back to article Apple brings multi-touch, full-disk crypto to latest OS X

Apple has released a developer version of its next-generation Mac operating system, which the company says brings many of the features found in the iPad to its popular line of desktop and laptop computers. The preview of Mac OS X 10.7, aka Lion, is available from the Mac App Store now to members of the Mac Developer Program …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to hear OS X buzz again

    Pleased to hear it includes full-disk encryption, but it there any word on how this fits in with Time Machine?

    1. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

      God, I hope so.

      Filevault is useful. Time Machine is useful. Yet I can't use them at the same time?

      Surely, they must have fixed this...

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge


      The problem with Time Machine is that someone must take a decision if it a backup is to be encrypted as well. If yes, the current "the whole home directory as one lump" approach to Filevault-enabled systems is the only possible approach. If no, it would require some kind of permission model to back up files from an *opened* FileVault (i.e. when you're logged in), which defeats automation.

      I solved this by making a bunch of Truecrypt containers which I open when required. I wish I knew enough Applescript to frame some applications with an open and close - some programs store data in awkward places. A good example of that is Livescribe..

  2. Bill Cumming
    Thumb Down

    "air drop" hmmm...

    With setup free file sharing what could possibly go wrong. .

    Drive by mac File grabs anyone...??

    1. HMB

      Re: Air drop

      Come on, seriously, they're not that daft.

      1. Bill Cumming


        I refer the honourable gentleman to this "El Reg" post

        They may be "...that daft"

        That post my be for a physical connection but it shows they are never 100% security focused...

        1. SuccessCase


          While I don't put any company beyond the sticky tentacles of screw-up, your talking complete tosh and linking to other's of the Register's frequent speculative articles made to sound like fact. It was speculation, never shown to affect Macs because the supposed "weak feature" properly implemented, wouldn't have been vulnerable.

        2. Anonymous Coward


          It must be true, it was posted on the Register...

    2. Shades

      Sounds like...

      Macs are destined to become desk bound iPads.

  3. IR

    The sound of silence

    I'm not expecting to hear the usual "The OS wasn't designed as a touchscreen OS so it isn't as good as iOS" that we seem to have on every other touchscreen desktop/laptop OS article.

    1. famousringo

      multi-touch /= touchscreen

      See: multi-touch trackpads, magic mouse.

      So yeah, I guess you're right not to expect people to talk about touchscreens.

      1. IR


        Features they've had for ages already? So what's the big deal then? I guess I leapt to the conclusion that they were talking about touchscreens since they already have multitouch devices.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It will work with SSDs

    The Vault is encrypted, remember. Even if the actual Vault file is not deleted successfully on an SSD, so long as the key is nuked, to all intents and purposes the data will be inaccessible.

  5. I am the Walrus

    Trim support for SSD?

    will it get this?

    1. Eponymous Howard
      Thumb Up



  6. Steven Knox

    "multi-touch, full-disk crypto"?

    But I thought you weren't supposed to touch the actual disks...

  7. Steve Brooks


    Ah yes, even now we get the odd few people crying due to loss of their precious photo's etc when their computer dies, and we recover 95% of them as it is, and send the rest to a clean room data recovery company for further work. I suppose with full disk encyption we can just tell em all....bad luck, unrecoverable, because I can assure you, it doesn't matter how many people you know who do backups, in the grand scheme of things that number is as close to 0 as makes no difference. Even people with external drives, the ubiquitous 1-2tb backup drives, its never actually a backup, when they accidently kick that drive and or drop, its panic time becaseuin actual fact its NOT a backup, its the only copy.

    1. Jay 2

      Can you have too many backups?

      I always advise people to get an external drive to back their data up. Though hopefully they will do so, remember to keep it up to date, and not kick/drop it or dunk it in coffee or something.

      Given the day job I'm a bit paranoid. So I have TimeMachine, bootable clones of boot/data drives plus another external drive with data on it (via Truecrypt). And I'm pretty sure that somewhere I've got another clone (albeit pretty old) made before I upgraded to 10.6.

      Admittedly it does require a bit of effort to keep the clones etc up to date, but better to set aside some time to kick off some backups/clones/rsyncs/etc then to suddenly have no data.

    2. Goat Jam
      Paris Hilton

      Too True

      Backup is generally too hard.

      I have a 2TB external which I sync all my files to.

      It is almost full.

      This is will of course save my bacon should my main system go titsup in an obvious and exciting fashion but should it suffer from some sort of unnoticed degradation through either physical failure or an attack of the fat fingers then all is, potentially, lost.

      I'm aware of the risks and do my best to mitigate them wherever possible. I can't imagine what the poor suffering Joe Sixpacks are doing.

      Well, actually I can. Nothing. Nothing is what they are doing.

      Most people I know cart all their "I don't know what I'd do if I lost these" files around on their frigging laptops fer chrissakes. Not only do they have the significant potential of their fragile precious to simply chuck in the towel for no apparent reason, they also have the bonus danger of it being stolen from their house/car/workplace or wherever.

      When you point this out to them they get that glazed look that says "this is all too much to deal with" and they just carry on as usual.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      That's assuming the encryption is stable

      I had PointSec go south on me once - completely wiped the machine.

      Sad part is that it was probably recoverable but nobody was allowed to use the secret back-door keys. Bureaucracy in action as always :)

      I'm sure it's all much improved since those days... I hope at least.

    4. corestore

      Two things spring to mind...

      1. Whole-disk encryption... great. Trust it once the source code has been thoroughly probed for backdoors.

      2. Backups... some of us have sense. Not just backups but *off-site backups*, I'll keep banging that drum until people get it!

  8. Ivan Headache

    I dont inderstand why someone

    has downvoted this comment.

    Despite the simplicity of the Time-Machine backup system in current macs I have less than 20% of my clients using it - and of those 20% probably only half use it all the time.

    Like Steve Brooks I have (over the years) seen many users who have lost files and photos because of hardware failure or accidently deleting them or other stupidity. Generally with time and patience much can be retreived.

    But FileVault makes that impossible. I tell all of my clients that unless they are guarding the nation's secrets they will - sooner or later - regret ever turning it on. If it's not them that regrets - it will be their heirs trying to access stuff after they have passed on.

    Thnakfully none of my clients use it.

  9. pixelatedpete

    Blast (off) from the past!

    Launchpad sounds like Windows 3.1. Progress eh?!

  10. Adam T


    Deeply ironic that they'd name their "pretend" versioning feature after a real, trademarked, commercial Subversion client. A MacOS exclusive client at that.

    That must be a nice "fuck you" for the Sofa guys to wake up to this morning.

  11. zenkaon

    Off site backup is the only backup

    Backups are great until you house is burgled, catches fire or the police decide to take it all - you get to loose all your data several times.

    Full disk encrypted backup at least stops the burglars looking at your extensive "photo" collection, but legally you have to give the filth the keys. They just lock you up for longer if you don't.

    Off site backup, preferably in a different country, is the only real backup. Although that should get you worried about who exactly has, or could have, physical access.

    Lion sounds like incremental improvements, nothing radical. I think that this is a good thing.

  12. YumDogfood


    Like wot VMS and other OSs had yonks ago?

  13. Mark .

    Re: multi-touch /= touchscreen

    Well in that case, what's new? Windows has had multitouch for years. Indeed, I thought Apple PCs had multitouch already too...

    1. famousringo

      It's software, not hardware

      I can see how the headline is confusing, and the article doesn't go on to properly explain the multi-touch changes. We're talking about new multi-touch gestures and commands being written into the OS, not a new bullet point on a feature list.

      Hope I cleared things up for you.

  14. Tom Reg

    Ssds will be 'instantly erased' too

    The instant erase is done by deleting the encryption key which is in some pram. It's how remote wipe works.

  15. dave 93
    Jobs Halo

    Innovation and real R&D

    Are Apple the only hardware/software vendor who is actually adding genuinely new devices and interaction paradigms into the market?

    Honestly, Android, MS et al. just seem to be playing catch-up nowadays while Apple literally change the IT world with products like the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air, and now consumer grade version control, crypto, backup and proper touch driven interfaces for the laptop/desktop.

    Flame away, but where are the genuinely new developments from other mainstream vendors?

  16. Patrick 8
    Thumb Up

    full disk encryption

    nice. Now all they need is to have their code for crypto hash and cipher(s) evaluated and approved and they have fully opened doors into military and civillian government departments, agencies and probably finance sector industries for their mac kit.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cut and paste

    when will os x allow cut and paste of files? This is the biggest flaw since version 1, and it hasn´t been fixed yet.

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