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Code/red: BlackBerry CEO Reminds World of Company's Continued Existence

Plus, Obama urges the FCC to grow a pair, and Satya Nadella uses "Apple" and "Google" in a sentence.


In CEO’s Bizarre Fantasy World, BlackBerry “Dominates Again”

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has set a secondary goal for the dilapidated smartphone pioneer if he should somehow manage to prevent its seemingly inevitable collapse into irrelevance: Stop it from losing money. “Once we turn this company to profitability again, I will do everything I can to never lose money ever again,” Chen told Reuters.”That is definitely something I am very focused on doing.” One would hope so. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. BlackBerry’s resurrection is anything but a sure thing at this point, despite Chen’s campaign to make it appear otherwise. Though the company reported a smaller-than-expected loss in its latest quarter, revenue fell far short of expectations. Meanwhile, BlackBerry continues to lose traction in the enterprise and government markets it needs to mount a sustainable turnaround. Hard to see a silk purse in such a tattered sow’s ear — unless, like Chen, you’ve $85 million of restricted stock clouding your vision. “I don’t have a perfect crystal ball but there’s no point coming in saying that we’re not going to dominate again,” he told the Financial Times in another interview. “One has to be realistic, but it’s not impossible.”

Obama Urges FCC to Grow a Pair

“I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality. Because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose.” After making that grandiose pronouncement back in November of 2007, President Barack Obama spent years lounging about in the very backseat he condemned. Today he made a grab for the steering wheel. In a statement issued this morning, Obama urged FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, ensuring that Internet service providers are not able “to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.” Great news for advocates of net neutrality, who have been petitioning for just such a classification. The timing leaves a bit to be desired, though. Issued by a lame-duck president as a plodding FCC struggles to finish up its Internet regulations, it demonstrates just how weak Wheeler has been as chairman. In the end, he needed the White House to step in and save his ass on this one. Obama put Wheeler at the head of on independent agency and charged him with taking out the garbage. But who’s standing at the dumpster today? Not Wheeler.

@SenTedCruz Is a Parody Account, Right?

Comcast friendly, Senator Ted Cruz: “‘Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.”

Scientific Name: Tedcruzium Vulgaris

Mary-Ann Russon, International Business Times: “Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Medical School and the University of Nebraska have discovered an algae virus that makes us more stupid by infecting our brains.”

What Happened, Mr. Xi? Couldn’t Find Your USPS Tracking Number?

Here’s a great conversation starter for President Obama when he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing today: The United States Postal Service said this morning that it suspects Chinese government hackers of a network “intrusion” that compromised the data of more than 800,000 employees.

Microsoft CEO Uses Google and Apple in a Sentence

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: “To me Apple’s very, very clear, and, in fact, I think Tim Cook did a great job of even describing that very recently where he said they sell devices. That’s what Apple is all about. And Google is about being — you know, it’s about data or it’s about advertising, it is about serving you ads in a tasteful way, and they’ve done a great job of that business.”

Fire Phone Caps Amazon’s Best Bad-Idea Pipeline in Years

Keith Gessen, writing for Vanity Fair: “One of the interesting things about Amazon in its early years was the number of bad ideas it had. It was a bad idea to sell heavy home-improvement equipment on the Amazon site and charge a pittance for shipping, and it was a bad idea to consider storing merchandise in the apartments of college students living in Manhattan, so that the students could make deliveries in their neighborhoods.”

American Horror Story: SEO

Jon Stewart: “I scroll around, but when I look at the Internet, I feel the same as when I’m walking through Coney Island. It’s like carnival barkers, and they all sit out there and go, ‘Come on in here and see a three-legged man!’ So you walk in and it’s a guy with a crutch.”

New From Google Labs: Hot Wheels

@counternotions on the Google Barge-B-Cue: “I’m sure you’re as excited as I am about the prospect of self-driving cars from a company that couldn’t build non-combustible barges.”

Off Topic

Ink drawings of Reddit’s movie-title typos.

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments, Off Topics and fraudulent animal diplomas to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

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