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Code/red: Microsoft's Wearable, Code Name Khronos

Plus Jony Ive says rival smartphones are ugly, Math 101 by James Cameron and Drunk J. Crew.


Microsoft Wearable Will Ship in Time to Be Ignored for Christmas

A decade after launching its Spot smartwatch in 2004, Microsoft is taking another run at the wearables space. Forbes reports and Code/red (and, evidently, everyone else) can confirm that the company is gearing up to unveil a wearable before the annual holiday consumer binge. Code-named Khronos, the device is said be fitness focused, using an array of some 10 sensors to track key health metrics like heart rate. Sources also say it’s cross-platform and will sync data with not just Windows devices, but those running iOS and Android as well. No word yet on price, but presumably it will be competitive with other fitness wearables on the market and not with the “get-me-to-the-fainting-couch high” price tags we’re going to see on the Edition collection of the forthcoming Apple Watch.

iPhone Designer Thinks Non-iPhone Smartphones Are Ugly

Apple’s new iPhones aren’t just the best iPhones ever, they’re the best large-screen smartphones ever — though Apple is admittedly a few years late to that particular market. This according to Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive, who — unsurprisingly — believes his company’s products are better than the competition’s. “They were interesting, having a bigger screen,” Ive said of Apple’s early iPhone 6 prototypes in an interview with Vanity Fair. “But the end result was a really lousy product because they were big and clunky, like a lot of the competitive phones are still.”

IBM Earnings More Appealing When Ignored

IBM has a nasty case of the Mondays. Shares in the company tanked in early trading today, falling more than seven percent, after it posted its worst earnings miss in recent memory, conceded that there’s no way it’s going to deliver $20 a share in profits by 2015 and unloaded its chip-manufacturing assets to GlobalFoundries.

Investors Nauseated by Latest China Mobile Earnings

Also having a lousy day on the markets: China Mobile. Investors took the world’s largest mobile carrier on a trip to the woodshed this morning after it posted a nine-month operating profit that implied quarterly revenue had fallen year over year for the first time in five years.

Any Talks Were G-Rated at Most

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong: “[There are] no explicit talks about a deal with Yahoo.”

While You’re at It, Hire Scorsese to Teach Criminal Law and John Woo to Teach Phys Ed

Marc Andreessen: “The one other thing that people are really underestimating is the impact of entertainment-industry economics applied to education. Right now, with MOOCs, the production values are pretty low: You’ll film the professor in the classroom. But let’s just project forward. In 10 years, what if we had Math 101 online, and what if it was well regarded and you got fully accredited and certified? What if we knew that we were going to have a million students per semester? And what if we knew that they were going to be paying $100 per student, right? What if we knew that we’d have $100 million of revenue from that course per semester? What production budget would we be willing to field in order to have that course? You could literally hire James Cameron to make Math 101.”

One More Thing … Earnings Blowout?

Apple reports earnings after market close today, and if CEO Tim Cook’s remarks at last week’s iPad launch are any indication, we may see an old-school Apple blowout. While the company’s fourth-quarter earnings will include only two weeks of new iPhone preorders, nine days of sales in 10 countries and two days of sales in another 20, those sales have been substantial. “These iPhones have become the fastest-selling iPhones in history,” Cook said last week. “The first 30 days we have set a new high-water mark for the most orders taken. And I don’t mean by a little. By a lot, a whole lot.” Over at Apple 2.0, Philip Elmer-DeWitt has pulled together his quarterly spreadsheet of fiscal Q4 estimates, and the 33 Apple analysts he polled are all predicting record sales and earnings.

Point/Counterpoint: All I Want Is the Height I Deserve, Google vs. You Asked for It, Shorty

Stephen Colbert: “I was horrified to learn that the Google celebrity profile of me lists my height as 5′10″. 5′10″? What is that measured in? Hectares? Because it sure isn’t feet and inches, Google. I’m 5′11″! … All I want is the height I deserve. And I fought for every inch, and no one, but no one, is taking that away from me. Especially not Larry Page, who, according to Google, is 5′11″.”

Google search for “How tall is Stephen Colbert”: “5′ 10.5″ (1.79m -ish); Larry Page: 5′ 11″; Jon Stewart: Shorter.”

Touchscreen Mac Kinda Stupid, Says Apple Exec

Looking forward to a touchscreen desktop computer that requires you to lean across your desk to interact with it? No? Good, because Apple has no plans to build one. Asked by CNET if Apple will ever build a touchscreen Mac, Craig Federighi, Apple SVP of software engineering, said it was unlikely. “We don’t think it’s the right interface, honestly,” he said. “We’re not all that interested in building one. … Mac is sort of a sit-down experience. We’re really focused on building the best track pads we can, something where it feels [like] your posture’s relaxed, it’s a comfortable machine to use.”

Whisper Location Tracking Okay Because Ebola

Whisper CEO Michael Heyward on allegations that the company tracks “anonymous” users: “A key part of our mission is to shine a light on issues that too often are hidden in the shadows of society. To help reach more people, we partner with media organizations to raise awareness around these issues, such as young people wrestling with questions of their sexual identity, teen moms sharing their struggles, and West Africans disclosing their fears about Ebola. Hundreds of millions of people have read these stories and hopefully have felt ‘I’m not the only one…’ We look forward to continuing this important work with our partners.”

Dallas Mavericks Owner Finds Steve Ballmer Endlessly Entertaining

Mark Cuban on LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer: “It would have been hysterical to watch the old-school [NBA] owners react to him 25 years ago.”

Off Topic

Drunk J. Crew and Let’s Get Physics Y’all .

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments, Off Topics and poo emoji shoes to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

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