Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 238

Show 238 – May 21, 2018

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael

This week sponsors

athwebhosting.com.au

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Our Aussie Apple Rambling

Overcast Issues???

Story 1

App Store Developers Form a ‘Union’ Ahead of WWDC Calling for Free App Trials, Better Rates

A group of App Store developers calling themselves “The Developers Union” today published an open letter to Apple asking the company to commit to allowing free trials for apps and a “more reasonable revenue cut.” 

The group says that it is first aiming to get Apple to implement free trials for all apps in the iOS and Mac App Stores by July 2019, with plans after that to advocate for other changes.

The initiative is led by Brent Simmons (MarsEdit, Vesper, and NetNewsWire creator), Jake Schumacher (App: The Human Story documentary maker), Loren Morris (product designer), and Roger Ogden (software designer). 

The Developers Union is not a “trade union” in the traditional sense of the word, but it is aiming to bring developers and supporters together to advocate for App Store changes. 

In an interview with WIRED, the team behind The Developers Union said the aim is to gain a thousand members this week and 20,000 by early June, when the Worldwide Developers Conference takes place. 

Free trials for apps in the Mac and iOS App Stores have been something that developers have wanted implemented for years. Right now, apps that offer subscriptions are able to provide customers with free trials before requiring payment, but for apps that do not have a subscription offering, there is no way for a free trial to be offered. 

This is a major downside for apps that are on the more expensive side that people might not want to purchase without trying first, and it has been a major issue for Mac App Store developers in particular. 

The Developers Union is hoping to persuade Apple to expand free trials to all apps, not just those that offer a subscription-based service. Free trials also must include an authorisation for payment at the end of the trial, something developers would also like to see eliminated. 

Revenue sharing, another topic the group hopes to broach with Apple, could be trickier than convincing the company to implement a free trial feature. Apple currently receives a 30 percent cut of all revenue developers earn from the App Store, and the App Store makes up a huge portion of its services business. 

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/05/18/app-store-developers-form-union-ahead-of-wwdc/

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Story 2

Apple Updates Its Website for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Apple has updated its homepage and accessibility webpage to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The event, which Apple has marked in a variety of ways over the years, was created to promote access to technology and foster inclusion for people with disabilities.

Apple’s homepage includes a banner image highlighting the accessibility features of its products with the statement ‘Technology is most powerful when it empowers everyone.’ The Accessibility section elaborates on that idea with a video first published in 2016 and the following:

Taking a family portrait. Catching up over FaceTime. Raising the blinds to let in the morning light. We want everyone to enjoy the everyday moments that technology helps make possible, so we work to make every Apple product accessible from the very start. Because the true value of a device isn’t measured by how powerful it is, but by how much it empowers you.

The remainder of the Accessibility page is organised into sections dedicated to vision, hearing, physical and motor skills, and learning and literacy that outline accessibility features of Apple’s products and demonstrates them with animations and videos.

The updates to Apple’s website and its announcement that it is working with schools for blind and deaf students to help teach them to code is a reminder of the importance of accessibility to the company that hopefully encourages third-party developers to make accessibility a priority too.

https://www.macstories.net

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Reminder this week we are bought to you by athwebhosting.com.au 

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And next week will have some more exciting news about a demo code for Aussie Mac Zone listeners

Story 3

Twitter Announces New End-of-Life Date for APIs and Pricing That Affects Third-Party Apps

In April, Twitter delayed a transition to a new API that was expected to have a significant impact on third-party Twitter clients like Twitterrific and Tweetbot. The delay came in the wake of an outcry from users of third-party Twitter clients prompted by developers who banded together to encourage users to complain to Twitter about the API changes that were set to take effect on June 19, 2018. Today, Twitter announced that those changes would go forward on August 16, 2018 – about two months later than originally planned.

In addition to announcing transition date, Twitter announced pricing for its new API, and it’s expensive. A subscription covering 100-250 users will cost $2899/month, which works out to over $11 per user for 250 users. Anyone with over 250 users, which would include all the major third-party Twitter clients, is advised to contact Twitter for enterprise pricing. However, the pricing on the API’s lower tiers doesn’t leave much room for optimism.

Third-party clients that can’t or don’t want to pay those prices will have to make do without timeline streaming and push notifications for likes and retweets. Other notifications will be delayed approximately 1-2 minutes according to statements by Haddad to TechCrunch.

https://www.macstories.net

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Story 4

What the Heck  ~  Samsung Compares Galaxy S9 to Very Slow iPhone 6 in Frivolous Ad

First and foremost, instead of comparing the two-month-old Galaxy S9 to the iPhone X, or even the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, the one-minute clip shows a woman becoming increasingly frustrated with her seemingly glacially slow iPhone 6, released in 2014, as she travels by plane to visit her sister. 

Samsung acknowledges this fact with fine print that says “newer iPhone models are currently available,” but that doesn’t stop it from comparing its 2018 flagship with a nearly four year old iPhone model.

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Reminder this week we are bought to you  by Aussie Tech Radio @

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Story 5

How to delete the ‘mshelper’ malware from macOS

New malware affecting macOS has started to circulate, with reports from Mac users on Apple’s support forums and Reddit revealing systems are being affected by it. Affected Mac systems typically have their processor running at full tilt, which can prevent other software from working optimally due to resources being used on this unwanted program. 

The high processor usage can also cause the Mac to run its fans constantly to try and cool everything down. For MacBook users, mshelper’s interference also means the battery life will erode away faster than normal.

Checking for mshelper

Open Activity Monitor, which can be found in the Applications folder under Utilities. Alternately, you can search for “Activity Monitor” in Finder, under a “This Mac” search. 

Once Activity Monitor is open, click CPU to bring up a list of processes currently using it, then click the Process Name tab to sort the list by alphabetical order. Scroll down the list until you reach where mshelper would appear alphabetically.

You can also click %CPU to sort the list by processor usage. As mshelper is a processor-intensive program, it should appear at the top of the list. 

Removing mshelper

While it is possible to kill the process, this is futile due to it automatically restarting once closed. One way to stop this from happening is to delete just two files buried in the Mac’s library.

In Finder, select your Mac’s internal storage, then select Library followed by the LaunchDaemons folder. Select com.pplauncher.plist and delete it. 

The other file is also found in the Library, under Application Support then pplauncher. Select and delete pplauncher. 

At this point, you can kill the process.

https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/05/18/how-to-delete-the-mshelper-malware-from-macos

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How to 1

Hey Siri

Do you have a pet?

She has about 10 answers

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This week in Apple History

May 19, 2001

Apple Computer opens the first two locations of their new retail stores in McLean, Virginia and Washington, D.C. In the first weekend of opening, the stores will attract 7,700 shoppers and will sell a combined $599,000. While ridiculed by many technology “experts” at the time, the Apple Stores have been insanely successful and was one of the key reasons for Apple’s resurgence in the 2000’s.

May 19, 2006

Apple opens their second store in New York City, a 20,000 square-foot shop at the underground concourse of the General Motors building at 767 Fifth Avenue. Open 24-hours a day, the shop is visible at street level through a 32-foot glass cube. Designed by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs at a cost of $9 million, people stood in line for hours prior to the store’s opening.

May 19, 1980

At the National Computer Conference in Anaheim, California, Apple Computer introduces the Apple III. It is the company’s first attempt at a business computer, its first departure from the Apple II architecture, and it will also become Apple’s first real failure. Apple expects the Apple III to be released in July, but in one of the worst cases of delay in tech history, the system wouldn’t reach stores until January. Once released, the Apple III will be plagued by component failures that would ultimately lead to large recalls. The Apple III never recovered from it’s original negative reception and was discontinued by Apple in 1984.

 

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