Bezos vs Pecker
Here's a story I never, ever expected to write about: on Friday, Jeff Bezos published an op-ed on Medium, which explained how he's having to fight a news organization which is trying to extort him through publishing a series of lewd photos—dick pics—on the internet. That sentence alone is wild, just in the fact that the world's richest man had to take to Medium to stop his dick pics going on the internet, but oh boy, this rabbit hole goes deep.
Here's what happened to end up here: Jeff Bezos had an affair, he sent a bunch of text messages and images to his new girlfriend, he's having a divorce, and somehow, someone got access to all of it. Now he's being threatened, and trying to investigate why... which seems fair when you control so much capital.
The post, which is titled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker" explains that he, Bezos, is the target of a smear campaign, in which he and his nudes were a part of a machine going after him, Amazon, and his company The Washington Post:
Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is “apoplectic” about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve. A few days after hearing about Mr. Pecker’s apoplexy, we were approached, verbally at first, with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation.
In short, the company wanted one thing from him: to force The Washington Post to walk back its investigations of links between AMI (the extorter), Saudi Arabia, and Donald Trump. And, Bezos' dong shots were being used as leverage. By publishing all of this, he's made a bold move: trying to expose the entire process.
The story is worth reading for yourself because I could never do it justice, let alone explain how weird this all really is. Bezos is only coming out with this now because his affair was recently exposed by the same magazine, and I wouldn't have written about any of this at all, except it got so very strange.
AMI, the company involved, has insisted that everything is above board, but where this goes next is anyone's guess. If we learned anything from it, however, it's that Bezos is really committed to the integrity of the Washington Post, because he didn't use it as a platform to even explain this, and has reaffirmed his intent to make it a crown jewel in his legacy.
I regret to inform you it is MWC week
Next week, Feb 24-28: Mobile World Congress—or as I like to think of it—another dying trade show, is held in Barcelona. It's the world's biggest phone summit, so that means we're about to hear a bunch of loud gesturing about "5G" and a handful of next-generation smartphones from those that attend.
What should we expect? Well:
- Foldable phones, everywhere, and probably no real launch dates for them
- Huawei's phone event, where it might actually announce a real foldable, and other phones
- Microsoft may unveil a second-generation Hololens (let's hope it's less bulky)
- The tiny phone companies trying to hock their stuff, from BlackBerry, Honor, LG, and whatever else, but usually these make very little noise.
- 5G, 5G, 5G and more 5G
I'll let you know if there's anything cool, otherwise, carry on and enjoy your week until then.
This fabulous interview with Waymo's CTO about the road forward
Waymo's still there, working away in the background, to make self-driving cars an everyday reality. I love this interview because it's less self-driving cars will eat the world and more level-headed reality about where we're headed. Good read!
What it's like blocking all Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon services for a week (not easy... actually basically impossible)