AWT News Update: December 12, 2017

 Image via Cabel Sasser

Image via Cabel Sasser

Our top news stories for Apple fans today:

  • The new iMac Pro is coming on December 14, and it features a piece of custom hardware called the Apple T2 chip
  • Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago will be expanding Apple's Everyone Can Code curriculum
  • Have a drone you fly with your iPhone or iPad? If it meets certain conditions, it will need to be registered with the FAA under new legislation

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for December 12, 2017.  

Today’s news that the long-awaited iMac Pro will be available for order in two days was welcome, as are some of the details that are beginning to appear online from early testers. One of the big pieces of info is that the new iMac will have a custom chip called the T2…which does not mean Terminator 2. It’s actually a Secure Enclave for encrypted keys. What that means is that users have the ability to lock down the boot process of the iMac Pro. The T2 chip also handles a number of other functions, including the System Management Controller, image signal processor for the FaceTime camera, audio control, and control of internal SSDs. The iMac Pro version of macOS High Sierra has a “Startup Security Utility” option that allows a user to turn on a firmware password to keep the computer from being booted from a different hard disk, CD or DVD without the password. There’s also a new “Secure Boot” option, which a user can set to Full, Medium or No security. Enabling Full Security ensures that only the latest and most secure versions of software can be run, and the iMac Pro requires a network connection as software installation takes place to verify this. 

Apple wants everyone to know how to code, and it’s been expanding it’s Everyone Can Code classes for kids at Apple retail stores. The company has announced that it’s now bringing the initiative to nearly a half million kids in Chicago public schools. This spring, Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago will expand the Everyone Can Code curriculum and materials to students throughout the city to help students build coding and app development skills. The schools will also have Swift Coding Clubs as an after-school program, and businesses are offering internships to high school and college students who complete the Everyone Can Code curriculum. 

Apple fans who either have recreational drones or who will be buying one for Christmas, take note. Today, the registration of recreational drones was reinstated by the Federal Aviation Administration, so effective immediately any drone or model aircraft weighing over 0.55 pounds (250 grams)  that is controlled by either Wi-Fi or another radio frequency communications link will need to be registered with the FAA’s UAS registration service. Fortunately, it’s fast and inexpensive — you can register online at https://registermyuas.faa.gov and the cost is $5. In return, you get a registration that is good for three years. Any drones or devices that are flown indoors, with a control line (tether) or are allowed to free fly are not included in the registration order. 

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.