Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #170: DNS, Lost Bitcoin, and the new Big Sur Control Center

DNS is in the news, following a warning from the NSA and new malware. We discuss how common it is for law enforcement to crack smartphones, and how this should prompt you to choose a more secure passcode for your device. We look another bitcoin owner who’s lost millions. And we discuss the new Control Center in macOS Big Sur.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Understanding the Autoplay Button in the iOS Music App

An interesting new feature in the iOS 14 Music app is the Autoplay button. Shaped like an ∞ symbol, if you tap this button, the Music app will continue to play “similar” music after your current play queue has completed.

Autoplay

It works a bit like Genius, which is no longer available in iOS, in that it creates a playlist of music based on what was in your play queue, whether it’s an album, playlist, or just a single song. Or its similar to creating an Apple Music radio station based on some music.

Many people are discovering this accidently, when they get to the end of a music selection and find that music continues. There’s a clear message showing when the Autoplay feature kicks in, so if you look at the Music app you’ll see what’s happening.

My first discovery of this was unexpected. I had accidentally tapped the button, and, at the end of some ambient album, some fairly loud music came on. I don’t recall what it was, and it could have been “similar,” in the same way that Fat Lady of Limbourg is similar to This River, above.

You can edit the play queue, as you can with your up next queue at any time, moving, deleting, or adding tracks. It’s a good way to play music for a long time without choosing what to listen to.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #170: How iTunes Changed Apple

iTunes is 20 years old. Even if, on the Mac, that name has been eclipsed, the iTunes brand still exists, and iTunes is one of the reasons that Apple is such a strong services company. We also look at some new AppleScript malware, how some millionaires are losing Bitcoin because they forgot their passwords, and discuss “brushing,” a new semi-scam where people received Amazon deliveries they never ordered.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

iTunes at 20: How One App Changed Apple’s Course

On January 10, 2001, Steve Jobs went on the stage at Macworld Expo in San Francisco and presented a new app that would change the course of Apple. iTunes would become Apple’s most important app, not only because it was the companion of the iPod that would be released later that year, but also because it would become the framework for all of the company’s future online stores. (Watch the original presentation: part 1, part 2.)

iTunes was far from the first app of its kind; during the presentation, Jobs showed a few competing music player apps, and said “We’re late to this party and we’re about to do a leapfrog.” Apple’s late catch-up would prove to be one of their best decisions.

Jobs explained the process of ripping and burning CDs, since, for many, this was new. He ripped a CD – the B 52s’ Time Capsule – then he imported a folder with 1,000 songs to his library. He then showed how to play music, how to sort the library, how to search for songs, and how to create a playlist; all of these were techniques that were new for most people.

Most important, iTunes was free.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Uninstall Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player has had a long life as a tool for displaying multimedia content in web browsers, but as of December 31, 2020, this software reached the end of its life. From this date on, Adobe will not issue any updates for the software, and will prompt users to uninstall Flash Player as soon as possible.

Here’s how to uninstall Flash Player on your Mac.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #169: New Year’s Resolution: Cull Your Notifications

There’s new malware attacking cryptocurrency apps, WhatsApp warns users about data it is sharing with Facebook, and Apple loses a copyright fight with a company that virtualizes iOS so security researchers can look for vulnerabilities. We also look at how you can manage and secure notifications on your devices, so you don’t get too distracted, and also so personal information isn’t visible when your devices are locks.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Apple’s new ProRAW Photo Format Is Neither Pro nor Raw

Apple recently released iOS 14.3 which includes the new ProRAW photo format feature for iPhone 12 Pro models. As Apple explains:

Apple ProRAW combines the information of a standard RAW format along with iPhone image processing, which gives you more flexibility when editing the exposure, color and white balance in your photo.

This format is intended to offer higher quality photos while still benefiting from the computational photography features of the iPhone. However, Apple is exaggerating a bit, because this is not a raw file, and it’s not really a "pro" file either. Here’s why.

Read more

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 83: Raw and ProRAW on the iPhone

Is Apple’s new raw photo implementation ProRAW or FauxRAW? In this episode, we look at why you’d want to shoot raw on an iPhone in the first place, and then dig into the details of Apple’s new ProRAW format, which is available only on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #168: A Brief History of Adobe Flash Player: From Multimedia to Malware

On December 31, 2020, Adobe Flash Player is officially dead. This browser plugin, which provided multimedia content for the early internet, has been plagued by security issues, and became the most exploited vector for malware on the Mac. We look back on 25 years of Flash.

Subscribe to The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

The History of Adobe Flash Player: From Multimedia to Malware

If you were an early adopter of the internet, you remember how the height of multimedia was the “blink” tag, that made text on a page flash. In order to go beyond the text and static image limitations of early web pages, a number of companies began developing tools to display rich multimedia content on the web, and the platform that became dominant was Adobe’s Flash.

Flash had the advantage of being lightweight, and, with a browser plugin, could run on multiple operating systems. But it was also a security nightmare, presenting vulnerabilities that were regularly exploited by malware creators. Its need for regular – sometimes weekly – updates meant that users were sensitized about the need to frequently updated their plugins. This worry was exploited, and eventually led fake Flash Player installers to be the leading vector for malware on the Mac.

Adobe has officially ended support for Flash on December 31, 2020. Here’s a look back at the checkered history of this multimedia and malware platform.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.