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Code/red: There Goes the Neighborhood

Plus, BlackBerry's slim chances of a buyout, Coinye takes a dirt nap and the plausibility of "Sharknado."


  • Today kicks off the busiest IPO week since August 2000, with 25 companies going public.
  • Time Warner is rolling its eyes at reports that 21st Century Fox is open to giving its shareholders board representation as part of an unwanted acquisition offer.

Told You Zillow Zestimates Were a Joke

In the end, Zillow was willing to pay a hell of a lot more than a rumored $2 billion for Trulia. Zillow, the Z-prefix obsessed real estate listing aggregator, this morning agreed to acquire its rival for $3.5 billion in stock, a price that seemed to give investors a bit of sticker shock. Zillow shares dropped more than five percent initially, but climbed into positive territory in midday trading. When it closes next year, the deal — already approved by the boards of both companies — will create a online real estate information behemoth. The two sites, which list properties for sale or rent on behalf of real estate agents and homeowners, had a combined 85.4 million unique U.S. visitors in June, according to comScore. Zillow’s plan post acquisition? To become the IAC/InterActiveCorp of real estate sites.

Seems Pricey for a “Forgettable,” “Indistinct Slab of Glass and Plastic”

Arik Hesseldahl, Re/code: “The components used to assemble the Amazon Fire phone cost a combined $205.”

You Call It a Pulse, We Call It Seismic Instability

Bob Brennan, SVP of Samsung’s Memory System Application Lab: “Samsung strategically determined the best pool of talent in the U.S would be in the Bay Area. You have proximity to, what I call, this ‘technology pulse.'”

I Hear There Are No Buyout Offers for Palm, Either

Here’s one less thing for John Chen to worry about as he steers BlackBerry back toward profitability: Buyout offers for the dilapidated smartphone pioneer. Evidently, there aren’t any. “I don’t have any offers on my desk,” the BlackBerry CEO told Bloomberg. “If people would like to talk, I mean, talk is not an offer.” Hardly surprising, as it’s long been a challenge to explain exactly who would want to buy BlackBerry outright, and why. It’s hard enough getting people to buy BlackBerrys, much less BlackBerry itself.

Russian Space Agency Suffering From Reptile Dysfunction

“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver: “Don’t you dare laugh at the fact that Russia has lost a satellite full of sexually active space geckos. There’s nothing funny about that. This is like ‘Apollo 13’ all over again, only in Cyrillic and a quintet of Russian fuck lizards instead of Tom Hanks.” (Couldn’t use “Ground Control to Major Fuck Gecko” in a headline, now could I?)

Tizen Smartphone Hung Up Again

With its repeated delays, Samsung’s Tizen is fast becoming the Windows Vista of mobile operating systems. After failing to launch a Tizen-powered smartphone in March and June, Samsung has again postponed the device’s commercial debut. In a terse statement this morning, the company said the Samsung Z will not arrive at market in Russia in the third quarter of this year because it needs more time to “further enhance [the] Tizen ecosystem.” Evidently, Samsung is finding that rallying developer support around a nascent and unproven mobile operating system may not be the easiest way to cut its dependency on Google’s Android OS.

Dunno, Ask Samsung …

Kabir Chibber, Quartz: “A truly innovative Chinese tech company is only a matter of time. But until then, do they have to be so blatant about copying?”

And Its Apple Battery Charger Business Is Twice as Large as Noah’s Bagels

Jordan Weissmann, Slate: “Apple’s hardware accessories business (think headphones) generated $1.3 billion, larger than Chipotle’s $1.05 billion top line. … And while sales of the dowdy old iPod line may be dwindling, the $442 million Apple made off it this quarter is still 77 percent larger Twitter’s $250 million quarterly revenue.”

Thou Shalt Not Taunt Yeezus

So much for Coinye’s plan to become a “cryptocurrency for the masses.” Kanye West has prevailed in his “lolsuit” against the parody cryptocurrency he accused of usurping his name and likeness. Evidently, going to the legal mat with Yeezus was a bad move. Ten of the defendants in the case lost by default and three others agreed to settle in exchange for the suit being dropped. Said one, “It was unfortunate that a parody turned into such an expensive endeavor (for everyone), but it’s been a wild ride and I think a lot of people can learn from our case.”

The NSA Bulk Data Collection Forms? They’re Over There by the Verizon Stock Purchase Orders …

Lee Fang, Vice: “Vice has obtained disclosures that reveal … that FISA Court judges have not only owned Verizon stock in the last year, but that at least one of the judges to sign off on the NSA orders for bulk metadata collection is a proud shareholder of the company complying with these requests.”

Torvalds Opens Stand-Up Routine With Old “Your Compiler Is So Bad …” Jokes

Linux founder Linus Torvalds on some bad code: “Ok, so I’m looking at the code generation and your compiler is pure and utter *shit*. … For chrissake, that compiler shouldn’t have been allowed to graduate from kindergarten. We’re talking “sloth that was dropped on the head as a baby” level retardation levels here.”

It’s Times Like This When “Sales” as ”Shipments Into the Channel” Really Comes In Handy

Min Jeong-Lee, the Wall Street Journal: “The penetration rate for smartphones among mobile-phone users in [South Korea] was 70.14 percent at end June, meaning that for the first time, seven out of every ten cellphone subscriptions are for smartphones, data compiled by the government showed. It doesn’t bode well for companies like Samsung Electronics, which is set to report an operating profit decline for the third straight quarter when it releases results this week, largely due to weaker-than-expected smartphone sales.”

And the Cute Little Robot Was Never Seen Again. – Fin –

HitchBOT: “I will be traveling across Canada, from coast-to-coast this summer, hoping to make new friends, have interesting conversations, and see new places along the way. As you may have guessed robots cannot get driver’s licences yet, so I’ll be hitchhiking my entire way.”

Besides, Who’s Going to Tune In for “Pignado”?

“Sharknado” star Tara Reid: “I don’t think pigs could fly, but actually sharks could be stuck in tornadoes. There could be a sharknado.”

Off Topic

TripAdvisor Reviews for the Overlook Hotel and Musicless Musicvideo / David Bowie & Mick Jagger — “Dancing in the Street.”

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments and Bunch O Balloons water balloons to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

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