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  • Apple demands specially-certified chips & factories for HomeKit devices, report says

    wiggin said:
    As I understand it Apple will not certify a device that would bridge to other technology standards. 
    This is NOT correct.  Phillips Hue and Insteon BOTH have Apple approved bridges that connect their respective non-homekit networks of devices into a HomeKit environment. What Apple has forbidden is the bridging of any "entry" devices such as garage door openers or door locks via bridges.  Light switches, motion sensors, environment sensors, etc CAN be bridged and participate in a HomeKit HA environment.  Allowed non-HK native products participate just as fully in a HK environment as native ones (I know because I am doing it already).  But what ONLY HK brings to the table presently is insane good security.  Apple adopted a key length in excess of 3000 bits running against an elliptical curve algorithm while most current HA products on the market offer weak security at best.  I will gladly pay to replace, perfectly functional, non-HK devices with native HK equivalents as they come to market, even if they come in at a higher price as I simply take security very seriously. 
  • Apple declares 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2012 'obsolete'

    I am among those still using a mid 2012 non-retina 15" MBP.  My daughter gave me this machine as a christmas present in late 2012.  Without question, a fine example of solid engineering.  This machine was the last of the totally user repairable notebooks Apple made.  This machine has a full compliment of ports with NO dongles needed!  I upgraded the ram over time to its max 16GB.  I upgraded the HDD several times (started life as a 256MB HDD).  I swapped out the super drive (CD/DVD burner) for an SSD (initially a relatively small one to just hold the OS).  I upgraded the SSD to a larger one and rolled the SSD and HDD into a FUSION drive using the tools apple made available to anyone comfortable with the command line, which I ran with zero issues for several years.  I upgraded to 1TB SSD and a 1TB HDD and moved to APFS once Catalina came along using the HDD as an in-machine daily clone backup drive (used SuperDuper until Big Sur negated the ability to easily create a bootable clone).  The 1TB HDD is still used as an in-machine Time Machine drive for Big Sur.   I have replaced the keyboard only ONCE in that entire time. I have replaced the battery twice.  Both fans have been replaced and most recently I replaced the right side speakers as the woofer section had started to rattle. I upgraded the machine to Big Sur using a popular patching program along with an upgrade to the latest Broadcom WiFi/BT card (thanks to an enterprising young man) and am running 11.2 currently with no issues outside the ones that are plaguing even the newest MBPs.  The logic board nor the display on this machine have ever faltered. This machine is fast, reliable and delight to use.  While the new MBPs are lighter and have longer battery life, they hold little performance edge over this machine in my day to day use of the machine as INTEL has done little to really advance processors in a meaningful way over the years since this machine was designed.

    I am aware that eventually, I will have to break down and buy a new MBP.  The new M series processors are a harbinger that the time for such a change is approaching sooner than later.  However,  I will never again own a computing device that will work as hard, as reliably, for such a long time as my trusty mid 2012 15" MBP.    
  • Apple Watch Series 6 kills ceramic Apple Watch Edition material... again

    And they made the space black SS (DLC) case exclusive to the Hermes edition. 
  • Watch: First macOS High Sierra public beta delivers new features, enhancements

    MacPro said:

    No but running Terminal from the 10.3 partition you'd  still be left with the 10.13 recovery partition and in the particular situation I was trying to explore that would surely be problematic wouldn't it as I was wanting to have a virgin SSD to initialize for 10.12 and ..... oh heck I don't know lol.  Let me know how it went.

    As to CCC being up to speed, it can as of my last reading still not make a bootable clone off of a 10.3/APFS disk on an HFS+, but I may have read that incorrectly.  I'll have to go back and re read the notes.  I haven't even tried so perhaps I should.  My entertainment was deleting the damn boot APFS SSD and re using the same SSD as HFS+.
    Ok, first off, CCC's latest beta CAN read APFS and create a bootable clone of an APFS volume to an external HFS+ volume (I just did IT!)

    Second, the terminal command diskutil apfs deleteContainer disk# works perfectly.  You have to use diskutil apfs list to determine the disk# assigned to the APFS container.  It leaves you with an HFS+ formatted volume (or two if you start with a Fusion Drive).  Yes, EVERYTHING on the APFS volume is GONE, so a clone becomes essential unless you want to just start with nothing more than a vanilla macOS install.

    I am now running my High Sierra environment that was on an AFPS Fusion volume on a HFS+ Fusion Volume.  Took most of the day to compete the steps.

    So, I started with a so-so working APFS 10.13 PB2 environment.
    After loading up the 30 day trial of CCC (latest beta), I was able to make a clone to an external FW drive.  Presently while CCC beta can READ APFS, it can ONLY write HFS+, so the clone IS HFS+ but this is what I wanted anyway.

    Then I rebooted into the clone and verified that while slow (FW800) it was fully operational.

    Then I opened up terminal mode (remember I am in 10.13 at this point) and issued the diskutil apfs deleteContainer command, which removed the APFS container as well as the Fusion drive linkages

    Then I recreated my Fusion drive (4 additional terminal commands) formatted as HFS+

    Then I downloaded a fresh copy of the HS PB2 and had it install to the newly reconsitituted Fusion Drive.

    Then I did a migration of the CCC cloned data over to the Fusion drive

    After I allowed the kernel extensions to load (SIP has been tightened up in HS), everything came up.

    Of course the majority of time was spent in making the CCC clone (about 2.3 hours) and then the migration back of my data once I had a clean HS install.  The actual APFS container deletion and Fusion Drive recreation took maybe 15 minutes total.  

    I could have just as easily restored my 10.12.5 clone rather than installing a fresh copy of 10.13 and migrating my 10.13 data.  I wanted to give 10.13 a chance as the issues I was starting to see were all APFS related.  

    Yes, the key to this is to start with a clone or clean install of 10.13 so that you can boot into it and then remove the APFS mess on your normal boot drive.

  • Face, the future: the new touch-less ID of iPhone X

    For the first time since the original iPhone, I had some anxiety about the rumored switch to FaceID.  I really like Touch ID and there were so many unknowns as to how FaceID would work.  I really never had any doubts that it would work, but the home button was so integral to iOS that the loss of both TouchID and the home button really made me undecided about upgrading....UNTIL I saw it work.  The new UI is going to take a bit of adjustment but then we have been thru many mods to the iPhone UI over the years.  

    All the negativity is just people's resistance to change.  Anyone that wants nothing to change needs to go back to the rotary wire line phone and paper notes.  Technology moves forward and for years I have told those resistant to such change that technology is like a steam roller.  You have 3 choices as you see it coming, 1: get out of the way and allow it to pass you by,  2: stand in the way and get crushed or  3: get on board, but you are NEVER going to stop it from its relentless forward progression.  

    Was FaceID something that was absolutely needed, no, but Apple has always pulled its users forward and this is no exception.  Will I miss TouchID, yes....for about as long as it takes to setup FaceID.  

    This will be the first time in 10 years where I will be upgrading both mine and my spouses iPhones at the same time.  We have been on a one new phone a year with a pass down since the very beginning.  This cycle, like the home button and TouchID was so ingrained that realizing that it made sense to move us both forward at the same time took some mental gymnastics similar to wrapping my head around no TouchID/home button.  

    All the prognostications that Apple has made a mistake ditching TouchID/home button are misplaced and reactive emotional responses.  There is a lot of turmoil in our culture, our country and the world and I do understand that no one really wanted to have to make the mental leap to a new paradigm on the iPhone, but such is life and in a few months all this hand wringing and Apple is doomed talk will looks as antiquated and silly as when the cellular industry panned the original iPhone.
  • Apple might let users unlock Mac via Touch ID on iPhone with OS X 10.12

    rob53 said:
    ireland said:
    1. Good. MacID isn't a great piece of software.

    I haven't looked at MacID but if it does as @emoeller says, it isn't secure at all and for those worried about police accessing your computer, using something that automatically unlocks your Mac when your iPhone is close is absolutely hysterically funny. 
    I have been using MacID ever since the author released it.   I am VERY security conscience but I am not of the tinfoil hat variety.  

    As TouchID seems to be LESS constitutionally protected presently, the use of TouchID as a verification method should be used according to the level of user comfort.  Since Apple tightened up the parameters when TouchID is allowed (i.e. time since last use, time since last use of passcode) and MacID inherits those same parameters, the odds of law enforcement getting a warrant to force the use of TouchID before it requires the entry of the passcode now seems very low.  As Apple allows iOS users to set a complex passcode vs a simple number sequence, anyone security conscience user WILL certainly use that option.

    MacID has its own pairing sequence between devices (uses BTLE).  FYI, one iOS device running MacID can control multiple Macs. 

    MacID does NOT auto-unlock on simply proximity.
     It WILL auto-wake the Mac on proximity (i.e. out of sleep mode) but even that feature is user selectable and assuming that the user has the mac setup to always require password verification on wake, this does NOT compromise security.  If the Mac locks for whatever reason, MacID is going to require either TouchID or passcode on the iPhone OR touch on an already associated AppleWatch.  I might add that the Watch side of MacID is NOT a standalone (i.e. it requires comm with the associated iOS device.

    MacID ONLY works when the Mac user is logged in and running the MacID app on the Mac and the iOS device.  If a reboot or logout on the Mac is performed, the user must resort to entering the necessary password...in other words, MacID is simply a tool to unlock the screen, NOT actually log into the Mac. 

    MacID DOES have a user selectable auto-LOCK based on decreasing proximity feature which is very good.  

    MacID does have a user defined Tap-to-unlock feature exclusively for the Mac trackpad as an option based solely on sequence of multiple finger taps independent of where they occur on the trackpad.  As this feature LACKS all the TouchID timeout safeguards, I do NOT use it, nor recommend it use. 

    MacID works with apple watch based on the Apple security model that if the watch has been verified with the associated iPhone (i.e. either passcode on watch OR touchID use on iPhone while watch is ON the wrist) then MacID will unlock the Mac with a simple touch to the popup watch notification from MacID assuming that MacID is running on both the iOS device AND the Mac.  

    I have found that on occasion, the watch side of things is not quite as robust (i.e. working first time, every time) as compared to the iPhone use of MacID.  But overall, it works, does NOT compromise security any worse than TouchID imposes and it is real time saver for those of us that have convoluted, high entropy Mac passwords. 
  • Belkin Soundform Connect brings AirPlay 2 to any speaker

    Just received the Soundform Connect.  I had been using an older Airport Express and it worked well other than AppleTV randomly loosing the connection to the AE, requiring a reboot to rediscover.  The new Connect out of the box would NOT automagically trigger my iPhone 12+ Max iPhone.  I did a reset on the Connect and it immediately appeared on my iPhone ready for setup.  Simply enough to setup with the iPhone handling all the setup once the device was discovered.  I am using the toslink connection for the audio output and it works flawlessly.  I chose the Connect in the Video&Audio section of the AppleTV (newest 4K version) and it found it instantly.  As for sound quality, it is at least on par with the AE.  My expectations are that using Airplay2 rather then the original Airplay protocol will be more robust.