Entertainment

Watch Pixar’s 'Turning Red,' play VR table tennis and more things to do this weekend

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

Watch Pixar’s 'Turning Red,' play VR table tennis and more things to do this weekend

Here are some recommendations for your weekend.

Images: Pixar, Lisa Keffer/Unsplash, Mike Castro Demaria/Unsplash

This weekend we're watching "Turning Red," which some people are saying is Pixar's best movie in years. We're also reading about movie scores and how they're not often made the way we think, and we're going back to our gaming basics with Eleven Table Tennis, a great game for new Meta Quest 2 owners.

‘Turning Red’ is Pixar’s latest

Disney is releasing its latest Pixar movie, “Turning Red,” exclusively on Disney+ this weekend, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in the story of Mei Lee, a 13-year-old girl who happens to turn into a giant red panda whenever she gets too worked up.

‘Lucas builds the future’ brings out your inner mad scientist

I’ve long been a fan of Lucas Rizzotto, a kind of high-tech mad scientist who uses AI, AR, VR and everything in between for far-out projects at that accident-prone intersection of art and technology. For his latest video, titled “I gave my microwave a soul with AI and it tried to kill me,” Rizzotto outdid himself, giving his Alexa-powered microwave a brain transplant and then training it with an elaborate backstory that happens to be very personal. It’s extremely entertaining, and well worth watching the entire 35 minutes, if only to make sure that Rizzotto keeps on making more of these.

‘Sounds of Survival’ is by — and aids — Ukrainian musicians

There have been a lot of fundraisers for the victims of the war in Ukraine, including a number headed by musicians and other artists. Notably absent from these have been Ukrainian artists themselves, which is why it is so refreshing to see this compilation of electronic music curated by Kyiv-based electronic music producer Serge Dubrovsky, aka Dubmasta. Money raised through sales of the album goes directly to the artists involved and their families, and buyers are also encouraged to donate to NGOs providing help on the ground.

There’s nothing pretty about how movie scores are made

Streaming is disrupting the business of film music and shining light on some of the industry’s best-kept secrets: Composers don’t always write the music they’re lauded for. This Vanity Fair piece on the intricacies of the film-score industry is a fascinating read.

Eleven Table Tennis is a great game for Meta Quest 2 beginners

“So what should I try?” A few days ago, a friend of mine finally got himself a Quest 2. After playing through a few demos and falling in love with Beat Saber, he asked for additional game and app suggestions. Going down my mental list and mentioning some obvious candidates (everyone has to try Tilt Brush at least once), I realized that Eleven is a great game for VR beginners looking for a social experience that doesn’t require too much of a time commitment. You can easily jump into a game with a stranger or invite friends, and the gameplay feels remarkably realistic.

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

Policy

Musk’s texts reveal what tech’s most powerful people really want

From Jack Dorsey to Joe Rogan, Musk’s texts are chock-full of überpowerful people, bending a knee to Twitter’s once and (still maybe?) future king.

“Maybe Oprah would be interested in joining the Twitter board if my bid succeeds,” one text reads.

Photo illustration: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images; Protocol

Elon Musk’s text inbox is a rarefied space. It’s a place where tech’s wealthiest casually commit to spending billions of dollars with little more than a thumbs-up emoji and trade tips on how to rewrite the rules for how hundreds of millions of people around the world communicate.

Now, Musk’s ongoing legal battle with Twitter is giving the rest of us a fleeting glimpse into that world. The collection of Musk’s private texts that was made public this week is chock-full of tech power brokers. While the messages are meant to reveal something about Musk’s motivations — and they do — they also say a lot about how things get done and deals get made among some of the most powerful people in the world.

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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.

Sponsored Content

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.
Fintech

Circle’s CEO: This is not the time to ‘go crazy’

Jeremy Allaire is leading the stablecoin powerhouse in a time of heightened regulation.

“It’s a complex environment. So every CEO and every board has to be a little bit cautious, because there’s a lot of uncertainty,” Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told Protocol at Converge22.

Photo: Circle

Sitting solo on a San Francisco stage, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire asked tennis superstar Serena Williams what it’s like to face “unrelenting skepticism.”

“What do you do when someone says you can’t do this?” Allaire asked the athlete turned VC, who was beaming into Circle’s Converge22 convention by video.

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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.

Enterprise

Is Salesforce still a growth company? Investors are skeptical

Salesforce is betting that customer data platform Genie and new Slack features can push the company to $50 billion in revenue by 2026. But investors are skeptical about the company’s ability to deliver.

Photo: Marlena Sloss/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Salesforce has long been enterprise tech’s golden child. The company said everything customers wanted to hear and did everything investors wanted to see: It produced robust, consistent growth from groundbreaking products combined with an aggressive M&A strategy and a cherished culture, all operating under the helm of a bombastic, but respected, CEO and team of well-coiffed executives.

Dreamforce is the embodiment of that success. Every year, alongside frustrating San Francisco residents, the over-the-top celebration serves as a battle cry to the enterprise software industry, reminding everyone that Marc Benioff’s mighty fiefdom is poised to expand even deeper into your corporate IT stack.

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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.

Policy

The US and EU are splitting on tech policy. That’s putting the web at risk.

A conversation with Cédric O, the former French minister of state for digital.

“With the difficulty of the U.S. in finding political agreement or political basis to legislate more, we are facing a risk of decoupling in the long term between the EU and the U.S.”

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Cédric O, France’s former minister of state for digital, has been an advocate of Europe’s approach to tech and at the forefront of the continent’s relations with U.S. giants. Protocol caught up with O last week at a conference in New York focusing on social media’s negative effects on society and the possibilities of blockchain-based protocols for alternative networks.

O said watching the U.S. lag in tech policy — even as some states pass their own measures and federal bills gain momentum — has made him worry about the EU and U.S. decoupling. While not as drastic as a disentangling of economic fortunes between the West and China, such a divergence, as O describes it, could still make it functionally impossible for companies to serve users on both sides of the Atlantic with the same product.

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Ben Brody

Ben Brody (@ BenBrodyDC) is a senior reporter at Protocol focusing on how Congress, courts and agencies affect the online world we live in. He formerly covered tech policy and lobbying (including antitrust, Section 230 and privacy) at Bloomberg News, where he previously reported on the influence industry, government ethics and the 2016 presidential election. Before that, Ben covered business news at CNNMoney and AdAge, and all manner of stories in and around New York. He still loves appearing on the New York news radio he grew up with.

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