// HAPPENING TODAY
- eBay reports second-quarter earnings.
- The Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on the future of the online video marketplace.
I Guess 2014 Won’t Be Like 1984, Either
Thirty years after casting IBM in the role of Big Brother in its “1984” Mac ad, Apple has entered into an incongruous alliance with the company. Why is Apple embracing its old nemesis, and why now? CEO Tim Cook told Re/code that pairing IBM’s enterprise credibility with Apple’s consumer-facing mobile device acumen creates an unmatched combination. Here’s his rationale: “The way to think about this is that there are a lot of killer consumer apps out there. … But they were built from a mobile point of view from the ground up. And so they didn’t have the legacy of having been built for the desktop ever. A lot of the enterprise stuff started out from the desktop and then migrated to mobile. It’s not optimized for mobility. … By and large, I think we’ve transformed the life of consumers, but I wouldn’t say we’ve transformed the enterprise. We’ve transformed it some. But the truth is that in order to do that in a big way you need to have the industry expertise of each of the industry verticals, and IBM has that in spades. We don’t have that. … Together we deliver a product to the enterprise that neither of us could deliver on our own, and that we don’t think any pair of or combination of many companies can do. This is a watershed partnership. It really is profound.”
Alternate Title: “Tim Draper: The Case for I Am an Idiot”
Tim Draper: The Case for 6 Californias. Hard as it may be to believe, Draper has collected the necessary number of signatures to qualify this thing for the 2016 ballot.
Samsung Totally Talking to SmartThings
Samsung has not yet acquired home automation startup SmartThings, as TechCrunch first reported, though evidently it has every intention of doing so. Sources in position to know say the two companies are indeed discussing an acquisition at a price that jibes roughly with the $200 million reported by TechCrunch. But the deal, which is a logical one for Samsung as it faces off against Apple and Google in the Internet of Things space, is not yet done.
Careful, BlackBerry. You Spin That Any Harder and Your Head Will Fly Off.
The announcement of the Apple-IBM partnership doesn’t bode well for dilapidated smartphone pioneer BlackBerry and its big plans for a turnaround. The company’s shares are trading down more than five percent today as its investors choke down the news of Apple devices being sold into enterprise by IBM’s sales force and digest the implications for BlackBerry’s position in government and corporate markets. But if John Chen and the rest of BlackBerry’s leadership are up in Waterloo doing full-bottle Mylanta shooters right now, they’re not letting on. According to BlackBerry, the Apple-IBM deal does nothing more than validate the market’s need for BlackBerry. “The news that Apple is partnering with IBM to expand into the enterprise mobility market only underscores the ongoing need for secure end-to-end enterprise mobility solutions like those BlackBerry has delivered for years,” the company said in a statement. “Enterprises should think twice about relying on any solution built on the foundation of a consumer technology that lacks the proven security benefits that BlackBerry has always delivered.”
Comcast On-Hold Music: “Sympathy for the Devil”
The Awl’s John Herrman on the Comcast rep from hell: “If you understand this call as a desperate interaction between two people, rather than a business transaction between a customer and a company, the pain is mutual. The customer service rep is trapped in an impossible position, in which any cancellation, even one he can’t control, will reflect poorly on his performance.”
Get the Google+ Name of Your Dreams. No Rush.
You can use a pseudonym on Google+ now. Google on Tuesday ended its long and unpopular policy of requiring a real name to register for an account on its sad little social network, a move it says is intended to make “Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be.” Quite a reversal given the company’s three years of harping on identity and accountability. It wasn’t so long ago that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was talking about weeding out “people who do really, really evil and wrong things on the Internet” with a Google+-based identity rank. “We want people to stand for something, we want people to be willing to express themselves,” he said at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International TV Festival. “The Internet would be better if we had an accurate notion that you were a real person.”
Man’s Head Gets Too Large for Google Glass
Google Glass wearer Jonathan Gottfried: “If you imagine what a day in the life of a celebrity is like, it kind of felt like that, just because you have this crazy device on your face. I stopped wearing them because I got a little bit tired of always being stopped on the street.”
Secrets of iWatch Forecasting — Revealed!
John Moltz: “Now, it might seem ridiculous to try to predict how many of a thing we know nothing about will sell, but it’s simple, really. You just take the total number of watches ever sold ever, take the cosine (always take the cosine … take it AND RUN AND NEVER STOP RUNNING), adjust for inflation, apply the least squares method (because only squares wear smartwatches) and then — and this is the part people always forget — take back one kadam to honor the Hebrew God, whose iWatch this is.”
Point/Counterpoint: Duh vs. D’oh vs. Dopes
Reddit’s DarthLurker: “I’m calling shenanigans — FCC Comments for Net Neutrality drop from 700,000 to 200,000.”
Esquire report citing Reddit: “The FCC somehow lost a half-million public comments on a petition they were mandated to create.”
FCC spokesperson Mark Wigfield: “No comments have been lost.”
Crossword Puzzle No. 1 (site not suitable for those with an aversion to creative profanity).