The Update-Immediately Edition Thursday, November 30, 2017

Update Immediately To Block The Root Vulnerability Bug, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

Everyone running macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra should install this security update via Software Update immediately. It does not require a restart. I know that we usually recommend caution when it comes to installing updates, but this vulnerability is so severe that the fix is more important than any trouble it could conceivably cause. That said, make sure you have a backup first!

A Bit More About Apple's Automatic Security Updates, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

On Wednesday Apple released a security update to the macOS root security hole made public yesterday. You can download it now, but if you’re running High Sierra and you don’t download it, it will download and install itself:

Having Problems With File Sharing After Installing The macOS High Sierra 'Root' Security Update? Here's The Fix!, by Lory Gil, iMore

If you are trying to share files on your Mac after installing the security update, Apple has published a help document to fix the issue.

High Sierra Root Login Bug Was Mentioned On Apple’s Support Forums Two Weeks Ago, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

So the exploit was floating around, under the radar, for weeks at least, but it seems as though no widespread harm came of it.

Why Gets You Root, by Objective-See

It appears that od_verify_crypt_password should fail (update: it does and Apple just didn't check for this!).

Is Apple Getting Sloppy?, by Chris Baraniuk, BBC

"We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again," the company's statement said.

But the "root" password bug is not as isolated a case as it might at first seem.

iPad Artistry

Learning The Flow Of iPad Artistry: Illustrator Don Low Gives His Pointers, by Erna Mahyuni, Stuff

I have always wanted to draw and sketch digitally just for a change, after having drawn on more than 60 sketchbooks and accumulated a huge stack of papers (since 2009), and realising that I might be running out of storage space. I needed something that offers the same effects that I can get from traditional mediums and more without too much hassle. Most of the time you just want to get into the drawing process straight away without having to worry about technical stuff, and so far the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil coupled with Procreate work like a charm.

Apple's CoreML Brings A.I. Into The Offline World, Changing Phones Forever, by Mike Brown, Inverse

Companies like Google and Amazon have gone for a largely cloud-based approach to their artificial intelligence offerings. The idea is that devices will send off data to a server somewhere for analysis, providing suggestions like how to respond to an email or what the weather’s like outside. Apple, with software designed to leverage its high-end mobile processors, wants to work those things out without transmitting data over the internet.

“That’s a very different proposition from all the other companies, and I think people should be aware of it,” Wang says.

World AIDS Day

Ahead Of World AIDS Day, Apple Says This Year’s (RED) Purchases Set A New Record Of Over $30M, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

As it has done in previous years, Apple will turn its store logos red for World AIDS Day tomorrow. Logos will remain red for a week, and Apple will make a $1 donation to the Global Fund for every Apple Pay transaction made at a retail location, online or in-app.

Making This A Real Business

Jimmy Iovine Breaks Down What's Wrong With The Music Business, Warns Against Overoptimism In Streaming: 'They're Not Making Money', by Colin Stutz, Billboard

"The streaming services have a bad situation, there's no margins, they're not making any money," he said. "Amazon sells Prime; Apple sells telephones and iPads; Spotify, they're going to have to figure out a way to get that audience to buy something else. If tomorrow morning [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos wakes up and says, 'You know what? I heard the word "$7.99" I don't know what it means, and someone says, 'Why don't we try $7.99 for music?' Woah, guess what happens?"


"The streaming business is not a great business," he continued. "It's fine with the big companies: Amazon, Apple, Google... Of course it's a small piece of their business, very cool, but Spotify is the only standalone, right? So they have to figure out a way to show the road to making this a real business."

How The Record Industry Cares More About Making Money Than Music, by Cliff Jones, Financial Times

In the end, however, it was never about the money; it was about denting the culture and a life less ordinary. So now, in the spirit of St Elton, patron saint of recovering pop stars, I pass on my own little piece of wisdom in the form of a rhyme. “That money talks, I’ll not deny, I heard it once. It said ‘Goodbye’.”


Apple Updates Support App With Redesigned UI, New Discover Section, And Search, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

Today’s update adds a redesigned user interface, along with a new Discover tab dedicated to learning about your Apple products. In addition, the app also features the ability to search the company’s library of support articles, which can prove useful for finding solutions to specific issues.

EKG Reader Is First Ever Apple Watch Accessory To Win FDA Approval As A Medical Device, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

AliveCor’s Kardiaband EKG reader is a Watch band that provides a much more convenient and discreet way to obtain an EKG reading, which can be used to detect abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AFib).


Technically, the heart-rate sensor built into the Apple Watch could do the same thing. However, Tim Cook has stated in the past that Apple doesn’t want the Watch itself to be subject to FDA approval as that could slow down the pace of development.

Microsoft Releases Major Update For The Remote Desktop App For Mac 10, by Chandrika Jana, Gizbot

In addition, Microsoft has extended the list of device redirections in the remote session. Users can now redirect the local microphone and smart cards, while previously they were only allowed to redirect a printer.

Bottom of the Page

Now that Apple is beefing up its Apple Support app -- maybe it's time to retire the Tips app?


Thanks for reading.