Apple and Siri

So it appears that Apple, which has tried over the past few years to set itself apart from the competition as being all about user privacy and security, is now facing allegations that contractors working with the company are actually listening in on sensitive items such as confidential medical information, sexual acts amongst couples, drug deals, etc. according to the Guardian.

Jonny Evans at Computerworld has written a great article here that elaborates more on the issue and gives excellent recommendations on what Apple should do to fix the problem.

Check it out and let me know what you think about these developments!

MacBook keyboard issues (again)

ZDNet.com is reporting that Apple is still plagued with MacBook Pro/Air keyboard issues using their “butterfly” style keys.  Simply put, there have been too many missteps and mishaps in trying to create, recreate, refurbish, repair, etc. all these devices.

On the heels of receiving more negative press, (as shown in the article here) Apple has decided that they would be getting rid of the butterfly design and replace it with something that actually works (!)

More MacBook Pro disaster stuff!

In building off of the absurd snafu on Apple’s part in spending over $10K in trying to fix a user’s laptop (still can’t believe it), now they have officially started a recall for select 2015 15-inch MacBook Pros with defective batteries that are prone to overheating and hence need to be replaced immediately.

Check out Engadget’s story here and if you happen to own this particular model, check the recall site page here to see if yours is on the list!

New stuff unveiled at WWDC 2019!

ZDNet.com has a great rundowns of all the announcements that were made by Apple today.

Lots of new additions to the lineup include brand new OSs (MacOS, iOS, WatchOS, iPadOS, etc.), a brand new monster of a Mac Pro, and an awesome display to go with it.

Also of note, iTunes will cease to exist on the latest MacOS however it will still have life on Windows based PCs.

Check out the full scoop at ZDNet here for further details!

Webpage “Not Secure” using Safari on Apple Devices

Recently, I received an email from a user stating that they are noticing almost all websites they visit show as being “Not Secure”.  This is a result of the recently released iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4 updates with the main objective being that users will be aware of the security of the websites they’re visiting and should not be mistaken for actually BEING more secure.

According to 9to5Mac as to when you can anticipate seeing this prompt:

All the big sites have already moved over to universal HTTPS, so you shouldn’t see Not Secure warnings that often…

However, older sites, unmaintained sites, or sites run by smaller companies, may not have made the switch. This is when you will see the Not Secure text in the main Safari toolbar.

Check out the full article here for more details!

More keyboard problems for MacBooks!

Henry Casey from LaptopMag.com is reporting here that Apple is aware that their new keyboards being used on various MacBook models is experiencing issues that have affected “a small number of users” and has apologized for this.

My takeaway from this…another year, another keyboard issue that Apple can’t seem to rid itself of.  I was listening to a SiriusXM interview discussing all things finance and Apple came up.  The guest, Barry Ritholtz, cut to the chase and said that the innovation when it comes to their laptops is severely lacking and part of that is due to these strange keyboard issues.  I don’t know what the answer is since I’m clueless as to what the hell goes on in their HQ but it’s been four years running that they have been dealing with this.

I also agree with Barry that it may be time to admit that Apple’s creativity and “out of the box” thinking may have died with Steve Jobs.  As an occasional Apple end user and avid repair tech, I remember the days where there was genuine excitement at the unveiling of any new Apple products; it is safe to say that the enthusiasm has waned and may even be getting worse.

Here’s to hoping that Apple pulls it together somehow, someway…

SCEP for Mac is back?

On the security front, Microsoft has announced a few changes including enhancements and renaming of a key product.  Formerly known as “Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection”, it will now be referred to as “Microsoft Defender ATP”.

The main reason for this leads back to the title of this post; this new product will have the ability to support Mac clients along with Windows PCs.  As you may recall, the formerly known as “System Center Endpoint Protection” for Macs was decommissioned effective December 31, 2018 leaving users without a Microsoft supported antivirus solution.

In a perfect world for SCCM admins like myself, having an endpoint solution supporting Windows and macOS all while being managed from within the console would be ideal.  I know they are in the testing stages of the software but if they wanted to pay it smart, they should work hard towards achieving this.  Read more about it here.

Update 04/01/2019: Although I stated in the original post that SCEP for Mac has been decommissioned, you can still install the program (assuming you still have the download .dmg file) and receive the latest definitions but remember that Microsoft can halt this without warning at any time.

Macs being attacked by Windows Malware (!?)

Yes, the headline is correct!  See Paul Wagenseil’s article here in LaptopMag for the full scoop…

In summarizing the developments…

 The Windows malware comes hidden in pirated copies of popular Mac shareware programs found on torrent sites. It uses a widely available software-compatibility framework to run on Macs, then gathers system information and tries to install more Mac malware and adware. The Windows malware has already infected Macs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries.

I have to say I didn’t envision this one happening but the more I think about it, I shouldn’t be surprised!

Looking for a replacement for an Apple router?

As you may already know, Apple has already announced that they have discontinued their consumer networking lineup of AirPort Extreme routers and access points.  One of the great benefits to having an “all-Apple” networking setup was the fact that you could setup all of your devices to form one big network, similar to what mesh networks do today.

For those looking to upgrade, there are many choices but I was surprised to find an article from Appleinsider.com stating that despite the fact that Synology is more well known for their NAS devices, they highly recommend a router that they recently release and even tout it as “the best AirPort replacement we’ve found yet”.

Click here to read the full article…if you disagree with the assessment, what you do have / recommend for your environment?