California now requires a kill switch on all smartphones

A California bill requiring all smartphones sold in the state to have antitheft technology installed was today signed into law by California governor Jerry Brown. Introduced in February, the SB-962 Smartphones bill, which mandates a “kill switch” for cellular devices, was initially approved by the California State Assembly in early August and passed a final vote in the California Senate shortly after.

I’m in favor of this.

PlayStation network suffered denial of service attack

Sony said on its PlayStation blog that its PlayStation network had been taken down by a denial of service-style attack, which overwhelmed the system with traffic, but did not intrude onto the network or access any of its 53 million users’ information.

Declining requests to work for free

Unfortunately, there are designers who continue to do free work on the vague promise of “exposure,” “paying work later on,” and the client’s “rich friends” who will see your designs and “pay big fees” for your work.

The truth is, when you do free work, you have set your value and that client and his/her rich friends will also ask for free design work because you “did it for so-and-so.”

Nobody should be expected to work for free.

Drop — the iPad connected kitchen scale

Many thanks to our friends at The Blueprint for sponsoring The Loop’s RSS feed this week. The Blueprint is an online retail site for the next wave of connected devices and wearables. Check out the Blueprint today to discover beautifully designed products like Drop — the iPad connected kitchen scale. Drop is a smart scale that makes perfect baking easy with interactive recipes, smart substitutions, recipe rescaling, and more. Say goodbye to #BakingFail forever. With Drop, you’re on your way to creating one perfectly yummy masterpiece after another.

Pre-order Drop today for 20% off retail.

Drop-420

Epic rant

This guy goes off on an epic rant about how much the auto-tuned vocals and instruments are ruining today’s music.

America’s hermit

Knight thought for a bit, then asked when the Chernobyl nuclear-plant disaster occurred. He had long ago lost the habit of marking time in months or years; this was just a news event he happened to remember. The nuclear meltdown took place in 1986, the same year, Knight said, he went to live in the woods. He was 20 years old at the time, not long out of high school. He was now 47, a middle-aged man.

I doubt he is the last hermit roaming the woods of America.

Android’s Rectangle of Fragmentation

This graph shows the challenge that faces Android developers; over 18,000 distinct devices can immediately use their app, making optimization a real challenge. Compared to last year, fragmentation has risen by around 60%, with 11,868 devices seen last year compared to 18,796 this year. Compared to our first report, in 2012, device fragmentation has more than quadrupled – with our first report showing that there were ‘only’ 3,997 distinct Android devices. Another way of looking at how fragmentation affects developers is to see what % of the market is occupied by the top 10 devices – as developers generally only own a few devices to test on. Last year having the 10 most popular devices in the market would represent 21% of the devices out there, this year that number has fallen to 15% – making testing on a few devices less representative.

Some very interesting numbers from OpenSignal.

Amazon Fire Phone review

John Martellaro recently published his review of Amazon’s new phone and seems to like it. I haven’t even seen one of these in person, so I don’t have much to add either way.

Samsung has no couth

Samsung did the ALS ice bucket challenge today with its phone, pitting it against the competition. Stay classy Samsung.

Apple TV sells out after iTunes Festival London announcement

The Apple TV is showing up as ‘Unavailable for pickup’ at Apple Stores across the U.S., with multiple NY Apple Stores we called saying that in-store stocks had been exhausted by demand created by the promotion offering $25 iTunes credit with every purchase, along with that generated by the upcoming London iTunes festival as well as the recent Lollapalooza livestream.

iTunes Festival is incredible in so many ways for Apple and its customers. It looks like they may have underestimated demand this year though.

EBay considers spinning off Paypal

It’s really interesting that eBay and PayPal fit so well together, yet investors feel PayPal would do better without the eBay baggage.

Drop — the iPad connected kitchen scale [Sponsor]

The Blueprint is an online retail site for the next wave of connected devices and wearables. Check out the Blueprint today to discover beautifully designed products like Drop — the iPad connected kitchen scale. Drop is a smart scale that makes perfect baking easy with interactive recipes, smart substitutions, recipe rescaling, and more. Say goodbye to #BakingFail forever. With Drop, you’re on your way to creating one perfectly yummy masterpiece after another.

Pre-order Drop today for 20% off retail.

Drop-420

Tom Hanks’ typewriter app for iPad

Behold, Hanx Writer, created by Tom Hanks. Hanx Writer recreates the experience of a manual typewriter, but with the ease and speed of an iPad.

I must admit, this is a pretty cool app. It’s great when someone can take a passion, like a typewriter, and create an app. The @AppStore will have a live chat with Hanks this morning at 9 am PT.

ImaginMe: Brilliant iPad app idea

An interactive children’s story platform, that lets you create a 3D character of your child and make him/her the hero of every story.

Go watch the video—it’s brilliant!

Pure CSS parallax scrolling websites

This article demonstrates how to use CSS transforms, perspective and some scaling trickery to create a pure CSS parallax scrolling website.

Check out the demo.

Remembering Les Paul

Today marks five years since the passing of one of the world’s most unique innovators of all time, Les Paul.

Much respect Les.