The Mac – or “Macintosh” if we’re going back to 1984 – is the first computer to effectively market a graphical computer to the masses, all delivered by Apple (or, at the time, Apple Computer).

The Mac has gone through several stages of evolution and iteration since 1984, including the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, Performa, Power Mac (including the G4 Cube!), iBook, and more. It remains one of the most popular computers you’ll see in business, schools, and homes today.

The World of Apple Leaks and Measuring Apple's Success, with Ken Ray - ACM 543

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Bryan Chaffin and Mac OS Ken (Ken Ray) discuss the really weird world of Apple leaks and rumors, including how to navigate them and how they try to cover them as journalists. They also talk about how to measure Apple’s success, or more specifically, how a lot of folks outside the Apple world seem to measure Apple’s success.

AirBuddy 2 - Connect AirPods to Your Mac with One Click: $8.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

AirBuddy 2 Screenshot on MacBook

We have a deal on AirBuddy 2, a Mac utility that lets you connect your AirPods to your Mac with a single click. With AirBuddy, you can also open your AirPods case next to your Mac and see the current status right away, just like it works on your iPhone or iPad. It’s $8.99 through our deal.

Password Manager Bitwarden Adds Touch ID to Browser Extension

· Andrew Orr · Link

Mac Touch ID

Password manager Bitwarden announced the addition of a couple of new features. One feature adds support for Touch ID and Windows Hello to its browser extensions.

Browser extensions will now be able to access this authentication inside the Desktop application. This allows a more streamlined integration with hardware that does not require a unique browser-level integration. Biometric authentication requires macOS users to download the Mac App Store version.

Buffer Overflow Bug Found in SUDO Dubbed ‘Baron Samedit’

· Andrew Orr · Link

macOS terminal icon

Tracked as CVE-2021-3156, a heap overflow bug found in sudo and dubbed “Baron Samedit” has been found recently. It allows an unprivileged user to gain root privileges on a vulnerable machine using a default sudo configuration.

The vulnerability itself has been hiding in plain sight for nearly 10 years. It was introduced in July 2011 (commit 8255ed69) and affects all legacy versions from 1.8.2 to 1.8.31p2 and all stable versions from 1.9.0 to 1.9.5p1 in their default configuration.

2020-02-03: Looks like macOS is affected after all.

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2 Release Candidate

· Andrew Orr · Product News

macOS Big Sur wallpaper

Apple has released the macOS Big Sur 11.2 release candidate for developers. This follows the other final beta versions of its other operating systems.

MindNode Update Adds Editable Outlines

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

MindNode updated its mind mapping app recently with a feature many users have wanted. Along with editing maps, outlines can also be edited. Nodes can be added, removed, indented/outdented, and reorganized directly. Other features include: Improved color pickers in the Inspector; Improved support for files from other apps that use Markdown; Fixed an issue where the Inspector would close when the icon of the open section was clicked. The update is currently available for the Mac app, but updates to MindNode for iOS/iPadOS are sure to follow.

MindNode Update Adds Editable Outlines

Rumor: Apple Plans iMac Redesign for 2021

· Andrew Orr · Rumor

Pro Display XDR black background

A report on Friday suggests that Apple may be planning to redesign its iMac desktop computer. This would be the first major change since 2012.

Apple Apps No Longer Bypass macOS Big Sur Firewalls

· Andrew Orr · Link

In macOS Big Sur, Apple deprecated third-party kernel extensions including Network Kernel Extensions (NKEs). NKEs are used by apps like firewalls to monitor network traffic. Apple’s new user-mode Network Extension Framework had a side-effect: Apple’s own apps wouldn’t be routed through it and thus could bypass third-party firewalls. But now that has changed.

I of course also wondered if malware could abuse these “excluded” items to generate network traffic that could surreptitiously bypass any socket filter firewall.  Unfortunately the answer was yes! It was (unsurprisingly) trivial to find a way to abuse these items, and generate undetected network traffic.

Mozilla VPN Arrives on macOS and Linux

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of mozilla VPN showing features you can get with the service

After rolling out on platforms like Windows, Android, and iOS, the Mozilla VPN arrives on macOS and Linux for US$5/month.

The Mozilla VPN isn’t the cheapest option on the market. However, Mozilla has said that, because it uses fewer lines of code than other VPNs, the service is faster than many rival ones. You can connect to more than 280 servers in more than 30 countries via the VPN without any bandwidth restrictions.

I think US$5/mo is definitely one of the cheapest VPNs on the market.