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Code/red: Chinese Microsoft Probe Gets Odder Still

Plus, a Square meal of Caviar, and Elon Musk worries about Skynet.


China to Microsoft: Mess With the Bull, You Get the Horns, Buddy

Microsoft best take China’s antitrust investigation seriously, because the country’s regulators aren’t messing around. On Monday morning, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce publicly cautioned Microsoft against “interfering in or obstructing” its probe and reminded the company of its promise to respect Chinese law. An odd warning and hard to imagine what precipitated it, other than Microsoft’s reflexive eye-rolling over being accused of monopolistic practices in a country in which nine out of 10 copies of Microsoft software are pirated. Perhaps China’s outrage over the software giant’s decision to end support for Windows XP had something to do with it.

Dr. Dre is in da house at Apple — and the company’s employee directory as well. With the closing of its Beats acquisition, Apple added Dre to its internal org chart under SVP Eddy Cue and listed him in its staff directory, hopefully under “The first billionaire in hip hop from the motherf—ing West Coast.” Apple’s rank-and-file can now add a real hip-hop icon to their contacts. No word yet on what his chosen e-mail address is …

Square Looking to Put Food on the Table With Caviar Buy

Remember last year when Square founder Jack Dorsey returned 10 percent of his stake in the company to help fund future acquisitions? Well, the fast-growing payments company is finally poised to make one. It’s buying San Francisco-based food delivery service Caviar in an all-stock deal valued at $90 million.

Shouldn’t Have Clicked Past the CIA TOS So Quickly

Turns out there was no need for the CIA to apologize for surveilling the Senate committee charged with supervising its activities. Why? Well, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the CIA never actually hacked into congressional computers; it was just poking around in its own machines. “Remember, these weren’t Senate computers, these were CIA computers at the CIA,” Rogers told CNN. “Somebody needs to be held accountable. This is very serious. But I don’t think this is some conspiracy notion that they wanted to spy on either of our committees.”

Tesla Founder Announces Plot of Next Wachowski Brothers Film

Tesla founder Elon Musk: “We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes. … Hope we’re not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable.”

In Related News, None of Them Have Actually Read the Gmail Terms of Service

Dan Frommer, Quartz: “Among the Fortune 50, only one company — Google — had its mail records pointed at Google’s servers. Among the mid-size companies, almost 60 percent host their email with Google, including corporations like Twitter, Dropbox, Box, Airbnb, Square, Uber, and Etsy. And among the Y Combinator startups — mostly very small companies with some funding, but often tight budgets — 92 percent host their email with Google.”

Neither Is the Monopoly Dollar

The Bitcoin Foundation: “‘Currency’ is defined as ‘the coin and paper money of the United States or of any other country which is designated as legal tender and which circulates and is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance. Bitcoin most certainly is not ‘the coin and paper money of the United States.'”

TripAdvisor Commenters Are Going to Have Blast With This One

The Union Street Guest House: “If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event … and given us a deposit of any kind … there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review … placed on any Internet site by anyone in your party.”

Off Topic

Hello, I am a bear and How to Mount a Horse in Armor and Other Chivalric Problems.

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments and potato salad to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

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