April 8, 2022
Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
Good morning! Do you miss roaming a convention center with a tech conference badge? Or the summer camp vibe of reuniting with industry peers you haven’t seen in years? Well, the virtual events necessitated by the pandemic appear to be sticking around. So is the in-person tech event a thing of the past? I'm Allison Levitsky, and I once worked as a Frida Kahlo impersonator at SFMOMA.
The pandemic’s darkest days have passed and in-person gatherings are back, but the virtual events that emerged during the pandemic have staying power. Some of tech’s biggest conferences are hanging on to a hybrid element — if not remaining entirely online.
We’re fully into year three of the pandemic, and Big Tech’s conferences are still mostly virtual. The events once packed thousands of attendees into large convention centers in exotic locales like San Jose and Las Vegas, but this week, Apple announced that its annual developers conference would once again be an online event, and Facebook parent company Meta is also putting its annual developers event on pause.
Other companies are going all-in on hybrid conferences. This combines the benefits of in-person gatherings — networking, more immersive experiences, a captive audience — with the wider audience and deeper focus of online sessions.
In-person networking is a big part of the appeal of conferences. But apparently, that’s not deterring tech companies from making their developer conferences virtual.
We’ll have to see whether Apple takes the wraps off its latest iPhone with a splashy IRL event this September. Either way, the more technical tech conferences are likely to stay at least partially, if not mostly, online — or maybe in, IDK, the metaverse?
How is tech setting and measuring climate goals?
Net zero. Carbon offsets. Scope 3 emissions. These are just some of the terms you’ll find in Big Tech’s climate plans. Understanding what they actually mean is vital to ensuring the industry is meeting its goals. Join us at 10 a.m. PT April 19, where Protocol's Brian Kahn will talk with some of the people responsible for setting those goals and experts who are monitoring them to find out what tech companies are really doing. RSVP here.
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Tesla shareholder Ron Baron doesn’t think Elon Musk’s Twitter buy is a big deal:
Microsoft’s Satya Nadella told workers to stop sending those late-night emails:
Janet Yellen said crypto regulation should be “tech neutral”:
Daversa Partners’ Frank Cumella said companies should create strong ties with their executive search firm:
Bolt Financial bought Wyre Payments, a blockchain-based payments provider, for about $1.5 billion, sources told The Wall Street Journal.
Coinbase is on a hiring spree in India. The company plans to triple its employee count in the country to 1,000, and half of the new hires will be engineers.
Discovery’s new post-WarnerMedia merger leaders are in place. Jean-Briac Perrette will lead its streaming businesses; Bruce Campbell will serve as chief revenue and strategy officer; and Kathleen Finch is the new chair and chief content officer.
Skand Gupta is the new head of Engineering at Cadre. Gupta has worked in senior engineering roles at companies like Better.com and Dropbox.Katie Markov is Avochato’s first COO. She was previously the company's VP of Operations.
Elon Musk finally visited the White House. He met with Biden officials alongside other auto industry leaders to discuss topics like charging networks and EVs.
Amazon will appeal its unionization defeat, which last week saw workers in New York vote to establish the company’s first U.S. union. Hardly surprising.
Riot Games is the latest to drop its vaccine requirement and ask workers to come back to the office. Sources told Vice the change has upset employees, some of whom have left.
Twitter Employees aren't happy with Elon Musk being on the company's board, so much so that the company plans to host a town hall on the matter, according to The Washington Post.
Activision Blizzard’s quality assurance testers are now full-time workers after months of activism from some employees. The workers now have full-time contracts and a raise.
Twitter is testing a tool that would let users unmention themselves from conversations on the web.
Epic and Lego want to make the metaverse better for kids. Their plans to work together are vague, but they’re aiming to prioritize kids’ well-being and protect their privacy.
SpaceX can’t expand in Boca Chica, Texas, for now because it never provided documentation on how its growth would affect surrounding ecology and wildlife.Apple’s own apps are rarely the most popular in a given category, Apple-funded researchers found. Their paper comes as Apple fights against regulators around the world who are sympathetic to the notion that rivals like Spotify get anticompetitive treatment on iOS.
Famous women including Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon are getting in on the crypto craze. Given that men have invested more in crypto than women, that leadership push from women celebrities should be seen as a good thing. But it’s … not really?
Women celebrities’ interest in NFTs sounds a lot like the girlboss philosophy, which refers to a 2010s trend in which women leaders broke into male-dominated fields, but in a self-serving way. The charge looks like women are successfully breaking the glass ceiling, but at the expense of marginalized women. The ongoing hype around NFTs could play out in the same way, the Washington Post reports, but time will tell.
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