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#1552: macOS 11.2.2 defangs non-compliant USB-C hubs, starting seeds with HomeKit, do you still need a bootable backup?

If you’re using a recent MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with Big Sur and a powered USB-C hub or dock, be sure to read our coverage of macOS 11.2.2, which protects those Macs from damage caused by non-compliant USB-C gear. Thinking about starting seeds soon? Josh Centers shows how you can use a smart outlet and simple HomeKit automations to give your garden a head start. Finally, faced with issues surrounding bootable duplicates in Big Sur, Adam Engst re-evaluates his longstanding advice that a bootable backup of your Mac is an essential part of a backup strategy. With Apple making it increasingly difficult to make bootable duplicates, are they still necessary in an era of cloud computing and multiple devices? Notable Mac releases this week include CleanMyMac X 4.8, Fantastical 3.3.5, Little Snitch 5.1.1, Firefox 86, Downcast 2.9.61, and GraphicConverter 11.4.

Adam Engst 105 comments

The Role of Bootable Duplicates in a Modern Backup Strategy

macOS 11 Big Sur has thrown a cryptographically signed monkey wrench into the inner workings of backup apps that make bootable duplicates. There are now workarounds, and Apple promises to fix the necessary underlying tool, but Adam Engst suggests that we need to rethink the role bootable duplicates play in a modern backup strategy.

Watchlist

CleanMyMac X 4.8 No comments

CleanMyMac X 4.8

Adds native support for M1-based Macs and receives a refreshed user interface. ($89.95 new, free update, 78.2 MB, macOS 10.10+)

Fantastical 3.3.5 3 comments

Fantastical 3.3.5

Maintenance release for the calendar app with a variety of improvements and bug fixes. ($39.99 new, free update, 41.8 MB, macOS 10.13.2+)

Little Snitch 5.1.1 1 comment

Little Snitch 5.1.1

Improves detection of VPNs for Automatic Profile Switching and fixes memory leaks. ($45 new, free update, 30.6 MB, macOS 10.11+)

Firefox 86 1 comment

Firefox 86

Introduces Total Cookie Protection to prevent cookies from tracking you from site to site. (Free, 125 MB, macOS 10.12+)

Downcast 2.9.61 No comments

Downcast 2.9.61

Reduces the occurrence and improves resolution of the "dreaded" inaccessible resource issue. ($4.99 new, free update, 26.1 MB, macOS 10.13.2+)

GraphicConverter 11.4 No comments

GraphicConverter 11.4

Brings a variety of improvements and bug features to the Swiss Army knife of graphics programs. ($39.95 new, free update, 249 MB, macOS 10.9+)