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.

Policy

A new UK visa could steal your top tech talent

Without meaningful immigration reform, U.S.-trained foreign graduates could head across the pond.

The U.S. immigration system turns away hundreds of thousands of highly skilled tech workers every year.

Photo: Ben Fathers/AFP via Getty Images

Almost as soon as he took office, President Biden began the work of undoing a lot of the damage the Trump administration did to the U.S. H-1B visa program. He allowed a Trump-era ban on entry by H-1B holders to expire and withdrew a Trump proposal to prohibit H-1B visa holders’ spouses from working in the U.S. More recently, his administration has expanded the number of degrees considered eligible for special STEM OPT visas.

But the U.S. immigration system still turns away hundreds of thousands of highly skilled — and in many cases U.S.-educated — tech workers every year. Now the U.K. is trying to capitalize on the United States’ failure to reform its policy regarding high-skilled immigrants with a new visa that could poach American-trained tech talent across the pond. And there’s good reason to believe it could work.

Keep Reading Show less
Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu
Kwasi (kway-see) is a fellow at Protocol with an interest in tech policy and climate. Previously, he covered global religion news at the Associated Press in New York. Before that, he was a freelance journalist based out of Accra, Ghana, covering social justice, health, and environment stories. His reporting has been published in The New York Times, Quartz, CNN, The Guardian, and Public Radio International. He can be reached at kasiedu@protocol.com.

Businesses are evolving, with current events and competition serving as the catalysts for technology adoption. Events from the pandemic to the ongoing war in Ukraine have exposed the fragility of global supply chains. The topic of sustainability is now on every board room agenda. Industries from manufacturing to retail and everything in between are exploring the latest innovations like process automation, machine learning and AI to identify potential safeguards against future disruption. But according to a recent survey from Boston Consulting Group, while 80% of companies are adopting digital solutions to navigate existing business challenges or opportunities like the ones mentioned, only about 30% successfully digitally transform their business.

For the last 50 years, SAP has worked closely with our customers to solve some of the world’s most intricate problems. We have also seen, and have been a part of, rapid accelerations in technology in response. Across industries, certain paths have emerged to help businesses manage the unexpected challenges over the last few years.

Keep Reading Show less
DJ Paoni, President of SAP North America

DJ Paoni is the President of SAP North America and is responsible for the strategy, day-to-day operations, and overall customer success in the United States and Canada. Dedicated to helping customers become best-run businesses, DJ has established himself as a trusted advisor who places a high priority on their success. He works with many of SAP North America's 155,000 customers and helps them adopt business and technology best practices across 25 different industries.

Fintech

A new regulator is stepping into the 'rent-a-bank' ring

The CFPB is promising a "close look" at controversial lending partnerships between banks and fintechs.

Rent-a-bank lending for personal loans is getting regulatory attention.

Photo: Attentie Attentie/Unsplash

Consumer groups pushing for banking regulators to crack down on so-called rent-a-bank lending for personal loans may have found a willing watchdog.

Zixta Martinez, deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said at a recent consumer group conference that the agency is taking a "close look" at the lending partnerships between banks and nonbanks, which are often fintech companies.

Keep Reading Show less
Ryan Deffenbaugh
Ryan Deffenbaugh is a reporter at Protocol focused on fintech. Before joining Protocol, he reported on New York's technology industry for Crain's New York Business. He is based in New York and can be reached at rdeffenbaugh@protocol.com.
Enterprise

Why Thomas Kurian thinks cloud computing is on the brink of a new era

Kurian tapped his enterprise experience from 22 years at Oracle to reshape Google Cloud as an open, hybrid and multicloud player. What comes next?

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian spoke with Protocol.

Photo courtesy of Google/Weinberg-Clark Photography

When Thomas Kurian landed the CEO role at Google Cloud, he was welcomed as a respected technologist and executive bringing 22 years of needed enterprise chops from Oracle for a substantial undertaking: turning an underdog into a heavyweight contender for meeting major corporations’ cloud needs.

At the Google Cloud Next conference in early 2019, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai introduced Kurian, then about three months into his tenure, as a “tremendous leader with a powerful vision” who already had met with hundreds of customers and partners and whose “personal productivity is testing the limits of G Suite and Calendar.”

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.

Enterprise

AWS employees say evidence of misconduct hides in plain sight

Such is the reality of today’s corporate environment.

There was hope this report would be the catalyst to institute more systemic change within both ProServe and the whole of AWS.

Image: Henrique Casinhas/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It’s a tale as old as, well, the last few years. And this month, it’s AWS that got to live it.

The company recently outlined to employees the findings of an external probe conducted by Oppenheimer Investigations Group into a troubled division of the sprawling cloud giant. Known shorthand as ProServe, it’s the unit that helps customers make the most of AWS products.

Keep Reading Show less
Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a writer-at-large at Protocol. He previously covered enterprise software for Protocol, Bloomberg and Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JoeWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

Latest Stories
Bulletins