We’re on the cusp of another iOS 14 update, iOS 14.3. Right now I’m dealing with 14.2, and it’s still bugging the crap out of me. Today’s latest is with all those lovely speed dial shortcuts I created with Shortcuts. For whatever reason they stopped working. I’d tap on any of them and the activity circle would just go gray (see the red arrow on the screen capture above). It would hang. No normal actions, such as killing the app instance, would correct it. I tried it on both the today screen as well as the app itself in case there was any issue using the Shortcut’s widget, but it was hanging no matter what. As a last resort I restarted (rebooted) my iPhone, and that cleared it up.
Rebooting a personal computer, especially an iPhone, is so 1980’s. We did that with Microsoft’s MS-DOS and Windows, and Apple’s older Classic Mac OS, before Mac OS X and macOS. This is the third decade of the 21st century, and rebooting your computer to clear up an application problem is very stupid shit. Indicative of poor quality all around. Especially on a smart phone that cost US$1,400 when I purchased mine. Frankly I’m hanging onto mine, rather than stepping up, because Apple continues to demonstrate absolutely no real reason to upgrade to their iPhone 12.
Hardware means nothing when your software and tools are shit. And that’s where Apple’s iOS 14 is right now, with me. Perhaps they’ll convince me otherwise when iOS 14.3 becomes official, but I doubt it.
So I went slumming on Slashdot (yeah, I know), and came across the ravings of a paranoid Apple user with a blog post titled “Your Computer Isn’t Yours” ( https://sneak.berlin/20201112/your-computer-isnt-yours/ ) laying out all sorts of evil and nasty things happening on you Mac with macOS Big Sur and OCSP and how this is what the great Internet gods Stallman and Doctorow foretold would happen many, many years ago.
In spite of my knowing better than to trust this, I let the paranoia in me run wild a bit and went off to Objective Development to download my very own 30-day try-it-out copy of Little Snitch (which is what this is actually all about and why I have their propellor beanie on the page) ( https://www.obdev.at/products/littlesnitch/index.html ). So how did that work out for you, Bill?
I’m glad you asked.
It didn’t work out well at all. After installing version 5.0.2, the anointed version for Big Sur, I would click on it and it would just sit and bounce in the dock for some indeterminate time, then stop bouncing. But nothing showed up anywhere on the desktop, not a window, nothing anywhere. I tried this twice (because I couldn’t believe it the first time). Both times I’d have to kill the instance in the dock. After the second time I just deleted it.
It wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t read in the first link about how Apple’s Mac applications just bypass network framework and go directly out to the internet. Which means if it did start up I don’t believe it would do any good if Little Snitch did properly start.
And while poking around Daring Fireball (the site I swore I’d never visit again), I came across a link to another post by a different author titled “Does Apple really log every app you run? A technical look” ( https://blog.jacopo.io/en/post/apple-ocsp/ ). This is a sane and clear explanation of what is actually happening, not the heated rantings coming from “Your Computer Isn’t Yours”. At the very end of the article there’s a three bullet list. The last bullet says “You shouldn’t probably block
ocsp.apple.com with Little Snitch or in your hosts file.” Which is what the author of “Your Computer Isn’t Yours” at least implies that’s something you might want to do. I guess it was a good thing Little Snitch refused to start on my MacBook Pro after all.