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OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD

Blazing fast, up to 16TB.

YEE HAH!



√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!

Apple iOS 14 is Buggier Than Ever Before, macOS Crapalina Remains a Buzzing Turd-Pile

My iPhone has been doing all sorts of strange things, including mis-drawn screens, crashes, etc. Yesterday I had to reboot it to make it behave. All of this started suddenly upon updating to iOS 14 (with the latest bandaid updates).

macOS Catalina regularly crashes, even forgetting the longstanding bugs that hurt my work every day, and surely will never be fixed. The dual display wakeup problem remains a daily headache, so I have to set the display sleep delay to at least 10 minutes to minimize the headache, but at least I have mastered the voodoo key sequence timing to avoid it 90% of the time (ESC-ENTER-ESC-ENTER-... until it syncs up).

A long-ago acquaintance writing for TidBits summarizes things nicely for what I term Apple Core Rot.

Written a year or so ago, this article applies even more to iOS 14.

Six Reasons Why iOS 13 and Catalina Are So Buggy

Overloaded Feature Lists Lead to Schedule Chicken

...managers play “schedule chicken” since no one wants to admit in the departmental meeting that their part of the project is behind... products on an annual release schedule, like iPhones and operating systems, must ship in September, whatever state they’re in...

Crash Reports Don’t Identify Non-Crashing Bugs

...Unfortunately, the crash reporter can’t catch non-crashing bugs. It’s blind to the photos that never upload to iCloud, the contact card that just won’t sync from my Mac to my iPhone, the Time Capsule backups that get corrupted and have to be restarted every few months, and the setup app on my new iPhone 11 that got caught in a loop repeatedly asking me to sign in to my iCloud account, until I had to call Apple support. (These are all real problems I’ve experienced.)

Less-Important Bugs Are Triaged

...bugs that are rare or not terribly serious—those that cause mere confusion instead of data loss—are continually pushed to the back burner by the triage system.

Regressions Get Fixed. Old Bugs Get Ignored

...Remember what I said about changes causing new bugs? If an engineer accidentally breaks a working feature, that’s called a regression. They’re expected to fix it.

But if you file a bug report, and the QA engineer determines that bug also exists in previous releases of the software, it’s marked “not a regression.” By definition, it’s not a new bug, it’s an old bug. Chances are, no one will ever be assigned to fix it.

Automated Tests Are Used Sparingly

...Apple doesn’t do a lot of automated testing. Apple is highly reliant on manual testing, probably too much so.

Complexity Has Ballooned

...it’s practically impossible to create a comprehensive test suite.

Looking Forward

In an unprecedented move, Apple announced iOS 13.1 before iOS 13.0 shipped, a rare admission of how serious the software quality problem is...

MPG: “lack of automated tested” = software development incompetence. It’s not a “fad” to use automated tests; I was using them 30 years ago and use it to this day.

Complexity is the enemy both security and realiability. So what does Apple do? Add more complexity, without automated testing. This guarantees garbage quality releases, which is why they are getting worse.

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Ideal for Lightroom, Photoshop, video.
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USB-C model also available


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OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD

Blazing fast, up to 16TB.

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OWC Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock for Ethernet, USB, HDMI

The about $119 OWC Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock could be super handy for laptop users looking for core connectivity since all recent models have no ethernet or USB-A ports.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock

Features:

  • Connect two 4K displays via two HDMI 2.0 ports 
  • HDCP 2.2 compatible for effortless streaming of 4K UHD content
  • Supports HDMI precision multi-channel audio (LCPM, DTS, and Dolby Digital)
  • One Gigabit Ethernet port with PXE Boot and Wake-on-LAN support
  • Connect a portable drive, flash drive, or card reader via one USB 3 5Gb/s port1
  • Charge small mobile devices and most smartphones via USB 3 port2
  • Connect a keyboard or mouse via USB 2 port
  • Bus-powered and portable
  • Integrated 7.2-inch Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • Thunderbolt certified for macOS and Windows machines

If Ethernet is not needed and one HDMI port suffices, the about $55 OWC USB-C Travel Dock is preferable, because it has more and faster USB-A ports, an SDXC card reader, a USB-C port and pass-through charging.


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If Apple Can’t Get the Basics Right, How Can you Expect Security? — “We Hacked Apple for 3 Months: Here’s What We Found”

Apple cannot get the basics right.

Apple T2 Chip: Unfixable Security Flaw that Gives Attacker Full Control

But security is among the most difficult challenges of software development—far more difficult than ordinary features.

We Hacked Apple for 3 Months: Here’s What We Found

Between the period of July 6th to October 6th myself, Brett Buerhaus, Ben Sadeghipour, Samuel Erb, and Tanner Barnes worked together and hacked on the Apple bug bounty program.


During our engagement, we found a variety of vulnerabilities in core portions of their infrastructure that would've allowed an attacker to fully compromise both customer and employee applications, launch a worm capable of automatically taking over a victim's iCloud account, retrieve source code for internal Apple projects, fully compromise an industrial control warehouse software used by Apple, and take over the sessions of Apple employees with the capability of accessing management tools and sensitive resources.

There were a total of 55 vulnerabilities discovered with 11 critical severity, 29 high severity, 13 medium severity, and 2 low severity reports. These severities were assessed by us for summarization purposes and are dependent on a mix of CVSS and our understanding of the business related impact.

As of October 6th, 2020, the vast majority of these findings have been fixed and credited. They were typically remediated within 1-2 business days (with some being fixed in as little as 4-6 hours).

MPG: should give anyone pause. Then consider state actors.


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Apple T2 Chip: Unfixable Security Flaw that Gives Attacker Full Control

If you have a castle with nuclear proof walls and a mile-deep moat... well, just fly a helicopter in, or wait till someone there does a DoorDash.

Or... let sloppy engineering do the work for you, as in this case—it’s a brain-dead screwup by Apple.

The vaunted Apple T2 chip on systems with an Intel process and Apple T2 chip apparently can be rooted with a relatively straightforward attack, child’s play for a state actor, and maybe for any good hacker. All you have to do is to get someone to plug in a USB-C cable or flash drive or whatever.

Crouching T2, Hidden Danger

Let’s talk about that thing nobody’s talking about. Let’s talk about a vulnerability that’s completely exposing your macOS devices while most are declining to act nor report about the matter. Oh, and did I mention it’s unpatchable?

...

Intel vs Silicon

This blog post only applies to macOS systems with an Intel processor and the embedded T2 security chip. Apple silicon systems will run completely on a set of Apple-designed ARM processors and thus will use a different topology based on e.g. the A12 chip. Since the A12 chip seems to have fixed this issue (to be confirmed), it’s highly likely the new Apple Silicon machines will not be vulnerable. And while the new upcoming Intel Macs at the end of year will probably receive a new hardware revision of the T2 chip (e.g. based on the A12), we are still stuck with this vulnerability on Macs between 2018 and 2020.

...

Debugging vulnerability

Apple left a debugging interface open in the T2 security chip shipping to customers, allowing anyone to enter Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode without authentication... Using this method, it is possible to create an USB-C cable that can automatically exploit your macOS device on boot(!)

...

Once you have access on the T2, you have full root access and kernel execution privileges since the kernel is rewritten before execution. Good news is that if you are using FileVault2 as disk encryption, they do not have access to your data on disk immediately. They can however inject a keylogger in the T2 firmware since it manages keyboard access, storing your password for retrieval or transmitting it in the case of a malicious hardware attachment.

•  The functionality of locking an Apple device remotely (e.g. via MDM or FindMy) can be bypassed (Activation Lock).

•  A firmware password does not mitigate this issue since it requires keyboard access, and thus needs the T2 chip to run first.

•  Any kernel extension could be whitelisted since the T2 chip decides which one to load during boot.

•  If the attack is able to alter your hardware (or sneak in a malicious USB-C cable), it would be possible to achieve a semi-tethered exploit.

While this may not sound as frightening, be aware that this is a perfectly possible attack scenario for state actors. I have sources that say more news is on the way in the upcoming weeks. I quote: be afraid, be very afraid.

I’ve reached out to Apple concerning this issue on numerous occasions, even doing the dreaded cc tcook@apple.com to get some exposure. Since I did not receive a response for weeks, I did the same to numerous news websites that cover Apple, but no response there as well. In hope of raising more awareness (and an official response from Apple), I am hereby disclosing almost all of the details. You could argue I’m not following responsible disclosure, but since this issue has been known since 2019, I think it’s quite clear Apple is not planning on making a public statement and quietly developing a (hopefully) patched T2 in the newer Macs & Silicon.

...

MPG: why is Apple not commenting or responding?



MacPerformanceGuide.com

Why Doesn’t Apple Safari Work on Important Web Sites?

A certain major news site is unusable in Apple Safari on macOS unless Javascript is disabled. But Javascript is pretty much indispensible on most all sites, so that is not really a solution. I’ve tried everything I can think of. It’s remarkable that a major site would give up traffic by such bad design.

But maybe it’s more than that—maybe it’s Apple. A really important site to me for the past 8 weeks is PurpleAir.com, due to all the forest fires and hazardous smoke. But when I click through to the map at PurpleAir.com, all I get is a blank page in Apple Safari.

One workaround that sometimes works if I go to the map page directly is that I get "Failed to initialize WebGL” and I can then click on Use alternate map. So generally I am forced to use Google Chrome.

Below, today is a good day for us at AQI 56 or so... last week was 4-5 horrible days confined inside at a hazardous AQI of 180 or so.

Air Quality Index (AQI) map, PurpleAIr.com


Upgrade Your Mac Memory
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.

Viewing Processes and Memory in macOS Activity Monitor

Diagnosing system issues often begins with Activity Monitor (/Applications/Utilities).

By default, only the current user processes are shown (pretty much useless). To view all processes in Activity Monitor, choose View => All Processes. To see what processes are using CPU time, click on %CPU to sort so that the greatest usage is sorted at top (ditto for real memory and other useful metrics).

The two most useful metrics are %CPU and Real Mem along with Disk and Network statistics.

Below, real work is being done by 'java' (actually IntegrityChecker). That’s what you want to see when you want a job done fast—lots of CPU cores in use. But when something like accountsd just sits around and constantly chews up CPU cycles, that’s a useless major drag on system performance.

  • Quit applications not in use, as many applications chew up enough CPU so that in total the system runs hotter and slower. For example, Dreamwaver and Photoshop will chew up 3% of a CPU each for hours on end.
  • In general, dthere is little you can do about daemon processes, as in most cases they just get respawned if force-killed. You just have to live with bad design.
  • Sorting by name can be helpful, but a vendor may use all sorts of names without the vendor name (very annoying), such as "Core Sync" and "CCX Process" from Adobe, so it’s hard to pin down all the crapware associated with any particular application.
  • Clicking the Inspect ("i") icon at top will let you see open files and ports, revealing where the process lives.
  • Drag the column dividers to change column width. You might need to do this—there is a forever bug in Catalina that can make the Process Name column as wide as the screen—scroll right and drag the darn thing to get it back to reasonable size.
  • Control-click (right click) to add or remove columns.
Activity Monitor showing %CPU, sorted by highest first



Upgrade the memory of your 2020 iMac up to 128GB

Reader Comment: accountds Running Wild, Viewing Processes and Memory

See also: Viewing Processes and Memory in macOS Activity Monitor

Hans V writes:

Following the troubles you and your readers have with the diminishing stability of MacOSX, I wonder if more of your readers have been bitten by "accountsd running wild" bug?

It happened twice here and is very annoying. For me it is not yet clear how to surely stop it. The best I could think of was a bit of fiddling with some mail accounts and hoping it will go away on the next restart. I am very much interested in your and your readers experience with this nasty bug.

MPG: accountsd is a macOS daemon process (demon process?!) required for macOS to function. It has had problems in the past as well. Clearly buggy, 'hope' is not a plan but seems to be about as good as anything for accountsd. Still, it’s worth trying:

  • Signing out of iCloud.
  • Rebooting or logging out and logging back in.
  • Resetting SMC and.or NVRAM.

Luckily I’ve not seen this issue, but reports online of this problem make it clear that Apple has messed things up once again. It’s a damaging problem because it can seriously impair the usability of a computer, particularly a 2-core or 4-core machine—as it continuously consumes CPU time and other resources.

The number of Apple background daemon processes has skyrocketed over the past few years. Many of them are unwanted crapware that run even if the functionality they are designed for is completely disabled. A good example is 'airportd' for the Apple Airport—which I do not even have. Yet Apple always runs it, and it just gets respawned if force-killed. There are many such crapware daemon processes that run even when they are never needed.

Ditto for the huge mess of crapware daemon processes that Adobe introduces even when nothing is running or has run for hours or days.Adobe alone sometimes chews up entire gigabyte of memory—doing nothing useful. I’ve reported the problem and responded with particulars, but the issue remains, as do total system crashes when using Photoshop.



Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Apple Core Rot: Apple Has Lost Me as a Customer

Barring something really compelling that has solid potential to improve my workflow, I will avoid buying any new Apple hardware for as long as I can. The 2019 Mac Pro and 2019 iMac 5K will serve me well for years to come.

Nor will I update macOS on my existing machines to a major release, unless and until macOS offers something compelling (vanishingly small chance of that, as proven over the past 8 years).

No, I am not going to switch to Linux or Windoze—the transition costs and ongoing issues would be too painful to contemplate. It’s far more troublesome and difficult than most readers understand, nor do I believe that Linux or Windoze will in the end be any better—they’ll have plenty of their own problems.

The 2019 Mac Pro is something I enjoy (when it works) and despise (when it does not) every single day. On balance, it has been a huge waste of money, and if Apple offered me a refund, I’d jump at the chance.

Dana N writes:

Like you, I have suffered the demise of Apple hardware and OS over the years. So much so that I after using Apple exclusively since the Apple IIe, I built a a PC. Not so much as for my daily ride but more as a tool that works just as well as a Mac for image editing, video editing and 3D rendering but is way faster at a fraction of the cost. If you are interested in my journey, I did a write up here: https://nine-volt.com/blogs/news/building-a-mac-pro-killer-for-a-less-than-one-third-of-the-price

MPG: no argument that a machine built for specific tasks need not be a Mac—if most time is just spent in Photoshop or similar, then it’s a purpose-built workstation. While my situation is too broad to contemplate a PC as a specific tool like that, it makes a lot of sense for some people.

The good news is that with Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4, access to all the good stuff is just as available (or more so) at OWC. See their Thunderbolt offerings for example.


Apple Core Rot: macOS Mojave Supplemental Update

The accelerating unprofessionalism of the software development process at Apple is hurting everyone. This, from the world’s most profitable company in history.

Apple could invest in proper software development practices, which means testing before shipping botched updated to customers on a fixed calendar schedule that guarantees problems.

It starts to smack of not just incompetence but greed and contempt for customers. The users whose machines were turned into unusable paperweights are fully expendable.

Rush a release out, and let the suckers (er... customers) report the worst bugs, then fix half of them over 6 months, repeat ad nauseum.

But now that modus operandi has been extended and expanded: issue minor updates, then rush-out a supplemental update to fix the bugs in the bug fix. Except that the bugs are not all fixed, and many never will be*.

New MPG rule: do not install any Apple update of any kind until a minimum of two weeks passes. Extend that to 6 months for the yearly major releases.

* In my dual-display setup on my 2019 Mac Pro, I deal multiple times per day with losing one of my displays when the machine sleeps, this has been so since macOS Crapalina was released. I have to jump through hoops to get it syncing up and working again. I’d have a nice income if Apple paid me $10 every time the problem occurred.

Bug fixes for the bug fixes



Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

OWC Launches New Hub for Thunderbolt™ 4 PCs

Looking good—presumably it’s not available for Apple Macs because no Apple Mac has Thunderbolt 4 as of October 2020.

Get OWC Thunderbolt 4 Hub at MacSales.com.

OWC Thunderbolt 4 Hub

OWC Launches New Hub for Thunderbolt™ 4 PCs

OWC®, the premier zero-emissions Mac and PC technology company,and a respected provider of MemoryExternal Drives, SSDs, Mac & PC docking solutions, and performance upgrade kits, introduces the new OWC Thunderbolt Hub. For the first time ever, the OWC Thunderbolt hub solution gives you the additional Thunderbolt ports you’ve always wanted. Connect more, display more, and charge more with this new Thunderbolt 4 solution.

The OWC Thunderbolt Hub, for the first time, expands the number of Thunderbolt ports available on a Thunderbolt 4 PC. Through a single Thunderbolt 4 port, you can connect and charge any device with a USB-C or USB-A connector with this compact hub. Dual 4K displays or a single 5K/6K/8K display, high-performance storage--including NVMe solutions, A/V mixers, phone or tablet, even desktop accessories like a keyboard or mouse are all fair game. Accessories with past, present, or future USB or Thunderbolt interfaces…all connect to the OWC Thunderbolt Hub.


OWC Thunderbolt Hub Highlights:

  • All the Thunderbolt you’ve always wanted: For the first time ever, add more full speed, fully functional Thunderbolt ports to your computer
  • Plug everything in: Same device compatibility and performance, whether plugged into the hub or directly into your machine
  • Manage more devices: Connect storage, two 4K displays or one 5K/6K/8K display, multiple accessories you name it, you can use it.
  • Revolutionary development: New multi-port accessory architecture reinvents the daisy chain and allows more bus powered devices
  • Adjustable LED: Customize illumination for your unique work setting .
  • Built-in security: Kensington Nano Security Slot™ for anti-theft cabling
  • OWC ClingOn™ ready: cable stabilizer prevents work session interruption and data loss
  • Independently tested and Intel Thunderbolt-certified for Windows

“As a leader in Thunderbolt integration and accessories, OWC is proud to lead the market and offer our first Thunderbolt 4 hub for the new 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processor-based PCs.”, said Larry O’Connor, CEO and Founder of OWC. “In addition to giving users the ability to expand the number of Thunderbolt ports they have access to, the new ability to create separate chains, and connect more devices from individual computer ports will revolutionize workflows.””

Daisy chains can be complex. In the past, removing any device besides the last one in a daisy chain caused a disruption that rendered all devices unusable until the chain was re-established. OWC’s Thunderbolt Hub lets you create a separate multi-port accessory architecture consisting of three “tree branch” chains, so you can remove devices from one chain without affecting or disconnecting the others. Now you can connect multiple portable SSDs directly to the OWC Thunderbolt Hub to experience the fastest speed your storage device can deliver.

Pricing & Availability 
The OWC Thunderbolt Hub is available for pre-order through MacSales.com for $149.00 and will begin shipping in late October.


OWC Thunderbolt 4 Hub
OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Ideal for any Mac with Thunderbolt 3


Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
USB 3 • USB-C
Gigabit Ethernet
5K and 4K display support plus Mini Display Port
Analog sound in/out and Optical sound out

Works on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3

OWC Introduces OWC Mercury Pro LTO Tape Archiving Solution

This looks like a fantastic option for video users, in particular in terms of archiving off large amounts of footage. But it could also be a very cost effective device for large-volume photography studios and similar, government, health care, video surveillance, etc.

CLICK TO VIEW: OWC Mercury Pro LTO Tape Archiving Solutions

OWC Mercury Pro LTO Tape Archiving Solution

OWC Mercury Pro LTO Tape Archiving Solution

The Mercury Pro LTO provides an industry leading solution for data management/storage/transportation/archive strategy.

Because LTFS is an open, cross-platform system, and LTO tape is the dominant archiving medium that has continued to advance since being introduced in 2000.

You can be confident you'll access your data with any brand of LTO hardware for decades to come. The Mercury Pro LTO uses the latest 12TB LTO-8 tapes, the previous generation 6TB LTO-7 tapes, and designed to use future release LTO-9 drives.

Highlights

  • Store more: up to 12TB native/30TB1 compressed storage capacity per tape cartridge
  • Flexible: built-in IBM-LTO-8 Ultrium Drive reads and writes LTO-8 and LTO-7 tapes
  • Store longer: up to 30-year tape longevity
  • Instant ROI: Lowest cost storage format; as low as $0.02/GB and up to 50x less costly than online storage
  • LTFS compatible: archive files/folders with drag and drop ease
  • Simple interface: mount, format, and backup to an LTO tape and hard drive simultaneously via included myLTO® app, a $299 value
  • Secure: supports AES 256-bit encryption for sensitive data
  • Compliance ready: supports WORM cartridges required by legal/regulatory record keeping
  • Fast tape creation: up to 360MB/s native/900MB/s1 compressed transfer rates
  • Configurable drive bay: add an optional 2.5/3.5-inch HDD or SSD for up to 16TB ‘staging’ capacity
  • Expansive: second Thunderbolt 3 port for adding up to five additional Thunderbolt devices or your choice of a USB-C or DisplayPort device
  • See more: DisplayPort 1.4 for connecting up to an 8K display2
  • Charge while working: 85W of notebook charging
  • Transportable: Compact form factor with built-in handles for moving between set and studio
  • Complete: Includes LTO-8 12TB data tape, cleaning cartridge, and Thunderbolt cable
  • Worry-free: up to 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty with lifetime US-based support

Preserve Huge Volumes of Data

M&E professionals, corporations, government branches, and small businesses are all facing the same challenge: how to manage an ever-increasing amount of more complex data. Higher resolution, complex audio, and diverse formats are the project norm. Organizational content is projected to grow 50-70% annually as more data is digitalized. Licensing, regulatory, and compliance requirements are becoming more stringent.

The OWC Mercury Pro LTO is the answer to this challenge. This easily integrated tape backup and archiving solution is a mission-critical requirement for protecting and preserving huge volumes of data for longer periods with familiar drag-and-drop operation, and better economies of scale than disk-based storage. Ruggedly small with a built-in handle, the Mercury Pro LTO is able to go on-set or move among studio, department, or office computers for a shared data protection solution.

Archiving Made Drag and Drop Easy

There’s a priceless convenience of familiarity in using the OWC Mercury Pro LTO to protect your data. By using archiving industry standard Linear Tape Open (LTO) tapes formatted with the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), the tapes can be accessed on your computer just like a hard drive or SSD. Files appear in folders and moving them to and from tape is drag-and-drop easy. Compatibility has never been simpler. Thanks to LTFS, LTO tapes can be read from a Mac, PC, or Linux system so there’s no extra software to buy or proprietary hardware concerns.

Advanced Yet Future-Ready

Because LTFS is an open, cross-platform system, and LTO tape is the dominant archiving medium that has continued to advance since being introduced in 2000, you can be confident knowing you'll be able to access your data with any brand of LTO hardware for decades to come. The Mercury Pro LTO uses the latest 12TB LTO-8 tapes, the previous generation 6TB LTO-7 tapes, and is designed to use future release LTO-9 drives.

Instant ROI

Compared to using hard drives for archival storage, the OWC Mercury Pro LTO offers an instant ROI, and pays for itself in no time by continually and dramatically lowering project and production costs.

120TB of Footage Data from One Action Movie Shot

•  10 x 12TB HDDs @ $300/drive = $3000
• 10 x 12TB LTO-8s @$135/tape = $1350 (55% lower cost)
• 20 x 6TB HDDs @ $120/drive = $2400
• 20 x 6TB LTO-7s @$56/tape = $1120 (53% lower cost)

That’s over 50% savings vs HDD-based archive storage on just one project!

Lower Lifetime Costs with Far Greater Life Expectanc

A 10-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Study performed by the Enterprise Strategy Group comparing the costs of long-term storage on disk, LTO tape, and cloud had a staggering revelation. LTO tape-based archiving offers a 577% ROI! That’s because LTO-tape offers the lowest cost per TB storage format combined with the longest life expectancy among all storage options.

Meets Stringent Regulations

Whether you need to keep sensitive data secure during transportation, or ensure irreplaceable data will be archive protected, the OWC Mercury Pro LTO enables healthcare, financial, and related industries to meet strict legal and regulatory procedures for data confidentiality and integrity. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption conceals your data from unauthorized access by making it readable only by the Mercury Pro LTO. By using a WORM (Write Once, Ready Many) LTO tape, you can store your data in a non-erasable, non-rewritable format to prevent accidental overwrite or malicious data alteration.

The Perfect Solution for A Variety of Industries

LTO Tape archiving is used by a wide variety of industries for diverse needs:

  • Anyone seeking offsite data storage that is separated from the read/write host.
  • Businesses desiring database and content backup protection against ransomware, cyber-attacks, and operations disruption due to natural disasters. 
  • Local/State/Federal Government agencies with ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) workflows; video and files related to law/ordinance passage and day-to-day operations.
  • Healthcare providers and organizations with medical records and imaging data.
  • Educational institutions needing to keep a myriad of data - including research - produced by students, teachers, and professors accessibly protected while freeing up more costly storage options for short term use and backup.
  • Video surveillance operations with increasing number of higher resolution colorized cameras.
  • Motion Picture industry production companies needing to meet bondable and insurable archive requirements
  • Digital media companies can free up production disk capacity and shorten production windows by reusing and editing existing footage for new productions.

Simple Workflow Integration and Expansion

The Mercury Pro LTO enables you to archive data seamlessly in your workflow via the included Thunderbolt 3 cable connected to your Mac or PC. You can also optionally enhance your workflow by: Adding up to a 16TB SATA/SAS HDD or SSD to the 2.5/3.5-inch drive expansion bay for extra storage and backup capacity. Connecting a USB 3.0, USB-C, or Thunderbolt 3 device to the Mercury Pro LTO’s second Thunderbolt 3 port for added functionalities. Adding a second display with up to 8K resolution via the DisplayPort 1.4 interface. Keeping your notebook charged with the 85W Thunderbolt 3 port.

Use Case Spotlight: Netflix Data Management Requirements

LTO solutions like the Mercury Pro LTO have become a workflow requirement for production companies like Netflix to safeguard original camera footage, provide off-site backup, and fulfill long-term archiving of series and films. Employing a 3:2:1 rule, Netflix specifies its partners must:
• Hold at least 3 copies of all Original Camera Footage (OCF) and audio at all times.
• Store the copies on 2 different types of media.
• Maintain at least 1 backup offsite.

In every “rule” and well as in their acceptable archival formats, Netflix lists LTO tapes as a critical component in meeting their partner data management requirements.

Certified for Demanding Use

We understand having confidence in gear reliability is paramount to creative professionals. That’s why every Mercury Pro LTO solution undergoes a multi-step performance certification prior to shipping. This ensures your archiving solution arrives operating properly and immediately ready for demanding use.

Completes the OWC Solution

Thanks to the Mercury Pro LTO, OWC now offers the film industry, corporations, government branches, and even small businesses a trustworthy “ingest to archive” single source. With portable data capture options like the ThunderbladeExpress 4M2, and Envoy Pro EX; desktop options like ThunderBay line-up; and internal drive options like the Accelsior 4M2 and Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 2.5-inch SSD, OWC is the one project source that does it all for all those that create data.


OWC Mercury Pro LTO Tape Archiving Solution


Apple Core Rot: iOS 14 and macOS Safari Update Bring Treasure Trove of New Bugs

I updated to iOS 14, sucker that I am, because I hope to be traveling in a week or two, and better to take the hit now than while on the road.

There are all sorts of drawing bugs in iOS in which things go blank (nothing there), such as in Messages. Crap gets turned on I don't want too. I am sure I’ll discover many more “pleasures”.

Interestingly, I see the same drawing problems in Apple Safari in the URL bar on macOS—just a lock icon (for https) and... nothing else. Fortunately, this is infrequent. At least one major web sites is still unusable (hangs). Thank you... Apple.

  • Some websites that used to work fine, e.g., Chase.com are drawn with a blank area, a refresh is required.
  • Save Image As... is not working at all. I get a rainbow beachball, then nothing. WTF?!!!!!! I am guessing that some incompetent engineer forgot to reconcile download restrictions on a web site with saving an image from that web site—idiots.
Blank URL bar in Apple Safari in macOS Catalina

The accelerating unprofessionalism of the software development process at Apple is hurting everyone. Rush a release out, and let the suckers (er... customers) report the worst bugs, then fix half of them over 6 months, repeat ad nauseum.

Staale A writes:

After havning installed the last Safari update 14.0 my iMac (OS 10.15.6) has more or less stopped working.

Startup used to take 60-90 secs with all my “relevant” apps, now we are talking 10-15 min and every new app that I open takes 1-2 min to really open, like for Firefox, which used to be more like +/- 5-10 sec.

MPG: always wonderful to have Apple clusterf*ck your machine and make it unusable.

James G writes:

I too made the big mistake of upgrading toiOS 14 on my iPad and iPhone, and Safari in macOS.

Excel will now not let me save anything, stating that I don't have the correct permissions. If i go to terminal to repair all my permissions, it starts the process but I get the crawling slashes and the process wont complete. I can close Terminal and return to using my computer but i have no idea if the process repaired anything. Excel still wont save.

PDFs embedded in popup windows now show up blank.

Tabs in Safari now just show the website icon, which is totally useless if all you have is a generic icon, or maybe six Amazon tabs open. How the heck are you supposed to tell one tab from the next? The first time I opened Safari after the upgrade, the visual was like “what the fuck, man?” Fortunately, you can apparently undo this by going to Safari/Preferences/Tabs and unchecking the last box to deselect “Show icons only.”

Who the heck asked  for these useless features? Did some dweeb 20-something software engineer think this would be cool? Probably the same idiot who thought microfiche fonts in blue on a pale gray background with no contrast would look cool.

First rule in creating a software update is dont break what you already have. And if you’re going to introduce new features, keep the old preferences the same but publish a list of the new features and how to implement them if you want them.

I am still trying to deactivate the multi-window features in my iPad from the last software “upgrade.”

I swear Apple is now creating software for tik-tok stars and teenyboppers. Certainly not for people who use their macs for productive work.

MPG: I was going to advise James G to try the Security & Preferences control panel, but the crucial Security & Preferences control panel on my Mac Pro is now broken by Apple. Between this problem and hard crashes, Apple has managed to turn my $19K Mac Pro into the most unstable Mac I have EVER had.

Feckless Apple schmucks are running the show. The sheer jaw-dropping incompetence is unprecedented, but starting back in 2013 I saw the Apple Core Rot trend. It will never get better until the leadership makes it a priority, and that blame rests squarely at the top.

70% of music is non-playable "song is not currently available in your country or region"



MacPerformanceGuide.com

Protecting Yourself in the Age of the Internet is Darn Hard: 3 Credit Cards Compromised in 2 Weeks after Mortgage Refinance Application

I recently applied for a mortgage refi with no points and very low fees.

I’ve worked with this local outfit several times before, so I know them to be solid. But there is a long chain of custody for my information between them and the processing end. All it takes is one crook somewhere in that chain.

In the past ~2 weeks, all of our credit cards have been compromised: business debit card, then personal ATM/debit card, then personal credit card, about 7 days apart for each of them. Because of the timing and the way they were tested in each case, it was clearly designed to fly under our radar. My conclusion is that somehow my mortgage refinancing information was compromised, and I have to assume—in its entirety. I've taken mitigation measures.

How credit cards are “tested”

In each case, a small charge was made to test the card first, subtle enough that most people are unlikely to notice—a few dollars at a frequented store or place. For example, a $6 charge at a local CalTrain station, a small charge at gas station, etc. In the last compromise, it was even more secretive—a small charge, then radio silence, presumably for a bigger heist later.

It sucks being held hostage: I cannot lock my credit because the loan has to close/fund first.

And the refinancing process these days is taking 2 months to complete due to enormous demand overloading the system. There is no way to speed it up.

Be aware of credit card or debit card activity

Most banks have some kind of alert service for both bank accounts and credit card.

Set it up so that you are both emailed and texted whenever any transaction occurs above a very small amount, e.g., 10 cents. You know when you charge something, so the idea is that you’ll be made aware when someone else is using your card via text message and email.

Also, scan your credit card charges and bank activity at least once a week. In this latest credit card compromise, the charge were made to look innocuous and five days had gone by before I saw it—I could easily have overlooked it.


Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Apple Core Rot: Syncing of Random Music Tracks to iPhone, iPad

Apple Core Rot is just getting suckier and suckier.

Besides erasing 200GB of music after an iOS update, the totally broken syncing function randomly syncs tracks that have not changed in 5 years (literally!). Every few days when I sync my iPhone 7 Plus, I see a few dozen tracks get synced-up, few if any I’ve even listened to for a long time.

Does Apple bother testing anything any more?

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