Archive for September 4, 2018

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Parallels 14

Bradley Chambers:

As I mentioned, I’ve been using VMware Fusion since the early days (version 2), so I have become accustomed to all of its strengths and weaknesses. The first thing I noticed was how fast everything felt inside of Parallels.


Version 14 brings many new features to Parallels. One of the ones I was most excited about is optimized file sizes for your Windows 8 and 10 virtual machines. My current VMware Fusion image is 44 GB. Using the file I imported from Fusion, Parallels is using 27 GB.

Christopher Spera:

There are a few key reasons to upgrade to Parallels 14 from an earlier version. The biggest is that version 13.x won’t run on macOS Mojave. A new macOS version will always require an update to key utilities like Parallels Desktop.


Perhaps the most noticeable feature is that Parallels Desktop 14 is 35% faster than previous versions; and it was immediately noticeable, too. This means that existing VM’s really move. Based on my limited experience running both a Windows 7 and Windows 10 VM, I can attest to the increased speed.


Licensing for a lot of modern software is shifting from a standalone license to a subscription model. Consumers have seen that in a number of popular titles, include apps like Office 365 and Creative Cloud. You pay a little each month, and you get software for a year. Parallels Desktop is doing this as well; and this year, their subscription model is taking more of a front seat as opposed to its standard license. The matrix below outlines which features come at which tier level. The Standard Edition is the only edition not on a subscription model.

Previously: Productivity Apps and Subscription Pricing, Turning Off Ads in Parallels, VMware Fusion 8.5 Announced, Free.

Update (2018-09-06): Peter N Lewis:

So I bought Parallels in March, I’ve used it a half a dozen times and if I want it to keep working after next month I have to pay another $70 to upgrade? I don’t think so.

Remote Mac Exploitation via Custom URL Schemes

Patrick Wardle:

Once the target is visits our malicious website, we trigger the download of an archive (.zip) file that contains our malicious application. If the Mac user is using Safari, the achieve will be automatically unzipped, as Apple thinks it’s wise to automatically open “safe” files. This fact is paramount, as it means the malicious application (vs. just a compressed zip archive) will now be on the user’s filesystem, which will trigger the registration of any custom URL scheme handlers! Thanks Apple!

Now that the malicious app’s custom URL scheme are registered (on the target’s system), code within the malicious webpage can load or “browse” to the custom url. This is easy to accomplish in JavaScript


Behind the scenes macOS will lookup the handler for this custom URL scheme-which of course is our malicious application (that was just downloaded). Once this lookup is complete, the OS will kindly attempt to launch the malicious application to handle the URL request!

Medium Deprecates Custom Domains

Medium (via Brent Simmons):

Medium is no longer offering new custom domains as a feature. Instead, you can create a publication on Medium that will live on a URL.

Previously: Backchannel Is Moving to Wired, Renewing Medium’s Focus, Anywhere But Medium.

Update (2018-09-05): David Heinemeier Hansson:

I would not recommend anyone to use Medium for a new publication without custom domain support. Medium has proven themselves an excessively volatile partner to publications already. Their whims will change again. You need an escape hatch.

Also: “If you already have a custom domain on Medium, nothing will change for you for the foreseeable future, and your domain will continue to work as expected”. What a shitty way to sow doubt amongst existing publications. Signal vs Noise is OUT the second this changes.

And the strong implied suggestion that this will change, Medium’s “foreseeable future” seems to be about a fortnight, should we prod all publishers to have their contingency plans ready to go. What a shame.

Three years ago we explained why moving Signal v Noise to Medium made sense to us. I’m very happy with the time we’ve spent on the platform so far, but the choice wouldn’t look so simple today.

After further review, we’re going to be leaving Medium at some point in the near-to-mid-term future. Thanks for all the fish, @ev! You built a beautiful typewriter, the early community was awesome, and I respect trying something different. Shame about the VC pressures. Adieu!

John Gruber:

I don’t understand why any publication, even a personal blog, would use Medium without a custom domain name. It’s not just about branding now, but about long-term sustainability. If you have your own domain name, you can keep old URLs working in perpetuity.

So You Think You Can Tell Arial From Helvetica?

Ironic Sans (via Hacker News):

I’ve taken 20 logos that were originally designed in Helvetica, and I’ve redone them in Arial. Some people would call that blasphemy. I call it a challenge: can you tell which is the original and which is the remake?

Previously: Arial and Helvetica.