Friday Morning News
A scary new security vulnerability can permanently give malicious software a backdoor into your Mac. The bootkit requires physical access to the machine, but only so the attacker can attach a Thunderbolt device which overrides the Mac’s default firmware signatures, replacing them with ones which render the bootkit impossible to detect. Even more concerning is that this particular backdoor survives a format and reinstall. Ars Technica has more details.
Apple announced a record-breaking week in the App Store, with the first week of January this year seeing nearly half a billion spent on the App Store, whether by direct purchases of apps or in-app purchases. New Year’s Day 2015 marked the single biggest day in the App Store’s history, and in 2014, the App Store generated $10 billion in revenue for developers, cumulatively paying out $25 billion from apps and games.
Apple has seeded a new version of OS X Yosemite to developers and those in the public beta testing program, with 10.10.2 containing fixes for Wi-Fi, Mail, and VoiceOver. MacRumors notes Wi-Fi fixes will be appreciated by many who have been hit with wireless bugs since Yosemite hit.
Apple sending out an email to developers in Canada, the EU, Norway, Iceland, and Russia means Australians aren’t the only ones to be affected by App Store price changes. All regions bar Iceland and Russia will see App Store prices rise to account for currency fluctuations, with Iceland seeing a drop and Russia’s situation remaining unclear.
The humble iPod Shuffle is out of stock at many retailers and online, with the smallest iPod showing a 7-10 business day lead time on the Australian Online Store. 9to5Mac says there’s no real reason for the shortage, pointing to a component shortage for one of the potential reasons why.
We’ve yet to see any headphones with Lightning connectors enter the mainstream, but new models from Philips and JBL may change all that. The news couldn’t have come at a better time, as people are already wondering how Apple slims down the iPhone even further — the 3.5mm headphone jack is one of the biggest limitations of the form factor at present, and removing it in favour of headphones which connect via Lightning could mean even thinner devices, although not by much.
Data shows OS X Yosemite is now installed on half of all internet-connected Macs, making it the fastest-growing OS X release to date. That’s despite the naysaying going around about Apple’s software quality decline, showing the App Store really makes it easier for users to stay on top of operating system updates.
It was only a matter of time before Evernote’s OCR technology culminated in a document-scanning app, and today, that becomes a reality with Scannable. Scannable is free, on the App Store.
You can download a North Korean operating system that looks and feels like OS X Leopard, judging by the lack of pinstripes and the presence of Aqua-themed buttons, but you probably don’t want to. You’ll just have to make do with screenshots, courtesy of The Mac Observer.
The Mac mini has been around for ten years, and Macminicolo takes a look back at the mini-sized computer that’s probably the best substitute for the Cube G4 that we have today. Unlike the Cube, it remains to be seen whether the Mac mini will have the same lasting impact.