CrowdStrike Bug Leads to Worldwide BSODs, Grounding Flights, Halting Banking, and More →

The Verge’s Tom Warren:

Thousands of Windows machines are experiencing a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) issue at boot today, impacting banks, airlines, TV broadcasters, supermarkets, and many more businesses worldwide. A faulty update from cybersecurity provider CrowdStrike is knocking affected PCs and servers offline, forcing them into a recovery boot loop so machines can’t start properly. CrowdStrike is widely used by many businesses worldwide for managing the security of Windows PCs and servers.

CrowdStrike’s products are extremely popular, and this problem is shockingly widespread I’ve got a bunch of friends in corporate IT, and none of them are having a good day. Here’s Warren again:

CrowdStrike says the issue has been identified and a fix has been deployed, but fixing these machines won’t be simple for IT admins. The root cause appears to be an update to the kernel level driver that CrowdStrike uses to secure Windows machines. While CrowdStrike identified the issue and reverted the faulty update after “widespread reports of BSODs on Windows hosts,” it doesn’t appear to help machines that have already been impacted.

It looks like the fix is going to be pretty hands-on, at least for now, according to Kevin Purdy at Ars Technica:

A CrowdStrike engineer posted in the official CrowdStrike subreddit that the workaround steps involve booting affected Windows systems into Safe Mode or the Recovery Environment, navigating to a CrowdStrike directory, and deleting a .sys file and rebooting. If this works, it’s not something that can be done through a network push, so a lot of manual work remains to be done.

Rebooting a system 15 times sounds pretty manual to me.

When it Comes to Apple Intelligence, Patience is a Virtue →

David Sparks, writing about the rumors that say the new Siri won’t show up until next year:

The big question about all the Apple Intelligence elements is not “When do we get them?” but “Do they work”? Significant market pressures forced Apple to explain its AI position, and now it has. I generally agree with the thinking behind Apple Intelligence, and if it works as promised, it will be very impressive.

In a few years, people will not remember exactly when the various Apple Intelligence components were released. However, they will remember whether or not they worked.

August 2025: The Death of Google’s URL Shortener →

Sumit Chandel and Eldhose Mathokkil Babu:

In 2018, we announced the deprecation and transition of Google URL Shortener to Firebase Dynamic Links because of the changes we’ve seen in how people find content on the internet, and the number of new popular URL shortening services that emerged in that time. This meant that we no longer accepted new URLs to shorten but that we would continue serving existing URLs.

Today, the time has come to turn off the serving portion of Google URL Shortener. Please read on below to understand more about how this will impact you if you’re using Google URL Shortener.

Any developers using links built with the Google URL Shortener in the form https://goo.gl/* will be impacted, and these URLs will no longer return a response after August 25th, 2025.

A lot things on the Internet are going to break next fall. I know people like using short URLs for social media, or to hide tracking parameters, but this yet another example of why they are a bad idea.

The New Overcast is Here

I was at a concert when I got access to the first beta of Overcast. I had barely any reception at the venue, but as soon as my wife and I got back to the car, I downloaded it and started playing with it.

That was ten years ago, and I’ve been using Overcast ever since. It pulls down new episodes faster than any other podcast player I’ve tried and Marco Arment’s audio work means shows that are poorly mixed can still sound great.

When he announced Overcast, Marco spoke about building his favorite app. He hoped that other people would consider it their favorite, as well, thanks to careful design decisions, unique features, and the magic touch that only an indie developer can bring to a project.

As the co-founder of a podcast network, I love all of this, but what takes the cake for me is Marco’s commitment to open RSS-based podcasting. There is a place for other things, but our little corner of the Internet is important to a lot of folks, and it should remain freely available for anyone who wants to join the podcasting world.

Today, Apple and Spotify are the giants in the industry, but I can tell you with confidence that plenty of people consider Overcast their favorite podcast client. For the majority of our shows on Relay, Overcast is at the top of the charts in terms of usage, and second place is usually way behind it.

Despite its popularity, there’s no denying that Overcast has grown stale in recent years, particularly in terms of the user interface. Listeners of Under the Radar will know that Marco has been working on rewriting Overcast for our modern era, and today, everyone gets to enjoy the fruits of that effort:

The New Overcast

The good news is this is still the Overcast we’ve come to know and love. The great news is that it’s better in almost every single way. Utilizing SwiftUI, the app looks and feels far more modern, yet it retains the personality that it had before, which is no small feat. Of course, the audio effects that Overcast brought to the market are still present, and while others have copied features like Smart Speed and Voice Boost, Overcast is still the best.

For this version, Marco has added some nice touches, including the ability to undo a large seek operation within an episode and improved playlist customization.

One huge change is the lack of streaming — Overcast is now download-only. Personally, I’ve been using Overcast this way for years, but for some, this will be an adjustment.

In his blog post about the release,1 Marco writes about this change:

Most big podcasts now use dynamic ad insertion, which causes bugs and problems for streaming playback. Downloading episodes completely before they begin playback is much more reliable.

Dynamic ad insertion (DAI) splices ads into each download, and no two downloads are guaranteed to have the same number or duration of ads. So, for example, if the first half of an episode downloads, then the download fails, and it downloads the second half with another request, the combined audio may jump forward or back at the halfway mark, losing or repeating content.

Tapping a non-downloading episode will now open the playback screen, download it, then start playback. It works similarly to the way streaming did before, but playback begins after the download completes, not after a portion of it is buffered.

On today’s fast networks, this usually only takes a few extra seconds.

Streaming may not be coming back, but there are a few missing features that will be returning in future releases, including Shortcuts support, OPML import support, and more. I don’t think any of the missing features are deal-breakers, but it’s good to know they are on Marco’s roadmap.

I’ve been lucky enough to be running a beta of this version of Overcast for a while now, and I have come to truly prefer it over the old one. The placement of some of the controls takes a little getting used to, but that’s due more to muscle memory than anything else. I do wish some of the interactions and user interface when dealing with show notes and audio settings were more consistent, but that’s pretty nitpick and overall, I have greatly enjoyed running this version of Overcast.

Updating an app that is a decade old is not an easy project, but it’s one that Marco has pulled off. Here’s to the next ten years together, Overcast.


  1. The guys talk about this update at length on today’s episode of ATP

Apple Updates the HomePod mini

I love my HomePod minis, and today there is a new one:

Today, Apple introduced HomePod mini in midnight, made with 100 percent recycled mesh fabric. At just 3.3 inches tall, HomePod mini offers big sound in an impressively compact design. With a seamless, acoustically transparent mesh exterior and a backlit touch surface that illuminates from edge to edge, HomePod mini is a stunning smart speaker that complements any space. HomePod mini in midnight is available starting Wednesday, July 17, and joins other bold colors, including yellow, orange, blue, and white.

A bunch of folks were left scratching their heads because they thought this was an existing color. Turns out, Midnight replaces Space Gray. Here’s a bit from a 2021 press release:

Apple today introduced HomePod mini in three bold new colors — yellow, orange, and blue — giving users more ways to express their personality and style in any space. At just 3.3 inches tall, HomePod mini offers a great music-listening experience, the intelligence of Siri, and smart home capabilities, with privacy and security built in. Its seamless integration across Apple’s products and services make HomePod mini the ultimate smart speaker for anyone with an Apple device. HomePod mini will be available in these new colors, along with white and space gray, with color-matched details throughout, including the tinted touch surface, mesh fabric, volume icons, and woven power cable, starting in November for just $99.

And from 2020:

Apple today unveiled HomePod mini, the newest addition to the HomePod family that delivers impressive sound, the intelligence of Siri to get things done, and a smart home experience that offers comfort and convenience without complexity. At just 3.3 inches tall, HomePod mini is packed with innovative technologies and advanced software that together enable computational audio to deliver breakthrough audio quality wherever it is placed. HomePod mini will be available in white and space gray at a great price of just $99.

This image shows the previous lineup on the left, and the new one on the right. I’m hard-pressed to see the differences between those two dark HomePod minis:

HomePod minis

I’m just glad the orange one has stuck around for so long.

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SpaceX Experiences Rare Falcon 9 Failure

Jay Peters, writing at The Verge:

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket experienced an engine failure after it launched late Thursday night from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The mission, Starlink Group 9-3, was carrying Starlink satellites and failed to reignite its upper second stage after developing a leak. “Upper stage restart to raise perigee resulted in an engine RUD for reasons currently unknown,” Elon Musk said overnight, confirming that the engine experienced a “rapid unscheduled disassembly.”

The Falcon 9 has proved to be a remarkably consistent launch vehicle in recent years, as Jeff Foust writes:

The incident is the first failure, partial or total, for a Falcon since a September 2016 pad explosion during a pre-flight test, destroying the rocket and its communications satellite payload. The last in-flight failure of a Falcon 9 was in June 2015, when the upper stage broke apart during the launch of a cargo Dragon spacecraft.

(I was present for the 2015 failure; it was a wild day.)

Until this failure is understood, the Falcon 9 is grounded, as Stephen Clark reports:

The Federal Aviation Administration, which licenses all commercial space launches in the United States, will require SpaceX to conduct a mishap investigation before resuming Falcon 9 flights.

“The FAA will be involved in every step of the investigation process and must approve SpaceX’s final report, including any corrective actions,” an FAA spokesperson said. “A return to flight is based on the FAA determining that any system, process, or procedure related to the mishap does not affect public safety.”

Two crew missions are supposed to launch on SpaceX’s human-rated Falcon 9 rocket in the next six weeks, but those launch dates are now in doubt.

Neo Network Utility →

The folks at DEVONtechnologies have a new free app out for Mac users, and it’s one that may seem familiar in some great ways:

You want to learn more about your Mac’s current network connection or test if a remote server is still alive or already swimming belly-up? Your connection to a server is slow and you want to find out more about what detours your data packages take on their way to their destination? Or you’re on the hotel Wi-Fi and plan to flip out on the poor network speed based on proper empirical data?

You could use the Terminal for all of this, of course, and type ping or traceroute. But there’s a more Mac-like way: Meet our new Neo Network Utility 1.0. It got you covered with a full range of networking tools for retrieving information about your network adapter and diagnosing common network problems. Netstat, Ping, Lookup, Traceroute, Whois, Finger, Port Scan, and Network Speed, they’re all here in a nice and clean user interface.