The Zero-Day Edition Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Apple Says iOS 14.5.1 And macOS 11.3.1 Patch WebKit Flaws That May Have Been Actively Exploited, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple released updates for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch today with multiple security updates. The flaws involved malicious web content that could lead to arbitrary code execution – and Apple says they may have been actively exploited.

Apple Reports 2 iOS 0days That Let Hackers Compromise Fully Patched Devices, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

A week after Apple issued its biggest iOS and iPadOS update since last September’s release of version 14.0, the company has released a new update to patch two zero-days that allowed attackers to execute malicious code on fully up-to-date devices. Monday’s release of version 14.5.1 also fixes problems with a bug in the newly released App Tracking Transparency feature rolled out in the previous version.


Review: Using Apple’s AirTag For Tracking Checked Luggage, by David Flynn, Executive Traveller

AirTags have a clear application to help find anything you might travel with but also risk leaving behind or losing: your passport wallet, a briefcase or jacket, even the carry case where your noise-cancelling headphones reside when not in use (there’s a reason noise-cancelling cans are among the most numerous items when airports auction off their lost property).

And there are other times when an AirTag will come to the rescue of your checked luggage.

Officeworks Has Pulled Apple's AirTags From Sale Over Safety Concerns, by Tegan Jones, Gizmodo

The ACCC has now spoken to Gizmodo Australia and confirmed that there are concerns with the button batteries in the AirTags.

On App Stores

Epic Vs. Apple Opening Arguments Suggest A Bitter Battle Over iOS’ Future, by Kyle Orland, Ars Technica

While "Epic is far from the only unhappy Apple developer and distributor," Epic's lawyers said it just happened to be the one company that could "finally [say] enough to Apple's monopolistic conduct" by "taking on the world's largest company" in court over the matter.

Apple, meanwhile, used its opening arguments to characterize Epic's lawsuit as "just an attack on Apple's 30 percent commission that Epic does not want to pay" and Epic as a company that "has decided it doesn't want to pay for Apple's innovations anymore."


How iOS 14.5 Broke Apple's Podcasts App, by Stephen Robles, AppleInsider

Previously, when a user would pull-to-refresh in the Apple Podcasts app, Apple's service would gather new data from the user's subscribed podcast feeds. According to Podnews, since iOS 14.5 "the Apple Podcasts app on your listener's phone always uses Apple's database, even if they're subscribed. Your listener's phone never looks directly at your RSS feed."

This behavior is shared by other third-party podcast apps as well, such as Overcast and Pocket Casts, but it seems Apple's servers are checking much less frequently than other services.

'Denim' Playlist Artwork Creator Gets Major Update With Music App Integration, More, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Denim recently received a major update that not only added new artwork styles, but also integration with the Music app and a new way to preview the artwork with your own playlists.


A New Generation Of Black Male Teachers Starts Its Journey In Partnership With Apple, by Apple

By the end of high school, Rhys had never had a Black male teacher, and that absence, along with his family’s deep connection to education, helped steer him to follow in their footsteps.

This week, Rhys, 18, will complete his freshman year remotely as part of the inaugural class of the African American Male Teacher Initiative at Huston-Tillotson University. The first-of-its-kind program was created in partnership with Apple as part of the company’s ongoing and deep commitment to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Apple’s multiyear partnership with Huston-Tillotson complements other engagements the company has established through its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, working alongside the HBCU community to develop curricula and provide new learning and workforce opportunities.

Money Talks: Apple's Quarterly Report Is Filled With Clues About What's Coming Next, by Dan Moren, Macworld

Still, if you’re attentive—and if you’ve watched the company for a while and seen how it conducts itself—you can often pick out some interesting tidbits to chew on. After all, a company as big as Apple doesn’t turn on a dime, and there are leading indicators—to use a bit of financial jargon—that can help us see where exactly the ship might be pointed next.

Bottom of the Page

Small can be beautiful, even if almost everyone is buying the bigger phones. I don't have an iPhone mini yet, but I think I will like it.

I also hope that, by the time I am ready to replace my existing Mac mini, the new Mac mini will live up to its name. There is no reason why it cannot be as small as, or even smaller than, the Apple TV.

If Apple does have two (physical) sizes of the Mac mini. There are many who will still need something bigger so that all the different ports are still available. I wonder how Apple will name the two computers: Mac mini and Mac nano?


Thanks for reading.