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General


// HAPPENING TODAY

  • IBM and Google report earnings.
  • Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference concludes.

Alibaba IPO: See You in September?

Looks like Alibaba’s eagerly anticipated IPO will require further eager anticipation from prospective investors. The company is not going to go public in early August as some had speculated. Now it’s thinking September. Sources in position to know say that Alibaba won’t price until sometime after Labor Day. There’s simply far too much to get done in the remaining two weeks before Wall Street heads off on vacation.


And Don’t Forget to Take Your “Welcome to Microsoft” Gift Bags With You

Brutal. Microsoft is indeed undertaking layoffs and they’re not the surgical cuts sources had been hinting at but bone-saw amputations that will claim the livelihoods of some 18,000 employees. That’s more than triple the 5,800 it sacked during the 2009 econalypse. Microsoft is “moving now” to jettison 13,000 workers, most of them from Nokia’s Devices and Services division, which it recently acquired for $7 billion. Said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, “The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce.”


And Here’s a Free Parting Gift From Bill Gates

Bill Gates: The publisher of my favorite business book is giving away a chapter. Download it for free: http://b-gat.es/1oVRzSn


Guess That Thrown Office Chair Was the Tip of the Iceberg

FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives: “While the cuts will be painful for employees, they were necessary, in our view, and speak to Nadella’s attempt at cleaning up part of the mess that former CEO Steve Ballmer left behind in Redmond.”


Aereo: No Plan C, Either

CNBC: U.S. copyright officials have told Aereo that they do not consider it a “cable company” under the terms of copyright law.


School Officials Confiscate Airbnb Logo From Boy’s Locker

Khoi Vinh, vice president of user experience at Wildcard, on Airbnb’s new “Bélo” logo: “The mark looks like an abstraction of ALL the private parts.”


Investors Can’t Pry Microsoft Away From Xbox, Even Though Dinner’s Been Ready for, Like, a Half-Hour

Despite relentless urging by investors, Microsoft has no plans to spin off its Xbox business any time soon. The gaming console may not be central to Microsoft’s core mission of reinventing productivity, but CEO Satya Nadella says it’s important nonetheless. “I’m so glad to have Xbox as a franchise, especially at a time when gaming is becoming even more important — as a digital life category and in the mobile world,” he told CNET. “The most time spent? Games. The most money spent? Games. Xbox is one of the most revered, loved brands in games. I look at that and say I want that team to be super ambitious about gaming. … It doesn’t matter that it’s not core to productivity.”


Clearly a Sarlacc Pit …

Geologists are winging their way to northern Siberia today to investigate a vast and mysterious hole. Spotted by a helicopter pilot earlier this month in a region called Yamal — which translates as “end of the world” — the crater is estimated to be about 262 feet wide. Theories about its origins are running wild right now, but the most plausible of them suggests the hole is a collapsed pingo, essentially a centuries-old frost heave.


Well, That’s the Last Time Anyone Follows You Off a Burning Platform, Stephen

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, February 9, 2011: “Nokia, our platform is burning. … But, I believe that together, we can face the challenges ahead of us. Together, we can choose to define our future.”

Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, April 25, 2014: “Today is an exciting day as we join the Microsoft family, and take the first, yet important, step in our long-term journey. … From today onwards, the possibilities are endless. As now, we’re one!”

Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, July 17, 2014: “We plan that this would result in an estimated reduction of 12,500 factory direct and professional employees over the next year. These decisions are difficult for the team, and we plan to support departing team members with severance benefits.”


Tesla Owner Builds His Own Goddamn Charging Network

Rose Yu and Colum Murphy, The Wall Street Journal: “Tesla doesn’t operate enough charging facilities between … cities to allow [Zong Yi] to drive his car home. Undaunted, Mr. Zong decided to build his own charging network. With the help of partners found online, he bought 20 charging pillars from Tesla for … about $800 each and put them in 16 cities along the way.”


Because You Can Never Have Enough Californias

@NineCalifornias: NineCalifornias is an initiative like @SixCalifornias but with 50 percent more Californias. … Tell @TimDraper that #SixCalifornias isn’t enough.


My God, You Just Compared IBM to the Motorola Rokr

John Moltz, It’s a Very Nice Web Site: “An Apple and IBM partnership makes sense in the same way Apple selling its products through Walmart makes sense. … The other thing is, this doesn’t have to be the permanent solution. It’s possible this relationship is to Apple’s enterprise push as the Motorola Rokr was to the iPhone. Learn, then make it your own way.”


Noriega Sues for Existential Distress After Capturing Himself in Black Ops II

Excerpt from former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega’s suit against Activision Entertainment: “Defendants’ video game, ‘Black Ops II’ deliberately portrays the plaintiff as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state. An objective of one portion of ‘Black Ops II’ is solely to capture plaintiff.”


Off Topic

Duet for guitar and sobbing Japanese politician.


Thanks for reading. Send tips and comments to John@recode.net, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.



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