Entertainment

Join the Elden Ring conversation, brush up on your five-card stud and more stuff to do

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

Join the Elden Ring conversation, brush up on your five-card stud and more stuff to do
Image: Crunchyroll; FromSoftware; Decentral Games

It’s not often that a game comes along where the collective online chatter actually makes the game better. But Elden Ring’s opaque storyline is giving people reasons to head to the internet to discuss. Also this week: poker players are finding luck in the metaverse, and get your anime fix with two movies that were just added to Crunchyroll’s huge library.

Elden Ring has everyone talking

It’s impossible to talk about Elden Ring without drawing on the mountain of commentary that’s flooded social media, gaming forums and news sites over the past week. That’s the beauty of FromSoftware’s newest and arguably greatest game yet: It's a modern single-player game that’s best experienced by discussing it with other people online.

More so than any of the studio’s past games, Elden Ring features an opaque storyline and an even more cryptic open world that’s jaw-droppingly massive and full of secrets. But discovering and talking about it together with the entire internet has become a core part of its appeal. Just get ready to die … a lot.

Who run the metaverse? Poker.

Last month, I wrote about the metaverse real estate boom, and how it often stands in opposition to the stated goals and ambitions of the Web3 and crypto evangelists building these platforms. Bloomberg reporter Cecilia D'Anastasio’s latest piece on one of those platforms, Decentraland, is a fascinating look at what’s actually going on in these otherwise largely empty social platforms, beyond all the real estate speculation. It turns out the answer is: a lot of poker.

At least half of Decentraland’s users at any given time are playing virtual casino games for items they can exchange for cryptocurrency, all run by a third-party company without a gambling license. Regulators might catch on, but only if they can figure out what the metaverse is first.

‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ stands the test of time

Sony’s acquisition of anime streaming service Crunchyroll means the popular platform has been expanded with a huge library of new shows, including many with English dubs, from sister service Funimation. One gem worth watching is the excellent 1992 paranormal action series “Yu Yu Hakusho,” which also happens to have a great English dub that has stood the test of time. The series has it all: iconic characters, great animation and a fantastic fantasy plot featuring the life of spirit detective Yusuke Urameshi. It’s been one of my favorites for the past 20 years.

‘Mob Psycho 100’ takes you on an emotional journey

For those looking for a more modern anime to get into, an absolute must-watch is One’s “Mob Psycho 100,” the story of a young and impressionable psychic named Shigeo Kageyama. Featuring truly mind-bending animation from studio Bones, of “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “My Hero Academia” fame, “Mob Psycho 100” is both a sensory experience and an emotionally melancholy one. It balances traditional action anime fireworks with an emotional narrative about discovering yourself through the bonds you form with others. “Mob Psycho 100,” with subs and dubs, is also available on Crunchyroll.

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

Climate

The minerals we need to save the planet are getting way too expensive

Supply chain problems and rising demand have sent prices spiraling upward for the minerals and metals essential for the clean energy transition.

Critical mineral prices have exploded over the past year.

Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The newest source of the alarm bells echoing throughout the renewables industry? Spiking critical mineral and metal prices.

According to a new report from the International Energy Agency, a maelstrom of rising demand and tattered supply chains have caused prices for the materials needed for clean energy technologies to soar in the last year. And this increase has only accelerated since 2022 began.

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Lisa Martine Jenkins

Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email (ljenkins@protocol.com).

Sponsored Content

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.

Enterprise

The 911 system is outdated. Updating it to the cloud is risky.

Unlike tech companies, emergency services departments can’t afford to make mistakes when migrating to the cloud. Integrating new software in an industry where there’s no margin for error is risky, and sometimes deadly.

In an industry where seconds can mean the difference between life and death, many public safety departments are hesitant to take risks on new cloud-based technologies.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Dialing 911 could be the most important phone call you will ever make. But what happens when the software that’s supposed to deliver that call fails you? It may seem simple, but the technology behind a call for help is complicated, and when it fails, deadly.

The infrastructure supporting emergency contact centers is one of the most critical assets for any city, town or local government. But just as the pandemic exposed the creaky tech infrastructure that runs local governments, in many cases the technology in those call centers is outdated and hasn’t been touched for decades.

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Aisha Counts

Aisha Counts (@aishacounts) is a reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software. Formerly, she was a management consultant for EY. She's based in Los Angeles and can be reached at acounts@protocol.com.

Entertainment

'The Wilds' is a must-watch guilty pleasure and more weekend recs

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

Our favorite things this week.

Illustration: Protocol

The East Coast is getting a little preview of summer this weekend. If you want to stay indoors and beat the heat, we have a few suggestions this week to keep you entertained, like a new season of Amazon Prime’s guilty-pleasure show, “The Wilds,” a new game from Horizon Worlds that’s fun for everyone and a sneak peek from Adam Mosseri into what Instagram is thinking about Web3.

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Janko Roettgers

Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.

Workplace

Work expands to fill the time – but only if you let it

The former Todoist productivity expert drops time-blocking tips, lofi beats playlists for concentrating and other knowledge bombs.

“I do hope the productivity space as a whole is more intentional about pushing narratives that are about life versus just work.”

Photo: Courtesy of Fadeke Adegbuyi

Fadeke Adegbuyi knows how to dole out productivity advice. When she was a marketing manager at Doist, she taught users via blogs and newsletters about how to better organize their lives. Doist, the company behind to-do-list app Todoist and messaging app Twist, has pushed remote and asynchronous work for years. Adegbuyi’s job was to translate these ideas to the masses.

“We were thinking about asynchronous communication from a work point of view, of like: What is most effective for doing ambitious and awesome work, and also, what is most advantageous for living a life that feels balanced?” Adegbuyi said.

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Lizzy Lawrence

Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She's a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school's independent newspaper. She's based in D.C., and can be reached at llawrence@protocol.com.

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