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The CUPS Printing System Lead Developer Has Left Apple, Begins Developing "LPrint"

Filed under
Mac
OSS

More than a decade after Apple acquired the CUPS source-code and its lead developer, that developer, Michael Sweet, recently parted ways with Apple.

Just before Christmas was an announcement by CUPS lead developer Michael Sweet that he left Apple and will be taking a break and then plans to begin forming a new business with his wife.

During his tenure at Apple, there were many CUPS improvements: much better network printing support, basic 3D printer support, IPP Everywhere, and more.

Back in 2017 though is when Apple decided CUPS would no longer be GPL licensed but they migrated to the Apache 2.0 license. Just last August came CUPS 2.3 with that licensing change and the print server's first release in three years.

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Manjaro with KDE on a MacBook Pro

Filed under
GNU
KDE
Linux
Mac

With that away, I just installed purely Manjaro Linux on my MacBook last evening, who cares, I anyways don’t use macOS at all beside as VirtualBox startup environment.

I searched for some pointers in the internet, in the past I already had some parallel install. If you search a bit, you will find various hints how to do it.

[...]

For me this did the job and the stuff is running well enough. The webcam won’t work without additional effort, not that I use it. No idea if Bluetooth or other stuff like the Thunderbolt ports work, but I never used that even on macOS.

Fortunately the HiDPI support on Linux & Qt & KDE has gone a long way since my initial try 2015 and now, with some scaling of 1.5 or 2, it is all nicely usable ;=)

Given I still have some macOS machines available at work, I might still try out some Kate bundles there from time to time, but my personal life is now macOS free.

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Apple Tightens the Proprietary Screws

Filed under
Mac
  • Apple will enforce app notarization for macOS Catalina in February

    The new policies require developers to submit their apps to Apple to go through a notarizing security process, or they won't run in macOS Catalina. An extension to the existing Gatekeeper process that previously allowed notarization as an option, the requirement is designed to ensure downloaded software is from the source users believe it is from.

  • Apple to Enforce macOS App Verification Requirements Starting February

    "If you have not yet done so, upload your software to the notary service and review the developer log for warnings. These warnings will become errors starting February 3 and must be fixed in order to have your software notarized. Software notarized before February 3 will continue to run by default on macOS Catalina," the company said in a statement.

  • Apple will enforce macOS app notarization requirements starting in February

    Developers received word of the impending changes this summer. Apple temporarily adjusted the notarization prerequisites in order to make the transition to macOS Catalina easier for developers and users. The new changes go into effect on February 3, 2020.

  • Apple’s App Notarization Requirements For macOS Catalina To Be Enforced In February

    Cupertino tech giant Apple announced earlier in June that all apps distributed outside the Mac App Store must be notarized so they can continue functioning on Macs and MacBooks running on the latest macOS version, macOS Catalina.

Thunderbolt 3 Software Connection Manager Support Coming In Linux 5.5 For Apple Hardware

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Mac

The Thunderbolt changes have been merged to char-misc ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.5 merge window.

The principal Thunderbolt changes for this next version of the Linux kernel is introducing software connection manager support for Thunderbolt 3 hardware -- initially just Apple systems. Up to now the Thunderbolt 3 controllers on Apple systems have just relied upon the firmware connection manager but now Linux's in-kernel connection manager can be used in place of the firmware implementation. The Thunderbolt connection manager is responsible for creating PCIe tunnels and other operations when Thunderbolt devices are connected.

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Going from macOS to Ubuntu

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

So, can Linux be my workhorse?

Yes. But this is not a sales pitch. If you walk away thinking/knowing Linux is still too much trouble, that's a fair takeway. There are sacrifices and struggles and whether those are worth it to you depends on, well, you. I don't intend to win anybody over to either side.

Ok let's dive in, I'll try to describe the things I ran into, the things I can't fix, and straight up howto's for the things I could.

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Apple of 2019 is the Linux of 2000

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

Last week the laptop I use for macOS development said that there is an XCode update available. I tried to install it but it said that there is not enough free space available to run the installer. So I deleted a bunch of files and tried again. Still the same complaint. Then I deleted some unused VM images. Those would free a few dozen gigabytes, so it should make things work. I even emptied the trash can to make sure nothing lingered around. But even this did not help, I still got the same complaint.

At this point it was time to get serious and launch the terminal. And, true enough, according to df the disk had only 8 gigabytes of free space even though I had just deleted over 40 gigabytes of files from it (using rm, not the GUI, so things really should have been gone). A lot of googling and poking later I discovered that all the deleted files had gone to "reserved space" on the file system. There was no way to access those files or delete them. According to documentation the operating system would delete those files "on demand as more space is needed". This was not very comforting because the system most definitely was not doing that and you'd think that Apple's own software would get this right.

After a ton more googling I managed to find a chat buried somewhere deep in Reddit which listed the magical indentation that purges reserved space. It consisted of running tmutil from the command line and giving it a bunch of command line arguments that did not seem to make sense or have any correlation to the thing that I wanted to do. But it did work and eventually I got XCode updated.

After my blood pressure dropped to healthier levels I got the strangest feeling of déjà vu. This felt exactly like using Linux in the early 2000s. Things break at random for reasons you can't understand and the only way to fix it is to find terminal commands from discussion forums, type them in and hope for the best. Then it hit me.

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Critical Security Issue identified in iTerm2 as part of Mozilla Open Source Audit

Filed under
Mac
Moz/FF
Security

A security audit funded by the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS) has discovered a critical security vulnerability in the widely used macOS terminal emulator iTerm2. After finding the vulnerability, Mozilla, Radically Open Security (ROS, the firm that conducted the audit), and iTerm2’s developer George Nachman worked closely together to develop and release a patch to ensure users were no longer subject to this security threat. All users of iTerm2 should update immediately to the latest version (3.3.6) which has been published concurrent with this blog post.

Founded in 2015, MOSS broadens access, increases security, and empowers users by providing catalytic support to open source technologists. Track III of MOSS — created in the wake of the 2014 Heartbleed vulnerability — supports security audits for widely used open source technologies like iTerm2. Mozilla is an open source company, and the funding MOSS provides is one of the key ways that we continue to ensure the open source ecosystem is healthy and secure.

iTerm2 is one of the most popular terminal emulators in the world, and frequently used by developers. MOSS selected iTerm2 for a security audit because it processes untrusted data and it is widely used, including by high-risk targets (like developers and system administrators).

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You can now use Apple Music on Linux without any hacks

Filed under
Linux
Mac

Apple Music is now available through a web browser, which means I’m pleased/obligated to report that you can now use the service on Linux!

Users on Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other distros just need to load beta.music.apple.com in a modern web browser (sorry Lynx) and, et voila: the ability to stream Apple Music on Linux.

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Also: Here's How To Easily Use Apple Music From Any Linux Distribution

Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Software
Mac
Security
  • BuyDRM launches Linux support for DRM

    BuyDRM has announced Linux support for its MultiKey Server, a multi-DRM software platform specifically designed for deployments in remote or limited connectivity environments.

  • Some airlines are banning Apple’s MacBook Pros even if they weren’t recalled

    In June, Apple recalled the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, sold between September 2015 and February 2017, because the battery “may pose a fire safety risk,” and the FAA soon reminded airlines not to carry those laptops with defective batteries on board. But some airlines are now banning Apple laptops whether they’ve got a bad battery or not, as reported by Bloomberg.

  • More Airlines Ban MacBook Pros in Checked Luggage

    All 15-inch versions of Apple Inc.’s MacBook Pro must be carried in the cabin and switched off, Qantas said in a statement Wednesday. The rule went into effect Tuesday morning. Rival Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. went further on Aug. 26, banning all Apple laptops from checked-in luggage.

  • Popular PDF app was quietly plonking malware onto Android phones

    The security smart folks note that the app itself doesn't appear to be a malicious one, but rather it contains a trojan that gathers spyware and other malware from a malicious server and then runs in on a victim's phone. This trojan, dubbed Necro.n appears to have been sneaked into the app through the use of a legit-looking advertising library package.

    As such, the developers of the app, which has received some 100 million downloads, might not even realise their software is causing their users a malware headache.

  • [Cracker] Claims He Can ‘Turn Off 25,000 Cars’ At The Push Of A Button

    Your car’s immobilizer is supposed to be used for good. If a crook steals your car, it's possible for you to connect to the immobilizer, which tracks the vehicle and allows you to stop anyone from turning on the engine. But with one particular immobilizer - the U.K.-made SmarTrack tool from Global Telemetrics - an easy-to-hack vulnerability meant it was simple for researchers at Pen Test Partners to turn on the immobilizer permanently, without the customer knowing a thing.

    To prove it was possible, the researchers from British cybersecurity company Pen Test Partners hacked the vehicle of one of their own employees, disabling his car whilst they were in the U.K. and he was in Greece, not long before he was due to head to a wedding.

  • French cyberpolice, Avast and FBI neutralise global 'botnet' [iophk: Windows TCO]

    French police have neutralised a [cracking] operation that had taken control of more than 850,000 computers, mainly in Latin America, while also managing to remove the malware from the infected devices.

    The agents went into action last spring after the Czech antivirus firm Avast alerted them to the software worm, called Retadup, that was being controlled by a server in the Paris region.

  • Putting an end to Retadup: A malicious worm that infected hundreds of thousands [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Retadup is a malicious worm affecting Windows machines throughout Latin America. Its objective is to achieve persistence on its victims’ computers, to spread itself far and wide and to install additional malware payloads on infected machines. In the vast majority of cases, the installed payload is a piece of malware mining cryptocurrency on the malware authors’ behalf. However, in some cases, we have also observed Retadup distributing the Stop ransomware and the Arkei password stealer.

  • Authorities free 850,000 machines from grasp of Retadup worm [iophk: Windows TCO]

    After gaining persistence, Retadup goes on to distribute secondary malware on infected machines. It most commonly delivers a Monero cryptomining program, but also has been observed spreading over malware programs including Stop ransomware and the Arkei password stealer, Avast reports.

    The vast majority of Retadup victims whose infections were neutralized in last month’s crackdown are based in Latin American countries. However, the law enforcement operation itself specifically targeted C2 infrastructure based in France and the U.S.

  • Report finds majority of 2019 ransomware attacks have targeted state and local governments [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The majority of ransomware attacks in the U.S. in 2019 have targeted state and local governments, a report published Wednesday by cybersecurity group Barracuda Networks found.

    The report counted a total of 55 ransomware attacks on U.S. state and local government entities between January and July of 2019. These attacks involve a malicious actor or group encrypting a network and asking for money, often in the form of bitcoin, to allow the user access.

  • Threat Spotlight: Government Ransomware Attacks [iophk: this is disinformation which fails to steer potential victims away from Windows and towards GNU/Linux or one of the BSDs]

    Barracuda researchers have identified more than 50 cities and towns attacked so far this year. The team’s recent analysis of hundreds of attacks across a broad set of targets revealed that government organizations are the intended victims of nearly two-thirds of all ransomware attacks. Local, county, and state governments have all been targets, including schools, libraries, courts, and other entities.

    Here’s a closer look at state and local government ransomware attacks and solutions to help detect, block, and recover from them.

Darling: macOS compatibility for Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

There is an increasingly active development effort, known as Darling, that is aiming to provide a translation layer for macOS software on Linux; it is inspired in part by Wine. While Darling isn't nearly as mature as Wine, contributors are continuing to build out capabilities that could make the project more useful to a wider group of users in the future.

[...]

Darling is licensed under GPLv3 and, according to the project home page, it does not violate Apple's End User License Agreement (EULA) since it only uses the parts of Darwin that have been released as free software. Darwin, however, is licensed under the Apple Public Source License (APSL), which is a free-software license, but is not compatible with the GPL according to the FSF.

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What is Mobile PureOS?

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Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS Receive New Kernel Live Patch

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FreeBSD vs. Linux Scaling Up To 128 Threads With The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

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