Archive for August 15, 2022

Monday, August 15, 2022

XProtect Remediator

Howard Oakley:

Recent versions of macOS have come with two tools designed to detect malware and deal with it, by ‘remediation’: XProtect and MRT. This year they have been joined by a third, or XProtect Remediator, and Apple has dropped all references to MRT in its Platform Security Guide.


Indications are that XProtect Remediator includes the functionality of MRT, together with rapidly improving and extending support for the detection and remediation of other malware. As with XProtect and MRT, Apple conceals the identity of the malware handled by XProtect Remediator using code names, including GreenAcre, SheepSwap, SnowBeagle, SnowDrift, ToyDrop and WaterNet, although its initial executables remain named after known malware families such as Adload and Geneio.


Although Mojave and older versions aren’t unsupported, new and changed malware which isn’t reliably detected by XProtect’s updated signatures is likely to pass unnoticed on those older macOS, putting those Macs at increasing risk.


Products’ Useful Lifespans Should Be Longer Than Their Batteries

Nick Heer:

An embedded, irreplaceable battery makes a lot of sense in many products. It means devoting less space to connectors and hatches, and does not require designers to work around available battery formats. For the length of time the batteries are usable, it can make for much better products. People clearly agree — AirPods are so good that many people who never spent more than $20 or $30 on headphones before are spending hundreds of dollars on a set. But it limits a product’s lifespan to its sole consumable part, which seems silly if you think about it.


It sure seems as though the things I like about AirPods may not be possible if the batteries were more easily swappable, but it is hard to know for sure. Would they last nearly as long? Could they be so compact? Is it possible to design AirPods around easily-obtainable batteries? I wish Apple would prioritize that sort of thing, as it does seem irresponsible to sell such a disposable product.

Geoffrey Fowler:

So let’s revive Neistat’s radical act of transparency and demand to know when gadgets are designed to die. If companies won’t come clean on their own, let’s require a label right there on the shelf that lists the battery recharge count and how much it costs to replace the battery.


QGeeM and Hyper Thunderbolt 4 Hubs


QGeeM Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station is committed to providing unparalleled simplicity, the highest performance and the most reliable connectivity. Achieve 40Gbps extremely fast data transmission, 60W fast charging, support for outputting 8K/4k ultra-clear monitors, quickly improve your work quality and efficiency.

The QGeeM 6-IN-1 Thunderbolt 4 mini Dock. it’s compatible with Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, or USB Type C port supports “DisplayPort Alt Mode” and “Power Delivery”.

There are three downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports, plus one USB-C 3.1 Gen 2, and it can charge the computer with 60W of PD.

Via Paul Haddad:

$140 for a Thunderbolt 4 hub is the best price I’ve seen by a small margin. Worth a shot since these are all just Intel reference designs.

Juli Clover:

Accessory maker Hyper, known for its range of chargers, hubs, and battery packs, recently introduced the HyperDrive Thunderbolt 4 Power Hub, which it says is the world’s first Goshen Ridge Thunderbolt 4 hub with an integrated power source.

This one is $179 for three downstream Thunderbolt ports, and it can charge the computer with 96W of PD.

Do these Thunderbolt hubs work any better than USB ones for connecting storage devices? Since getting my M1 MacBook Pro, I’ve had problems with external hard drives sometimes not mounting unless they were connected before the Mac was powered on. (Restarting the Mac is not enough; I have to power it off, which means taking the MacBook Pro out of its dock in order to access the power button on its keyboard.)

The problem occurs for hard drives connected via a USB hub—so far I’ve used hubs from Anker, Rosonway, and Apple—but not with devices connected directly to the MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, two of my MacBook Pro’s ports are used to connect displays, which leaves only one as a reliable connector for external storage. I’d really like to have more built-in ports, even if they are only USB and not Thunderbolt, but this is enough of a pain that it would be worth getting a Thunderbolt hub—if it were more reliable.


Sloppy Epic v. Apple Judgment

Florian Mueller:

It’s unbelievable that last year’s ruling has literally hundreds of typos, punctuation mistakes, inconsistencies, and similar errors. Prior to Epic v. Apple, I had never seen anything like that in a high-profile case. Now I’ve finally found the time to document 271 mistakes of that kind (33-page PDF).


Tim Cook is described as Apple’s “Chief Executive Order.”


How could this happen? Why didn’t anyone care to proofread the document before it was published last September? Judge Gonzalez Rogers knew that a significant part of the digital economy was watching the case with great interest--not only, but also including many app developers (like me). She had no firm deadline. She could have taken another couple of days.


[It] would be possible, at least in theory, that a judge publishes a decision with hundreds of typos and similar errors, but nevertheless gets the facts and the law right. Regrettably, the absurdity of saying that Apple’s market share in smartphone operating systems is substantially greater than in smartphones[…]