Sneak through 'Cat Burglar,' learn about early Pornhub and find work-life balance with 'Severance'

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

Sneak through 'Cat Burglar,' learn about early Pornhub and find work-life balance with 'Severance'
Image: HBO Max; Netflix; Pornhub

This week we’re playing a new Netflix interactive cartoon from the makers of “Black Mirror” that’s violent, silly and lots of fun; we’re diving into the early days of Pornhub, written by a former content moderator who admittedly wasn’t very good at the job; and we’re getting creeped out by the very extreme answer to work-life balance in Apple TV+’s latest sci-fi flick, “Severance.”

Inside the early days of Pornhub

A former content moderator, whose job also involved tweeting dirty jokes, talks about the early days of the porn empire in this piece from The Verge. A nuanced and necessary look at a company that’s dominated online porn for more than a decade.

‘Cat Burglar’ is a game, a show and lots of fun

From the people who brought you “Black Mirror” comes a goofy interactive cartoon in the style of “Tom & Jerry” that is as nonsensical as it is violent. Most of the multiple-choice questions in “Cat Burglar” have no rhyme or reason to them, but it’s still fun to play through the story and see whether you can help the unlucky cat burglar steal the treasure. But is it a game? Or a show? Turns out there’s no wrong answer for that one.

‘Severance’ takes the concept of ‘work-life’ balance to the extreme

Ever felt like you’re turning into a different person when your workday begins? That’s very much true for the protagonists of “Severance,” a new Apple TV+ sci-fi drama in which people are undergoing a procedure to permanently sever their work selves from their personal lives. Creepy, weird and utterly fascinating.

‘Inhabiting the Negative Space’ is a quick lesson in how to do less

I was a big fan of Jenny Odell’s 2019 book “How to do nothing: Resisting the attention economy.” This 2021 followup is the transcript of her 2020 commencement speech for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In many ways, it also serves as a kind of CliffsNotes version of “How to do nothing,” updated with a few thoughts on the pandemic that forced us all to do a whole lot less.

Falling in love with ‘Namoo’

Erick Oh’s beautiful animated short film “Namoo” previously debuted in VR, and a 2D version found its way to HBO Max at the end of January. The film tells the story of a man’s journey through life, visualized through a tree, and reminds us to pay attention to what’s important in these uncertain times.

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


Why CrowdStrike wants to be a broader enterprise IT player

The company, which grew from $1 billion in annual recurring revenue to $2 billion in just 18 months, is expanding deeper within the cybersecurity market and into the wider IT space as well.

CrowdStrike is well positioned at a time when CISOs are fed up with going to dozens of different vendors to meet their security needs.

Image: Protocol

CrowdStrike is finding massive traction in areas outside its core endpoint security products, setting up the company to become a major player in other key security segments such as identity protection as well as in IT categories beyond cybersecurity.

Already one of the biggest names in cybersecurity for the past decade, CrowdStrike now aspires to become a more important player in areas within the wider IT landscape such as data observability and IT operations, CrowdStrike co-founder and CEO George Kurtz told Protocol in a recent interview.

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Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach ( @KyleAlspach) is a senior reporter at Protocol, focused on cybersecurity. He has covered the tech industry since 2010 for outlets including VentureBeat, CRN and the Boston Globe. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and can be reached at kalspach@protocol.com.

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Great products are built on strong patents

Experts say robust intellectual property protection is essential to ensure the long-term R&D required to innovate and maintain America's technology leadership.

Every great tech product that you rely on each day, from the smartphone in your pocket to your music streaming service and navigational system in the car, shares one important thing: part of its innovative design is protected by intellectual property (IP) laws.

From 5G to artificial intelligence, IP protection offers a powerful incentive for researchers to create ground-breaking products, and governmental leaders say its protection is an essential part of maintaining US technology leadership. To quote Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo: "intellectual property protection is vital for American innovation and entrepreneurship.”

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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.

Election markets are far from a sure bet

Kalshi has big-name backing for its plan to offer futures contracts tied to election results. Will that win over a long-skeptical regulator?

Whether Kalshi’s election contracts could be considered gaming or whether they serve a true risk-hedging purpose is one of the top questions the CFTC is weighing in its review.

Photo illustration: Getty Images; Protocol

Crypto isn’t the only emerging issue on the CFTC’s plate. The futures regulator is also weighing a fintech sector that has similarly tricky political implications: election bets.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has set Oct. 28 as a date by which it hopes to decide whether the New York-based startup Kalshi can offer a form of wagering up to $25,000 on which party will control the House of Representatives and Senate after the midterms. PredictIt, another online market for election trading, has also sued the regulator over its decision to cancel a no-action letter.

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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.

The Uber verdict shows why mandatory disclosure isn't such a bad idea

The conviction of Uber's former chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, seems likely to change some minds in the debate over proposed cyber incident reporting regulations.

Executives and boards will now be "a whole lot less likely to cover things up," said one information security veteran.

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If nothing else, the guilty verdict delivered Wednesday in a case involving Uber's former security head will have this effect on how breaches are handled in the future: Executives and boards, according to information security veteran Michael Hamilton, will be "a whole lot less likely to cover things up."

Following the conviction of former Uber chief security officer Joe Sullivan, "we likely will get better voluntary reporting" of cyber incidents, said Hamilton, formerly the chief information security officer of the City of Seattle, and currently the founder and CISO at cybersecurity vendor Critical Insight.

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Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach ( @KyleAlspach) is a senior reporter at Protocol, focused on cybersecurity. He has covered the tech industry since 2010 for outlets including VentureBeat, CRN and the Boston Globe. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and can be reached at kalspach@protocol.com.


Delta and MIT are running flight tests to fix contrails

The research team and airline are running flight tests to determine if it’s possible to avoid the climate-warming effects of contrails.

Delta and MIT just announced a partnership to test how to mitigate persistent contrails.

Photo: Gabriela Natiello/Unsplash

Contrails could be responsible for up to 2% of all global warming, and yet how they’re formed and how to mitigate them is barely understood by major airlines.

That may be changing.

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Michelle Ma

Michelle Ma (@himichellema) is a reporter at Protocol covering climate. Previously, she was a news editor of live journalism and special coverage for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, she worked as a staff writer at Wirecutter. She can be reached at mma@protocol.com.

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