Code/red: An Alibaba IPO Filing Forecast and a Clinkle Question
// HAPPENING TODAY
- At long last, closing arguments in the Apple v. Samsung case.
- IBM shareholders will do their best to stay awake through the company’s annual meeting in Jacksonville, Fla.
- Amazon is unveiling a new Wearables page.
- eBay reports earnings.
- The Cable Show kicks into gear amid the planned Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, the Comcast-Charter deal and the continuing shitstorm that is net neutrality.
- Investors will take Twitter on a trip to the woodshed if the company’s user numbers don’t meet expectations.
- Iconic television & radio blowhard Larry King will muddle through a Reddit AMA at 3:30 PM GMT. Let’s hope he can hack the hive mind.
What’s Holding Up the Alibaba IPO Filing? The 40 Thieves?
Last Monday Alibaba was expected to file a prospectus for what market monomaniacs are pumping as the largest U.S. IPO since Facebook’s. But it didn’t, and the sources that had floated that April 21 date haven’t stepped forward to offer another one. This is supposed to be China’s big Internet moment, right? When’s it finally going to happen? Sources tell Code/red that the filing is not likely to come until this week’s end at the earliest and could push to next week even.
Pin This, You Oversharing Twit
John Oliver on Pinterest users: “They are the worst people. ‘Oh look, I’ve found this gopher bedspread! I’d love that.’ Shut up. Shut up.”
Apple Improved a Product and Dropped Its Price? What Bizarre Alternate Reality Is This?
As expected, Apple refreshed its MacBook Air line today with new machines featuring faster chips, improved battery life and a new $899 starting price. What does this mean for the mythical HD MacBook Air with Retina display that’s rumored to be debuting at WWDC 2014?
Another Indignant Blog Post, I’d Imagine
RadiumOne CEO Bill Lonergan on fired CEO Gurbaksh Chahal: “We cannot know for certain what Gurbaksh will do.”
Frotify for Framilies
Remember that Sprint-Spotify partnership we told you about a few weeks back? The companies announced it this morning, and it’s pretty much as expected. Sprint’s offering a free six-month Spotify Premium subscription to all new and existing customers on its Framily group discount plan and a discounted price on the service if they opt to keep it.
Have You Given “Microphone” Any Thought?
Microsoft is now officially the proud owner of Nokia’s handset division, but the company still doesn’t know what to call it. Asked about Redmond’s plans for its mobile brand, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, now head of Microsoft’s devices group, said the company is still puzzling them out. “Microsoft Mobile Oy is a legal construct that was created to facilitate the merger,” Elop said. “It is not a brand that will be seen by consumers. The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is under way to select the go-forward smartphone brand.”
“To Kill a Mockingbird” E-Book to Include Author-Approved Nanodust
Harper Lee on the forthcoming e-book release of “To Kill a Mockingbird”:
“I’m still old fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries.”
Weev’s Hedge Fund Strategy: Shoot the Weak, Short the Wounded
What would you do after serving 13 months in federal prison for data and identity theft? If you’re legendary hacker and troll Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, you start a hedge fund built around the same skill set that landed you in the clink in the first place, and you name it TRO LLC. Here’s the pitch from the man himself via an interview with CNBC: “The underlying theme is generating financial intelligence from the computer underground and Internet communities. … Our primary strategy is to identify a company that has liabilities that no one knows about yet … take a leverage position in put options on their stock, and then [release] information on those outstanding liabilities to the public.”
Meanwhile, You Made Significantly Less
This Is Just Begging for a Spy vs. Spy-style Comic Strip
Looks like Microsoft is trying to out-black-ops Google X. Sources tell Mary Jo Foley that Redmond has created a new Special Projects Group within Microsoft Research and tasked it with developing “disruptive technologies that could benefit the company and society.”
Good Job Sticking It to the Man, Steve
Steve Albini, legendary rock producer and author of “The Problem with Music“: “The single best thing that has happened in my lifetime in music, after punk rock, is being able to share music, globally for free. … On balance, the things that have happened because of the Internet have been tremendously good for bands and audiences, but really bad for businesses that are not part of that network, the people who are siphoning money out.”
Clinkle? That’s the Sound of Executives Dropping Off Their Keys on the Way Out.
How soon before former PayPal executive Mike Liberatore leaves Clinkle, the stealth payments startup that’s hemorrhaging executives like Dan Ackroyd’s exsanguinating Julia Child? The company has lost a big name COO, a VP of engineering and a design chief in the last five months alone. Why is CFO Liberatore, who has also done stints at eBay and Adobe, sticking around this carnival sideshow? What does he see in Clinkle that Netflix veterans Barry McCarthy and Andy Rendich and former Twitter design guru Josh Brewer didn’t?
Netflix Unveils New “Eat Own Words Instantly” Interconnect Deal Plan
New Nokia CEO Evidently a Glutton for Punishment
Nokia kicked off a new era Tuesday, naming Rajeev Suri, the man who painfully turned around the company’s Solutions and Networks business, as CEO. The most daunting task facing him: Finding a source of future growth. Perhaps he’ll simply buy it through a takeover or merger.
Robin, Warm Up the Bat Sarcasmatron While I Write Jeff Bezos
Legendary comic-book author Gerry Conway: “What has it been, less than a month since Jeff Bezos bought the most promising tool for renewing the mass distribution of comics in the digital era? I’ll give the man this: he’s moved faster to undermine an existing technology for the benefit of his own company than General Motors did when it sabotaged Los Angeles’s public transit Red Line for the benefit of the bus fleet they wanted to sell the City of Angels. Job well done, Jeff.”
Funny, Facebook’s Handlers Say the Same Thing About Mark Zuckerberg
Twitter COO Ali Rowghani: “Dick [Costolo] really is thinking five years ahead.”