Episode 484 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


Apple: iPhones, Apple Watches should last three years

It suggests the same lifetime for Apple Watches, and a year extra for MacBooks and iMacs, at four years.

“To model customer use, we measure the power consumed by a product while it is running in a simulated scenario,” the company explains. “Daily usage patterns are specific to each product and are a mixture of actual and modelled customer use data. Years of use, which are based on first owners, are assumed to be four years for OS X and tvOS devices and three years for iOS and watchOS devices.”

Apple beefs up MacBook and MacBook Air

Apple MacBook processors have been upgraded to the latest Skylake generation of Intel’s Core M processors as well as bumping up the RAM speeds to 1,866MHz and given the PCIe flash storage a speed boost.

The MacBook is also now available in a rose gold finish

the 13-inch MacBook Air also gets a little upgrade – 8GB RAM is now supplied as standard.

Apple has revealed Australian pricing.

The MacBook with 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.2 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage has a recommended retail price of $1,999 including GST.

The 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core m5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7 GHz, 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage costs $2,449 including GST.

All done: Dick Smith closes 195 remaining stores

Ferrier Hodgson, appointed in January as receivers, has been closing the network of physical stores progressively since 25 February

the remaining 195 shops would close between 27 April and 3 May.

The Dick Smith name will live on as an online shop, after Kogan acquired selected assets in March.

IBM posts worst revenue in 14 years

worst revenue in 14 years sent its shares down nearly 5 percent in extended trading.

The company’s revenue fell 4.6 percent to US$18.68 billion in the first quarter ended 31 March, but beat analysts’ average estimate of US$18.29 billion.

IBM also posted its 16th straight quarter of revenue decline.

IBM has been moving towards areas such as cloud-based services, security software and data analytics, while trimming its traditional hardware business by exiting low-margin businesses.

However, revenue in the company’s newer businesses is failing to make up for declines in its traditional segments.

Xbox 360 games console discontinued by Microsoft

Microsoft has said it is to stop manufacturing the XBox 360 games console, 10 years after it launched.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer said gamers had completed more than 78 billion hours of play on the devices.

Mr Spencer said all remaining Xbox 360 consoles would still be sold, and the platform would continue to be supported for existing users.

Apple ‘abandons’ QuickTime on Windows

Apple has stopped producing updates for its QuickTime media player software on Windows, according to security experts.

The Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) website said two vulnerabilities found in the Windows version of QuickTime had been reported to Apple.

Apple has not officially announced the end of QuickTime on Windows.

It was first released in 1991 and a version was later made available to download for Windows computers.

Trend Micro said “The only way to protect your Windows systems from potential attacks against these or other vulnerabilities in Apple QuickTime now is to uninstall it,” it said.

However, it is understood QuickTime on a Mac will continue to receive updates.



Apple Reportedly Running Secret Car Lab in German Capital

Monday April 18, 2016 4:16 am PDT byTim Hardwick

Monday April 18, 2016 4:16 am PDT byTim Hardwick

Apple is operating a secret vehicle research and development lab in the heart of Berlin, claims a report published in a German news outlet this morning.

According toFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (also known as F.A.Z.), Apple’s clandestine facility employs between 15 and 20 “top class” men and women from the German automotive industry, with backgrounds in engineering, software, hardware, and sales.

The workers at the car lab are described as “progressive thinkers” in their respective fields who agreed to work with Apple after their ideas for innovation were stifled by the more conservative outlooks of their previous employers.


The article goes on to repeat previous speculation surrounding Apple’s rumored vehicle research, noting that the company’s first car will be electric, but also ventures to claim that it will lack self-driving capabilities because the required technology is still in development.

Additionally, the report alleges that Apple is investigating a vehicle-sharing model similar to BMW’s Drive-Now and European car rental service Sixt, owing to the company’s lack of a nationwide distribution network. Similar toprevious rumors, Austrian contract manufacturer of high-end cars Magna Steyr is also cited as a partner for vehicle creation once the R&D stage is complete.

Apple Car rumors have gained momentum since early 2015, when The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple hashundreds of employees working to develop an electric vehicle under the codename “Project Titan.” The bulk of research and development is thought to be taking place in an Apple-leased Sunnyvale campus in California, where loud “motor noises” were heard, sparking speculation that the building is a secret car testing facility for Apple’s automotive project.

Tim Cookteased about the possibility of an Apple Car in February by saying “it’s going to be Christmas Eve for a while,” suggesting the much-rumored project will not be publicly revealed for some time.


Apple Car Talks With Daimler and BMW Fell Apart Over Leadership Issues, iCloud

Wednesday April 20, 2016 12:01 pm PDT byJuli Clover

Apple has been unable to establish a deal with Daimler and BMW over a possible manufacturing deal for theApple Car, reports German news siteHandelsblatt. Apple is said to be seeking a partner that could potentially help it produce the Apple Car, as Apple has no experience with vehicle production.

Talks with Daimler and BMW reportedly ended because there were questions over who would lead the project and which company would have ownership over data. Apple is said to be holding out for deepiCloud integration.

A Magna Steyr conceptual vehicle from 2012

Apple wants the car to be closely built into its own cloud software, while the German carmakers have made customer data protection a key element of their future strategy.

The talks with BMW collapsed last year, while those with Daimler collapsed more recently, the sources said.

Rumors last year suggested Apple was considering usingthe BMW i3 as the basis for its electric car project, but as was mentioned today and in past rumors, Apple’s talks with BMW fell apart after just a few months. Additional rumorshave speculated Apple and BMW could resume talks at a later date, and Apple is also said to be in talkswith Magna Steyr. Apple executives have visited Austria tospeak with Magna Steyr and there’s not yet any indication that those talks have come to an end. Today’s report suggests Magna Steyr is the frontrunner to work with Apple on manufacturing the so-called Apple Car.

Apple’s car project is focused on creating an electric car, whichmay or may not include self-driving capabilities. Such a vehicle will likely interface with the iPhone and other Apple services, but beyond the fact that a car is in development, little is known about the project.

Hundreds of employees are working on the car, at secret locations rumored to be located inSunnyvale, California andBerlin, Germany. Apple is said to be aiming tocomplete work on the car in 2019 or 2020.


New 12-Inch MacBook Tidbits: 15% Faster, 41.4-Watt-Hour Battery, Refurb Price Drop, and More

Tuesday April 19, 2016 11:06 am PDT byJoe Rossignol


Apple today announced thenext-generation 12-inch Retina MacBook with several faster tech specs, one hour longer battery life, and a new Rose Gold color option.

The ultra-thin notebook is available on Apple’sonline store starting today from $1,299, and from Apple retail stores and authorized resellers beginning tomorrow.

15% to 18% Faster CPU Performance

Christina Warren hasshared 64-bit Geekbench results that show the new 12-inch MacBook (1.2GHz configuration) has around 15% to 18% faster CPU performance compared to last year’s equivalent model. The notebook earned a single-core score of 2,894 and a multi-core score of 5,845, versus 2,437 single-core and 5,049 multi-core scores for the previous generation 1.2GHz model.


Primate Labs founder John Poole also shared32-bit Geekbench 3 results for the new 12-inch MacBook (1.2GHz configuration) that confirms around a 15% bump in CPU performance compared to the equivalent 2015 model. The new 12-inch MacBook earned a single-core score of 2,670 and a multi-core score of 5,252, compared to 2,303 and 4,621 for the last-generation model.

Meanwhile, early BlackMagicdisk speed tests have seen write speeds that are up to 80 or 90 percent faster than the write speeds in the previous-generation MacBook. Read speeds are also improved.

480p FaceTime Camera, No Thunderbolt 3 or DDR4 RAM

Initial reaction to the MacBook refresh among MacRumors readers hasbeen mixed, with some appreciating the long-awaited arrival of faster Skylake processors and others disappointed that the notebook continues to have only one USB-C port, a 480p FaceTime camera, and no Thunderbolt 3 or DDR4 RAM.

MacRumors forum member PatriotInvasionwrites:

No Thunderbolt 3, no extra USB-C port, and same $1,299 starting price. Ouch. Not what I expected. Let’s see what theMacBook Pros will be like.

My guess is Thunderbolt 3 is overkill for the users this Mac is targeted at, but the starting price point is overkill as well.

12-inch MacBook supporters argue that the notebook was never intended to have such capabilities, nor might those additions even be feasible without jeopardizing its size and price point, and promote the MacBook Pro as a more suitable alternative for expanded connectivity and CPU-intensive tasks.

41.4-Watt-Hour Battery


Apple says the new 12-inch MacBook has an additional hour of battery life for up to 10 hours on a full charge. The improvement was made possible by not only more efficient Skylake processors, but also due to a 41.4-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery. The original 12-inch MacBook has a slightly shorter-lasting 39.7-watt-hour battery that delivers up to 9 hours of power per charge.

– Up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing

– Up to 11 hours of iTunes movie playback

– Up to 30 days of standby time

1.3 GHz Core m7 Upgrade Option

The new 12-inch MacBook is available with a faster 1.3GHz Intel dual-core Core m7 processor as a$150 to$250 built-to-order upgrade option.


The upgrade can be applied to both standard configurations, which offer 1.1GHz Core m3 and 1.2GHz Core m5 processors for $1,299 and $1,599 respectively.

Refurbished Price Drop

Apple has lowered the price ofrefurbished early 2015 model 12-inch MacBooks on its online store. The notebooks now range between $929 and $1,319 in the U.S. depending on the configuration selected.

The cheapest $929 model features a 1.1GHz Intel dual-core Core M processor based on previous-generation Broadwell architecture, along with 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM, 256GB PCIe-based flash storage, and Intel HD Graphics 5300.


AuDA to allow direct registrations in .au

After ten months of deliberation and two rounds of public consultation that drew some 5000 responses, a majority of panel members recommended in December last year that direct registrations in .au should be possible.

auDA did not say when direct registrations will become available, but said it would undertake a comprehensive policy development process and further consultations with interested parties to implement the feature.

Australia Post trials parcel delivery by drone

The organisation this week launched closed-field trials of drones to work out how small parcels can be delivered “safely and securely” – and much faster than current standards –  to residences.

Last month CASA relaxed the country’s drone rules to allow commercial operators to fly drones weighing under 2 kg without a licence. The changes will take place on September 29 this year.

However, operations outside of line-of-sight and over densely populated areas are still prohibited without special CASA approval.

Drone operators are also required to stay more than 30 metres away from people, buildings, vehicles and boats; and not exceed 120 metres height in controlled airspace.


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