Entertainment

Get back into 'Atlanta,' suck it up with Kirby and more things to do this weekend

Don’t have any plans this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

Get back into 'Atlanta,' suck it up with Kirby and more things to do this weekend

Watch "Atlanta," get gaming with Kirby, and read more about those hapless tech founders.

Image: FX, Nintendo, Theranos

This week, we’re diving back into “Atlanta”; Season 3 is here, and we haven’t seen a new episode since 2018. We’re also reacquainting ourselves with little pink puff Kirby, and carrying on our tradition of reading about the rise and fall of founders.

‘Atlanta’ season 3 takes the crew to Europe

Donald Glover’s dark, hilarious and often surreal drama centered on hip-hop manager Earnest "Earn" Marks has returned for a third season on FX/Hulu, this time relocating the narrative to Europe during an overseas tour leg for Marks’ rapper cousin Paper Boi. We haven’t seen a new episode of “Atlanta” since 2018, and the show’s superstar cast and writing and directing talent have all been plenty busy with other projects.

But Glover and director Hiro Murai’s unique flavor of social and racial commentary and often biting pop culture criticism has been sorely missed, and early reviews already have “Atlanta’s” third season as just as good, if not better, than the last.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land has a new twist

The newest Kirby game has landed on the Switch, featuring the titular voracious pink puff and its new Mouthful Mode, which is this entry’s twist on Kirby’s traditional power-stealing metamorphosis ability. Instead of becoming a new thing, though, Kirby just takes on the shape of whatever it eats. It’s hilarious and outrageous in equal measure, and players who like the newer Super Mario games and have a fondness for the linear simplicity and the adorable art direction of these Nintendo classics will surely find Forgotten Land worthwhile.

People Make Games focuses on harassment at indie studios

The latest in-depth investigation from YouTube channel People Make Games helps dispel the myth that the game industry’s pervasiness harassment, sexism and discrimination issues are restricted to larger or more traditional studios. The 40-minute video focuses on three indie darlings — Mountains, Fullbright and Funomena — and how leaders of each studio created abusive work environments. Since the video went live in March, Funomena announced it may close down due to a lack of funding.

Sky: Children of the Light takes an altruistic approach

Thatgamecompany of Flow, Flower and Journey fame took a radical new direction with Sky: Children of the Light, which came out on iOS in 2019, Android in 2020 and Nintendo Switch last year. But speaking at this year’s Game Developers Conference, game director Jenova Chen outlined how Sky took an altruistic approach to free-to-play monetization on mobile, resulting in more than 40% of the game’s seasonal passes being gifted to other players.

Sky is now Thatgamecompany’s most successful title to date, with more than 160 million players as of this year. For those who might not consider themselves traditional gamers, Sky is a fantastic way to experience accessible, high-quality mobile gaming absent any form of exploitative monetization.

Founders: They’re just like other founders

A lot has been written about the rise and fall of tech founders, with countless books and documentaries and TV shows diving into their professional and personal lives. But what if we step back from all the glitz and glory and maybe even schadenfreude? It’s there that we see that these founders are nothing more than businesspeople, and as Malcolm Harris puts it in this great article in The Nation, the founders are nothing more than “symptoms of a finance-led economy.” And unless something changes, these won’t be the last founder stories we hear about.

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

LA is a growing tech hub. But not everyone may fit.

LA has a housing crisis similar to Silicon Valley’s. And single-family-zoning laws are mostly to blame.

As the number of tech companies in the region grows, so does the number of tech workers, whose high salaries put them at an advantage in both LA's renting and buying markets.

Photo: Nat Rubio-Licht/Protocol

LA’s tech scene is on the rise. The number of unicorn companies in Los Angeles is growing, and the city has become the third-largest startup ecosystem nationally behind the Bay Area and New York with more than 4,000 VC-backed startups in industries ranging from aerospace to creators. As the number of tech companies in the region grows, so does the number of tech workers. The city is quickly becoming more and more like Silicon Valley — a new startup and a dozen tech workers on every corner and companies like Google, Netflix, and Twitter setting up offices there.

But with growth comes growing pains. Los Angeles, especially the burgeoning Silicon Beach area — which includes Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina del Rey — shares something in common with its namesake Silicon Valley: a severe lack of housing.

Keep Reading Show less
Nat Rubio-Licht

Nat Rubio-Licht is a Los Angeles-based news writer at Protocol. They graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in newspaper and online journalism in May 2020. Prior to joining the team, they worked at the Los Angeles Business Journal as a technology and aerospace reporter.

While there remains debate among economists about whether we are officially in a full-blown recession, the signs are certainly there. Like most executives right now, the outlook concerns me.

In any case, businesses aren’t waiting for the official pronouncement. They’re already bracing for impact as U.S. inflation and interest rates soar. Inflation peaked at 9.1% in June 2022 — the highest increase since November 1981 — and the Federal Reserve is targeting an interest rate of 3% by the end of this year.

Keep Reading Show less
Nancy Sansom

Nancy Sansom is the Chief Marketing Officer for Versapay, the leader in Collaborative AR. In this role, she leads marketing, demand generation, product marketing, partner marketing, events, brand, content marketing and communications. She has more than 20 years of experience running successful product and marketing organizations in high-growth software companies focused on HCM and financial technology. Prior to joining Versapay, Nancy served on the senior leadership teams at PlanSource, Benefitfocus and PeopleMatter.

Policy

SFPD can now surveil a private camera network funded by Ripple chair

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a policy that the ACLU and EFF argue will further criminalize marginalized groups.

SFPD will be able to temporarily tap into private surveillance networks in certain circumstances.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Ripple chairman and co-founder Chris Larsen has been funding a network of security cameras throughout San Francisco for a decade. Now, the city has given its police department the green light to monitor the feeds from those cameras — and any other private surveillance devices in the city — in real time, whether or not a crime has been committed.

This week, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approved a controversial plan to allow SFPD to temporarily tap into private surveillance networks during life-threatening emergencies, large events, and in the course of criminal investigations, including investigations of misdemeanors. The decision came despite fervent opposition from groups, including the ACLU of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which say the police department’s new authority will be misused against protesters and marginalized groups in a city that has been a bastion for both.

Keep Reading Show less
Issie Lapowsky

Issie Lapowsky ( @issielapowsky) is Protocol's chief correspondent, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. She also oversees Protocol's fellowship program. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University's Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing.

Enterprise

These two AWS vets think they can finally solve enterprise blockchain

Vendia, founded by Tim Wagner and Shruthi Rao, wants to help companies build real-time, decentralized data applications. Its product allows enterprises to more easily share code and data across clouds, regions, companies, accounts, and technology stacks.

“We have this thesis here: Cloud was always the missing ingredient in blockchain, and Vendia added it in,” Wagner (right) told Protocol of his and Shruthi Rao's company.

Photo: Vendia

The promise of an enterprise blockchain was not lost on CIOs — the idea that a database or an API could keep corporate data consistent with their business partners, be it their upstream supply chains, downstream logistics, or financial partners.

But while it was one of the most anticipated and hyped technologies in recent memory, blockchain also has been one of the most failed technologies in terms of enterprise pilots and implementations, according to Vendia CEO Tim Wagner.

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.

Fintech

Kraken's CEO got tired of being in finance

Jesse Powell tells Protocol the bureaucratic obligations of running a financial services business contributed to his decision to step back from his role as CEO of one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges.

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kraken is going through a major leadership change after what has been a tough year for the crypto powerhouse, and for departing CEO Jesse Powell.

The crypto market is still struggling to recover from a major crash, although Kraken appears to have navigated the crisis better than other rivals. Despite his exchange’s apparent success, Powell found himself in the hot seat over allegations published in The New York Times that he made insensitive comments on gender and race that sparked heated conversations within the company.

Keep Reading Show less
Benjamin Pimentel

Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers crypto and fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at bpimentel@protocol.com or via Google Voice at (925) 307-9342.

Latest Stories
Bulletins