September 28, 2022
Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol
Good morning! The government allocated $5 billion from the infrastructure package to all 50 states to help build EV charging stations across thousands of miles of highway. It’s a great start, but there are a few wrinkles to letting states be in control.
The Department of Transportation yesterday approved sweeping electric vehicle charging station plans in 50 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
Chargers are coming to cover roughly 75,000 miles of highway, though it’s unclear how many charging stations these plans support.
Giving states independence is generally a good thing, but “a real concern is that some states may not be distributing chargers quite as equitably as they could be,” Protocol Climate editor Brian Kahn told me.
And this is just the start. The approval gives states access to $1.5 billion, with the other $3.5 billion to be distributed later — but is that enough?
— Nat Rubio-Licht
Figma didn’t have to sell to Adobe. But according to Yuhki Yamashita, Figma’s chief product officer, the acquisition opens a whole new world of possibility for the platform.
Figma has promised to keep its identity, which you may or may not believe. But the buyout definitely opens more doors, Yamashita told Protocol’s Lizzy Lawrence.
The acquisition could also help Figma build out its offerings, like adding new tools for video or 3D objects. “[The acquisition] didn't come from a position of ‘we needed this,’” Yamashita said. “What we care about is our mission of making design accessible to everyone and being able to do that sustainably.”
Alibaba — a leading global ecommerce company — is a particularly powerful engine in helping American businesses of every size sell goods to more than 1 billion consumers on its digital marketplaces in China. In 2020, U.S. companies completed more than $54 billion of sales to consumers in China through Alibaba’s online platforms.
Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday signed into law Senate Bill 1162, which requires employers to include pay ranges on job postings.
Advocates say the bill is vital for greater pay equity and closing the wage gap. But critics argue that job categories are too broad to lump into one pay range.
California likely won’t be the last state to institute laws such as this one. Similar legislation has been proposed in South Carolina and Massachusetts, and a bill was introduced in Congress earlier this year.
— Allison Levitsky
Usually during the week after Dreamforce, Salesforce is basking in a sea of coverage announcing shiny new (but not yet available) products.
This year, the reception of Dreamforce wasn’t so rosy. Despite the efforts of Benioff and co-captain Bret Taylor, Salesforce is facing escalating questions about its product strategy and expansion potential.
There is now real uncertainty over Salesforce’s ability to hit Benioff’s targeted goal of $50 billion by fiscal year 2026, which is probably exactly the opposite the message Salesforce hoped to push post-Dreamforce.
A longer version of this story first appeared in our Enterprise newsletter. Subscribe here.
— Joe Williams (email | twitter) and Aisha Counts (email | twitter)
WhatsApp's Will Cathcart is unimpressed by a UK bill that could undermine encryption:
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said decentralized finance needs regulation because of its “significant structural issues”:
Join Protocol Climate editor Brian Kahn and a panel of climate leaders and tech executives at 10 a.m. PT tomorrow to recap the biggest developments at UNGA 2022 and preview the trends and events that will shape the future of climate tech and the planet. RSVP here.
Calendly acquired recruitment automating platform Prelude for an undisclosed price. Prelude’s customer base includes One Media, Duolingo, Cloudflare, and Samsara.
Brett Harrison, president of FTX US, is stepping down and moving to an advisory role at the company. He started as president 16 months ago.
Menlo Micro joined the American Semiconductor Innovation Coalition, which works to ensure funding from the Chips Bill is distributed. NVIDIA, GlobalFoundries and others joined the group.
Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky resigned from his position amid the company’s bankruptcy proceedings. This follows leaked reports that show the lender was considering risky actions.
Cloudflare has a new incentive for customers: it will attempt to connect startups that use its serverless computing platform to VCs that have offered to invest in such companies.
Facebook removed two networks of accounts in China and Russia for pushing narratives of Russia’s involvement in its invasion of Ukraine.
Oracle will pay $23 million to the SEC to settle charges alleging it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for a second time.
Elon Musk’s deposition has been rescheduled to Oct. 6 and 7, less than two weeks before the Oct. 17 trial.
Amazon is closing some warehouses in Florida until Friday ahead of Hurricane Ian hitting the state.
The SEC is suing two former MoviePass CEOs for fraud, alleging they misled investors about the company’s profit potential, data operations, relationships with studios, and revenue sources.
Job cuts are hitting Big Tech, albeit quietly. Meta and Google have told some employees to find new jobs within the company or leave, affecting a significant number of workers.
Lyft froze all U.S. hiring through the end of the year as it’s “navigating an uncertain economy,” spokesperson Ashley Adams told the New York Post.
Apple pulled Russia’s biggest social app, VKontakte, from the App Store in order to comply with UK sanctions, the Verge reported.
South Korea wants to freeze $60 billion worth of bitcoin linked to Do Kwon, the Terraform Labs founder who's also gotten a red notice. Authorities say he's on the run, but Kwon disagrees.
A UN vote could affect the future of the internet. The next secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union will be either American or Russian, and the potential outcome of voting on Thursday is causing some hand wringing.
Here's an interesting essay, which argues that "technology bifurcates problems" such that "99% of problems go away, but the 1% that are left are awful."
It’s never been cooler to think about what keeps us cool. Last week, the Senate ratified the Kigali Amendment, joining 137 other nations in the global effort to curb the use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are the super-polluting greenhouse gases in refrigerators and air conditioners. Though this is a major step forward, it kickstarts a race to replace these substances with more environmentally friendly alternatives, Protocol’s Lisa Martine Jenkins writes.
Using economic multipliers published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, NDP estimates that the ripple effect of this Alibaba-fueled consumption in 2020 supported more than 256,000 U.S. jobs and $21 billion in wages. These American sales to Chinese consumers also added $39 billion to U.S. GDP.
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