Here goes our weekly magazine of stories curated from around the world. In this edition: Apple CEO Tim Cooks exclusive interview. Another game of thrones, why breaking up HP makes sense. How Obama’s data scientists built a volunteer army of Facebook and more.
Another game of thrones: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are at each other’s throats in all sorts of ways. IT IS an epic story of warring factions in a strange and changing landscape, a tale of incursions and sieges, of plots and betrayals, of battlefield brilliance and of cunning with coin…
The death last year of Steve Jobs, Apple’s monarch, robbed the technology world of the nearest thing that it had to royalty. But even before Jobs’s passing, tension was growing between the great powers of the web generation as the onset of mobile computing upset the previous balance of power. Read more here.
Why Breaking Up H.P. Makes Sense: David Packard and William Hewlett may be Silicon Valley’s answer to Romulus and Remus in Rome’s founding story, but the era of their brainchild, Hewlett-Packard, as an everything-to-everyone conglomerate is coming to an end. Its chief executive, Meg Whitman, and its board, not to mention investors, won’t stick around for an arduous and risky five-year turnaround project. Breaking the company into good bits and selling bad ones must be on the agenda for 2013. Read more here.
Tim Cook’s Freshman Year: The Apple CEO Speaks: Prior to his death on Oct. 5, 2011, Steve Jobs made sure that the elevation of Tim Cook—his longtime head of operations and trusted deputy—to Apple chief executive officer would be drama-free. “He goes, ‘I never want you to ask what I would have done,’” recalls Cook. “‘Just do what’s right.’ He was very clear.” In Cook’s first 16 months on the job, Apple has released next-generation iPhones and iPads and seen its stock price rise 43 percent. Tim Cook’s exclusive interview here.
Microsoft Meets Its Timely Demise—and Other Tech Fantasies: The beginning of the end for Microsoft was supposed to come in April 2009. That’s when, during the depth of the recession, Microsoft’s quarterly Windows sales fell for the first time in history (to $3.4 billion in the third quarter, down from $4.0 billion). Microsoft went through its first big layoffs during that period, and its profits shrank. Life should be much worse for Microsoft now. The iPad exists. Windows 8, according to pundits examining a few weeks of data, is an unmitigated disaster that has done nothing less than foreshadow the demise of Office and Steve Ballmer and everything that Microsoft holds dear. Windows 8 should be a “Christmas gift for someone you hate,” according to one MIT professor. It’s sort of unclear why Microsoft even bothers at this point. More here.
New new world
Netflix Shows Facebook Is Not the Internet (Yet): Not so fast, kiddos. That’s what the Securities and Exchange Commission seems to be saying by warning Netflix that it may sue the company over a single Facebook update. The SEC’s warning centers on a July 3 Facebook post by Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings that said Netflix customers streamed more than 1 billion hours of video the previous month. The day of the update, Netflix shares rose 6.2 percent. Read more here.
How Amazon’s All-You-Can-Scroll Kindle Content Is Bad For Kids: Amazon has enabled something that on the surface sounds great for kids: A child-centered service that runs alongside a family’s Kindle Prime membership and gives kids aged 3 to 8 unlimited access to Prime content on a Kindle Fire tablet. (Prime costs $79 a year, and the new kid’s FreeTime Unlimited package is an extra $3 a month per child). But even in this enlightened digital age there’s a clear question whether unlimited content is more than kids can handle. Let’s discuss. Read here.
LinkedIn Launches An Incubator To Turn Employees Into Entrepreneurs: LinkedIn has launched [in]cubator, a program that allows any company employee with an idea to organize a team and pitch their project to executive staff once a quarter. Those whose ideas are greenlit by cofounder Reid Hoffman and CEO Jeff Weinr, among others, then get up to three months to spend developing that project. More here.
A New Project To Run Mac OS X Binaries On Linux: While there is the Wine project to run native Windows binaries on Linux (and other platforms), there’s a new open-source project that’s emerging for running Apple OS X binaries on Linux in a seamless manner. It is The Darling Project that’s set out to achieve binary compatible support for Apple OS X / Darwin applications on Linux. While in its early stages, Darling does leverage some code from GNUstep, an open-source implementation of Apple’s Cocoa Objective-C libraries, widget tool-kit, and application tools. More here.
Workaround: How you can still use Google Apps for free for new domains: Google has killed the free version of Google Apps, which simply means that now you will have to pay for the service, which earlier had an option to use the service for free up to 10 users. For bootstrapping entrepreneurs, Google Apps was the default service for configuring email/calendar etc services and while this is a huge blow to them, there is a workaround which enables you to signup for Google Apps for new domains, without actually paying for the service! More here.
A Vault for Taking Charge of Your Online Life: “YOU are walking around naked on the Internet and you need some clothes,” says Michael Fertik. “I am going to sell you some.” Naked? Not exactly, but close. Mr. Fertik, 34, is the chief executive of Reputation.com, a company that helps people manage their online reputations. From his perch here in Silicon Valley, he views the digital screens in our lives, the smartphones and the tablets, the desktops and the laptops, as windows of a house. People go about their lives on the inside, he says, while dozens of marketing and analytics companies watch through the windows, sizing them up like peeping Toms. Read more here.
Intweetable: OF THE 264 Twitter accounts belonging to governments and world leaders, and the 350,289 tweets that have been sent from those accounts to their 51,990,656 followers, not a single one was sent by a Chinese leader. This information comes courtesy of a new report called Twiplomacy, which describes the ways in which governments use Twitter to brand their countries and to interact with important constituencies both at home and abroad. Issued by Burson-Marsteller, a big public-relations firm, the study reveals fascinating trends about the patterns of usage and inter-connections between heads of state around the world. Read more here.
How Obama’s data scientists built a volunteer army of Facebook: As voters increasingly spend their leisure time with things other than newspapers and television, political campaigns need new methods of making sure their messages reach those people. Obama for America’s Rayid Ghani took to Facebook to find not just possible voters, but possible campaign workers. Read more here.