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Code/red: The Great Twitter Streamlining of 2014

Plus, Amazon debuts a music service for people who don't care much about music.


  • Samsung holds its Galaxy Premiere 2014 event.
  • Pinterest for Windows Phone goes into beta.
  • The TechAmerica Foundation hosts its 12th Annual Technology and Government Dinner where it will name U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel (who used to do actual work at Microsoft) “Government Technology Executive of the Year.”

Twitter Gives Leadership Team New Look and Feel

Looks like Twitter’s one-time Mr. Fix-It Ali Rowghani isn’t the only executive to see his role, cough, adjusted in the great Twitter streamlining of 2014. Sources close to the company tell Code/red that, as Kara Swisher reported yesterday, the new product unit under Daniel Graf has recently gotten a reorg. The former Google exec’s new top generals are now Christian Oestlien, Todd Jackson, Trevor O’Brien and Shreyas Doshi. Graf reports directly to CEO Dick Costolo. This is all part of an evolving reorg being quarterbacked by HR head Brian Schipper, who has been charged with “streamlining” Twitter’s top management to better drive growth and innovation. The big question now: What, if anything, happens to Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s head of North America Media, who Swisher reported might also be leaving.

Point/Counterpoint: Sweet, Sweet Hangin, Bro vs. Laters on The Menjay

Former Twitter COO Ali Rowghani: “Goodbye Twitter. It’s been an amazing ride, and I will cherish the memories.”

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo: “Thank you for being an incredible executive & partner. Twitter could not have succeeded without you.”

Amazon Debuts Music Service for People Who Don’t Care About Music

After months of speculation, Amazon finally unveiled a music-streaming service on Thursday and it’s utterly underwhelming. With a grossly incomplete library that omits not just all new releases for up to six months, but the entire catalog of the Universal Music Group (Petty, U2, Gaga, Jayz) — the world’s largest music company — Amazon Prime Music is hardly a threat to outfits like Spotify, Rhapsody and Beats. But then, it doesn’t really need to be. Because Amazon isn’t positioning it as a rival to any of those subscription services. Not enough people use them. With Prime Music, Amazon is going after Pandora. The Internet’s biggest radio service, Pandora has 77 million active users. And that’s who Amazon’s going after here with its free music without ads proposition for Amazon Prime members. To wit, the 35 second mark in this Prime Music promo: “Don’t let ads get in your way.”

Tweetdeck Security Issue Perhaps Best Fixed by Deleting Tweetdeck

Firo Xl, the guy who broke Tweetdeck: “I wrote a little script which displays a popup and then blocks itself. It worked. This is called XSS (Cross-Site-Scripting) and is very dangerous. No web developer should ever make this possible. TweetDeck did. And that was the point where I reported this to TweetDeck. TweetDeck actually did not react in any way. Their next tweet was saying that there is a security issue and that users should log in again.”

Astroturf for Anti-Net Neutrality Actually “Broadband for America”

Lee Fang, Vice: “Not only is Broadband for America largely funded by a single contribution from the National Cable and Telecom Association (NCTA) — the trade group that represents Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable, and others — but a closer look at their member list reveals an almost random assortment of companies and community groups, many of which say they never intended to sign up for an anti-net neutrality coalition.”

Point/Counterpoint: Hey, Girl vs. Hey, Moron

Tinder user Joshua: “Hey gorgeous :) what’s up?”

1 of 32 women right-swiped by Tinder user Joshua: “Not much, but I can’t speak for the other 31 girls in this group.”

Oculus Team’s Next Project: Virtual Profit Margins

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey: “Whatever it costs us to make, that is what we’re going to sell it for. That’s one of the things the Facebook deal has allowed us to do: Because we already have these resources behind us, we don’t have to worry about making money from our customers right away. If we were running purely on our own and trying to make money just from hardware, we would need to make enough profit from each unit to pay for running the company for several years, until we launched the next one.”

Let’s See You Try to Keep Track of a Yottabyte of Warrantless Surveillance Data, Smart Guy

The National Security Agency has a truly Kafkaesque rationale for failing to preserve evidence of its surveillance of Americans in the Jewel vs. NSA case. Its systems are far too complex to do so. According to NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett, complying with a requirement to keep all the data it collects under Section 702 of the Amendments Act to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “could jeopardize national security.” Suffice to say, Ledgett’s explanation isn’t going over well with privacy advocates. Said Electronic Frontier Foundation legal director Cindy Cohn, “To me, it demonstrates that once the government has custody of this information even they can’t keep track of it anymore even for purposes of what they don’t want to destroy.”

That and the Seattle Seahawks

Bill Hilf, HP’s VP of cloud product management: “[Seattle is] like Detroit used to be for car companies. The galactic players are here, and they are creating lots of little companies. The only thing driving anyone away from here is the weather.”

“Transportation Nirvana” Absolutely Last Phrase That Comes to Mind When Smelling Manhattan’s 14th Street / Sixth Avenue Station

Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times: “… If Uber and its ride-sharing competitors succeed, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see many small and midsize cities become transportation nirvanas on the order of Manhattan — places where forgoing car ownership isn’t just an outré lifestyle choice, but the preferred way to live.”

Off Topic

Realistic Batman. Also: Check out all hamburgers!!!!

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

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