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Code/red: Apple Plans to Announce Wearable in September

Plus, big iPads, bigger hard drives and Steve Jurvetson’s Elon Musk mancrush.



  • Everyone’s wondering how the hell Otter Products, which makes OtterBox protective cases for mobile phones, could possibly be worth $2.5 billion.

Start the Countdown Timer on Whatever Old-Fashioned Piece of Junk You Have on Your Wrist Right Now

Remember back in June when I said Apple hoped to schedule a special event in October to show off a new wearable device? Remember how I also said this: “Could things change between now and fall? That’s certainly possible.” Turns out that was a prescient hedge, because things have changed. Apple now plans to unveil a new wearable alongside the two next-generation iPhones we told you the company will debut on September 9. (Funny “joke,” Gruber.) The new device will, predictably, make good use of Apple’s HealthKit health and fitness platform. It will also — predictably — make good use of HomeKit, the company’s new framework for controlling connected devices — though it’s not clear how broadly or in what way. Sure would be nice to turn the lights on and off from my wrist, though — or navigate my Apple TV. Oh. Could things change between now and September 9? That’s certainly possible — har-har — but I doubt it. Invitations should be going out any day now, right? No word yet on the fate of the October event I mentioned earlier this summer, though I imagine it’s still on. With its best product pipeline in 25 years, Apple should have more than enough hardware to fill two events. Apple declined comment.

Eric Schmidt’s Sense of Irony Evidently Worse Than His Sense of Humor

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt in a post to Google+: “Playing catch-up with the competition can only ever help you make incremental gains. It will never help you create something new.”

Point/Counterpoint: You’re Overreacting vs. You’re Sleazy

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on outrage over the company’s efforts to recruit Lyft drivers: “Would it be controversial if we got in taxis and recruited taxi drivers and paid for the ride? … To be clear, we are paying for the rides, these are independent contractors working for multiple co’s.”

Basecamp CEO Jason Fried: “I *understand* the @uber recruiting angle. A $10 ride is the cheapest way to get in front of a strong lead/candidate…. it’s just more about how it all /feels/. Like someone walking into your physical office, pulling up a chair, and recruiting your people.”

Alibaba IPO Enthusiasm Meter Goes to 11

Expectations for Alibaba’s hotly anticipated IPO were already running high. Now they’re likely off the charts. The e-commerce giant, which plans to go public soon after Labor Day, this morning posted a 46 percent increase in quarterly revenue and said it had 279 million active buyers as of June — 50 percent more than it had at the same time last year.

Soaring Value, No Clear Business Model — I’m Getting All Nostalgic

The Wall Street Journal on Snapchat’s nearly $10 billion valuation: “Snapchat’s valuation, at about $2 billion just one year ago, has soared even though the startup lacks a clear business model.”

Eight Terabyte Hard Drive Brings New Meaning to Catastrophic Data Failure

In 1981, Apple brought its first external hard drive to market, the ProFile. It offered five megabytes of storage at a price of $3,500 — that’s around $700,000 per gigabyte. Yesterday, Seagate announced the world’s first 8TB drive. The company hasn’t yet disclosed pricing for the device, but its 6TB hard drives are currently running about $500.

Larger iPad Report Heralds Months of Awful MaxiPad Jokes

Apple is planning to supersize more than just the iPhone in the months ahead. Bloomberg, like the Wall Street Journal before it — and Korean news site ET News before them both — says Apple is planning to field a new iPad with a display that measures 12.9 inches diagonally. If Apple CEO Tim Cook can do 80 percent of his job on a 9.7 inch iPad, how much will he be able to do on a behemoth 12.9-incher? I’m thinking most of it, particularly if the device supports split-screen multitasking and arrives at market accompanied by an attachable keyboard.

Bet There’s Enough Material for an Entire Negativland Album

Public Knowledge: “We challenge YOU to remix Comcast’s repeated examples of poor customer treatment into something unique and creative. Take one or more of the recent highly publicized customer service calls with Comcast and let your imagination go to work. We want to see remixes, mashups, autotunes, interpretive dances — whatever you think of to broadcast these real customer service calls with Comcast.”

China Kinda Late to This Microsoft Antitrust Thing

Sixteen years after the U.S. Department of Justice sued Microsoft for unlawfully bundling its Internet browser and media player with Windows, China is investigating the company for similar behavior. Said Zhang Mao, chief of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce: “Microsoft is suspected of incomplete disclosure of information related to Windows and Office software, as well as problems in distribution and sales of its media player and browser.”


Steve Jurvetson on Elon Musk: “He thinks differently. He sees the world and he sees the future in a very clear way and he executes unlike anyone we’ve seen. And so whether it’s Tesla, Space X, Solar City, which he helped form with his cousins, and two other start-ups before that, including PayPal, the guy’s had more success in more industries than any entrepreneur I know of on the planet.”

Or at the Very Least, a Photoshop Sarcasm Plug-In

Onion Managing Editor Ben Berkley on the publication’s three-person art department: “Calling them artistic wizards is a disservice to their talents. Really, it’s a travesty that Adobe hasn’t renamed Photoshop after them.”

Off Topic

Is this the new iPhone 6? and The Princess Bride recut as a horror trailer.

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments and Czech anti-public-urination signs to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

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