Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 312

Show 312 – November 25, 2019

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael




Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Again a BIG thanks again to all the Rural & City Fire Fighters around the country!!

Story 1


Apple has updated its returns policy in time for Christmas shopping. By greatly extending the time you can initiate a return on items purchased on the Apple online store. Extending it from the standard 14-days to January 8th, 2020.

This year, all orders made between November 15 and December 25th, 2019 can be returned free until January 8th, 2020. An offer that is exclusive to Apple and takes away the worry and stress of buying a gift.

Just about all items on the online store can be returned and include some of the most popular products this Christmas. These include the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and Macs. To AirPods and AirPods Pro, HomePod, and more.

This takes the hassle out of guessing what to buyers you have till January 8.


Story 2

Apple files lawsuit against SoftBank-owned firm for bringing repeated ‘nuisance patent suits’ against them

Apple files lawsuit against SoftBank-owned firm for bringing repeated ‘nuisance patent suits’ against them

Apple and Intel have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Fortress Investment Group, a company backed by SoftBank, reports Reuters.

The lawsuit essentially claims that Fortress is an extreme patent troll who is fielding repeated nonsense cases against the tech giants. It alleges Fortress stockpiled patents for the primary purpose of suing companies in a manner that violates antitrust laws.

In the complaint, Apple said that it has “suffered economic harm in the form of litigation costs and diversion of resources” in having to deal with the Fortress lawsuits.

Fortress would allege the damages in such lawsuits would number in the billions of dollars. In one case, Apple said it is facing a suit from a Fortress company that fields damages in the range of $1.41-$2.75 per device sold. Apple says that these numbers are wholly invented and are simply stating the same numbers that Apple calculated in its famous iPhone design lawsuit against Samsung.

“The apparent precision of the per-unit damages request is a facade; Uniloc USA and Uniloc Luxembourg simply adopted the amounts that Apple sought from Samsung in litigation for Apple’s patents,” Apple wrote.

Patent trolls are a part of life. In this particular case, Apple and Intel believe Fortress’ behaviour is so out of line that they have enough evidence to make a united legal retort. 


Story 3

CBA now paying some customers to use Apple Pay — iTnews

CBA now paying some customers to use Apple Pay

As rivals spruik cashback for transit taps.

What a difference a year makes. Just 12 months ago the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was sticking hard to its boycott of Apple Pay alongside peers Westpac and NAB, arguing that Cupertino was expecting way too much in terms of margin and could take a hike.

Fast forward to November this year, which marks the start of the silly season when it comes to marketing, and Australia’s largest bank is now offering customers $5 to jump on Apple’s margin destroying payments platform to bolster its numbers.

Marketing emails sent to CBA customers obtained by iTnews reveal the beleaguered banking giant has resorted to baiting the Apple Pay activation hook with cash deposits as institutions openly bid against each for smaller size transactions.

“Want $5 cashback just for trying Apple Pay?” the CBA’s brazen offer spruiks. “Try it with your CommBank debit card using your iPhone or Apple Watch and we’ll give you $5 cashback to spend however you like.”

The small print is the usual stuff about the cash only being available once per customer, after all it would be rather tempting to activate, deactivate and reactivate for a fiver a throw. Not that CBA’s customers would ever attempt to do that.

And yeah, sorry, there’s no direct link to the offer we can find, with the links in CBA’s email propaganda landing on it’s generic Apple Pay landing page.

The obvious question of why the CBA would bother paying customers money to use Apple Pay when there’s already massive uptake tells us there’s a good old fashioned turf war going on for what are known as “activations”, which is when people start using a service.


Reminder this week we are bought to you by





I so I tried to play discoloured yesterday because I had read the synopsis and found it intriguing.

But unfortunately that’s as fair as I got I found the game almost impossible to navigate, with little instruction on what to do. 

Now I played this on my phone so I’m willing to give it another chance on Apple TV with a controller because I think that is what this game was made for. 

If I’m wrong please feel free to comment and let me now what you think. 




20% and 15% off iTunes CARDS

20% off iTunes Gift Cards (Excludes $20 Cards) @ Coles 

Apple is running a promotion where they’ll give you an extra 15% credit when you add funds to your Apple ID or iTunes account. Can be used for in-app subscriptions, iCloud storage costs, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, etc.

This can also be stacked with the Amex statement credit if you’ve activated that and add your Amex card to your Apple ID. Essentially get $23 credit for $10. Amex deal here:

75% off Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Base Game $7.99 @ iTunes Store and search iTunes


Entertainment ~ pic

Zarns comments on Disney+ in Australia so far

Today in Apple history: Toy Story 2 arrives in theaters

Apple history: Toy Story 2 arrives in theatres

November 24, 1999: Steve Jobs gets another feather in his cap when Toy Story 2, the sequel to the 1995 Pixar hit, debuts in theatres. It goes on to become the first animated sequel in history to gross more than the original.

While more a piece of Steve Jobs history than Apple history, the release of Toy Story 2 caps a spectacular year for Apple’s CEO.

The toys are back in town

Originally planned as a direct-to-video movie, Toy Story 2 turned out to be a massive hit for Pixar — and, by extension, for Jobs. The Apple co-founder was as engaged as he ever would be with the animation studio at this stage.


Story 4

This Hidden iOS 13 Feature Can Help Protect Your Hearing — iDrop News

Hidden iOS 13 Feature Can Help Protect Your Hearing

You’re probably well aware that watchOS 6 added a Noise app to the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 models, to help you monitor the noise around you to see if you’re being exposed to dangerous sound levels, or even if you’re simply talking too loud. However, iOS 13 has another feature tucked away to help you address a much more common source of hearing damage — your headphones.

In addition to collecting noise data from your Apple Watch, a new “Hearing” section inside the iPhone’s Health app also monitors your headphone audio levels, letting you know if you’re listening to music at unsafe volumes.

This feature is available for any set of headphones, however you’ll get the most accurate readings if you’re using Apple’s AirPods or Beats Wireless headphones, thanks to the W1/H1 chips used in these devices. Apple’s own chips include the ability to monitor and record the specific decibel levels coming out of the drivers themselves, while for other headphones, Apple is forced to simply estimate the loudness based on what the iPhone’s volume level is set to.

How to Find Your Listening Levels

If you’re using AirPods or Beats Wireless headphones, you don’t need to do anything special to set this feature up — as long as you’re running iOS 13, your Health app is automatically recording this data, and you can find it by going into the Health app and looking for “Hearing” in the Browse tab.

Apple automatically shows the results of your listening levels by categorising them as either “OK” or “Loud” based not only on simple volume level, but sustained listening levels, in accordance with guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). For example, as Apple explains in the Health app, “sound levels as low as 74 dB can be considered loud if you’re exposed for a long enough duration.”

Enabling Audio Monitoring for Other Headphones

While this feature is enabled by default for Apple’s EarPods, AirPods, and Beats, if you’re using third-party headphones, you’ll need to take an extra step to switch it on. Here’s how to do it.

Open the Settings app

Scroll down and tap Privacy

Tap Health

At the top, tap Headphone Audio Levels

Switch on Include Other Headphones


Reminder this week we are bought to you  by



Story 5 ~ pic

Tim Cook promises to keep fighting for DACA, user privacy, and more in new interview

Tim Cook promises to keep fighting for DACA, user privacy, and more in new interview

US ABC News has now shared part two of Rebecca Jarvis’ interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook. In this segment, Cook doubles down on Apple’s commitment to privacy, talks antitrust, and promises to keep finding for DACA recipients.

Last month, Apple filed an amicus brief in support of the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy. This filing was the first time that Cook and senior vice president of retail and people Deirdre O’Brien had put their names on such a document. In his interview with ABC News, Cook reiterated Apple’s commitment to protecting those Dreamers:

“I will fight until my toes point up on the subject because I think that it is so core to who we are as a people that we not turn our back on people that came into the country as kids, they were brought here well before they could make a decision on their own,” Cook said. “These people are the core of what an American is.”

Cook’s comments on DACA come after he and President Trump publicly toured a facility in Austin, Texas where the Mac Pro has been made since 2013.

Elsewhere in the interview, Cook doubled down on Apple’s commitment to user privacy. Yet again, he explained that Apple is not in the business of selling people’s data, and that its approach to privacy is “very different” than some other companies:

“We don’t want to know all the details about your life. We’re not trying to vacuum up all your data and form it into a profile,” Cook said. “We want your information held on your device. It’s between you and your phone, not you and Apple. And so it’s a very different kind of approach than some companies take.”

Cook went on to say that he currently thinks that there is too big of a focus on antitrust and breaking up big tech among lawmakers. Instead, some of that attention should be shifted towards privacy. The Apple CEO said that it is “passed” time for there to be “rigorous regulation” to protect user privacy in the United States.

“I think there’s too much focus right now on fines and breakups and not enough on the data that the companies hold that users did not make an informed decision to give to,” he said.

You watch the interview here


Story 6

Apple has redesigned its Everyone Can Code curriculum — iMore

Apple has redesigned its Everyone Can Code curriculum

It also announced thousands of Today at Apple Coding sessions.

Apple has announced a redesign of its Everyone Can Code curriculum, which it says now contains even more resources for students and teachers, as well as updated materials.

In a press release Apple said:

Apple today unveiled a completely redesigned Everyone Can Code curriculum to help introduce more elementary and middle school students to the world of coding. Now available, the new curriculum includes even more resources for teachers, a brand new guide for students and updated Swift Coding Club materials. Today millions of students in more than 5,000 schools worldwide already use Everyone Can Code curriculum to bring their ideas to life and develop important skills including creativity, collaboration and problem solving.

Apple also officially confirmed reports that it would be holding thousands of Coding sessions as part of its Today At Apple initiative December 1-15.

The new Everyone Can Code Curriculum features new puzzles that serve as a guide to Swift Playgrounds. There’s also a companion teacher guide to support teachers. Apple has also added more inclusivity features including optimisation for VoiceOver and closed-captioned videos, audio descriptions and videos in American Sign Language, a tremendous improvement.

Apple says the curriculum is designed to help students express what they learn about coding through drawing, music, video, and photos to help “unleash kids’ creativity throughout their school day.”

As mentioned, Apple will also hold a series of Today at Apple sessions in the first half of December, including a Coding Lab for Kids that features the characters of Helpsters, Apple TV+’s original kids show from the makers of Sesame Street.


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