Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 269

Show 269 – Jan 21, 2019

Run Sheet ~ Michael

aussietechradio .com

Aussie Tech Heads Podcasting


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Story 1

Apple ordered to pull part of press release in Qualcomm case

The iPhone maker was banned from selling the iPhone 7 and 8 models in Germany in December following a patent dispute with Qualcomm.

Qualcomm on Thursday obtained the preliminary injunction stopping Apple from using a statement that it released to the press in response to the December ruling.

At the time, the iPhone maker said that it would no longer stock the iPhone 7 and 8 at its 15 retail outlets in Germany but those models would remain available to customers through more than 4,300 carriers and resellers across Germany.

“The press release … is misleading as it contains statements that are at least potentially deceptive about the availability of the goods, namely the iPhones affected by the ruling,” a three-judge panel wrote in the latest ruling.

The judges said Apple’s press release gives consumers and retailers the false impression of unlimited availability of the phones.


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Story 2

Johnson & Johnson study to determine whether Apple Watch can diagnose stroke risk

Apple is partnering with pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson to study whether the Apple Watch can be used to diagnose increased risk of a stroke.

A stroke is when poor blood flow in the brain results in brain damage. Common symptoms include partial paralysis, partial loss of vision and difficulties speaking or understanding speech …

Some symptoms may be temporary, while others may prove permanent. Stroke can also prove fatal, and in 2015 was the second most frequent cause of death after heart disease.

USA Today reports that the study wants to determine whether AFib detection, when combined with a new app, could accelerate diagnosis.

The firm believes that AFib is significantly more common than has so far been suspected, and that early detection can be key to stroke prevention.

This is on top of a 400% increase in “Health” related job openings at Apple


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Story 3

Apple Pay in Australia now lets users switch between Visa and eftpos on compatible debit cards, and avoid credit card fees

Apple Pay now supports dual-network debit cards in Australia. This enables users to avoid credit card fees at merchants that support eftpos (electronic funds transfer) at point of sale.

For now, this feature only applies to Australia where dual-network cards are quite common. The default Visa payment often sees customers incurring fees that they could otherwise avoid using physical cards.

The Choose Payment Option feature enables an Apple Pay user to select at time of purchase whether they want to use Visa or eftpos on their dual network cards.

Adding a dual-network card is the same as adding any other bank card to Apple Pay; just use the Wallet app on the iPhone.

If you have already setup Apple Pay, to see the new payment option interface, you will need to delete your current dual-network card and add it again.

From there, you can tap on your card and see a new control that lists the possible payment options, if there are multiple. By default, this will be set to Visa. You can simply tap to select the new default payment option.

To change to eftpos on Apple Watch, double-click the side button to bring up the Apple Pay UI. Then, firmly press on the display to bring up a picker menu of payment networks for the selected card.

eftpos is not compatible with overseas transactions, when making payments outside Australia, or Apple Pay on the web. Apple Pay in Australia will automatically select Visa payment in the latter case, but users will need to remember to switch manually from eftpos to Visa when travelling abroad.


Story 4

Now, in contradiction to our earlier story about Apple increasing staff

Bloomberg ran an eye-catching article by Mark Gurman yesterday. It currently has the headline “Apple Plans to Cut Back on Hiring Due to iPhone Sales Struggles”. The title of the web page (what you see in a browser tab, for example) is “Apple Cuts Back on Some Hiring After Selling Fewer iPhones”. And the URL slug for the article — usually a sign as to what the original headline was — is “apple-is-said-to-plan-some-hiring-reductions-amid-iphone-woes”.

These three headlines paint very different summaries of the story. Are they cutting back on hiring, or planning to? “Due to iPhone sales struggles” is a lot punchier than “after selling fewer iPhones” — it attributes cause rather than merely implying it. And “iPhone sales struggles” paints a grimmer picture than “selling fewer iPhones”.

Did Bloomberg tweak the headline to arrive at “Apple Plans to Cut Back on Hiring Due to iPhone Sales Struggles” because that’s the most accurate summary of the story, or because it’s the most sensational?

And what the heck is actually going on at Apple? Keep in mind that even with their earnings warning, Apple’s holiday quarter is going to be the second best quarter (both by revenue and profit) for any company in history, second only to Apple’s holiday quarter a year ago. The basic narrative of Gurman’s piece, especially when you start from the impression left by the headline, is that iPhone sales are so problematic that the company is going to hire fewer people this year than it had expected to. Like they’re in financial dire straits.


Story 5

Judge unseals trove of internal Facebook documents following our legal action

“In nearly all cases the parents knew their child was playing Angry Birds, but didn’t think the child would be allowed to buy anything without their password or authorisation first,” according to an internal Facebook memo. The memo noted that on other platforms, such as Apple’s iPhone, people were required to re-authorise additional purchases, such as by re-entering a password.

A Facebook employee noted that children were likely to be confused by the in-game purchases because it “doesn’t necessarily look like real money to a minor.” Yet the company continued to deny refunds to children, profiting from their confusion.

In one of the unsealed documents, two Facebook employees deny a refund request from a child whom they refer to as a “whale” — a term coined by the casino industry to describe profligate spenders. The child had entered a credit card number to play a game, and in about two weeks racked up thousands of dollars in charges, according to an excerpt of messages between two employees at the social media giant.


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Story 6

Need a new digital strategy? Just Nimble it…

Online lender prepares to reposition in mainstream banking

There’s no shortage of ambitious money chasing anything that might steal margin from banks or potentially be acquired by them, but Australia’s first generation fintechs are gearing-up to expand out of their niches ahead of slightly delayed open banking shake-up.

Specialist unsecured lender Nimble has revealed it expects to “grow significantly” on the back of a “repositioning strategy into the mainstream/digital banking sector” and is now on the hunt for a new chief digital officer.

According to the non-bank lender, the role needs to “own and implement Nimble’s go-to-market strategy” as well as the company’s overall systems architecture  that it’s “visionary CEO” wants put in place along with a building a top notch tech team.

The shake-up comes as the consumer lending sector faces a battering in front of a parliamentary committee this week as the predatory practices payday and shadow lenders come under scrutiny.

However the finch niche has suffered persistent reputational damage over its aggressive sales tactics and targeting of people close to financial distress who later find themselves locked into loans with interest rates social welfare advocates characterise as abusive.

Popular VLC video player is getting AirPlay support

Popular open-source video player VLC is getting AirPlay support “in about a month.” VideoLan, the team behind it, also plans to make it easier for users to switch to VLC from iTunes.

The confirmation comes just as VLC celebrated a staggering 3 billion downloads — around a quarter of which came from mobile devices.

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