Daily Archives: 2020-02-06

Deprecated kernel extensions and system extension alternatives

Source: OSNews

Article note: For most software, preventing kernel space tampering is almost certainly the right decision, but this seems like a problem for virtualization on OS X hosts (_is_ there even an apple-blessed solution?), and also performant device drivers.

Just another heads up that kernel extensions on macOS will soon stop working. This has been known for a while, but you might not even know you’re using kernel extensions in the first place.

System extensions on macOS Catalina (10.15) allow software like network extensions and endpoint security solutions to extend the functionality of macOS without requiring kernel-level access. At WWDC19, we announced the deprecation of kernel extensions as part of our ongoing effort to modernize the platform, improve security and reliability, and enable more user-friendly distribution methods. Kernel programming interfaces (KPIs) will be deprecated as alternatives become available, and future OS releases will no longer load kernel extensions that use deprecated KPIs by default.

If you use macOS, run kextstat | grep -v com.apple to see how many third party kernel extensions you have running. Things like VirtualBox, controller support for Steam, DropBox, Little Snitch, and more all come with kernel extensions, so there’s definitely chances you might be running some without even realising it.

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A Possible Strategy for Fending Off Surprise Medical Bills

Source: NYT > Health

Article note: The idea that modern medical billing has _anything_ to do with "informed consent" is a real stretch. The article proposal of scratching the "pay whatever the hospital decides to charge" parts of contracts and replacing with "pay a maximum of 2x the federally negotiated Medicare rate" before signing forms is an interesting strategy.

Writing in payment limits when signing hospital forms might provide some leverage over disputes that arise from surprise medical bills, some proponents suggest.

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