Linkages

Booting up: It’s a Cold, Cold World (for Those of Us Without Google Fiber)

(Photo: Rex Sorgatz)

Social media is making Google search less useful. Facebook isn’t ready to compete, at least not yet. Welcome to the search desert. [BuzzFeed]

If you’re a PC maker who wasn’t so thrilled when Microsoft launched the Surface, how exactly do you feel about news that the software maker might invest $2 billion in the deal to take Dell private? [Bloomberg]

Apple releases its quarterly earnings report today, and your guess is as good as ours. As far as what earnings mean for the company’s stock, which has plummeted nearly 30 percent since September? How about something in the $1 to infinity range?[@ReformedBroker]

Two Bitcoin casinos say their businesses are minting profit. [Ars Technica]

Larry Page said that Google Fiber was not a “hobby” for his company, during a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings. Cruelly, he didn’t say anything about when the company might expand the product beyond Kansas City. [Los Angeles Times]

pink and pink

Microsoft Goes Full Steel Magnolias on the Inside of the 42nd Street Shuttle

(Mehreen Zama/Instagram)

Microsoft has chosen the Times Square-to-Grand Central shuttle to launch an advertising campaign for the Surface, and it’s a full-on assault: not only did the company install video screens to loop an ad for the tablet computer, but it painted entire cars flamboyant pink, the same color, Mashable points out, as the double duty screen protectors/keyboards that Microsoft calls Touchcovers. Read More

Oops

Oprah Loves the Microsoft Surface So Much She Used an iPad to Tweet About It

(Screenshot: Zagg)

Between the Windows 8 sales that hit “well below” expectations, empty retail stores and the numerous YouTube videos featuring a sweaty Steve Ballmer trying to amp up a bored crowd at a product launch, it appears that any person or thing that touches Microsoft is destined for a mortifying moment or two. Even Oprah Winfrey, Queen of All Things Ever, is not immune to the challenges inherent to hawking a Microsoft product. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Microsoft Surface Joins Josh Groban CD and Corksicle as One of Oprah’s Favorite Things

(Photo: Huffington Post)

The deposed queen of daytime is, apparently, still issuing annual proclamations of her favorite things–even without a studio full of suburban moms moved to speak in tongues after receiving the good word.

Microsoft better hope Oprah’s imprimatur is still enough to move items off the shelf because Ms. Winfrey has declared the Surface tablet to be one of her favorite things in 2012. “Feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people!” she crows.  Read More

On the Town

Microsoft Badly Wants to Rock Your Face off With Its New Times Square Store

The store in all her glory. (Photo: Joe Zaga on Instagram)

Does employee training at Microsoft now just consist of watching CEO Steve Ballmer flipping his shit on loop? After attending the opening of the company’s new store in Times Square, we can’t help but wonder.

Microsoft is opening 34 temporary stores in preparation for the holidays, and this was the first. The popup was well-executed, but it seemed a little small for Times Square’s massive foot traffic. Inside we found a crowd heavy on photographers, store staffers and dudes in sharp suits–as well as lots of very excited people buying Surface tablets. (Not that they could walk out with them. Nothing could leave the premises until midnight, so early buyers had to come back.) Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Square Takes Its Show on the Road, Expands to Canada

Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Dorsey. (Photo: nycgov.tumblr.com)

The next step in what we assume is Jack Dorsey’s Bruce Lee-inspired plan to take over the world: Square will soon launch in Canada. [TechCrunch]

Speaking of can’t stop won’t stop, Lerer Ventures has closed its third fund, clocking in at $36.15 million. [PandoDaily]

Mathematician Zachary Harris received an unexpected email from a Google recruiter. Wondering whether it might be a spoof, he did a little digging and discovered it was actually pretty easy, cryptographically speaking, to fake an email from a Google corporate address. He promptly faked one from Sergey Brin to Larry Page, thinking the whole thing was a deliberate puzzle. [Wired]

This is what it looks like when something posted on Facebook goes viral. [Fast Company]

With the debut of the Surface–i.e., a hardware device that’s harder to pirate–could Microsoft finally make some headway in China? Maybe, but it’s rare to lose money betting on the ingenuity of IP infringers. [Reuters]

Comparisons

Microsoft Is the Corporate Equivalent of a Mean Girl, Says Washington Post

Miss u boo (Photo: Wikimedia)

With the Surface tablet, Microsoft has made itself cool. What, you don’t agree? No less an authority than the Washington Post hath declared it so, in a story headlined “Why Microsoft is for once the cool kid in the technology world.” The alternate title is “Microsoft betrays the trust of customers and partners in the name of progress.”

The company unveiled the svelte new tablet with its magical keyboard kickstand without giving its hardware or software partners much of a heads up, WaPo writes, and that makes Steve Ballmer a mean girl. “While much of Microsoft’s new-found popularity is deserved, it’s also become increasingly clear that the company is willing to betray the trust of consumers and its partners to get its way,” the story says. And they have this book, this “burn book,” where they write horrible things about Apple and HP…

Linkages

Booting Up: Sticking Your Hand in the Reddit Beehive Edition

He just loves unmasking you. Flickr.com/teuobk

At launch, Reddit was seeded with fake users. We can’t imagine that would go over well today. [Motherboard]

The city is gonna grow its own developers, thanks very much. So many students want in to the new Academy of Software Engineering, officials already want to open more schools like it. [Daily News]

Google should google “Don’t mess with Texas.” [AllThingsD]

Microsoft’s Surface tablet will reportedly be Wifi only at launch. We’ll just be over here on our Kindle Fire, thanks. [Bloomberg]

Regulators have a few questions for NASDAQ. [DealBook]

Larry Page has lost his voice. Surely someone has worked out a solution in his 20 percent time? [All Things D]