eXtensions - Wednesday 15 December 2021
Wednesday Notes: Updates and Fixes; Barbari et Romani
By Graham K. Rogers
There was some more on Wired (Lily Hay Newman) about Log4Shell, although despite mentioning "major players" the article did not include Apple at all. As she writes that the vulnerability came to light on Thursday, Apple has worked quickly to include remediation for that in the updates this week. Big Sur, 11.6.2 was also released and that also has fixes.
That email from Eclectic Light Company also told me that the update for the M1 Mac was about 3.2 GB (mine showed as 3.17GB). We were also told that the update "Monterey 12.1 introduces SharePlay at last, Apple Music Voice Plan, the enhancements to Memories promised for Photos, Digital Legacy for iCloud, and more." Although the email outlines some of the fixes, there was no mention of memory leaks that had plagued some users, or the USB problems.
MacBook Pro - Image courtesy of Apple
Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website.
There is much more detail in the outline provided by hoakley (Eclectic Light Company) including background technical information.
The USB webcam that stopped working when I updated to Monterey did work. I checked in FaceTime (which had been intermittent) but also in Webex. I expect a lot of others will be happy when their devices start working again; but a month and a half for this? The BlueTooth connected Bang & Olufsen speaker, however, did not work, even though the Mac shows it is connected. Un-pairing and re-pairing the device made no difference. It is linked but there is no sound output. It works perfectly with the iPads and iPhone.
Now, with about 24 hours after the updates to all the OS versions (except AppleTV) there are no problems to report, apart from my Bluetooth speaker problem, which may need further investigation. Other users have found some problems with "installation issues, UI lag, issues with first and third-party apps, abnormal battery drain, Wi-Fi problems, lockups, freezes, and crashes" (Adam Mills, GottaBeMobile). These do not appear to be widespread.
Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20
When I contacted online support, I initially spoke to an operator who upgraded my case and a more skilled helper worked with me for a couple of weeks. This was also the only time that I gave anyone screen access (Apple has special software for this). As the days went on, it was clear that the problem was deeper than expected. I was askled to copy the library to a disk (in case anything happened), then install software that examined how the synchronisations were working (or not). The files created were sent to engineers and a day or so later, the doors opened: synchronisation on the Mac began again. I did contact the helper again, but even he was unable to tell me what the problem had been.
A user of Apple Music had some comments on the service and sent an email to Tim Cook. He was phoned by Cook's office a few days later and was told that the ideas had been forwarded to the Apple Music team (Joe Wituschek, iMore).
I have deployed three of the four I bought. My main difficulty is not their use, but how to conceal an AirTag, for example in a bag that might be stolen. The keychains I have make the AirTags visible and this is good as these are less likely to be stolen, but if I were to attach one to a camera, it is so visible that any thief would probably cut the AirTag off immediately. Some have argued that cameras should include similar tracking software that smartphone software allows. If Apple can put 57 billion transistors on the M1 Max chip (432 sq.mm - AnandTech), then there is a lot of leeway for camera makes to add on additional features: the M1 is 120 sq.mm.
Set in Germany, it naturally has the German characters speaking the language, but what sets it apart for me is that the Romans speak Latin. Apart from Fellini's Satyricon and a couple of other set pieces, the only place that Latin was spoken was in Catholic Churches, and that ended in the main several years ago.
Latin was of course used in religious music such as the Requiem Mass and Mozart's St Matthew's Passion, but like French, the musical expression is not the same as how the language is spoken in the street. This provides an immediate source for any teachers still with Latin courses (it was my required language on my Masters Degree) and sources of written materials were fairly limited, although we were spared Julius Caesar's war diaries, with the Prof (Carl Springer) choosing a number of other accessible sources for us to work on.
I also looked through the Apple offerings, but I find this even more confusing than Netflix, along with the problem of what is (or not) available. Considering the number of movies released annually, the total selection - at least what is available in this neck of the woods - is disappointing. After I saw a few days ago that the new version of Dune was listed (for an unusually high price), I did some more searching and found the latest Bond movie. This is listed but cannot be downloaded yet. I ordered this for when it is released.
My wanderings around the listings found some other interesting items, but I was pleased to see Turks & Caicos, a Bill Nighy movie that I had seen on Netflix a while back (or maybe HBO). I knew that this was a short series of 3 movies made in partnership with the BBC, which normally means the movie or series is less likely to be available, but checked the names of the other movies in the trilogy:
All were available on the iTunes Store (399 baht each) so I downloaded those and watched the first at the weekend. I had seen the latter two, but lost nothing by watching them again. I wonder about downloading Dune, but having good memories of the previous trilogy (available on YouTube) that had William Hurt and Ian McNeice, along with the sequel, Children of Dune, as well as having read the whole Dune series several years ago, it is not a priority.
I am also looking forward to the release of The Tragedy of Macbeth which is listed as available on 14 January. Other AppleTV+ releases have been a little hit and miss for me. I enjoyed The Banker, The Velvet Underground documentary, Dads, Cherry, Greyhound and Finch, as well as series like Foundation, Invasion, The Morning Show, Truth be Told (season 1), The Servant (1) and Defending Jacob, but not everything appeals to me. I am also annoyed that CODA is still not available here.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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