Category Archives: Articles

Apple Releases macOS Mojave 10.14.5 Supplemental Update for 2018 and 2019 15-Inch MacBook Pro


Apple today quietly released an updated version of macOS Mojave 10.14.5, which is designed for 15-inch MacBook Pro models that feature a T2 security chip, aka the 2018 and 2019 machines.

The new version of the software can be downloaded through the “Software Update” section of System Preferences on all compatible Macs.


According to Apple’s release notes, the new software addresses a “firmware issue” impacting Macs with a T2 chip. Apple provided no additional detail, so we don’t know what the specific firmware issue might be, but we may get more information when the security notes become available.

The MacBook Pro Supplemental Update addresses a firmware issue affecting 15-inch MacBook Pro computers with T2 Security Chip, and is recommended for all users.

For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

Apple released the macOS Mojave 10.14.5 update on May 13, adding AirPlay 2 support for sharing music, photos, videos, and more from the Mac to AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs from companies like Samsung, Vizio, LG, and Sony.

Minor Apple News+ interface changes were included, allowing users to follow a magazine directly from the catalog browsing view, and there were improvements to audio latency on 2018 machines.





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Watch an Apple Watch Get Dipped in 24-Karat Pure Gold


Apple may have discontinued its gold-plated Apple Watch Edition back in 2016, but that hasn’t stopped some keen do-it-yourselfers from filling the void.


YouTube stars Casey Neistat and JerryRigEverything’s Zack Nelson have teamed up to dip an Apple Watch Series 4 in 24-karat pure gold — the Apple Watch Edition used 18-karat gold for comparison. And unlike the $10,000-and-up Apple Watch Edition, which is now four years old, this one can even run watchOS 5.



The process involved placing the Apple Watch in an electro-cleaner solution to make it hydrophilic, dipping it in an acid solution to etch the chrome out of it, priming it with some gold filament, and then placing it in the gold-plating solution.

For the rest of us, gold-tinted aluminum or stainless steel options will have to suffice.





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Apple Sends Out Media Invites for WWDC Keynote on June 3


Apple today sent out media invites for the keynote event of its 30th annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which takes place at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

The WWDC keynote will provide a first look at new software that Apple is debuting in 2019, including iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13.

Image via Neil Cybart

It’s possible Apple could also use the event to unveil the new high-end high-throughput Mac Pro that’s in development, though we don’t know for sure that Apple plans to do so. It’s not clear if other hardware will be unveiled at the event.





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FileMaker 18 for macOS Launches With Improved UI and More Security Controls


FileMaker 18 for macOS launched today, introducing a collection of feature enhancements like an improved user interface and a larger variety of security controls. FileMaker, Inc. is one of Apple’s subsidiary companies and makes the FileMaker Platform, which allows developers to build custom apps.


The company said that the new UI includes an “Import Field Mapping” dialog box, so that users can more easily map imported source data to FileMaker fields. Users can also use type ahead instead of drag and drop for greater efficiency, and specify custom delimiters when importing certain file types.

More new features include:

File-based script steps — Create scripts that read, write, and manage external data files to write log files or export data in a custom format. Replaces the need for many file-based plug-ins.

New managed security access — This new privilege set allows developers to offload account access management to other team members without needing to provide full access to any other parts of the file.

Manage Security dialog box — The streamlined Manage Security dialog box allows you to be more efficient in managing access to your custom apps.

Startup restoration — FileMaker files are now automatically recoverable after a hardware or software crash. The restoration log in FileMaker Server validates database entries when a file is first opened, before client access, and if the file had not been properly closed.

Platform parity — The FileMaker Cloud for AWS 1.18 code base supports all of the new features in the FileMaker 18 Platform.

The new security features allow developers to offload account access management to other team members without needing to provide full access to any other parts of the file, enhancing security of important files. This is combined with the Manage Security dialog box, which streamlines various security features and allows users to quickly manage access to custom access.

FileMaker 18 is available to download on the FileMaker store, with pricing beginning at $15 per user per month.





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Apple Previews New Privacy-Focused Ad Tracking Solution Coming to Safari Later This Year


Apple today previewed a new Safari feature called Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution that it says will allow advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns on the web without compromising user privacy.


In a blog post, WebKit engineer John Wilander explains that ad click attribution has traditionally been done through the use of cookies and so-called “tracking pixels,” allowing both the advertiser and the website where the ad was placed to know when someone has clicked on an ad and later purchased something.

Wilander says the traditional method of ad click attribution has no practical limit on data, allowing for full cross-site tracking of users using cookies. “We believe this is privacy invasive and thus we are obliged to prevent such ad click attribution from happening in Safari and WebKit,” he wrote.

Thus, Apple has proposed a modern solution that it says doesn’t allow for cross-site tracking of users but does provide a means of measuring the effectiveness of online ads. The feature is built into the browser itself and runs on-device, meaning that the browser vendor does not see any of the ad data.

Here is Apple’s summary of its privacy considerations for the feature:

  • Only links served on first-party pages should be able to store ad click attribution data.
  • Neither the website where the ad click happens nor the website where the conversion happens should be able to see whether ad click data has been stored, has been matched, or is scheduled for reporting.
  • Ad clicks should only be stored for a limited time, such as a week.
  • The entropy of both ad campaign ID and conversion data needs to be restricted to a point where this data cannot be repurposed for cross-site tracking of users. We propose six bits each for these two pieces of data, or values between 0 and 63.
  • Ad click attribution requests should be delayed randomly between 24 to 48 hours. This makes sure that a conversion that happens shortly after an ad click will not allow for speculative cross-site profiling of the user. The randomness in the delay makes sure the request does not in itself reveal when during the day the conversion happened.
  • The browser should not guarantee any specific order in which multiple ad click attribution requests are sent, since the order itself could be abused to increase the entropy and allow for cross-site tracking of users.
  • The browser should use an ephemeral session aka Private or Incognito Mode to make ad click attribution requests.
  • The browser should not use or accept any credentials such as cookies, client certificates, or Basic Authentication in ad click attribution requests or responses.
  • The browser should offer a way to turn ad click attribution on and off. We intend to have the default setting to be on to encourage websites to move to this technology and abandon general cross-site tracking.
  • The browser should not enable ad click attribution in Private/Incognito Mode.

Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution is available as an experimental feature in Safari Technology Preview 82 and later. To turn on the feature, enable the Develop menu and navigate to the Experimental Features submenu.

Apple says the feature will be turned on for web developers later this year. The company has also recommended it as a web standard to the W3C.





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