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Platforms come and platforms go

Platforms come and platforms go

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 OnlyFans saga to the long, long, long history of failed Google messaging products.

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The best of Protocol

As OnlyFans abandons sex workers, here's who is filling the void, by Anna Kramer

  • OnlyFans may have reversed its pledge to ban sexually explicit content, but many of the sex workers and creators said they're still done with the platform. And plenty of startups, at all levels of the ecosystem, are seeing an opportunity.

Unpacking China's game-changing data law, by Shen Lu

  • PIPL is the new GDPR, folks. The Personal Information Protection Law is a strong piece of legislation that takes some of GDPR's systems for ensuring personal and data privacy, and adds a hefty dose of national security. In some ways, this is a law that might only make sense in China; in others, it could be a blueprint for such bills around the world.

'You remind me of my mom': How older workers get sidelined in tech, by Sarah Roach

  • The average developer in tech is 29 years old, according to one study. That fact changes how companies work, what kind of culture is created … and whether people go to Hooters after a work conference, apparently? Older workers are often left on the sidelines, particularly older women. And it's a problem.

Here's what companies are promising Biden on cybersecurity, by Ben Brody

  • Microsoft, Google, IBM, Amazon and Apple made big promises about shoring up their — and by extension, America's — cybersecurity going forward. BIllions in commitments, lots of jobs, plenty of training. As ever, though, big promises are only half the battle. Getting it all done, when the threats seem to grow by the day, will be much harder.

This is how Facebook's Project Aria AR glasses work, by Janko Roettgers

  • Yes, they're just prototypes, and no, you probably won't ever own anything like them. But when it comes to VR and AR, there's no company pushing harder and in more directions than Facebook. It's starting to get things right, too, which makes these camera-laden, speaker-filled glasses pretty interesting.

Protocol's next chapter, by Tammy Wincup and Tim Grieve

  • In case you missed it earlier this week: We've been acquired! Axel Springer SE purchased Protocol from our publisher Robert Allbritton. The deal won't close until the fall, but we're really excited about what's coming next. And as always, grateful to you for being with us for the ride.

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The best of everything else

A decade and a half of instability: The history of Google messaging apps — Ars Technica

  • We all knew Google's had a rough go trying to crack the future of messaging. But seeing 15 years of attempts in a row, from Talk to Voice to Buzz to Disco to Docs Editor Chat to Allo to YouTube Messages to Maps Messages to RCS to Photos Messages to Chat to Stadia Messages to Chat (again, and hopefully for the last time), is pretty eye-opening.

The All-Seeing 'i': Apple just declared war on your privacy — Edward Snowden

  • Snowden doesn't hold back on Apple's new encryption tools and CSAM-fighting plans: "In just a few weeks, Apple plans to erase the boundary dividing which devices work for you, and which devices work for them." He makes the case that Apple's intent, and intended use cases, don't matter a bit. Once systems exist, they get co-opted.

How China conquered the keyboard – Johnny Harris

  • A mindbender of a YouTube video about how China adapted its language to the QWERTY keyboard, and on another level a study of how simple things (like keyboard layouts) have huge effects on the way the world works and understands itself.

Joe Rogan, confined to Spotify, is losing influence — The Verge

  • This is a clever dive into what happened to Joe Rogan when he left the open podcasting world for the big green walls of Spotify. The evidence is damning: Guests get fewer followers when they come on the show, repeat guests see a smaller bump than before, and his Google Trends numbers are down. Exclusivity has its perks — and its upsides, for Spotify — but has its pitfalls, too.

Zoom dysmorphia is following us into the real world — Wired UK

  • Stop me if this sounds familiar: You log onto a video chat, and instead of mirroring your video to show you your face like you see it in a mirror, it flips the picture the other way. Terrifying, right? It turns out that spending 18 months staring at our own faces has screwed us up in real, hard-to-reverse ways that we're only just starting to understand.

How I experience the web today

  • Just click through it. It's terrifyingly accurate.

A MESSAGE FROM BLOCKCHAIN.COM

The Blockchain.com Wallet is the easiest and most powerful crypto wallet, trusted by millions since 2011 with over $1 trillion in crypto transactions. Whether you want to trade, earn, custody, or access full-stack institutional solutions, Blockchain.com is a market leader in retail and institutional crypto products.

Learn more

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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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