dot_clean fixes OS X error code -36 quickly and easily

OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite

Have you ever experienced a moment where you can’t save a file due to error -36 in Yosemite? The possible cause could be due to the  ._* files in that directory having gotten out of sync with the native files in that directory. Ho they get out of sync is not yet clear but it appears that the UNIX utility FSCK is unable to see the problem because it’s only able to address generic file system attributes and not necessarily all of OS X’s unique added on features. This is where dot_clean comes into play Continue reading dot_clean fixes OS X error code -36 quickly and easily

iPhone kill switch instructions

iPhone 5, 6, 6 Plus

iPhone 5, 6, 6 Plus

The media has made a big fuss about legislation requiring all smartphone manufacturers to include a Kill Switch feature, but what they don;t tell you is that Apple already implemented it quite a while ago, which they call Activation Lock. Continue reading iPhone kill switch instructions

iPad saves Pilot and his wife from crash landing in the dark

iPad

iPad

I’ve long suggested that private pilots load offline maps into both their iPhones and iPads for in-flight emergencies. This couple apparently had the same exact idea and were able to save their own lives when their plane experienced a complete electrical systems failure, disabling navigation and landing gear completely. Continue reading iPad saves Pilot and his wife from crash landing in the dark

Verizon’s unremovable SuperCookie actually is removable

 

Verizon

Verizon

Verizon is in the new again with news of their SuperCookie, am undeleteable cookie that tracks Verizon customers everywhere they go online. This latest controversy is not that the cookie is allegedly undeleteable, its that other companies have admitted that they have piggybacked on Verizon’s SuperCookie even after users thought that they had gotten rid of it. Thought to be perfectly legal, advertising agency, Turn, has use the technique to clandestinely track, categorize and target with advertising, unwitting Verizon customers. Verizon claims innocence but the controversy about using SuperCooies has been raging for years so its not like SuperCokies aren’t controversial, because they are. Frustrated Verizon customers have been attempting to rid themselves of the Verizon SuperCookie but Turn has admitted that its able to track customers regardless of there own attempt to protect their privacy. Let me show you how to prevent Verizon from tracking you at all.

Continue reading Verizon’s unremovable SuperCookie actually is removable

Blackphone (Droid secure phone) again shown to be insecure and vulnerable

Android Malware

Android Malware

In a dramatic but not unexpected revelation, Blackphone has patched its Droid phone against a vulnerability that allows attackers to not only snoop int the Blackphone’s contents, it allows the attacker to install malicious software that takes full control of the phone, allowing monitoring and copying of all communications. Continue reading Blackphone (Droid secure phone) again shown to be insecure and vulnerable

Apple software quality is slipping, or is it?

OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite

The haters are at it again this month, making mountains out of molehills whenever anyone makes the slightest comment about the current state of Apple’s software quality. There is one story in particular that I’m watching now to see if it goes viral, it appears to be o the verge so it will be interesting to see what happens. This is a recurring event and is almost always precipitated by inexperienced users, jaded journalists or Windows switchers who still revel in bad mouthing Apple products, even though they are now using them. What is really happening is the normal growth cycle of software, Continue reading Apple software quality is slipping, or is it?

Apple raises shields against Thunderstrike attack

OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite

Thunderstrike, the boot kit attack against 2011 and newer Macs garnered a lot of press lately as potentially being able to install an unfixable backdoor into its victims but before black hat hackers have had the chance to build attack kits and actually use them, Apple has responded with a very complex fix in Beta update 10.10.2 Continue reading Apple raises shields against Thunderstrike attack

Oki solves Yosemite printing problem by recycling old printer driver

OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite

Six months after my Oki printer stopped print because I upgraded to Yosemite, Oki finally kludged together a workaround, which is to use their old Mountain Lion printer driver as is. Of course it would have been nice, maybe even professional, to mention this six months ago when I lost the ability to print. It would have been even nicer if they had adjusted the bug in the Mavericks driver so it could print in Yosemite since Mavericks and Yosemite are essentially identical as far as printing goes.

Here is the email I received today from Oki, you’ll notice when you do this that they do finally show a driver for OS X 10.10 Yosemite but its actually their Mountain lion driver

A driver is available for your C3200n to install in Yosemite.

http://my.okidata.com/pp-C3200n.nsf?opendatabase

Since your printer is connected over the network, prior to installing the
driver, if the printer has a static IP, it must returned back to acquiring
an IP automatically through DHCP.

Press Menu + until you have reached Network, then press Enter.
Press Menu + until you have reached IP address Set then press Enter. Press
Menu + to change it from manual to Auto. Press Enter, Back, Online.

After the driver installation, you will need to restart the computer and
Add the printer via Bonjour. 

The driver that they lead you to is:

OKI_MXMLion_DHC_eu_A2_020001_tcm3-146871.dmg which appear to be a digitally signed version of their recycled OS X Lion printer driver from 4 years ago (which is 3 OS X generations old).

Here is where it gets even more weird, if you instead just download the original Lion and try to launch that, OS X’s built-in Gatekeeper software will not allow you to install it because their software is not signed. I really wish Oki would get with the program and just release up to date printer drivers for OS X. Its really not hard since most of the time one driver will last for many years until the printing subsystem is updated.

Proof of that is in Oki’s ability to recycle the Mountain Lion driver which apparently works fine (a quick search on the net proves that) once they signed the software so that Apple’s Gatekeeper feature will allow it to install. So in reality had Oki just digitally signed their old Lion driver when Apple notified developers to digitally sign their software years ago.

Oki Lion driver workaround

Oki Lion driver workaround

Okie took more time to write a web page to show users how to turn off the GateKeeper security feature, so we can use and old and technically outdated driver (not a good idea) instead of just fixing their broken printer driver for us. Hysterically funny is how Oki describes the problem as being the default security setting in Apple’ GateKeeper security software, when in fact its that Oki neglected to take the 5 minutes to digitally sign their software as per the rules laid out by Apple for all developers. All other major printer manufacturers did it, why was Oi the only one to not bother? Yes its true that Fuji messed up their version of the driver but at least they updated the driver with a corrected version which allowed everyone of their customers to print normally again.  

 GateKeeper first appeared in OS X Lion 10.7.5, after prior notice from Apple that all Mac apps would have to be digitally signed by software developers in order to help protect the safety, security and privacy of Mac users. Developers received their copy of Lion and the need to digitally sig their apps in February 2011, giving developers plenty of time to invade the 5 minute process to procure and implement their digital signature.

CUPS to the rescue

CUPS is the standards-based, open source printing system developed by Apple Inc. for OS X and other UNIX-like operating systems. CUPS uses the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) as the basis for managing print jobs and queues, and adds network printer browsing and PostScript Printer Description (PPD) based printing options to support real-world printing.

OKI could serve the Linux community by offering them printer drivers, something they don’t do today. If they had thought this through they could use Apple software development kit to write one driver (CUPS drivers are super easy to write for, easier than Windows drivers) and then compile one version for Linux and a second version (that is identical other than being digitally signed) for OS X users. Who knows, the digitally signed version might work just fine for Linux also it would be worth the ten minutes it takes to test it. Either way Oki is ignoring two markets that require next to no development effort or support.

Oki stuck in the Eighties 

Maybe Oki just can’t be bothered with OS X users, they seem to be stuck in the neanderthal 1980s anti-Apple mindset,  if that is the case why not just be honest and not offer a printer driver at all.

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HGST still makes the most reliable drives

Backblaze 2015 Hard Drive Annual Failure Rate

Backblaze 2015 Hard Drive Annual Failure Rate

Backblaze thrills us again with another annual report about hard drive reliability. If you recall my report from last year, Backblaze did what I proposed 25 years ago, to use low cost consumer hard drives in enterprise datacenter RAID arrays. This approach benefits both consumers and enterprises. Consumers because enterprise testing of disk drives is scientific and will give us useful data as to which drives we might prefer. It benefits enterprises because they finally get to realize the unfulfilled promise of their RAID arrays. Continue reading HGST still makes the most reliable drives

Aviator web browser promises to protect your online privacy, but can it?

Aviator Browser

Aviator Browser

WhiteHatSec has released their new web browser, Aviator,  with the promise to protect your privacy from online snooping. This is an admirable and desirable premise since more companies are spying and tracking Internet users every day, so I was rather excited to check out this new browser, but once I went to their website my balloon was popped Continue reading Aviator web browser promises to protect your online privacy, but can it?

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