Source Code: Your daily look at what matters in tech.

source-codesource codeauthorDavid PierceNEWSLETTER LayoutWant your finger on the pulse of everything that's happening in tech? Sign up to get David Pierce's daily newsletter.64fd3cbe9f
×

Get access to Protocol

Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

I’m already a subscriber
Protocol Source Code
What matters in tech, in your inbox every morning.

iPads are Macs, Macs are iPads, and everything’s purple

Image: Apple
iPads are Macs, Macs are iPads, and everything’s purple

Good morning! This Wednesday, the tech industry cheered the Derek Chauvin verdict but knows there's much more work to do. Also: there are big stories hidden in Apple's new gadgets, work-from-office is the new work-from-home and there's another antitrust hearing coming.

Also, check out the newest Source Code podcast, in which I interview Lime CEO Wayne Ting about scooters, bikes, mopeds, other weird new ways to get around and why everyone wants to be "the Amazon of transportation."

(Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here to get Source Code every day. And you can text with us, too, by signing up here or texting 415-475-1729.)

The Big Story

Tech reacts to the George Floyd verdict

Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three counts yesterday, ending a trial that had social media platforms "on high alert." The verdict had folks all over the tech industry both celebrating justice being done and reminding themselves and others that this verdict doesn't solve the bigger problem. Here are just a few of the reactions:

  • Twitter's Dantley Davis: "Justice has been served for George Floyd's family, but the pain will always remain. The challenge ahead is to ensure that policing works for all communities and that will require radical change."
  • Intel's Dawn Jones: "Racism and inequity are profound sources of pain for far too many in our communities. Intel is committed to collaborative efforts to address systemic and structural inequities. We proudly support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and will continue to advocate for its passage."
  • Color of Change's Rashad Robinson: "To change society, we must change the rules. There never would've been a trial without the racial justice movement, and there's never going to be true justice until we take this movement to the next level. And that is what we must commit to, today."
  • Mark Zuckerberg: "Right now I'm thinking of George Floyd, this family and those who knew him. I hope this verdict brings some measure of comfort to them, and to everyone who can't help but see themselves in his story. We stand in solidarity with you, knowing that this is part of a bigger struggle against racism and injustice."
  • Sheryl Sandberg: "As we continue to regularly witness unarmed Black people in America killed by police, I stand with those demanding change. We can't un-see what Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd. We can't un-know the truth it exposed about racism in America today. And we can't — mustn't — ever forget."
  • Tim Cook: "Today's verdict was just, but as Dr. King wrote: 'Justice for Black people will not flow into society merely from court decisions nor from fountains of political oratory … Justice for Black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society.'"
  • Brad Smith: "Today's verdict is a step forward in acknowledging painful truths and for the continued cause of defeating racism and fighting discrimination. Our company remains committed to the continued path ahead."

Even the brands chimed in:

  • Twitch: "We ask that you continue to educate yourselves as to the history of police brutality in this country, and support those organizations and individuals who are doing the work of making America a better place for those who find themselves most often persecuted."
  • Twitter Together: "Justice is a long road, and we can't bring back George Floyd. May we each use this moment to continue to deepen our solidarity and our commitment to combating racial injustice, and may his family find peace."

Floyd's murder last summer seemed to make folks across the industry reckon differently with how they should act, and what their platforms (literal and figurative) required of them. Here's hoping that doesn't change.

Apple

What to make of Apple's new stuff

So … we're all pretty into the new iMac, right? (Blue for me, please and thank you.)

Apple's event yesterday was more gadget-y than I expected, with little talk of privacy or App Store Review process and barely any mention of software or services outside of a Podcasts subscription service and a new "Ted Lasso" trailer. But still, there were some interesting bigger-picture bits:

  • Apple is all in on the M1 chip. It's even bringing the chip to the new iPad Pro, which could both help Apple's supply chain — the fewer designs it has to build, the better — and help convince developers to really buy into the M1 lifestyle.
  • But it might not be ready for high-end work. Apple didn't update the 27-inch iMac or the iMac Pro, meaning its most expensive (and most powerful) devices still run Intel chips. Rumor has it the M2 chip will be even more powerful, but it appears the M1 can't quite hang.
  • The iPad is the device of the future. Internally, the Pro version is basically a Mac with a touchscreen now. It's been clear for a while now that Apple sees the iPad as most people's main computing device going forward, and with the M1 chip and Thunderbolt ports, it's awfully close. If I were a betting man, I'd be all in on some big productivity upgrades at WWDC in June.
  • iOS 14.5 is coming next week. Time to finish crafting those "here's why you should let us track you" notifications.
  • Apple always gets its cut. That new Podcast subscriptions thing? Apple's taking its customary 30%. I'd chalk that up to a mixture of Apple feeling like it can't change the rules now or else everyone else would want different terms, and the fact that Apple knows it's the giant in the space so it can take what it wants.

Work

WFO > WFH

Work From Office Wednesday is the hot new work trend of 2021, people! That's what Protocol's Megan Rose Dickey found, anyway.

Work From Office might become a new term of art, as working from home becomes the default. Some companies plan to have everyone WFO a couple of days a week, while others are more flexible, but most are planning for employees to have office time in some fashion.

  • How companies are planning to bring people back to the office varies pretty widely though. Some are leaning into hot desking and hoteling, turning offices into "neighborhoods" and letting people book space in theirs when they come in.
  • What to do with vaccine requirements? Most employees want them, but it's a dicey situation. Salesforce got around it by saying coming back was optional, but to do so you had to be vaccinated. (Technically not quite a requirement!) Most companies Megan spoke with said they're wrestling with what to do.

Asana became the latest company to outline its plans, which it's calling "an office-centric hybrid return." Which, sure. The TL;DR: Employees will mostly be in the office, but Wednesdays will be no-meeting, WFH days. (No WFO Wednesdays for Asana.)

It seems like the tech industry's return to the office will start small and start pretty soon, but offices won't feel full or alive again until this fall. Bringing everyone back is going to be interesting, even just because we've all kind of forgotten how to be around other people. And then, once the new hybrid workplace really sets in, the questions get even messier.

A MESSAGE FROM CLEAR | HEALTH PASS

CLEAR is working to help you connect your vaccine to your Health Pass. You will soon be able to create a digital vaccination record in the free CLEAR app. Download the app and get ready.

Learn more

---

Join Protocol's Tomio Geron for a discussion on the future of commerce with Whatnot's Grant LaFontaine and a16z's Connie Chan at #CollisionConf on April 21. Learn more

---

People Are Talking

On Protocol: Peggy Johnson said she's been sharpening Magic Leap's focus since she joined the company, because enterprise and consumer are so different:

  • "With enterprise, you really need to fit into the workflows of companies. You need to understand how to fit into their workflow, not to introduce a new technology and assume that they can adapt it."

There's another antitrust hearing today, and Tile CEO CJ Prober wants to talk about AirTags:

  • "We welcome competition, as long as it is fair competition. Unfortunately, given Apple's well-documented history of using its platform advantage to unfairly limit competition for its products, we're skeptical."

Making Moves

Discord reportedly pulled out of talks with Microsoft, and is once again planning to go public at some point. I suspect Discord decided it's worth a lot more than $10 billion.

Jeff Kaplan is leaving Blizzard after almost two decades, and Aaron Keller will be the new game director for Overwatch.

Intuit is opening "talent hubs" in New York and LA as it looks to add more diversity to its engineering team.

Amazon is opening a hair salon in London, as a way to test things like AR hairstyles and new ways to shop for beauty products. I'm 65% sure this is real, and not a three-week-late April Fool's joke.

Brian Brooks is Binance's new U.S. CEO. He was previously acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Coinbase's chief legal officer before that.

Clearbanc rebranded to Clearco, and raised $100 million at a $2 billion valuation.

Foxconn's in talks to buy a chip fab. It said it's considering buying a Taiwanese plant from Macronix, a memory chipmaker. Nanya, meanwhile, said it's spending $10 billion on a new plant in Taiwan.

In Other News

  • Facebook wants to "normalize" mass data scraping, according to an internal email accidentally sent to a Dutch journalist. It wants to frame the problem as a "broad industry issue," and expects more scraping incidents in the future.
  • On Protocol: Netflix added just 4 million new subscribers last quarter, 2 million fewer than it had previously forecasted. It blamed the poor results on a COVID-linked "pull forward" in demand.
  • Microsoft's revamping the Windows 10 app store, Windows Central reported. It's also reportedly making it easier to submit apps to the store by relaxing rules on what can be listed.
  • Diem plans to launch a USD-pegged stablecoin this year, CNBC reported. The pilot will reportedly focus on P2P payments.
  • Foxconn finally amended its Wisconsin plans, saying it will now invest $672 million — way down from the original $10 billion. Its tax subsidies have been accordingly slashed, from $2.85 billion to just $80 million.
  • The Daily Mail's owner filed an antitrust complaint against Google, accusing it of a suppressing the Mail's prominence in search results due to the publisher's decision to use non-Google ad tech.
  • Susan Wojcicki received a "free expression" award at an event sponsored by … YouTube. Congratulations?

Work In The Future

Zoom breaks are the new smoke breaks

Microsoft's research found what we already knew: Back-to-back-to-back video meetings are slowly killing us. But even a 10-minute break between meetings can help keep stress at bay.

Microsoft is adding new tools to Outlook to make these breaks possible, but it's actually pretty simple: Turn your 30-minute meetings into 20-minute meetings and your hour-longers into 45-minuters. (I mean, come on, most of them should just be an email anyway.) Trade a few minutes of chitchat for 10 minutes of doing anything other than staring into your webcam.

Or use my tried-and-true method: Just show up 10 minutes late and blame your internet connection. Works every time.

A MESSAGE FROM CLEAR | HEALTH PASS

CLEAR is working to help you connect your vaccine to your Health Pass. You will soon be able to create a digital vaccination record in the free CLEAR app. Download the app and get ready.

Learn more

---

Join Protocol's Ben Pimentel for a conversation about the future of banking with Clearbanc's Michele Romanow and Wells Fargo's Ather Williams III at #CollisionConf on April 22. Learn more

---

Refer Five Friends, Get A Mug

Are you tired of explaining the tech news of the day to your co-workers every morning? Let us do the heavy lifting and refer them to Source Code.

Send them your referral link via Slack, text, email, or carrier pigeon and we'll send you your very own Protocol mug after you refer five friends!

Your referral link: *|RH_REFLINK|*

Share on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Anna Kramer and Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to david@protocol.com, or our tips line, tips@protocol.com. Enjoy your day; see you tomorrow.

Recent Issues