In ExtraBITS this week, we offer a few Apple-specific ways to watch tonight’s presidential debate, or maybe a nice peaceful football game. Apple is working on a fix for a security flaw in iOS 10, while Yahoo is dealing with the theft of data associated with 500 million accounts — ouch! Finally, we note Dejal’s 25th year of Mac development.
How to Watch the Presidential Debate on Your Apple Devices — The first U.S. presidential debate will air tonight, 26 September 2016 at 9 PM EDT. Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac has compiled a partial list of the many apps and Web sites that will let you watch live, for free. In addition, as we expand upon below, Sling TV is offering a free preview today, which will carry the debate.
Sling TV Offers Free Preview for Presidential Debate — Streaming cable alternative Sling TV is offering a free preview of its Sling Orange service from 8 AM EDT on 26 September 2016 until 2 AM EDT on 27 September 2016. The ostensible reason for the preview is to enable cord-cutters to watch the first U.S. presidential debate and the Atlanta-New Orleans game of Monday Night Football, but you can enjoy full access to the 25+ channels included in the Sling Orange service during that time. Signing up for the free preview requires only a username and password, not payment information. You’ll undoubtedly hear from Sling TV afterward, but you should be able to unsubscribe from promotional mailings at that point. Sling TV offers apps for macOS, iOS, and tvOS.
Apple to Fix iOS 10 Security Flaw with iTunes Backups — Russian security company Elcomsoft has discovered a major security flaw in iOS 10: encrypted iTunes backups made with iOS 10 allow password-cracking tools to make 6 million attempts per second, more than 40 times faster than with backups created with iOS 9. Apple has confirmed that the issue is real and plans to fix it in an upcoming security update. In the meantime, because the vulnerability could be exploited only by someone with access to your iTunes backups, Apple recommends a strong login password and using FileVault encryption. (The problem also affects backups made in iTunes for Windows.) iCloud backups are immune to the problem, so if you’re concerned about the security of your iTunes backups, you might consider switching them to iCloud.
500 Million Yahoo Accounts Stolen — Yahoo has announced that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts has been stolen by what the company believes is a state-sponsored actor. If you have a Yahoo account, you should change your password immediately and enable two-step verification. In addition, if you use Yahoo as your primary email provider, you should change the passwords for any online account tied to your Yahoo email address, since the thieves could have used password resets to gain access to those accounts as well. More so than any other recent example, this breach shows the importance of using a password manager like 1Password or LastPass to create and enter a separate strong random password for every site.
Dejal Marks 25 Years of Mac Development — Congrats to David Sinclair of Dejal, who is celebrating his Mac development company’s 25th anniversary (check out the photo of his original Mac Plus!). Dejal is perhaps best known for its Simon monitoring tool, but the company also makes the free Time Out break reminder app, along with the Caboodle snippet keeper, and the BlogAssist utility for simplifying the process of making HTML markup. Through the end of the month, Dejal is offering a 50 percent discount on all its products.