iPad
  • select its icon next to the Apps menu on the top left

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 2.41.42 pm.jpg

  • now select This computer & Encrypt backup ~ REMEMBER the Password

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 2.43.48 pm.jpg

  • Click Backup now


How To 2

Speak Screen

How to enable Speak Screen

How to use Speak Screen

    • Navigate to the screen you want read aloud.
    • Swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen.


With Magnifier, users who have low vision can use the great camera on their devices to enlarge the text in menus, pill bottles, and other items where they might need a little support for their vision to read the content. Magnifier is found alongside Zoom (which enlarges onscreen content) in the Accessibility Settings. Once it is enabled, you can activate the Magnifier by triple-clicking the Home button.


How To 3

Thanks to Mashable for a bit of fun ~ Siri is now Bat-tastic

Siri got a Lego Batman-themed update.

Apple’s digital assistant will surprise you with references to The Lego Batman Movie if you pretend she is the Batcomputer.

The gimmick works if you say “Hey ‘Puter” or “Hey Computer” (gravely Will Arnett voice not required). When you do, Siri will respond with a handful of Batman-appropriate responses like, “How can I help you, Lego Batman” and “Welcome home, sir. FYI, Robin is trying on costumes in the Batcave again. He’s doing some pirouettes in Batryshnikov.”

Here’s a look at some of the responses we got when we tried it out:

Pasted Graphic.tiff


A quick note re Apple Music, Eddy Cue stated that it is now “well past” 20 Million subscribers. So we have gone from 19 Million to well past 20 Million 4 months


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