Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 220

Sorry for the Audio quality, it all down to me, Michael

Show 220 – January 15, 2018

Run Sheet ~ Garth & Michael & Zarn

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Our Aussie Apple Rambling

Happy New Year to Everybody

Story 1

The world ended ~ 

Sorry, Apple admitted to slowing down iPhones that had known battery degradation.

Reminder, this is to stop your iPhone crashing when it had power intensive requirements.

This is why some people never noticed any difference to there iPhones and other people did.

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Story 2

Apple released the new iMac Pro

Starting at A$7299.00

And is for pro users that use multi threading apps

Jason Snell, from sixcolors.com. reports that when he is de-noising his podcast recordings it takes about 60% of the time to do, BUT because of multi threading in that app he can do more than 1 de-noise at a time!

So if your not sure you need to spend the A$7000 plus, you don’t.

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Story 3

Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws

Macworld.com reports, there are three separate potential security issues at play here, one named Meltdown and two named Spectre. They all take advantage of something called speculative execution. Basically, modern CPUs try to speed things up by taking educated guesses to predict what the next operation will be, and will go so far as to execute them ahead of time. If the prediction is correct, the CPU has an answer all ready to go. If it’s incorrect, the “speculative execution” is removed. The whole process is nearly instantaneous and should be invisible to the software and OS. The Meltdown and Spectre bugs allow hackers to read and access this information in the OS kernel memory by taking advantage of the delay in its rollback.

What devices do they effect?

In a nutshell, all of them. If you have a PowerMac G5 or an iPhone 3GS, you’re probably okay, but all modern Macs and iOS devices are affected. While Meltdown mainly affects Intel-based Macs and PCs, in Apple’s case it also affects iOS devices. Spectre affects all iOS, macOS, and tvOS. WatchOS is unaffected by the Meltdown and Spectre flaws.

What’s Apple doing to fix it?

Well, there isn’t really a real fix. These exploits rely on flaws baked right into the very design of the CPUs themselves. The best Apple or anyone can do is mitigate the risk, and Apple is already taking steps to do so. In December, Apple released macOS 10.13.2, iOS 11.2, and tvOS 11.2 with mitigations to lessen the risk, and iOS 11.2.2 also “includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre.” Additionally, Safari 11.0.2 includes mitigations against Spectre on macOS. Apple says more mitigations are on the way.

I’ve heard about slowdowns. Will my device be affected?

It’s too early to say, but Apple assured users that there won’t be any noticeable performance impact. It says it ran the December update through GeekBench, Speedometer, JetStream, and ARES-6 and saw “no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS.” Additionally, it has tested its Safari mitigations with the similar results, including an impact of less than 2.5 percent using the JetStream benchmark.

https://www.macworld.com/article/3246007/security/protect-your-mac-meltdown-spectre-faq.html

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Story 3 cont…

How can I protect my device from attack?

Update your OS

This is the obvious answer, but it’s also the best one. As we said, there is no real fix for Meltdown or Spectre, just ways to make exploits harder to pull off. Apple has already begun taking steps to protect users, but they will only be effective if they’re installed.

So, if you can update your Mac and iOS device to High Sierra and iOS 11, respectively, do so. Apple has squashed many of the early bugs and the latest versions are running smoothly, so if you want the best possible protection from Meltdown and Spectre, the latest version of the latest operating systems are the best way to do it.

Update Safari, Firefox, and Chrome

Apart from macOS, iOS, and tvOS, Apple is also updating Safari to address a possible Javascript exploit of the Spectre flaw. This will be arriving soon, so check the updates tab in the App Store app to install it once it arrives. Firefox 57.0.4 adds protections to that browser, and and Chrome 64 (to be released on January 23, 2018) will do the same for Google’s browser. In the meantime, an optional feature called Site Isolation can help reduce risk in Chrome—read more about that here.

Don’t download apps from untrusted developers

Hackers can’t get into your system unless you let them in, so be mindful of where your apps are coming from, especially in the Mac. Obviously, the Mac App Store is the safest way to download apps, but there are a number of totally legit developers that offer apps outside Apple’s store. Most of them are safe to install, but you should do some research before hitting the download button. macOS already users by default when launching apps from unidentified developers, so pay attention to any prompts you get when opening an app for the first time.

Stay Vigilant

As Apple says, the risk to users is fairly low, but the scale here is massive. With hundreds of million vulnerable devices, hackers are going to be working overtime to exploit these flaws, so be aware of a anything amiss with your device or accounts, and take the appropriate action if necessary.

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Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone

(remind ~ how to Favourite)

New stories added this week

Just a reminder we are now on Spotify too – just search Aussie Mac Zone

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Story 4

Now, some good news

Marc Gurman of Bloomberg, a man well known for his sources within and knowledge of Apple, dropped a bit of a bombshell. He reported that Apple will be shifting its App Store policies to allow Universal Binaries to be created that include dual iOS and macOS compatibility.

Big News, No Matter What

Considering that Apple has always been cagey about anything seen as crossing over between or unifying iOS and macOS, if true, this news will be a big deal no matter how far it actually reaches. Other than Continuity, the Shared Clipboard, AirPlay, and iCloud, there are few bridges that directly link iOS and macOS. So, even if this goes no further than having truly Universal Binaries, it will still be a significant shift.

Thoughts??

Will we end up with one OS for Mac, TV and

iDevices in 1 year or 5 years or….

https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-apple-creating-a-link-between-its-app-s/f-4898b8b46b%2Fipadinsight.com

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Story 5

Our 2018 tech resolutions??

MS

Improve The Show Quality – hopefully, you can all hear a difference in our new mics that Zarn & I are using.  Also a change in the way we record the video.

Do More Reviews – I downloaded about 5 unboxing videos to youtube over the break and will have reviews on those products and more to come over the following weeks

More guests – so please email michael@aussiemaczone.com.au I know some of you have already emailed me and I will be in touch soon

GH

more editing of the audio of this podcast

make a new intro for the podcast

ZK

more games

learn more

improve the producing of AMZ

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How To 1

iOS mail

The Mail app hides the basic function of adding attachments. You won’t find a paperclip icon anywhere. When composing an email, double-tap in the body of the email to bring up the Select/Select All/Quote Level menu. Tap the right arrow to get to the Add Attachment option and then you can choose to add a file from iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive.

How To 2

Use Siri to search emails

Stop using Mail’s search bar and start using Siri to find emails faster. Just ask Siri to “search” or “show” or “find” emails about a topic or from one of your contacts. You can also use Siri to remind you to come back to an email draft to finish it later. When composing an email, just tell Siri to, “Remind me to finish this later” or at a specific time and she will add it to the Reminders app.

Story 6

My little tale of BEEP, BEEP, BEEP

This is why we backup.

Decided to update the iMac we use for producing the podcast and doing the Unbox videos.

Backed up, wiped clean the drive, updated the OS, updated the apps we use including OBS – Open Broadcast System & iMovie

Looking through OBS Settings I thought I’d change the video recording from mov to H264. Got everything working fine.

So now I start doing recordings – all good.

I import the recording into iMovie and get lots of Bright Green artefacts on my arms, sometimes.  Try another camera, same outcome.  Disconnect and move a piece of equipment near my recording area.

Do a recording, import into iMovie.  Appears to be OK. Solved – sigh of relief!

Do another recording. Import, into iMovie, same Bright Green Artefacts.

So, wipe the drive, restore drive with original backup, test. All Good!

Then, again looking through OBS Settings I change the video recording from mov to H264.

Do another recording. Import, into iMovie, same Bright Green Artefacts.

About 20 hours later, I have the answer and the iMac IS NOT updated.

So here we go again!!

 

Thank to our listeners, sponsors & supporters

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