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Code/red: Google Chairman Would Like to Direct European Union’s Attention to Amazon

Plus, poor Mark Zuckerberg, what happened to Windows 9 and the iOS Autocomplete Song.


Bing and Yahoo Not Exactly Top of Google Chairman’s Mind When It Comes to Search Rivals

Google’s biggest rival in search isn’t another search company, it’s an e-commerce juggernaut. This according to company Chairman Eric Schmidt, who says like-for-like competition in tech isn’t a hard and fast rule. “Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo,” Schmidt said during a Monday speech in Berlin. “But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon. People don’t think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon. They are obviously more focused on the commerce side of the equation, but, at their roots, they are answering users’ questions and searches, just as we are.” An interesting idea — timely, too, as the European Commission seeks concessions from Google over allegations that it manipulates search results to favor its own services over those of rivals. And in a timely bit of punctuation, Google today took aim at Amazon Prime, offering a $95 annual membership for its same-day delivery service, rechristened as Google Express.

Hear That, Chronicle of Philanthropy?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “Priscilla and I are donating $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight Ebola.”

Point/Counterpoint: Bank Innovation Has Reached Out for Comment vs. I Got Your Comment Right Here, Dopey

Bank Innovation: “PayPal CEO Dan Schulman is apparently exploring several potential acquisitions, including the purchase of Square, sources close to both PayPal and Square have told Bank Innovation.”

Square founder Jack Dorsey: “FALSE: PayPal Is in ‘Early Talks’ to Acquire Square.”

Dropbox: We Weren’t Hacked, Our Idiot Users Were

Who’s to blame for the Dropbox password hack? Not Dropbox, says Dropbox. In a Monday evening blog post, the cloud storage service denied that the Dropbox credentials recently posted to Pastebin were pilfered from its servers. “The usernames and passwords referenced in these articles were stolen from unrelated services, not Dropbox,” the company said. “Attackers then used these stolen credentials to try to log in to sites across the Internet, including Dropbox.”

Guy Who Didn’t Invent Bitcoin Would Like to Underwrite Newsweek Suit With Bitcoin

Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, the guy Newsweek erroneously identified as the “face behind bitcoin” earlier this year, has launched a website soliciting donations to sue the magazine. Nakamoto, who says he’s been “targeted and victimized by a reckless news organization,” is accepting contributions through credit or debit card and, of course, bitcoin.

Personal Observation: I Haven’t Picked Up My iPad Mini Since the Arrival of My iPhone 6 Plus

Sammy the Walrus IV, AAPL Orchard: “Apple now has a much harder sales pitch to make for iPad. Why buy an iPad when you could have an iPhone with a screen that doesn’t seem that much smaller than an iPad mini? Why buy an iPad when you can have a more powerful and just as easily transportable Macbook Air? The space between a phone and PC is smaller now than in 2010 primarily as the phone has become more powerful and larger. Tablets are getting squeezed.”

Flash: Premium 4K Video Services Command Premium Prices

Ultra HD, or 4K, video offers roughly four times the resolution of typical high-definition video and as a result is costlier to produce and broadcast. No surprise then that streaming video services are charging more for the opportunity to watch it. Netflix, for example, which until recently offered 4K content to subscribers of its standard $8.99 per month service tier, now requires new subscribers to enroll in an $11.99 per month family plan for access to its Ultra HD offerings. If you want to watch Kevin Spacey scheming as Frank Underwood in 4K, it’s going to cost you.

Windows 9 Probably Just Had Bad Karma

Last month Microsoft said that Windows 10 would succeed Windows 8.1 as the company’s next operating system. So what happened to Windows 9? According to Tony Prophet, Microsoft’s VP of Windows Marketing, “it came and it went,” washed away in a spectacular deluge of innovation that obliterated sequential numbering conventions. “Windows 10 is not going to be an incremental step from Window 8.1,” Prophet said at the Dreamforce 2014 conference Monday. “Windows 10 is a material step. It will be an integration of one platform, one ecosystem that unites as many of the devices from the small embedded Internet of things through tablets, through phones, through PCs and, ultimately, into the Xbox. … Our aspirations are for people not to just like Windows 10; we want them to love Windows 10.”

So Goddamn Tragic …

Y Combinator founder Paul Graham: “Mark Zuckerberg will never get to bum around a foreign country. He can do other things most people can’t, like charter jets to fly him to foreign countries. But success has taken a lot of the serendipity out of his life.”

… Really, Someone Should Hold a Candlelight Vigil

Eric Carlyle, Forbes: “Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has purchased two massive, adjacent chunks of land on Kauai’s north shore in an effort to create a secluded 700-acre sanctuary for his family, sources have confirmed to Forbes. All told, the 30-year-old billionaire has spent in excess of $100 million to acquire the land, and he hasn’t even built a house yet.”

Go Short on the Fensters — I Hear They’ve Been Fighting a Lot

Ari Ratner, Slate: “Is the crisis of capitalism going to morph into a crisis of coupling? Perhaps this crash will also start with its own version of a housing collapse. Potentially risky ventures that threaten wider contagion may now be on the rise. Take wife swapping, for instance, now greatly facilitated by sites like — wait for it — Is this the sexual equivalent of a credit-default swap?”

Off Topic

The iOS Autocomplete Song.

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments and laptop stoves to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

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