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Code/red: The Biggest Problem With Flying Cars? Too Loud.

Plus, another Apple sugar water story and Secret’s worst idea yet.


  • President Obama participates in his first-ever live Tumblr Q&A.
  • The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property is holding a hearing on a new music licensing framework for the digital age.
  • E3 continues.

Of Course Elon Musk Will Build Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Tesla founder Elon Musk must be spending a lot of time stuck in LA traffic these days, because he’s talking about flying cars again. “Maybe we’ll make a flying car, just for fun,” Musk told The Independent, insisting that building such a vehicle isn’t as daunting a task as you might think. “We could definitely make a flying car — but that’s not the hard part,” he said. “The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that’s super safe and quiet? Because if it’s a howler, you’re going to make people very unhappy.” Also top of Musk’s mind these days: Building an honest-to-God submarine car. “It can transition from being a submarine to a car that drives up on the beach,” he explained. “Maybe we’ll make two or three, but it wouldn’t be more than that. It’s not like we’d sell it, because I think the market for submarine cars is quite small.”

ZTE Headhunters Are Cherry-Picking at BlackBerry

As it struggles to regain its footing in the mobile device market it helped created, dilapidated smartphone pioneer BlackBerry is becoming a talent pool for Chinese rivals angling for overseas expansion. Indeed, ZTE has actually created a special team in its human resources department tasked with poaching BlackBerry employees, and sources familiar with the effort tell The Wall Street Journal that it has already lured away quite a few and plans to hire more. Said ZTE mobile device head Adam Zeng, “We hope the talent from BlackBerry can enhance our product security and design capability.”

Actually, I Would Prefer to Sell Sugar Water for the Rest of My Life

A top ad agency exec who declined a job at Apple: “I don’t feel that energy from Apple. The revolution has come and gone, and I’m not sure a job at Apple would be a creative opportunity. If I were going to go brand-side, there are a lot more interesting companies I’d rather work for, like Coke or Pepsi.”

Point/Counterpoint: Manage Your Traffic Better vs. Two Words — Chris Christie

Verizon: “What we’re saying is that the company needs to use a little more discretion in the middleman they choose. It’s really up to them to make sure that the content that they’re sending out is delivered in the most efficient manner possible. That doesn’t just go for Netflix. That goes for everyone.”

Netflix: “As an ISP, you sell your customers a connection to the Internet. To try to shift blame to us for performance issues arising from interconnection congestion is like blaming drivers on a bridge for traffic jams when you’re the one who decided to leave three lanes closed during rush hour.”

Ah, What Don Draper Could Have Done With a Good Meme

Derek Thompson, The Atlantic: “It’s not a coincidence that the most successful big digital media property, BuzzFeed, isn’t really in the old-fashioned adjacent advertising business at all. It’s a website where original stories live next to ‘promoted’ ads engineered by an in-house laboratory for building advertising that will go viral. That’s not like Time Inc. going into digital. It’s more like Mad Men going into digital journalism.”

Brace Yourselves for Another Three Months of iPhablet Stories

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White: “Our visit provided us with incremental confidence in the ramp of Apple’s product pipeline this fall. For example, our research indicates that Apple will launch the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in September, and we believe the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could be announced at a similar time or shortly thereafter in October. As such, we are confident that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will be launched this year.”

Secret for Schools and Workplaces? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Secret: “Secret Dens brings a new layer to your Secret stream, giving you a private, company-specific Den to share anything you’re thinking — kept within the walls of your workplace. … After enjoying our inside jokes, updates and secrets in our Den over the last month, we’re confident that any company will love having one of its own.”

Obviously, This Eugene Goostman Is a Surly IT Staffer at a Large Company

Scott Aaronson: “Do you think your ability to fool unsophisticated judges indicates a flaw with the Turing Test itself, or merely with the way people have interpreted the test?”

Publicly available version of Eugene Goostman: “The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.”

Off Topic

RE: Donuts in the Break Room and “Star Wars” first impressions.

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

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