Mortgage Rate Update | July 11, 2024

Mortgage rates – Every Thursday Freddie Mac publishes interest rates based on a survey of mortgage lenders throughout the week. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as of July 11, 2024, were as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.89%, down from 6.95% last week. The 15-year fixed was 6.17%, down from 6.25% last week.

The graph below shows the trajectory of mortgage rates over the past year.

Freddie Mac was chartered by Congress in 1970 to keep money flowing to mortgage lenders in support of homeownership and rental housing. Their mandate is to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S.

From YouTube Shorts to Gemini AI and More! | Tech News

Never miss a beat in the world of tech! Check out what’s happening from across the web with our weekly tech news write-up. From YouTube Shorts to Gemini AI and more, we have the news you want to know below!

Tesla Delays Fully Autonomous Robotaxi Reveal

Tesla has postponed the unveiling of its fully autonomous robotaxi to October to allow more time for engineering and testing, Bloomberg reports. Originally scheduled for August 8th, the delay was communicated internally but has not been publicly announced. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has emphasized Tesla’s identity as an AI and robotics company over a traditional automaker, has long teased the robotaxi concept, envisioning revenue opportunities for Tesla owners through autonomous ride-hailing. Despite previous ambitious timelines, Tesla’s current Autopilot and Full Self-Driving systems still require active driver supervision. Meanwhile, competitors like Waymo are already operating fully autonomous robotaxis in several US cities. Tesla describes the upcoming robotaxi as “purpose built,” designed from the ground up for self-driving, often without traditional controls. For more details and updates, visit Tesla’s official website.

YouTube Introduces New Features for YouTube Shorts

YouTube has rolled out new features for YouTube Shorts, including text-to-speech narration and auto-generated captions, mimicking TikTok’s popular functionalities. The text-to-speech feature allows users to add an artificial voiceover by tapping the “add voice” icon, with four voices currently available. Auto-generated captions can now be added directly within Shorts, offering customizable fonts and colors. Additionally, YouTube has introduced Minecraft-themed effects, including a green screen background and a minigame called Minecraft Rush. These updates reflect the ongoing trend of video platforms adopting each other’s features, with YouTube’s strategy to enhance Shorts proving successful.

Google Enhances Robot Navigation and Task Completion with Gemini AI

Google is enhancing its robots’ navigation and task completion abilities using Gemini AI, specifically the Gemini 1.5 Pro model. According to a new research paper by the DeepMind robotics team, Gemini’s long context window allows RT-2 robots to understand natural language instructions better. By “watching” video tours of environments like homes or offices, the robots learn to execute commands, such as locating a power outlet for charging a phone. In tests, these robots achieved a 90 percent success rate across over 50 instructions within a 9,000-square-foot area. Gemini 1.5 Pro also enables the robots to plan tasks beyond navigation, such as checking for a favorite drink in the fridge. While processing instructions can take 10–30 seconds, these advancements suggest future robots could assist with everyday tasks like finding keys or wallets.

280 Earth’s Carbon Capture Technology Aims to Mitigate Data Center Emissions

Data centers significantly contribute to carbon emissions, exacerbated by the energy demands of training AI models. A startup, 280 Earth, spun out of Google’s X, proposes a solution by developing technology that captures carbon dioxide from the air, utilizes servers’ waste heat, and generates water for cooling. The company secured a $40 million agreement through the Frontier initiative, supported by Stripe, Alphabet, Meta, Shopify, and McKinsey, among others. 280 Earth’s continuous sorbent technology enhances efficiency, avoiding the energy losses of batch processing. Besides capturing CO2, it also extracts water vapor for cooling needs, addressing both emissions and resource consumption. While promising, these carbon capture technologies face challenges related to cost, scalability, and safety, and are not substitutes for reducing fossil fuel dependence.

SpaceX’s Starlink Mini Dish Now Available to All in the US

SpaceX’s new Starlink Mini dish, touted by Elon Musk as a world-changing innovation, is now available to anyone in the US. The compact internet-from-space kit integrates a dish and Wi-Fi router into a weatherproof, laptop-sized package that consumes less power than previous models and can be powered by a 100W USB-PD source. Initially offered only to current Residential subscribers, the Starlink Mini is now accessible to vanlifers and digital nomads. Priced at $599, it comes with two service options: Regional and Mini Roam. Both plans can be paused between uses.

Paramount Global and Skydance Media Merge in $28 Billion Deal

Paramount Global and Skydance Media have agreed to merge. The merger creates a new joint venture temporarily dubbed “New Paramount,” valued at approximately $28 billion. As part of the deal, Paramount Chair Shari Redstone will sell National Amusements for $2.4 billion. Likewise, Skydance will invest $8 billion to merge with Paramount, purchasing shares and addressing debt. This merger aims to fortify Paramount amid industry changes and sustain its success. Skydance founder David Ellison will become the new chairman and CEO of Paramount. Former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell will serve as president. The agreement, subject to closing conditions, is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2025.

Weekend Events | July 12 – July 14

Take a dive into all the fun happening locally in July. From boozy nights at the L.A. Zoo to movies in the park and more. Check out what’s happening in your neighborhood this July 12 through July 14, 2024.

Los Angeles Weekend Events | July 12 – July 14

Lotus Festival

When: July 13 – July 14

Where: Echo Park

What: Celebrate the anticipated bloom of Echo Park Lake’s cherished floating flowers at the annual Lotus Festival. Enjoy an array of food, music, dragon boat races, lantern launches, and—if we’re fortunate—the lotus flower beds in full bloom. This historic event honors the contributions of Asian-Americans to Los Angeles, and this year, the 43rd festival will celebrate the Filipino community.

 

Maestro of the Movies: The Music of John Williams and More

When: July 12 – July 14

Where: Hollywood Bowl

What: No one’s film credits rival those of John Williams: Star Wars, E.T., Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and countless others. David Newman will conduct the LA Phil as they perform some of Williams’ iconic film scores, accompanied by selected movie clips. Although Williams was initially scheduled to appear, the LA Phil announced that he will not conduct this year “due to a recent health concern, from which he is expected to make a full recovery.”

 

Roaring Nights at the L.A. Zoo

When: July 13 – September 14, 2024

Where: L.A. Zoo

What: Experience the zoo like never before at this special after-hours exploration series, returning for two nights featuring ’80s cover bands and a silent disco. Exclusively for guests 21 and over, you can explore the zoo at your leisure or gain insights from pop-up zookeeper talks and live animal encounters. Let loose at live performances by local bands and dance the night away at the carousel. Enjoy popular local food trucks and a full bar to keep the festivities lively.

 

Westside and Beach Communities Weekend Events | July 12 – July 14

Ever Present

When: July 13 – July 14

Where: The Getty Museum

What: Ride the tram to the Getty on select days for an innovative series of fleeting performances and listening sessions, formerly known as Friday Flights. In July, witness Joan Jonas’s 1960s performance piece, Mirror Piece I & II, with 15 dancers moving mirrors in synchronization at the museum’s tram arrival plaza.

 

Swirl Fest

When: July 13

Where: Venice

What: Skate around a pop-up track and ramp, and join a group paddle at this Venice event hosted by the inclusive, women-founded skate community GRLSWIRL. Alongside surf and surfskate competitions, enjoy music and DJ sets under the iconic Venice sign.

 

Poolside Cinema at the Fairmont Miramar

When: Until September 1

Where: Fairmont Miramar | Santa Monica

What: Every Sunday during the summer at sunset, both hotel guests and visitors at the Fairmont Miramar can enjoy a movie by the luxurious pool. The Hulu-curated schedule features a mix of nostalgic favorites and recent releases. Food and drinks can be purchased from the FIG Restaurant menu, and while seating is free for hotel guests, visitors need a reservation. Tickets cost about $60 with tax, tip, and fees, but include a $45 food and drink credit plus complimentary popcorn.

 

San Fernando Valley Weekend Events | July 12 – July 14

Outlaws N Rangers | Rope N’ Run

When: July 13

Where: Gibson Ranch

What: Join Outlaws N Rangers for Rope N’ Run at Gibson Ranch on July 13th, 2024, from 6:30-9:30 PM. Enjoy a day inspired by the Old West, featuring food, live country music, barrel racing, and team roping demonstrations. The event includes free drinks from Good Sunday, Easy Rider Beer, and Seaborn Cocktails, a taco dinner, and thrilling performances.

 

Valley Vibes Market

When: July 14

Where: Autry Museum of the American West

What: Elevate your shopping experience at Valley Vibes Market, hosted at the Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park. Explore over 60 vendors showcasing unique and handcrafted goods perfect for every taste and style.

 

Court&Core

When: July 14

Where: Club Osa | 18122 Erwin Street

What: Attendees can elevate their game and style at the exclusive Tennis & Pilates Experience. They will enjoy expert-led clinics, dynamic Pilates sessions, refreshing drinks, and the opportunity to shop the latest in high-end sportswear. It promises to be a day of athletic excellence and luxury.

 

Conejo Valley Weekend Events | July 12 – July 14 

 

Camarillo Old Town Heritage Days Midsummer Block Party

When: July 12, 4pm – 10pm

Where: Old Town, Camarillo

What: The Camarillo Old Town Heritage Days Midsummer Block Party is happening from July 10 to 14, 2024, with free admission. Enjoy carnival rides, food trucks, live music, local craft vendors, live art, a beer and wine zone, a car show on Saturday, and more. Event hours are 4-9 PM on Wednesday and Thursday, 4-10 PM on Friday, 10 AM-10 PM on Saturday, and 10 AM-8 PM on Sunday.

 

Movies in the Park in Moorpark – Shrek

When: July 13, 7pm – 9pm

Where: 4550 Tierra Rejada Rd, Moorpark

What: The City of Moorpark presents Movies in the Park at Arroyo Vista Community Park, located at 4550 Tierra Rejada Road. Movies start at dusk, with gates opening an hour earlier. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and enjoy the film. Vendors will be available, or you can bring your own snacks. No animals are allowed, except for service animals. Admission is free.

 

Music Under the Stars at the Olivas Adobe Ventura

When: July 13, 7:30pm – 9:30pm

Where: 4200 Olivas Park Drive, Ventura

What: The City of Ventura Cultural Affairs Division presents the popular Music Under the Stars series on Saturday nights from July 13 to August 31, 2024, at the historic Olivas Adobe, 4200 Olivas Park Drive. Enjoy dining, dancing, and great performances from 7:30 to 9:30 PM, with gates opening at 6:30 PM. Bring your own dinner or purchase from a gourmet food truck, and enjoy full beverage service on site. 

West LA Hidden Gems | Out & About

West LA is a mixed residential and commercial district between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. The area is especially known for its abundance of Japanese restaurants and stores, with ramen shops, sushi joints, karaoke spots, and shops filled with kawaii, kitsch, and traditional goods. Nearby attractions include The Getty, Beverly Gardens Park, the Playboy Mansion, Rodeo Drive Walk of Style, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology. If you’re looking for somewhere a bit different from the norm, West LA and its surroundings have plenty of hidden gems, too. Step away from the tried-and-trodden trail and explore these lesser-known jewels around West LA:

The Wende Museum

Located in nearby Culver City, the free-to-enter Wende Museum houses art and artifacts related to the Cold War era. If you’ve ever wanted to see a wooden statuette of Lenin, a paint-splattered Lenin bust, household effects from East Germany, diplomatic gifts, and evidence of communist propaganda, this is the place to come. The museum offers an interesting peek into the past as it works to promote change.

Spadena House

Located in Beverly Hills, Spadena House is a creepy sight. Also known as the Witch’s House, the storybook house was deliberately designed to look run down, eerie, abandoned, and whimsical. In the work of a Hollywood art director, the unusual dwelling features an uneven pointy roof, tiny shuttered windows, and a wild garden. You can’t go inside as it’s now a private residence, but it’s well worth a photo stop to ogle the curious exterior.

UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden

Sitting in the southeast of UCLA’s campus, the peaceful Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden stretches across more than 7 lovely acres. Escape the city buzz and stroll through this tranquil West LA garden to reconnect with nature. Divided into several distinct zones, the botanical garden features an ancient forest, woodlands, a stream, and a desert garden and showcases flora native to California, Hawaii, and other regions.

Hammer Museum

Also housed within UCLA’s grounds, the Hammer Museum is a top spot for art lovers. Collections include works from artists typically overlooked in the past and hip pieces from contemporary creatives. There’s no charge to browse the diverse exhibits. The museum also operates the interesting Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, which contains dozens of thought-provoking sculptures in diverse artistic styles.

UCLA Meteorite Gallery

Another offbeat attraction on UCLA’s campus, the Meteorite Gallery, boasts the biggest collection of space rocks on the West Coast. Educational and free to visit, the gallery has all kinds of meteorites discovered from all around the globe. Some rocks are even older than the solar system!

The Fowler Museum

Also operated by UCLA, the Fowler Museum showcases art and cultural artifacts from across Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific region. You can view exhibits from times gone by as well as those from the present day, with pieces such as Guatemalan clothing, Day of the Dead figures, Inuit art, Ghanaian textiles, a Nigerian beaded throne, Tanzanian urban arts, Indonesian sculptures, Chinese puppets, and Maori cloaks. The museum offers free admission.

Virginia Robinson Gardens

You’ll find the elegant Virginia Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills. A great place for nature lowers, the lush botanical gardens surround one of the area’s first luxury estates. The mansion itself is especially photogenic, with a striking pool pavilion, organized gardens, and a wealth of flora to enhance its beauty. From the Rose Garden and Italian Terrace Garden to the Great Lawn and Kitchen Garden, the site offers plenty of natural diversity. Note: Visitors must pre-arrange docent-led tours.

As well as the above eight attractions, other hidden gems in and around West LA include:

  • Holmby Park, once a popular celebrity hangout in the past, with play areas, BBQs, and picnic areas
  • Greystone Mansion, an impressive and imposing historic estate in Beverly Hills
  • Mosaic Tile House, a bright, whimsical mosaic-adorned home from the 1940s, located in Venice
  • Museum of Tolerance, where you can examine global racism and prejudice, is situated close to Beverlywood
  • Beverly Canon Gardens, home to water features, public gardens, and elegant walkways

Top Luxury Cocktail Bars | LA Eats

Besides being one of the best places to invest in residential properties and live, Southern California also has some of the best cocktail bars in all of California. The following is a compilation of several fancy cocktail bars and restaurants around the area where you can have a good time with friends, family, or colleagues.

1. Dante BH

Dante, a beloved New York City institution, will now have a presence on the top floor of the Maybourne Beverly Hills. Opening on July 4, the new location will provide stunning views of the city and Hollywood Hills, along with its renowned aperitivo-style cocktails and a fresh Italian-Mediterranean menu. The extensive drink list features signature drinks such as the Garibaldi and a variety of Negronis, spritzes, and martinis while also embracing California’s cocktail culture with mezcal and tequila-based drinks. Additionally, guests can enjoy a daily $10 martini hour from 3 to 5 p.m.

2. Thunderbolt, DTLA

The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars Around Town

Thunderbolt offers Georgia peaches and the finest barbeques in all of Echo Park.

3. Death and Co., DTLA, Arts District

The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars Around Town

This bar has been listed as one of North America’s Best Bars, serving the most finely made cocktail with quality spirits and fresh ingredients. You will need a reservation to enjoy the fine drinks offered in this location.

4. The Spare Room, Hollywood

The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars Around Town

Launched in 2011 and located inside the charming Roosevelt hotel, this bar is famous for its classics and tiki-style cocktails, which come highly recommended by its regulars.

5. Little Bar, Mid-Wilshire

This bar is one of the best locations to wind down with a group of friends and enjoy heartfelt banter over the variety of liquor and cocktails.

6. Employees Only, West Hollywood

Featuring a sleek interior, this bar offers impressive classic cocktails and is best known for its unique espresso martini. This cool spot is also renowned as the outdoor hub for some of L.A.’s coolest up-and-coming chefs and pop-ups.

7. The Rendition Room, Beverly Hills

A nice atmosphere to catch a beer with friends at the end of a long day and try the Bloody Mary or the Spicy Mule cocktails.

8. The Lincoln, Santa Monica

They offer a variety of hand-crafted cocktails like the Picante Passion, Moscow Mule, and Whiskey Sour in an intimate and ambient atmosphere.

9. The Famous, Glendale

This hippy bar serves up a variety of cocktails, such as the Whiskey Sour, Moscow Mule, and Cherry Lime Rickey, meant to be sipped and savored after a long day of work or over a happy hour meeting.

10. Residuals Tavern, Studio City

The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars Around Town

With immaculately attired staff, this bar serves classic cocktails and several other drinks, such as craft beer and wine.

11. The Sherman, Sherman Oaks

This restaurant and bar offers a variety of foods and features craft cocktails that you will enjoy.

12. The Tipsy Cow, Sherman Oaks

The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars Around Town

This bar also offers craft cocktails and a selection of thirty-two draft beers, which you and your friends ought to love on a chilled evening.

13. VenTiki Lounge, Ventura

Enjoy a variety of modern Tiki drinks and select traditional drinks such as Mai Tai.

14. Herzog Wine Cellars, Thousand Oaks

The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars Around Town

This spot is easily one of the best places to hang with your colleagues after work over great wine and delicious food.

15. Oak and Iron, Thousand Oaks

You can enjoy various handmade crafted drinks like Daiquiri, Penicillin, and the gorgeous strawberry fields.

16. Alamo Bar and Grill, Newbury Park

The Best Luxury Cocktail Bars Around Town

Enjoy the variety of Mexican foods, such as salsa and the wide array of wine and fancy cocktails.

Summer Home Maintenance Projects | Home Tips

Summer is the ideal time to tackle home maintenance projects that can enhance your home’s beauty, safety, and efficiency. The warm weather provides optimal conditions for outdoor work, making it easier to complete tasks that might be difficult during other seasons. Here are some essential summer home maintenance projects to consider, including painting the exterior, sealing windows and doors, and checking the roof for damage.

Painting the Exterior

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint improves its curb appeal and provides a protective layer against the elements. Summer’s dry and warm weather is perfect for exterior painting and home maintenance. Here’s how to get started:

  • Preparation: Begin by thoroughly cleaning the exterior surfaces. Use a power washer to remove dirt, mold, and mildew. Scrape off any peeling or flaking paint and sand the surface smooth.

  • Repair: Inspect the exterior for any damage, such as cracks or holes. Fill these with caulk or wood filler and sand them once they’re dry. Repair any damaged siding or trim.
  • Priming and Painting: Apply a high-quality primer to ensure the paint adheres well and lasts longer. Once the primer is dry, apply two coats of exterior paint in your chosen color. Use weather-resistant paint to protect your home from UV rays, rain, and temperature changes.

Sealing Windows and Doors

Sealing windows and doors is crucial in improving your home’s energy efficiency. Proper sealing prevents cool air from escaping during summer and warm air from leaking out during winter, reducing your energy bills. Here’s what home maintenance to do:

  • Inspection: Check for drafts around windows and doors. On a windy day, hold a lit candle near the edges to see if the flame flickers. Look for visible gaps or cracks.

  • Weatherstripping: Replace old or worn weatherstripping around doors and windows. There are various types available, including adhesive-backed foam tape, V-strip, and door sweeps. Choose the type that best fits your needs.
  • Caulking: Use exterior-grade caulk to seal gaps and cracks around window and door frames. Apply a continuous bead of caulk along the edges and smooth it out with a caulk smoothing tool or your finger.

Checking the Roof for Damage

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Summer is an excellent time to inspect and repair any damage to ensure it remains in good condition. Here’s a home maintenance checklist for your roof inspection:

  • Visual Inspection: Start with a visual inspection from the ground. Look for missing, curled, or damaged shingles. Check for any sagging areas or signs of moss and algae growth.
  • Up-Close Inspection: If you’re comfortable doing so, climb onto the roof for a closer look. Pay special attention to areas around chimneys, vents, and skylights. Look for any cracks or damage to the flashing.

  • Gutter Maintenance: Clean out your gutters to prevent water damage. Remove leaves, twigs, and debris, and ensure the downspouts are clear. Check for any loose or damaged gutter sections and repair as needed.
  • Professional Help: If you spot significant damage or are unsure about the condition of your roof, hire a professional roofer for a thorough inspection and necessary repairs.

By tackling these home maintenance projects during the summer, you can ensure your home remains in excellent condition, protecting your investment and enhancing your living environment. With a bit of effort and the right approach, you’ll keep your home looking great and functioning efficiently all year round.

Economic Update | Week Ending July 6, 2024

U.S. employers added 206,000 jobs in June – The Department of Labor and Statistics reported that 206,000 new jobs were added in June, exceeding the 190,000 new jobs expected by economists. That marked the 42nd consecutive month of job growth. The unemployment rate rose to 4.1% in June, up from 4% in May. Although that is a historically low unemployment rate, it is the highest reading in almost three years. It is still above the Fed target, but investors feel that after two years of high interest rates, the job market is showing signs of coming into balance; however, there are still more job openings than workers to fill those jobs. Average hourly wages increased 3.9% year-over-year in June, down from 4.1% in May. That matched the 3.9% year-over-year increase in April, which was the smallest gain since 2021. Experts are now overwhelmingly predicting a Fed rate cut in September. It is widely felt that rate cuts will continue into 2025 as inflation continues to cool and the Fed moves to a less restrictive policy.

Stock markets – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 39,375.87, up 0.1% from 39,118.36 last week. It is up 4.4% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 5,567.19, up 2% from 5,460.48 last week. The S&P is up 16.7% year-to-date. The Nasdaq closed the week at 18,352.67, up 3.5% from 17,732.60 last week. It is up 22.3% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 4.28%, down from 4.36% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 4.47% down from 4.51% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields.

Mortgage rates – Every Thursday Freddie Mac publishes interest rates based on a survey of mortgage lenders throughout the week. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as of July 3, 2024, were as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.95%, down from 6.86% last week. The 15-year fixed was 6.25%, up from 6.16% last week.

The graph below shows the trend of mortgage rates over the past year.

From LG Acquisitions to Mastadon Moves and More! | Tech News

Your weekly tech news round-up has arrived just in time for 4th of July weekend! From LG acquisitions to Mastadon moves and more, we have you covered. Check out what’s happening in the world of tech from across the web!

Proton Docs Launches: A Privacy-Focused Alternative to Google Docs

Proton Docs, launching today as part of Proton Drive, is a privacy-focused alternative to Google Docs, featuring a similar interface with white pages, a formatting toolbar, and live collaboration indicators. It joins Proton’s suite of privacy-centric tools, including email, calendar, file storage, and password management, following the acquisition of Standard Notes. Proton Docs offers rich text editing, real-time collaboration, and multimedia support, all with end-to-end encryption. Currently web-only and desktop-optimized, it aims to expand to other platforms. With a strong commitment to user privacy, Proton hopes to attract users concerned about data security and privacy.

LG Acquires Stake in Athom to Enhance Smart Home Ecosystem

LG has acquired an 80 percent stake in Dutch company Athom, known for its Homey smart home platform, with plans to acquire the remaining 20 percent within three years. This move aims to expand LG’s smart home ecosystem and better compete with Samsung’s SmartThings platform. Athom’s Homey platform, which supports devices from brands like Sonos, Ikea, and Philips Hue, will be integrated into LG’s ThinQ smart home platform, allowing control of ThinQ-enabled LG appliances. Athom will continue to operate independently, and its founders will remain as executives. The deal, estimated at around $61 million, enables LG to incorporate third-party devices and gain insights into customer usage patterns, though how this aligns with Homey’s privacy-first approach remains to be seen.

DJI Enters E-Bike Market with Advanced Avinox Drive System and Amflow Brand

DJI, renowned for its drones, is launching its first electric bike, the Amflow PL. The bike features the new Avinox drive system and Amflow brand. This carbon fiber e-mountain bike boasts a mid-drive motor with 120Nm of max torque. In addition, it includes 1000W boost power, and a removable 800Wh battery that fast-charges to 75% in 1.5 hours. Weighing just 19.2kg, it includes a two-inch OLED touchscreen, an app for wireless access and alerts, four pedal-assist modes, and a full suspension system. Priced between €7,000 and €12,000, the Amflow PL aims to rival premium brands like Bosch and Specialized and will be available from Q4 through authorized dealers in several countries.

Apple Appoints Phil Schiller to OpenAI’s Nonprofit Board

Apple has selected App Store chief Phil Schiller to join OpenAI’s nonprofit board as an observer. The move allows Schiller to attend meetings without voting rights. This move is part of Apple’s strategy to integrate ChatGPT into iOS and macOS. Likewise, doing so enhances Siri’s capabilities with advanced AI queries. While no financial transactions are currently involved, Apple may earn a share of future ChatGPT subscriptions made through its platforms. Schiller’s appointment follows Microsoft’s similar observer position on the board, potentially complicating discussions with both tech giants. Notably, it’s uncommon for Apple executives to join partner company boards.

Mastodon Adds Author Bylines for Enhanced Article Attribution

Mastodon has introduced author bylines for articles that link directly to authors’ fediverse accounts. This feature allows readers to follow authors’ work across various platforms. The bylines can link to profiles on Mastodon, Threads, Flipboard, and more, using a new OpenGraph tag. Mastodon aims to expand this feature to more outlets through manual review and eventually a self-serve system. This enhancement provides a seamless track of authors’ work across multiple platforms.

Weekend Events | July 4th Edition

It’s July 4th weekend and sparks are flying with this week’s round-up of events! From parades to fireworks shows, and more, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday weekend ahead. Read on for our favorite happenings this Independence Day weekend!

Los Angeles Weekend Events | July 4th Edition

KCRW Summer Nights

When: Until September 21

Where: Exposition Park

What: Everyone’s favorite NPR member station, KCRW, is hosting a series of summer concerts at various public plazas and beloved museums. This summer’s schedule is packed with familiar KCRW DJs and local buzz bands providing free, open-air music on select nights through September. Venues include Union Station, CAAM, Descanso Gardens, Bowers Museum, Century Park, the Autry, KCRW’s Santa Monica headquarters, and the lively party-till-midnight bashes at Chinatown Central Plaza. Enjoy a diverse lineup of live music in beautiful settings across the city.

Cinespia Cemetery Screenings

When: Until August 24 

Where: Hollywood Forever Cemetary

What: Summer in L.A. officially kicks off when the first cemetery screening at Hollywood Forever attracts throngs of movie enthusiasts. They come prepared with folding chairs, picnic blankets, lavish snack spreads, and plenty of drinks. This Fourth of July, Cinespia is showcasing “Rocky” with a fireworks finale, followed by screenings of “Charlie’s Angels” and “Shrek 2” over the next two evenings.

Fourth of July Block Party

When: July 4th 

Where: Grand Park | DTLA

What: If you’re on the hunt for a cheap, lively way to celebrate Uncle Sam, shake it over to Grand Park, and watch Downtown L.A. light up for free—though this time around, the park has swapped out fireworks for 800 drones. This Fourth of July, Grand Park hosts a unique block party, featuring scrumptious food truck fare and two stages of live music.

 

Westside & Beach Communities Weekend Events | July 4th Edition 

July 4th Fireworks in Marina del Rey

When: July 4

Where: Marina Del Rey

What: There’s something magical about watching fireworks over the ocean. Every year in Marina del Rey, fireworks illuminate the marina channel, drawing spectators to various vantage points: Burton Chace Park, Fisherman’s Village, Marina “Mother’s” Beach, waterfront hotels, restaurants, and boats. The show begins at 9 PM and lasts for about 20 minutes. Be sure to arrive early to secure parking in the area’s county lots.

Off the 405

When: Until August 24

Where: The Getty

What: Hilltop sunset views and emerging bands make this Getty tradition a must-visit for Angelenos from both sides of the 405. This year’s lineup of free Saturday night shows includes Hailu Mergia (June 1), Slauson Malone 1 (June 15), Helado Negro (July 20), Julia Holter (July 27), and Woods (August 24). Tip: To avoid traffic and crowds, arrive early, preferably after 3pm when the parking fee drops to $15 (or $10 if you wait until the show starts). This way, you can explore the exhibits, which remain open until 8pm on Saturdays, and avoid the dinner rush.

Pacific Palisades Fourth of July Parade

When: July 4

Where: Pacific Palisades

What: If you’re looking for a lively and budget-friendly way to celebrate the Fourth of July, head over to Grand Park. This year, instead of fireworks, the park will be lit up by a spectacular display of 800 drones. Grand Park’s block party will feature delicious food truck offerings and two stages of live music, making it a unique and exciting way to honor Uncle Sam.

San Fernando Valley Weekend Events | July 4th Edition

Burbank 4th of July Fireworks Display

When: July 4th 

Where: Burbank

What: Burbank’s Starlight Bowl is hosting a full evening of Fourth of July festivities, kicking off with performances by Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mac tribute bands. The night culminates with a fireworks show around 9 PM. If the music isn’t your thing but you still want to catch the fireworks, consider heading to Castaway across the canyon. It usually offers fireworks seating and stunning views of the Valley.

4th of July Celebration at Universal Studios Hollywood

When: July 4th

Where: Universal City

What: The iconic movie studio and theme park will host a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks show, synchronized to Universal-themed music and patriotic tunes. While we await the full details for 2024, previous years have featured additional holiday touches such as themed décor and a fife and drum band. You can catch the 9 PM fireworks from two main locations: the Universal Plaza in the upper lot and near the Transformers ride in the lower lot. If you’re considering watching from CityWalk, be aware that visibility from the shopping district will be limited or nonexistent.

Movies on the Roof

When: Until July 27

Where: Sherman Oaks

What: Enjoy an open-air film series atop Westfield Fashion Square’s parking garage. Over the Fourth of July weekend, you can catch a screening of Top Gun on Saturday.

 

Conejo Valley Weekend Events | July 4th Edition


Westlake Village 4th of July Parade and Party in the Park

When: July 4th, 9:30am – 11:30am
Where:
Lakeview Canyon Road and Agoura Road, Westlake

What: Join the City of Westlake Village for a festive 4th of July Parade! Participants are encouraged to decorate their bikes, scooters, skateboards, or wagons in patriotic colors and be part of this wonderful celebration. Residents are also welcome to cheer on the parade from the sidelines.

Rock & Country Jam & Fireworks Celebration in Simi Valley

When: July 4th | 3:00pm – 9:30pm

Where: 5005 E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley

What: Celebrate the Fourth of July with the Star-Spangled Rock & Country Jam and Fireworks Celebration. Enjoy live music, food and craft vendors, a silent auction, and beer and wine. Kids can have fun in the free kids’ zone, courtesy of Adventist Health Simi Valley. The festivities culminate in a spectacular fireworks display at 9 PM, synchronized to music on 99.1 The Ranch. Don’t miss this exciting community event!

City of Thousand Oaks Annual Fireworks Display

When: July 4th | 9:00pm – 9:30pm

Where: Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

What: Experience the 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, coordinated by the Conejo Recreation and Park District, The City of Thousand Oaks, and other local sponsors. Enjoy a fantastic view of the fireworks from Janss Marketplace, The Oaks Mall parking lots, and the surrounding areas. Patriotic music will be simulcast by KHAY 100.7 FM to enhance your experience.

The Best 4th of July Spots | L.A. Eats

The 4th of July is getting closer and while the traditional way to celebrate usually involves lakeside picnics, backyard cookouts, and firework displays, those who are city-bound for the holidays are starting to think of celebrating differently this year. Because of this, we have compiled a list of the best places to have dinner on the 4th of July while maintaining the essence of our traditional Independence Day celebration. So, if you want to avoid large crowds, a smoking grill, and lots of noise, read on to find out what restaurants will be open and happy to welcome you on the 4th of July.

1. Blue Plate Oysterette

Location: 1355 Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica, CA

Celebrating the 4th of July is all about the birth of a great nation, and there’s no better way to do so than by selecting a place with a menu as varied and American as the Blue Plate Oysterette’s. From their delicious New England clam chowder to Maine lobster and a fantastically seasoned grilled chicken, nothing represents American food better than this breezy restaurant does.

2. BOA Steakhouse at Luckman Plaza

Location: 9200 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, CA

With a delicious combination of truly American delicacies, ranging from delicious steaks to seafood and even burgers, the impressive outdoor patio of BOA Steakhouse is sure to provide the break you need from the crowds and noise that can usually interfere with your 4th of July celebration, so kick back, have a drink and enjoy the best food on this side of town.

3. The Castaway

Location: 1250 E. Harvard Rd. in Burbank, CA

Featuring specialty steaks and a wonderful menu filled with truly American choices, this wonderful steakhouse also offers magnificent views of the San Fernando Valley, so, with a bit of luck, you may even catch a fireworks display as you celebrate the 4th of July in style. To make your night complete, the menu also offers gluten-free options for those who require them.

4. Gwen

Location: 6600 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA

This culinary haven established by Chef Curtis Stone as a tribute to his grandmother offers some of the most incredible American-style entrees you can find in Los Angeles to celebrate the 4th of July. From deliciously grilled pork chops to bone-in rib-eye steaks, this butcher shop and restaurant are a meat lover’s paradise.

5. Eureka!

12101 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Hawthorne, CA

Located only 20 minutes away from Los Angeles in the Hawthorne Municipal Airport, Eureka! Offers a more traditional cuisine to help you celebrate the 4th of July. With a wonderful selection of gourmet burgers that are made with a combination of all-natural beef and some very intriguing toppings, the menu also features a nice list of options for those who are looking for something a bit different, including blackened salmon Caesar salad. To top it all off, the restaurant also offers a good selection of craft beers, whiskeys and California wines.