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Code/red: Apple CEO in China for Launch of iCloud Security Support Advisory

Plus, Steve Ballmer: investment adviser, Hungary mulls an Internet usage tax and Apple's boring new iPads.


China to Apple: We’re Just Trying to Delete That Damn U2 Album

What an awkward meeting this must have been. A day after Apple’s Cloud storage service in China was attacked by hackers who may or may not have been state-sponsored, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down for a chat with Ma Kai, China’s vice premier. The topic of conversation, according to a two-sentence report from China’s state-sponsored media: “Views on protection of users’ information.” Apple declined comment on the meeting.

Also, I’m No Longer CEO

Steve Ballmer, investment adviser: “If your time frame is one year, I’d probably take Apple, because they get the most earnings. If your time frame is 30 years, I’d probably take Microsoft and Google. And I’d pick Microsoft over Google because I am completely non-objective.”

RIP, Ben Bradlee

The one and only Ben Bradlee: “If your reporting is right, tell them to f#*k off.”

2015 Tumblr Revenue May Actually Be Noticeable

Turns out Yahoo’s Tumblr deal isn’t the dud some critics have decried it as. Discussing Yahoo’s latest earnings Tuesday afternoon, CEO Marissa Mayer said Tumblr’s audience recently hit 420 million users, charting 40 percent growth over the past 15 months. More to the point: She expects the property to bring in revenue of $100 million in 2015. “We’ve come really far, really fast,” she said. “More than 260 of the world’s top brands have a Tumblr presence.”

Best iPads Ever Made Also Most Boring

Walt Mossberg on Apple’s new iPads: “You might think I’d be pretty excited about them — but I’m not. They are, in most respects, the best iPads ever made. But for average users, they represent only a modest evolutionary improvement over last year’s models, not the kind of big change that the first iPad Air or the Retina display iPad mini did last year.”

And if You’re Dealing With Numbers, Try VisiCalc

Edward Mendelson, the New York Review of Books: “The word processor that most of the world uses every day, Microsoft Word, is a work of genius that’s almost always wrong as an instrument for writing prose. Almost-forgotten WordPerfect — once the most popular word-processing program, still used in a few law offices and government agencies, and here and there by some writers who remain loyal to it — is a mediocrity that’s almost always right.”

Hungary, Hungary Hippo

Hungary already levies a tax on phone calls and text messages; it was only a matter of time before the country moved to tax Internet use as well. And that’s precisely what it’s doing. A draft of a 2015 tax bill submitted to the Hungarian parliament this week includes a proposed tax of about $0.60 per gigabyte of data traffic. The levy would be assessed on Internet service providers, but Hungarian citizens certain it will be passed on to them are rallying on Facebook groups to protest it.

Wait, Yahoo Has a Strategy?

Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti on Yahoo: “I just think it is a strategic mistake to take on big media where they are strongest (stars, scripted shows, etc.) and take on big tech where they are strongest (email, mobile tech, social networks, search, etc.), especially when there is a huge open space at the intersection of media and tech where it is hard for other big companies to compete. They are needlessly picking the harder path.”

Off Topic

The Entire “Halloween” Series in Two Minutes.

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