The Greatest-Curators Edition Monday, June 3, 2019

The End Of The iTunes Era: The Life And Death Of Apple's Curator-in-chief, by Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times

Over his four decades at Rhino Records and Apple, Stewart left his mark as one of the greatest curators the music business had ever known, cataloging, packaging and recontextualizing forgotten and overlooked swaths of rock history, much as legendary anthropologists Harry Smith and Alan Lomax had done for folk and for blues.

His knowledge was so deep that former Apple Music colleague Brian Rochlin called him “unintentionally intimidating” when it came to discussing pop culture. “No matter how much you loved something,” Rochlin said, after talking to Gary, “you were going to find out that you knew a lot less than you thought you did.”

But on that April night, a life’s worth of obsession — the millions of facts, opinions, melodies and connections stored in his memory — vanished.

The Music Industry Expects A Windfall. Where Will The Money Go?, by Marc Hogan, PitchFork

According to the artists, managers, label executives, and industry observers I spoke with for this piece, streaming is transforming the music business in a way that should allow certain artists to keep a bigger share of the earnings from what they create. And yet, just as it’s been throughout the history of recorded music, most of the money will not go to artists. A few experts even admit that many musicians who might once have sustained modest yet viable careers may now have to give up on their dreams of making a living from their work. According to Daniel Glass, president and founder of Glassnote Records, the label that helped turn Phoenix, Mumford & Sons, and Childish Gambino into arena headliners, “There’s very little middle- and lower-class in recording. That world has dried up.”

Open Mike Eagle, who’s been a low-key fixture in the indie hip-hop world for more than a decade, tells me, “The streaming model is built for people who have millions of fans, not for people who have thousands of fans.” Mike says that when he began his career in the late 2000s, a healthy do-it-yourself culture helped him develop his skills below the radar: “There were enough musicians that you could link up with and tour with, and blow up that way.” No longer. “The DIY paths are the ones that are drying up the fastest,” he says.

Security Matters

Apple macOS Security Protections Can Easily Bypassed With ‘Synthetic’ Clicks, Researcher Finds, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

Wardle, who revealed the zero-day flaw at his conference Objective By The Sea in Monaco on Sunday, said the bug stems from an undocumented whitelist of approved macOS apps that are allowed to create synthetic clicks to prevent them from breaking.

Typically apps are signed with a digital certificate to prove that the app is genuine and hasn’t been tampered with. If the app has been modified to include malware, the certificate usually flags an error and the operating system won’t run the app. But a bug in Apple’s code meant that that macOS was only checking if a certificate exists and wasn’t properly verifying the authenticity of the whitelisted app.


Apple Gifts WWDC 2019 Attendees Swag Bag, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Because of the reversible design, one side of the jacket is a classic black with small WWDC branding on the chest. The other side is bright and filled with icons and drawings, reminiscent of the other WWDC artwork we’ve seen so far.

Ecobee Announces HomeKit Compatible 'SmartThermostat', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Smart home accessory maker Ecobee has today announced its new SmartThermostat, the successor to the popular ecobee4. The new SmartThermostat packs a sleek new design, HomeKit control, and more.


High-speed Thunderbolt Ports Are Getting Better -- But So Is USB, by Stephen Shankland, CNET

"We have a very robust team that continues Thunderbolt development," said Chris Walker, Intel's PC chip chief, in a recent press briefing.

Intel wouldn't say exactly how it hopes to improve Thunderbolt. Speed boosts are an obvious candidate, given Thunderbolt's usefulness in high-end computing.

But fundamentally, it's not clear Thunderbolt will have a new answer to its biggest question: with USB's ubiquity and increasing speeds, will Thunderbolt ever become a truly mainstream technology?

US Companies Help Censor The Internet In China, Too, by Tom Simonite, Wired

Chinese tech companies such as search engine Baidu and social media platform Tencent block Tiananmen-related posts and pages to comply with the country’s authoritarian internet rules. Some US companies do their bit, too. Apple and Microsoft censor information in China as a condition of accessing the country’s lucrative but circumscribed population of more than 800 million netizens.

For Microsoft, that means keeping content the government deems sensitive out of Bing search results and off of its business networking site LinkedIn. Apple polices its app store differently in China than in other parts of the world, at the government’s direction. The company has said that it removes VPN apps that could be used to bypass China’s so-called Great Firewall, which blocks access to many overseas sites. A tool launched in February by, which monitors Chinese censorship, indicates that anonymity tools and apps about Tibet and Falun Gong that are available in versions of the app store around the world do not appear in China’s.

Bottom of the Page

Happy Dub-Dub, everybody! Enjoy the keynote. I'll go to sleep now.


Thanks for reading.