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Code/red: AT&T's Amazon Phone Exclusive

Plus, the FBI's guide to Twitter shorthand.


  • Adobe reports second-quarter earnings.

Amazon to Launch First Phone With One Arm Tied Behind Back

When Amazon unveils its new smartphone tomorrow, it will do so in partnership with AT&T — and only AT&T. Sources familiar with the retailer’s plans tell The Wall Street Journal that AT&T has signed an exclusive deal to carry the device. The length and terms of the arrangement are unclear, but a similar one with Apple back in 2007 gave the carrier a three-year exclusive on the iPhone and a significant competitive advantage against rivals like Verizon. But the smartphone market was a different beast entirely back then. What can a carrier exclusivity deal like this do for a late-to-market smartphone maker like Amazon other than limit distribution and brand awareness?

Books I Wish I Had Read Before I Became An Entrepreneur: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Dilbert creator Scott Adams: “Building a product for the Internet is now the easy part. Getting people to understand the product and use it is the hard part. And the only way to make the hard part work is by testing one psychological hypothesis after another. Every entrepreneur is now a psychologist by trade.”

Evernote CEO Still Takes the Gettysburg Address Seriously

Evernote CEO Phil Libin: “I actually don’t think the government surveillance problem is going to be a major problem. I think that is solvable in the next year or two, just because we should just decide as a society what we want the government to do, and then the government should do that.”

Apple’s E-books Battle Far From Settled

Apple may have negotiated a settlement with U.S. states and consumers over allegations that it conspired to fix prices for e-books. But the company’s not going to pay it until it has finished its appeal of the 2013 antitrust ruling that undergirds it, a ruling Apple claims unfairly punished it for legitimate business practices. As lead counsel Orin Snyder said in his closing arguments last year, “Apple did not conspire with a single publisher to fix prices in the e-book industry. All of the government’s evidence is ambiguous at best … its case is built on word games and inferences.” The next step in that battle: A reply brief due in the Second Circuit on June 24.


The FBI’s guide to Twitter Shorthand: “With the advent of Twitter and other social media venues, the use of shorthand and acronyms has exploded. The Directorate of Intelligence’s Intelligence Research Support Unit (IRSU) has put together an extensive — but far from exhaustive — list of shorthand and acronyms used on Twitter and other social media venues such as instant messages, Facebook, and MySpace.”

I Bet Patent Troll Tastes Like Chicken

Intellectual Ventures co-founder and cookbook author Nathan Myhrvold: “I’ve thought about this deeply. Eating dinosaur would almost certainly be like eating ostrich. Which tastes quite nice.”

Aereo Shmereo

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the legality of online-video service Aereo may be top of mind for many in the television industry, but not Michael Powell. The former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and current president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association just doesn’t think it’s a big deal. “I don’t think that’s significant, quite honestly,” he told CSPAN. “If it isn’t Aereo it’s gonna be something else. These are powerful signals that are flying across the air, open and unencrypted, arguably for a public purpose, and I think technology will be constantly trying to hack and figure out how to capture that content delivered to consumers.”

You Know What’s Cooler than 50 Million Users?

Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman on iHeartRadio, which just passed the 50 million registered users milestone: “If it were not for the fact that radio is so large, you’d say, ‘Wow these are big numbers.’ There are one billion FM radios in the U.S. and 160 million smartphones and 160 million PCs, so it’s still a subset of the FM marketplace.”

Same Goes for Entrepreneurs …

George Orwell: “All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention.”

Off Topic

Epic Rap Battles of History: Sir Isaac Newton (Weird Al Yankovic) vs. Bill Nye.

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

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