Entertainment

‘Peaky Blinders’ is back for its final season, and more weekend recs

Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

‘Peaky Blinders’ is back for its final season, and more weekend recs

Our recommendations for your weekend.

Photo: Netflix

We’re getting the weekend started early. Two of our favorite shows are back, and we’re digging a breakout hit vampire game that’s being called a “bullet heaven” and is only $3 on Steam.

Vampire Survivors is an unlikely hit

Indie developer Luca Galante’s Vampire Survivors is one of the most unlikely breakout hits of the year. The influential roguelike shoot-‘em-up has been called a “bullet heaven,”' in contrast to the bullet hell-style manic shooters in which you must dodge a near-endless stream of projectiles. In Vampire Survivors, the projectiles come from you as you maneuver away from small armies of enemies. The game shoots for you, while most of the fun comes from traversing custom maps and unlocking and upgrading unique characters. It’s hard to describe the appeal without trying the game yourself, but at just $3 on Steam, it’s well worth a try. The game was also added to Game Pass for PC last month.

‘The Umbrella Academy’ is overwhelming (in a good way)

The adaptation of My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way’s peculiar superhero graphic novel series returned this week for a third season. After season two’s time travel shenanigans, “The Umbrella Academy” has officially strayed into alternate universe territory, rife with some headache-inducing paradoxes: It’s all getting a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, the third season is grounded by some excellent performances, most notably by Elliot Page, who worked with writer Thomas Page McBee to incorporate his real-world transition into the fictional narrative.

The rise and fall of Axie Infinity

To many casual observers, Axie Infinity looks like a wondrous success story, one of the first play-to-earn games to successfully deploy all the blockchain bells and whistles of Web3 like NFTs, cryptocurrency and virtual land. But the lesser-known story of its downfall over the past six months is a much more important tale, and one told in precise detail by Rest of World’s Darren Loucaides in an excellent feature published this week. The piece, flush with interviews with the company’s founders, tells the story of how Axie Infinity developer Sky Mavis rose to fame as a poster child of the blockchain gaming movement, and the perils of a fledgling industry rife with hacks and scams and intertwined with an uncontrollable and volatile financial market.

The final season of ‘Peaky Blinders’ is here

The sixth and final season of Steven Knight’s historical crime drama “Peaky Blinders” is here, having aired in its entirety on the BBC and appeared on Netflix earlier this month. Like prior seasons, season six can seem at first glance like a too-quick six episodes, especially given the length of Netflix’s many other series. But “Peaky Blinders” packs extraordinary amounts of depth into each of those hours as it explores the machinations of Thomas Shelby and his once-scrappy and now terrifyingly powerful criminal organization. If you’ve never watched it, now is a good time to dive in before Knight’s planned feature film wraps the series for good.

A version of this story also appeared in today’s Entertainment newsletter; subscribe here.

Entertainment

Google TV will gain fitness tracker support, wireless audio features

A closer integration with fitness trackers is part of the company’s goal to make TVs a key pillar of the Android ecosystem.

Making TVs more capable comes with increasing hardware and software requirements, leading Google to advise its partners to build more-capable devices.

Photo: Google

Google wants TV viewers to get off the couch: The company is working on plans to closely integrate its Android TV platform with fitness trackers, which will allow developers to build interactive workout services for the living room.

Google representatives shared those plans at a closed-door partner event last month, where they painted them as part of the company’s “Better Together” efforts to build an ecosystem of closely integrated Android devices. As part of those efforts, Google is also looking to improve the way Android TV and Google TV devices work with third-party audio hardware. (Google launched Android TV as an Android-based smart TV platform in 2014; in 2020, it introduced Google TV as a more content-centric smart TV experience based on Android TV.)

Keep Reading Show less
Janko Roettgers

Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.

Sponsored Content

How Global ecommerce benefits American workers and the U.S. economy

New research shows Alibaba’s ecommerce platforms positively impact U.S. employment.

The U.S. business community and Chinese consumers are a powerful combination when it comes to American job creation. In addition to more jobs, the economic connection also delivers enhanced wages and a growing GDP contribution on U.S. soil, according to a recent study produced by NDP Analytics.

Alibaba — a leading global ecommerce company — is a particularly powerful engine in helping American businesses of every size sell goods to more than 1 billion consumers on its digital marketplaces in China. In 2020, U.S. companies completed more than $54 billion of sales to consumers in China through Alibaba’s online platforms.

Keep Reading Show less
James Daly
James Daly has a deep knowledge of creating brand voice identity, including understanding various audiences and targeting messaging accordingly. He enjoys commissioning, editing, writing, and business development, particularly in launching new ventures and building passionate audiences. Daly has led teams large and small to multiple awards and quantifiable success through a strategy built on teamwork, passion, fact-checking, intelligence, analytics, and audience growth while meeting budget goals and production deadlines in fast-paced environments. Daly is the Editorial Director of 2030 Media and a contributor at Wired.
Fintech

What the fate of 9 small tokens means for the crypto industry

The SEC says nine tokens in the Coinbase insider trading case are securities, but they are similar to many other tokens that are already trading on exchanges.

While a number of pieces of crypto legislation have been introduced in Congress, the SEC’s moves in court could become precedent until any legislation is passed or broader executive actions are made.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

When the SEC accused a former Coinbase employee of insider trading last month, it specifically named nine cryptocurrencies as securities, potentially opening the door to regulation for the rest of the industry.

If a judge agrees with the SEC’s argument, many other similar tokens could be deemed securities — and the companies that trade them could be forced to be regulated as securities exchanges. When Ripple was sued by the SEC in late 2020, for example, Coinbase chose to suspend trading the token rather than risk drawing scrutiny from federal regulators. In this case, however, Coinbase says the nine tokens – seven of which trade on Coinbase — aren’t securities.

Keep Reading Show less
Tomio Geron

Tomio Geron ( @tomiogeron) is a San Francisco-based reporter covering fintech. He was previously a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, covering venture capital and startups. Before that, he worked as a staff writer at Forbes, covering social media and venture capital, and also edited the Midas List of top tech investors. He has also worked at newspapers covering crime, courts, health and other topics. He can be reached at tgeron@protocol.com or tgeron@protonmail.com.

Enterprise

Werner Vogels: Enterprises are more daring than you might think

The longtime chief technology officer talked with Protocol about the AWS customers that first flocked to serverless, how AI and ML are making life easier for developers and his “primitives, not frameworks” stance.

"We knew that if cloud would really be effective, development would change radically."

Photo: Amazon

When AWS unveiled Lambda in 2014, Werner Vogels thought the serverless compute service would be the domain of young, more tech-savvy businesses.

But it was enterprises that flocked to serverless first, Amazon’s longtime chief technology officer told Protocol in an interview last week.

Keep Reading Show less
Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Climate

Dark money is trying to kill the Inflation Reduction Act from the left

A new campaign is using social media to target voters in progressive districts to ask their representatives to vote against the Inflation Reduction Act. But it appears to be linked to GOP operatives.

United for Clean Power's campaign is a symptom of how quickly and easily social media allows interest groups to reach a targeted audience.

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The social media feeds of progressive voters have been bombarded by a series of ads this past week telling them to urge their Democratic representatives to vote against the Inflation Reduction Act.

The ads aren’t from the Sunrise Movement or other progressive climate stalwarts, though. Instead, they’re being pushed by United for Clean Power, a murky dark money operation that appears to have connections with Republican operatives.

Keep Reading Show less
Lisa Martine Jenkins

Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email (ljenkins@protocol.com).

Latest Stories
Bulletins