Happy Halloween! Here's your five-minute guide to the best of Protocol (and the internet) from the week that was, from the Facebook Papers to the metaverse to Gen Z's workplace takeover.
The best of Protocol
It's Frances Haugen's world. We're all just living in it, by Issie Lapowsky
There's a platform war brewing in NFT gaming. Here's what it means, by Nick Statt
- Games like Axie Infinity have become leading examples of how NFTs and blockchain tech can reshape digital economies. But not everyone's on board with the new play-to-earn model of video games. And it's creating a stark divide in an already competitive gaming industry.
Meet the tech companies that don't keep secrets, by Aisha Counts
- Whether you're grappling with a shift to remote work or a secretive culture suddenly turned leaky, it's a good time to think about how your company stores and shares information. Some companies, like Levels, have taken transparency to the extreme … and think you should do the same.
5 things to know about FCC nominee Gigi Sohn, by Ben Brody
- President Biden made several key nominations this week, including Jessica Rosenworcel to head the FCC and Gigi Sohn to a commissioner position. Sohn's appointment is a big one: She has a long history with the FCC, ties to both tech and policy worlds, and an awful lot of work to do.
Nvidia's bold bid for Arm is in big trouble, by Max Cherney
- It's a deal that would reshape the semiconductor world, if it can ever get through regulators. The European Commission announced this week that it will conduct a deep investigation of the deal, which will push back the deal even in the best-case scenario. And there's no telling how many more roadblocks are coming for the two companies.
Affirm is taking aim at 'fly now, pay later' as travel bounces back, by Ben Pimentel
- Here's a good reminder that "buy now, pay later" is much more than just an installment plan for buying a Peloton. Affirm's push into travel is just the beginning of a bigger shift in how people spend — and the platforms they use to do so — that's going to keep going across industries in the months to come.
A MESSAGE FROM ALIBABA
U.S. businesses use Alibaba's innovative technologies to engage Chinese consumers. On Alibaba's platforms, shoppers can virtually try on products, browse 3D replicas of brick-and-mortar stores, and enjoy gamified shopping experiences.
The best of everything else
An interview with Mark Zuckerberg about the metaverse — Stratechery
- If you watched that Facebook Connect livestream and wondered what in the world this crazy metaverse future is going to look like, read this interview. Zuckerberg does a good job of explaining what he thinks the metaverse looks like, how we'll get there and how much of it Meta wants to build.
This company is making digital humans to serve the metaverse — The Verge
- This is the story of "Sam," who is not a real person but looks like one, and may be the kind of digital character we all spend a lot of time with in the metaverse. The company making these "digital people," called Soul Machines, is already doing more advanced stuff than you might think.
Inside Amazon's worst human resources problem — The New York Times
- In order to keep up its incredible rate of growth and hiring, Amazon has seemingly attempted to automate as much of the company as possible. But those systems have cracks, and too often leave employees with nowhere to turn when things go wrong.
AnandTech interviews Mike Clark, AMD's chief architect of zen — AnandTech
- The Zen chip architecture was a game-changer for AMD, and Mike Clark gets more credit for it than anyone. This is a deep dive of an interview into how Clark works, how chips get made and where the industry — and thus, in many ways, all of tech — is headed.
How the maestro got his hands back — GQ
- Here's the kind of tech story that makes people want to build tech: a brilliant pianist who was no longer able to play, and the mechanical gloves that helped him get back at it. That, and the lengths to which people will go to do the things that matter most to them.
The 37-year-olds are afraid of the 23-year-olds who work for them – The New York Times
- Not a tech story, exactly, but still one you need to read that will leave you either terrified of the youth or rolling your eyes at the olds, depending on where you fall on the age spectrum. You'll certainly never see emoji or vision statements the same way again.
A MESSAGE FROM ALIBABA
In China, brands & retailers are connecting with the world's most digitally savvy consumers. By partnering with Alibaba, businesses can develop immersive and entertaining shopping experiences to engage customers in overseas markets. As a result, thousands of U.S. businesses are finding success reaching over 900 million consumers on Alibaba's platforms.
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or our tips line, email@example.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.