Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 259

Show 259 – Oct 22, 2018

Run Sheet ~ Garth, Zarn & Michael

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Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Story 1

Its Official

Apple may unveil new Macs, iPads later this month

Apple has announced a second fall product event, scheduled for 30 October, which is expected to feature updates to the company’s iPad and Mac lineups.

But a number of rumours have suggested Apple has a new iPad Pro in the works, making it a likely product introduction at the event in New York.

Reports have said that Apple plans to unveil an 11-inch iPad Pro—presumably taking the place of the existing 10.5-inch iPad Pro—alongside an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

The biggest changes for the iPad Pro could include a switch from Touch ID fingerprint authentication to Face ID facial recognition for authentication—as well as the removal of the home button, which is no longer required for fingerprint log-in. The new iPad Pro would thus introduce the types of navigation gestures used on the iPhone X and iPhone XS, according to some reports.

Meanwhile, a new Mac notebook has been expected to launch this fall and take the place of the MacBook Air, along with expected updates to the iMac and Mac Mini, according to Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, who’s had a strong track record on Apple product predictions. Those new Macs are also good bets for the 30 October event.

Apple released a minor processor update to the MacBook Air in June 2017, but the laptop has stayed mostly unchanged for years. The iMac was last updated at the same time, with updated processors and improved storage and display.

As for the Mac Mini—Apple’s low-priced, compact-sized desktop—it was last updated in October 2014.

This article originally appeared at


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Story 2

Apple says ‘dangerous’ Australian encryption laws put ‘everyone at risk’

“It would be wrong to weaken security for millions of law-abiding customers in order to investigate the very few who pose a threat,” the tech giant said.

Apple has come out with one of its strongest defences of encryption yet, saying it is the “single best tool we have to protect data and ultimately lives.”

The tech giant has made a submission to the Australian government in response to proposed encryption laws in the country that it says are “dangerously ambiguous” and have the potential to compromise security, safety and privacy for millions of people — not just in Australia, but around the world.

The Australian parliament is currently considering new encryption laws that would require tech giants such as Apple, Facebook, WhatsApp and more to provide access to encrypted communications to law enforcement for policing crime.

The so-called “Assistance and Access Bill” sets out three levels of assistance that companies can be called on to provide to police and national security agencies. These range from “voluntary assistance” all the way up to a notice issued by the attorney general requiring tech companies to “build a new capability” in hardware or software to allow access to encrypted communications.

Australia’s conservative federal government has insisted that the laws would not require tech companies to build so-called “back doors” into encrypted communications.

‘Dangerously ambiguous’

But Apple has slammed the bill, saying it is too broad, that the wording is “dangerously ambiguous,” and that it would create “unprecedented” powers for law enforcement without appropriate judicial oversight, including the ability to intercept encrypted communications and “eavesdrop” on people in real time.

Apple also says the proposed Australian laws could force the company to break the laws of other jurisdictions such as the US and Europe, and compromise the privacy of users around the world.

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Story 3

App Store Bundles Gain Support for Mac Apps and Free Apps With Subscriptions

Apple has announced expanded features for App Store bundles, introducing support for both Mac apps and free apps with subscriptions for the first time. 

Mac app developers are now able to create bundles of up to 10 apps, allowing customers to purchase multiple Mac apps at once at a discounted price. 

Bundles like these have long been available through the iOS app store for purchasing multiple games or apps at one time, but until today, Mac App Store developers were not able to create similar bundles. 

Apple is also now allowing app developers to set up bundles that include free apps with auto-renewable subscriptions, letting users purchase an app bundle and access multiple apps at one subscription price.


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Story 4

2018 ARIA Song of the Year

Voting on Apple Music

There are 10 songs nominated for Song of the Year.

To vote for your favourite song you simply need to listen to it for more than 30 seconds. There are some rules that do apply though. You must stream the song for 30 seconds or more and only from the Apple Music Song of the Year playlist. Streaming the songs outside of the playlist will not count.

You’ve got till midnight November 11 to vote!


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Story 7

Australian government spent AU$1.2b on IT in 2017-18

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities spent a total of AU$1.2 billion on IT and digital initiatives in 2017-18, a report from the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has revealed.

The DTA is responsible for looking into the structure of technology projects undertaken across all federal government departments and agencies that exceed AU$10 million.

After being charged with the responsibility in early 2017, the DTA revealed in its Annual Report that over the course of 2017-18 it monitored 84 IT projects, valued at a total of AU$7.8 billion.

ZDNet reported in May that 14 of the then 80 IT projects it was overseeing were being “closely” monitored, labelling the projects from the Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Human Services, Department of Education, Department of Finance, Department of Defence, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Bureau of Statistics, Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Court Australia, and the DTA itself as requiring “engagement”.


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