Yes, that’s Tim Cook narrating. As Rene Ritchie notes:

My best guess as to why Tim Cook narrated the “Better” video is because it speaks to Apple’s core values, and speaking to Apple’s core values is both deeply important to Tim Cook, and how he’s been positioned atop and within Apple.

You can say Tim Cook is not a product guy, but there’s no question that he knows better than anyone how Apple does what it does. And because he cares about it, he’s made that process… better.

The bad news is that we’ll no longer have a view of the Bay Bridge from the proposed arena. The good news, from John Coté:

The Warriors will own the site outright, rather than leasing it from the Port of San Francisco, and the team says the arena will be entirely privately financed - a rare instance of a modern sports venue that would use no taxpayer funds or public land.

In other words, this is definitely going to happen now. The Warriors are coming to San Francisco.

Zach Epstein with more on Amazon’s forthcoming smartphone and its “3D” technology:

Amazon’s motion sensing and head tracking technology also changes the way users access menus and other features in apps. In fact, we’re told that Amazon’s smartphone apps don’t even have traditional menu buttons. Instead, menus and other functions are accessed by tilting the phone to the right or left. These tilts cause new panels to slide in over the current screen.

So for example, if the user tilts the phone to one side while reading a book in the Kindle app, the phone will open the X-Ray menu, which is a reference tool that provides contextual information relevant to whatever the user might be reading at the time.

A tilt in the messaging app while composing a new message will open up a panel with the phone’s camera roll, allowing users to quickly and easily insert a photo. Tilting the phone to one side while using the weather app reveals the extended forecast.

Again, this reeks of functionality that stems from novelty and differentiation rather than usefulness. But we’ll see. If they can nail this, maybe it will be a new interaction paradigm. My guess is that it will be nearly impossible to nail such interactions, though.

Kim Masters:

Moving fast to replace David Fincher on its highly anticipated Steve Jobs movie, Sony Pictures is in talks with Danny Boyle to direct the biopic of the late Apple Computer co-founder. Boyle is said to have approached Leonardo DiCaprio to star.

Not as good as the Fincher/Christian Bale combo, but could be a lot worse.

Interestingly enough, Bale got his role in American Psycho when DiCaprio dropped out. (Though Bale was obviously never actually committed here, it was more of a perfect pipe dream.) And the last time Boyle and DiCaprio worked together was the movie DiCaprio made instead of American Psycho: The Beach.

If the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is approved, the combined company’s footprint will pass over 60 percent of U.S. broadband households, after the proposed divestiture, with most of those homes having Comcast as the only option for truly high-speed broadband. As DSL fades in favor of cable Internet, Comcast could control high-speed broadband to the majority of American homes. Comcast is already dominant enough to be able to capture unprecedented fees from transit providers and services such as Netflix. The combined company would possess even more anti- competitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers. For this reason, Netflix opposes this merger.
Netflix’s statement in their shareholder letter on the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger.

Ben Thompson:

Interestingly, both Apple and Nike have markedly similar business models: as various pundit never tire of telling us, Apple is selling a commodity and is doomed to inevitable margin pressure and/or massive loss of share in the face of good-enough cheap Android. For better or worse we in tech are stuck with these folks, because who knows what they would make of a company like Nike, selling pieces of leather and bits of fabric. Talk about a commodity! And yet, there is Nike, sporting a ~45% gross margin in an industry that averages 33%. Clearly they are more than just an apparel maker.

Lost in the story of the demise of the FuelBand is just how similar Nike and Apple are in many respects. Apple’s “iWatch” may not be the reason Nike is killing off the FuelBand, but both companies will be better off as a result of a partnership in this space — as will consumers.

Ellis Hamburger:

But after just a few years, sharing on Facebook feels like walking up to a group of parents, teachers, friends, cousins, camp counselors, classmates, and colleagues, and boasting about my latest accomplishment, or about the merits of the brunch I just ate. “People treat posting on Facebook like it’s public,” says danah boyd, a sociology researcher who interviewed over 150 teens for her recent book on social media. If Facebook wants its News Feed to remain the source of news about friends, family, and other people we care about it, it needs to change its definition of friendship.

Lots of good points. While Facebook is doing a lot to ensure the company doesn’t get disrupted from the outside (read: Instagram, WhatsApp, and to some extent, even Oculus), inside, the network is definitely starting to have the feel of social rot.

Relationships change over time. And Facebook has now been around long enough to be exposed to this. This is problematic if they do want to maintain the lead as the “social network”. But maybe they don’t. Maybe that network was just the start.