// HAPPENING TODAY
- More NewFronts! Today’s expected highlight: Vice and its frontman, Shane Smith.
- German chancellor and NSA surveillance target Angela Merkel is meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. Wonder if privacy issues will come up.
- Jury deliberations in Apple vs. Samsung continue.
- Angela Ahrendts finishes up a short first week at Apple as its new senior VP of retail and online stores.
You Can Start Writing Those “But Where’s Apple’s Next Big Thing?” Posts Right Now
If you’ve been anticipating the debut of some new category-defining hardware at Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, a word of advice: Dial back your expectations or be disappointed. Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell Code/red that Tim Cook will not use WWDC to unveil Apple’s mythical wearable device. Nor will he use it to show off a new Apple TV, or even preview the new software the company is developing for it. Which makes perfect sense, really. There’s little point in Apple unveiling a new OS in advance of a significant hardware update. As 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman reported Thursday, the big announcements at this year’s WWDC are going to be OS X 10.10 and iOS 8 and, perhaps, the rumored Healthbook app, Apple’s coming foray into health and fitness tracking.
Huh, What a Funny Coincidence
Speaking of Apple’s coming foray into health and fitness tracking … it’s clearly been the topic of some discussion over at Samsung. The company sent save-the-dates to members of the press Thursday evening inviting them to an event that seems intended to preempt any health-related announcements Apple might make at WWDC. To be held in San Francisco on May 28, just days before WWDC, the event promises to kick off “a new conversation around health.” Wonder if it will kick off a new round of lawsuits as well.
Alibaba IPO Filing Near End of 1001 Night Countdown
The week’s nearly over and Alibaba still hasn’t filed its IPO papers. Code/red on Tuesday reported that the Chinese e-commerce giant might push the filing of its prospectus into next week, and that’s exactly what it has done. Sources tell me to expect papers on Monday or Tuesday. (Caveat: “If all goes well.”)
You Joke, Dmitry, but Elon Musk Is Probably Already Working on It
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin: “After analysing the sanctions against our space industry I suggest the US delivers its astronauts to the ISS [international space station] with a trampoline.”
BASIC Programmers Never Die, They GOSUB and Don’t RETURN
Thomas E. Kurtz, co-inventor of BASIC, which turns 50 this month: “We wanted the syntax of the language to consist of common words, and to have those words have a more-or-less obvious meaning. It is a slight stretch, but isn’t it simpler to use HELLO and GOODBYE in place of LOGON and LOGOFF?”
Better Idea: Back Bitcoin With Magic The Gathering Cards
Rand Paul has a solution for bitcoin’s volatility and viability problems: Make it a true monetary instrument; back it with something else of “real” value. “If I were setting it up, I’d make it exchangeable for stock,” the Kentucky senator and likely 2016 presidential candidate told Fortune. “And then it’d have real value. And I’d have it pegged, and I’d have a basket of 10 big retailers. … I think it would work, but I think, because I’m sort of a believer in currency having value, if you’re going to create a currency, have it backed up.”
A Lot. And Those Things Were So Ugly, They Made My Eyes Hurt.
J.Crew CEO and Apple director Mickey Drexler: “I’ll never forget when [Steve] showed us the iPod and said, ‘How many do you think I can sell?.’ We all guessed around the table and he said, ‘I think you’re all really wrong. Do you know how many Walkmen sold in the 1970s over a period of five years?’ I’ll never forget that. That’s exactly how you do it. You look for data that connects the dots and makes you figure out the next one.”
Bad Secret Troll of the Day
I’ll Tell You What’s “Perverse and Unjust” — Your Roaming Charges
Verizon is pretty unhappy with the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to prevent it from gorging itself at next year’s auction of wireless spectrum. In a filing with the FCC Thursday, Verizon said it’s silly for the agency to limit its spectrum bidding simply because it’s a dominant carrier. “It would be perverse and unjust for the commission to adopt auction rules that subsidize some large multinational companies at the expense of their competitors,” Verizon said, referring to Sprint parent SoftBank and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom. “T-Mobile and Sprint are large corporations with established, well-financed corporate parents. They and their parent corporations are more than capable of paying substantial amounts to acquire spectrum in the incentive auction if they choose to do so.”
Objection, Your Honor. The Children Are Actually Told Not to Hop on Pop.
UPI: “Librarians at the Toronto Public Library were asked to remove copies of Dr. Seuss’ 1963 children’s book ‘Hop on Pop’ from the establishment’s collection because it allegedly promotes violence. … The book ‘encourages children to use violence against their fathers,’ according to the complaint.”
And I Nearly Had a Nervous Breakdown When I Saw “WarGames”
A major cyber terrorist attack against our critical infrastructure is inevitable, and when it finally occurs we’ll have “Live Free or Die Hard” to blame. This according to renowned security expert Eugene Kaspersky, who says the preposterous Bruce Willis action film is a groaning board of good ideas for bad guys. “When I was watching the movie, I had to stop 20 minutes in,” Kaspersky told The Guardian. “It was a shock for me. I was keeping silent on cyberterrorism outside of government and thanks to Hollywood they gave out all these ideas — they opened Pandora’s Box for Stuxnet — so I said, what the fuck is going on, what the hell are you talking about? After 20 minutes I had to get a glass of whiskey and a cigarette. … The next day after seeing Die Hard 4, I came to the office and said ‘guys, now we’re free to talk about cyberterrorism to anyone.'” Yippee-ki-yay mo–.
You Can’t Fool Big Data With Blousy Clothes and Virgin Cocktails
Princeton University professor Janet Vertesi on hiding her pregnancy from big data: “It was so much work. I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was. It was extremely impractical and very inconvenient, which revealed to me how convenient everyone has made the process of tracking. The notion that, it’s so inconvenient to not be tracked, why would you do it?”
But Would You Please Stop Introducing Me as the Guy Who Fetches Larry Ellison’s Loose Balls
The Wall Street Journal: “The Oracle chief has had basketball courts on at least two of his yachts, said Tom Ehman, who handles America’s Cup matters for Mr. Ellison. He said Mr. Ellison liked to relax by shooting hoops on these courts, and has had someone in a powerboat following the yacht to retrieve balls that go overboard.”
Fifty amateur swordsmen versus three Olympic fencing masters and, in case you missed it, What Is a Photocopier?