The Patch-Tuesday Edition Tuesday, January 24, 2017

macOS 10.12.3 Fixes Graphics Switching Problems With New 15“ MacBook Pros, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

The update also fixes a pair of PDF problems in Preview, one that prevented searching through scanned documents and one that resolves compatibility problems with encrypted PDF documents.

iOS 10.2.1 Is All About Fixing Bugs And Patching Security Holes, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

The release notes say only that it fixes bugs and includes security improvements. The security page for the update lists a number of vulnerabilities in the kernel, WebKit, and the Contacts app that have all been fixed. Apple also addressed a bug that could allow attackers to briefly access the home screen on an Activation Locked iPad that had been reset.

Apple Releases tvOS 10.1.1 For Fourth-Generation Apple TV, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

No new features or changes were discovered in the tvOS 10.1.1 beta, but as a 10.1.x update, it's likely to be minor in scale, primarily focusing on introducing bug fixes and performance optimizations.

Apple Finally Releases New Apple Watch Update, watchOS 3.1.3, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today released watchOS 3.1.3, an update that follows the watchOS 3.1.1 update that was released on December 12 but pulled later that same day due to installation issues.

Apple Releases iTunes 12.5.5 With 'Minor App And Performance Improvements', by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to the company's release notes, iTunes 12.5.5 introduces "minor app and performance improvements."


Reports Of Stuck Keys On 12-inch MacBooks, Some Fixable, Others Needing Replacement, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

An Apple Support Communities thread has multiple reports of stuck keys on the 12-inch MacBook. Some users report that they were able to resolve the issue themselves by cleaning out debris, while others have had machines replaced by Apple under warranty.

Think Different

Apple Inc: A Pre-Mortem – Adventures In Consumer Technology, by Dan M., Medium

When Walter Isaacson asked Steve Jobs what his greatest product was, he answered, “The product I’m most proud of is Apple and the team I built at Apple.” Steve also repeatedly emphasised the importance of hiring A+ players, who aren’t afraid to challenge each other.

Apple’s greatest threat is losing this culture.

Apple Inc: A Pre-Mortem, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

In general, it feels like there's a disconnect between some of the realities painted in this story and how I see people in real life use Apple devices and software. But, there is also a lot I agree with.

Flying Toasters

New Exhibit Celebrates The Lost Art Of The Screensaver, by Zack Kotzer, Motherboard

“Screensavers are like a moving painting,” Rozendaal told me in a Skype call from Utrech in the Netherlands. “It’s almost as if they were made for a museum. They’re purely digital images, so they’re designed to show what a computer will do. They don’t overdo it, they have very simple parameters. They aren’t storytelling.”

Rozendaal is curating a gallery of 27 screensavers in a way they’ve never been seen or appreciated before. The show is called Sleep Mode. Four of the oldest screen savers will be on their native machines, for context, but most will be blown up along the large space provided by Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Instituut (New Institute). Rozendaal has also put together an audio tour and an online collection of interviews with the people who created the screensavers etched into the back of your brain.


73 Mac Automation Stories From TidBITS Readers, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

With Apple making some moves that seem to indicate a waning interest in user automation technologies, we asked you to tell us how you rely on automation to get your work done. The stories poured in, and you can now read about the amazing things that fellow TidBITS readers have accomplished with AppleScript, Automator, and the many other automation technologies available to Mac users. It’s a lot, so don’t feel the need to do it all at once.

I’ll send these to Apple’s Tim Cook and Craig Federighi as well so they can see just how important automation is to the future of the Mac. And just to bring up how constantly I turn to automation tools, the start of each story below was formatted with a single grep search in BBEdit, saving me at least 10 minutes.

Safe Programming: Optionals And Hackintoshes, by Erica Sadun

I recently talked with a developer whose production code mixed forced unwraps with a guaranteed API. I wasn’t sure whether to tag this post as Holy War. As you’ll discover, this isn’t your run of the mill development situation.


Talking Shop: Inside The Design Of The Apple Store, by Oliver Smith, The Memo

Coming off the always busy Regent Street and entering the Apple store should allow people to decompress, slow down and explore the Apple products and services on their own terms, but with human support by your side when needed.

What Would Steve (Jobs) Do? He Sure Wouldn't Eat Humble Pie As The Trump Era Dawns., by Kara Swisher, Recode

Nothing to lose. Naked. Follow you heart. God, I miss Steve Jobs today. So should Silicon Valley.

The Demon Voice That Can Control Your Smartphone, by Kaveh Waddell, The Atlantic

Turns out there’s a gap between the kinds of sounds that people and computers understand as human speech. Last summer, a group of Ph.D. candidates at Georgetown and Berkeley exploited that gap: They developed a way to create voice commands that computers can parse—but that sound like meaningless noise to humans. These “hidden voice commands,” as the researchers called them, can deliver a message to Google Assistant-enabled Android phones nearby through bursts of what sounds like scratchy static.

Bottom of the Page

The only great screensavers out there today is Apple TV's Aerial. I can't think of anything else.


Thanks for reading.