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ExtraBITS for 23 October 2017

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the Mac mini is important to Apple’s future (we’ll believe him when we see a real update!), Apple recommends running a specific Terminal command before selling a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, and we learn what the iPod’s creator is up to now.

Tim Cook Calls the Mac mini “Important” -- It has been three years since Apple last updated the Mac mini, and that revision was in many ways a downgrade from its predecessor. Despite that dubious history, Apple CEO Tim Cook told a MacRumors reader via email that Apple plans for the Mac mini to be an “important part of the company’s product lineup in the future.” Given that Apple has ignored the Mac mini for so long, we’re taking Cook’s claim with the proverbial grain of salt, but we’d love to see Apple put a new spin on the idea of a miniature Mac.

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Use This Terminal Command Before Selling a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar -- Before you sell or give away a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (which has a Touch ID sensor), Apple recommends that you boot the Mac into macOS Recovery and execute this Terminal command: xartutil --erase-all. We’re not entirely sure what it does, and Apple doesn’t offer any explanations, but we suspect it acts to clear the Secure Enclave that stores your fingerprint data. Regardless, it would be wise to follow Apple’s advice.

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What the iPod’s Creator Is Up To -- Tony Fadell designed the iPod at Apple and then created the Nest thermostat that was eventually purchased by Google. Now with his new venture, Future Shape, Fadell is going after the concept of Silicon Valley as a tech hub by funding startups from Paris, France. Fadell has taken his fair share of criticism over the years for being overbearing and opinionated (shades of Steve Jobs), but he is also one of the most successful Apple alums and is worth keeping an eye on.

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