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Code/red: Insert Bad iPhone Charger Pun Here

Plus, Apple announces its big event and the best Amazon customer service chat ever.


  • The anniversary of the first issue of Scientific American magazine (published in 1845).

No, It Won’t Be Called PayPhone

“The mobile payments area in general is one that we’ve been intrigued with. It was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID. … It’s clear that there’s a lot of opportunity there.” Apple CEO Tim Cook said that back in January. Now, some eight months later the company is gearing up to take advantage of it. Wired reports that Apple’s next-generation iPhones will include the Near Field Communications chips needed to support mobile payments. I’ve been hearing the same, and given Apple’s recent payments industry recruitment efforts, a year of market data on Touch ID and the 800 million iTunes accounts with associated credit card information it likes to boast about, it seems clear the company is poised for a big payments push. As Cook said, “You can tell by looking at the demographics of our customers, and the amount of commerce that goes through iOS devices versus the competition, that it’s a big opportunity on the platform.”

New iPhones to Suck All the Air Out of the Tech News Cycle on Sept. 9, Redux

Apple’s next big media event will occur on September 9. Like we said. It’s being held at the Flint Center, where Steve Jobs unveiled the Mac in 1984.

More Like Memory Lapse Publishing

The Awl: “We are trying an experiment in which we publish all of the day’s stories at once. If it proves successful, we may consider an entirely new form of publishing, in which we bundle an entire day’s worth of news and commentary into a single package that we deliver to your doorstep. It has never been done before. We’re not sure what we are going to call it, but the sound of ‘hyperlapse publishing’ has been bouncing around the office, and it has a nice ring to it.”

Apple Smartwatch Alarm Rouses Samsung, LG

Perhaps Samsung and LG had long planned to announce their upcoming smartwatches on a Wednesday night ahead of their expected debut at IFA next week. Perhaps it was simple coincidence that both companies broadcast press releases touting their upcoming devices on the same day we told you that Apple will unveil its wearable next month. Perhaps 7 pm PT/10 pm ET is a new sweet spot in which to break tech news.

Samsung R&D Center Reportedly Designed by Terry Gilliam

The Verge’s Chris Ziegler: “Every few hours, 3 balls fall into the samsung engineering office from a tube in the ceiling. Last week they got:


But You’ll Get to See Those Dead Relatives Welcoming You in 3-D!

Cloudhead Games creative director Denny Unger: “The low-hanging fruit of VR, to me, is horror games that purposely do jump scares. We’re very close to having the first death in VR — I firmly believe that. … When the commercial version comes out, somebody is going to scare somebody to death — somebody with a heart condition or something like that. It is going to happen. Absolutely.”

Samsung Chairman Actually Imperial God-King

Jungah Lee and Jason Clenfield, Bloomberg: “When Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun Hee toured his factories, the preparations were worthy of a head of state. Workers were told to park behind the plant because their ugly cars would offend the leader’s eyes. Mints were placed in bathrooms lest anyone’s breath smell of kimchi. Guards lined the road to greet his limo and a long, red carpet was rolled out. Everyone was reminded not to gaze down from the windows.”

PSA: Jack Ma Is Filthy Rich

For those of you keeping score at home, Alibaba founder and Chairman Jack Ma is China’s richest person. Bloomberg, which has crunched the numbers on his 7.3 percent stake in Alibaba and nearly 50 percent stake in Alipay, figures Ma is worth about $21.8 billion these days. But that’s assuming an Alibaba IPO value of $154 billion, and there’s chatter that the company’s post-IPO valuation could hit $200 billion.

Mockery of Silly Clown-Car Design Also a Concern

Lee Gomes, MIT Technology Review: “Among other unsolved problems, Google has yet to drive in snow, and [Chris Urmson director of the Google car team] says safety concerns preclude testing during heavy rains. Nor has it tackled big, open parking lots or multi-level garages.”

Facebook: We’ve Overheard Your Concerns About Messenger

Facebook Product Manager Peter Martinazzi: “You might have heard the rumors going around about the Messenger app. Some have claimed that the app is always using your phone’s camera and microphone to see and hear what you’re doing. These reports aren’t true, and many have been corrected.”

At Least God Doesn’t Make That Annoying Buzzing Sound

Fellowship Church pastor Ed Young: “Drones are everywhere, and they make a lot of us feel uncomfortable. And I think if the truth were known, many of us feel uncomfortable even thinking about, even contemplating, a God who is omnipresent.”

Off Topic

Amazon customer service representative Thor discusses Odin’s missing package.

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments and scented duct tape to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

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