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#1405: YouTube TV, Apple OS updates, HomePod rings, Facebook VPN & 2FA SMS bug

Apple is dealing with two major issues this week: yet another bug that lets particular text characters crash your device and the HomePod’s base leaving rings on fine wood furniture. We also report on two Facebook problems this week: the company’s promotion of a suspicious VPN service it owns and a bug that caused it to send unwanted text messages to those using two-factor authentication. Finally, Josh Centers reviews the YouTube TV service for cord cutters. Notable software releases this week include GraphicConverter 10.5.5, Default Folder X 5.2.2, and Alfred 3.6.

Josh Centers 2 comments

The HomePod May Damage Your Wooden Furniture

When you’re thinking about where you’re going to locate your sleek new HomePod, think twice about putting it on a wooden surface. The HomePod’s vibration-dampening silicone base can react with oiled wood surfaces, leaving unsightly rings. Learn how to avoid the problem or clean it up if your table has already been marked.

Adam Engst 5 comments

Beware “Protect” In Facebook’s iOS App

Facebook has added a Protect item to a screen in its iOS app that lists Facebook services. Tapping Protect takes you to an App Store page for a VPN called Onavo Protect that admits that it is owned by Facebook and “collects your mobile data traffic.” Worse, 12.5 million iOS users may already be using Onavo Protect.

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BBEdit 12.1 No comments

BBEdit 12.1

Updates the long-standing text editor to 64-bit and now requires OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan or later. ($49.99 new, free update, 13.6 MB)

ExtraBITS

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Malicious Cryptominer Distributed by MacUpdate Hack

The MacUpdate site was hacked on 1 February 2018, and the attackers slipped malicious code into updates for Firefox, OnyX, and Deeper that would use CPU cycles on infected machines to mine cryptocurrency. Malwarebytes has instructions for removing the malware. Although MacUpdate removed the offending updates quickly, the moral of the story is that it’s always best to update an app from inside the app itself or via the developer’s Web site.

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Former Apple Employee Discusses What Changed Between Jobs and Cook

On the rebooted Menu Bar podcast, which focuses on Apple and related subjects, former Apple employee Bob Burrough stopped by to discuss his experiences working on the original iPhone, including how he smuggled the first production models out of China. Burrough also talks about the transition from Steve Jobs to Tim Cook and the resulting changes in company culture. Burrough says that under Jobs, employees were allowed to call out faults anywhere they saw them, regardless of whether or not it was in their wheelhouse, but under Cook, Apple employees are encouraged to stay in their own lanes.

10 comments

The Legend of Snow Leopard

In the view of many long-time Mac users, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was the pinnacle of Apple’s desktop software, with every update since a step backward in one way or another. 9to5Mac’s Michael Steeber looks into this phenomenon and its origins. Along with the timing and pricing issues Steeber mentions, an argument could be made that Snow Leopard was the last version of OS X before Apple started to add iOS elements in 10.7 Lion. Plus, Snow Leopard was the final version of OS X to support Rosetta, and thus the last version that could run PowerPC applications. Despite all this, it’s worth remembering that Snow Leopard hasn’t seen a security update in years.