Jack Ma

Crocodile in the Yangtze

Jack Ma performs “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” at an Alibaba event.

Code Red


// HAPPENING TODAY

  • London’s first-ever Technology Week kicks off.
  • The Supreme Court didn’t rule on Aereo this morning. Next scheduled opportunity: Thursday, 10 am ET.

The Alibaba Nine

Alibaba on Monday answered one of the biggest questions that’s popped up since the Chinese e-commerce giant filed to go public last month. Who will serve as director in what is expected to be one of the largest IPOs in history? According to documents filed Monday with the SEC, Alibaba’s future board will include five executive members: founder Jack Ma, Executive Vice-Chairman Joseph Tsai, CEO Jonathan Lu and Masa Son, founder of SoftBank Corp, Alibaba’s biggest shareholder with a 34.3 percent stake. It will also include four independent directors: Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang; Chee Hwa Tung, the first chief executive of Hong Kong; former Goldman Sachs exec J. Michael Evans; and Motorola Solutions VP Walter Teh Ming Kwauk. Still unrevealed as of yet: whether Alibaba will list on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq, the company’s ticker, and the price and number of shares it proposes to list under it.


Apple After Jobs: It’s Like Steve Never Left

Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive: “Honestly, I don’t think anything’s changed. Steve established a set of values and he established preoccupations and tones that are completely enduring.”


Now He Just Has to Get 23andMe to Sequence It:

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Randy Komisar on Google’s acquisition of Nest: “I think Larry [Page] bought the Apple genome cheap.”


Point/Counterpoint: I Am Not a Dingo vs. Whatever You Say, Wallaby-Breath

FCC head Tom Wheeler: “I would like to state for the record that I am not a dingo.”

“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver: “That’s exactly the kind of thing a dingo would say if he didn’t want anyone to know he was a dingo.”


Dear Elon, Thanks for the Help. Sincerely, Big Auto.

Tesla’s opening of its patent portfolio last week has piqued the interest of some of the world’s largest car manufacturers. The Financial Times reports that Nissan and BMW are keen on working with Tesla to develop a universal vehicle-charging standard. Said one auto exec, “It is obviously clear that everyone would benefit if there was a far more simple way for everyone to charge their cars.”


London Mayor Not Going to Sweat Mildly Inaccurate Wikipedia Entry

Is the “right to be forgotten” simply a modest expansion of existing European data privacy rights or is it one of the biggest threats to free speech on the Internet we’ve seen in years? London Mayor Boris Johnson figures it’s likely the latter. “I am on the side of history, free speech, and people’s right to know what is going on in the world,” he said at the opening of London Tech Week this morning. “There are worse things in life than to have your Wikipedia entry mildly inaccurate, as mine is. The Internet is a wonderful thing. It allows us to know what is going on. I don’t want to see people effectively going through it to weed out the truth.”


Forthcoming Amazon Smartphone Could Maximize On-Toilet Purchases

Forrester analyst James McQuivey: “Mobile is asserting not just its utility but its supremacy. If you’re Amazon, you’re worried you’re going to be cut out of the next big interface. So you jump in and make yourself relevant, whether your customer is in the bathroom, the kitchen or the car. You go for broke.”


Carpe Zune

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: “You have to reach out and pick them up. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You know what you can do if you grab the wrong [opportunity]? Drop it and pick up another one. It’s okay. Seize the day.”


Vaunted Empire?

John Gruber, Daring Fireball: “When Cook succeeded Jobs, the question we all asked was more or less binary: Would Apple decline without Steve Jobs? What seems to have gone largely unconsidered is whether Apple would thrive with Cook at the helm, achieving things the company wasn’t able to do under the leadership of the autocratic and mercurial Jobs. Jobs was a great CEO for leading Apple to become big. But Cook is a great CEO for leading Apple now that it is big, to allow the company to take advantage of its size and success.”


Espresso, the Space-Age Drink

Chris Higgins, Wired: The ISSpresso was built by Italian coffee kings Lavazza in conjunction with Argotec and the Italian Space Agency. The machine, which weighs 20kg with all the additional safety mechanisms, will be accompanying Air Force Captain Samantha Cristoforetti — Italy’s first woman into space — in November this year.


Off Topic

PixelTrek and 100 ways to attack the groin.


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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