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Code/red: No Skinning Allowed on Android Auto, Wear and TV

Plus, moronic remarks from former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès and Foxconn CEO Terry Gou.


  • Bitcoin enthusiasts await the results of the U.S. Marshals Service auction of 30,000 bitcoins seized from Silk Road last year.

No More TouchWizzing on Stock Android — Okay, Samsung?

Looks like Google is finally realizing that consistency is likely to trump customization in any effort to create a continuous user experience across devices. While the company’s early roll-your-own approach to distributing Android was a great engine for market share gains, it also inspired significant hardware and software fragmentation. Now that Google is looking to use Android as a platform for integrated and continuous experiences across phones, wearables, TVs and cars, the company is telling manufacturing partners that they can’t muck about with the look and feel of the OS as much as they used to. Can’t have Samsung and HTC fouling the stock Android experience with godawful overlays like TouchWiz and Sense when you’re gunning for continuity, right? “The UI is more part of the product in this case,” Google engineering director David Burke told Ars Technica. “We want to just have a very consistent user experience, so if you have one TV in one room and another TV in another room and they both say Android TV, we want them to work the same and look the same. … The device manufacturers can brand it, and they might have services that they want to include with it, but otherwise it should be the same.”

Mt. Gox Founder: Why Yes, I Am a Total Moron

Mark Karpelès, founder and sole executive of bitcoin exchange disaster Mt. Gox: “The weakest point of my company was management.”

Ready for Your Dirt Nap, Orkut?

Remember Orkut, Google’s other underused social network? No? Okay, never mind.

Yeah, Scoring an iPhone Display Contract Must Be an Awful Hardship

It’s not particularly happy about it, but Sharp has dedicated the entire LCD production of one of its biggest plants to a single company: Apple. “The No. 1 plant’s output goes to just one company (Apple),” Sharp Senior Executive Managing Officer Norikazu Hoshi told The Nikkei. “If you look at just this plant, it certainly presents a high level of volatility risk. But if we make LCD panels for smartphones in large quantities at the No. 2 plant, we can absorb the impact even when the No. 1 plant is not doing so well.”

Also, the Barn Is on Fire

Dan Nova, general partner at Highland Capital Partners, an Aereo backer: “If cable companies believe that their old ways of doing business are protected by the Aereo Supreme Court decision, they are clearly misguided. Consumers are rejecting cable companies and traditional consumption models. The horse is out of the barn.”

Mass Grave Discovered Near Sand Hill Road

Harvard Business School lecturer Shikhar Ghosh: “VCs bury their dead very quietly.”

Since When Has Facebook Thought Through the Ethical Implications of Anything?

James Grimmelmann, professor of law at the University of Maryland, on Facebook’s emotion experiment: “In 2006, AOL released a collection of 20 million search queries to researchers. Like the Facebook study authors, AOL thought it was protecting its users: It anonymized the users’ names. But that wasn’t sufficient: Queries like ‘homes sold in shadow lake subdivision gwinnett county georgia’ led a reporter straight to user No. 4417749. Like Facebook, AOL had simply not thought through the legal and ethical issues involved in putting its business data to research purposes.”

NSA Efforts to Destabilize U.S. Tech Industry a Rousing Success

ServInt COO Christian Dawson:”We’re all hurting in the United States. We definitely know that U.S. tech companies are experiencing real harm as a result of the actions of the NSA and how those are being exploited internationally to take business away from U.S. businesses.”

So That Mass-Suicide Protest Was Just a Plea for Couple’s Counseling?

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou on the suicide attempts at the company’s factories: “It wasn’t because the workers were tired. Some of it was because the work is monotonous, but 90 percent of it had to do with personal relationships or because of family disputes.”

There’s a Reason “Geek Fashion Sense” Is an Oxymoron

Former New York Times design director Khoi Vinh: “When technology companies look at goods that are built from the outside in, they generally see irrationality and inefficiency, a broken market just waiting to be corrected and ‘disrupted.’ They believe that they can engineer so much value into these items that people will be swayed to buy goods built from the inside out, that the promise that drives hardware and software — ‘adopt this and benefit from its utility’ — will convince people to upend their sartorial habits. This is how you get products like Google Glass, which assumes that consumers prize utility so much that they’re willing to look like they have no interest whatsoever in having intimate relations with another human being.”

But if You’re Looking for an Ugly Full-Year Loss, You’ve Come to the Right Place

Sony TV division head Masashi Imamura on the company’s decision to adopt Google’s Android TV: “There’s no way Sony can develop its own new operating system.”

Aerosmith, CompuServe and Info-Highways: I Remember Like It Was Yesterday

Deborah Wilker, Sun Sentinel, 1994: “If you’ve been feeling a little left out lately, what with all this talk about cyberspace, internets and info-highways, it’s time to get a grip. Today, the veteran rock band Aerosmith offers the first-ever computer-released song, available only at your desk, provided you have a PC (with sound card) and a subscription to the on-line service CompuServe.”

Off Topic

Pawzing Workout Resuming Workout.

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