Bad news, everyone. Macs sometimes have bugs. Time to ditch your Mac and, uh… well, the next step isn’t so clear.
Writing for the Forbes contributor network and set of the gameshow “What’s That Smell?” which was canceled before it premiered, Ewan Spence describes the “Three Damaging Mistakes That Guarantee More MacBook Pro Disappointment.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Alex.)
[Takes MacBook Pro he’s typing on, chucks it in the river.]
Having a safe and secure computer is a requirement that is becoming more important to consumers.
As opposed to years past when everyone was fine having a computer that anyone and everyone could get files and photos and browsing history off of.
A lot of people don’t remember this but porn was only invented last year. True story.
For many years the Mac range of computers, from the MacBook in your bag to the Mac Pro hiding under your desk, were regarded as a gold standard, immune to malware and secure against malicious attacks.
Some may have regarded them as such, but they never were, of course.
In the last few months that perception has been challenged by errors on the part of Apple and its suppliers. The strong selling point of security is no longer there.
Isn’t it? Let us assume for the moment that you “need” a computer of some kind. If we assume this, which seems like a fairly safe assumption these days, then the question is not “Which computer is 100 percent impervious to malware and malicious attacks?” but “Which computer is more secure against malware and malicious attacks?” And the Macalope would argue that, while it’s a complicated issue, the Mac still holds an advantage over Windows, at the very least because Windows is still targeted more.
The biggest flaw that sticks in the mind was the discovery that a blank password field would allow anyone to log in with root access to the Mac.
Yep, that was what they call in the information security business [seventeen very filthy words that cannot be published on a family website like Macworld]. Fortunately, this has been patched. This week brought us another macOS security flaw, thankfully one that is much more minor.
Yes, these are not good things. But if your plan is to switch to Windows because security is all screwed up on the Mac but better on Windows, well, allow the Macalope to just say “Good luck with that.” in the most sarcastic tone he can muster.
The technical reasons may be different but the perception building in the public conscience is a simple one… your password is not always needed on a MacBook.
Honestly, while the tech press rightly throws a fit about these flaws (that’s what we’re here for), most Mac owners probably don’t know anything about them. Heck, most people probably don’t even know the effects of certain security features of macOS. How many Mac users know that if you don’t have FileVault turned on, the resetpassword utility in Recovery mode will reset the password of any account without the need for verification? Probably not that many.
Come to think of it, taking Apple to task for inadequate education on such matters is probably a more valid criticism than saying “Macs have bugs so don’t buy Macs”.
On top of the native macOS errors, you also have to consider the impact of Meltdown and Spectre.
Which only effect Macs?
The fact that both of these vulnerabilities affect almost every single computing device currently on sale is not mentioned. Because we only gathered here today to lament the sorry state of the Mac.
…the long-term effect will be a likely slowing down across the macOS devices, and the potential for more damming exploits to be discovered.
Spence continually evaluates the Mac in a vacuum, as if its only competition is the Platonic idea of a laptop that exists in thought space and not reality.
The Mac family is not a cheap option.
No, it’s not cheap. But not only do most cheap PCs come with Windows, they’re also made of plastic and usually come with some kind of crapware installed. When you price high-end PCs against Macs, the prices are pretty comparable.
Again, yes, these bugs are bad things. There is no denying that. But it’s not exactly like Apple’s competitors are bug-free and, for most people, buying a computer is a technology purchasing decision, not a decision about whether to adopt an Amish lifestyle.
In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.