Show 318 – January 20, 2020
Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael
Still again a BIG THANKS to all the firefighters, defence personnel and volunteers across Australia and all the visiting ones from overseas. THANKS
And also, not mentioned previously, the wildlife workers and volunteers.
Our Aussie Apple Ramblings
Leading with a non tech story ~ Courageous Border Collie Leads 900 Sheep to Safety During Australian Bushfires
MyModernMet reported ~ When tragedy strikes, communities pull together and this is exactly what has been happening across Australia due to the devastating bushfires. Among some of the biggest heroes, particularly when it comes to protecting and rescuing animals, have been some incredible working dogs. Now, a new story is emerging about Patsy, a 6-year-old border collie and kelpie mix who was essential in helping save her owner’s farm and livestock.
Collies are known for their incredible drive and work ethic, which is being put to good use in this urgent time of devastation. Just like Bear (another border collie mix who has helped bring koalas to safety), Patsy guided a large flock of sheep away from a fire danger zone. According to Cath Hill, whose brother Stephen is Patsy’s owner, this brave dog stayed back with her owner in order to make sure that their farm and large flock of livestock were protected in the face of the fire.
For her part, Hill and her family were forced to evacuate just before New Year’s Eve, when fires hit their farm on the other side of the valley in the town of Corryong. Hill’s brother was spared on that occasion, but any change to the weather could have caused embers to spark fires close by. And in many photos posted to Patsy’s Instagram, it’s clear that the flames aren’t that far off.
Luckily for Hill’s brother, Patsy was right by his side the entire time. “For Patsy, funnily enough the fires don’t really make much of a difference!!! She’s a border collie/kelpie cross, so she’s a working dog through and through,” Hill shares. “These dogs have been bred for generations to develop their ability to work with sheep and cattle on farms, and they are very intelligent and resilient animals. They love to work, it’s just what they are bred to do, and they can be very focused and singleminded on the job! So when my brother needed Patsy to help bring the sheep into safety, that’s exactly what she did. She just got on with her job and did it, regardless of the conditions. Cool, calm, and collected.”
As her owner used a tractor equipped with a water tank to keep the flames that crept close to the property at bay, Patsy got to work. She herded up the farm’s flock of 900 sheep and led them safely to a paddock away from the fire. Working together as a team, the dynamic duo managed to save all but a handful of the animals, as well as all of the buildings on the property except for a few sheds.
“I’d have been stuffed without Patsy,” Patsy’s owner Stephen Hill told SBS News. “She’s earned front-seat privileges for the rest of her life.”
If anyone ever doubted the intelligence of these animals, Patsy’s fearless effort will change your mind. Hill hopes that, by getting Patsy’s story out to the public, more people will be encouraged to help where they can. Hers is a positive beacon of light in a time when, for many, there’s not much to celebrate.
Apple iPad, Watch, AirPods among top 10 best gadgets of the decade
Three iconic products from Apple have made it to the Time magazine’s most significant 10 gadgets’ of the decade list. These are: Apple iPad (2010), Apple Watch (2015) and AirPods (2016)
Google Chromecast (2013), Amazon Echo (2014) and Raspberry Pi (2012) are other innovations that make it to the list.
“Before the iPad’s introduction in 2010, the idea of a ‘tablet computer’ was mostly relegated to slick science fiction movies and unwieldy laptop-adjacent monstrosities running terrible software,” the report said.
“Apple’s iPad – like the iPhone before it – resulted in a cultural shift for personal computing, and set the tone for the next decade of portable devices. Its impressive multitouch display, complete abandonment of physical keys, and gargantuan selection of software and media created a perfect storm of entertainment that everyone could get on board with,” it added.
A masterstroke from CEO Tim Cook, “no one has been able to match the polish and performance of the Apple Watch, which set the standard for what a smartwatch could do”.
Today, Apple Watch is packed with health features, including reading an ECG and fall detection.
First released in 2016, AirPods “quickly became an icon in their own right.”
“AirPods even carry social significance, transforming them into earbuds that double as a not-so-subtle status indicator,” said the report.
Apple is expected to show a significant turnaround in Q4 this tear fuelled by AirPods Pro. In 2020, Apple will maintain a strong market leadership based on its loyal customer base, with advanced product and marketing strategies in the wearables segment, says Counterpoint Research’s “Hearables Market Forecast”.
The company is likely to maintain 50 per cent of the true wireless hearables market share globally in 2020.
At-risk youth get a fresh look and a fresh start
How one Apple team member is giving people in need new beginnings.
There is a magic that happens in a barber’s chair. A relationship is cultivated over years of service, conversation and connection with another in that finite window of time. There’s also a transformation that leads to a new beginning.
For Jaz Limos, a San Francisco native and manager at the Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino, that connection and transformation planted the seed of an idea to help individuals experiencing homelessness.
“I started to become obsessed with, why do people open up in a chair?” Limos says.
In 2016, after Limos broke bread with a homeless man at a sandwich shop in Oakland, she was shocked to discover he was her father who she hadn’t seen since she was a teenager. She couldn’t shake the feeling that she needed to do something. For months, she thought about that chance encounter, talking it over with her barber and contemplating how she could have a real impact on people’s lives. It was then that she realised how easy it was to open up in the chair, and also how it felt to really see herself in the mirror afterward.
“When I recognised that there’s so many different piecemeal options for someone to get help, that the entry point has to be just right where you can build rapport … a barber was a very organic way to open up and just feel better,” Limos says.
Coming face to face with her own family’s hardships compelled Limos to focus on giving back to her community. A series of events followed that paved a path to her solution: Saints of Steel was born, a nonprofit pop-up barber shop and makeover event for people in need looking for employment, housing and a fresh start.
As CEO and founder of the new organisation, Limos would build Saints of Steel from scratch — with the full support of her Apple family. In its first year, the organisation was almost fully funded by volunteers and donations from Apple. “Our board, when we first started, was primarily made up of Apple employees who just jumped in and rolled up their sleeves,” Limos says. “We saw the power of Benevity and the company match program, because it funded the majority of our ability to run this program.”
Reminder this week we are bought to you by
Battlesky Brigade Harpooner
This is a great arcade style game think 1927
Lol. You get shot out of a slingshot, in a sort of ship? guns a blazing! And have to shoot your way through a world collecting gold and parts. Then You land on your platform get your score and play again I had a great time playing this game and I know you will too.
Apple’s critically acclaimed anthology series “Little America” now streaming exclusively on Apple TV+
Apple’s highly anticipated and critically acclaimed new anthology series “Little America” is now streaming exclusively on Apple TV+ around the world. “Little America” goes beyond the headlines to bring to life the funny, romantic, heartfelt and surprising stories of immigrants in America.
‘Beastie Boys Story’ doc from Spike Jonze coming to Apple TV+ in April after IMAX debut
9T05MAc reports ~ We all know you gotta fight for your right to party, and Apple is joining that fight this spring. The all-new “Beastie Boys Story” documentary is coming to Apple TV+ in April after a limited release in IMAX Theatres.
Apple announced the nonfiction film that tells the inside story of the hip-hop group from the perspective of members Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz. “Beastie Boys Story” is based on the bestseller Beastie Boys Book. The great Spike Jonze is billed as the music doc’s director.
Reminder this week we are bought to you by
How To 1
How to Get the AQI Complication on Apple Watch
Lifewire shows us how ~ What is the Air Quality Index?
The AQI is a 0-500 index for reporting air quality. The lower the number, the better the quality of air you’re breathing. Generally an AQI of 100 or less is considered satisfactory for everyone, 100 to 150 as unhealthy for a small amount of sensitive people, with higher scores translating as Unhealthy (151 – 200), Very Unhealthy (201 – 300), and Hazardous (over 300).
With watchOS 6, you can force press the watch face you have showing, then swipe left and write to find a new one. Infograph, Infograph Modular, Explorer, Activity Digital, and many others have the ability to add an AQI complication to their faces.
Choose a watch face with an area for a small, circular complication, then tap Customise.
Swipe left or right to highlight the circular space you want to put the AQI complication in. Some watch faces have more than one.
Use the Digital Crown to scroll through the available complications until you find AQI. Generally, the complications are listed in alphabetical order.
Once AQI is in the spot you want, press the Digital Crown once to go back to the watch face chooser screen, then press it again to go back to the watch face itself. You should see the AQI complication where you placed it.
You can also add an App for Dedicated AQI on Apple Watch
How To 2
These tips make text-selection on iPhone and iPad far less frustrating
Cult of Mac shows ~ iOS 13 (and iPadOS) fixed the frustrating text-selection tools on the iPhone and iPad, but only if you know how to use them. Selecting a single word or sentence is still way easier on a Mac, because you have a mouse and keyboard permanently attached. On the iPad, though, you can still find the text selection slipping and jumping like an oiled fish.
Use these iPhone and iPad text-selection tips to highlight words and paragraphs the easy way in iOS.
iOS text limitations
There are a few text-selection oddities in iOS 13. The most annoying is that, when you tap in the middle of a word, the text-selection cursor appears at either the end or the beginning of the word. On the Mac, if you click the cursor between the letters M and A of “Mac,” that’s where it goes. On iOS, you must tap the word first, then grab the cursor to place it where you actually want it.
This happens even when you hook up a mouse to your iPad. And worse, the initial cursor placement can end up either at the beginning or the end of the word you tap, depending where on the word you tap. This means you must assess the position before acting. All this, for a simple text insertion!
However, there are some excellent shortcuts that will make selecting text a lot easier on iPhone or iPad. Note, these shortcuts and gestures work in actual text fields, where you can edit text yourself. They don’t work on non-editable text — in an email or on a web page, for example.
When you are in a text field, i.e., when you are typing text yourself, in something like Notes or Pages, you can use the following tap gestures to select whole blocks of text:
Double-tap a word to select the whole word/
Triple-tap a word to select the sentence containing that word. This includes the trailing period.
Quadruple-tap does the same as a double, only it selects the entire paragraph.
One of the most annoying text-selection tasks in iOS is trying to copy a URL, a phone number or an email address. If those strings are on a webpage, good luck. You can continue to struggle with them. Have fun as you try to copy them, and instead they all open a new email message, or launch Safari, or cause your iPhone to call the person whose number you’re trying to copy.
However, if this text is all included in an editable text field, you can just double-tap on any email address, phone number or URL. iOS is smart enough to recognize these strings, and to select them automatically. You can then safely copy them, or share them. It even works with phone numbers including spaces, brackets and + characters.
Sam Henri Gold Launches The Unofficial Apple Archive
MacStories explains ~ Last summer, Sam Henri Gold uploaded hundreds of images, videos, and other historical Apple material to Google Drive from the company’s earliest days to present. The collection didn’t last long. The flood of people trying to download its contents slowed the archive to a crawl, and ultimately Gold took it down.
The archive is back now at applearchive.org as an ad-free website organised by decade. The collection, which Gold has dubbed The (Unofficial) Apple Archive, includes a wide range of materials from press photos and keynotes to TV ads and Mac wallpapers. There is even a healthy collection of unreleased materials, like this unreleased social media ad for AirPower.
The site includes search functionality that makes it easier to find something specific among the hundreds of items or browse an entire product category. Images can be downloaded from the archive, but to deter downloading of videos, Gold is using a restrictive embedded Vimeo player. The desire to stop downloads is understandable, but it also means that the videos cannot be embedded by others writing about them elsewhere, which is a shame.
Apple shared customer data with US government in a record-high 90% of cases, even as Trump administration complains it’s not doing enough
Business Insider is reporting ~ Apple released its biannual transparency report on Friday, which included details about the number and type of government and private party requests for customer information that the company received globally.
Apple said it received 3,619 “account requests” from the US government in the first half of 2019, nearly a 36% jump from the six months prior and more than previous periods (the report is available as far back as 2013).
Account requests, sent when law enforcement officials suspect illegal activity, typically seek “details of customers’ iTunes or iCloud accounts, such as a name and address” and occasionally, “iCloud content, such as stored photos, email, iOS device backups, contacts or calendars,” the company said.
For 90% of those requests, Apple provided the government with at least some information about the account in question, up from 88% during the previous period. Apple also said the requests encompassed more than 15,301 customer accounts, another record high.
The report comes amid a heated standoff between Apple and the Trump administration over privacy and public safety, which was reignited this week after the company refused to help the FBI unlock a mass shooter’s iPhones.
Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, has repeatedly accused Apple and other tech companies of not doing enough to assist law enforcement in investigations. Specifically, Barr has expressed frustration with Apple’s unwillingness to create a “backdoor” that would allow officials to access encrypted information stored on customers’ devices.
However, Apple’s transparency report suggests that, overall, it has been overwhelmingly responsive to government requests for information. In this latest case, even some FBI officials have reportedly taken Apple’s side, saying that Apple has provided “ample assistance.”
Apple has defended its use of encryption, saying in a statement to Business Insider: “Law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.”
The debate between Apple and the government has renewed concerns among privacy advocates that creating backdoors would undermine public safety, while security experts argue that the government already has the ability to access encrypted devices without Apple’s help.
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