// HAPPENING TODAY
- “How Google Works,” a new book by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg, hits bookstores.
- Artist Kenny Irwin is auctioning off a microwaved iPhone 6 Plus.
And the Grammy for Best Rebranding of a Music Streaming Service Goes to …
Now that we’ve established that Apple is not “shutting down” Beats Music, the streaming service that Tim Cook in May lauded as the “first music subscription service that really got it right,” and we’re all agreed that it makes far more sense for the company to dump the Beats Music brand and integrate the service into an offering of its own, we can move on to another more interesting question: When will Apple show off the new version of its subscription service and its new brand? Here’s a guess backed up by some industry scuttlebutt: February — presumably timed to the Grammy Awards, which will be held Feb. 8.
Check Out This Grisly iPhone 6 Dismemberment Video!
Peter Thiel: Up in Smoke
Gloating Phil Schiller Tweet Drops in 10 … 9 … 8 …
Here’s a metric likely to figure prominently at Apple’s next big media event: iOS 8 hasn’t even been available a full week and it’s already been installed on almost half of the devices connecting to Apple’s App Store. According to Apple’s iOS developer portal, 46 percent of iOS devices were using iOS 8, as measured by the App Store on September 21. Meanwhile, KitKat — the latest iteration of Android — hasn’t yet reached 25 percent penetration after 10 months at market.
Xiaomi: We Plan to Sell Two Million This Year (Stuffed Bunnies, That Is)
Last night at a China-U.S. tech event hosted by The Information at Facebook, Xiaomi Technology co-founder Wanqiang Li was bullish on the company’s prospects for stuffed animal sales this year. “No matter how many [hand]sets we sell, we try to emphasize the fun of technology,” Li said, according to Re/code’s Lauren Goode. “It cannot be lifeless. … We think this year it’s likely we can sell two million stuffed animals. A bunny. The company’s mascot.”
Facebook Exec: Alibaba’s IPO Is a “Rude Shock”
Also at The Information event, Vaughan Smith, Facebook’s vice president of corporate development, had this to say about Alibaba: “I remember being back in Shanghai with eBay in 2002, and one of my jobs was to go around the world and buy up all the clones. So in 2002, we bought 30 percent of the e-commerce leader there, Eachnet, and in 2003 we acquired the rest of the company. … The reason why this is interesting in hindsight is because 2003 was the year Taobao launched. We had 80 percent of the market share in China, and then this guy Jack Ma, an English teacher who didn’t seem to know much about the Internet, showed up. It’s such a rude shock to see how it played out, and a visceral way to understand the opportunities in China.”
The Information Wants Managing Editor to Be Free
Speaking of The Information, the upstart subscription tech pub just lost its brand new managing editor, Jonathan Weber, who called it an “abrupt turn of events” on Twitter. Weber, the founding editor of the Industry Standard, joins reporter Katie Benner, who also fled earlier this year and joined Bloomberg View this month.
Just Think of the Superbowl Ad Possibilities!
Yours truly: “Soylent should really be called Flatulent.”
As Long as Passengers Are Required to Step Outside to Take a Call, No Problem
When an argument over leg room can force a commercial flight to make an unscheduled landing, should we really be considering allowing airline passengers to annoy one another with in-flight cellphone calls? A bipartisan group of 77 U.S. lawmakers thinks not and said as much in a letter to the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the FCC. “Arguments in an aircraft cabin already start over mundane issues, like seat selection, reclining seats and overhead bin space, and the volume and pervasiveness of voice communications would only serve to exacerbate and escalate these disputes,” lawmakers wrote in a letter quarterbacked by Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Dan Lipinski, D-Ill. “The nature of an aircraft cabin would make it impossible for passengers to remove themselves from loud or unwanted conversations, and disputes may ensue.”
You Called It “Celestial Jukebox in the Sky”? Seriously?
Earlier this month, Apple’s iPod Classic took a well-deserved and long-in-the-offing dirt nap. How’d that make Nest CEO Tony Fadell — a former Apple executive and head of the original iPod project — feel? “It was inevitable something would take its place,” Fadell told Fast Company. “You know, in 2003 or 2004, we started asking ourselves what would kill the iPod. And even back then, at Apple, we knew it was streaming. We called it the ‘celestial jukebox in the sky.’ And we have that now: Music in the cloud.”
Personally, I Just Like Hearing My Broker Say BABA
John Battelle, Searchblog: “If you’re reading this, and you bought [Alibaba] at $93, tell me — have you ever used Alibaba’s services? Do you really understand the company? I doubt it, because Alibaba is a Chinese company. Most of us here in the U.S. don’t speak Chinese, or have a reason to use Alibaba’s services. But for some reason we all seem willing to buy into the ‘Chinese eBay,’ or the ‘Chinese Facebook,’ as if throwing those successful public companies’ reputation over Alibaba’s frame somehow equates to quality.”
You Should Hear Some of the Crap We Didn’t Shove Down Your Throat
Brownsville to the Tharsis Bulge — One Way, Please
If and when SpaceX begins ferrying humans to Mars, aspiring colonists will likely begin their journey in Texas. This according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who said as much during a groundbreaking ceremony at a new commercial spaceport the company is building at Boca Chica Beach, near Brownsville, Texas. “It very well could be the first person to go to another planet could launch from this location,” Musk said. “This is really going to be a new kind of spaceport that is optimized for commercial operations. Cape Canaveral and Cape Vandenberg are great launch sites, but they are military launch sites. … What’s important for the future of space exploration is to have a truly commercial launch site, just as we have commercial airports.”
Honey, Have You Seen My Parachute Pants?
Dan Frommer, Quartz: “Jeans pockets will need to get bigger. For men and women. This isn’t just an iPhone 6 Plus thing — phones are getting bigger, period, and apparel companies would be silly not to extend pocket depth another inch.”
The New York Times, Jan. 28, 1917: “The unborn editors of the New York Times of 2015 have been invited to attend, on the second Saturday in September of that year, the opening of the Louis H. Eisenlohr box at Ashburnham, Mass., which was placed in the vault of the town Treasurer in 1915 with instructions that it be not opened for 100 years.”
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.