Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 273

Show 273 – Feb 18, 2019

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael


Aussie Tech Heads Podcasting


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Story 1

Australia’s political parties targeted in cyber hack of federal parliament

sbs is reporting ~ Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the computer networks of political parties were part of a recent foreign-based cyber hack of the federal parliament.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed all Australian major political parties were hacked by a “sophisticated state actor” in a breach of security earlier this month. 

Mr Morrison provided an update to Parliament on the investigation into the cyber attack on February 8.

“During the course of this work we also became aware that the networks of some political parties, Liberal, Labor and Nationals have also been affected,” Mr Morrison told Parliament on Monday.

“Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity.”

Security sources indicated last week China could be the source.

The Prime Minister insists there has been no electoral interference, but has stepped up cyber security in response. 

“We have acted decisively to protect our national interests.

“The methods used by malicious actors are constantly evolving and this incident just re-enforces yet again the importance of cyber security as a fundamental part of everyone’s business.”

Political parties more vulnerable

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said political parties were more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

“We have seen overseas that it is progressive parties that are more likely to be targeted by ultra-right wing organisations,” Mr Shorten told Parliament.

“Political parties are small organisations with only a few full-time staff, they collect, store and use large amounts of information about voters and communities.”

He called for Australia’s cyber security agencies to provide more assistance to parties. 

“Our agencies shouldn’t just be providing advice to political parties, but actively assisting in their defence.”


We are thinking about having a live call in period in the show.

We will give you a number to call and that will put you in a room where you can still hear the show and then we get you to ask your question, make comments etc.  We just have to work out the delay button!

Story 2

App Store spending hit all-time high in 2018

Cult of Mac reports ~ iPhone users in the US spent, on average, US$79 last year on software. That’s up 36 percent from 2017, according to figures from a market analysts firm. Spending on premium apps and in-app purchases has more than doubled since 2015.

Of the 2018 total, US$44 was spent just on games, a 22 percent increase year-over-year.

Analysts at SensorTower indicate that last year’s 36 percent increase in iOS software spending beat the 23 percent increase in 2017, but was still below the 42 percent increase seen in 2016.

Purchases in the App Store are critical to Apple’s future. As sales of iPhone are levelling off, the company depends more on income those who already have a handset or tablet.

App revenue grew across the board

More spending on games alone contributed US$8 to the 2018 total, but every type of iOS application saw double-digit growth, and some areas saw really significant increases.

Apple’s revenue from entertainment software grew 82 percent, and spending on lifestyle apps was up 86 percent. Health & fitness apps were up 75 percent.

Apple is reportedly prepping a pair of low-cost iOS devices that should increase its installed base and therefore the number of people buying apps.

As we Australians are even more Techie I am guessing our spending increased year on year even more!


Reminder this week we are bought to you by



Story 3

Multiple users report that Adobe Premiere CC bug blew their MacBook Pro speakers

Software bugs can be annoying, in the worst cases resulting in lost work. But some Adobe Premiere CC users are reporting that the app has an even more damaging bug – blowing the speakers in their MacBook Pro machines …

The reports appear on Adobe’s Premiere CC forum.

I have a new 2 month old 15″ MBP. I was working on a project, MacBook volume was about on half, when suddenly an audio bug occurred with really loud screeching noise and not letting me pause it. After it stopped, the speakers were really quiet, and after the next restart they’re clearly blown.

I just blew my speakers (MacBook Pro 15″ 2018) on Adobe Premiere. They are permanently Damaged. I was using the Adobe Premiere 2019 Audio suite for background sound and while tweaking the settings it made a loud distorted noise that hurt even my ears. after that my speakers are unusable.

That happened to me as well.  Both times I put a song in the timeline and went to adjust the volume and it made a horrible loud noise and blew my speakers. I couldn’t mute it or anything.

The reports appear on Adobe’s Premiere CC forum.

All-in, there are more than a dozen people reporting the problem.

The incidents seem to occur when using one of a number of Adobe Premiere CC audio enhancement tools, such as cleaning up the audio or enhancing the speech.

One Adobe rep reportedly advised ensuring that the microphone was off when using these tools. This can be done in Preferences > Audio Hardware > Default Input > No Input. This suggests that a feedback loop may be responsible, the microphone picking up the speaker output and amplifying it.


Story 4

Angela Ahrendts Departing Apple in April, Deirdre O’Brien to Oversee Retail and People

Apple’s retail chief, Angela Ahrendts is set to leave Apple in April after spending five years at the company, Apple announced today. 

Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s current “Vice President of People,” is set to take Ahrendts’ place. O’Brien will be taking on new responsibilities for Apple’s retail and online stores in her expanded role as Senior Vice President of Retail and People, reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

That’s not quite the same role that Ahrendts currently holds as Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail. O’Brien will focus on the connection between the customer and the people, and the processes that serve them. 

In her new role as retail leader, she will also lead the People team and will oversee all People-related functions, including talent development and Apple University, recruiting, employee relations and experience, business partnership, benefits, compensation, and inclusion and diversity.

And didn’t the Apple internet have a melt down over this story.

From “she’s getting the boot because iPhone sales are down” to 

why did we have a fashion person running a tech business!

Congrats to Deirdre O’Brien on her position.  This is one special lady.

A 30 year Apple veteran who was once part of the team who designed the first Apple Store.  Has experience in all departments at Apple even just by being the person in charge of People at Apple, that the HR in normal speak.

Cook also said that O’Brien has been directly involved in every major Apple launch of the last 20 years.


Story 5

Apple launches iPhone financing promo in Australia: 0% interest for 24 months and a $50 credit

9TO5Mac reports ~ Continuing its string of iPhone promotions recently, Apple has a new offer for its Australian customers. As of this week, you can order Apple products in Australia with 0% financing for 2 years. And, if you buy an iPhone on financing, you get $50 (Australian dollars obviously) in cashback.

The new terms were spotted by MacPricesAustralia. Apple mixes up its financing deals every few months and the offers regularly vary per region.

It seems to depend on the deals they make with local banks that ultimately are the institutions offering the 0% interest loans. Apple has partnered with Latitude Financial Services for this Australian deal.

To qualify for 0% interest over two years, the order must exceed $1000 AUD. However, customers can still qualify for six months interest free for orders between $150-$299, and one year interest free on orders above $300. It is currently Back to School season in Australia, and Apple says that those promotions are also eligible to be paid for with a 0% interest loan. See the website for full terms and conditions.

Apple says the $50 iPhone credit is available on all iPhone purchases. This means you can seemingly take advantage of the ‘limited time’ iPhone XS/XR trade-in offer and get $50 credit back by paying for the new phone with financing.

The website says that the deal will end March 4. Given Apple’s flexible schedules with other ‘limited time’ offers, it is possible that the deadline will be extended past that date.


Story 6

Rumours start to abound ~ Apple’s 2019 iPhones to wirelessly charge other devices, sport bigger batteries and frosted glass

Apple’s 2019 iPhone lineup allegedly won’t look much different from the company’s current offerings outside of some frosted glass, new technologies like “bilateral” wireless charging, ultra-wide band for enhanced indoor positioning, and a triple-lens camera, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Ming-Chi Kuo is pretty reliable on his reports!

He also reports

Apple plans new 16- to 16.5-inch MacBook Pro in 2019 aimed at pro designers

As part of its 2019 product introductions Apple will reportedly revitalise a tier of MacBook Pro larger than its current 15-inch models, positioned at hardcore gamers and pro designers.


Reminder this week we are bought to you  by



Story 7

Last Week while we were doing the show 

ABC Australia’s’ Four Corners had a great report on “Meet the Scammers”

The show was about internet scams and the growing black market in our information.

From the “I’m a Nigerian Prince” to the “Unlucky in Love”.

It is definitely worth a view on iView!

Show Promotion

Show notes link each week on show upload

the link being

there you will see the last 5 weeks shows notes

Spotify – just search Aussie Mac Zone


Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone

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