Chester Bennington, Linkin Park Singer, Is Dead at 41

Brian Elias, the chief of operations for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, confirmed the death and said it was being investigated as a possible suicide. Mr. Elias said that law enforcement authorities responded to a call shortly after 9 a.m. Pacific Time and were investigating a death in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County.

So sad.

Clips now features Disney and Pixar characters and new graphic overlays

Users can now add classic Disney and Pixar characters to their videos. Clips 1.1 features animated overlays of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck. The app also includes characters from Pixar’s Toy Story and Inside Out, so users can choose to star with Woody or Jessie, or show their emotions with Joy, Fear and others. To complement the collection of characters, new Disney-designed posters can be added to videos as playful title cards to help tell a story.

Clips is a great Apple video creation app. This is a very cool update.

Welcome to outer space view

Editor’s note: Starting today, you can now explore the International Space Station in Street View in Google Maps. Thomas Pesquet, Astronaut at the European Space Agency (ESA), spent six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as a flight engineer. He returned to Earth in June 2017, and in this post he tells us about what it’s like to live on the ISS and his experience capturing Street View imagery in zero gravity.

Damn, that’s cool.

Apple sends top privacy execs to Australia

Apple has sent its top privacy executives to Australia twice in the past month to lobby government officials over proposed new laws that would require companies to provide access to encrypted messages.

I’m glad to see that Apple is being proactive on this proposed legislation. I hope the government understands exactly what they’re asking tech companies to do and the consequences.

You should not force quit apps on iOS

John Gruber on forcing quitting apps to save battery:

The iOS system is designed so that none of the above justifications for force quitting are true. Apps in the background are effectively “frozen”, severely limiting what they can do in the background and freeing up the RAM they were using. iOS is really, really good at this. It is so good at this that unfreezing a frozen app takes up way less CPU (and energy) than relaunching an app that had been force quit. Not only does force quitting your apps not help, it actually hurts. Your battery life will be worse and it will take much longer to switch apps if you force quit apps in the background.

I see people doing this all the time, but they never believe me when I tell them it doesn’t do any good.

New Beats headphones are ugly

Apple partnered with Balmain for these new headphones. I’m guessing Jony Ive and the Apple design team must be on vacation.

Four Apple contractors accuse Qualcomm of antitrust violations

The accusations, made in a filing late Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, are counterclaims to a Qualcomm lawsuit filed in May seeking to force the contractors to pay Qualcomm license fees that Apple directed them to stop paying.

I mentioned a while ago that this was going to get very interesting—here you go.

Google Glass is back, but for the enterprise

Yes, that’s Google Glass on her frames. But she’s not using it to check her Facebook, dictate messages, or capture a no-hands video while riding a roller coaster. Erickson is a 30-year-old factory worker in rural Jackson, Minnesota. For her, Glass is not a hip way to hang apps in front of her eyeballs, but a tool—as much a tool as her power wrenches. It walks her through her shifts at Station 50 on the factory floor, where she builds motors for tractors.

Okay, I can see how it could make sense for some business markets.

Transmit 5

With one massive update we’ve brought everyone’s favorite file-transferring truck into the future with more speed, more servers, more features, more fixes, a better UI, and even Panic Sync. Everything from the core file transfer engine to the “Get Info” experience was rethought, overhauled, and improved.

I’ve been using Transmit for so many years, I can’t even remember how long it’s been. Great app.

Apple allows developers to assign Customer Support role

Now you can give the customer support experts in your organization the ability to respond to customer reviews on the App Store with the new Customer Support role in iTunes Connect. Users with the Admin or Customer Support role have the ability to respond to customer reviews.

Great idea.

Amazon poised to enter the meal kits market

Part of the problem has been the price, but with Amazon coming on the scene, that could change. The online retailer is known for offering low prices. Once the Whole Foods deal goes through, it’ll have a strong grocery backbone to plant a stake. Throw in a well-established logistics and delivery systems and Amazon is poised to be a real meal-kits player.

I don’t know how a company like Blue Apron can compete with Amazon. The article is right though, price has been a deterrent in making meal kits even more successful. With Amazon entering the market, that could be fixed very quickly.

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay

This is painful to watch. It’s even more painful to say that this is a typical experience for me using Siri.

EFF on Net Neutrality

“ISPs have incentives to shape Internet traffic and the FCC knows full well of instances where consumers have been harmed. AT&T blocked data sent by Apple’s FaceTime software, Comcast has interfered with Internet traffic generated by certain applications, and ISPs have rerouted users’ web searches to websites they didn’t request or expect,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz. “These are just some examples of ISPs controlling our Internet experience. Users pay them to connect to the Internet, not decide for them what they can see and do there.”

The FCC can’t seriously do this.

A History of Graphic Design Production

Up until just over 30 years ago, when the desktop computer debuted, the whole design production process would have been done primarily by hand, and with the aide of analog machines.

This is wonderful.

Update on the Department of Labor’s lawsuit against Google

But ultimately we reached an impasse when OFCCP demanded even more: employees’ compensation and other job information dating back 15 years, as well as extensive personal employee data and contact information for more than 25,000 employees. We were concerned that these requests went beyond the scope of what was relevant to this specific audit, and posed unnecessary risks to employees’ privacy. Despite our repeated efforts to resolve this impasse informally, OFCCP issued a complaint against us demanding access to the information and asserting we had no right to challenge their requests.

Respect for standing up for what they felt was right.

New Warren DeMartini and Jake E Lee Charvel guitars

Charvel continues its long-held partnerships with Warren DeMartini and Jake E Lee with the upcoming release of brand-new signature models. The Warren DeMartini USA Signature Frenchie and the Jake E Lee USA Signature Blue Burst will be unveiled this week at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Tenn., and available to consumers in October 2017.

Both of these guys are among my favorite players.

Australia proposes law to access encrypted data from tech firms

Australia on Friday proposed new laws to compel companies such as U.S. social media giant Facebook and device manufacturer Apple to provide security agencies access to encrypted messages.

They don’t seem to understand that you can’t just let them have access to the information. Once access is grant, security is weaker for everyone.

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SoundCloud is in deep trouble

But as security ominously filed into SoundCloud’s meeting rooms at its offices around the world during the all-hands video conference broadcast from its Berlin headquarters, the startup’s staff discovered they wouldn’t be getting the answers they wanted. Instead, sources at SoundCloud tell TechCrunch that founders Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss confessed the layoffs only saved the company enough money to have runway “until Q4” — which begins in just 50 days.

Under the current climate, I don’t see how SoundCloud can stay alive.

Postive Grid announces new amps, pedals

The BIAS Mini is a compact and portable size amplifier that comes in two versions, Guitar and Bass—each one specially designed to be the most versatile amplifier on the planet for the gigging musician.

And

The BIAS Twin Delay, Modulation, and Distortion pedals are Positive Grid’s new line of professional effects stompboxes designed for maximum tone versatility. All three pedals feature the same incredible tone of the award-winning BIAS Pro pedals in a compact 2-button pedal format.

I love Positive Grid’s software, but I haven’t tried their hardware gear yet. From what I’ve seen, it’s great sounding though.

Amazon to take on HomePod with next-gen Echo

Devindra Hardawar, writing for Engadget:

Amazon is working on a new Echo that will improve on the first speaker in practically every way, a source tells Engadget. And, not surprisingly, it’s aiming to take some of the hype away from Apple’s HomePod.

Massive iceberg breaks away from Antartica

Experts said a 5,800-square-kilometer (2,239-square-mile) section of Larsen C was confirmed to have broken away between Monday and Wednesday by NASA’s Aqua MODIS satellite.

Holy crap, that’s huge.

Verizon customer info leaked online

The security issue, uncovered by research from cybersecurity firm UpGuard, was caused by a misconfigured security setting on a cloud server due to “human error.”

The error made customer phone numbers, names, and some PIN codes publicly available online. PIN codes are used to confirm the identity of people who call for customer service.

Wow!

Fantastical 2.4 for Mac

Speaking of companies I respect, check out the new Fantastical for Mac. It’s just packed with great new features.

OmniGraffle 3 for iOS

Design, create, sketch, and diagram. An incredibly powerful app for both beginners and professionals.

There are very few companies I respect as much as The Omni Group.