The Proactive-Features Edition Thursday, February 17, 2022

Man Arrested For Allegedly Stalking Woman, Placing AirTag Tracking Device On Her Car, by WPXI

Apple told NBC News they take safety very seriously and are committed to AirTag privacy and security. AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking that both inform users if an unknown AirTag might be with them and deter bad actors from using them for nefarious purposes.

These features are what led to Roessler’s arrest.

New York Attorney General Issues Warning About Potential AirTag Misuse, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday issued a consumer alert to "protect New Yorkers from bad actors using Apple AirTags to track individuals' locations and their belongings for harmful purposes."

On Security

T2 Mac Security Vulnerability Means Passwords Can Now Be Cracked, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The process is still slower than usual, at a relatively sedate 15-ish passwords per second. In theory, this could still take thousands of years, but most people use relatively short passwords which are vulnerable to dictionary attacks. The average password length is just six characters, which can be cracked in around 10 hours.


Affinity Photo 1.10 Review, by Ben Brady, Creative Bloq

Affinity Photo is pretty full-featured and sports an uncluttered appearance and super-fast rendering – it handles very large files with ease, especially since its 1.10 update. It also works very smoothly on a slightly older machine (late 2013 iMac) with no noticeable lag or hiccup whatsoever.


Where Mac Catalyst Falls Short, by Steve Troughton-Smith, High Caffeine Content

Having now used Mac Catalyst to build two successful and highly-rated medium-complexity Mac apps in Broadcasts and Pastel, and having spent the past year or so building sample code for developers, I wanted to take some time to lay out the areas of the framework that I've found just don't do enough to enable great Mac apps, and perhaps provide a checklist of things for Apple to solve in future versions of the OS.


Apple Shareholders Urged To Oppose Cook’s Pay Package, by Scott Carpenter, Bloomberg

Half of Cook’s 2021 award is time-based and doesn’t depend on satisfying performance criteria such as increases in Apple’s share price, Rockville, Maryland-based Institutional Shareholder Services said in a report. Moreover, even if Cook, 61, were to retire, the award would continue to vest, ISS said in urging shareholders to oppose the pay package at the company’s annual meeting on March 4.

My Journey Down The Rabbit Hole Of Every Journalist’s Favorite App, by Phelim Kine, Politico

We make privacy versus utility tradeoffs all the time with our tech. We know Facebook sells our data, but we still post baby pictures. We allow Google maps access to our location, even though we know it leaves an indelible digital trail. And even savvy, skeptical journalists who take robust efforts to protect sources have found themselves in the thrall of Otter, a transcription app powered by artificial intelligence, and which has virtually eliminated the once-painstaking task of writing up interview notes. That’s an overlooked vulnerability that puts data and sources at risk, say experts.

Innovation Is Slowing Down—and Big Tech Is To Blame, by James Bessen, MIT Technology Review

What happened to Nuance is not just a retelling of the old story of large firms out-investing startups. Across a wide range of industries, dominant firms are employing large-scale information systems to outflank their competitors, including innovative startups. They are using proprietary software to better manage complexity and thus differentiate themselves from rival firms. And this has allowed them to increase their market dominance and avoid being overtaken by rivals.

Bottom of the Page

Remember when Apple worked with Google on the contact-tracing apps? I wonder if Apple has started talking to Google about detecting AirTags...


Thanks for reading.