Microsoft and Skype’s privacy settings

I don’t know exactly when these settings were introduced in Skype, but it’s obvious that they haven’t been there in this form before Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype.

The irritating thing is that one of my Skype accounts had the “Allow Microsoft to use your Skype profile information to show you more relevant ads in this application” setting enabled and I can’t remember (nor imagine) I ever knowingly allowed ad targeting.

skype_privacy

The other one is “Allow Microsoft to collect information on my behalf to make the service better” which they decided to hide in the “advanced” settings tab, although it’s clearly very privacy relevant (just read the disclaimer).

skype_advanced

So, make sure to revise all your settings in Skype, particularly those in the privacy and advanced tabs.

Homebrew package for t-prot: TOFU protection for e-mail

In a current LUGS mailing list thread, mowgli pointed to the t-prot script as a nice tool to “fix” the so-called (and very common) TOFU style message quoting and some other annoyances (like commercial webmail provider signatures, overly excited !!!! statements, etc.) in e-mail messages. t-prot was originally developed for mutt, but can also be used with other mail clients.

As there wasn’t any t-prot package for my favourite Mac OS X package manager Homebrew yet (apparently only for MacPorts), I quickly created one myself:

  1. Create the file /usr/local/Library/Formula/t-prot.rb and add the following (fantastically trivial) content:
    require "formula"
    
    class TProt < Formula
      homepage "http://www.escape.de/~tolot/mutt/"
      url "http://www.escape.de/~tolot/mutt/t-prot/downloads/t-prot-3.0.tar.gz"
      sha1 "221e849f7dc0b5a6c0be823ce1a84c473d5c518f"
    
      def install
        bin.install 't-prot'
        man1.install 't-prot.1'
      end
    
    end
    
  2. Install t-prot (run the following Homebrew command in a terminal window):
    brew install t-prot
  3. Add the following line to your .muttrc (or check ‘man t-prot’ or the t-prot web page for options and examples):
    set display_filter="t-prot -cemt -M=mutt"

A working workaround when losing audio in OS X Mavericks ;)

After plugging out the headphones again, Mavericks decided to rather do without audio output for the rest of its runtime. As none of the usual approaches worked to convince it to obey and I wasn’t quite willing to reboot it, I did a web search and found the following hint:

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext

I can hereby confirm that this worked in my case (with a 15″ MacBook Pro Retina 2014 model), Mavericks finally obeyed.

via Losing Audio in OS X Mavericks? Here’s what you can do about it! | iMore.

Turn off drop shadows on Mac OS X screenshots

Philip’s post about More OS X Leopard Tips & Tricks is quite dated, but basically, all the valuable tips there are still valid.

Among them also the tip how to get rid of the (usually annoying) drop shadows that Mac OS X adds to screenshots (enter the commands in a terminal window):

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true
killall SystemUIServer

Adding shadows again:

defaults delete com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow

Mac OS X Server: Prevent “missing Bluetooth keyboard” startup interruption

Sometimes, it may seem convenient to quickly connect a Bluetooth keyboard and a Bluetooth mouse to a Mac OS X Server machine for administration. The not so intuitive consequence of this however is, that at future startups, if there’s no keyboard or mouse connected to the machine (which is the common case with servers), Mac OS X will by default fall back to searching for that once connected Bluetooth keyboard or mouse and even stops booting when it doesn’t find them.

In order to prevent this, do the following on your Mac OS X Server:

  1. Open Bluetooth Preferences
  2. Disconnect and remove any associated Bluetooth devices
  3. Click the “Advanced…” button
  4. In the advanced Bluetooth settings, deselect both “Open Bluetooth Setup Assistant at startup if no keyboard is detected” and “Open Bluetooth Setup Assistant at startup if no mouse or trackpad is detected”
  5. Unless really needed, disable Bluetooth on a server. So, better grab a USB keyboard and mouse next time you need to do some admin ;)

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 13.43.52

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 13.44.40

Automatically install any downloaded updates on Mac OS X

Check the recommended answer in this thread on superuser.com. For example, to autoinstall the updates at 8 PM daily, you basically need:

1.) Create /Library/LaunchDaemons/some.meaningful.name.plist

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>Label</key>
    <string>some.meaningful.name</string>
    <key>ProgramArguments</key>
    <array>
        <string>softwareupdate</string>
        <string>-i</string>
        <string>-a</string>
    </array>
    <key>StartCalendarInterval</key>
    <dict>
        <key>Hour</key>
        <integer>20</integer>
        <key>Minute</key>
        <integer>00</integer>
    </dict>
    <key>RunAtLoad</key>
    <false/>
    <key>KeepAlive</key>
    <false/>
</dict>
</plist>

2.) Execute the following in a terminal:

sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/some.meaningful.name.plist