One of Australia’s biggest banks changes mind on Apple Pay

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Australia money
This is a g'day for Apple Pay users.
Photo illustration: Cult of Mac / Picturesofmoney

One of Australia’s largest banks has said that it has listened to its customers and is about to start offering Apple Pay support. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (abbreviated to CommBank) doesn’t give an exact launch date, but a tweet suggests that it’s coming soon.

This is significant due to the fact that CommBank is part of Australia’s “Big Four” largest banks, which previously struggled to come to terms with Apple over mobile payments.

Apple joins tech giants in speaking out against Australia’s anti-encryption law

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Apple continues to put privacy front and center.
Apple continues to speak out about the importance of privacy.
Photo: Apple

Apple has joined other tech giants — including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and others — in speaking out against the anti-encryption law recently passed in Australia.

The country’s controversial law means that law enforcement officials are allowed to access encrypted messages when required. Unsurprisingly, tech’s biggest titans are none too happy about it.

Australia’s new anti-encryption laws are bad news for Apple

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Apple takes privacy seriously
Apple is all about privacy.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Australia’s population may be less than 10 percent of the United States’ but its new anti-privacy laws could still have Silicon Valley tech giants quaking in their boots.

The country’s newly passed laws mean that law enforcement officials are allowed to access encrypted messages when required. That affects companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and, yes, Apple.

Apple’s troubled Melbourne flagship store has been pushed back a year

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Oz new store
The original, now abandoned design for Melbourne's flagship Apple Store.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s proposed flagship Apple Store in Melbourne, Australia’s Federation Square has been pushed back at least a year. Work was originally scheduled to start in early 2019. However, now it won’t begin until 2020 — with the eventual opening taking place in 2021.

If it even happens at all, that is.

Google Translate for iOS can speak in Australian, Indian, Spanish accents

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Google Translate can speak in a variety of accents. And it's not just English.
Google Translate can speak in a variety of accents. And it's not just English.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The days are over when Google Translate could only provide spoken translations with an American accent. The latest iOS version adds regional accents from the former British Empire.

And it goes beyond English. French translations can be said in a Canadian accent, for example.

Apple joins other tech giants opposing proposed anti-encryption law

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Tim Cook
Tim Cook is a strong supporter of privacy and encryption.
Photo: Apple

Apple has joined Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook in opposing a proposed Australian law requiring tech companies to let law enforcement access private encrypted data in suspected criminal investigations.

The law would seek to punish companies which don’t comply with $7.2 million fines, along with prison terms for individuals. It would make Australia one of the first nations to pass major legislation in this area, although other countries may be keen to follow in its footsteps.

Teenager who hacked Apple’s servers gets 8 months’ probation

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hacking pic
Teenager got off without a jail sentence.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Australian teenager who hacked into Apple’s servers and downloaded sensitive data has been given probation in place of a jail sentence.

The verdict was announced on Thursday. The teenager, who carried out the hacking between June 2015 and April 2017, has not been named because their identity as a juvenile offender is protected under Australian law. They were 16-years-old at the time that the first hacking incident took place.

Apple’s proposed Oz flagship store is having a rough ride

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Oz new store
Apple's previous (now-abandoned) design.
Photo: Apple

Will Apple’s proposed flagship Apple Store in Melbourne, Australia’s Federation Square ever happen? Increasingly, the answer appears to be in doubt — although we hope that changes.

In the latest setback to the project, Melbourne City Council has kicked back Apple’s revised designs for the store. Having already changed it once to make it more in keeping with the area, Apple’s updated design is now being accused of causing a, “loss of definition to the square.”

Apple’s plans for flagship store in Oz suffer another setback

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The view from the proposed new store,
The view from the proposed new Apple Store.
Photo: Federation Square/Apple

Apple’s ambitions to open a new “global flagship” Apple Store in Melbourne, Australia, are at risk — thanks to the granting of a new heritage protection order that will let the government deliberate on whether to permanently protect the site.

The store, supposed to be located on Melbourne’s Federation Square, has been the subject of controversy since day one. The new heritage protection status, which runs to late 2018, could prevent Apple from opening its planned retail outlet.

Apple reassures customers after teenager hacked its servers

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The CIA has a team of more than 5,000 hackers.
Teenaged hacker recently plead guilty to charges.
Photo: Brian Klug/Flickr CC

Apple has reassured customers that none of their private data was compromised after a 16-year-old teenager plead guilty to hacking into the company’s servers.

An Apple spokesperson said that, “[We] want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised.” The hacker in question managed to download 90 gigabytes of secure files.