With Twitter awash in controversy surrounding pretty much everything Elon Musk does, millions of people are decamping to Mastodon. But, as Glenn Fleishman explains in a pair of in-depth articles, Mastodon is only superficially a Twitter replacement. Underneath a familiar microblogging interface, Mastodon is a part of the Fediverse, a distributed, community-driven infrastructure that hearkens back to the early days of the Internet, when our lives weren’t ruled by tech giants. It can take a bit to get started with Mastodon, but the friendlier community and lack of drama may be worth it. Also this week, Apple finished off its latest operating system release by pushing out tvOS 16.3 and the rather interesting HomePod Software 16.3. Our ExtraBIT this week points you to the acknowledgment from GoTo that data stolen in the breach of its LastPass subsidiary also contained sensitive information about GoTo users. Notable Mac app releases this week include Affinity Designer, Photo, and Publisher 2.0.4, BusyCal 2023.1.1, MarsEdit 5.0.2, and Lunar 5.9.5.
With the release of HomePod Software 16.3 and tvOS 16.3, Apple has completed its usual cycle of operating system updates. tvOS 16.3 has no changes worth describing, but HomePod Software 16.3 has quite a few improvements.
A growing set of services let users on independently operated servers interlink with standard, open-source protocols for microblogging, photo sharing, and dozens of other purposes. Could the Fediverse be a solution to the ugliness of commercial service algorithms designed to drive outrage and titillation?
With centralized, ad-driven social networks in disarray and suffering from misinformation, harassment, and declining users, can the long-simmering Mastodon microblogging system offer a distributed future for conversation and community?
Maintenance updates for the three Affinity graphic design apps with a bevy of bug fixes. ($69.99 new for each, free updates, various sizes, macOS 10.15+)
Brings a few new features, improvements, and bug fixes to the calendar app. ($49.99 new, free update, 60.3 MB, macOS 10.13+)
Maintenance update for the recently upgraded blogging app. ($59.95 new, free update, 20.2 MB, macOS 10.15.4+)
Display brightness control utility adds support for the new M2-series MacBook Pro models. ($23 new, free update, 21.7 MB, macOS 11+)