Brush up on Mario Kart, celebrate 10 years of 'Lilyhammer' and get to know Razzlekhan

You've got 48 hours to kill before the Super Bowl. We've got you covered.

Brush up on Mario Kart, celebrate 10 years of 'Lilyhammer' and get to know Razzlekhan
Image: Netflix; Nintendo; YouTube

This week we’re getting nostalgic with “Lilyhammer,” honing our turtle-throwing skills and learning everything we ever wanted to know (and then some) about the self-proclaimed “Crocodile of Wall Street.”

Prepare for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Nintendo announced this week that Mario Kart fans will get a whopping 48 new and remastered courses in the coming months, starting with an eight-course DLC release on March 18. Time to practice your turtle-slinging skills!

Everything you need to know about Razzlekhan

The tale of Heather Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein, accused by the DOJ of attempting to launder $3.6 billion worth of stolen bitcoin, will undoubtedly be made into a movie — if only for the fact that Morgan released countless songs and music videos featuring her rap star alter ego, Razzlekhan. Verge reporter Mitchell Clark listened to all of her songs, watched countless clips, read the articles she penned for Forbes and reviewed slides of a presentation she gave on scamming — and lived to tell the tale.

‘Raising Dion’ is good sci-fi for the whole family

“Raising Dion,” a family-friendly sci-fi show about a Black kid with superpowers whose best friends include a girl in a wheelchair and his former bully, is a true gem that doesn’t shy away from heavy subjects. Season 2 dropped on Netflix earlier this month, and it’s already become a Saturday night staple for my family.

A well researched response to the metaverse

The metaverse backlash is here! So far, though, it’s not very sophisticated, and mostly boils down to what I like to call the Sims argument (“We’ve all been doing this for years now”) and the 3D TV argument (“No one will ever do this”). Confusingly, some people even argue both. That’s why it’s extremely refreshing to see Some More News devote 44 well researched minutes to the subject, and raise some very good points. Plus, it’s very entertaining, even without Warmbo.

A decade of ‘Lilyhammer’

Time flies! It’s been 10 years since the release of Netflix’s first original show. No, we’re not talking “House of Cards,” but “Lilyhammer,” a mildly funny but fairly inconsequential comedy about a mob boss who finds himself in Norway to escape prison. You can read Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos' writing about the anniversary on the company’s website, or just give the show another shot, for old times’ sake.

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


What the economic downturn means for pay packages

The war for talent rages on, but dynamics are shifting back to the employers.

Compensation packages could start to look different as companies reshuffle the balance of cash and equity.

Illustration: Nuthawut Somsuk/Getty Images

The market is turning. Tech stocks are slumping — which is bad news for employees — and even industry powerhouses are slowing hiring and laying people off. Tech talent is still in high demand, but compensation packages could start to look different as companies recruit.

“It’s a little bit like whiplash,” compensation consultant Ashish Raina said of the downturn. Raina, who mainly works with startups that have 200 to 800 employees, previously worked as the director of Talent at Index Ventures and head of Compensation and Talent Analytics at Box. “I do think there’s going to be an interesting reckoning in terms of pay increases going forward, how that pay is delivered.”

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Allison Levitsky
Allison Levitsky is a reporter at Protocol covering workplace issues in tech. She previously covered big tech companies and the tech workforce for the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Allison grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Berkeley.
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Why the digital transformation of industries is creating a more sustainable future

Qualcomm’s chief sustainability officer Angela Baker on how companies can view going “digital” as a way not only toward growth, as laid out in a recent report, but also toward establishing and meeting environmental, social and governance goals.

Three letters dominate business practice at present: ESG, or environmental, social and governance goals. The number of mentions of the environment in financial earnings has doubled in the last five years, according to GlobalData: 600,000 companies mentioned the term in their annual or quarterly results last year.

But meeting those ESG goals can be a challenge — one that businesses can’t and shouldn’t take lightly. Ahead of an exclusive fireside chat at Davos, Angela Baker, chief sustainability officer at Qualcomm, sat down with Protocol to speak about how best to achieve those targets and how Qualcomm thinks about its own sustainability strategy, net zero commitment, other ESG targets and more.

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Chris Stokel-Walker

Chris Stokel-Walker is a freelance technology and culture journalist and author of "YouTubers: How YouTube Shook Up TV and Created a New Generation of Stars." His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian and Wired.


How 'Zuck Bucks' saved the 2020 election — and fueled the Big Lie

The true story of how Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s $419 million donation became the 2020 election’s most enduring conspiracy theory.

Mark Zuckerberg is smack in the center of one of the 2020 election’s multitudinous conspiracies.

Illustration: Mike McQuade; Photos: Getty Images

If Mark Zuckerberg could have imagined the worst possible outcome of his decision to insert himself into the 2020 election, it might have looked something like the scene that unfolded inside Mar-a-Lago on a steamy evening in early April.

There in a gilded ballroom-turned-theater, MAGA world icons including Kellyanne Conway, Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks and former president Donald Trump himself were gathered for the premiere of “Rigged: The Zuckerberg Funded Plot to Defeat Donald Trump.”

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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.


From frenzy to fear: Trading apps grapple with anxious investors

After riding the stock-trading wave last year, trading apps like Robinhood have disenchanted customers and jittery investors.

Retail stock trading is still an attractive business, as shown by the news that crypto exchange FTX is dipping its toes in the market by letting some U.S. customers trade stocks.

Photo: Lam Yik/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For a brief moment, last year’s GameStop craze made buying and selling stocks cool, even exciting, for a new generation of young investors. Now, that frenzy has turned to fear.

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev pointed to “a challenging macro environment” marked by rising prices and interest rates and a slumping market in a call with analysts explaining his company’s lackluster results. The downturn, he said, was something “most of our customers have never experienced in their lifetimes.”

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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.


Broadcom is reportedly in talks to acquire VMware

It hasn't been long since it left the ownership of Dell Technologies.

Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Broadcom is said to be in discussions with VMware to buy the cloud computing company for as much as $50 billion.

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Jamie Condliffe

Jamie Condliffe ( @jme_c) is the executive editor at Protocol, based in London. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, he worked on the business desk at The New York Times, where he edited the DealBook newsletter and wrote Bits, the weekly tech newsletter. He has previously worked at MIT Technology Review, Gizmodo, and New Scientist, and has held lectureships at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. He also holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of Oxford.

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