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Archive for the ‘Apple & Macintosh’ Category

I do not want to pretend to fully understand the exact nature of the so-called KRACK Attack vulnerability in many implementations of the WPA2 protocol that is supposed to make WiFi network connections secure. All details about the KRACK Attack can be found on the webpages of the (Belgian) researcher that found the issue.

I do worry about the fact that MacOS and Android are both mentioned as being particularly vulnerable to this issue. On October 31, 2017, Apple released updates for MacOS EL Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra to solve the problem (at least, that’s how I interpret their report on the subject).

Samsung, however, hasn’t published any updates to their Android version for my Galaxy S7 since August 1st. Perhaps there is no problem on the SGS7? Or is Samsung just being lazy – after all, my phone is still running Android 7.0 – no word on 7.1, let alone 8.0…

And how about all those other devices, IoT and others, that use WiFi connections? Have you already updated your router? How about the wireless hard disk vaults that photographers use? Or the photo cameras themselves? Etcetera.

Matters such as this will need to resolved on a large scale before I will put my trust in the “Internet of Things”, no matter the type of connection used to talk to each other.

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There’s not much to say about such a little application, and yet I know that I will use it often: tyke.app. It’s just a little addition to your menu bar, and there’s no need for a manual ;-)
Just download the DMG file proposed, open it and drag the app to your Applications folder. And if you like it, just add it to the “Login items” of your account in the Preferences.

A propos the subject of open source: this app makes me question my desire to see the source of any application. On one hand, I would love to see the source code for this project, because it’s a great example of a simple application that is very useful, contrary to the eternal HelloWorld app. On the other hand, publishing the source code makes it very likely that someone(s) will start tinkering with the code, adding stuff that detracts from its real functionality and thus diminish its value – and that is not good.

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A while ago my iPad played up, forcing me to reinstall it through iTunes. Since I do not keep much data on the device itself, this wasn’t much of a problem, except for the time lost with a bit of tinkering and figuring out how to do it correctly – it was the first time I had to resort to this measure.

In the course of the procedure I was asked to enter my “iCloud Security Code“. I take great care to register all my passwords, as I explained in “Minding your own password business“. But my files showed no knowledge of such a code. Strange: could I have forgotten to write it down?

Searching on the Internet helped to clarify things. Matthew Green is a well-known cryptographer, and his article titled “Is Apple’s Cloud Key Vault a crypto backdoor?” not only tells you that the iCloud security Code is (usually) identical to you iPad passcode. It is, in fact, a rather comprehensive yet clear overview of how Apple handles your passcodes and crypto keys in the iCloud Keychain. Good reading material for when you have a clear mind ;-)

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Of course I’m going to try this out: “Huzzah, Visual Studio for Mac is now available to all“!

Click the image to see more details about the product

Click the image to see more details about the product

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Without an obvious reason, my iPad started an endless bootloop last Saturday. Very annoying: I had used it to check my mail, put it to sleep, and a few hours later all I saw was the Apple logo coming on and disappearing, coming on and disappearing, etc.

In the end I had to resort to the DFU trick and re-initialise the device, with the iPad connected to my Mac. Since all my essential data are on the Web, I did not lose much info. But I’m still reconfiguring everything – my last backup dated from 2015!

Luckily, although it cost me several hours, the situation did not turn into an iPocalypse ;-)

Go read the rest on Scripting.com!

Like Dave Winer, I think an iPocalypse is a great premisse for a story, bookwise or as a movie.

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Archive.org is publishing a series a programs, that allows any Mac-aficionado to return to 1991 and play around with old software on a modern computer. All you need is a browser, and – like me – you’ll be playing Crystal Quest again. The only drawback: I had a Mac IIsi in those days – with a colour display, and Crystal Quest comes up in a monochrome version…

And don’t worry if you do not like Crystal Quest: the site contains already a nice collection of programs, including games.

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It has been a long time since I needed one, and it turned out that I did no longer have one available (installed) on my current machine: a hex editor. But there is ample choice on the web. I tried two of them: first Hex Fiend, from ridiculous_fish. You wouldn’t tell from looking at the homepage of the site, but the author(s?) has written serious code – and explanations about them to boot. Hex Fiend works well, and can supposedly handle very big files. That could come in handy.

My second test concerned 0xED, a tool (the only one?) by Suavetech. It has a somewhat different user interface, probably because it is a bit older. It works quite well too. Like Hex Fiend, it displays selected bytes in different interpretations, but it has more of them. As an extra, you can even write your own plugins to display your selection – that might come in handy if your dealing with somewhat more exotic data than text or numbers.

0xED examining its own download file

For the moment, I’ll leave 0xED on my disk.

 

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