Apple to use self-driving vehicles for employee shuttles

Apple has signed a deal with Volkswagen to use Volkswagen vans as self-driving shuttles designed to transport employees around its various campuses and office buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area, reports The New York Times.

Apple has been working on developing the shuttle program, called “PAIL” or Palo Alto to Infinite Loop, since last summer. At the time news of Apple’s work on the program first surfaced, the company was said to be planning to install its own self-driving software in a commercial vehicle from an automaker, which has turned out to be Volkswagen.

I never expected Apple to do this. Despite rumors that the company’s program is having problems, Apple must be very confident about its self-driving technology.

Uber ends Arizona self-driving program

Uber Technologies Inc is not shuttering its entire autonomous vehicle program, a spokeswoman said, adding that it will focus on limited testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and two cities in California. It aims to resume self-driving operations this summer, likely with smaller routes and fewer cars.

I wonder if Uber was having trouble getting its license back after it was suspended by the governor of the state.

5 minute tip: Universal Audio’s dbx 160 Compressor/Limiter

In this video, learn how to add parallel compression to drums, even out a bass performance, and bring presence to acoustic guitars with the dbx 160 Compressor/Limiter.

This is one of my favorite plug-ins from UA. This video will show you why.

The Loop Bash: Free tickets now available

Join Jim Dalrymple, MacStadium, Pixelmator, and MacPaw for an incredible night of music from The Houserockers on the first night of WWDC.

The party is being held at The Ritz, San Jose’s top nightclub, which is just one block from WWDC, on Monday, June 4, 2018, from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am.

You must bring your RSVP to the venue in order to get entry into the party. You also must be 21 because we will be serving free beer and wine throughout the night. Other alcoholic beverages will be available to purchase at the venue.

Please arrive early. Having an RSVP does not guarantee entry into the event.

Many thanks to our sponsors, MacStadium, Pixelmator, and MacPaw for making this party a reality!

Go get your tickets!

Symbol Audio’s Modern Record Player

A 2018 NYCxDESIGN Awards Finalist, the Modern Record Player is sure to remind design-versed minds of Dieter Rams’ iconic Braun SK55, especially in its all-white iteration. Sharing a vented speaker front design with controls filtered of excess ornamentation, Symbol Audio’s modern day version houses a custom-built class AB amplifier powering custom-engineered speakers and crossovers, each developed in partnership with Morel, a company with a storied history of its own. The turntable itself offers an acrylic platter floating upon a three-phase isolation system engineered to prevent unwanted vibration.

I looked at this for a few minutes before deciding if I liked it or not. I do.

New vehicle icons for Google Maps on iOS

There’s now a new way to customize your drive on Google Maps for iOS. Depending on your mood, you can swap out the classic blue navigation arrow for a new icon—a stylish sedan, a timeless pickup truck, or a speedy SUV.

Okay, this isn’t the most productive feature in the world, but it’s cool.

The Obamas sign deal to produce shows on Netflix

Former President Barack Obama formally announced on Monday a multiyear production deal with Netflix in which he and the former first lady, Michelle Obama, will produce television shows and films for the streaming service.

And

Instead, a release from Netflix said the Obamas will produce “scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features” that highlight issues and themes the president pursued during his eight years in office.

It will be interesting to see how these shows evolve. I imagine they will be a very popular part of the Netflix catalog.

TeenSafe leaks user’s Apple ID passwords

The information in the exposed database included the email addresses of parents who used TeenSafe, the Apple ID email addresses of their children, and children’s device name and unique identifier. Plaintext passwords for the children’s Apple ID were also among the data set, despite claims on the company’s website that it uses encryption to protect customer data.

It’s incredible to me that companies allow this kind of stuff to happen. It’s inexcusable.

BBEdit, The Legendary Mac Text Editor Celebrating Twenty-Five Years

Thanks to Bare Bones Software for sponsoring The Loop this week. BBEdit is one of my most used apps over the last 25 years of my career. It was installed first on any new computer I had over the years because it was so crucial to all the work I did.

Back in the 90s, we built our Web sites from scratch, so we used BBEdit to hand-code everything we needed to get the site up-and-running. We didn’t have a CMS at the time, so BBEdit became the default app for actually posting stories as well. It was an all-purpose tool that became indispensable for us.

We didn’t just use BBEdit for building and maintaining the Website, we also used it as our default word processing tool. Every word written for the stories we posted was done in BBEdit.

Now, as BBEdit celebrates its 25th anniversary, I can still say I am a proud user. Congrats to the crew at Bare Bones Software and thanks for making such a great product.

Download BBEdit now and try it for free!

Twitter delays shutdown of legacy APIs by 3 months as it launches a replacement

Twitter is giving developers more time to adjust to its API platform overhaul, which has affected some apps‘ ability to continue operating in the same fashion. The company clarified this morning, along with news of the general availability of its Account Activity API, that it will be delaying the shutdown of some of its legacy APIs by three months’ time. That is, APIs originally slated for a June 19, 2018 shutdown – including Site Streams, User Streams, and legacy Direct Message Endpoints – will now be deprecated on Wednesday, August 16, 2018.

It’s sad that Twitter continues to treat developers so poorly.

Twitter’s new approach to handling trolls

Today, we use policies, human review processes, and machine learning to help us determine how Tweets are organized and presented in communal places like conversations and search. Now, we’re tackling issues of behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation in those areas by integrating new behavioral signals into how Tweets are presented. By using new tools to address this conduct from a behavioral perspective, we’re able to improve the health of the conversation, and everyone’s experience on Twitter, without waiting for people who use Twitter to report potential issues to us.

I’m glad to see Twitter taking some action on this issue—we’ll have to wait to see how it works out. It’s a shame that a small number of people can have such a huge affect on their experience on the platform.

Google Photos vs Apple Photos

Om Malik:

In my social circles — admittedly a very tech-centric community — it is hard to find anyone who has told me that they love Apple Photos. Usual refrain tends to be – “That’s a mess.” There are no magical aha moments. Photos are Apple and by extension, iPhone’s currency. And yet the software on iPhone and Macs resembles a two-legged dog dragging itself over the rocky ground. Yes, there is assurance that it is not feeding some giant ads-spewing web monster, but by Jove, it isn’t a fun experience, and not magical.

I have more thoughts on Apple Music than photos, but I use the music app much more. When it comes to photos, I use the app to basically store whatever pictures or screenshots I take—that’s it. Om’s comment that Apple Photos wasn’t “magical” rings true to me.

Apple’s Lisa Jackson wins Environmental Achievement Award

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is pleased to announce that it will present its 2018 Environmental Achievement Award to Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Apple’s Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, in recognition of her visionary leadership and outstanding environmental stewardship over a most distinguished career.

According to ELI’s President Scott Fulton, “Lisa has exemplified leadership, innovation, and commitment to sound science and rule of law at each step of her remarkable career. She has been a tireless champion for both sustainability and environmental justice, and has left an enduring mark on both the private sector and the public sector. Her work in greening Apple’s supply chain and in reducing the company’s carbon and natural resource footprint has been exceptional, reflecting the power and reach of business leadership in advancing environmental performance and stewardship.”

Apple’s environmental efforts are amazing.

BBEdit, The Legendary Mac Text Editor Celebrating Twenty-Five Years [Sponsor]

BBEdit is one of my most used apps over the last 25 years of my career. It was installed first on any new computer I had over the years because it was so crucial to all the work I did.

Back in the 90s, we built our Web sites from scratch, so we used BBEdit to hand-code everything we needed to get the site up-and-running. We didn’t have a CMS at the time, so BBEdit became the default app for actually posting stories as well. It was an all-purpose tool that became indispensable for us.

We didn’t just use BBEdit for building and maintaining the Website, we also used it as our default word processing tool. Every word written for the stories we posted was done in BBEdit.

Now, as BBEdit celebrates its 25th anniversary, I can still say I am a proud user. Congrats to the crew at Bare Bones Software and thanks for making such a great product.

Download BBEdit now and try it for free!

BBEdit, The Mac Text Editor for Coders and People Who Use Words

My thanks to Bare Bones Software for sponsoring The Loop this week. Do you sling code or compose with words? Whether you’re an app developer, web developer, systems admin or just want a powerful writing tool that stays out of your way, BBEdit is worth checking out.

BBEdit is crafted in response to the needs of writers, web authors, and software developers, providing an abundance of high-performance features for editing, searching, and the manipulation of text. An intelligent interface provides easy access to BBEdit’s best-of-class features, including grep pattern matching, search and replace across multiple files, project definition tools, function navigation and syntax coloring for numerous source code languages, code folding, FTP and SFTP open and save, AppleScript, Unix scripting support, text and code completion, and of course a set of robust HTML markup tools.

Download BBEdit now and try it for free!

The Dalrymple Report: iMac and Rock ‘n Roll with Dave Mark

Dave and I take a look at the the iMac’s introduction and what it meant for Apple, even today. We also talk about this year’s Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees and guitar players.

Subscribe to this podcast

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Drive.ai to launch self-driving ride hailing pilot

Silicon Valley self-driving startup Drive.ai said on Monday it will launch a pilot program for an autonomous ride-hailing service in July in Frisco, Texas, with safety drivers present.

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. I know that autonomous vehicles are here to stay and will become more prevalent in the coming years, but sometimes I think it may be too soon. That said, riding in an autonomous vehicle is probably safer than a human driver in a lot of ways. I think it would be fascinating to get in a car and just have it drive away.

BBEdit, The Mac Text Editor for Coders and People Who Use Words

My thanks to Bare Bones Software for sponsoring The Loop this week. Do you sling code or compose with words? Whether you’re an app developer, web developer, systems admin or just want a powerful writing tool that stays out of your way, BBEdit is worth checking out.

BBEdit is crafted in response to the needs of writers, web authors, and software developers, providing an abundance of high-performance features for editing, searching, and the manipulation of text. An intelligent interface provides easy access to BBEdit’s best-of-class features, including grep pattern matching, search and replace across multiple files, project definition tools, function navigation and syntax coloring for numerous source code languages, code folding, FTP and SFTP open and save, AppleScript, Unix scripting support, text and code completion, and of course a set of robust HTML markup tools.

Download BBEdit now and try it for free!

20 years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the iMac

It seems hard to believe that it was 20 years ago when Steve Jobs introduced the world to iMac. For me, that first iMac computer changed the history of what Apple was to become—one of the greatest, most innovative companies in ever. […]

Apple discontinues Texture’s Windows app

Texture, the magazine subscription service that Apple purchased back in March, plans to shut down its Windows app at the end of June. Users were informed of the discontinuation this week through emails and a note inside the app, which said that after June 30th, “this app will stop working and will no longer be available in the Microsoft Store.” Texture’s Android, Amazon Fire, and iOS apps will still be supported.

Makes sense.

Google: 13 ways you’re using AI in your daily life

AI often sounds like some far-off science fiction concept, but it’s actually behind a lot of things you encounter in your daily life. Here’s the rundown: we train a software system with lots of examples so that it can pick up on patterns.

Clearly, the examples in this post are using Google apps, but many of them can be used in the Apple ecosystem as well. It’s fascinating how many things we do that involve machine learning these days.

Apple acknowledges microphone issue with some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models

Apple has acknowledged a microphone issue affecting a limited number of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.3 or later.

In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple said affected customers may experience a grayed-out speaker button during phone calls. The issue may also prevent affected customers from being heard during phone calls or FaceTime video chats.

It’s always fascinating to me how these types of issue only affect a small number of users using a certain model. I’m not being sarcastic, it’s honestly an interesting phenomena.

Daylite, The Mac CRM for Small Businesses That Want To Grow

My thanks to Marketcircle for sponsoring The Loop this week. Want to grow your business but struggle to keep track of everything on your plate as it is? Are Apple Contacts, Calendar, Notes, and Email just not cutting it anymore? If this sounds like you, you’re feeling exactly how small businesses feel before they try Daylite.

Daylite is the Mac CRM built for small businesses on the Mac that want to grow. It integrates with the Mac and Apple Mail like no other CRM. Keep track of all your leads, projects, and customers so nothing slips through the cracks. New in Daylite are powerful integrations through Zapier so you can automate more and save even more time.

Want to grow your business without risking things slipping through the cracks?

Signup today for a free 30 day trial!

Mention you heard about Daylite on The Loop and get 10% off your first month subscription.

LEGO-compatible furniture

From furniture manufacturer MOOW comes the Stüda, a LEGO-compatible table designed by Italian firm Nine Associati. Offered in three different sizes, the storage units are surfaced not in LEGOs themselves, but in Corian that they’ve CNC-milled to provide the studs.

What a great idea!

Google Assistant works with 5,000 smart home devices, HomeKit about 200

Google this morning posted a story on its Keyword Blog that highlights the ongoing growth of its AI helper, Google Assistant. According to the company, the Assistant now works with “every major device brand” in the U.S., meaning that it can connect with more than 5,000 smart home devices, up from 1,500 in January.

And

For home automation, Apple’s solution is HomeKit and Siri. Although not an exact comparison due to potentially missing products, Apple’s website has a list of HomeKit-compatible smart home products that reaches to about 200 as of writing, with some yet to launch.

The number of devices the technology can connect with is definitely important, but a lot of people are also concerned about privacy. I don’t think there is any doubt that Apple values customer privacy more than any other technology company, but a lot of the success of home products will be determined by how much the consumer actually cares about privacy versus features.

Anti-surveillance coalition condemns proposals for device backdoors

The Reform Government Surveillance coalition, which includes several major tech companies who have teamed up to lobby for surveillance law reform, this week released a statement condemning recent proposals for backdoor access into electronic devices and reaffirming a commitment to strong encryption.

The coalition is made up of multiple tech companies who have taken a strong stance against weakening encryption, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Snap, Evernote, LinkedIn, Oath (owned by Verizon) and Facebook.

It’s great seeing some of these major companies uniting to help protect our privacy. It seems to me that it would be a long, hard road for a government to require backdoors on devices. We’ve seen this battle played out publicly in the past and I have no doubt we’ll see it again.