Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 287

Show 287 – May 27, 2019

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael


Aussie Tech Heads Domains


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Story 1

Latest MacBook Pro blows away its predecessors

Cult of Mac reports ~ Apple’s marketing for the recently-announced 2019 MacBook Pro emphasizes how much faster it than last year’s model, and now a benchmark score may confirm that this macOS laptop is almost 30 percent speedier.

The top-tier new MacBook Pro employs an Intel 9th-generation Core i9 processor, which just debuted. It’s clocked at 2.4GHz with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz. This is the first 8-core macOS laptop, and Apple’s promotional materials promise “40 percent more performance than a 6-core MacBook Pro.”

MacBook Pro 2019: And the benchmark says…

Promotional materials are all very well, but benchmarks are generally more accurate. The results of a Geekbench 4 test on a “MacBookPro15,3” were unloaded to Primate Labs’ website this morning, indicating that this computer almost lives up to Apple’s enthusiasm.

The multi-core score for this device is 29184. Last year’s speediest 6-core version of the MacBook Pro topped out at 22620, indicating that its predecessor is 29 percent faster.

The single-core score for the new model is 5879, up from 5348 in the 2018 version. That’s a 9.9 percent improvement


Story 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Just Nailed How to Handle Your Critics in 6 Brilliant, Pointed Words writes ~ Tim Cook had a zinger of wisdom hidden deep within a rousing commencement speech.

It can be hard to handle criticism. We all know we need to do it; it’s crucial to getting better as a human being. But not all criticism is created equal. In fact, some critics shouldn’t even get a seat at the table.

It’s important to set criteria for those who make the cut and mentally dismiss the rest. Your boss, key teammates, mentors–they probably all make the cut. Bob in accounting or that random LinkedIn dude who gets his anger on via acidic comments on your posts–they can pound salt. 

But that said, it doesn’t make it any easier when our undeserving, likely uninformed critics are taking swings at us. Especially when research from Case Western Reserve University psychologist Roy Baumeister shows that we are four times more likely to remember criticism than we are praise, and that it takes five positive events to make up for the psychological impact of just one negative event.

Well, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently provided scintillating perspective. He was giving the commencement speech recently for Tulane University when he shared this absolute gem:

“We don’t build monuments to trolls.”


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Story 3 

An RV Camp Sprang Up Outside Google’s Headquarters. Now Mountain View Wants to Ban It

Bloomberg reports ~ With house prices out of reach, where will the van dwellers go?

In a quiet neighbourhood near Google’s headquarters last month, rusty, oleaginous sewage was seeping from a parked RV onto the otherwise pristine street. Sergeant Wahed Magee, of the Mountain View Police Department, was furious.

“You guys need to take care of it, like ASAP,” he said, lecturing the young couple living in the vehicle. “I’m not going to tow it today, but tomorrow if I come out here and it’s like this, it’s getting towed!” As he delivered the ultimatum, a self-driving car rolled past.

Mountain View is a wealthy town that’s home to Alphabet Inc., the world’s fourth-most valuable public corporation and Google’s owner. Magee spends a lot of his time knocking on the doors of RVs parked on the city’s streets, logging license plates and marking rigs that haven’t moved for several days. 

This is the epicenter of a Silicon Valley tech boom that is minting millionaires but also fueling a homelessness crisis that the United Nations recently deemed a human rights violation. Thousands of people live in RVs across San Francisco and the broader Bay Area because they can’t afford to rent or buy homes. In December, Mountain View police logged almost 300 RVs that appeared to be used as primary residences. Palo Alto, Berkeley and other Bay Area towns have similar numbers.

Mountain View has no banned RV’s from parking on its streets overnight.


Story 4

Our Gaming Section 

Zarn talks about trailers of games coming to  Arcade.


Heart of the Elder Tree


Steam Link Finally Launches on iOS, Apple TV 

PC News tells us ~ It’s been almost a year since Apple initially rejected the Steam Link app due to multiple guideline violations, but they have clearly been resolved.

Valve wants gamers to have the ability to stream their library of Steam games to mobile devices, so last year it launched a free Steam Link app. The problem was, Apple rejected the app for iOS and Apple TV due to mulitple guideline violations. One year on, though, and Steam Link is finally available on Apple’s platforms.

As 9To5Mac reports, Apple and Valve agreed to work together last year to solve the guideline violations and bring the Steam Link experience to iOS and Apple TV. The most surprising thing is that it took so long to achieve.

If you want to run Steam Link on your Apple device, you’ll require an iPhone or iPad running iOS 10 or higher and a PC running Steam. Both devices must be connected to the same local network for the streaming link to function, which should happen by default in most homes. An Apple TV will also work for streaming, of course.

Sony’s Deal With Microsoft Blindsided Its Own PlayStation Team 

Bloomberg again ~ When Sony Corp. unveiled a cloud gaming pact with arch rival Microsoft Corp., it surprised the industry. Perhaps no one was more shocked than employees of Sony’s PlayStation division, who have spent almost two decades fighting the U.S. software giant in the $38 billion video game console market.

Last week, the companies announced a strategic partnership to co-develop game streaming technology and host some of PlayStation’s online services on the Redmond-based company’s Azure cloud platform. It comes after PlayStation spent seven years developing its own cloud gaming offering, with limited success.

Negotiations with Microsoft began last year and were handled directly by Sony’s senior management in Tokyo, largely without the involvement of the PlayStation unit, according to people familiar with the matter. Staff at the gaming division were caught off-guard by the news. Managers had to calm workers and assure them that plans for the company’s next-generation console weren’t affected, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing private matters.

That difficult moment is part of a painful lesson that Sony and many other technology companies are facing as the world’s leading cloud-computing providers become more powerful. If you aren’t spending billions of dollars a year on data centres, servers and network gear, you can’t keep up.


Story 5

Australian civil servant faces 10 years for mining cryptocurrency on government computers

The Next Webb reports ~ An Australian government employee is appearing in court last week after using work equipment to mine cryptocurrency for his own gain.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege that the 33 year-old from Killara in New South Wales took advantage of his position as an IT contractor to modify government computer systems to mine cryptocurrency.

The man’s illicit mining operation is said to have earned him more than AU$9,000 ($6,000), according to an AFP announcement.

The unnamed man is facing two charges: unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment, and unauthorized modification of restricted data. These charges carry maximum penalties of 10 and two years imprisonment, respectively.

“Australian taxpayers put their trust in public officials to perform vital roles for our community with the utmost integrity,” Acting Commander Chris Goldsmid. “Any alleged criminal conduct which betrays this trust for personal gain will be investigated and prosecute.”

Indeed, cryptocurrency mining profitability is largely impacted by the cost of electricity used to run mining equipment. With that in mind, the temptation to mine cryptocurrency at someone else’s expense is too enticing for some.


Story 6

Pegatron moving iPad and MacBook manufacturing out of China

Cult of Mac again ~ Apple manufacturer Pegatron is reportedly set to start assembling MacBooks and iPads in Indonesia, starting next month.

The news comes at a time when more and more people are concerned about a burgeoning trade war between the U.S. and China. Because a large number of Apple’s products are manufactured in China, the possibility of new import tariffs could have a detrimental impact on the company.

Pegatron will start assembling Apple’s MacBook and iPad devices using a local manufacturer in Batam.

It doesn’t sound like this partnership will necessarily be permanent, though. Pegatron has reportedly invested $300 million to refurbish two plants in Indonesia. It originally considered investing in factories in Vietnam. However, it selected Batam because of labor availability.


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Aussie Tech Heads Domains

Story 7

Google and Facebook are gonna hate Apple’s new privacy-preserving online ads

Again The Next Web reports ~ A new Safari feature, called Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution, aims to stop ads from tracking you across the web.

The company says the proposed solution will allow advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns on the web without compromising on your privacy.

This effectively means an advertiser can know that you bought an item by clicking an ad — called ad conversion — but won’t posses any identifiable information about you.

Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution

Apple says it has found a middle ground that’s a win-win for both consumers and advertisers. It is also pushing the technology as a standard to the World Wide Web Consortium so that other browser makers can embrace it.

According to Apple, the feature is built into the browser itself and runs on-device, meaning that the browser vendor does not see any of the ad-related data.

“Online ads and measurement of their effectiveness do not require Site A, where you clicked an ad, to learn that you purchased something on Site B,” John Wilander explained in the blog post. “The only data needed for measurement is that someone who clicked an ad on Site A made a purchase on Site B.” 


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