I was catching up on some reading today and one of the articles that I read was Get to Know Your Mac’s Dock by Kirk McElhern. I’m not a Mac newbie but even as an experienced Mac user (sometimes considered a power user) I still learn new things all the time.
“One of the key elements you use to interact with your Mac is the Dock. You can use the Dock in many ways: you can open apps, you can open files by dragging them on icons in the Dock, you can open folders that you’ve stored in the Dock, and more.”
In Kirk’s article you will discover the many configuration options available for the Dock, and the best way to turn the Dock into a high-powered productivity booster.
The 4 things that I learned
In the early days, the Dock’s magnification was on by default; these days, now it’s off by default. When you select this setting, the Dock icons increase in size when you hover your cursor over them. This has the advantage of providing a bigger target when you drag a file to the Dock, but you may, like me, find it a distraction.
The Dock preferences have a few settings for the way things animate in the Dock, or when you minimize windows by clicking the yellow button at the top left of a window or by double-clicking a window’s title bar.
Add files and folders
You can also add files and folders to the right (or bottom) section of the Dock; just drag them there, to the left of the Trash icon.
Click and hold menu
You’ll notice other settings in the menu that displays when you click and hold an app icon: you can have it launch at login, you can show it in the Finder, and, if you use Spaces, you can assign it to a specific desktop.
The changes I made
Previously I had the Dock on the bottom with Hide on and a smaller size than the default. Now I have the Dock on the left with Magnification on, and Genie effect Animation, and the same smaller size. I also removed a few apps that I rarely use. I’m liking my new Dock setup.
“Transferring photos and videos from iCloud Photos does not remove the content you have stored with Apple, but it provides a backup method and stores a copy of the content on Google Photos.” Not sure if this is something that I would use. 🤨
Those of who you have been following me for a while know that I’m a fan of Fastmail. Here’s one of the reasons I use Fastmail. “Recently, “spy pixels” have been in the news, with the BBC running a story about this marketing industry practice. Fastmail has blocked spy pixels by default for years. Your information is safe with us.”
“Fastmail protects you from spy pixels and other remote images. As the world’s oldest independent email provider, we’ve been defending your privacy for over 20 years.” Take a look at the Fastmail 30 day Free trial.
Oh yeah, I got my first of two Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations last Saturday. What a relief.
LastPass is making some changes to LastPass Free that will most likely piss-off users who rely on LastPass as their primary password manager. The big difference is that LastPass Free users will have to choose between mobile or desktop for their unlimited device access, rather than getting the system on both.
We’re making changes to how Free users access LastPass across device types. LastPass offers access across two device types – computers (including all browsers running on desktops and laptops) or mobiledevices (including mobile phones, smart watches, and tablets). Starting March 16th, 2021, LastPass Free will only include access on unlimited devices of one type.
In addition to this change, as of May 17th, 2021, email support will only be available for Premium and Families customers. LastPass Free users will always have access to our Support Center which has a robust library of self-help resources available 24/7 plus access to our LastPass Community, which is actively monitored by LastPass specialists.
After March 16th, if you want to use LastPass on desktop and mobile you’ll need a Premium account. With this change, you may want to look into a different password manager. Bitwarden offers a Free account that you might want to consider.
Over the past three years, security researchers and real-world attackers have found iMessage remote code execution (RCE) bugs and abused them to develop exploits that allowed them to take control over an iPhone just by sending a simple text, photo, or video to someone’s device.
As reported January 28, 2021 by ZDNet “With the release of iOS 14 last fall, Apple has added a new security system to iPhones and iPads to protect users against attacks carried out via the iMessage instant messaging client.”
“Named BlastDoor, this new iOS security feature was discovered by Samuel Groß, a security researcher with Project Zero, a Google security team tasked with finding vulnerabilities in commonly-used software.”
“Groß said the new BlastDoor service is a basic sandbox, a type of security service that executes code separately from the rest of the operating system.”
“While iOS ships with multiple sandbox mechanisms, BlastDoor is a new addition that operates only at the level of the iMessage app.”
“Its role is to take incoming messages and unpack and process their content inside a secure and isolated environment, where any malicious code hidden inside a message can’t interact or harm the underlying operating system or retrieve with user data.”
I have to say this is disappointing to read. According to a Washington Post article, Apple’s big privacy product is built on a shaky foundation: the honor system. In tiny print on the detail page of each app label, Apple says, “This information has not been verified by Apple.”
Shame on the developers for lying, and double shame on Apple for not verifying.
You go to your iPhone’s App Store to download a game. Under a new “App Privacy” label added last month, there’s a blue check mark, signaling that the app won’t share a lick of your data. It says: “Data not collected.”
Not necessarily. I downloaded a de-stressing app called the Satisfying Slime Simulator that gets the App Store’s highest-level label for privacy. It turned out to be the wrong kind of slimy, covertly sending information — including a way to track my iPhone — to Facebook, Google and other companies. Behind the scenes, apps can be data vampires, probing our phones to help target ads or sell information about us to data firms and even governments.
With iOS 14, Apple is requiring app developers to tell users about and have them opt-in to tracking. Google today announced that “when Apple’s policy goes into effect, it will no longer use information (such as IDFA) that falls under ATT for the handful of our iOS apps that currently use it for advertising purposes. As such, we will not show the ATT prompt on those apps, in line with Apple’s guidance.”
I don’t use Google’s apps but for those of you who do this should be a welcome change.
In technology news today Mozilla announced that it has added built-in protection from supercookies to Firefox 85. “Firefox now protects you from supercookies, a type of tracker that can stay hidden in your browser and track you online, even after you clear cookies,” Mozilla explains in a blog post. “By isolating supercookies, Firefox prevents them from tracking your web browsing from one site to the next.”
With Safari being my main browser and Firefox being secondary I wondered if Safari might have the same protection from supercookie tracking? To my surprise, it does and has since 2018.
Reuters: “The national public opinion poll, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, found that 51% of Americans think Trump should be found guilty for inciting the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. His trial in the Senate is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
Another 37% said Trump should not be convicted and the remaining 12% said they were unsure.
When asked about the former Republican president’s political future, 55% said Trump should not be allowed to hold elected office again, while 34% said he should be allowed to do so and 11% said they were unsure.”