Essential Apple Podcast 55: Mark’s M.I.A.

Recorded 10th September 2017

As Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc and devastation on the Caribbean, and is making landfall in Florida as we record this, and Hurricane Jose is lining up for a “double whammy”, could we once again ask you to consider making a donation to a reputable disaster relief charity. Thanks.

This week, while Mark is delayed I am joined by Geoff Rogers: former owner of Ideas Into Print, who were a ‘book packager’ for the publishing industry. Like independent production companies create programmes for TV channels, they produced books for publishing companies, concentrating on natural science subjects and gardening, making big colourful books for the international market. Geoff is now retired, a committee member of our Suffolk Mac User Group and long time “not a power user”. He’s here to help do what we always do; throw our “two penneth worth” of comments and opinions out into cyberspace.

Listen to the show:

This and other episodes are available at:

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On this week’s show:


  • Apple’s iOS 11 GM got leaked: huge coverage of what poking about in there has revealed – 9 to 5 Mac
    Warning, if you are like me and don’t want to ruin it all before Tuesday probably best you don’t follow that link.
  • iOS 11 Beta Dev 11/Public 10 arrived; by this point when they come fast and furious you know that the changes are mostly bug fixes and optimisations.
  • Don’t fall for this ‘missing font’ scam spreading malware to Chrome and Firefox browsers – International Business Times
  • Avira debuts the Free Security Suite for macOS – Apple World Today

MENTIONED BUT NOT DISCUSSED (because mark wasn’t here)

  • YouTube for iOS can now live stream ReplayKit apps and games – iDanny
  • 2D Game Development Engine ‘GameMaker Studio 2’ Debuts on macOS – MacRumors


  • Ultrasonic ‘Dolphin’ attacks fool Amazon, Google, Apple voice assistants – BBC News
  • KrauseFx/whats-the-user-doing? Raising awareness of what you can do with a smartphones gyro sensors – GitHub
  • The Google Drive app for PC and Mac is being shut down in March. Support will end as of December 11th, so you should move to Google’s newer apps – The Verge
  • In a world flooded with WiFi there is still room for Bluetooth – Digital Trends
    “Starting with Bluetooth 4.1, GAP broadened its networking abilities Bluetooth devices gained the ability to play the roles of both parent and child, giving all devices the ability to connect and broadcast to any peer directly.”
  • 2017 Hard Drive Reliability By Manufacturer and Model – Backblaze
    The annualised failure rates mostly work out to between 1-2% depending on drive size and make – there were three 4TB HGST drives with a fail rate below 1% and I’d say avoid the 4TB Seagate ST4000DX000 with its 8.63% annualised failure rate.


  • Student invents clothes that ‘grow’ as babies do – Telegraph
    I looked this up and it relies on a synthetic material engineered to have a “negative Poisson’s ratio” and you can find out how this interesting phenomenon works here
  • Hot new app? Most of us can’t be bothered to download it – Digital Trends
  • “Current Wars” Benedict Cumberbatch plays Thomas Edison competing with Michael Shannon’s George Westinghouse in an upcoming film about the AC/DC battle that’ll electrify science geeks – CNet

Cutie Melon Moment (1:08:23)

Nemo’s Hardware Store (31:53)

  • GRDE Portable Wireless Stereo Bluetooth 4.0 Solar Speaker $50 US / £45 GBP Amazon
    When I originally checked this it was available from Amazon UK, possibly it is out of stock at the moment as it is no longer showing up… If you are interested I guess you may have to just keep checking
  • Onanoff Soundcover for iPad Air 1 & 2. $129 US Direct or $49.99 US on Amazon. Sorry, but I can’t find a UK seller.

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  • Co-host of the Essential Apple Podcast alongside Mark Chappell who lives in the far West of Wales, while I make my abode deep in the East of Suffolk. Father, Husband, Mac Lover, DTP & Prepress Professional, Geek, Cook, Drinker of Wines, Beers & Spirits. I am British, and now the "wrong" side of 50 years old, I am married and have 3 children. I started working in a design studio in the early 80's back in the days of Cow Gum, Rotring Pens and Scalpels. I moved on to using Macs in about 1989 (way back when 40MB Hard Drives were BIG and 8MB RAM was a top end spec, System 6.0.3 was the cutting edge and the IIcx I worked on set me back about £5000... eek!). Since then I have worked on pretty much every generation of Macintosh and every Mac OS Apple have released. I have done design and pre-press work with a wide variety of "DTP" applications old, new, well known and obscure. I have a fascination with finding cheaper alternatives to the "big guns" so DTP can be accessible to everybody! For the last 15+ years I have worked in a small print works close to my home doing design and pre-press work.

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