The Trust-Apple Edition Sunday, November 15, 2020

Application Trust Is Hard, But Apple Does It Well, by Phil Vachon, Security Embedded

In the aftermath of the OCSP responder outage, the dust settling after the macOS Big Sur release, there are a lot of folks reasonably asking if they can trust Apple to be in the loop of deciding what apps should or should not run on their Macs. My argument is - who better than Apple?


While I'm going to sound like an Apple apologist, I think the privacy arguments are far-fetched. Even if we took them to their extreme conclusion and Apple allowed users to disable all the controls they provide, we would cause more harm than good. There is certainly an opportunity for Apple to abuse the data they have access to (and oh boy do they have a lot of data on their users), but then again I think about the data that companies like Reddit, Facebook, Google and PornHub have on the average user and ask myself who has the most power to compromise a person's life?

Making Essential Services Fail-safe, by Howard Oakley, The Eclectic Light Company

I for one am very happy that my Macs enjoy these security protections, but repeatedly disappointed that there are so many weaknesses which make them unreliable. Security is only ever as good as it is reliable. When the user is denied access to their work simply because there’s a problem with a single remote service, the Mac as a computing platform is inherently unreliable.

For those who subscribe to paranoia, even a reliable service won’t be good enough. Indeed, the only choice they have starts with building their own PC, building their own Linux, and surviving without placing any trust in vendors like Apple. That means no AppleCare, no Apple Support, no Apple Store, no notarization, and only the security which you create and maintain for yourself. If you really feel that you can’t trust Apple, then that’s your only course. And the best of luck to you in tackling the likes of Facebook and Google.

Does Apple Really Log Every App You Run? A Technical Look, by Jacopo Jannone

Now that you know the actual facts, if you think your privacy is put at risk by this feature more than having potential undetected malware running on your system, go ahead. Otherwise, don’t bother.

If you use macOS Big Sur, blocking OCSP might not be as trivial. Before crying conspiracy, however, keep in mind that common users are generally not able to fully understand and evaluate the impact of disabling such a complex and delicate security feature on their computer.

Apple Developer ID OCSP, by Jeff Johnson

I didn't have a lot of data, but the data that I found did indicate that macOS was caching OCSP responses for 5 minutes before Thursday and half a day now.

iPad-esque Update

5 New Features To Explore In MacOS Big Sur, by Julian Chokkattu, Wired

You'll first notice that everything looks … different. Big Sur isn't a substantial visual overhaul, but there are small design tweaks that make the interface look a little more iPad-esque. Corners, whether you're looking at apps or the dock, are rounded. App icons are a squircle shape instead of round. Colors are bolder, grays are darker, and various icons and menus have been compressed to take up less room (looking at you, Finder). Overall, the entire operating system looks closer to a mobile OS and a great deal more modern.

macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

It appears that the overwhelming number of users experiencing problems are owners of the late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it is unclear exactly how many users of these models have been affected. It is also of note that these are the oldest models supported by ‌macOS Big Sur‌.

Mobile Photographers

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Camera Review: Big And Beautiful, by Peter Ferenczi, Dxomark

Apple’s latest flagship makes useful advances over its predecessor in almost every way. Image quality is very good, autofocus is lightning fast and accurate, detail is high, and colors are generally pleasant. Apple remains a leader in preview performance, so what you see when composing a shot looks a lot like the final result. Dynamic range could be better, but mobile photographers should be pleased overall.

This iPhone’s weakest link is its lack of long zoom capability, something we’re seeing more of in flagships from the competition. If reach is paramount to you, then there are other phones that excel in this metric (but none that run iOS).

iPhone 12 Mini Users Report Lock Screen Touch Sensitivity Issues, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Specifically, the problem manifests for most users when swiping up from the bottom of the Lock Screen using their thumb to unlock the device, or when pressing the torch or camera buttons on the Lock Screen.

Apple Says Hearing Aid Sound Issues With iPhone 12 Models Will Be Fixed In Future Software Update, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In a new support document, Apple has acknowledged that users might experience sound quality issues with some Made for iPhone hearing aids/devices. Apple says that it is aware of the issue and will provide a fix in a future software update.


Why Is Apple Paying Me $4.99 In Store Credit For Apple TV+ This Month?, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

From now until January, Apple will refund all Apple TV+ customers who are paying for the service. This refund comes in the form of store credit that you can use on any of Apple’s digital stores, like renting a movie, buying something from the App Store or simply using the credit to pay for other Apple subscriptions.


14 Year Old Student Recognized By Apple For iOS Bug Fix, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Giyas’ accomplishments show the ease of learning that Apple’s App Store has brought to students, and it’s great to see how a student used an app from his public library to learn about coding and then be recognized by one of the most popular operating systems in the world.


Peter McKinnon's MagSafe Wallet Vid Proves What's Wrong With The Tech World, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

McKinnon really seems to like this thing. But if you pay attention to what he's saying and showing, I think he's stumbled upon a problem. Not a problem with the wallet, but a problem with the way things work in the tech world.

Intel’s Disruption Is Now Complete, by James Allworth, Medium

Indeed, that deal between Apple and Intel was more important for Intel than it could have ever possibly realized. But it wasn’t because Intel had sewn up the last of the desktop computer processor market. Instead, it was because Intel had just developed a relationship with a company that was thinking about what was coming next. And when Apple were figuring out how to power it — and by it, I’m talking about the iPhone — they came to their new partner, Intel, for first right of refusal to design the chips to do.

How did Intel respond?

Bottom of the Page

I pay good money to get something I can trust, so that I can focus on doing what I want to do.


Thanks for reading.