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OS X Security Upgrades

Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone 241

Posted by timothy
from the they'll-figure-it-out-soon-enough dept.
Freshly Exhumed writes "As Apple issued an update for Mavericks, Mountain Lion, and Lion yesterday, Snow Leopard users have not seen a security update since September, 2013. This would not be noteworthy if Apple, like a host of other major software vendors, would clearly spell out its OS support policies and warn users of such changes, but they have not. Thus, the approximately 20% of Mac users still running Snow Leopard now find themselves in a very vulnerable state without the latest security updates."
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Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone

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  • by crow (16139) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:39AM (#46357641) Homepage Journal

    Snow Leopard is particularly important for many users because it was the last release to support Rosetta. Anyone who still needs PowerPC apps can't upgrade.

    My wife still uses Apple Works, so upgrading won't work for her.

    Also, Apple has been known to push upgrades that break things without warning, so upgrading is often a last resort. For example, we were running 10.5, and iTunes asked if we wanted to update our iPad to the lastest release. After doing so, it said we had to upgrade iTunes. But we couldn't upgrade iTunes because that required 10.6. There went our ability to sync the iPad.

  • by wiredog (43288) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:39AM (#46357643) Journal

    IIRC, the bug was introduced (fairly) recently. iOS 5 doesn't have it, either.

  • by xombo (628858) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:48AM (#46357803)

    Mavericks is the worst version of Mac OS since 9.1.

  • It's only Apple. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:50AM (#46357841)

    Who's the other major software vendor? Microsoft? They spell out their support policies quite clearly. Everyone knew well in advance when Microsoft was ending support for XP, an OS that's been supported far, far longer than anything from Apple. My Intel iMac at home is stuck at OSX 10.6.8. It was built several months too soon and lacked some random bit of hardware related to the BIOS which disqualified it from being a proper 64-bit machine. By the time Apple announced it was dropping support for that version I hadn't seen updates in about a year anyway.

    Instead of just criticizing Apple for what they do wrong, there seems to be this compulsion to make everything relative so that Apple doesn't look so bad. I'd argue that in this particular case Microsoft is a lot better than Apple. Apple seems content to sweep things under the rug as long as they can get away with it.

  • by sasparillascott (1267058) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:50AM (#46357847)
    This is not accurate. Only Mavericks (v10.9.x) was vulnerable to the SSL issue - the security updates to Mavericks, Mountain Lion (10.8.x) and Lion (10.7.x) contained a ton of security updates in them - at least a good chunk of which would affect Snow Leopard.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT... [apple.com]
  • by Desler (1608317) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @12:14PM (#46358213)

    OSS to the rescue? So where are my security updates for Ubuntu LTS 10.4 desktop which was released 8 months after Snow Leopard? Oh right, Canonical stopped supporting that back in May of last year which is 3 months sooner than Apple did with Snow Leopard.

  • by _xeno_ (155264) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @12:47PM (#46358727) Homepage Journal

    Bullshit. App Nap, Timer coalescing and compressed app memory would have been worth a paid upgrade on their own. Between them there is both more responsiveness, and a significantly improved battery life.

    Yeah, and Windows 8 has a ton of great tech improvements under the hood too. Yet I really can't blame anyone who'd rather stick with Windows 7 and miss out on the enhancements they'll never notice to avoid the UI changes they most certainly will.

  • by _xeno_ (155264) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @01:04PM (#46359037) Homepage Journal

    Yet Mavericks hasn't had any Metro like interface reboot...

    Really? The slow iOS-ification of the OS doesn't count? Mavericks drops another set of iOS apps onto OS X that don't need to be there, and OS X has slowly been becoming more and more like iOS since Snow Leopard. I don't remember when they added their version of the Start Screen (Launchpad), but it's there, and you can't get rid of it. I'd say that counts.

    And the Mavericks improvements I describe are most certainly noticeable. Most people use laptops these days and more than an hour extra battery life really makes a difference.

    IT forced all the Macs where I work to Mavericks. (One of the most painful upgrade processes I've ever had to go through, but I'm pretty sure that was on IT. I hope it was.) There's been no battery life improvement.

    I do notice that trying to open the battery menu causes some system process to crash with 100% CPU usage, so that's a new - uh, thing. Not sure it was worth the upgrade, though...

  • by azav (469988) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @01:28PM (#46359395) Homepage Journal

    Snow Leopard is the last usable version of the Mac OS.

    In the latest, you have what once was a snappy UI marred by excessive animations that you simply can't turn off if you want the faster UI.

    From Safari's "flying cockroach" download icon, to the damn forced animated roll out and roll up of all disclosure triangles, Apple's addition of animations to EVERYTHING and without "a please don't animate this, I liked it when I clicked on something and the results were instant" switch, the Mac UI has gotten more and more annoying and distracting to use.

    Bouncing Safari screens? Windows that pop open in your face? Email that flies off the screen? Who needs them? Not me.

    Previously, you could hold control command D over text in Safari, in Mail and in TextEdit and the results would display as fast as they could in a dictionary window.

    Now, the word highlights, pops open, then shrinks back, the dictionary pops open, then cascades the results down as it draws the window.

    All this distracting animation, when all the user wanted was to see the definition of the word as fast as they could see it. That's why they pressed the command keys in the first place.

    Apple's UI designers have lost their focus and are no longer creating user interfaces that help users without getting in their way. All too often, the interface appears to exist simply to be as busy and as distracting as it can be.

    This is why I still use Snow Leopard as my primary operating system on my 5 Macs at home.

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @01:32PM (#46359457)

    12.04 LTS runs just fine on any machine that I've run 10.04 on.

    It does not, actually.

    Due to Unity, Ubuntu 12.04 is way more heavyweight on CPU and GPU than the GNOME 2 -based 10.04. 12.04 needs 2x-3x more power than 10.04 to run the desktop smoothly. 12.04 and newer versions of Ubuntu are basically unusably laggy on low-end Atom devices, which BTW all run Windows 7 and 8 smooth like butter.

  • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @02:13PM (#46360059)

    You do not understand. Not supporting something 7 years old is perfectly fine. Neglecting to inform your customers that their support is ending or has ended is not.

  • by epine (68316) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:03PM (#46361423)

    If you're still running 10.6 for some reason, your computer is either a low-end one from at least 7 years ago, or you've made an intentional choice to remain on 10.6 for some reason

    It used to be that low IQ was failing to identify the continuation of some trivial numerical sequence on some trivial test. The new low IQ is use-case blindness, the inability to even hazard a guess at the myriads of reasons other people live differently than you do. The ravening mob of blindness promulgators are ever with us. Pity.

    Here's my story.

    I bought my wife a second generation Core Duo iMacs, which I believe has never been upgraded from the original Leopard. I use this computer so rarely (about ten hours per years) that I can barely keep track of which leopard presently holds court.

    The computer works—until some piece of software offers to "upgrade" itself, then restarts with a whole new user interface (I'm looking at you, iTunes). Then I'm constantly told the computer doesn't work any more, but the real problem is that she hasn't figured out where all the familiar functions were forcibly relocated.

    I'm not willing to sit down at her desk and chase GUI tidbits from point A to point B, so I just told her "don't click upgrade". When something visibly breaks, then I'm willing to sit down and deal with it. Meanwhile I have enough sysadmin on my plate with my own Linux desktop, where I'm heavily invested in ZSH, and my FreeBSD server, where I'm making very heavy use of ZFS. This is where my neural matter wants to go.

    I have a very low tolerance for having something trivial I've mastered at the autonomic level yanked back to the center of my attention. It took me close to a decade to cease seething about the relocation of the CTRL key in favour of a CAPS LOCK key that should have been ALT-NUMLOCK or, even better, CTRL-ALT-INSERT. FFS I can type ~50 wpm in ALL CAPS using the right shift key for six of my fingers, alternating to the right shift key for the other two. But guess what? The CAPS LOCK key is more prominent to my left pinkie than ENTER is to my right pinkie. If we normalize the utility of the ENTER key to 100, the utility of the CAPS LOCK key comes out around -1000.

    The problem with most upgrades is that it's always more of this father-knows-best groupthink bullshit.

    It's a huge project just to figure out what's going to change. The only recourse one has to all these unnecessary relearning cycles is to skip as many releases as humanly possible. I'd be thrilled if XP is the last Microsoft OS I learn how to use in this lifetime. I was an early adopter of Windows 2000 and I stayed there until 2000 went out of support. Later I ended up using XP in a different work environment and I can't name a single thing that improved, except that I had to disable a lot more bling for half a day. Long ago I held out on MSDOS until I could jump straight to Windows NT which I adopted within weeks of the Intel P6 becoming available. That was a real upgrade, one well worth reprogramming a decade of autonomic habits. I never used any of the shitshow 3.1/95/98 for more than the very occasional hour.

    These upgrades change a lot of stuff for extremely dubious benefits. An upgrade is going from UFS to ZFS. That I can buy into. An upgrade is going from System 7 to OS X. On that one I can sell my wife.

    What I really want concerning these fairly useless system frobs is the semantic web: searchable metadata describing every user interface action that formerly existed and whether it still exists in the new version, plus a mapping to a more-or-less equivalent version, if such a thing has even been retained. Oh yes, Apple is good at silent castration. Ideally the OS would track which user interface functions have been regularly used, and list out all the things the upgraded user will be instantly forced to relearn. But no. It's sexy. No assistance offered retraining for sexy. That what sexy means, lo

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:11PM (#46361491)

    What a blowhard. Was there a point to that rant other than dramatizing the agony of learning?

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @06:12PM (#46362907)

    So, if I'm reading you correctly, you accuse me of having a low IQ, despite the fact that your use case exactly matches the ones I specified? Not only do you have a computer incapable of upgrading beyond 10.6, you've also made it clear that you're intentionally remaining there, which is exactly what I listed. And you knew what you were getting into as well, since you've made it clear that you're quite aware of the headaches of remaining on an old OS.

    I read your whole rant, and what I got out of it is that you are simply not the target demographic for Apple products. That's fine. You don't need to use them, and any sane person should applaud you for making an informed decision based on your own needs and preferences. I know there used to be a time where I wanted to get in and customize everything exactly as I wanted. As time went on, I realized that was a hole without bottom, and that what I really wanted was something that got out of my way so that I could simply do whatever it was I wanted to do, without me spending time getting it set up. As time moves further on, I wouldn't doubt if my preferences changed to the point where I might want something that works the same as what I had before, that way I wouldn't have to worry about updates and the like.

    Generally speaking, I do agree with the "if it works, don't break it" mentality, but I also think that it can lead to mediocrity and stagnation, so I currently like to temper that mentality by also looking for opinionated products that are willing to knowingly deconstruct the old in order to try and build it into something better. Apple does that. They certainly don't get it right every time. In fact, I'd suggest that they get it wrong more often than right (recent examples: Final Cut Pro X and the iWorks update late last year), but they learn from their mistakes and usually end up with something that leapfrogs what they had before (e.g. it's clear that both of those updates were laying the groundwork for better stuff, and we're now starting to see some of it).

    If you're not interested in that sort of thing, go with Microsoft, who has a reputation for supporting legacy software, hardware, and workflows for ages. Or go with Linux, as you have, customize it as you want, and then simply maintain it as it is. I may choose otherwise, and we can both be happy for it.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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