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Epic, Theranos and ‘The Matrix’

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Your five-minute guide to the best of Protocol (and the internet) from the week that was, from the end of the Epic trial to the beginning of the Theranos trial to the first glimpse at the next "Matrix."

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The best of Protocol

Epic v. Apple ruling blocks Apple from banning links to alternative payments, by Nick Statt and Ben Brody

  • Apple is not a monopoly, or at least Epic couldn't prove that it is. But Apple's anti-steering rules, which say that developers can't tell users about other ways to sign up or pay for stuff, were ruled illegal. That sound you hear is every developer scrambling to redesign their landing page.

Elizabeth Holmes goes on trial for Theranos fraud

  • Are you ready for 13 weeks of diving into big questions about startups, founders, faking it till you make it and whether Theranos is a tech company? (Deep breaths.) Even in the lead-up to the trial, it's clear just how important the Theranos story is … and just how many people are awaiting the ending.

How Facebook prepared for the next 'glasshole' backlash, by Janko Roettgers

  • Facebook obviously knew how people would react when it announced the new Ray-Ban Stories, a pair of sunglasses with embedded cameras. Cool tech! Creepy possibilities! And … from Facebook? But Facebook pressed on, and tried to make sure it made as few mistakes as possible.

The startup where meetings are optional and Slack is forbidden, by Allison Levitsky

  • Convictional doesn't work like most companies, though it might work like most companies wish they could: with far more time to focus and work, and far less spent in meetings and communication apps. While your company may not go this far, it's an interesting alternate universe to think about.

Why your social impact officer belongs in the C-suite, by Amber Burton

  • Twilio's Erin Reilly makes a convincing case for adding social impact to the top rungs of your company — because it's not a team within the company, but rather a core function of every part of the company. Reilly put it well: "Organizational structure matters."

El Salvador's bitcoin experiment is already going wrong, by Tomio Geron

  • A country deciding to make bitcoin legal tender was always going to be complicated. But when El Salvador flipped the switch this week, it showed just how difficult it is to bring cryptocurrency into everyone's everyday lives … and exposed a few problems with bitcoin, too.

Power in tech is changing. The way we measure it is, too, by Tim Grieve

  • Have you seen Protocol's Power Index yet? If not, you should. Our team spent months looking for the best, most clear-eyed and data-driven ways to figure out which companies truly matter in tech. And the answers might surprise you.


Facebook supports updated regulations, including four areas where lawmakers can make quick progress:

  • Reforming Section 230
  • Preventing foreign interference of our elections
  • Passing federal privacy law
  • Setting rules that allow people to safely transfer data between services

Learn more

On the schedule

Live: Creating the right culture for hybrid work (Wednesday at 9 a.m. PT)

  • Even when offices reopen, not everyone will go back. Protocol's Allison Levitsky will chat with Twitter's Jennifer Christie, Future Forum's Sheela Subramanian and Menlo Ventures' Naomi Ionita about how to make sure work culture still works in a hybrid world.

The best of everything else

Twenty percent of a picture of a dog — Bloomberg

  • One of the best explanations of what's happening with the NFT world that you'll read, plus a pretty damning critique of the entire financial sector. Everything changes, and nothing does.

Meet the self-hosters, taking back the internet one server at a time — Vice

  • Ditching Big Tech isn't easy, even for the most committed tech-lasher. But a group of hobbyists is taking a page out of a decades-old book, building its own hardware and creating a world that's both online and off-grid.

The disastrous voyage of Satoshi, the world's first cryptocurrency cruise ship — The Guardian

  • A wild weekend read about a bunch of people who bought a cruise ship, named it Satoshi and decided to build the crypto-powered world they wanted to see at sea. In a stunning turn of events (just kidding), it didn't go very well. Next try, maybe Mars?

The Silent Partner Cleaning Up Facebook for $500 Million a Year — The New York Times

  • Content moderation is big business, at least for Accenture. It's the centerpiece of a huge system that Facebook has developed to keep the worst stuff off the platform, and a company that deserves more scrutiny for its role in the process.

Apple cares about privacy, unless you work at Apple — The Verge

  • New employees at a company make so many decisions, right in a row. Do I put work email on my personal phone, and download the certificate that comes with it? Can I send texts from my work MacBook? Workers are increasingly wary, and a few have accused Apple of being far more worried about users' privacy than employees'.

'The Matrix Resurrections' trailer

  • Have you watched it yet?!?! (Bonus points if you noticed the Salesforce Tower in the opening shot, or worked near the Joe & the Juice in San Francisco where the crew set up during filming.) If not, there's plenty of time to watch it, investigate it frame by frame and rewatch all three "Matrix" movies before this one comes out later this year.


Advertising means something different than it did 25 years ago—the last time comprehensive internet regulations were passed. At Facebook, we've already implemented the Ad Library and a 5-step verification process for political advertisers. See why we support passing the Honest Ads Act.

Learn more

Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to, or our tips line, Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

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