Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 227

Show 227 – March 5, 2018

Run Sheet ~ Garth & Michael & Zarn

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Our Aussie Apple Rambling

Story 1

Greens fail to win support for bid to block Apple’s Melbourne Fed Square store

An attempt to block the Andrews government’s deal with Apple to build a store in Federation Square has failed in parliament, clearing the way for the contentious retail development.

The Greens sought to disallow planning approval for the new Apple shop, which would require the demolition of the existing Yarra building, currently home to the Koorie Heritage Trust.

But the party was friendless in the upper house on Wednesday, its disallowance motion defeated by 34 votes to four, as Labor, the Coalition and the cross-bench combined to vote it down.

American tech giant Apple and the Andrews government have been in negotiations to build a shop in Federation Square for about two years but kept the talks secret until the project was confirmed five days before Christmas.

It will be one of just a handful of Apple “flagship stores” in the world, a two-storey, gold-toned glass pavilion that will replace one of Federation Square’s original buildings.



Story 2

Apple Launching Pilot Program Allowing Repairs of Soon-to-Be Vintage Mid 2011 iMac in United States, reports MacRumors

Apple has internally announced it is launching a new pilot program that will permit Apple Stores and Apple Authorised Service Providers to continue offering repair service for 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models released in mid 2011, despite the fact they will be classified as vintage starting next month.

The pilot program will be available in the United States only between March 1, 2018 and August 31, 2018, subject to parts availability from Apple, according to the company’s internal memo obtained by MacRumors. After the pilot ends, repairs will only be available in California and Turkey, as required by law.

Apple and Authorised Service Providers can usually repair an iMac’s display and hinge, logic board, graphics card, hard drive or SSD, power supply, and other components, although the exact availability of replacement parts remains to be seen. It’s unclear if RAM and storage upgrades will continue to be offered.

Apple typically offers repairs and replacement parts for a Mac until five years after it is no longer manufactured. Mid 2011 iMac models are now approaching this cutoff, as the last education-only configuration was discontinued in March 2013, but these machines will now remain eligible for service for an additional six months.

Apple didn’t specify if the pilot program will eventually expand to other vintage products, or whether it will be available outside of the United States


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Story 3

Apple is leading the race to $1 trillion

CNN Money reports, it’s looking like at least one — if not more — American tech giants may soon find themselves worth more than $1 trillion dollars. That’s a lot of zeroes. ~A dozen in fact.

Apple s in the lead right now. Thanks to strong demand for its new iPhones, the company now has a market value of about $910 billion.

The stock only needs to go up another 10% for Apple to top $1 trillion.

But even if Apple gets to the trillion dollar mark first, it may soon have company. Apple rival Alphabet — aka Google, has a market cap just shy of $800 billion.

Amazon and Microsoft are also nipping at the heels of Apple and Google. Both of the Seattle-based tech titans are worth more than $730 billion.

And these two companies seem to have more momentum than Apple and Google, whose stocks are up about 6% this year.


Story 4

Apple Shares New Tutorial Videos on Framing Photos and Composing Shots With the Telephoto Camera

Apple has shared two new iPhone photography tutorial videos on its website, focused on composing images using the telephoto camera and experimenting with framing.

Each short video walks users through a series of step-by-step instructions on how to use the camera to capture unique shots.

In the telephoto camera video, for example, Apple suggests using the telephoto lens to “simplify composition” by cutting out more of the background and focusing on your subject. Telephoto images are available on the iPhone X and larger Plus model iPhones with dual cameras, such as the iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 8 Plus.

In the framing video, Apple suggests looking for interesting shapes in an image and then placing your subject near the shape to get a natural frame.

Like most of the videos in Apple’s ongoing photography series, these tutorials are aimed at people who aren’t particularly familiar with photography techniques or the feature set available on the iPhone.


Story 5

Smartphone security comparison gives Apple top billing, only two Android brands do ok


9to5 Mac reports, An analysis of security updates for different smartphone brands unsurprisingly gives Apple top billing, with just one criticism. When it came to Android brands, however, only two managed halfway decent ratings, with many big brands being rated poorly

SecurityLab tweeted a table which examined four different factors:

    • The shortest time to publish a security update following discovery of a vulnerability
    • The maximum delay in making the update available to all
    • Whether or not updates were independent of carriers
    • How long a device is supported with security updates

These were further broken down – for example, in the shortest time to update, this was split by the first device and other devices from the same manufacturer.

Apple was rated green in all categories. Its shortest time to issue an update was measured in days, they are available worldwide within one day, updates are independent of carriers, and Apple supports devices for five years – with the sole exception of the iPhone 5c which was supported for four years.

Essential Phone and Google were the only two Android brands to score reasonably highly, though both were dinged for relying on carriers for some security updates, meaning that what should take days can end up taking months. Both brands also issue security updates for only three years rather than five.

Market leader Samsung was a long way down the rankings. The fastest security updates are measured in weeks rather than days, other devices can take months, and some updates are only issued quarterly. Samsung also only supports devices for times ranging from 2.5 years down to as little as one year for some phones.


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Story 6

Australian decryption legislation will not undermine ‘legitimate encryption’: Home Affairs

Calling government proposals to seek decryption of communications a “backdoor” is a cartoon-like assumption, according to Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs Michael Pezzullo

Australia’s push for a decryption magic bullet will not undermine “legitimate encryption”, and may not need legislation at all, according to Department of Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo.

Pezzullo told Senate Estimates on Monday morning that the preference remains dialogue and consultation with industry, and if newly-minted Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton deemed it was necessary, then legislation would be introduced.

Although pushed for specifics by Australian Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John, Pezzullo said the legislation would not “undermine legitimate encryption” and would balance societal needs for encryption.

“The challenge for governments and parliaments all around the world is how do you ensure that encryption is used for legitimate societal purposes, and not misused by — in the same way the internet is misused through the dark web — that encryption is available to those who use it for legitimate purposes and not otherwise,” he said.

The secretary for Home Affairs struck out at descriptions of the decryption proposal as a “backdoor”.

“That’s the shorthand, colloquial, and in many respects, highly ill-informed shorthand that is sometimes used in this field,” Pezzullo said.

“You assume that a backdoor has to be created, I’m just saying that that is a cartoon-like assumption — not that you are making — but you’ve seen the literature.”

MS seeing the leaks that happen from All Governments around the world it is impossible for a decryption method to be kept secret in may opinion


In submissions to the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement’s inquiry into Impact of new and emerging information and communications technology, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) warned that law enforcement would be degraded by a number of new technologies.

The agencies said the arrival of 5G, IPv6, and mesh networking would make interception of communications through existing legislation harder. In particular, the use of 5G in concert with other access modes across the same session would hinder surveillance.


Story 7

iTunes Store drops support for Windows Vista on May 25th and original Apple TV

Ah, 2007: the days when Windows Vista was all the rage (or inducing rage), the Apple TV was brand new and music download stores were the hottest way to get the latest albums. Apple certainly remembers that year… and would like you to move on. The company has posted a support page warning that the iTunes Store will no longer work on Windows XP, Windows Vista and first-generation Apple TVs as of May 25th. iTunes itself will function, but new purchases and re-downloads are off limits. “Security changes” necessitate dropping these older platforms, Apple said.

My dissatisfaction with the reporting by many of this story is that they have used pictures of the first “little black Apple TV” and not the Original Apple TV.




Story 8

Apple’s USA Elk Grove Repair Facility Makes ~20 Accidental 911 Calls a Day

Repair technicians who work at Apple’s repair facility in Elk Grove, California make frequent accidental 911 calls when testing Apple devices, Elk Grove police dispatcher Jamie Hudson told a local Sacramento news site.

The influx of calls started back in October of 2017, which coincides with the introduction of the Emergency SOS feature that was added to the iPhone with the launch of iOS 11.

Elk Grove Police have received an average of 20 accidental 911 calls per day from Apple, adding up to about 1,600 calls since October. Police dispatcher Hudson says the calls take “valuable seconds” away from real 911 calls that could be life and death situations.

It’s not just the Elk Grove Police department that’s affected — the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department “Communication Centre has also received 47 accidental 911 calls since January 1, and sometimes, dispatchers can hear technicians working in the background. There is a loud tone and a countdown that plays when Emergency SOS is activated with the auto call feature, but it may be that repair technicians are not able to hear it.


Garth commented on a story about Revamped MacBook Airs coming


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