Apple Addresses Spotify’s Claims

From Apple:

What Spotify is demanding is something very different. After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.

Spotify has every right to determine their own business model, but we feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we’ve built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes.

Yes, hello, authorities? I’d like to report a murder.

Daaaammmmmnnnnn.

Deathclaw Unchained

Fallout 76 "Deathclaw Maze"

From Destructoid:

Fallout 76 might be a mess, but there’s hope on the horizon with several big DLC drops and of course, a ton of user-created content.

That includes this newest video from YouTube user aswiftkickinthejunk, who created their own death maze to trap players in. The mad man lures people in like the Pied Piper with a wave emote, then swiftly locks them in to be mauled by his pet Deathclaw (which you can tame by way of an endgame skill). Naturally he gets to watch from above like Jigsaw and continues to emote/taunt them.

This is so good.

*goes off to build a deathtrap maze*


Fallout 76 – 100 Days, Roadmap For 2019

From Bethesda:

We’ve just passed 100 days since the launch of Fallout 76!

There’s nothing like the start of something new – for you and for us, and having millions of you join us on this new adventure is humbling for our studio. Thank you for sticking with us as we figure this online experience out together, and we do mean “together.”

To that end, we’re excited to announce some of the new free content we’ve been working on for Fallout 76 in 2019.

Thanks again for sticking with us. It’s a privilege to have such passionate and caring fans. We have big plans for 2019 and we’d love to hear your continued feedback on everything we’re doing. We hope you’ll keep sharing your thoughts with us on the forums, Reddit, in videos, and streams. Your voices push us to do better and your support has meant everything to us. We’ll do our best to earn it.

The Fallout series is one of my favorite game series of all time and Fallout 76 is really the only game I’ve been playing lately (sorry for neglecting you, Battlefield V), so I’m super-excited for the new content that’s coming.

The image at the top of this post is me in my C.A.M.P. 🙂

Here’s another one:

I play it on Xbox, and my gamertag is Dr Crankypants. Let’s play!

Sick and struggling in Coal Country

From Binghui Huang at The Morning Call:

The region is a study in contrasts. Cutting across mountains, waterfalls and lakes, it’s as flush with beauty as it is with coal. Houses peek out of the green, tree-lined valleys that spawned famous Americans such as writer John O’Hara, actor Jack Palance, musicians Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, and former Vice President Joe Biden. But violence and disaster also mark the rugged terrain — from the massacre of striking Lattimer miners and the hanging of alleged Molly Maguires in the late 1800s, to the tragic breach of the Knox Creek Mine in 1959.

The industry that once defined and supported the people living there has burned out. In its place are poverty, sickness and addiction.

This is the first article in an absolutely fantastic series of articles about the region of PA that I’m from and where we now live (we’re in Tamaqua, a neighboring town of Lansford, which is mentioned heavily in the article).

Things are really, really bleak for a lot of people out here in the sticks and it’s pretty sad.

Apple officially releases Smart Battery cases for iPhone XS/Max/XR with Qi charging support

From 9to5Mac:

Apple today has officially released Smart Battery cases for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. This comes after 9to5Mac discovered various pieces of evidence within iOS hinting at the existence of such cases.

The cases are priced at $129 for all three phones. Further, the iPhone XS/Max/XR Smart Battery cases are available in white and black.

You can get the cases here:

Apple says the iPhone XR has been its top-selling iPhone since launch

From Shara Tibken at CNET:

Apple’s iPhone XR has been outselling the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max every day since the cheaper, colorful phone hit the market last month.

Greg Joswiak, Apple vice president of product marketing, told CNET in an interview Wednesday that the device has “been our most popular iPhone each and every day since the day it became available.”

I can’t say I’m terribly surprised by this at all.

The iPhone XS Max is making me neglect my iPad

From Leif Johnson at Macworld:

I haven’t used my iPad Pro in days. In fact, I kind of forgot it existed, as last week I guiltily realized I’d buried my longtime daily writing companion under a pile of papers as though it were a random piece of trash.

But the guilt passed quickly. Within seconds my attention had already turned back to my new iPhone XS Max, a device that does many of the tasks my iPad Pro does more comfortably and efficiently. And I highly doubt I’m alone in that thinking.

While I hardly consider my iPad Pro “a random piece of trash” and still use it daily for work, I’m finding I use it a lot less when sitting on the couch and doing non-work related stuff than I did before I got the iPhone XS Max XR (ed. note: I swapped out the XS Max for a XR). Perhaps that’ll change if/when the new iPad Pros drop later this month.

iOS 12: The MacStories Review

From Federico Viticci at MacStories:

After years of unabated visual and functional changes, iOS 12 is Apple’s opportunity to regroup and reassess the foundation before the next big step – with one notable exception.

As with every year over the last few years, if you’re going to read an iOS review, make it Federico’s. The amount of time and detail he puts in every year is amazing and definitely worth the read.

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions

From the Daily Beast:

This was the man entrusted with creating a theft-proof system for one of America’s largest corporations. It was a thrill to protect the Monopoly promotion, and only a natural part of his job to consider the system’s fallibilities. But soon the temptation to steal had become irresistible.

This story is bananas.

Atlassian + Slack

From Slack:

Today Slack and Atlassian are taking even bigger steps to drive fundamental improvements to the experiences of hundreds of thousands of teams and millions of people around the world who use our products together every day. This partnership is about a joint vision of simplifying and automating the huge amount of effort that teams everywhere expend to stay aligned, coordinated, and productive.

I’m so happy about this. We switched from Slack to Hipchat about a year ago since we also use Jira and I’ve missed Slack ever since. After this news, we’ve already started the process of moving back to Slack. Woot.