I don’t want to believe this is true about iCloud storage limits

John Gruber commented on Jason Snell’s post this morning lamenting on how he feels that Apple is a hardware and software company, and not a services company. Gruber said:

I think it’s even worse than that. I think Apple’s (Cook’s?) interest in increasing revenue from Services is keeping them from doing what’s right — increasing the base iCloud storage from 5 GB to something more reasonable.

I just don’t want to believe that Apple is keeping us at a minuscule 5 GB limit merely to increase services revenue. The problem is that we don’t seem to have any other reasonable explanation for the limitation. I have a 200 GB limit on my iCloud account that I pay for monthly, so I guess if that is the reason, it’s working.

We’ve been saying it for years now, but it’s time for a significant increase to the base iCloud storage.

Getting to know a legacy codebase

The other day, Brad dropped me a message asking me about the topic of getting to know a brand new (specifically CSS) codebase. The kind of codebase that no one person truly understands any more; the kind of codebase that’s had a dozen different contributors over just as many years; the kind of codebase that’s never had a full-scale refactor or overhaul, but that’s grown organically over time and changed with new techniques, styles, and trends.

I can’t even imagine what it must be like to jump into a codebase like that.

Reddit says hacker accessed some user data

Social media network Reddit said on Wednesday a hacker broke into a few of its systems and accessed some user data, including current email addresses and a 2007 database backup containing old encrypted passwords.

Reddit said they were notifying affected users. Christopher Slowe, Reddit’s founding engineer said the company recently hired its first head of security and noted that “So far he hasn’t quit.”


Apple reports best June quarter ever

Apple on Tuesday announced financial results for its fiscal third-quarter with revenue of $53.3 billion, an increase of 17 percent from the year-ago quarter. […]

Uber to stop developing self-driving trucks

Uber will stop developing self-driving trucks that have been hauling cargo on U.S. highways, the ride-hailing company said on Monday, seeking to focus its autonomous-vehicle technology solely on cars.

This seems a little strange to me. Uber made a huge investment in self-driving trucks, and like the article says, this seems to be a logical extension of the work it has done over the years with cars. I bet we’ll hear more about this in the coming weeks.

Juul and its House of Smoke and Horrors

Back in the day, when Silicon Valley was about silicon and technology, our industry elders used to wisely caution that Silicon Valley doesn’t invest in tobacco, alcohol, porn, and guns. Not anymore it seems. Thanks to an influx of new money and an increasingly porous definition of what is a Silicon Valley company, what was taboo once, is now a hot deal.

Om Malik has some tough words for everyone.

Charvel Pro-Mod series of guitars

I’ve said it before, but I love Charvel guitars. Some of my favorite players have used Charvel over the years and even though I have 26 guitars, I’ve never owned a Charvel. This is one I find really interesting. Look at the video on the bottom of the page and listen to how versatile this instrument can be.

Apple identifies and fixes thermal bug in new MacBook Pro

Last week a video appeared on the Web from David Lee showing how the new MacBook Pro would throttle down speeds when it got hot under processor loads. Apple told me that the issue Lee was experiencing has been identified and is being fixed today. […]

Order beer and water using Apple Business Chat at the Phillies game

Specifically, the concessionaire is testing the use of Apple Business Chat to allow iPhone-equipped fans in certain sections of the ballpark to order water and beer from their seats.


To order, a fan would first open the iPhone camera app and scan the QR code on the seat back. That will launch prompts on the iMessage text screen to place the order, which is then completed with Apple Pay. The drink will be delivered supposedly shortly after.

Okay, I like this a lot. I’ve been to San Jose Sharks games where they take your order at the seat and deliver the food, but it’s a hit a miss type of thing. This seems a lot more likely to be successful, and let’s face it, it’s really cool.

Apple’s new Apple Pay promotion

Use Apple Pay to get exclusive offers when shopping in apps or on the web July 19 – August 1.

There are eight retailers taking part in the promotion, but they are wide-ranging so there’s a little something for everyone.

Amazon sells 100 million products during Prime Day

On a day (and a half) with more than one million deals worldwide offered exclusively to Prime members, sales this Prime Day surpassed Cyber Monday, Black Friday and the previous Prime Day, when comparing 36-hour periods, making this once again the biggest shopping event in Amazon history. Prime members worldwide purchased more than 100 million products during this year’s Prime Day event. Best-sellers worldwide were the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Dot – making this, with 12-hour early access to device deals, the biggest event ever for Amazon devices.

That’s an incredible amount of products to sell in such a short period of time. I found the top products sold in each country very interesting, too.

Google hit with $5 billion antitrust fine

EU antitrust regulators hit Google with a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) fine on Wednesday and ordered it to stop using its Android mobile operating system to block rivals, a ruling which the U.S. tech company said it would … Continued

Building the Google Photos Web UI

A few years ago I had the privilege of being an engineer on the Google Photos team and part of the initial launch in 2015. A lot of people contributed to the product — designers, product managers, researchers, and countless engineers (across Android, iOS, Web, and the server) to name just some of the major roles. My responsibility was the web UI, and more specifically the photo grid.

Whether or not you use Google Photos, it’s fascinating to get an inside look at how it was built.

How Omni does release notes

Apple has asked developers to do better with release notes — and so we figured we’d write about our system, in case it’s helpful to other developers.

I’m sure this will be helpful to others.

I wish the App Store had a delete button on the Update tab

I really enjoy the new App Store, especially the Today tab, where I can read more in-depth stories about developers, apps, and even collections of apps that I may find interesting. I spend more time on the new App Store than I ever did before. However, I still have a bit of a problem—Updates. […]

Average lifespan of the parts of your house

While not an exact predictor, average lifespan is still a valuable piece of information. For example, let’s say you are buying an 20-year-old home with its original shingle roof, air conditioner, and water heater. If you look at the listing of expected lifespans below, you’ll see that all three of them would be either right at, or past, their average life expectancy.

I don’t know why I found this so fascinating, but I did. You just better hope that a few of these things don’t all fail in at the same time.

Ex-Apple employee pleads not guilty to theft of trade secrets

Federal officials on July 12 indicted Xiaolang Zhang on a single count of trade secret theft, alleging that Zhang had stolen a 25-page blueprint for a circuit board designed to be used in an autonomous vehicle, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

They caught him red-handed. I don’t know what kind of defense he could possibly use to get out of this.

Apple celebrates World Emoji Day

More than 70 new emoji characters are coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac later this year in a free software update. The new emoji designs, created based on approved characters in Unicode 11.0, include even more hair options to better represent people with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, and new smiley faces that bring more expression to Messages with a cold face, party face, pleading face and a face with hearts.

These are really great.

How J.D. Martinez uses iPads to improve his swing

Teammates have long stopped laughing at J.D. Martinez and his iPad.

Boston’s All-Star slugger is serious about every swing he takes, even in batting practice, and he has the tape to prove it. Get to the park early enough for Red Sox BP, and you’ll see a pair of iPads attached to tripods, one on each side of the batting cage. When the 30-year-old Martinez steps up, video coordinator Billy Broadbent will point a third iPad at the batter’s box — Martinez’s personal device, which he’s used to record his practice cuts since 2015.

This is an incredible use of technology for a major star.

Daylite: The Mac CRM for Growing Small Businesses [Sponsor]

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Mention you heard about Daylite on The Loop and get 50% off your first-month subscription.

WWDC18 video transcripts available

Take advantage of transcripts to quickly discover and share information presented in WWDC18 videos. You can search by keyword, see all instances where the keyword is mentioned in the video, go straight to the time it was mentioned, and even share a link to that specific time.

Such a great resource.

Ex-Apple employee charged with theft of trade secrets

U.S. authorities on Monday charged a former Apple Inc employee with theft of trade secrets, alleging that the person downloaded a secret blueprint related to a self-driving car to a personal laptop and later trying to flee the country, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

The complaint said that the former employee, Xiaolang Zhang, disclosed intentions to work for a Chinese self-driving car startup and booked a last-minute flight to China after downloading the plan for a circuit board for the self-driving car. Authorities arrested Zhang on July 7 at the San Jose airport after he passed through a security checkpoint.

“Apple takes confidentiality and the protection of our intellectual property very seriously,” Apple said in a statement. “We’re working with authorities on this matter and will do everything possible to make sure this individual and any other individuals involved are held accountable for their actions.”

I love that Apple is doing this. The company needs to be able to find the people leaking and stealing information, and prosecute them.

BBEdit, Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Text Editing on the Mac [Sponsor]

My thanks to Bare Bones Software for sponsoring The Loop this week. After 25 years, it’s good to know you can still rely on BBEdit to handle the heavy lifting that you need to get your job done.

BBEdit is crafted and continuously refined in response to meet the needs of writers, web authors, and software developers, providing an abundance of high-performance features for editing, searching, and manipulation of text. All in all, BBEdit is a powerful editor with an interface that stays out of your way, and well worth checking out.

To celebrate BBEdit’s 25th Anniversary, Bare Bones Software is creating commemorative apparel. Learn more!

BBEdit 12 is 64-bit ready. Download and try it today!

U.S. government sends letters to Apple, Google about data collection

The Energy and Commerce Committee today sent letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Larry Page to probe the companies’ representation of third-party access to consumer data, and the collection and use of audio recording data as well as location information via iPhone and Android devices.

I believe the government is going to find some major differences in how these two companies view data, the collection of it, and the privacy of its customers.

Twitter shares fall after suspending 70 million fake accounts

Shares of Twitter Inc fell 9 percent on Monday after a report said the social media company had suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, which could lead to a decline of monthly active users in the second quarter.

The slump wiped about $3 billion from the microblogging site’s market valuation, which had stood at about $35 billion on Friday. Twitter shares were last down 8.6 percent at $42.62.

A separate report over the weekend suggested that many of these accounts were dormant, so the response to Twitter deleting them makes no sense to me. Even if the primary measurement is “active accounts” deleting fake accounts should have no effect on the valuation of the company.

Eddie Van Halen announces the ’78 Eruption Replica guitars

On the cover of Van Halen’s 1978 eponymous debut album, Eddie Van Halen thrusts his black-and-white striped instrument towards the camera as if he’s showing you the future. He played this guitar on his unprecedented and mind-blowing instrumental track “Eruption”, hence its nickname, and almost immediately, this monumental instrument became a timeless icon, symbolic of a paradigm shift in guitar-driven rock and roll.

There are three different models of the guitar. One is limited to eight pieces, one 30 pieces and the last one 40 pieces. I want one of these so bad!