Category: Apple

Completely disable IPv6 on OSX / MacOS

To Get List of Hardware
sudo networksetup -listallhardwareports

#To Disable IPv6 on Wifi Adapter
sudo networksetup -setv6off wi-fi

#To Disable IPv6 on Built-in Ethernet Adapter
sudo networksetup -setv6off Ethernet

#To Disable IPv6 on Thunderbolt-base Ethernet Adapter
sudo networksetup -setv6off “Thunderbolt Ethernet”

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Should Apple fight a court order to decrypt iPhones?

There is a lot of heated discussion regarding the following. The technology companies seem to fall on the side of refusing to participate and the general consumer seems to think the technology companies should assist. While I can agree with both sides I think the bigger problem is people specifically understand what the government is requesting Apple (and eventually others) to provide.

In theory, The FBI is asking Apple to weaken the security of their products. They have stated “Hackers and cyber criminals could use this to wreak havoc on our privacy and personal safety. It would set a dangerous precedent for government intrusion on the privacy and safety of its citizens.” While most of this statement are true other specific that are not.

If Apple provided a utility to reverse encryption of Apple devices how could it be protected to not fall into the hands of others that would use such utility for criminal activities as opposed to helping solve or prevent crimes. Also, since Apple is privately held and also provides hardware to government agencies building a solution to reverse encryption could also open the door for agencies like the NSA to spy on others. We know that the NSA has a history of doing such as the document Snowden leaked confirm such.

Smartphones are packed with private information like emails, text messages, photos, financial information and calling history. They are no longer a phone but more of a personal computer with access to less complex applications. As time progresses I think phones and tablets will eventually replace laptops as portable personal computing devices. It’s really just a matter of time as Microsoft is already pushing that direction with their devices.

The scary thing is, law enforcement agencies are currently seizing and searching phones during traffic stops, raids, during interrogations and stops at the U.S. border. These searches are frequently conducted without any proper court order which makes thing even more concerning.

Several courts have blessed such searches, and so as a practical matter, if the police seize your phone, there isn’t much you can do after the fact to keep your data out of their hands. Once they have possession is theirs to do with as they please. I think the general consumer doesn’t understand that just because the courts have permitted law enforcement agencies to search seized smartphones, doesn’t mean that you have any obligation to make it easy for them.

For example, the Android mobile operating system includes the capability to lock the screen of the device when it isn’t being used. Android supports three unlock authentication methods: a visual pattern, a numeric PIN, an alphanumeric password and a fingerprint reader which is the newest addition to security.

For many obvious reasons the more simple lock screen is the pattern, followed by PIN, then alphanumeric password and finally the fingerprint sensor. Though some might argue the fingerprint sensors have proven to be “tricked” using a latent fingerprint pulled from a source and then used to trick the device into reading the latent fingerprint. I honestly wish there was an ability to use two-factor authentication for mobile devices and I am sure in time there will be. Enforcing the use of a fingerprint and password would make things much more complex. Or possibly having both hardware and software based encryption without a single sign-on (two different methods to authenticate) may suffice.

I think companies providing utilities or offering to unencrypt devices is a blessing and a curse. I do not advocate individuals who commit crimes having their devices protected so law enforcement cannot pull data from but at the same time there needs to be a line drawn in the sand. Once the order is issued completing the advocation of such where does it end?

My rule of thumb. Don’t store anything on a device you don’t want stolen or seen on a device that connects to the internet and always encrypt your data. This is obviously not always feasible and can be quite cumbersome but it’s really the only foolproof way of attempting to protect your data. Even this is not foolproof but it’s a start.

Last but not least. Don’t be a criminal and don’t do bad things.

Yes, this may be common sense but the fact is if you are a legitimate person who does not participate in criminal activities you really shouldn’t have anything to hide.

Right?

The day the systems administrators was eliminated from the Earth… fact or fiction?

As software becomes more complex and demands scalability of the cloud, IT’s mechanics of today, the systems administrator, will disappear. Tomorrow’s systems administrator will be entirely unlike anything we have today.

For as long as there have been computer systems, there has always been a group of individuals managing them and monitoring them named system administrators. These individuals were the glue of data centers,  responsible for provisioning and managing systems. From the monolithic platforms of the old ages to todays mixed bag approach of hardware, storage, operating systems, middleware, and software.

The typical System Administrator usually possessed super human diagnostic skills and repair capabilities to keep a complex mix of various disparate systems humming along happily. The best system administrators have always been the “Full Stack” individuals who were armed with all skills needed to keep systems up and running but these individuals were few and far between.

Data centers have become more complex over the past decade as systems have been broken down, deconstructed into functional components and segregated into groupings. Storage has been migrated to centralized blocks like a SAN and NAS thus inevitably forcing personnel to become specialized in specific tasks and skills.

Over the years, this same trend has happened with Systems Infrastructure Engineers/Administrators, Network Engineers/Administrators and Application Engineers/Administrators.

Everywhere you look intelligence is being built directly into products.I was browsing the aisle at Lowe’s this past weekend and noted that clothes washers, dryers, and refrigerators are now being shipped equipped with WIFI and NFC to assist with troubleshooting problems, collecting error logs and opening problem service tickets. No longer do we need to pour over those thousand pages long manuals looking for error code EC2F to tell us that the water filter has failed, the software can do it for us! Thus is has become immediately apparent that if tech such as this has made its way into low-level basic consumer items things must be changing even more rapidly at the top.

I obviously work in the tech industry and would like to think of myself as a technologist and someone who is very intrigued by emerging technologies. Electric cars, drones, remotely operated vehicles, smartphones, laptops that can last 12+ hours daily while fitting in your jeans pocket and the amazing ability to order items from around the globe and have them shipped to your door. These things astound me.

The modern car was invented in 1886 and in 1903, we invented the airplane. The first commercial air flight was not until 1914 but to see how far we have come in such a short time is astounding. It almost makes you think we were asleep for the last Century prior.

As technology has evolved there has been a need for software to also evolve at a similarly rapid pace. In many ways, we have outpaced software with hardware engineering over the last Score and now software is slowly catching up and surpassing hardware engineering.

Calm down, I know I am rambling again. I will digress and get to the point.

The fact is, the Systems Administrator as we know it is a dying breed. Like the dinosaur, the caveman and the wooly mammoth. All of these were great at some things but never enough to stay alive and thus were wiped out.

So what happens next? Do we all lose our jobs? Does the stock fall into a free fall and we all start drinking Brawndo the Thirst Mutilator (if you havent seen Idiocracy I feel for you.) The fact is, it’s going to be a long, slow and painful death.

Companies are going to embrace cloud at a rapid rate and as this happens people will either adapt or cling to their current ways. Not every company is going to be “cloudy”.

Stop. Let me state something. I absolutely HATE the word Cloud. It sounds so stupid. Cloud. Cloud. Cloud. Just say it. How about we all instead embrace the term share nothing scalable distributed computing. That sounds better.

So, is this the end of the world? No, but it does mean “The Times They Are a Changin” to quote Mr. Dylan.

A fact is, change is inevitable. If things didn’t change we would still be living in huts, hunting with our bare hands and using horses as our primary methods of transportation. We wouldn’t have indoor toilets, governments, rules, regulations, or protection from others as there would be no law system.

Sometimes change is good and sometimes its bad. In this case, I see many good things coming down the road but I think we all need to see the signs posted along the highway.

Burying ones head in the dirt like an Ostrich is not going to protect you.

Free application for OS X to improve functionality and configuration options of the Apple Magic Mouse, Trackpad and the MacBook glass trackpad.

I have been looking for something like this for a long time, eliminating the requirement to click on the magic mouse and instead have it register a click when i just tap the top of the mouse. It seems I have finally found what I am looking for!

http://magicprefs.com/

MagicPrefs is a free application for OS X which aims to improve the functionality and configuration options of the Apple Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and the MacBook glass trackpad.

It features the ability to bind a variable number of finger clicks, taps, swipes, pinch and other gestures to functions like Middle Click, Hold Down Both Mouse Buttons, Spaces, Expose, Dashboard, Recent Applications, Tweet, Read Tweets, Google Reader etc.

Touch Sensitivity implements a single point control for a number of factors impacting the algorithms of the taps, swipes, pinch and other gestures.

Tracking Speed adds the ability to increase the maximum mouse speed by an extra 200%.

Also featured is a real-time display of the fingers touching the surface of the mouse that you can enable to test and monitor the way the mouse sees your input.

How to select a Bluetooth adapter in OS X

After plugging in the Mini Bluetooth V4.0 USB Adapter to fix my erratic Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse problems on my MacBook Pro Retina. Though after installing it there was no obvious way to tell if it was identified or working.

The solution was to download the Bluetooth Explorer app, which is part of the Hardware IO Tools for Xcode bundle. This is only available from the Apple Developer site, which requires free registration to access.

https://developer.apple.com/downloads/

Download and open the file (“HardwareIOTools_Xcode_6.3.dmg”) and drag the Bluetooth Explorer app to your Applications folder.

Nothing appears to happen when you run Bluetooth Explorer, but that’s because there’s no window and everything happens via its menu bar. Select HCI Controller Selector (⌘K) from its Tools menu and the Host Control Selector dialog box appears.

The Host Control Selector dialog has a drop-down with, in my case, two options — the default “Apple BRCM” Bluetooth adapter and my new USB adapter. I just selected the Broadcom option, paired my Magic Trackpad and magic Mouse with it in the usual way (System Preferences > Bluetooth) and I was done.

The Host Control Selector dialog states that any changes are not retained after a restart, but mine was and the new adapter seems to take precedence over built-in Bluetooth.

There’s a bunch of other useful stuff in Bluetooth Explorer for troubleshooting Bluetooth problems as well so if you continue to have issues feel free to poke around.