// HAPPENING TODAY


Priceline CEO: Travelers Often Eat Food

Priceline is getting into the restaurant reservations business. The online travel booking site agreed on Friday to buy dining reservation site OpenTable. Price: $2.6 billion, cash. Priceline has been looking to extend its business beyond car rentals, hotels and air travel, and buying OpenTable, which brings some 15 million customers who book reservations across 31,000 restaurants a month, is a quick and easy way to do it. “It’s critical to understand our customers are the same — travelers are diners,” Priceline CEO Darren Huston said during a conference call this morning. Code/Red intends to point this out to his employers next time there’s a dispute about his expense report.


Patents? Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Patents.

Tesla founder Elon Musk, who says he will “open source” his patents, sort of: “In general, I think patents are a relative weakness for a company. It means they aren’t innovating, that they aren’t moving fast enough. … You want to be innovating so fast you invalidate your prior patents.”


What Do We Say to the Lord of Death, Facebook Product Specialist David Goldblatt?

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin recently offered fans the opportunity to “meet a grisly death” in his next novel for a $20,000 donation to the Wild Wolf Spirit sanctuary in New Mexico, and Facebook employee David Goldblatt paid up. Goldblatt, a product specialist, will meet an untimely end as a Valyrian.


Guy Who Designed Thing Says Thing Is Good

Robert Brunner, whose Ammunition Group designs all of Beats Electronics’ hardware but will be replaced by Apple’s in-house team: “Beats is the most successful wearable technology in [the] world. Getting people to wear something on the head is really difficult to do. We’ve been really successful through the design, marketing, and communication around this brand. There’s a lot there to be learned.”


Tesla Patent Giveaway Will Foster Innovation, Battery Sales

Stanford Law School professor Jacob Sherkow: “Even if other competitors copy Tesla’s design, Tesla still gets to sell them batteries, and that’s pretty awesome. Tesla’s decision isn’t entirely altruistic.”


You Think Bitcoin Is Volatile Now? Wait Until June 27 …

It has taken nearly six months, but the U.S. government has finally figured out what to do with the 30,000 bitcoins seized as part of the FBI’s crackdown last year on the Silk Road black market. It’s going to sell them at auction. In a notice published Thursday, the U.S. Marshals Service said it will auction off the coins, worth about $17.3 million at current exchange rates, on June 27. A milestone moment for the controversial cryptocurrency, as the government’s decision to auction the coins rather than destroy them does seem a de facto acknowledgement of bitcoin’s legitimacy. That said, selling off that much bitcoin in one fell swoop is almost certain to play havoc with bitcoin’s price — like what happened yesterday, when BTC tanked on the news.


Scott McNealy: Oh Goodness Me, Gone Are the Days of Yore

Sun Co-founder Scott McNealy: “In the old days it was, ‘Can you generate a return for shareholders?’ Now we have, ‘How do you feel about gun control, immigration, gay marriage, abortion, and big government?'”


Angela Ahrendts: This Apple Kool-Aid Is Absolutely Delicious

Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s new SVP of retail and online stores, doing her best to make you very, very sleepy: “Although technology is rapidly changing how customers shop, they will still want to feel surprised and delighted by the personalized Apple experience we provide at every turn. That’s what makes us unique. Keeping the customer experience as simple as any other Apple product will also be critical as we expand into new markets, integrate our platforms, and develop new technologies.”


Lowe’s Home Improvement, William Gibson Speaking. How May I Direct Your Call?

Lowes has hired science fiction writers and is telling them to create comic books that can eventually be turned into … something. First result: A “holoroom.”


Off Topic

“The Daily Show” on Google Glass.


Thanks for reading. Got a tip or a comment? Reach me at John@recode.net, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.



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