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Source Code

Author: Protocol

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Welcome to Source Code, Protocol's show about the people, power and politics of tech. Twice a week, we talk to the most important people, and about the most important stories, happening all over the world of tech.
239 Episodes
This week, we dive into tech layoffs: which companies are hiring and firing — and what that means for job-seekers.Then Ripple general manager Monica Long joins us to explain how some companies are trying to make cryptocurrency more sustainable —  and why the crypto crash is so significant.And finally, we discuss an important question: Where should next year’s Davos attendees dine out?For more on the topics in this week's episode:Netflix’s layoffs reveal a larger diversity challenge in techEverything you need to know about tech layoffs and hiring slowdowns'TC or GTFO' may be a sign that Silicon Valley’s money obsession has gone too farApple is raising its retail hourly starting salary to $22 and spreading anti-union messagesApple retail workers withdraw bid for unionIs tech's hot job market flaming out?What downturn? A16z raises $4.5 billion for latest crypto fundThe Ripple-SEC legal brawl could be a game-changer for crypto
This week, we break down why Elon Musk is tweeting about the S&P 500's ESG rankings — and why he might be right to be mad. Then we discuss how tech companies are failing to prevent mass shootings, and why the new Texas social media law might make it more difficult for platforms to be proactive.Then Protocol's Biz Carson, author of the weekly VC newsletter Pipeline, joins us to explain the state of venture capital amidst plunging stocks and declining revenues. Should founders start panicking? The answer might surprise you. And finally, we discuss an important question: Is Polaroid a high-tech camera company?For more on the topics in this week's episode:Elon is mad about ESG ratings. He has a point.'We’ll be here again': How tech companies try and fail to prevent terrorismTech companies are under investigation for their role in the Buffalo shootingSocial media’s legal foundation just crumbled in Texas. Here’s what’s next.So long, easy moneyThe 'new normal' in startups was never normalSubscribe to our daily Source Code newsletter to stay up to date on everything you need to know about the tech industry.
This week, we're diving into the crypto crash. What led luna to fall off a cliff? Are we seeing the dot-com bust, part two? Protocol fintech editor Owen Thomas explains it all to us. Then entertainment reporter Janko Roettgers joins us to share the inside scoop on his exclusive interview with Mark Zuckerberg. We learn why Meta is betting it all on the metaverse and Brian finally gets to ask the most pressing question on his mind this week: What does Mark smell like? And finally, Caitlin and Brian take a moment to reminisce about the iPod, which was put out to pasture this week after more than two decades on the market. For more on the topics in this week's episode:Exclusive: Mixed reality on Meta’s Quest offers a glimpse at the future of visual computingMark Zuckerberg on his big metaverse bet: 'I feel a responsibility to go for it.'The crypto crash, explainedThe tech superbubble might burstCryptocurrencies are tanking. This chart shows how bad it is.
This week, we’re talking the tech implications of the Supreme Court's draft ruling on Roe v. Wade, including how Amazon — a company not always synonymous with workers’ rights — has made a major commitment to ensure its employees living in states where abortion could be banned can still access health care. We’ll also explore the new climate misinformation war on Facebook to keep things extra uplifting. Then, Gizmodo reporter Shoshana Wodinsky joins us to explain how data brokers and ad tech firms buy and sell information that could put users at risk in a post-Roe world. Finally, Caitlin and Brian take a breather from crushing sadness to consider the following very important question: Is Target tech?For more on the topics in this week’s episode:Amazon’s $4,000 abortion benefit is more important than you think​Climate denial is dead on Facebook. What replaced it is more insidious.Gizmodo: How to Get an Abortion in the Age of SurveillanceTech companies are figuring out how to respond to a post-Roe v. Wade world13 states might ban abortion. At least 30 tech companies call those states home.
The Biden Administration set an ambitious climate goal: cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030. That prospect is looking less likely, experts say, and this week we discuss why — and where we go from here.Then Protocol reporter Kate Kaye joins the podcast to explain what it means to open-source an algorithm, and why Elon Musk might run into challenges if he tries to spill Twitter's secret sauce to the public. Kate also teaches us the meaning of the cursed phrase "algorithmic disgorgement" and how the FTC is using it to police tech companies.And finally, we answer a critical question: Are sleeping bag shoes tech?For more on the topics in this week’s episode:Bloomberg: President Biden’s Climate Ambitions Are All But DeadBiden is bailing out nukes. He’ll need to do that and more.Manchin calls EV tax credit expansion 'ludicrous'The FTC’s 'profoundly vague' plan to force companies to destroy algorithms could get very messyThe FTC’s new enforcement weapon spells death for algorithmsThe eve of 'algorithmic destruction'?Is it tech? Teva sleeping bag shoesDon’t forget to smash the subscribe button for our Source Code newsletter to stay up to date on what’s happening in tech.
Is Elon Musk serious?

Is Elon Musk serious?


Same Source Code podcast, new sound. This week, Protocol editors and self-proclaimed soft-serve swirl Caitlin McGarry and Brian Kahn are taking over the pod as your new hosts. This week, we talk about the great streaming shakeup, from Netflix’s subscriber decline to the not-so-surprising CNN+ shutdown. We also dive into tech companies’ favorite climate solution — unfortunately, it doesn’t exist yet. Then Protocol fintech editor Owen Thomas joins us to talk about Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover attempt. Is Musk’s hostile bid for real or is the world’s richest man simply on a $43 billion lark? Caitlin and Brian also debate the question on everyone’s mind: Are soft-serve machines tech?For more on the topics in this week’s episode:All you need to know about Netflix’s advertising plansCNN+ was always doomedHow much carbon dioxide removal do we actually need?Elon Musk's Twitter takeover bid: Almost all of your questions answeredDon’t forget to smash the subscribe button for our Source Code newsletter to stay up to date on what’s happening in tech.
Spotify doesn't want to just build a better way to listen to music. (Though, yes, it does want to do that.) The company has made clear over the last couple of years that its ambitions are much bigger: Spotify has invested deeply in podcasting both for creators and consumers, it has delved into the world of audiobook, it acquired a company to build a live-audio product, and in general it wants to be the home of audio online.If you really want to understand where Spotify is going, though, forget the music and audio industry altogether. Look at what's happening with video online. YouTube is making video searchable, discoverable and wildly lucrative; TikTok is making it social, remixable and viral. Spotify wants to do all of that, but in your headphones instead of on your screen. And that means rethinking the way the entire audio business — and tech stack — works.Gustav Soderstrom, Spotify's chief R&D officer and chief product officer, leads a team of thousands building the future the company imagines. He joined the Source Code podcast to talk about why audio was skipped over in the evolution of technology, how Spotify is trying to balance supporting an open ecosystem with building its own stuff, and how audio changes when you treat it like software. (One thing he didn't want to talk about? Joe Rogan, and the questions the company faces about content moderation and misinformation. That's for another episode.) He also talked about Spotify's ongoing quest to figure out how to bring all that audio into a single app in a way that makes sense.For more on the topics in this episode:Gustav Soderstrom on TwitterHow Spotify uses SpotifySpotify’s audio revolutionSpotify is taking on Clubhouse for audio-chat supremacySpotify has plans to move beyond music and become the Instagram and TikTok of audio — ForbesFor all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Bringing you a recent Protocol Live, "Recruiting and retaining talent in the new world of work." The “Great Resignation” has shaken up the tech industry in ways unseen. Employees are leaving their jobs without securing employment and 41% of workers reported at least thinking about leaving their company this year. Not to mention, tech workers have more bargaining power than ever.How do you compete for top tech talent today? And what are the best ways to hold onto your employees in the new labor market? Join Protocol and a panel of talent and workplace specialists as they discuss the most innovative ways to recruit and retain great employees.For more, and for the full video, check out Protocol's coverage of the event.
Frances Haugen. Susan Fowler. Edward Snowden. Erika Cheung. As the tech industry continues to face a reckoning, whistleblowers inside of companies are playing a huge role in bringing important information to light. Sarah Alexander – everybody calls her Poppy — is a partner at the law firm Constantine Cannon, and works with whistleblowers all over the world. From the first meeting to what she calls the “cold-shower talk” about the hardships that come with going public, Alexander’s job is to help whistleblowers bring about the change they seek. It’s not easy for anyone involved, she said. But it might be getting easier.Alexander joined the Source Code podcast to explain how whistleblowing works, why there have been so many high-profile whistleblowers in the tech industry, how companies and governments alike can better support whistleblowers, and much more.For more on the topics in this episode:Poppy Alexander on TwitterConstantine CannonThe Tech Worker HandbookBeing a tech whistleblower is dangerous and expensive. Now there’s a guide to the risks.This was the year tech workers found their powerFor all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Protocol Climate launched this week, so we sat down with editor Brian Kahn to talk about tech’s role in solving climate change, whether it’s possible to save the world and get rich at the same time, how to read a corporate climate plan, and much more. For more on the topics in this episode:Brian Kahn on TwitterHow to read a tech company climate planHow to write a climate plan that doesn’t suckThe hottest investment in 2021? Climate tech.Startups are popping up to offer carbon offsets. It’s raising thorny questions.Uber’s fight to shift drivers to EVs will be a massive uphill battleCities are at the forefront of the climate revolutionFor all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Jeff Kosseff’s last book turned out to be pretty prescient. He published “The Twenty-Six Words That Created The Internet,” a deep look at the history and future of Section 230, right as those 26 words became central to the regulatory fight over the future of the internet.With his next book, Kosseff, a professor at the Naval Academy, may have done the same thing. The book is titled “The United States of Anonymous,” and it deals with the centuries-old argument about whether people should be allowed to say things without having to identify themselves. In the U.S., courts have given a lot of leeway and protection to anonymous speakers, but the internet has changed the equation, and companies and governments alike are still figuring out what to do.Kosseff joined the Source Code podcast to discuss his new book, how technologies like bulletin boards and Tor and facial recognition are changing the way we think about anonymity, and why he thinks that even though anonymity allows bad people to do bad things, he thinks it’s still worth preserving. And even fighting for.For more on the topics in this episode:Jeff KosseffJeff Kosseff on TwitterThe United States of AnonymousThe Twenty-Six Words That Created The InternetHow Facebook’s real-name policy changed social media forever“The Phone in My Pocket Was a Weapon Being Used Against Me”For all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Ben Brody joins the show to discuss the state of the Section 230 debate, and why Justice Clarence Thomas wants it to come up in the Supreme Court so badly. Then, Lizzy Lawrence explains why so many startups are eager to disrupt PowerPoint, and why the future of meetings might be more like a late-night show. Finally, Kate Kaye discusses how enterprise companies are working with the military, and why those relationships seem to be worth the downsides.For more on the topics in this episode:Lizzy Lawrence on TwitterWant to engage your remote team? Turn that corporate presentation into 'The Tonight Show.'Ben Brody on TwitterClarence Thomas really wants the Supreme Court to take up Section 230 nowFrom 2020: Clarence Thomas thinks it's time to rein in Section 230Republican tech skeptics are flirting with progressives' choice for antitrust chiefKate Kaye on TwitterWorking with the military is lucrative. For enterprise AI companies, it’s also a minefield.For all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Apple’s latest launch event turned into something of a Mac showcase. And featured much more chip discussion than your average launch event. Protocol’s Caitlin McGarry joins the show to talk about the new Mac Studio, iPad Air, iPhone SE and everything else Apple announced on Tuesday, plus what it all means and why laptops and desktops are suddenly the hottest gadgets on the market. For more on the topics in this episode:Caitlin McGarry on TwitterEverything Apple announced on Tuesday — WiredApple is now a computer company againApple's new M1 Ultra fuses two chips together to make One Big Chip For all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Issie Lapowsky joins the show to discuss how Meta, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms have responded to the war in Ukraine, and why their response is so much stronger than in the past. Then, Janko Roettgers dives into the rise and fall of RT, and why so many platforms banned the channel. Finally, Nick Statt explains how video games ended up so important to this crisis — along with a brief diversion into Amazon’s gaming strategy, which finally seems to be working.For more on the topics in this episode:Issie Lapowsky on TwitterRussia’s playing chicken with FacebookTwitter and Meta rush to protect user accounts in UkraineMeta rolls out encrypted Instagram DMs in Russia and UkraineJanko Roettgers on TwitterAccused of spreading propaganda, RT gets deplatformedRT America is closing down following worldwide backlashNick Statt on TwitterTwitch takes aim at anti-vaxxers, Russian propaganda and QAnonAmazon's Luna cloud gaming service opens its doorsEA is scrubbing Russian teams from its FIFA and hockey gamesFor all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Social networks don’t feel so … social anymore. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and the rest seem to be leaning ever further into entertainment, and away from helping people find and chat with people like them. But Glass is hoping to be different. The new photo-sharing social network is determined to find a better, less problematic, more social way to network. Tom Watson and Stefan Borsje, the co-founders of Glass, have both worked in tech for years, and have seen the pitfalls that come to social apps. So they’ve set out to build Glass very differently. They’re not taking VC money, they’re not prioritizing growth and engagement above all else, and they won’t even show you how many times people liked your photo. In the process, they hope they’re building a place photographers might actually want to be.Watson and Borsje joined the Source Code podcast to discuss Glass, the state and future of social networking, and what it takes to build something different.For more on the topics in this episode:GlassTom Watson on GlassStefan Borsje on GlassGlass’ Tom Watson — Om MalikGet Together: How to build a community with your people, by Bailey RichardsonFor all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Today we’re bringing you another Protocol Live, this one on a subject near and dear to seemingly everyone in tech: how to build the metaverse. And maybe more important, how to build it right. Protocol’s Nick Statt and Janko Roettgers chatted with a panel of smart metaverse thinkers about the tools, standards, systems and rules for the metaverse, and why it matters so much to get them right from the beginning.For more on the topics in this episode:The full live event: How to build the metaverse, and build it rightNick Statt on TwitterJanko Roettgers on TwitterMarc Petit on TwitterTiffany Xingyu Wang on TwitterSly Spencer Lee on TwitterFor all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Online dating hasn’t been novel for a few years now. It’s now the most common way people meet, and it’s only becoming more central to the way modern romance works. But the next shift is already beginning, as the internet begins to move out of the social networking phase and into whatever this crypto, metaverse, Web3 thing is going to become.Dushyant Saraph, Match’s chief product and revenue officer, is in charge of figuring out what that shift looks like for dating and relationships. That means, yes, the metaverse! (Whatever that turns out to mean.) It also means finding ways to foster connection over long distances, on screens and through headphones. It means combining the digital and physical worlds in ways that make sense to users from all sorts of backgrounds and age brackets.For the final episode in our monthlong series on how tech is shaping dating, love, sex, marriage and what relationships of all kinds look like in an increasingly digital world, Saraph joined the Source Code podcast to talk about VR dating, video chat, why we don’t need legs to have a good time in the metaverse and much more.For more on the topics in this episode:Dushyant Saraph on LinkedInMatchDating juggernaut Match buys Seoul-based Hyperconnect for $1.73B, its biggest acquisition ever — TechCrunchMatch’s 2022 Letter to ShareholdersIntroducing Swipe Night: An Original Adventure Built for The Swipe® Feature — TinderFor all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
Issie Lapowsky joins the show to talk about Nick Clegg’s new job at Meta, what it means for Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, and what to do about the term “Metamates.” Then Lizzy Lawrence explains what’s next at Peloton, both for the company itself and for the 2,800 people it recently laid off. Finally, Nick Statt explains why metaverse real estate is booming, and what it means for the future of digital spaces.For more on the topics in this episode:Issie Lapowsky on TwitterWhat Nick Clegg’s promotion means for Meta, Mark and SherylMeta employees are now its 'metamates'Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse will require computing tech no one knows how to buildLizzy Lawrence on TwitterLife after PelotonNick Statt on TwitterThe virtual real estate boom is turning the metaverse into the Wild West. And it has the true believers on edge.For all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
After two years of pandemic-induced cancellations, postponements and overall chaos, the wedding industry is back. The Knot estimates that there will be 2.6 million weddings in the U.S alone in 2022, about half a million more than a typical year. As we’ve all gotten used to hybrid meetings and Zoom happy hours, has tech changed weddings forever, too?Not really, said Esther Lee, a senior editor and wedding expert at The Knot. But tech is changing the way people plan their weddings in a big way, from vendor searches to wedding gifts to the all-important wedding hashtag.Lee joined the Source Code podcast to talk about Zoom weddings, getting married in the metaverse, how Teslas became the hot getaway car, and much more.For more on the topics in this episode:The KnotEsther Lee on TwitterEsther Lee on The KnotThe Knot 2021 Real Weddings StudyFor all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
It's Super Bowl weekend! And the Olympics! It's a big time for sports fans, and a big time for TV networks everywhere. There's more money in live sports than ever, but at the same time, the market is clearly starting to shift. That change starts with young fans, who would much rather watch and share highlights than sit through three hours of football and commercials. Buzzer's Bo Han is trying to capitalize on that change, and help leagues and networks alike to adjust to the new reality. He joined the show to discuss how how younger fans interact with the teams and players they love, how gambling and fantasy are changing sports, and why the Super Bowl remains unstoppable even as the rest of the media changes around it.For more on the topics in this episode:Bo Han on TwitterBuzzerHouse of Highlights on InstagramSuper Bowl audience peaks before halftime as viewer pool shrinks, ages – SporticoFor all the links and stories, head to Source Code’s homepage.
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