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Code/red: Keith Alexander’s New Plan -- Back Doors in Dumb Banker Wallets

Plus, Intel’s board gets a new director and more Yo stupidity.


For Another Million, I’ll Show You the Back Door We Put in Your Router

Up to $1 million, monthly. That’s the consulting fee former National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander charges banks interested in his advice on cyber security. A small price to pay for the expertise of a guy who has arguably done more than anyone to undermine cyber security in the United States. Said Alexander, who retired from the NSA back in March amid fallout over the agency’s controversial surveillance practices, “It would be devastating if one of our major banks was hit, because they’re so interconnected.”

Fire Up the Argonaut, Sergey. We’re Laying Cable!

Google is weighing an investment in a new trans-Pacific undersea cable that could connect its data centers in Oregon and Japan.

Dear Dr. Phil: Is It Normal if I Yo My Wife 10 Times a Day?

Yo co-founder Moshe Hogeg: “A lot of the time, you don’t need anything more than ‘yo’ to explain what you want or need. … My wife is very happy right now because I ‘yo’ her ten times a day.”

Workday CEO Soldered Onto Intel Board

Intel’s board has a new director: Aneel Bhusri, founder and CEO of human capital management software firm Workday. Bhusri was a guest at our inaugural Code Conference, where he discussed cloud computing and philanthropy with CEO and founder Marc Benioff.

Okay, Depending on the Numbers, Track One Is Either “We’re in the Money” or “Help.”

Mark DeCambre, Quartz: “How ready is streaming-music service Spotify for an initial public offering? Well, it’s already conducting practice earnings calls.”

Hi, My Name Is Micros and I’ll Be on Your Oracle Server Tonight

Looks like Oracle has succumbed to its acquisitive tendencies once again. This morning the company said it had agreed to buy Micros Systems, a developer of software for restaurants and hospitality providers. The deal is valued at about $5.3 billion, which makes it one of Oracle’s biggest in recent memory. It’s expected to close by the end of the year.

Beer-Bong Recognition Will Be Added in a Future Update

Michael Roston, The New York Times: “[Social Sweepster] goes searching for beer cans or bottles or the red cups that are ubiquitous at any college party and flags the individual images that contain them. You can then click through to the image on Facebook to delete it, untag yourself or ask a friend to make it disappear.”

Uber Über Alles

Dan Primack, Fortune: “Two months ago, an early Uber employee thought that he had found a buyer for his vested stock, at $200 per share. But when his agent tried to seal the deal, Uber refused to sign off on the transfer. Instead, it offered to buy back the shares for around $135 a piece, which is within the same price range that Google Ventures and TPG Capital had paid to invest in Uber the previous July. Take it or hold it.”

Web Gets a Purple Heart

W3C CSS Working Group Co-Chairman Daniel Glazman: “Following a proposal sent to social media, it [was] suggested [we] add the named color ‘rebeccapurple‘, for value #663399, to CSS Color Level 4. This is a tribute to Eric Meyer’s daughter who recently passed away and a mark of support from all the Web community to Eric. … No objection being raised on this CfC before the deadline, I declare consensus. Tab, please add the ‘rebeccapurple’ color to CSS Color Level 4.”

Sims L Word

Simon Parkin, The New Yorker: “On the first day of the show, the game’s producers, Kana Ryan and Chris Trottier, watched in disbelief as two of the female Sims attending the virtual wedding leaned in and began to passionately kiss. They had, during the live simulation, fallen in love. Moreover, they had chosen this moment to express their affection, in front of a live audience of assorted press. Following the kiss, talk of The Sims dominated E3. ‘You might say that they stole the show,’ Barrett said. ‘I guess straight guys that make sports games loved the idea of controlling two lesbians.'”

Off Topic

Bowie and Jagger’s “Dancing in the Street” video — without music and “Star Wars” (“Guardians of the Galaxy” Style!).

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

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