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Code/red: So Are You Going to Fix the TV Interface or What, Apple?

Plus, first-day iPhone 6 preorders, and an Alibaba IPO update.


  • Google’s Android One debuts in India.
  • The deadline for final-round comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality proposal.
  • GamesBeat kicks off in San Francisco.

Apple CEO “TV Is Interesting” Excuse Enters Fourth Year of Reruns

Years after first proclaiming TV an “area of intense interest” for Apple and one ripe for disruption, CEO Tim Cook has yet to do any disrupting, let alone demonstrate that the intense interest to which he so often refers extends beyond cluttering up Apple TV with dedicated cricket and WWF channels. Apple likes to say “there are a thousand no’s for every yes.” Could it be that TV is a no, not a yes? Not according to Cook, who revived his “my, isn’t TV interesting” shtick during an interview with Charlie Rose this weekend. “TV is one that we continue to have great interest in — I choose my words carefully there — TV is one of those things that, if we’re really honest, it’s stuck back in the seventies,” Cook said. “Think about how much your life has changed, and all the things around you that have changed. And yet TV, when you go in your living room to watch the TV, or wherever it might be, it almost feels like you’re rewinding the clock and you’ve entered a time capsule and you’re going backwards. The interface is terrible. I mean, it’s awful!” Agreed. And pretty soon we’ll be saying the same thing about the Apple TV interface. You know what’s no longer interesting? Saying TV is something you continue to have great interest in.

Okay, Class, Ready for Our Field Trip? Everybody Put on Their Glasses.

Oculus VR’s Brendan Iribe on virtual reality: “We believe this is going to be one of the most transformative platforms for education of all time. Imagine, you could scan in everything in the Smithsonian. … You could put on a pair of … sunglasses, and with those sunglasses you could see those objects and you could look around and you could see it so well and so clearly, and it would track so perfectly that your brain would believe it was really right in front of you.”

Only Four Million iPhones Sold in 24 Hours? Apple Is Doomed.

Apple’s newest iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, haven’t yet shipped and they’re already breaking sales records. The company said Monday that it processed over four million preorders for the new handsets in their first 24 hours on sale. That’s an awfully big number. Recall that the iPhone 5 racked up only two million first-day preorders during its market debut two years ago and that last year Apple sold nine million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c units over their launch weekend.

It’s Like There’s an Uber for Irrational Exuberance

If the current investment environment in Silicon Valley reminds you of the late ’90s asininity that preceded the Great Dark Times, you’re not alone. Benchmark Capital partner Bill Gurley shares your apprehension, and in an interview with the Wall Street Journal worries that the burn rate for startups is the highest it’s been since 1999. “I think that Silicon Valley as a whole or that the venture-capital community or startup community is taking on an excessive amount of risk right now,” Gurley said. “Unprecedented since ’99. In some ways less silly than ’99 and in other ways more silly than in ’99. … No one’s fearful, everyone’s greedy, and it will eventually end.”

Alibaba Considers Surge Pricing for IPO

Alibaba kicked off its Asia roadshow in Hong Kong this morning, pitching its stock to potential shareholders ahead of an IPO that may well end up being the world’s biggest. Sources close to Alibaba say the e-commerce company plans to raise the top end of its IPO price range from $66 to around $70. Expect an amendment to the company’s IPO docs later this afternoon.

Mojang Pens Blockbuster of an Acquisition Letter

Minecraft creator Mojang on being acquired for a smooth $2.5 billion: “Yes, the deal is real. Mojang is being bought by Microsoft. It was reassuring to see how many of your opinions mirrored those of the Mojangstas when we heard the news. Change is scary, and this is a big change for all of us. It’s going to be good though. Everything is going to be OK.”

And Nobody Complained About a Free U2 Album in Their Libraries

Wired’s Matt Honan on the debut of the first iPod: “Reporters came back with those little white MP3 players and big boxes of compact discs. See, Apple pre-loaded … the iPods … with music from Real Bands. But they couldn’t legally give out the iPods with MP3s unless they also purchased a copy of every CD. So everyone got two copies of each album: one on the iPod, the other on a piece of plastic. Nobody who went to the event kept the CDs, they just piled them up on a table at the office.”

Maybe Paint the Trim Whine Red

Damien Fahey: “I’m at Home Depot trying to decide between ‘Eggshell White’ and ‘Complain About A Free U2 Album White.'”

Apple CEO Flames Amazon Fire

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Amazon: “They’ve come up with a phone. You don’t see it in a lot of places.”

Have You No Respect for Tradition?

John Gruber, Daring Fireball, on failed iPhone 6 preorders: “You’d think after eight years Apple would be able to deal with this. No surprise demand is high — the iPhones 6 are amazing, and bigger displays have been long-awaited — but the online store crapping itself so utterly is just embarrassing.”

Now I Guess I’ll Have to Tell ’Em That I Got No Cerebellum

Arielle Duhaime-Ross, The Verge: “A woman living in China’s Shandong Province got a bit of a surprise recently when doctors at the Chinese PLA General Hospital told her that her brain was missing one of the most important centers for motor control: the cerebellum.”

Off Topic

Guys Try Pole Dancing for the First Time and Ten Second Songs covers Linkin Park’s “In The End.”

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