Image: Jonathan D'Mello / Protocol
June 26, 2020
Good morning and welcome to Source Code Weekend Edition! Every Sunday from now on, we'll be here with a few of the things you need to read, watch, check out, play with and know about from the last week. (Got something you'd like us to feature? Send it to me! email@example.com.) And we'll have someone smart in the tech industry tell us about what they're into right now as well.
Also, today's the first episode of our new Source Code Podcast, which has interviews with Protocol reporters, analysis of the week's big news, and deep-dives with other fascinating people in tech.
As always, let me know what you think and what you'd like to see more of in our weekend edition. I'm firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can just reply to this email. Thanks! Onto the good stuff.
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The Best of Protocol
- Tom says: "Everybody makes mistakes, which is why we have seat belts and erasers. Software developers make their fair share of mistakes as well, and they're starting to realize that they don't have to use inherently unsafe tools to build the next generation of software."
Amazon is looking to add live TV to Prime Video, by Janko Roettgers
- Janko says: "Most of the time, tech companies have really boring job listings, but every once in a while, they do give away their game a bit. When Amazon recently advertised an opportunity to be 'at the vanguard of a program that will revolutionize Prime Video,' I got curious and started to dig a little deeper. Turns out there were a bunch of ads spelling out in detail why Amazon might want to add live TV to Prime Video, which kind of content it is interested in and more."
- Issie says: "When Facebook announced it was sending all of its content moderators home due to COVID-19 and leaving most content moderation up to AI, I wondered how that was going to work in practice. Schrep is responsible for that work, so I thought I'd ask him! Schrep also happens to manage a huge and crucial team at Facebook, and given the employee backlash the company has seen recently, I wanted to know how he's managed that."
- Emily says: "Black-owned restaurants are often overlooked on apps like UberEats, DoorDash and Seamless. EatOkra gives prime real estate to Black-owned cuisine, and has seen an enormous surge in usage over the past few weeks. It accrued more than 20,000 new followers across Twitter and Instagram, and raised over $13,000 in a crowdfunding campaign."
The pandemic is doing to credit cards what iTunes did to CDs, by Mike Murphy
- Mike says: "I've been really interested for a while about what the future of credit card companies is when all of our wallets have been replaced by our phones. How do you differentiate yourself when you're just a digital icon in some other company's wallet software? It turns out, the big players have been thinking about this for a while, too."
The Best of Everything Else
- This is a really different, really intense story about how powerful social media can really be. Like so many of these stories, everything seems like it starts as either a joke or a silly game, until it turns out to be something much bigger and scarier.
Everyday Experiments — Ikea and Space10
- While we're all stuck at home trying to buy webcams and comfy chairs, Ikea is out there living in the year 3020. Its new collection of "digital experiments" uses furniture, AR and your four walls to rethink what it might feel like to be at home in the future. It's trippy, it's weird, and it's awesome.
"Netflix is a team, not a family" — Recode
- The first season of Recode's "Land of the Giants" podcast was a fascinating look into Amazon's many-tentacled business. The second season is all about Netflix, and the first episode takes a look at the company's deeply weird corporate culture — and why Reed Hastings is convinced that people perform best when they're constantly worried about getting fired.
- Robert Williams' first-person account will define the conversation about facial recognition. "The cops looked at each other. I heard one say that 'the computer must have gotten it wrong.' I asked if I was free to go now, and they said no."
Apple Responds to Your Comments! – MKBHD
- After all those WWDC announcements, this is a really interesting look at how Craig Federighi and Apple think about how the company's products are supposed to work. Lots of fun design-y debate here, too.
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One Person's Opinion
Harpreet Singh Rai runs Oura, the wearable-ring company that's found itself at the center of so much of the COVID news and research over the last few months. Most recently, it's become a core part of the NBA's plan to play basketball safely again.
For more on my conversation with Harpreet, check out this week's Source Code Podcast. Here, though, are a few of the things he said he's been into recently:
- The Clear app. "I've tried Evernote, Google Keep — some of my friends are now swearing by Superhuman as a way to take notes. But I use Clear. I'm searching for another one, because it's this app that was made 10 years ago that has no web capabilities or interoperability. But the UX on Clear is so subtle and simple."
- Blue-light blocking glasses. "You put them on in the evening when the sun starts to go down, and you'll start getting drowsy at night, which doesn't happen anymore! I have like five to 10 pairs, I literally leave one in my backpack and one in my suitcase. I tend to use a lot of the ones that are just available on Amazon for $5 or $10."
- Samin Nosrat's basil pesto. "I've done the keto diets, with the spreadsheets and tracking, and then intermittent fasting. What I am now doing is a FODMAP diet, like where you try to really reduce the inflammation — and this basil pesto thing is frankly amazing. But I'd be lying to you if I knew how to make it every step of the way; my girlfriend is super helpful in the kitchen."
- Rock climbing. "I boulder in particular, but I'm so bad at it, and I don't get enough time. I've really wanted to, like, drop all my other activities, because it's something you've really got to put three or four days a week to really get good."
- "Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up," by Jerry Colonna. "Part of being a leader is to not only guide the business decisions that need to be made but also understand and connect with your team. Reboot illuminates how one's personal life and experiences holds them back from succeeding professionally and also from working better with others. It's a good dose of chicken soup for the soul!"
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Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com, or our tips line, firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.