Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-02-19

Yesterday evening (central european time) my social media feeds were dominated with news and comments about the Perserverance Mars rover landing on Mars. I watched the live stream and it was thrilling to watch the culmination of years of work of thousands of experts.

As I was watching the live stream from the JPL command center on the big screen and following the comments and updates on Twitter, I realized how wonderful it is that I can follow and celebrate such an event live, from my home.

Before internet streaming and social media, the details of such an event would have been inaccessible to all but a few. Sadly, this kind of event is not really of interest for TV stations. We would have gotten a nice summary the next day in the news. The scientists and engineers behind this miraculous achievement would have remained faceless.

We would have missed the drama of an automated spacecraft landing itself so far away, that any signal of success or disaster takes 11.5 minutes to reach Earth. We would have missed the anxiety and trepidation of the people in the control center, watching the telemetry for even the most minute signs of success or failure. We would have missed the increasing relief and celebration as each milestone was successfully handled by the automated systems designed, built, programmed, and tested over years and years. We would have missed the humanity of the event.

But now, millions of interested viewers, all over the world, can tune in. The engineers get their well-deserved moment on the stage and you can get a glimpse of how human the entire endeavor is during the final “seven minutes of terror,” where so much could go wrong, with instant disastrous consequences, but amazingly did not!

It has become apparent, that there are many problems with modern media that need to be addressed and solved. But it is a relief that there are some aspects that work and that we can really feel good about.

Of course, for the actual research on Mars, the landing is just the beginning. So, well done, and happy rock-hunting, Perserverance and team!

The only thing that did bubble up through the Mars landing was MacAdmins who were really thrilled about the update to Apple’s Platform Security document. While we MacAdmins are often justifiably upset with the state or lack of Apple documentation, this is one area where they get it right, and that has to be acknowledged. Thank you, anonymous Apple writers!

If you haven’t gotten it yet, my new book “macOS Terminal and Shell” is available in the Apple Books store!

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📰News and Opinion

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • MacAdmins Conference: “The @macadminsconf conference team is prepping the fire pit for another summer of campfire sessions. Stay tuned for details on our virtual conference this year. #macadmins #psumac”
  • Mr. Macintosh: “macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 (20D75) Full Installer now available!!! 12.21GB 071-05432 Build number (20D75) vs 11.2.1 update (20D74)” (Fixes the free disk space issue)
  • Thomas Tempelmann: “Huh, diskutil coreStorage encryptVolume, which used to be the command to encrypt HFS volumes, isn’t available in BS any more. So, while my previous statement isn’t incorrect, the real reason is that BigSur removed the ability to encrypt HFS+ vols altogether. Nice one, Apple.”
  • Howard Oakley: “So heartening to see that even malware authors have released their first Universal binaries. That must leave just Adobe then?”

🔐Security and Privacy

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

♻️Updates and Releases

🎧To Listen

🎈Just for Fun

📚 Support

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