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Code/red: Google Glass Expands Dorksplorer Program

Plus, Apple tops the patent troll hit parade and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 typo.


  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg celebrates his 30th birthday — hopefully he won’t get liquored up and accidentally acquire Twitter.
  • Google’s leadership will dodge questions at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
  • IBM is holding an investor briefing.

Add Customer Protection and Injury Insurance Plan to Your Google Glass?

With its Glass headset headed to commercial launch later this year, Google is working hard to put the device into the hands of more faceputer ambassadors and aspiring dive-bar confrontationists. A month after selling Glass on the open market for a single day and blowing through its inventory, Google is again offering the dorktacles to the general public — for as long as supplies last. So if you’ve got $1,500, an antisocial fetish and a tolerance for ass-based insults with the “Gl-” prefix, here’s your chance.

And Don’t Confuse Decrepit With Crap, Either

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty on the company’s dusty collection of damaged businesses: “Don’t confuse slow and declining with not needed, unnecessary, not being reinvented.”

You Know Who Can Settle This Net Neutrality Thing Once and for All? Aerosmith Guitarist Joe Perry, That’s Who.

Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is having a tough week. With the clock counting down to a crucial vote on his controversial net neutrality plan, Wheeler is scrambling to rally support. But he’s having difficulty finding any. Democratic FCC commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn have both expressed concerns about the plan. Tech trade groups and venture capitalists are wringing their hands over it. And now the creative community is complaining as well. Late Tuesday a group of musicians, actors and authors sent Wheeler a letter asking him to reconsider his plan. Said the group — which includes “Portlandia”’s Fred Armisen, former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, director Oliver Stone and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry: “Your proposed path would open the door to widespread discrimination online. It would give Internet service providers the green light to implement pay‐for‐priority schemes that would be disastrous for startups, nonprofits and everyday Internet users who cannot afford these unnecessary tolls.”

Just Switch to a Longer, More Complicated Fingerprint Every Six Months. Problem Solved.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.): “Fingerprints are the opposite of secret.”

“Eric Schmidt” and “Impropriety” Spotted in Same Sentence Again

Consumer Watchdog on Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and New York’s Smart Schools Commission: “Schmidt’s Commission participation raises the appearance of impropriety, compromises the integrity of the Commission, and provides Schmidt and Google the perfect vehicle for Google to pursue state funds, improve Google’s reputation and position in the education market, and to do what is best for Google, instead of what is best for New York.”

Be Proud, Apple — Litigation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

A sad by-product of being an iconic consumer electronics company sitting atop a Smaugian $160 billion hoard: You’re a prime candidate for a patent-holding company shakedown. Such is the case with Apple, which was the single most-sued company in that category in 2013 — a record year for infringement lawsuits. According to legal analytics outfit Lex Machina, Apple fielded 59 patent suits last year — beating out Amazon (50), Google (39), Samsung (38) and others to top the Patent Troll Hit Parade. Seems the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act hasn’t been quite the overhaul of the patent system it was touted as. The total number of lawsuits claiming patent infringement rose 12 percent in 2013 from 5,418 in 2012.

TrueCar IPO: Fully Loaded. Super Clean. Only 7.7 Million Shares on This Baby.

Can TrueCar claim a $1 billion valuation? We’ll find out before week’s end. Sources familiar with the car-pricing comparison company’s plans say its first day of trading on the Nasdaq will be this Friday. TrueCar plans to sell 7.775 million shares at a range of $12 to $14 apiece, and hopes to raise up to $109 million in the offering.

“Game of Thrones” Creator Blames Auto-Correct for Character Names

“Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin: “Remember DOS? I use Wordstar 4.0 as my word processing system. … It does everything I want a word processing program to do and it doesn’t do anything else. I don’t want any help you know. I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lowercase letter and it becomes a capital. I don’t want a capital! If I wanted a capital I would have typed a capital! I know how to work the shift key! Stop fixing it!”

Microsoft Issues New Surface Pro 3 Rumor Support Document

Looks like Microsoft may have some big things in store for us at its “small” Surface media event in New York City next week. A Windows support document published yesterday and promptly yanked from the Web says that Windows 8.1 is being upgraded to support “the Surface Pro 3 camera.”

So if I Understand Correctly, You’re Saying Mobile Is Big

Tomi Ahonen: “Take every type of PC, including desktops, laptops, netbooks and tablet PCs and add them together. What do we have? 1.5 Billion in use worldwide. Mobile is nearly 5 times larger. Televisions? Sure. We are now at 2 Billion TV sets in use globally. But mobile has 3.5 times users. What of ‘paid’ TV viewers – ie cable and satellite TV accounts? Thats only 1 Billion. Mobile has 7 times more paying customers. Landline phones? There are only 1.1 Billion of those left. Mobile is more than six times bigger.”

Wow. Many Theft. Such Expected. So Mt. Gox.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Two days after unexpectedly going offline, popular Dogecoin wallet service Doge Vault has confirmed that it was compromised by attackers. It’s not yet clear if the company’s dogecoin stores were looted. But as Ars Technica notes, someone has transferred a bunch of dogecoins into a newly created wallet in the past 24 hours.

Off Topic

The Oatmeal’s review of Tesla’s Model S and Spurious correlations, home to “Per capita consumption of sour cream correlates with motorcycle riders killed in noncollision transport accident.”

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