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Code/red: Well, That Was Fun While It Lasted, Eh, Aereo?

Plus breakfast octopus with Jeff Bezos.


  • Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia is really regretting that “no Plan B” statement.
  • Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer tries to make it to the company’s shareholder meeting on time.
  • Google kicks off its annual I/O Conference.
  • GoPro is expected to price its shares at somewhere between $21 and $24 in advance of its Thursday IPO.

Supreme Court Tucks Aereo in for Its Dirt Nap

The two-year dispute over the legality of Aereo ended this morning with a resounding victory for broadcasters who contend the online video startup has been illegally rebroadcasting their programming. In a 6-3 decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Aereo is essentially a cable TV company and that its streams of broadcast TV channels violate the public performance clause of the Copyright Act. Potentially catastrophic news for Aereo, whose CEO, Chet Kanojia, and top financial backer, Barry Diller, have both said there is “no plan B” if the Supreme Court ruled against it. Said Diller this morning, “We did try, but now it’s over.”

What Luck — I’ve Got 13,000 Tiny TVs

Mother Jones engagement editor Ben Dreyfuss: “FOR SALE: 13,000 little antennas. Must be willing to pick up in Brooklyn. Contact Barry Diller.”

Remember, You Can’t Spell iOS Without I/O

Google’s Android chief Sundar Pichai: “Apple announced lots of great things in their keynote. They also announced things we have done in Android four or five years ago, [such as] third party keyboards, richer notifications and widgets. These all happened in Android such a long time ago.”

We Didn’t Want to Read All the Way Up to Chapter 11

It’s taken nearly two years of waffling, but Barnes & Noble has finally decided to split its retail and Nook e-reader businesses into separately traded companies. This not a year after CEO Michael Huesby publicly announced it wouldn’t do so. Evidently, a few more months of the Nook’s e-books marketplace floundering and its continued drag on the retail business that accounts for most of Barnes & Noble’s revenue made him reconsider. “We believe we are now in a better position to begin in earnest those steps necessary to accomplish a separation of Nook Media and Barnes & Noble Retail,” Huesby said in a statement. “We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately.”

Are You Listening to Me, Breakfast Octopus?!!!?

Tim Rogers, D Magazine: “[Amazon CEO Jeff] Bezos had ordered a dish called Tom’s Big Breakfast, a preparation of Mediterranean octopus that includes potatoes, bacon, green garlic yogurt, and a poached egg. ‘You’re the octopus that I’m having for breakfast,’ Rutledge remembers Bezos saying. ‘When I look at the menu, you’re the thing I don’t understand, the thing I’ve never had. I must have the breakfast octopus.'”

Wonder What the Nexus Q Will Look Like This Year …

“By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded.” Google chairman Eric Schmidt made that doltish assertion back in 2011 and has been eating those words ever since as Google has flailed about trying to settle on a viable television strategy, first with its failed Google TV and Nexus Q efforts, and more recently with its Chromecast streaming video dongle. Today he gets a new chance at a reprieve. Google is taking another run at the living room and plans to show off a new set-top box, code-named Molly.

Um, Sure, Maybe if Cell Phones Were Actually Made of Cells

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts: “Modern cell phones are now such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.”

Welcome to Oceania, Brad Smith

Microsoft has pretty much had it with the U.S. government passing off its warrantless public surveillance efforts in the name of national security. In a Tuesday speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith called on Congress to end the National Security Agency’s “unfettered collection of bulk data” and said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s lack of public accountability has made it less inclined to promote justice. “I want law enforcement to do its job in an effective way pursuant to the rule of law,” Smith said. “If we can’t get to that world, then law enforcement is going to have a bleak future anyway. It needs to be well-designed regulation, it needs to be thoughtful, it needs to be balanced, but we cannot live in the Wild West when we’re talking about information that is this important to people.”

Point/Counterpoint: How Will an AT&T-DirecTV Merger Benefit Consumers? vs. What Gave You the Idea It Would Do That?

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.: “Can you commit that those cost savings will be passed onto the consumer, dollar for dollar?”

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson: “Dollar for dollar? No sir, I can’t. … That prices will go down — I don’t think we want to intimate that. I can’t even tell what the prices of these services will be six months from now, much less three years from now.”

NASA Announces Plot of Next James Cameron Movie

Adam Minter, Bloomberg: “[NASA] is hoping to divert a small asteroid from elsewhere in the galactic neighborhood and robotically place it into orbit around the moon. With the rock in proximity to Earth … NASA intends to land astronauts on it and take samples for further scientific study. NASA claims this Asteroid Redirect Mission will build technologies and capabilities that ‘will help astronauts reach Mars in the 2030s.'”

Will You Be Adopting the Android Malware Proliferation Strategy as Well?

What’s Oculus VR’s plan for bringing virtual reality to the masses? The same one Google used to push its Android mobile OS into near-ubiquity. “If we do want to get a billion people on virtual reality, which is our goal, we’re not going to sell one billion pairs of glasses ourselves,” Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe told Bloomberg. “We are openly talking to any kind of partner that wants to jump into VR, and there’s a lot of interest right now.”

Oh, Jerry, You King of Comedic Observation, You

Jerry Seinfeld: “Is it okay to video a concert with my iPad? … Sure, sure go ahead. So you won’t enjoy the concert and you won’t enjoy the video: You will have negated everything.”

Off Topic

Senior citizens react to Google Glass.

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

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