Archive for April 11, 2022

Monday, April 11, 2022

Police Records on AirTag Stalking

Samantha Cole:

Of the 150 total police reports mentioning AirTags, in 50 cases women called the police because they started getting notifications that their whereabouts were being tracked by an AirTag they didn’t own. Of those, 25 could identify a man in their lives—ex-partners, husbands, bosses—who they strongly suspected planted the AirTags on their cars in order to follow and harass them. Those women reported that current and former intimate partners—the most likely people to harm women overall—are using AirTags to stalk and harass them.

Via Bruce Schneier:

Eight police departments over eight months yielded fifty cases. And that’s only where the victim (1) realized they were being tracked by someone else’s AirTag, and (2) contacted the police. That’s going to multiply out to a lot of AirTag stalking in the country, and the world.

I don’t know what to make of these numbers. No doubt there are lots of cases not involving AirTag. And we don’t know how many stalkers were using AirTag but not detected. Does these cases being linked to AirTag mean that the notification feature is working, at least to an extent? Can we extrapolate how many unreported Android victims there might be, given that (presumably) few Android users are regularly running the Tracker Detect app?


Studio Display Software Update Failures

Sami Fathi:

A growing thread on the Apple Support forum (1, 2) includes owners of the Studio Display reporting that as they try to update the display, they’re being presented with an error message that reads “Apple Studio Display firmware update could not be completed. Try again in an hour. If the problem persists, contact an authorized Apple service provider.” According to users on the thread, reconnecting the display to another Mac and/or restarting the monitor does not address the issue.

Users on the MacRumors Forums are also reporting similar problems, with some being told by Apple Support to bring in their display for repair. Apple’s Studio Display does run iOS, and users can update it through System Preferences on macOS.

Mr. Macintosh:

Apple stopped signing iOS 15.4 on 4/7

On 4/8, users started reporting that they couldn’t update the Studio Display to iOS 15.4 Firmware.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

🤦 Imagine shipping a $1599 monitor then promptly forgetting it exists, accidentally discontinuing its OS

Sami Fathi:

Apple has resolved the issue which originated from the software being unverified by the servers.

Still waiting for the camera fix.


Shipping Services Limit Access for Deliveries App

Mike Piontek:

Many things have changed over the years, and unfortunately we’re no longer able to maintain the same service that so many of you have come to rely on. Deliveries relies on many different shipping companies, and without their help it’s not possible for the app to continue working the way you expect.

It’s likely that over time, more services in Deliveries will no longer show tracking information directly in the app. You won’t see the delivery date, the map route, or any of the details, and you won’t get notifications about changes to the status. You will need to use the “View Online” button to see your tracking information on the shipping company’s web site.

Juli Clover:

At the current time, Deliveries seems to be able to show shipping information from major U.S. shipping companies like the United States Postal Service and UPS, but over the course of the last few months, Amazon deliveries have stopped working.

Deliveries used to be able to track Amazon shipments just from an order link, but that is no longer possible.

Matt Birchler:

I can’t imagine Deliveries was doing anything nefarious, although I guess I’d be curious to hear from FedEx and Amazon why they revoked API access to the app. I suspect I’d be unimpressed with their “we think the best way for customers to track their packages is from our app” answer, though.

Anyway, I have switched over to Parcel for now, although I really don’t like its UI as much as Deliveries, but given it seems to still work with the shipping companies I tend to use, it’s functional…for now. If this is part of shipping companies revoking API access from well-behaved devs, maybe their days are numbered as well.



Unable to Establish Secure Connection to

Matt Godden:

If you’re using #macOS #HighSierra or #Sierra, #iCloud has stopped working / can’t log in, and you can’t access in Safari - here’s a solution.

Install the Apple IST CA 2 - G1 certificate, and everything will work again.


Stephen Wilhite, RIP

Mitchell Clark (tweet, Hacker News):

Stephen Wilhite worked on GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, which is now used for reactions, messages, and jokes, while employed at CompuServe in the 1980s.


Although GIFs are synonymous with animated internet memes these days, that wasn’t the reason Wilhite created the format. CompuServe introduced them in the late 1980s as a way to distribute “high-quality, high-resolution graphics” in color at a time when internet speeds were glacial compared to what they are today. “He invented GIF all by himself — he actually did that at home and brought it into work after he perfected it,” Kathaleen said. “He would figure out everything privately in his head and then go to town programming it on the computer.”


While there have been long-standing debates about the correct pronunciation of the image format, Wilhite was very clear on how he intended for it to be said. In 2013, he told The New York Times, “The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations. They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”

Troy Gaul:

I implemented the GIF spec in 1992 for a Mac app named Color It! I remember at the time that the spec document included his pronunciation.

Years later I looked it up again, and the pronunciation section had been removed (I assume by someone else).

Color It was such a good app.

See also:

John Roach, RIP

Sam Roberts (via Hacker News):

John Roach, a marketing visionary who helped make the home computer ubiquitous in the late 1970s by introducing the fully assembled Tandy TRS-80 for $599.95 or less through RadioShack chain stores, died on Sunday in Fort Worth. He was 83.


Mr. Roach already had college experience fiddling with refrigerator-size mainframes by 1967, when he joined the Tandy Corporation, a Texas conglomerate that was founded as a leather goods company and included RadioShack and its thousands of franchised dealers in electronics farrago.

He was instrumental in prodding Tandy to venture into the computer market. At the time, most small computers were sold as kits to be assembled by hobbyists, but Mr. Roach believed that consumers would welcome a model that they just needed to plug in.

John Gruber (tweet):

The links in the passage above are not to be missed, including this 1977 Times story on home computers. But the last one is the most interesting — it’s a YouTube video of a speech Roach gave just last month.

As a kid, I had fun writing BASIC programs on a TRS-80, though I preferred the Apple II. I never had any problems with it, so the Trash-80 nickname always seemed unfair.