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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Dell vote, Apple beats expectations, thigh ads

By Nandagopal J. Nair

What to watch for today

Moment of reckoning for Michael Dell. The PC maker’s shareholders will vote on the $24.4 billion buyout offer by a group led by the company’s founder. Or at least they are scheduled to do so. The initial vote was postponed last week, and the Dell buyout saga has had no shortage of last-minute twists.

More earnings to dissect. Analysts expect Facebook’s push into the mobile market to help drive double-digit revenue and earnings growth. Automaker Ford is likely to report strong numbers driven by booming sales of its pick-up trucks. PepsiCo’s earnings will be of special interest to shareholders after activist investor Nelson Peltz said the company should spin off its underperforming beverages business and buy Oreo cookie maker Mondelez.

Controversies to overshadow earnings. Boeing’s second quarter earnings are likely to soar, but the spotlight will be on the series of mishaps involving its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet. GlaxoSmithKline’s numbers should be muted, but the company is more likely to face questions about the impact of a growing bribery probe and revelations of impropriety in China.

Detroit bankruptcy case hearing. The US federal judge overseeing the case will hold a hearing to determine whether lawsuits filed by retired public employees, workers and pension funds can block the biggest Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy in US history.

What does Google have up its sleeve? The tech giant has sent out a mysterious invite for a breakfast event with the head of its Android and Chrome units. Google watchers believe the company may unveil a second generation Nexus 7 tablet or Android 4.3 update.

While you were sleeping

Apple’s profits fell for the second straight quarter. The 22% drop in earnings was still better than expected. Sales grew just 1% as Apple shipped 20% more iPhones and 14% fewer iPads than the corresponding quarter last year.

China banned the construction of government buildings for five years. State media reported that the move was part of a campaign by president Xi Jinping to crack down on corruption and waste. Government agencies have been asked to instead spend funds on developing the economy and boosting the public’s well-being.

Cisco bought a cyber-security firm for $2.7 billion. Sourcefire, which offers products like intrusion prevention systems, firewalls, and malware protection, will help Cisco grow its network security business.

US regulators sued a Texas man for running a bitcoin Ponzi scheme. Trendon Shavers was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of running a fund that collected the virtual currency from investors, promising them 7% weekly returns.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims on why the biggest opportunity in mobile right now is not smartphones. “Rather, the big play for some companies, especially any that wish to expand into emerging markets, is on the “dumbphones”—aka non-smartphones, or in industry parlance, feature phones—that most people in rich countries have now left behind.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The true test of Abenomics begins now that Shinzo Abe has control of both houses of parliament. Stimulus will wear off by next year and growth will stagnate unless Abe pushes through with structural reforms.

How debt-ridden French cities avoid Detroit’s fate. Dozens of cities are suing banks that financed their credits and lobbying the national government for help.

Al Jazeera’s standing in Egypt has changed from golden child to pariah. The deep-seated animosity of the Egyptian public toward the Qatari government is the reason.

How companies can get customers to pay more for products. Offering different products at different price levels—and targeting discounts at shoppers most sensitive to price increase—can help minimize backlash.

Surprising discoveries

The NSA can search everyone’s emails but its own. ”Antiquated and archaic” technology prevents the National Security Agency from searching its own employees’ email.

If WiFi were visible. New visualizations imagine the size, shape, and color of Wi-Fi signals were they visible to the human eye.

Thigh’s the limit! A PR firm in Tokyo is pushing the bounds of advertising by paying women to wear stickers on their thighs.

Menthol cigarettes may be harder to quit. The mint flavoring also makes them easier to start smoking, says the US Food and Drug Administration as it weighs a ban.

The most dangerous waters in the world maybe off the coast of Indonesia. The busy shipping route witnessed twice the number of pirate attacks than any other country.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, WiFi visualizations, and body advertising ideas to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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