Archive for February 23, 2022

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Permute Rejected From the App Store

Charlie Monroe (tweet):

The update got rejected because someone at Apple suddenly (this feature in this form has been around from the very beginning) decided that Permute does not correctly implement the option to detect external subtitles. This feature allows Permute to detect .srt or .ass files in the same folder as the video file and merge them together.

[…]

In order for Permute to be allowed to automatically scan the folder, it needs to show you an Open dialog where you select the root folder (i.e. your start-up drive, in technical terms the path “/”). This is so that it covers external drives as well.

Now, out of the blue, Apple has decided the the open dialog must not open with the root folder selected, but must be opened with the home folder selected.

[…]

In case you are fans of irony – the official rejection reason says “app does not achieve the core functionality” – yet it does and Apple is forcing me to break it.

See also: Jonathan Deutsch.

Previously:

Bypassing AirTag Security

Bruce Schneier:

A Berlin-based company has developed an AirTag clone that bypasses Apple’s anti-stalker security systems. Source code for these AirTag clones is available online.

So now we have several problems with the system. Apple’s anti-stalker security only works with iPhones. (Apple wrote an Android app that can detect AirTags, but how many people are going to download it?) And now non-AirTags can piggyback on Apple’s system without triggering the alarms.

Bruce Schneier:

A German activist is trying to track down a secret government intelligence agency. One of her research techniques is to mail Apple AirTags to see where they actually end up[…]

[…]

In a similar story, someone used an AirTag to track her furniture as a moving company lied about its whereabouts.

Previously:

EU Says Apple Avoiding Compliance With ACM

Sami Fathi (tweet):

Apple would rather pay a maximum of €50 million in fines than address concerns brought forward by the Dutch competition authority regarding developer access to third-party payment methods on the App Store, the EU’s head of digital policy, Margrethe Vestager, has said.

During a speech about the digital economy and privacy (via TechCrunch), Vestager said that Apple “essentially prefers paying periodic fines, rather than comply with a decision of the Dutch Competition Authority on the terms and conditions for third parties to access” the App Store.

Natasha Lomas:

“We want our work on the gatekeepers to inspire other jurisdictions in the same way,” she said. “And we’re seeing it happen – for example in Japan, the UK, and Australia. In the US, several bills are progressing through Congress and Senate, and they share many features with our proposal. This is very encouraging because it means that there is a great degree of global consensus.”

Previously:

Path Finder Subscriptions

Steve Gehrman:

You may be wondering, is this Path Finder 11? No, from now on it’s just called “Path Finder”. We’ve decided from now on we will no longer use version numbers in the apps name. There is still exists an internal build number which you can use to determine if you have the latest build, but Path Finder will now be an constantly evolving, frequently updated app.

We plan on at least one new build per month. You will no longer have to wait until the major release to get out latest and greatest improvements.

[…]

Big releases are always a nightmare. So we are saying goodbye to big releases and switching to a very simple subscription model.

[…]

If you purchased Path Finder 10 less than a year ago, the new Path Finder will run using your License key until you reach the one year mark.

It’s $2.95/month or $29.95/year.

Previously:

How to Check an APFS Backup Store

Howard Oakley:

Checking dozens or even hundreds of backup snapshots stored on hard disks can take many hours.

If you don’t check the snapshots, there’s little point in checking your backup storage, as all your backups are stored in snapshots.

As snapshots are read-only, if they develop errors, it appears that they can’t be repaired anyway.

If a backup snapshot develops an error, there’s no way to replace it, as snapshots can’t be copied from another volume.

Howard Oakley:

Checking and repairing disks is one of the more important tasks performed by Disk Utility, but ever since the introduction of APFS, it has been more fraught than it should have been. One of its most persistent and pervasive problems has been complete failure because Disk Utility has been unable to unmount volumes or containers.

[…]

The best news of all is that [in Recovery] you can still use the command tool fsck_apfs directly, and work around this bug in Disk Utility. The bizarre twist is that you can use Disk Utility’s Unmount tool to unmount volumes and containers which the app itself appears unable to unmount successfully.

[…]

Apple recommends that you first check and repair volumes within a container, then the container itself, and finally the disk (which you can do completely within Disk Utility). That is oddly the exact opposite order previously recommended by many, and duplicates checks on volumes which are normally repeated when you check their container.

Howard Oakley:

All you can then do [if fsck_apfs finds an error] is delete the whole snapshot, knocking a hole in your backups which can never be replaced. Disk Utility’s typical response only rubs salt into the wound by telling the user to make a backup of the affected disk. As it’s currently impossible to copy backup snapshots to another disk, a single error on that storage compromises all your backups stored there: every single one of them, and there’s absolutely nothing that macOS offers to help that.

I think it’s best to use multiple Time Machine drives and rotate them regularly.

Howard Oakley:

Neither the Time Machine menu nor tmutil verifychecksums work with regular backups to APFS volumes. I’m very grateful to winmaciek for pointing out that this is possible for a special backup using the contextual menu which appears when you Control-Shift-Click on the disk icon in the Time Machine pane.

This produces a special backup which might contain checksums and therefore could be verifiable. However, kapitainsky has checked the log, and reports that all this does is verify the FSEvents database, which has nothing at all to do with integrity checking. Without documentation from Apple, we’re left to guess what this feature does. In any case, there’s no apparent way to make these the default, so even if they do check integrity, they’re of very limited use.

Although APFS does use checksums within file system metadata, it currently has no option to store or check them for file data.

Previously: