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Code/red: Google’s New Music Service Has Predictably Awful Name

Plus, Yahoo’s search for tech cred, Steve Ballmer’s hardcore retirement and disturbing revelations from a self-driving car survey.


  • Y Combinator Demo Day.
  • The 10th anniversary of Google’s 2004 IPO.

You Let an Algorithm Pick These Names or What?

For all its skill in developing new products and services, Google sure is awful at naming them. To wit, the brand the company has reportedly settled on for its YouTube music subscription offering: YouTube Music Key. In the vast pantheon of lousy Google brand names, it ranks right up there with Orkut and the also apparently-in-the-offing Google Play Music Key (formerly the mellifluous Google Play Music All Access) as a another monument to Google’s nonsensical, WTF monikers. In any event, YouTube Music Key and Google Play Music Key will offer ad-free access to music online and off for $10 a month to folks able to deduce their purpose from their names.

We Did Not Find Results for “Yahoo Tech Cred.” Please Try a New Query.

Yahoo CIO Mike Kail: “I want to bring some of the tech cred back to Yahoo, which has probably been a bit stale over the past few years.”

Of Course It’s Not Like We’ll Try to Solve Death or Anything

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 2004: “We will not shy away from high-risk, high-reward projects because of short term earnings pressure. Some of our past bets have gone extraordinarily well, and others have not. Because we recognize the pursuit of such projects as the key to our long term success, we will continue to seek them out. For example, we would fund projects that have a 10% chance of earning a billion dollars over the long term. Do not be surprised if we place smaller bets in areas that seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses.”

Spelunkers Locate New Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin had its worst trading day in months on Monday, tumbling almost 12 percent to $435.60. That’s a price it hasn’t seen since May. Hard to believe the cryptocurrency was trading at $1,150 last year.

AppNexus Would Like a Billion-Dollar Exit Also, Please

AppNexus is now the most valuable ad-tech startup in Silicon Alley. On Monday, “the world’s largest independent advertising technology company” — as it likes to refer to itself — accepted a $60 million investment from an unnamed Boston-based public equity and asset management firm. The new funding, which follows a $75 million round raised last January, gives AppNexus a valuation of $1.2 billion. The company’s next steps — another possible round of funding and then the inevitable IPO. Said CEO Brian O’Kelley, “I suspect we will go the IPO direction, but I’d like to do it when it’s right for us and when it’s right for the market.”

Marketing Lobbyist Believes Additional Marketing Regulation Unneeded

Tony Hadley, VP for government affairs and public policy for Experian: “Should marketing data be regulated like credit, like employment, like lending data? I think the clear indication that we’re getting from Congress is no. … The idea that there’s a lack of data regulation and that one more law, the 301st law, will bring sense to consumers … is something that I think is questionable.”

“Your Mom” Jokes, However, Remain an Obvious Gray Area

Fark founder Drew Curtis on the site’s new misogyny ban: “Adam Savage once described to me the problem this way: if the Internet was a dude, we’d all agree that dude has a serious problem with women. We’ve actually been tightening up moderation style along these lines for awhile now, but as of today, the FArQ will be updated with new rules reminding you all that we don’t want to be the He Man Woman Hater’s Club.”

Retirement Seems to Have Mellowed Ballmer

New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer: “We’re going to be hardcore. HARD-core. HARDCORE! We’re going to get better every day. We’re going to be tenacious. Something knocks us down and we’re going to get back and keep coming and coming and coming and coming. Did you watch these guys? That was hardcore! Hardcore baby! Nothing gets in our way! BOOM! Keep coming. HARD-core. The HARDCORE Clippers, that’s us.”

Researchers Discover Plot of Next Neal Stephenson Novel

Brian Krebs, Krebs on Security: “[The researchers] noticed a bizarre pattern in Google Translate: When one typed “lorem ipsum” into Google Translate, the default results (with the system auto-detecting Latin as the language) returned a single word: ‘China.’ Capitalizing the first letter of each word changed the output to ‘NATO.’ … Reversing the words in both lower- and uppercase produced ‘The Internet’ and ‘The Company’ (the ‘Company’ with a capital ‘C’ has long been a code word for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency).”

A Humble Villager With Rainbow Suspenders

Nick Schaedel, organizer of a petition to name a character in the new Legend of Zelda game after Robin Williams: “I do not think it reasonable to expect Nintendo to redesign a character, rewrite the mythology, or depict Robin Williams’ mannerisms or likeness in game. In my mind, all I pictured was a humble villager on a hilltop somewhere, with a few goats and a nice view. Not an incarnation of the man, but a tribute to him.”

And 100 Percent Would Prefer to Be a Passenger in the Second Group’s Car

Wired’s Patrick Lin on a survey of responses to the self-driving car “tunnel problem”: “Thirty-six percent of respondents would want a robot car to sacrifice their life to avoid crashing into a child, while 64 percent would want the child to die in order to save their own life.”

Off Topic

Pipe Guy and 22 People Who Should Have Definitely Not Taken the Ice Bucket Challenge.

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