Tag Archives: Apple MacBook Pro

2021 MacBook Pro Restores 4 Features Jony Ive Threw Out!

2021 MacBook Pro Restores 4 Features Jony Ive Threw Out!

The 2021 MacBook Pro restored four great features that famed designer, Jony Ive threw out!

Well, isn’t it fortunate that he left Apple?

 

2021 MacBook Pro Restores 4 Features Jony Ive Threw Out!

Famed designed Jony Ive did many things right, but he also screwed up the MacBook Pro for many years.

In his obsessive quest for ever THINNER form factors, Sir Jony dumped four great features that MacBook Pro users loved.

  • Physical function keys
  • SDXC card reader
  • MagSafe charging port
  • HDMI port

The good news is – the 2021 MacBook Pro restores all four features that Jony threw out!

Magic Keyboard With Physical Function Keys!

Jony Ive introduced the butterfly keyboard mechanism because it was THINNER. However, it has less key travel (of course) and was prone to failure.

Apple finally gave up on the butterfly keyboard after Jony left, when they introduced the Magic Keyboard with a scissor mechanism in the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019).

But it was with this new 2021 MacBook Pro that nailed the coffin shut for the Touch Bar, which many MBP users considered an expensive boondoggle.

FINALLY, MacBook Pro users have a proper keyboard with physical function keys that provide tactile feedback!

SDXC Card Reader + HDMI Port Are Back!

Many MacBook Pro users are photographers who loved how their MBPs had an integrated SDXC card reader. They can just slot in their SD cards and get to work.

Many users also loved the convenience of an integrated HDMI port, which allowed quick and easy video output to an external monitor or even a projector.

Unfortunately, Jony Ive sacrificed both the SDXC card reader and the HDMI port on the altar of a THINNER profile, forcing users to use USB card readers and dongles.

Well, the good news is the 2021 MacBook Pro restored both the SDXC card reader and the HDMI port!

MagSafe 3 Charging!

Another stupid decision Apple made with their 4th Gen MacBook Pro was to remove the MagSafe charging connector.

Not only does the MagSafe prevent damage if anyone trips over the cable, it also has a very nifty indicator light that quickly tells you its charging status.

Fortunately, Apple just introduced MagSafe 3 in the 2021 MacBook Pro. It is now slimmer, and can support up to 140 watts of power delivery!

Don’t worry – you can still use USB-C charging if you want to.

 

2021 MacBook Pro So Much Better After Jony Ive Left

Now, I do not mean to disparage Sir Jony Ive’s excellent design work. I just think he went overboard with his obsession with THINNESS.

How much functionality is worth trading away to shave off an extra millimetre or two? Never enough in Jony’s book, from what I can tell.

Even with all that gone, he couldn’t even get the MacBook Pro to be thinner or lighter than the Dell XPS 13… so what was the point of removing them???

Hence, it is fortuitous for MacBook Pro users that he is no longer in charge of the design work at Apple.

The restoration of these four long-missed features arguably makes the 2021 MacBook Pro far more functional than its fancy mini LED display or M1 Pro / Max processor could achieve.

Read more : 100% Correct : MagSafe 3, SDXC + HDMI 2.0 In 2021 MBP!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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100% Correct : MagSafe 3, SDXC + HDMI 2.0 In 2021 MBP!

Back in February 2021, we gave you all a sneak peek at what the 2021 Apple MBP would offer in terms of connectivity.

We said back then that “Apple will not only introduce a new MagSafe 3 connector in the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro, they will also bring back the SD card slot!

Take a look at what we revealed back then, and what Apple just revealed earlier today!

 

We Were Right About MagSafe 3 In 2021 MBP!

In our February 2021 sneak peek of the 2021 MBP’s connectivity options, we shared that Apple will bring back their long-missed MagSafe connector.

It would be a brand new connector with a slimmer profile called MagSafe 3, which would be bidirectional with 5 pins, and have a slimmer profile.

Take a look at the picture we shared in February, showing MagSafe 3, next to two Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

And take a look at the connectors on the left side of the actual 2021 MacBook Pro. Pretty much the same, right?

 

We Were Right About SDXC Card Reader + HDMI 2.0 In 2021 MBP!

In our February 2021 sneak peek, we also shared that Apple would bring back the sorely-missed SDXC card reader, as well as the HDMI 2.0 port.

Here was the picture we shared in February, showing the SDXC card reader, together with the HDMI 2.0 port.

Doesn’t it look EXACTLY like the actual right side of the 2021 MacBook Pro?

We also revealed back then that the OLED Touch Bar would finally be banished… hopefully for good. It was an expensive boondoggle that MBP users were forced to pay for.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari CVE-2021-1844 Bug : Fix It Now!

Apple just rushed out macOS Big Sur 11.2.3, iOS 14.4.1, iPadOS 14.4.1 and Safari 14.0.3 to patch a critical security bug.

Find out what they fix, and why you need to update your MacBook, iPhone and iPad right away!

 

Apple Rushes Out macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari Critical Bug Fixes!

Released on 8 March 2021, macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 patches only one bug, which may mislead users into thinking that it’s not very important.

WebKit

Available for: macOS Big Sur

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

On the same day, Apple also released iOS 14.4.1 and iPadOS 14.4.1 – both patching the same CVE-2021-1844 vulnerability.

WebKit

Available for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

Apple also released Safari 14.0.3, which patches the same vulnerability for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave :

WebKit

Available for: macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

 

Why Install These macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari Bug Fixes ASAP?

While they appear to only patch WebKit in macOS Big Sur, iOS, iPadOS and Safari, they are CRITICAL bug fixes that you need to install right away.

They patch the new CVE-2021-1844 vulnerability, which was discovered by Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group and Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research.

This vulnerability allows a remote attacker to trigger a buffer overflow when the victim opens a specially-crafted web page, allowing the attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target system.

It is not known if this vulnerability has been exploited yet, but it is critical to install the new updates to prevent that from happening.

 

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First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Exclusive on Tech ARP – the first look at the 2021 MacBook Pro ports, including a brand new MagSafe 3 port and an SD card slot!

Here is the first ever look at the MagSafe 3 connector, the SD card slot, and other ports that will ship with the 2021 MacBook Pro!

 

First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Apple fans who miss the MagSafe port and the SD card reader in their MacBook laptops will have something to cheer for this year!

Apple will not only introduce a new MagSafe 3 connector in the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro, they will also bring back the SD card slot!

New Apple MagSafe 3 Connector!

The new MagSafe 3 connector is bidirectional and has 5 pins, and will lock and detach magnetically like the previous two generations.

The MagSafe 3 connector is not compatible with older MacBook computers, and has a pill-shaped design with a thinner profile.

The MagSafe 3 port is located on the left side of the 2021 MBP, next to two Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) ports, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Ports on the left side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

Return Of The SD Card Reader!

We are also glad to report that Apple will (finally) bring back the SD card reader that many photographers LOVED, and bemoaned when Phil Schiller killed it in 2016.

Now that Schiller is out of Apple, it looks like it’s been resurrected for the 2021 MacBook Pro. Utility finally trumped cumbersome!

The SD card reader is located on the right side, together with a third Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) port and a HDMI 2.0 port.

Ports on the right side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

 

2021 Apple MacBook Pro : What Else Is New?

So what else is new in the 2021 MacBook Pro, other than MagSafe 3 and the resurrected SD card reader?

14-inch + 16-inch Models

There will be two 2021 MacBook Pro models – with 14-inch and 16-inch displays.

Apple M1X SoC

There will no longer be Intel CPU options, only the Apple M1X SoC.

Nothing much is known about the Apple M1X, other than it is a more powerful version of the M1 that has stunned many with its performance.

But rumours have it that it will have 12 processor cores, split into two performance clusters :

  • P Cluster (Performance) : 8 x Firestorm (?) cores
  • E Cluster (Efficient) : 4 x Icestorm (?) cores

It will have a more powerful GPU than Apple M1‘s 8-core GPU.

Memory

The Apple M1X will use the same unified memory design as the M1, built directly onto the package for near-instantaneous access.

However, it will offer larger memory options – 24 GB and 32 GB are possible – in addition to 16 GB currently available with the M1.

External Display Support

A big limitation of the Apple M1 is its support for just one external display of up to 6K resolution at 60 Hz.

The 2021 MacBook Pro will support at least two external displays, if not more, via its Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI ports.

OLED Touch Bar Gone!

Good riddance to the pointless OLED Touch Bar. That’s gone for the 2021 MacBook Pro models.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Apple M1 : How Fast Are Its CPU + GPU?

The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based SoC (System on a Chip) designed by Apple to be used as the CPU for Mac computers.

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the Apple M1, including how fast its CPU and GPU really are!

 

Apple M1 : First ARM SoC For Mac Computers!

The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based SoC (System on a Chip) designed by Apple for use in Mac computers, debuting in :

  • 2020 MacBook Air (4th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 MacBook Pro (6th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 Mac mini (5th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG

Packing 16 billion transistors, it is the first chip to be manufactured on the new 5 nm TSMC process technology.

As an SoC, it combines 8 CPU cores, an 8-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine, an image signal processor (ISP), an NVMe storage controller, a Thunderbolt 4 controller and a Secure Enclave – all in a single chip.

The Apple M1 is paired with either 8 GB or 16 GB of LPDDR4X memory using a system-in-a-package design.

8-Core CPU : ARM big.LITTLE Design

The Apple M1 uses the ARM big.LITTLE design for the CPU. Its 8-core CPU is divided into two performance clusters :

  • P Cluster (Performance) : 4 x Firestorm cores (up to 3.2 GHz)
  • E Cluster (Efficient) : 4 x Icestorm cores (up to 2.06 GHz)

The P Cluster is designed for high-performance, with a power consumption of 13.8 watts. It has a large 12 MB shared L2 cache, with a 128 KB dedicated L1 cache for each Firestorm core.

The E Cluster, on the other hand, is designed for a low power consumption of just 1.3 watts. It has a smaller 4 MB shared L2 cache, with a 64 KB dedicated L1 cache for each Icestorm core.

8-Core GPU : Mysterious Indeed!

The M1 uses an Apple-designed 8-core GPU, of which very little is known. Apple only says that it can handle up to 25,000 concurrent threads.

But from what we can tell, it has 128 execution units with an FP32 performance of 2.6 teraflops per second, a 82 GT/s texture fill rate, and a 41 GP/s pixel fill rate.

16-Core Neural Engine

The Apple M1 features a 16-core Neural Engine, which is capable of executing 11 trillion operations per second.

LPDDR4X Unified Memory

The Apple M1 uses a unified memory design, which means the CPU and GPU share the same memory.

Apple offers 8 GB and 16 GB LPDDR4X SDRAM options, built directly onto the package for near-instantaneous access.

Rosetta 2 Translation

As most Mac apps are compiled for x86 processors, they need to be translated to work with the Apple M1, which uses the totally different ARM architecture.

That’s where Apple Rosetta 2 comes in – introduced in macOS Big Sur, it translates or emulates x86 apps so that they can run properly on the M1 processor.

Certain apps, especially games, may require third-party software like Wine or CrossOver to work properly, like this example of The Witcher 3 running on the Apple M1.

 

Apple M1 : Specifications

Apple is hardly the most transparent company in the world, but here is what we know so far about the M1 chip’s specifications :

Specifications Apple M1 (APL1102)
Fab Process 5 nm TSMC
Transistor Count 16 Billion
Die Size 120 mm²
CPU Cores P Cluster : 4 x Firestorm cores
E Cluster : 4 x Icestorm cores
L1 Caches Firestorm : 128 KB per core
Icestorm : 64 KB per core
L2 Caches P Cluster : 12 MB shared
E Cluster : 4 MB shared
Clock Speed P Cluster : 0.6~3.204 GHz
E Cluster : 0.6~2.064 GHz
CPU Power
Consumption
P Cluster : 13.8 W
E Cluster : 1.3 W
GPU Cores 8 Cores, 128 Execution Units
GPU FP32 Performance 2.6 TFLOPS
GPU Texture Fillrate 82 GT/s
GPU Pixel Fillrate 41 GP/s
Memory Size 8 GB / 16 GB
Memory Type LPDDR4x-4266
Memory Interface 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 68.27 GB/s
Neural Engine 16 Cores
Neural Engine
Performance
11 Trillion Ops / Second
TDP 10 watts (MacBook Air)

 

Apple M1 : How Fast Are Its CPU + GPU?

Unfortunately, we do not have access to the Apple M1, but Ars Technica tested it in the 2020 Mac mini. Take a look at some of the results they posted :

Note : While Ars Technica listed the M1 as a 10 watt part, this is only what Apple claims for the MacBook Air. It is likely to be clocked higher, with a higher TDP in the Mac mini and MacBook Pro.

Geekbench 5 : Single-Threaded CPU Test

Will you look at that? The Apple M1’s Firestorm cluster has really good single-core performance!

It was 7% faster than the Core i7-1185G7, in both 28W and 15W TDP modes; and 53% faster than the Ryzen 7 4700U!

Geekbench 5 : Multi-Threaded CPU Test

This is even more astounding! The Apple M1 is even faster in the multi-threaded test!

In the multi-threaded test, the Apple M1 was 22% faster and 54% faster than the Core i7-1185G7 in 28W and 15W modes, respectively. It was also 52% faster than the Ryzen 7 4700U!

Geekbench 5 : GPU Test

Even its 8-core GPU did very well, beating the Core i7-1185G7‘s integrated Iris Xe by 26%, and Ryzen 7 4700U‘s integrated Vega 7 by 65%.

Cinebench R23 : Single-Threaded Test

The Apple M1 was as fast as the 28-watt Core i7-1185G7 in the single-threaded test, and was 28% faster than the Ryzen 7 4700U. And it was only 6.5% slower than the Ryzen 9 5950X.

Cinebench R23 : Multi-Threaded Test

In the multi-threaded test, the Ars Technica team set a limit of 8 threads for a level-playing field.

The Apple M1 did well, beating the Ryzen 7 4700U by 14%, and the Core i7-1185G7 by 25%. And it was just 34% slower than the Ryzen 9 5950X.

 

Apple M1 Mac Computers : Where To Buy?

The Apple M1 is currently available in these Mac computer models :

  • 2020 MacBook Air (4th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 MacBook Pro (6th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 Mac mini (5th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG

 

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Apple M1 Gaming : Watch It Run The Witcher 3!

Windows gaming on the ARM-based Apple M1 is possible!

Watch how well the Apple M1 runs The Witcher 3 using CrossOver 20!

 

Apple M1 Gaming : Watch It Run The Witcher 3 On CrossOver 20!

MrMacRight successfully ran The Witcher 3 on CrossOver 20, using the 2020 Apple MacBook Pro with the new ARM-based Apple M1 SoC.

Here was his recorded gameplay of The Witcher 3 at the 1080p resolution, with the Medium graphics and post-processing presets, and VSync enabled.

He could not get the FPS counter to work, but it looks smooth and very playable, albeit with some visual artefacts.

Basically – Apple M1 gaming is not only possible, it is possible to play Windows games!

Video Credit : MrMacRight

 

Windows Gaming On Apple M1 : Rosetta 2 + Windows API Translation!

That quick gameplay showcase of The Witcher 3 shows that Windows gaming is possible on the Apple M1.

The ability to run The Witcher 3 on CrossOver 20, and at such playable frame rates, is important for two reasons.

Windows App Compatibility

The Witcher 3 is a 64-bit Windows-only game, so you wouldn’t expect it to run well on the ARM-based Apple M1, right?

Running it on the Apple M1 involves translating Windows API calls using CrossOver, and then translating x86 instructions to ARM instructions using Rossetta 2.

Yet it not only worked, it ran pretty well on the Apple M1!

Performance

While AppleGamers was not able to obtain a frame rate, The Witcher 3 appears to run pretty well at the 1080p resolution.

That shows that the Apple M1’s integrated 8-core GPU is fast, and will have no problem handling native ARM games at 1080p, and likely 1440p as well.

 

Apple M1 : A Quick Primer

The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based SoC (System on a Chip) designed by Apple for use in Mac computers.

Packing 16 billion transistors, it is the first chip to be manufactured on the new 5 nm TSMC process technology.

It comes with 4 high-performance Firestorm CPU cores, 4 power-efficient Icestorm cores, an 8-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine.

As the M1 is based on the ARM architecture, you can natively run iPhone and iPad apps on it. However, existing macOS apps will have to be ported over, or translated on-the-fly using Rosetta 2.

It is currently available in these Apple Mac computers :

  • 2020 MacBook Air : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 Mac mini : US | UK | AU | MY | SG

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Mac Camera Cover Guide : Why Apple Is Wrong!

Apple recently advised everyone not to cover the camera of their Mac laptops, and rely instead on the camera indicator light.

Find out why Apple is WRONG, and why you need to physically cover your Mac computer’s camera!

 

Mac Camera Cover : What Is It For?

Cybersecurity specialists have long advocated covering the built-in camera of your computers, not just MacBook laptops or Mac desktops, with a camera cover of some sort.

This prevents hackers from taking over that camera, and secretly recording you. This has implications beyond just recording your embarrassing moments for blackmail.

With access to your laptop camera, hackers can determine when you are away from home, who lives at your home, who you are working with, and even where you currently are.

 

Apple : Don’t Use A Camera Cover For Your Mac

In their recent HT211148 tech advisory, they asked Mac laptop (MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro) users not to use any camera cover.

Recommended : Warning : Using A Camera Cover Can Damage Your MacBook!

Instead, they recommended that you use these two built-in features for your privacy :

A. The Green Camera Indicator Light

Apple points out that your Mac computer has a camera indicator light that glows green whenever the camera is active.

They also claimed that the camera is designed not to activate unless its indicator light is also turned on.

B. The Camera Access Control

As an additional measure built into macOS Mojave or later, you must give an app permission before it can use your Mac computer’s camera.

To view which apps has access to your Mac computer’s camera, and to revoke any app’s access :

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click Privacy.
  2. Select Camera.
  3. Select the tickbox next to an app to allow it to access your camera.Deselect the tickbox to turn off access for that app.If you turn off access for an app, you’re asked to turn it on again the next time that app tries to use your camera.

 

Why Apple Is Wrong, And You Need To Cover Your Mac Camera!

Apple fans may hate us for this, but they are wrong. You must physically cover your Mac computer’s camera to protect yourself.

Hackers Always Disable The Indicator Light

Mac computers are not the only ones to feature an indicator light for their built-in cameras. Most computers with a built-in webcam have such an indicator light.

It is, therefore, SOP for hackers to disable the indicator light after gaining control of the camera. Camfecting attacks won’t work if you are aware that the camera is turned on…

Apple asserts that the camera and its indicator light on Mac computers are wired in series, so the camera won’t work if the indicator light is turned off.

However, a 2013 Johns Hopkins University paper showed how it was possible to disable the indicator light of a Mac computer’s webcam, even though the camera module had a “hardware interlock”.

This isn’t just an obscure research subject. The FBI has the capability to covertly activate a computer’s camera without triggering the indicator light, according to Marcus Thomas, the former assistant director of FBI’s Operational Technology Division.

The only ways to prevent such attacks would be to either turn off your computer, or physically cover the camera.

Hackers Won’t Ask You For Permission

Security researcher Ryan Pickren showed in April 2020 how seven flaws in Apple Safari can let malicious websites hijack your camera and microphone to spy on you.

All you have to do is click on a link, and it lets the malicious website gain access to your webcam without asking for permission.

So much for the Mac Camera Access Control feature…

You May Not Notice The Light

Even if the camera indicator light is not disabled, it doesn’t mean you will immediately realise when the light turns on.

By the time you realise the green light is actually glowing, it may already be too late.

This is partly because it emits a steady glow, and doesn’t blink. Of course, a blinking light is bloody irritating, but we are more likely to notice it than a static green glow.

The only way to prevent that is to physically cover the camera.

Hackers Can Turn On Sleeping Or Hibernating Computers

Don’t assume that just because your Mac computer is sleeping or hibernating, hackers cannot access its camera.

They can potentially wake your computer, turn on the camera and record from it, with the indicator light turned off.

Security researcher Pedro Vilaça showed in 2015 how it was possible to remotely “root” and take over a Mac computer after it wakes up from sleep mode of 30 seconds or longer.

Irrespective of the method used, once hackers gain control of your computer, they can turn on its Wake On LAN (WOL) feature to remotely wake up your computer, like what the Ryuk ransomware does.

The only way to prevent that is to turn off your computer, or physically cover the camera.

Cybercriminals Can Trick You With A Fake Blackmail

Even if cybercriminals are unable to access your camera, they can still trick you into believing they somehow took compromising photos or videos from it.

They send out thousands of spam emails every day to trick people into believing they have been caught on camera.

People who don’t use a camera cover can be convinced into believing that their webcams were somehow compromised, and tricked into paying up to avoid exposure.

The only way to prevent that is to physically cover the camera.

 

The Best Way To Cover Your Mac Computer Camera

While we strongly advise you to cover your Mac computer camera, that does not mean you should risk damaging your display.

Laptop Computers (MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro)

According to Apple, we should not use any camera cover that is more than 0.1 mm thick. That basically rules out any camera cover, because it is impossible to make one that thin.

They also advise again using anything that leaves an adhesive residue. So that means cellophane tape (Scotch tape) and packaging tape should be avoided.

So here are the best options for you to consider, based on your requirements :

  1. If you don’t intend to use the camera at all
    a) Use your laptop in clamshell mode, with a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse
    b) Cover the camera with masking tape, which is gentle and leaves no residue
  2. If you plan to use the camera
    – Cut a small piece of sticky note, so that there is an adhesive part and a non-adhesive part.
    – Alternatively, cut a piece of masking tape, and fold part of it to create a non-adhesive portion.
    – Cover the camera with the adhesive part
    – You can then use the non-adhesive portion to pull it off whenever you need to use the camera

Desktop Computers (iMac, iMac Pro)

Desktop computers like the iMac or iMac Pro don’t have to worry about damaging their displays with camera covers of any thickness.

We therefore recommend using a proper camera cover that slides to let you use the camera whenever you want to, and physically cover it whenever you don’t.

Just make sure the camera cover does not use excessively strong adhesive, or leaves a residue that will require using solvent to remove, which could damage the display coating!

 

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Warning : Using A Camera Cover Can Damage Your MacBook!

After years of letting third-party companies sell camera covers, Apple just issued a warning that using a camera cover can damage your MacBook laptop!

Find out what’s going on, and why using a camera cover may be critical for your privacy, but can damage your MacBook!

 

Warning : Using A Camera Cover Can Damage Your MacBook!

In a new technical advisory, Apple warns that closing your MacBook laptop with a camera cover attached could physically damage the display, due to the limited clearance between the display and the chassis.

In addition, installing a camera cover can block the ambient light sensor located next to the camera. This will prevent features like automatic brightness and True Tone from working properly.

If you close your Mac notebook with a camera cover installed, you might damage your display because the clearance between the display and keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances.

Covering the built-in camera might also interfere with the ambient light sensor and prevent features like automatic brightness and technical advisory from working.

Instead of using a camera cover, Apple recommends relying on the camera indicator light to tell you when it is actively recording you.

This is a VERY BAD idea, which we will elaborate in this article : Apple Is Wrong. You Need To Cover Your Mac Camera!

 

What If You MUST Use A Camera Cover?

If your organisation or work requires you to use a camera cover, Apple issued these recommendations :

  • Make sure the camera cover is not thicker than 0.1 mm.
  • Avoid using a camera cover that leaves adhesive residue.
  • If you install a camera cover that is thicker than 0.1 mm, remove the camera cover before closing your computer.

For Americans and anyone else still stuck with Imperial measurements, 0.1 mm = 0.00393 inch.

This example of an ultra-thin camera cover designed for the MacBook is 8X too thick, according to Apple.

It is physically impossible to create a camera cover that thin. In other words, Apple is telling you yet again NOT to use an actual camera cover!

Instead, try using a tiny piece of sticky note. It is not only thin, it is also soft. Just make sure it covers only the camera, and not the ambient light sensor.

 

Recommended Reading

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How To Fix NAS Connection Failure In macOS Catalina!

One of the issues you may face after upgrading to macOS Catalina is a sudden failure to connect to your NAS. And no matter what you do – you just can’t access your NAS!

Fortunately, we have the solution for this problem. Here is our guide on how you can fix the NAS connection failure in macOS Catalina!

 

The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Issue

After upgrading to macOS Catalina, you may experience a sudden and persistent inability to connect to your NAS.

When you try to access your NAS, it will say Connection Failed. And nothing happens when you click the Connect As… button – you don’t get the usual security pop-up to log into your NAS.

This is beyond annoying, because you have now lost all access to your NAS on macOS Catalina.

It is definitely a macOS Catalina issue because if you try using a Windows PC or an old macOS system, you will have no issue accessing the same NAS.

So what should you do?

 

The Cause Of The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Failure

From what we can tell, this issue is happening because Apple apparently dropped support for SMB1 and SMB 2.0 in macOS Catalina.

With many NAS defaulting to SMB1 for compatibility reasons, users will immediately lose the ability to connect once they upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

How To Fix The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Failure

The key is to set your NAS to use SMB 3.0 or later. This should not be a problem if your NAS is less than 5-6 years old, because SMB 3.0 was introduced in 2012.

In our guide, we are going to use the screenshots from our Synology NAS. But it should be similar in concept to NAS from other brands like QNAP and WD :

  1. Log into your NAS
  2. Go to Control Panel > File Services.
  3. Under the SMB section, click on Advanced Settings.

  1. In the Advanced Settings pop-up, you will find that the Maximum SMB protocol is probably set to SMB1.
  2. You need to set the Maximum SMB protocol to SMB3.

  1. Now, this is not necessary, but while you are here, you might as well just set the Minimum SMB protocol to SMB2 and Large MTU.
  2. Then click Apply at the bottom of the Advanced Settings pop-up to save the settings.

  1. If it works, you should be able to connect to your NAS after you log out of your NAS. However, in many cases, you need to take an additional step by manually connecting to your NAS.
  2. To do that, you need to select Go > Connect to Server… in Finder.
  3. Then key in smb://ServerName/ (in our example, smb://DiskStation/) and click Connect.
  1. This should finally launch the security login pop-up, where you can key in your Name and Password to log into your NAS.

After logging into your NAS, you should have no issue accessing your NAS. You can also drag and add your NAS folders to the Favourites list in Finder.

 

Recommended Reading

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macOS Catalina – Don’t Upgrade Until You Do This First!

macOS Catalina (or macOS version 10.15) is coming in October 2019, bringing with it a slew of really nice improvements and new features.

However, unlike earlier macOS releases – you need to prepare for macOS Catalina, or you could run into trouble right after the upgrade!

 

macOS Catalina Requirements

Before we start, make sure you have one of these systems – macOS Catalina will only run on these Mac computers.

  • iMac Pro : All models
  • iMac : Late 2012 or newer
  • Mac Pro : Late 2013 or newer
  • Mac mini : Late 2012 or newer
  • MacBook Pro : Mid 2012 or newer
  • MacBook : Early 2015 or newer
  • MacBook Air : Mid 2012 or newer

 

macOS Catalina – Don’t Upgrade Until You Do This First!

Unlike earlier versions of macOS, Catalina drops support for 32-bit apps. Therefore, you must check if you are still using any 32-bit apps before you upgrade.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check for 32-bit apps in macOS :

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top left of the task bar.
  2. Select About This Mac from the pull-down list.

  1. In the Overview screen, click on the System Report… button.

  1. When System Report loads, select Software > Applications from the column on the left.
  2. It will now take a minute or two to scan all of your apps.
  3. Once it loads, you can scroll through all of your apps to look for any that have their 64-Bit (Intel) status marked No.

  1. However, an EASIER method is to locate the 64-Bit (Intel) column, and click on it to list all those marked No at the top.As you can see, quite a number of applications, including those used to setup the actual apps, are still 32-bit apps.

  1. Now, you need to uninstall all those 32-bit apps and replace them with 64-bit versions. Otherwise, they will all fail to work once you upgrade to Catalina!

 

Why Do You Need To Run This Check Again?

You need to find out what 32-bit apps you are still running, because they will NOT work after you install macOS Catalina.

You will need to upgrade these 32-bit apps with newer 64-bit versions, BEFORE you upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

Can’t I Upgrade My Apps After I Upgrade To macOS Catalina?

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It is possible to remove your 32-bit apps and install their 64-bit versions after upgrading to macOS Catalina.

However, you may have trouble removing all of the older components, if the old 32-bit app used an installer.

So we highly recommend that you uninstall all 32-bit apps, and install their 64-bit versions… BEFORE you upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

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The 12/12 Machines Sale – What Deals Can You Expect?

KUALA LUMPUR, 11 DECEMBER 2017 – Machines Sdn Bhd (Machines) today announced that it will be holding the first 12/12 Machines sale – its first ever sale held completely on its online store. We share with you the Apple devices and products that will be offered at great discounts starting tomorrow!

 

The 12/12 Machines Sale

For 12 days, from 12 December 2017 until 24 December 2017, Machines will be offering great savings on the Apple Watch (priced from RM999), iPad Pro (priced from RM1,599), MacBook Air (priced from RM2,999), MacBook (priced from RM3,999), Macbook Pro (priced from RM6,999), and other items with discounts of up to 80% off retail prices.

“As the countdown to Christmas nears, we want to give our customers an opportunity to find the perfect gift for their loved ones – or for themselves,” said Andrew Cheng, Director of Machines. “We chose to hold the sale online to give our customers the best deals without having to brave the holiday crowds”.

All purchases from the Machines online store come with free delivery to customers in Peninsular and East Malaysia. Customers have the option of home delivery or can opt to collect their purchases from selected Machines stores. Payment can be made via online transfer or locally issued credit cards (terms and conditions apply)

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All products are in their original packaging and come with a one (1) year manufacturer warranty from the date of purchase. In addition, smartwatches purchased during the sale are also eligible for the Machines Protection Plan – a two-year extended warranty that protects products against accidental damage.

While the sale prices will only be applicable starting from 12 December 2017, customers are currently able to browse the available products on the Machines online store.

When you are ready to purchase, visit https://machines.com.my/collections/1212.

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Apple Rushed Out macOS Root Bug Fix & It Shows…

Lemi Orhan Ergin did not give Apple any forewarning when he publicly revealed the massive macOS root bug on Twitter. He basically exposed a zero-day vulnerability for hackers to use, while Apple rushed on a bug fix. The good news is Apple just issued the root bug fix in Security Update 2017-001.

This is really fast work, but it also showed their sloppiness. Hopefully, the bug fix does not introduce additional bugs!

 

macOS Security Update 2017-001

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Apple released macOS Security Update 2017-001 just a day after the macOS root bug was revealed. They also gave us more information on the bug that caused so much ruckus around the world (and rightly so).

  • The bug only affected macOS High Sierra 10.13.1.
  • The bug did not affect computers running macOS Sierra 10.12.6 or earlier.
  • They confirmed that it allowed an attacker to “bypass administrator authentication without supplying the administrator’s password“.

You can get more details on the root bug in our dedicated article – The macOS High Sierra Root Bug Explained!

 

How Do I Download The Root Bug Fix?

The macOS root bug fix is now available for download via the App Store. If it doesn’t appear yet, just click on the Updates icon to refresh.

Please note that this bug fix will reset and disable the root user account.  If you need to use the root user account, you will need to re-enable it, and change its password, after applying the update.

 

Terminal Users, Watch Out!

If you’re using Terminal to update though, you may face some complications due to Apple’s sloppiness. Chai discovered that Apple accidentally used a space instead of the version number.

This is not an issue if you are downloading the patch through the App Store. But if you’re applying the patch via Terminal, you need to add a space.

softwareupdate -i “Security Update 2017-001- “

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The Mac Root User Login & Password Guide

Want to have elevated God-like privileges to your Mac OS X system? Then you need to be a Mac root user. In this guide, we will teach you how to enable the root user account in OS X, change the password, and disable it.

For experienced users or power users, you can use Terminal to quickly make these changes :

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If you are an inexperienced user, you can use the GUI method, which has more steps but does not require keying in commands.

 

What Is The Mac Root User?

If you are the primary user of a MacOS X system, you have an administrator account with administrator privileges. This gives you more privileges and access than a standard user account. However, that is not the highest access level possible.

There is a Mac superuser account called “root” that gives you elevated read and write privileges to hidden or protected areas of the system. With the Mac root user account, you can even access files in other user accounts.

In fact, it gives you such God-like powers, you can modify or even delete critical system files. So this Mac root account should only remain disabled unless you really, REALLY need to use it.

OS X High Sierra currently has a root bug that allows practically root access in a few simple steps. Therefore, Apple advises you to enable the Mac root account, with your own password, until they fix the bug.

Suggested Reading : The macOS High Sierra Root Bug Explained

 

How To Enable The Mac Root User / Change Password (Terminal Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account.

Please note this method is used to both enable the root account, and to change its password. The single command line of sudo passwd root both changes its password, while enabling the root account.

Step 1 : Click on the Apple () menu, and select System Preferences.

Step 2 : Click on Utilities, and select Terminal.

Step 3 : Type sudo passwd root and press Enter.

sudo passwd root

Step 4 : You will be asked for your administrator password, not the new root password. Key in your administrator password and hit Enter.

Step 5 : Now key in the new root password, and hit Enter. Then retype the new root password for verification, and hit Enter.

That’s it! You have successfully enabled the Mac root account, with a password of your choice. To use it, you need to log off your administrator account.

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How To Disable The Mac Root User (Terminal Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account.

Step 1 : In Terminal, type dsenableroot -d and press Enter.

dsenableroot -d

Step 2 : Key in your administrator password (not the root user password), and hit Enter.

If you succeed, you will see the notification : ***Successfully disabled root user.

Next Page > How To Enable The Mac Root User Account (GUI Method)

 

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How To Enable The Mac Root User Account (GUI Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account.

Step 1 : Click on the Apple () menu, and select System Preferences.

Step 2 : Click on Users & Groups.

Step 3 : In the Users & Groups screen, click on the lock and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 4 : Click on Login Options.

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Step 5 : Click on the Join… (or Edit…) button next to Network Account Server.

Step 6 : Click on the Open Director Utility… button.

Step 7 : Click on the lock, and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 8 : In the Directory Utility menu bar, select Edit and click on Enable Root User.

Step 9 : Now, key in the password you want, and a second time for verification, and click OK.

That’s it! You have successfully enabled the Mac root user account, with a password of your choice. To use it, you need to log off your administrator account.

Next Page > How To Change The Mac Root User Password

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How To Change The Mac Root User Password (GUI Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account, and have the root user account enabled.

If you have just enabled the root user account, and are still in the Directory Utility screen, skip ahead to Step 8.

Step 1 : Click on the Apple () menu, and select System Preferences.

Step 2 : Click on Users & Groups.

Step 3 : In the Users & Groups screen, click on the lock and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 4 : Click on Login Options.

Step 5 : Click on the Join… (or Edit…) button next to Network Account Server.

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Step 6 : Click on the Open Director Utility… button.

Step 7 : Click on the lock, and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 8 : In the Directory Utility menu bar, select Edit and click on Change Root Password.

Step 9 : Now, key in the new password you want, and a second time for verification, and click OK.

That’s it! You have successfully changed the Mac root user password. To use it, you need to log off your administrator account.

Next Page > How To Disable The Mac Root User Account

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How To Disable The Mac Root User Account (GUI Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account, and have the root user account enabled.

If you have just enabled the root user account, and are still in the Directory Utility screen, skip ahead to Step 8.

Step 1 : Click on the Apple () menu, and select System Preferences.

Step 2 : Click on Users & Groups.

Step 3 : In the Users & Groups screen, click on the lock and key in your administrator user name and password.

Step 4 : Click on Login Options.

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Step 5 : Click on the Join… (or Edit…) button next to Network Account Server.

Step 6 : Click on the Open Director Utility… button.

Step 7 : Click on the lock, and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 8 : In the Directory Utility menu bar, select Edit and click on Disable Root User.

That’s it! You have successfully disabled the Mac root user account.

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AMD Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphics MacBook Unveiled

Sunnyvale, California – 27 October 2016 — Today AMD unveiled a new  family of power-efficient graphics processors, Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphics. Available first in the all-new 15-inch MacBook Pro, select Radeon Pro 400 Series graphics deliver extraordinary performance and efficiency gains over the prior generation to fuel modern creative efforts from anywhere inspiration strikes.

 

Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphic

Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphics are designed specifically for today’s makers – the artists, designers, photographers, filmmakers, visualizers and engineers that shape the modern content creation era. Harnessing AMD’s acclaimed Polaris architecture, Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphics are built on the industry’s most advanced process technology for graphics processors in production today, 14nm FinFET, resulting in incredibly small transistors.

To enable the thinnest graphics processor possible, AMD also employs a complex process known as ‘die thinning’ to reduce the thickness of each wafer of silicon used in the processor from 780 microns to just 380 microns, or slightly less than the thickness of four pieces of paper. Operating in a power envelope under 35W, the Radeon Pro 450, 455, and 460 Series graphics processors deliver spectacular energy efficiency and cool, quiet operation to speed through the most demanding tasks in popular creative applications.

“We couldn’t be more proud to have Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphics launching in the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, a notebook designed for performance and creativity,” said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “Today there are millions of professional creators and designers, and a billion more who aspire to reach the next level. Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphics are a powerful and versatile creative technology that gives makers entirely new ways to create the art of the impossible no matter where they are.”

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To celebrate the people behind the products, and the passion shared by makers of all sorts, AMD is launching a new program called “Meet the Creators,” bringing creators together and inviting them to share their work. Creators will have the opportunity to collaborate across a variety of fields, learn about new tools and techniques for their respective crafts, and have a chance to be featured in Radeon Pro promotional campaigns.

The “Meet the Creators” program will also explore how Radeon Pro graphics play a role in the creative process, from harnessing extraordinary graphics performance in today’s popular 2D and 3D creative applications, to using modern low-overhead graphics and compute APIs to accelerate rendering in today’s workflows.

A part of that workflow is Radeon ProRender, AMD’s physically-based rendering engine planned for open source later this year, and supported via plugins across many popular 3D content creation applications including Autodesk Maya, and a beta plugin for Rhino. Bolstering the list of supported applications, AMD and Maxon announced today that Radeon ProRender software will be available in a future release of

Maxon’s powerful and intuitive Cinema 4D application for 3D modeling, animation and rendering, providing GPU-accelerated performance on Mac by leveraging Radeon Pro graphics and Apple’s Metal API.

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Killer Features In 2016 MacBook Pro Models Confirmed

Apple is gearing up for a refresh of their 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro models in Q4 of 2016, probably around September. In addition to the usual processor and graphics upgrades, Apple is looking to inject a little pizazz in the 2016 MacBook Pro models.

We have just confirmed with an internal Apple source, who has direct or working contact with the upcoming 2016 MacBook Pro models, that they will definitely come with two killer features – an OLED display touch bar, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

 

OLED Display Touch Bar

The OLED display touch bar will run along the top of the keyboard, replacing the physical function keys. It will have full colour capability, and will be fully customisable by the user. Amongst other things, users can add a “Do Not Disturb” button, or switch it to a dark “Night Mode” colour scheme.

Our source will not (currently) send us pictures of the actual OLED display touch bar, but designer Martin Hajek came up with concept renderings of what he thinks the OLED display touch bar could look like. Check them out :

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Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor

The 2016 MacBook Pro models will also come with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. This will be used not just for user authentication, it will also be used to authorise payments via Apple Pay.

Our source is currently unwilling to share any additional details, or pictures, of the Touch ID fingerprint sensors. However, TheAlienPebble proposed that the entire glass trackpad may serve as a giant Touch ID sensor.

This would cost a lot more than a small sensor, but it would allow for multi-finger authentication, and active user authentication.

Multi-finger authentication would allow for much better security. You can use a combination of multiple fingers, to add an additional layer of complexity. Yet it is a simple concept to grasp and use all the time.

The same goes for active user authentication. With the entire touchpad functioning as a giant biometric sensor, the 2016 MacBook Pro can lock itself down if it detects someone other than the authorised (and logged-in) user using the touchpad.

 

What Else Is New In The 2016 MacBook Pro?

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The “less sexy” upgrades that we are looking forward to in the 2016 MacBook Pro models include :

  • faster 7th Generation Intel Core (Kaby Lake) processor options
  • faster Intel Iris Graphics or NVIDIA GeForce GPU options
  • new metal injection-moulded hinges
  • USB 3.1 Type C and Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • slimmer and lighter chassis

 

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