Brew & Byte  – Flash in the Pan?

Craig     Hello. And welcome back to episode eight of the Brew & Bite show. Tonight, we have our panel and first up, we’re going to say hello to our favourite mathematician, which is Tina. 

Tina      Hello 

    Craig      how are you? 

    Tina      Hello.

    Craig      And secondly, tonight we’ve got everybody’s tech expert,  which is Alastair. Hello?

    And not forgetting the most important thing that everybody should be doing this week is  backing up their computer. I’m going to hand you over to the backup King. How are you today? 

   Martin      good evening. Good evening evening. Oh yes, I’m very good. I’m in the process of I’ve just bought myself a new two terabyte SSD, and I’ll be  making sure that the latest backups are up to date.

    Craig      Perfect. Thank you. So this week in Apple news, there has been a number of different things, but first up, I’m sure Alastair  would like to tell you some more information about piece of software that we will be waving goodbye to this week. 

     Alastair       So some of you may have guessed that Adobe’s flash is going end of life and.

     The latest update from Adobe flash player now includes a kill switch. So next month it will automatically uninstall itself and it will no longer be allowed to be installed. So a program which, or a piece of software, which has been very useful in the past initially to run a video, especially when YouTube first started.

     Has now been superseded by HTML five, which is why we no longer use flash and to quote Steve jobs. He said that he disliked flash because it slowed down the computers and it was inefficient for battery life. And that’s why it wasn’t going to be installed on the iPhone. So Steve jobs has got his wish by getting rid of flash.

      So we’re now going to move to all HTML five, which is better from a security point of view. And it’s going to be less likely to be exploited, which is what currently flash currently gets dealt with at times. So just to  let our listeners  know if you come across any websites now, which say, please install flash to see contents on this website, the chances are that that site has got malware on it because Firefox internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari have all said that.

     They are no longer supporting flash. They are no longer allowing flash to be installed. So the only people are now installing flash or fake flash is going to be the malware people 

     Tina       since flash is no longer the saviour of the universe, 

     Craig       was it gone in a flash? 

     Martin       Oooo never really understood the flash issue.

     I’ve seen it and I’ve used it  and it’s worked well.  The point he has is slow. It does slow the systems down especially when you’re trying to do video work. So all in all, I suppose it’s a good thing. All things do get superseded in the end. So I think for me personally, I said I’m a bit of a mixed bag with it.

      I don’t, I haven’t got bad feelings one way or the other. But if it’s, we’ve moved on, we move on and I’ll make sure it’s all cleaned out of the system. 

      Craig        Am I right in saying that there is also no support? Going forward after this date, too, for people that are still using flash out there somewhere. 

      Alastair        Yes. The flash stop supports this month.

      So unlike internet Explorer, where it’s still hard coded in for certain websites around the world. So you still have internet six websites, so they still have that. Around flash is no longer being supported. So if you have flash on, then you have your website, your either incredibly archaic or behind the times, or you don’t really care.

     I mean, the last time I was using flash was.    when I was doing flash animations. And it was a big thing then, because it is the only way you could do animations on a website. And I had the little man who, who I animated, you run down the screen and open up a door and it was quite fun. It was all meant to look like someone had got into your system.

      It was a quite sort of amusing little character based on morph. And so. That was fun then, but now it’s all been superseded, so I can’t see why anyone would need it. Although I did read, but some corporations have got it hardwired internal somewhere, and so certain systems are going to go offline. That’s all.

      Craig        Okay. We also have some exciting news for those of you that. Have got, or considering an  M chip Mac in regards to running windows. So the popular visualisation program parallels is supposedly doing an invite only technical review. I’m sure Tina has some opinions on this one. 

    Tina       I think worry at the mine is they’re saying that that it’s only going to be working for Intel based windows stuff. But they’re not  saying that the Intel work. So I think as we do all these things, I was getting quite excited about the idea of replacing my MacBook  with an M with a MacBook Air  because my Mac book is struggling sometimes, you know, video and the demands on it because there’s only a little banking thing in it.

      So type thing, but while I occasionally use some legacy software which is office  , and I’m sorry, if you want to draw diagrams and you snapped grid because of word count, word, it doesn’t snap properly. And therefore. You know, I want to be able to run my virtual machines. I use VM fusion.

     They’re not saying a lot, but they’re saying they’re doing the best to get me get it working, but it’s what versions they get to work. What virtual machines. So there’s lots of forums where people are saying I’ve launched this and nothing happened. So if you do use virtualisation in any form, be it paid for, not paid for check carefully before you buy the M one.

     Because it may not do what you want it to do. I’ve also was watching the video today. In fact, someone who’s talking about Sonya from Adobe and how long it took to export video and this blogger was talking about the fact that she could do it in final Cocteau though, and export the video in two and a half minutes, three minutes, but it was like an hour an hour.

     And so. Buyer beware. Be very aware of what you need to use your machine for and double check that there aren’t problems and then consider, is it a deal breaker? You know, I’m no longer a maths teacher. So I may not need office  . So it could be that this is the point when I wave it goodbye. And then it becomes less of an issue, but  it’s a fast moving field, isn’t it?

      Because hopefully for instance, Adobe will sort that direct down and update their apps. So they’ll work on them once in a can. And hopefully the infusion and parallels and get things working, but double, double check. 

      Alastair        I would say that the interesting thing that’s going to come out from this is we’re probably going to see that most of the creative industry, I guess still stay on the Intel max, because they know everything works.

     They’ve already got the machines. They already have everything set up. But for the office users who were given previously MacBook Airs to do email web surfing zoom meetings, they might be given the . The other thing which is going to  pose an interesting problem is a lot of people use boot camp and they also use Linux via VMware or parallels.

      So what you may find is people keeping their old Mac books around. to run, the VM-ware app stuff for the parallels and their new Macs to run all the high speed stuff. Because when I’ve been looking at the tech details for the new M one chips, they’ve basically taken in all the latest improvements in JavaScript, all the, the memory management that Intel doing, and they incorporate it into their own Silicon.

      And it’s, it’s fascinating. I’ll see if I can find the notes and put it in the show notes for you, but it seems that there’s going to be a series of slow stages before most things move over to the . It’s going to be very much like when we moved from iOS nine to OSX. 

     Craig       So one other major change that I’am sure.

     Some of us out there that are social media users, who’ve noticed. are some little warning icons or some notification changes that may have popped up. One in particular that I use on daily basis is Instagram being the photographer. And you are now almost held back on some of the information that you were provided before, especially in terms of sharing.

      And I’m sure Alastair can give some insight into why that is.

      Alastair        So what is happening is Facebook. Is moving everyone from the UK data protection rules to the U S data protection laws. So currently a as a. Facebook or Instagram or WhatsApp user. We currently have signed up to the UK versions as UK and Ireland’s data protection, rules, and legislations, which fall on the tougher restrictions and have better privacy settings and also have better security settings against federal agencies wanting access to I’m moving to the U S version or the data moves to America.

     And as such, they can’t provide us in services because they can’t provide the security or the guarantees as per requirements because the data sensors are moving to the US data laws. I think this is all to do with the current Senate hearings, which are going through in America, but I’m not entirely sure.

     What the reason behind that was? 

     Tina       I think one of the reasons we’re losing some protections in our data’s being moved is, and I hate to use this word Brexit because there’s lots of rules to do with date and the EU, technically we will no longer be a member. Well, we won’t get mended here. So therefore those rules don’t apply to us.

    Martin      Its there something to do with the level of fines that the EU have been slapping on the bigger American companies that they can turn around and say, well, we don’t fall under a huge jurisdiction and they dare fall can get away with not having to pay these fines. 

    Alastair      Yeah. Thing is they don’t want to pay the taxes and UK so, their offices to Ireland or they’re moving them to America again.

     Now the strange thing is if you look at it, Twitter has not changed their terms conditions. And they’re, US-based. The other thing is that. It’s to remember that Apple or have also announced that’s with iOS  , they’re going to have tougher ad protection rules, the US Senators against all they were against Facebook being so dominant in the area.

     And there have been suggestions in the past that may be. Facebook should break up WhatsApp and Instagram is separate companies. So maybe by moving it all to us, it might stop this at times, but watch this space is all I’m going to say. 

     Craig       Perfect. Does that impact some of the news that came out around the EU privacy rules as well?

     Because at the moment there’s a bit of a discussion. Does this apply to the UK anymore after Brexit avoiding the subject? 

     Tina       Because we’ve got a transition. From being in the EU to not being in the EU. And obviously the Americans have got a transition between the Trump presidency and the Biden in terms of you’d see, despite what you may or may not read in the news.

     And Trump has been aggressively pushing for penalties for things like Facebook because he’s not happy with how he’s projected in it. And no, one’s quite sure what’s going to happen with Biden. So everything’s in a bit in flux. So I think it is a case of wait and see.

      Craig        And lastly, should we talk about the, the not so big mention  of a big network hack?

      I don’t know how much people haven’t read into this. This is quite an interesting one. So as an as current news puts, it is that a Hack happened earlier this year in March to a US-based company, that monitors networks, and also covers some of the fortune   companies. And it has now come to light that some us federal services have also been under attack involved in this.

      But I wonder if anybody has any thoughts on that particular subject? 

      Alastair        So you’re referring to FireEye attack. Okay. So for those who aren’t aware fire eyes, is a  security  consultants. They provides red, red team and other securities. Services to get runnability assessments of the us military and federal agencies, as well as top five fortune   companies, they had developed a series of tools or software tools to.

     Test or exploits vulnerabilities as part of their reds team exploits they were recently compromised and the theory goes that they may be used against Google or tho from what I read, it says, they said that the Google suffered an outage, nothing to see here. These were not the droids you’re looking for.

      As, as Google had put it, they said that they had experienced a problem, which was due to an internal storage quota issue. So they’re writing it in a sort of very difficult to understand terminology. And we’ll probably find out in the coming months, maybe after Biden comes into power. What that actually means, but it’s, some people have been saying that something more was going on, but we won’t know.

      Martin        So let me get this straight so that the bad hackers were using the good hackers to get into the system to take it down because it was not being too flattering to a certain incumbent. 

     Alastair       Depends on how you read it. Some would say that they were attacking Google because Google.Is the largest American based media provider.

     So if you look at it, they provide free G-Mail to a number of people. They provide YouTube and another number of our services and some. Estimated that it was a bad actors, attacked, flexing their muscles to show them what they could do, but we won’t know as yet what that is. So this is why I’m saying we will probably find out in the coming months when the information comes out and when it moves away from the NDAs, we’ll find out what will come out.

      Craig        They’ve been quite quiet. And to be honest, the news doesn’t cover it very well, but it’s not just U S based. Companies that it supposedly attacked or filtered information from. It does actually affects the UK as much as it does everyone else over believe 

     Martin       can’t comment on that. Yeah, it’s, it’s a, it’s a difficult one, but was it last year that the NHS came under quite quite a severe attack for developers from ransomware?

     It wasn’t, it was a different type of attack. 

     Alastair       The WannaCry attack. Yes. 

     Craig       At the moment. According to US media, it says that Microsoft has identified victims in Canada, Mexico. Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel and the United Arab Emirates as it stands. And that’s within the little bit of information that they’ve given.

      Alastair        The other thing is not to get confused with the solar winds exploit because the Google one was not using solar winds that came in after Google got attacked. But solar winds is a powerful remote desktop program to use for technical support. So if you phone your technical departments and say, I’m having problem with my computer, they would dial into your computer and access it.

     But. Will be interesting to see. I think this one, the sign of wins is more you know, a nation States trying to go against the U S agencies as in federal agencies. That is, 

     Tina       well, I think that’ll show ’em how to get some of the big companies, but that particular one sounds like it’s massive. 

      Alastair        Yes. Now the, if you read Brian Krebs, the great security correspondent who worked, he used to work for the New York times he’s currently got on his website saying that the NSA have put up a cybersecurity advisory saying Russian state sponsored acts, actors explode vulnerability in VM workspace.

      So they’re saying that there was more than one exploit used for it. And. The FireEye in solar winds are both connected. So we’ll put that in the show notes for anyone who wants to read it more in depth. 

      Craig        My, my view is a white Hacker company got hacked and someone turned their own tools against them. Is my view to that, which is quite an interesting one in regards to bugs.

     Shall we move on to the next problem that some of you may have experienced to do with. Mac. OS Big Surs, recent update. So I don’t know if anybody’s tried this yet, but on ., or for those of you that might be sitting on a Mac with big Sur and can’t find . as an update, there is a particular reason.

      So at the moment, there is a bug in regards to this update. So on some machines, it is not showing. And the reason maybe behind that is one of two areas, Mac OS. .., for those of you that have downloaded that may not be seeing the newest version, which is actually  . and the actual reasoning behind that.

      Is to do with how you are connected to Apple servers. So this week Apple announced that they are no longer pushing out updates separately to iOS installations. So going forward, you will now have to re- download the entire download, which at the moment sits at.  .  gigabyte. So that may be difficult for some, with very slow internet connections in the whole network, administrators, world, people are not liking this.

      And the reason behind that is that. How networks are set up in regards to pushing updates is normally they are downloaded to one particular server or machine, and then pushed out by the administrator to those devices because of this bug or the way that Apple has decided to set this up. It’s no longer possible. So they have to have physical access or someone with the technical skills. To actually download the entire update. So I’m sure Alastair would like to give his opinion. 

      Alastair        I can see is that currently most it experts carry a copy of all the operating systems on the USB drive. So that they can install it on the new hard drive.

     So what, when you’re doing a hard drive replacement, it’s very easy to put a copy of your operating system, but this new approach requires that you have.   gigabytes space on that drive of the computer you’re currently working on you have high speed internet, and that you’re not gonna have any breakup in your internet connection.

      Now, if the average download speed in London is somewhere between   and   fine. That’s not problem, but when you move out of London to. Slightly more poorer areas bandwidth impaired areas. You’re lucky to get five megabytes. Sorry. It could take a whole day just to get an updates. And if you going for that period of time, you could end up with a problem of orange re download multiple times because it doesn’t download correctly.

      And this reminds me of how I found updates, designed where each version of the operating system is custom built for that particular iPhone, because it takes the serial number. From the iPhone and incorporates it into the update. So you can’t even copy the updates across the security setting. It’s all tied in with the digital enclave.

     Martin       That’s going to tee off a lot of system administrators I’d imagine. And they don’t, they usually don’t want to make hard work for themselves. So they’re looking for there an easier way out. So that could be, that could be detrimental to the. Rollout of Apple in System, or in a organisation. 

      Alastair        I got a lot of people guys stay on Catalina, because if you think about it, you got the M one chips, which are gonna cause problems because certain programs don’t work nicely with it.

      So that’s the entire Adobe suite seconds you’ve got. Let’s say virtual machines or the office, or requiring   gigabytes, you can see your bandwidth disappearing instantly, which means, right. So that means you’re going to have to come in over the weekend to do all the updates because you can’t run voting machines all needing   gig updates simultaneously, because you’re done that with no download speed or no upload speed.

      So yeah. It’s going to be a real logistical headache. If they continue to go at this rate, 

      Martin        do we know why? It seems a strange, strange scenario for Apple to set up? Is that, is there some kind of security issue that they’ve uncovered in doing updates rather than full installs? 

      Alastair        Not that I’ve heard of. No.

       The only thing I can think of is that they’re thinking any. versions on the disc can go out of date. So a few years back, was it.  , there was Apple had signed, the updates with an out-of-date certificate. So the certificate expired within two years. And so everyone was forced to read, download the updates, all their fresh versions of the operating system, because it wouldn’t install or you had to change the dates on the Mac, you and installed the operating system on to.

          and then it would work again because it was a time-based certificate. Now, maybe Apple is moving to  a much tougher certificate system. So there may be wanting everything to be within a week of the update or month of the update 

      Martin        they are, I suppose they just assume that we’ve all gotten. Really high download speeds these days now, and that it isn’t a problem to download   and a half gig of data, 

       Tina         it’s going to be a problem if you’re going to be doing multiple machines.

       Martin         I, I used to look after an office which had eight altogether. So that was a simple job download at once and then just put it onto the machines from a thumb drive, but that would be having to download each sheet and get it to download. As you say, the logistics of that would be a. Difficult to say the least, it will be it interesting to find out , there’s gotta be a reason behind it.

       I said, you know, I know Apple have the reasons. Sometimes they’re very nefarious, but it’d be interesting to find out. So if anyone out there has a knowledge of why this has been done or, or a theory on why it’s being done with it, be great to hear from you. 

      Alastair        I think what’s gonna happen in the schools and the colleges is you’ll find that they’re only do the  updates once a term. Or even in the summer term, because if you’ve got a university with a thousand Mac computers in it, your not going to do the updates. One weekend. You ain’t got the time you go do it over the summer, where you got two weeks or four weeks to download it. And you’ve got enough technicians to, to initiate the the updates, because these won’t be allowed to be run independently.

       They will all have to be checked and you’ll come across one or two machines, which won’t see the updates. So then you’ll have to boot them into safe mode. Then you’ll come across those who will be in. Bandwidth impaired errors. So you, you, if you got  machines downloading you, you may find that you, you have to restrict or you come across bandwidth problems.

       You’ll suddenly get something from Johnny warning you that you’ve been downloading far too much updates. And do you have to stop or you set everything up at three in the morning just to get around the problem of everyone else being on the 

      Craig        internet. 

      Here’s a good quiz question.

      Who’s going to know the answer to this,  how many Apple products. We’re released in   , I have a feeling it’s also been the busiest 


       Craig           products in total. I don’t know any other year that they’ve done so many in one go, 

      Martin         Its not something. I could put my finger on. I haven’t done that. So a question each year going  back, but it does one of the, I think one of the issues with COVID, which has brought about is the lack of all the trade shows all disappeared.

      So we saw the first, this first time, this year, the virtual trade shows where people were doing their product launches big flashy, ritzy video format. And I think they’ve done that. That’s a very productive way of doing it. Instead of having all your engineers sitting in an audience software, talking to them, you can actually do a video.

      And send it all out. So I would imagine that the, the cost of putting on a show WWDC, for example, for Apple must cost a fair bit for them to do. And there’s also the lost downtime for people, obviously having to be there and work and stuff like that. So the idea of doing a flashy presentation on, on a video I think has become quite appealing.

       And because of that, I thought, well, hang on, we could do one of these a month. We could launch a new product a month with the nice glitzy video. And I think that’s, that could have contributed to why we seen one, so many product launches this year as each one has always become its own little little sideshow and a little presentation shot.

       So COVID, I think may have affected how companies view that if you look at the, some of the other big tech Johns as well, they’ve all gone down that route now that doing glitzy product launches on, on on the internet 

      Craig        In regards to a big year from Apple releases. And let’s go through the panel who would like to go first in regards to choosing their favourite product of the year.

      That could be if you’ve. Used it or bought it this year or one that you particularly liked and the reason why, and you’ve now got   to choose from. 

       Tina         It’s interesting because I’m really, really interested in the. M chip and I may or may not buy a product that’s been launched this year. However, I’m very interested in where it’s going next because I’m looking at the replacement.

       For my Macbook pro, it’s about six, seven years old. I don’t want a   inch cause I’m going to do my photos on it, but that said, I find that the   inch MacBook pro the new one really exciting. Not because I want that one, but because of what’s coming, it makes me very excited about what’s coming. So that’s my favourite thing.

       Not that I’m going to buy it, but because of whats its pointing to.

       Martin         Okay. I’ll jump in here. My favourite is my new iPhone   max pro, and it’s, it’s brilliant. It’s a, an update from my old  that I had. The quality of it is stunning. I it’s a, it’s a true blue Apple Mac product. The feel of it, the design of it the way it’s made and way its built is just quality.

     The screen is brilliant to look at. I started taking some, some videos on it, which are very impressive photos, again, a huge jump forward. So yes, very, I was a bit skeptical about going to such a, a large phone from the . The  always seemed to be, to be that the perfect size and power, but no, no regrets whatsoever.

       The size is not an issue for me personally and. Altogether. It’s, it’s a, it’s a well thought out and produced product. Very happy with it. And my little Wishlist thing is I want to buy a mini HomePod. For Christmas, I’ve got a couple of rooms that I think would benefit. We’ve got some HomePod scattered around the house, but one in the kitchen and one in the office here I think would go very well.

      So at the price point, they have. Launched at    pounds. I think it’s a good bias. So like likely treat myself to one of those of Christmas. 

      one of 

      Alastair        the Products I was most interested in was the iPhone   mini. Because of three main reasons behind it. So the the size, it’s a small phone and I liked small phones. The fact that it’s got straight edges rather than curved edges, which means it’s easier to hold.

       And the fact that they’ve gone for not dumbing it down, they’ve made a phone, which is a small in size, but has all the good features. Minus’s two lenses on the small phone. So you’ve got a good size screen. Good size sounds a good quality sound I should say. And excellent camera photography on there.

     And they’ve not cheapened out on it, which is surprising because normally when you get the smaller phone, you get the cheaper quality yourself. So I think that the   is a brilliant phone. although the phone I went for when my SE stopped charging or holding charge was the new SE   . Because the way I looked at it was that as much as I love the iPhone   mini for seven, nine, nine, I could buy. The SE, second generation at three, nine, nine, and I fought, or I paid slightly more. Cause I went for the   GB version. So I paid four four, nine that’s in pounds, by the way. And I could then get the iPhone  camera and pretty much iPhone  quality screen and better quality sounds. At a fraction of the price.

      And to me, it’s a very good phone. And by putting it in the Spigit case, I get the flat sides, like I would off the iPhone   and I don’t have any problems there. The only minor noise I had was Spigit cases. It’s slightly heavier. And the only other minor annoyance is I’m old fashioned. And I would love that to be a headphone Jack, 

     Craig       my favourite product.

      Of the year has to be the iPad pro. So investing in one, not long after they came out, it’s now been the item that I probably don’t put down at any point of the day. Reason being for that is now it’s became, I’m much more of a versatile machine. It’s far more powerful than it ever was before. And now some of the big software operators are providing software for it.

      I could not live without Lightroom or Photoshop being available on there now. And in particular procreate, I heavily used that. That’s my pick of the year for sure. And I’d happily buy another one. 

      Martin        Would you say it rivals a MacBook pro. 

      Alastair        Ooh, 

      Craig        that’s a good question. I would say 

      Martin        good general use rather than big, heavy, heavy apps that we use.

      Craig        Good question. If you’d asked me this last year, I would have probably said no, but now I would probably say you could happily live without a MacBook pro. You could easily live off of an iPad, only environment. And part of the decision behind that is that it has to be for the port, the USBC port, without that it might have been a no in that regard.

       There are so many more things now. I don’t think I own anything now. That’s that old USB connection. They’re all. USB-C. Or especially in terms of transferring things off hard drives even down to the microphone that I’ve got here, you can connect straight into the MacBook. or to the iPad. You’ve got the choice of the two, 

      Martin        because I think soon as the Tina, I’ve got a not as old, a MacBook pro next year I’m looking to upgrade and I’m tend to thinking, do I scrap the MacBook pro.

      Go for an iPad pro and then get a    inch or an iMac pro. So I can do all my heavy lifting work on that and use the iPad pro as my general day to day working machine when I’m out and about. Rather than sort of the choice. Last, last time I did this, I went for the MacBook pro and used that as my primary primary machine.

       So I’m thinking that for the cost-wise I could maybe look at splitting it and having to have an iPad pro as my general use machine and then the iMac.  Probably as my heavy duty duty work for final cut and stuff like that. But that’s a, that’s a decision for next year waiting for the, to see what happens with it.

       Will they bring an I and an iMac pro out with an M one chip? 

       Craig         I think a good combination would be an iPad pro of some form and a Mac mini that’s all you’d ever need to be honest. 

      Alastair        Do you use the pencil much apart from drawing 

      Craig        more than anything, in particular or marking off photographs, or if I’m sending  notifications back to people in regards to editing I’ll circle and draw around things on that.

       And there’s far more integration now because you can use the pencil in notes in particular or marking off. Does anybody have their recommendation in regards to you buy a new Mac or an iPad? And what would be the first. Third party app that you would install and why? 

       Alastair         So I traditionally per i-STAT menu on all my Macs.

      You can’t put it on the iPads or iPhones because it’s not currently supported since about six years ago. And I use it because it comes in incredibly useful because if you ever wonder why your Mac is slowing down or is a file still downloading, what’s your internet speed, like or you running out of space?

      I stat menu comes in incredibly useful. So I find it very helpful because you think, Oh, my computer’s slowing down. It needs more Marine. Then you look at it and go, actually it’s the SST it’s causing problems or. You want to see it? Are you having internet issues? You can see check very quickly. with iStat.

       I think that is a brilliant little program and very helpful, which I have on all my mac’s. I have another little extensions I put in different programs, but it’s probably one of the first I install. 

      Martin         I, I could be greedy. I have two. Instantly that I install. One is a Launch Bar, which is a bit like Alfred. It helps you run your systems.

       It has a multiple clipboard facility, which I use extensively for copy paste. And it’s also very good  like opening programs, files image, anything really quick. So that’s the first one. And then the second one I put on is something called text expander. Which as the name says, it says on the tin, you type in a short, a short code, and you can then replace that with a whole string of text, anything from a couple of words to whole paragraphs that you might be using, especially in a technical document.

       It’s very handy that you can just type a three-letter string. Well three to that string and you will get all the words you need typed out. So they’re my two go to straight away on any machine, a Textexpander and launch Bar, 

       Tina         Come to mind. So at the moment I have to sit around a lot. due to my operation.

       So the thing that I’m looking at at the moment is on my iPad split board, because it aggregates, it goes and fetches news articles that it thinks you’re going to be interested in. So you read an article. So if you, you know, my current obsession is the American election presidential election. So I have a lot of articles on that.

      Alastair        And 

      Tina        really. 

      Martin        Really 

      Tina        well, I can’t tell you about the electoral college.

     So there are some things that are a little bit odd, but sometimes you start getting articles and you wonder where the hell that came from you can, you can pick different magazines so that you know, that I have a photography section that I read things of like a Mac section. And depending on what I’m reading at the time, it just finds lots of different things.

       And because of that, you sometimes see things that you wouldn’t necessarily see. It’s very, my only criticism of it. So at the moment is that it’s Jerry American. Orientated. So that’s my only concern. But it is interesting. 

       Craig         Have you tried using Apple news? 

      Tina        I think with Apple news is that there were some, it uses things like you use a lot of British papers and some of them are behind play walls.

      So then I’ll get a bit irritated because I don’t want to actually pay for this. We can discuss the morality of that. But so I actually prefer flip-board. I haven’t given up on news enough. Attention. But like I said, a lot of the articles that I’ve seen tend to be behind paywalls. 

       Martin         Yeah. Telegraph is notorious for that.

       And the times I did, I did do the three months once with a Telegraph and some of the writing is it is worth paying for it. Some of that, that their editorial stuff and their articles are written very well. But yeah, the morality issue I’ll tell, you know, I’ve got really want to go there. Yeah. I, I, I look for a lot of the free stuff, but of course, then that comes with, you know, if it’s free, there’s a reason for it.

       And you’ve got to be careful about what they’re pushing and what they’re promoting to get you to join in. So, and then as we all know, there’s so much clickbait out there to try and get you to these sites. So. Yeah, it’s a, a balanced view. Hopefully you get from all your different

      isn’t the same. If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.

      Yeah. Yeah. Right. So,

      Tina        so classic would be Facebook. I understand why Facebook is not very happy to do with the actual privacy thing, because actually it’s how they’re going to make the money. And you already being as a, as an individual, I would pay for Facebook. If it meant not have no adverts. So, because it’s handy for me to connect with people.

      But I find the level of the level of adverts now. Very, very Irritating. So that might be something to discuss, like to podcast what’s worth paying for. 

       Craig         It’s interesting. The reason I asked that is because Apple one includes the Apple news subscription for the last month. I’ve been given it a go I’m quite surprised at how many things have actually been added since it was launched.

     There’s far more magazines on here, daily magazines now appear, and you can go back four or five issues of a particular magazine, which you couldn’t do before. Yeah. They’ve certainly worked hard in trying to get this to work. And to be honest, it’s not like one type of magazine or one area. So if you just type in Apple or Mac, you get a variety of different. variety of Apple Mac magazines that come up. 

      Alastair        The one thing I would say, which I install, which is not an app, but goes with what you’ve been mentioning is I don’t know about you, but I get really frustrated by adverts when I go to websites, whether it be on my iPhone or whether it be on websites. So a classic example, if you go to the daily mail website you’ll see you, there’ll be tons of adverts on there and lots of tracking cookies and various other things.

      So I use a extension on Firefox and on Chrome called you block origin. So that’s U for uniform and then block and then origin put the link in the show notes. And that is brilliant because that blocks not only the adverts. But the malvertising, which has malicious advertising. And so I can surf the internet without a tracking cookies and B I don’t get to see most of these infuriating jumping up and down adverts, which change color every four seconds.

      And for the iPhone. you cant get Ublock origins. So what I did is I found an app called one blocker X, and I install that. And that gets around also those annoying notifications that you get, any you which say, please accept accept cookies and the, except our terms conditions. And you can’t see anything on the screen because it takes up to an task screen.

      Before you can click and then you have to agree with it to accept or disabled and go for all the different settings, because they’ve identified, you are not American IP address and that that’s shut those down. So you don’t see them, which is excellent. And coming from a slightly more secure. Background. I prefer not to see advertising because that can be converted into malvertising.

       So I’d recommend that 

       Craig         mine, I have similar situation to Martin   and I’m going to choose two with this. So firstly, last pass would have to be the first thing that I install reason being is once you start loading in all of the apps that you’re used to, you suddenly think to yourself, well, what’s the login for this, or what’s the password for this?

       So last pass comes in there and highly recommended. You don’t necessarily need to run it on an app either it can run directly through the browser, which is really nice. And you’ve got far more management over your passwords. And my second suggestion is actually something that I’ve spent a lot of time with in the last few weeks and built into the OS, which is playing with automator.

      Does anybody else use automator? 

      Alastair        I still got the incredibly helpful book, which Apple release called Apple script one, two, three, which peach pit made. And that’s excellent. If you want to teach yourself a Apple script, which is what’s Automator sits on top of, and I would definitely agree also with last pass is excellent. I use it for storing serial numbers of products, because I don’t know about you, but hunting for the serial number for a product. And the characters are something like    characters long, and now for numeric letters is incredibly hard to type. So I like storing it in last pass. This sounds like another podcast that. Craig and Apple script 

       Craig         or home automation, which I’m not going to even venture into at the moment. I’ve heard so many stories of Christmas tree lights being automated at the moment.


       Alastair         or to do the other one I’ve heard of is that they’ve when the Google outage went, the lights went off in the house to which I said, why would you rake every single light in your house to Google? I’ll see. Obvious question. I I’ve heard of people who have ragged the lights. To music. So when certain songs are played through their speaker, it would change the lighting in accordance.

       So it goes with the beats, which I thought was quite good. We’ve got, we’ve got competition here between all the different trees, where, where I am and who can have it more in, more in sync or more out of sync with each each other. 

       Craig         I don’t know if you’ve seen it. Have you seen someone that’s done a VR Christmas tree, so you can fold your iPhone   with the LIDAR sensor over it.

       And it will display a different sequence of lights on over the Christmas tree or spell out words with the Christmas lights that are only visible through the camera app on the phone. 

      Martin        Someone’s got far too much time on their hands, honestly, 

      Craig        As we come to the end of our episode, I just want to say, I hope everybody had a good Christmas and we’ll see you next time.

      Alastair        Thank you everyone for listening. And it’s been a eventful   . And hopefully we move into the   . We’ve a different or think different attitudes. 

       Martin         Yeah. Just to, to wish all our listeners hope they’ve enjoyed the Christmas whatever format that’s taken. It’s a challenge for all of us that This is a different Christmas from most of us have ever experienced.

       I hope it works for you. Good luck to you all, 

       Tina         all the best to you and yours over this very strange Christmas,   . I hope you remain safe. And this year is a much better.