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Code/red: Bon Voyage, Google Barge

Plus urine-tricity, naked Mark Cuban and Kegel Run.


  • Collision warning system developer Mobileye’s IPO.

Google Barge to Be Loaded With Shattered Dreams, Towed Away

Berthed idle and unfinished in Portland, Maine, since October, one of those silly Google barges is again on the move. Destination: Mundanity. The 250-foot-long vessel, which the company once envisioned as “an interactive space where people can learn about new technology,” has indeed been sold, Google confirmed today. The buyer? An international barging company, which plans to dismantle “the unprecedented artistic structure” adorning it and presumably use it for its intended purpose. No word yet on Google’s other barge, currently parked in a Stockton, Calif., harbor, though its future as a cornerstone of the company’s imagined retail empire is beginning to seem dubious. (Update: Google confirmed that the barge has been sold, but declined further comment.)

Well, Most of the Beats Family, Anyway

Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats is a done deal. “Today we are excited to officially welcome Beats Music and Beats Electronics to the Apple family,” the company wrote in a message posted to its website. Sadly, because of operational overlap, about 200 of Beats’ 700 employees will find themselves out of a job within the next few months.

Yo Drama, Redux

Or Arbel, creator of the monosyllabic mobile message app Yo: “As the pioneer of a concept, Yo has spawned many clones; though most of the clones offer something slightly different, some of them are a complete replication of the Yo app. Even the App Store description was copied word by word. We value creativity and we are in a free market. Improving upon our concept is welcomed, copying us bit-by-bit isn’t.”

Former MTV Networks CEO Gets on Board for Amazon Adventure

Former MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath is joining Amazon’s board of directors, a noteworthy addition given Amazon’s increasingly aggressive competition with Netflix and other streaming-video providers.

Well, Honey, if You Want to Watch TV Later, You’re Just Going to Have to Drink More Water

The Economist: “At the core of urine-tricity are microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which contain live microbes. When urine flows through an MFC, the microbes consume it as part of their normal metabolic process. This, in turn, frees electrons. Electrodes within the cell gather these electrons and when they are connected to an external circuit, a current is generated.”

Amazon Drone Delivery Test Fails in South Carolina

Reuters: “A drone being flown in a novel attempt to smuggle phones, marijuana and tobacco into a South Carolina maximum security prison crashed outside its walls, authorities said on Wednesday.”

But With Ridiculously Exaggerated Damages

Susan Decker, Bloomberg: “More than a half-dozen U.S. patent-infringement suits have been filed in the past year between the five top makers of marine electronics, including three complaints lodged in June and one in July. … The battle for market share is giving fishing its own version of the smartphone wars.”

Most Sentences That Begin “I Was Sitting in Front of a Computer, Naked” Don’t End This Way

Mark Cuban: “I was sitting in front of a computer, naked, hitting the refresh because we were close — waiting until my net worth hit that billion when the stock price got to a certain point, and then I kinda screamed and jumped around and then got dressed.”

Just Warn Your Spouse if You Get Past Level 9

Excerpt from Skea’s Kickstarter campaign: “Imagine playing Temple Run with Fitbit. Not with fingers, but with pelvic floor muscles!”

Off Topic

Coffee run with the inexplicably-still-mayor-of-Toronto Rob Ford and a collection of truly exquisite maternity pictures.

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments and cheese-slicing instructional videos to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

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