Archive for April 11, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

Mobile Time Machine Creates Root File With No Visible Name


mtm creates a plist without any name whatsoever on / which contains mtmUUID, file is 263 bytes in size and should at least be hidden (and maybe have a name?)

Nickholl posts an example of the contents:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

I have this file on one of my Macs but not the other. I think it’s new sometime since installing Mac OS X 10.11. It appears with a generic document icon in the Finder. The file actually does have a name, but it’s a non-printable character. This is what the output from ls -lB looks like:

-rw-r--r--    1 root  wheel   263 Apr  1 09:54 \001

NSSplitView Trademark Dispute


The Delhi High Court has declared that Apple cannot use the term “Split View” in India. The complaint, filed by Microsoft vendor Vyooh, claimed that it had developed similar functionality in its Splitview software in 2006, with largely the same functionality.

“SplitView is not descriptive but had acquired distinctiveness and was associated exclusively with the Indian software developer,” Mustafa Safiyuddin, chairman of Legasis Partners, said. “This order will send a strong message to multinational software companies to respect the intellectual property rights of Indian software developers. It also signifies the importance of trademarks in the software field.”

Rosyna Keller and Alastair Houghton note that NeXT had used that name at least as far back as the 1994 OpenStep specification.

Update (2016-04-11): Christopher Lloyd:

lol, there was an NXSplitView which predates OpenStep even

Fake Ads as a Business Model

Ole Begemann (tweet):

The problem is I really hate advertising, so I would probably not add ads to my app. I simply wouldn’t want to expose my users to tracking, nor would I want to support the ad industry in general.

But what about fake ads? Why not add a distracting (but totally fake) rotating banner to the app whose sole purpose is to induce people to pay to get rid of it? There would neither be user tracking, nor would you have to add shady third-party code from a dozen app networks to your binary.

Nicolas Seriot:

this is more or less the late 90s shareware model

Bogdan Popescu:

I used to have a funny & annoying banner in Dash to get users to pay. Didn’t work out so well. It’s an OS X app though.

“Please purchase to skip waiting” works great for me. Would be interesting to see how it’d do on iOS.


Andy Greenberg (via John Gruber):

As Apple battled the FBI for the last two months over the agency’s demands that Apple help crack its own encryption, both the tech community and law enforcement hoped that Congress would weigh in with some sort of compromise solution. Now Congress has spoken on crypto, and privacy advocates say its “solution” is the most extreme stance on encryption yet.


It’s a nine-page piece of legislation that would require people to comply with any authorized court order for data—and if that data is “unintelligible,” the legislation would demand that it be rendered “intelligible.” In other words, the bill would make illegal the sort of user-controlled encryption that’s in every modern iPhone, in all billion devices that run Whatsapp’s messaging service, and in dozens of other tech products. “This basically outlaws end-to-end encryption,” says Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It’s effectively the most anti-crypto bill of all anti-crypto bills.”


The draft reflects an ignorance of everyday computer security practices that safeguard your devices and information from criminals. As currently written, the draft likely even outlaws forward secrecy, an innovative security feature that many major tech providers, including WhatsApp, have implemented to limit the damage to user privacy in the event encryption keys are compromised.

Previously: FBI Asks Apple for Secure Golden Key.