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Escaping Big Tech

Escaping Big Tech

Good morning. This Sunday, here's your five-minute guide to the best of Protocol (and the internet) from the week that was, from the Google v. Oracle decision to an ode to Yahoo Answers.

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Best of Protocol

The software industry dodges an API tax in Oracle decision, by Tom Krazit

  • That sound you heard on Monday morning was a million software developers breathing a sigh of relief. When the Supreme Court ended the decade-long case between Google and Oracle by ruling in Google's favor, it preserved a fundamental part of how the tech industry has worked forever.

End racism. Make money. Kathryn Finney says Black entrepreneurs can do both, by Megan Rose Dickey

  • Genius Guild's plan is simple: invest in and support Black founders who are building solutions to end racism. It's looking for ways to both make the world a better place and make a boatload of money in the process, so that Black people benefit financially when they're solving racism. And that sounds like a pretty great idea.

Target CIO Mike McNamara makes a cloud declaration of independence, by Tom Krazit

  • At some point, if you're an Amazon competitor, it makes sense to ask hard questions about using AWS. McNamara's explanation of Target's plan to invest in the cloud without getting locked in by a tech giant is a useful playbook for anyone planning their own future.

The quiet war to become China's next WeChat, by Shen Lu

  • WeChat represents the holy grail for a huge number of tech companies: a single platform on which users live practically their entire lives. Out-WeChatting WeChat has proven all but impossible, but with the Chinese government cracking down on the country's tech giants — including WeChat creator Tencent — startups are seeing a chance to win big.

Tech keeps trying to 'fix' recipe sites. Food bloggers wish they'd stop, by David Pierce

  • Every developer with a Figma account seems to want to fix recipe sites, to remove the ads and thousand-word blog posts and just get to the reason people are there in the first place. Food bloggers, though? They say that if you have a problem with their sites, you should take it up with Google.

Amazon workers voted not to unionize in Alabama, but the fight's not over, by Anna Kramer

  • Almost 6,000 people were eligible to vote in the union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. 3,125 did so. And by a pretty wide margin, they voted not to unionize. But this fight is far from over, both in Bessemer and in the tech industry as a whole.

A MESSAGE FROM INTEL AND MICROSOFT AZURE

Open-source computing is going gangbusters — and that's good news for those seeking better and stronger security in the enterprise. With the growth of hardware platforms, ISVs and CSPs using trusted execution environments to protect data in use, open source-licensed projects are a natural way to encourage experimentation, learning and adoption.

Learn more

Best of Everything Else

Intel's latest Hail Mary is a $20 billion bet on American manufacturing — Bloomberg

  • This is fundamentally a story about the Innovator's Dilemma, the cost of getting one thing so right that you decide you're a genius and thus miss the things coming along to crush you. Intel was Silicon Valley, until a combination of laziness and short-sightedness threatened to kill it. And now it has to remember how to fight.

'How do you get spaghetti stains out of underwear?': An ode to Yahoo Answers — Esquire

  • There are silly reasons that it's sad Yahoo Answers is going away, and there are good reasons that it's sad, and this piece captures both perfectly. Yahoo Answers was weird, mostly full of nonsense and a surprisingly earnest place for people to find each other on the internet.

Apple's CEO is making very different choices from Mark Zuckerberg — The New York Times

  • Tim Cook is extremely good at saying a lot without revealing much, but there are still plenty of interesting nuggets in this interview. The most telling moment, I think, was on privacy. "Years ago," Cook said, "I thought companies would regulate themselves and sort of get better. I no longer believe that."

Don't pick up! The rise and fall of a massive industry based on missed calls — Rest of World

  • It's genius, really: When phone calls cost a fortune in India, people started to use missed calls to communicate for free. An entire industry sprang up around the idea, helping offer a slice of the internet to people who didn't even know what the internet was — but it couldn't and wouldn't last forever.

Homeless in the shadow of Apple's $5 billion campus — OneZero

  • This is a gut-wrenching story about life in Silicon Valley for a group of people that's really not that different from the group working in the campuses down the street. And while companies talk a lot about wanting to help their communities, not all that much actually seems to be getting done yet.

I called off my wedding. The internet will never forget — Wired

  • Sometimes those popups — "remember this day 3 years ago?" — can be heartwarming and wonderful. (And monetizable as hell.) Sometimes they can dredge up the worst, most painful things that have ever happened to you. This is a terrific story about what it's like to try and move on when the internet won't let you.

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

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