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Code/red: Survey Finds Google Employees Like Big Money, Free Food

Plus, more Amazon aggravation for Hachette.


Programming Note: Code/red will not publish next week due to the Code Conference. It will resume publication on June 4.

But It’s Easier to Get Hired at Costco …

With its gourmet meals, onsite chiropractors and errand concierges, Google offers some of the best employee perks around. It’s hardly surprising, then, to see the company ranked as the top U.S. employer for compensation and benefits, according to survey data compiled by Glassdoor. On a scale of one to five, Googlers’ gave their employer an average score of 4.4, just enough to beat out Costco for providing the best compensation and benefits for workers. Not far behind Google on the list: Facebook, which was rated No. 3 for all companies, and Adobe, which was rated No. 4. Noticeably absent from the top 25: Apple.

Latest Threat to BlackBerry’s Government Stronghold: Chatty Former NSA Guys

Erica Fink, CNN: “So what does retired NSA technical director Richard ‘Dickie’ George use for his personal communication? A BlackBerry. But he says when his contract is up, he’ll probably switch.”

Hang On, My Other Wrist Is Ringing

Looks like Samsung’s finally got the Dick Tracy Two-Way Wrist Radio figured out. Sources familiar with the company’s plans tell The Wall Street Journal that Samsung has another smartwatch in the pipeline, and, unlike its previous celibacy bands, this one can actually make and receive calls without being tethered to a smartphone.

Latest Hit on Chinese TV: “The Little Mincing Rascals”

China’s state-run Global Times newspaper: “We should encourage organizations and individuals whose rights have been infringed to stand up and sue Washington. Regarding the issue of network security, the U.S. is such a mincing rascal that we must stop developing any illusions about it.”

John Donahoe’s Living Hell, Day Three

EBay’s getting it from both sides of the Atlantic today following its disclosure earlier this week of a massive security breach that affected up to 145 million of its customers. Attorneys general in Connecticut, Florida and Illinois are conducting a joint investigation into the breach, and U.K. officials are mulling one as well. “We’re certainly looking at the situation,” Christopher Graham of the Information Commissioner told BBC Radio 5. “We have to work with colleagues in Luxembourg where eBay is based for European purposes. We were in touch with the Luxembourg data protection authority yesterday.”

Amazon Sought in Bloody Hachette Attack

Oh, it’s really on now. Amazon last night upped the ante in its ongoing terms-of-sale spat with Hachette, removing preorder buttons for a number of the publisher’s books, including forthcoming novels from J.K. Rowling alter ego Robert Galbraith and Preston and Child, which until recently held top rankings on its preorder list. Try to purchase either of those books from Amazon now and you’ll be met with a “currently unavailable” message, though the same titles are readily available for preorder from the retailer’s rivals. A significant escalation of hostilities in an already hostile battle. Earlier this month, Hachette accused Amazon of purposely delaying shipments of some of its books, telling customers they wouldn’t be available for a number of weeks.

Higgins, What’s This Budget Entry for “D.C. Rathole”?

Tony Romm, Politico: “Silicon Valley just can’t win in Washington this week. A surveillance reform bill that easily survived a House vote Thursday barely resembles the measure that Google, Facebook and others once touted as a way to restore Americans’ trust. Quick changes to patent law now seem impossible after the Senate shelved the issue a day earlier. … The tech set — a batch that increasingly has cozied up to lawmakers, lobbying and donating more than ever before — can’t seem to catch a Beltway break.”

And That’s Why We Keep Funding Arrogant Entrepreneurs With No Business Plan

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen: “A good friend of mine was at another venture firm that passed on Google when they had the chance to invest. I said, ‘Why’d you pass on Google?’ And he said, ‘We passed on Google for three reasons. … Number one, absolutely no business model. They had absolutely no idea how they were going to make money. Number two, they were the two most arrogant founders we’d ever met in our lives. And number three, very high premium valuation.’ And he said, had there been only two of those three problems, they would have still invested. But all three problems together prevented them from doing it. And in venture capital, that’s a $20 billion mistake.”

Mr. Bacteria Makes Getting Clean Almost as Much Fun as Getting Dirty

Julia Scott, the New York Times: “It had taken me a month to coax a new colony of bacteria onto my body. It took me three showers to extirpate it.”

And by “Whole of Creation,” You Mean Viral Videos and Buzzfeed Listicles

Entrepreneur Paul Otlet, 1934: “Everything in the universe, and everything of man, would be registered at a distance as it was produced. In this way a moving image of the world will be established, a true mirror of his memory. From a distance, everyone will be able to read text, enlarged and limited to the desired subject, projected on an individual screen. In this way, everyone from his armchair will be able to contemplate the whole of creation, in whole or in certain parts.”

Martha Stewart’s Drone Handbook: The Essential Guide to Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Etiquette

Martha Stewart: “You connect it to your iPhone, and you can control it with your iPhone, and it flies all over my farm and takes pictures. You can use it inside also, but I don’t, because it can bang into stuff.”

First It’s Weed Firm. Then It’s Ecstasy Enterprises. Next Thing You Know, It’s Cocaine Conglomerate.

Excerpt from a review of Weed Firm, which disappeared from Apple’s App Store this week: “I found the whole idea of having an alien in the game very exciting until I actually unlocked it and it demanded all of my weed. Customers are extremely repetitive and would be great if it had more. Instead of only growing/selling weed you could include more drugs such as cocaine and heroine.”

Off Topic

Morgan Freeman on helium.

Thanks for reading. Got a tip or a comment? Reach me at, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

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