Alternate universe. Outgoing Apple board member (and current Disney CEO) Bob Iger has written a memoir. In a long excerpt published in Vanity Fair, Iger recounts in detail his close relationship with the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and says he and his pal would probably have discussed merging their companies if Jobs had not died. "With every success the company has had since Steve’s death, there’s always a moment in the midst of my excitement when I think, I wish Steve could be here for this," Iger concludes.
Cashing in your chips. While some of the famed unicorns are having problems going public, smaller tech stars are flying. Cloud monitoring startup Datadog priced its new shares at $27 on Wednesday evening, above the range forecast by its underwriters and valuing the company at almost $8 billion. And while thinking of one famed unicorn that just delayed its IPO, the Wall Street Journal has a meaty profile of We Company CEO Adam Neumann with a lead that almost beats William Miller's brilliant fictitious opening to his profile of fictitious band Stillwater in the movie Almost Famous. And it's also airplane-related. Here's the Journal on We's CEO: "Adam Neumann was flying high. Literally."
Now you tell me. After spending two years fighting government demands to spin off some of its larger units, AT&T is now reportedly considering dumping the DirecTV satellite service that it bought in 2015 for $67 billion (including debt). On the other hand, the leak may be part of a strategy to appease activist investor Elliott Management, showing that the telecom giant is at least taking its recommendations seriously.
But did they skip 13? IBM says it has built a fourteenth version of a quantum computer, that futuristic and elusive beast that will make today's supercomputers look like kids playing in a sandbox. The new machine has 53 qubits, the key calculating factor that blows away the two-bit transistors in traditional computers and a big step up from IBM's prior device, which had only 20.
I see what you did there. Researchers from Northeastern University and Imperial College London caught smart TVs made by Samsung and LG and streaming devices from Roku and Amazon uploading data about their owners to advertisers, in some cases even when the devices were not in use.
Capitol grill. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was back in Washington, D.C. this week to speak with lawmakers and field their compliants about his company. But unlike in the spring, this Zuckerberg tour consists mainly of private, one-on-one meetings, Politico reports.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Every tech company wants to encourage innovation, but how best to draw out the best ideas from employees? At Samsung, employees are encouraged to submit possibly innovative projects via an online database. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout got access to Samsung's secret development lab
and reports on how such submissions make their way to becoming actual products (and also chronicles a bunch of Samsung's more typical research efforts in the interesting piece and accompanying video).
Employees with winning applications can then enter the lab to refine a prototype until they are field tested in the real world and are eventually deemed fit for market. A company policy allows employees to spin off successful C-Lab projects into separate, independently-managed companies, which Samsung supports with seed money. Samsung typically retains a minority stake in the spun-off startups. Since the C-Lab opened six years ago, more than 250 successful projects have been developed including the “nemonic” mini printer, which prints photos and memos as sticky notes without ink or toner. The company now making the compact smart printer, Mangoslab, spun out of Samsung’s C-Lab and launched as a full-fledged startup in 2016.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Here Are the 25 Highest Paying Companies in America By Chris Morris
The Cheapest Mobile Plans For Your iPhone 11 By Don Reisinger
T-Mobile Customers Are Latest to Get Bigger Rebates With Apple’s Credit Card By Aaron Pressman
Amazon Alexa Is Getting Its Savviest Skill Yet: Making Donations to Presidential Campaigns By JP Mangalindan
Xfinity Internet Customers Just Got Free Access to 10,000 Movies and Shows By Chris Morris
Startup Raises $4 Million to Secure Crypto Transactions Without an Internet Connection By Jeff John Roberts
Why ‘Lord of the Rings’ Remains Such a Big Deal for New Zealand By David Meyer
BEFORE YOU GO
Need a little giggle to start your day? Check our the finalists for the 2019 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. I'm especially partial to the face palming bear and the zebras who appear to be yucking it up. What's you favorite?
This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman. Find past issues, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters.