Episode 618 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes

Apple to fix FaceTime privacy bug

Apple will issue a software patch later this week for a bug that lets iPhone users hear audio from users who have not yet accepted a video call.


The bug, which Reuters was able to replicate, allows an iPhone user placing a call using Apple’s FaceTime video-calling feature to hear audio from the recipient’s phone even if the recipient has not yet picked up the call. The bug appears to rely on Apple’s group video-calling feature.


In certain situations, the bug also broadcast both video and audio from the recipient’s phone


We’re aware of this issue and have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week,” an Apple spokesperson said.

Apple’s group FaceTime was temporarily made unavailable due to an ongoing issue, according to Apple’s system status webpage.



Apple Australia rakes in $9 billion

Apple’s Australian and New Zealand subsidiary raked in more than $9 billion in 2018,


profit grew from $255.4 million in 2017 to $396.6 million for the year ending 29 September 2018, representing a 55 percent increase.


Apple incurred a tax bill of $164.1 million for the year, comprised of $127 million in income tax, a $30 million tax adjustment related to prior years and another deferred tax income expense of $7.3 million.


Fortnite Australia Open 2019: Summer Smash – Final placements and results


The Summer Smash was split into two tournaments, one main solo event for Australian pro’s and amateurs, and a Pro-Am featuring Fortnite personalities and celebrities.


As with all Epic Games operated Fortnite events, there was a massive prize pool up for grabs, with $500,000 total for the solo tournament making it the largest prize pool at any Australian esports event ever.


first place in the solo event walking away with a cool $100,000, and there was $50,000 each for the runner up and third place finisher.


Fortnite Australian Open 2019: Summer Smash – Final Placements

Place Player Prize
1 X2Twins Jesse $100,000
2 Araki $50,000
3 NotNaapr $50,000
4 TheSchnake $25,000
5 Gosu_Keith $25,000
6 Jynx $25,000
7 Dolf $5,000
8 DevourOCE $5,000
9 Kayez $5,000
10 Tayler_is_me $5,000


Next up on the Fortnite esports calendar is the ESL Katowice Royale at IEM Katowice. A $100,000 Polish only tournament starts on February 24, and then another $500,000 international tournament will begin on March 1.

Controversially, the March 1 tournament is expected to be the day after the launch of Season 8 of Fortnite, so there are concerns some major changes will come in to play shortly before the competition.



Microsoft hit by global cloud login problems

Microsoft suffered a worldwide issue affecting cloud services including Office 365, Azure Portal, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn, with many users unable to log into the cloud-based services.


Microsoft confirmed the problems and blamed a “network issue” that was causing problems for Azure Active Directory.


“We’ve identified a network issue that is affecting authentication to multiple Microsoft 365 services,” the company said in an advisory.

“We’ve moved services to an alternate network provider and performed numerous targeted service restarts.”

Microsoft said in an update customers “that have their authorisation cached are unaffected by this issue, and new authentications are succeeded approximately 50 percent of the time”, though it acknowledged some customers would still face issues.


iPhones aren’t too expensive, says Apple CEO Tim Cook

amid questioning from a Wall Street analyst, Cook continued to avoid acknowledgment that increased iPhone prices may be at least partly to blame, as many analysts have contended.


being asked by analyst Steve Milunovich of Wolfe Research whether Apple now believes the iPhone lineup may be priced “too high,” Cook said no.


Cook added, “I do think that price is a factor”—but only in the sense that foreign-exchange adjustments and a decline in carrier subsidies have made the new iPhones more expensive for some customers, he said


Joes Podcast Notes for



Facebook is giving Teens

$20 for thier data




  • Facebook  call it project Atlas and has been secretly paying people $20 per month to install a “Facebook Research App. The VPN service running some sorta software that lets the company suck in all of a user’s phone and web activity.
  • Facebook can make full use of its level of access they are given by asking users to install the software, once installed Facebook will have the ability to continuously collect the following types of data:
  • private messages including social media apps.
  • chats from instant messaging apps.
  • This also includes photos/videos sent to others.
  • Emails, web searches, web browsing activity.
  • And even ongoing location information by tapping into the feeds of any location tracking apps you may have installed.”
  • Facebook can even ask users to screenshot their Amazon order history page.

It’s unclear exactly what data Facebook is getting, but it gets nearly limitless access to a user’s device once they install the app.

  • Facebook has admitted to TechCrunch that it was running the Research program to gather data on usage habits.
  • Make no mistake it’s very clear that you are actually installing this software , there is a fairly big process to install the software, so you are well aware that you are doing this.

If you want more details head over to our show notes for a link to the story and you can see in more detail whats going on.




Project Alias- Gives Users Privacy from the “Always Listening” Smart Speakers




  • Project Alias is an open source ‘smart parasite’ that feeds smart speakers white noise while allowing users to train custom wake-up names.
  • This has been developed by Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen, and the project is open source, with source code available on GitHub and build instructions on Instructables.
  • If your keen you can make this smart parasite , it requires a raspberry pi and a 3d printed part. Currently, instructions and files only exist for Alexa Echo and Google Home devices, however, the creators state more compatibility is on the way soon.
  • The device acts as a middle man, so you will be able to communicate and manipulate a home assistant when you place the “Alias” on top of it. “Alias “ runs in your local home network and not in the cloud.
  • “Alias” has 2 little speakers buildin to it that are used to interrupt the assistant with a constant low noise/sound that feeds directly into the microphone of the assistant.
  • When the Alias recognizes the user created wakeup-word, it stops the noise and quietly activates the assistant with a sound recording of the original wakeup word…which is ( hey google) then the assistant can then be used as it normally.
  • An accompanying mobile app acts as a controller to reset, train, and turn on/off Alias. Alias can also be re-programmed to send any speech commands to the assistant’s speakers.


We have included a link in the notes to a 3  minute youtube video to see how this works.




Prince Charles’ charity to stop taking Huawei donations




  • The charity founded by Prince Charles, said it would no longer accept donations from Huawei.
  • The Prince’s Trust, was founded in 1976 to help disadvantaged young people in Britain, said it had received 490,000 pounds from Huawei since 2007.
  • “At present, we are not accepting new donations from Huawei in light of public concerns,” the Prince’s Trust said in a statement. “Future donations will continue to be reviewed by our Ethical Fundraising Committee.”
  • Huawei have responded and said in a Statement.

“We regret that decisions of this sort are being taken as a result of ill-informed and unfounded discourse about Huawei.


There seems to be overwhelming reports to suggest that something is going on.


An article on ITnews says;


  • In the most serious move, Meng Wanzhou, finance chief of Huawei and daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States over alleged violations of US sanctions on Iran. She is currently under house arrest. China is demanding that she be freed.


  • Polish authorities earlier this month also arrested a Huawei executive on spying allegations, fuelling Western suspicion against Huawei.
  • The United States and allies including Australia have restricted Huawei from working on next-generation 5G mobile networks. …. I know that Optus has also banned use of Huawei equipment in the core network, and looks like they will be going with Nokia equipment for 5g. Germany is debating whether to follow suit.
  • British officials have lately followed the US in voicing concern. In December, BT said it would remove Huawei equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and not use the Chinese company in central parts of the next 5G network.



Joe The Gadget Man – BM800 Condenser Podcast Mic Kit.


Youtube Link.