A render of the future Crypto.com Arena
Image: Crypto.com

Surveillance, stadiums and screwdrivers

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Your five-minute guide to the best of Protocol (and the internet) from the week that was, from the battle for the U.S. Constitution to the fine line between simplicity and surveillance.

The best of Protocol

Sometimes it just doesn't work: Why Apple is finally letting its customers fix their iPhones, by Lizzy Lawrence and Ben Brody

  • This week was a huge win for right-to-repair advocates as one of their fiercest opponents finally began to give in. So why did Apple suddenly embrace the DIY movement? There's a bigger story happening here, and a political landscape that seems to have shifted permanently.

It's easier to invest in an NFT than a startup. Party Round wants to change that, by Biz Carson

  • Party Round is more than just an excellent Twitter account. It's a new way of thinking about fundraising, investing and entrepreneurship. It's venture capital for the era of the retail investor, and a lot of people are excited about it.

A group of crypto enthusiasts hatched a plan to buy the US Constitution, by Anna Kramer

  • Spoiler alert: the ConstitutionDAO didn't win the auction for a copy of the U.S. Constitution (and on Friday, the once-anonymous winner revealed himself). But it still accomplished something remarkable, bringing thousands of people and millions of dollars together in a few days and bringing the possibilities of crypto, Web3 and decentralization to lots of new people.

How Microsoft's Xbox challenged Nintendo and Sony and changed console gaming forever, by Nick Statt

  • The Xbox is 20! How is that possible? For its anniversary, this is a good look back at how Microsoft managed to succeed in a famously difficult market, and all the ways (successful and not) it has tried to move gaming forward over the years. There's a chance the next 20 years of Xbox could be even wilder than the last.

From Compaq Center to Crypto.com Arena, here's why companies take big swings on arena naming rights, by Nat Rubio-Licht

  • We can all agree that putting ".com" on an arena name immediately makes it sound kind of dot-com boom-y and out of touch, right? But Crypto.com doesn't care: It's ready to spend hundreds of millions on some of the world's most visible branding real estate. And there's a long history of companies doing the same — even when it doesn't work out.

These nuns could force Microsoft to put its money where its mouth is, by Issie Lapowsky

  • Big tech companies are spending more time and energy on lobbying than ever before, but most of it still happens in relative secrecy. An unlikely group — a bunch of Microsoft shareholders led by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace — is trying to make sure that what companies say behind closed doors matches what they proclaim in public.

On the schedule

A holiday shopping season like no other

The 2021 holiday shopping season is shaping up to be a bumpy ride due to supply-chain disruptions and chipset shortages. Join us at 11 a.m. PT on Nov. 30 for a discussion on how these issues affect holiday shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond, and where the industry goes from here.

China's fintech future

How will China shape the future of fintech in the medium and long term — and what does that mean for the existing financial system? Join us at 10 a.m. PT on Dec. 2 for a discussion about Beijing's latest moves to test the CBDC, what we know already about how the CBDC does (and doesn't) work and in-country fintech innovations we should adopt globally.

Crypto and institutional investors

Venture capital started the move to treat crypto as just another asset class. Which institutional investors are most primed to consider crypto? What infrastructure is required for institutional needs? Join Tomio Geron at 9 a.m. PT on Dec. 6 where he, Anchorage's Diogo Mónica and Paxos' Walter Hessert will answer these questions and more.

The year in enterprise tech

Protocol's Tom Krazit will hold a panel discussion at 10 a.m. PT on Dec. 8 with enterprise tech executives and experts to recap the biggest developments at AWS re:Invent 2021 and preview the trends and events that will shape 2022.

A MESSAGE FROM WORKHUMAN

After a year and a half of uncertainty, stress, burnout and isolation, employees are now more certain of what they will and won't tolerate at work. They're making it clear that if their organizations won't create a more human workplace, they'll leave. Click the link below to learn more about how the Great Resignation will shape the future of work.

Learn more

The best of everything else

Amazon's dark secret: It has failed to protect your data — Wired

  • A seriously eye-opening investigation into all the data Amazon has on its customers, and the vast number of people within the company who have access in the name of being customer-centric. While Google and Facebook have been scrutinized for their data collection, Amazon has mostly been left out. But that's going to change now.

Singapore's tech-utopia dream is turning into a surveillance state nightmare — Rest of World

  • The thing about the future is that utopia and dystopia are never very far apart. And in Singapore, a country that has embraced the future more quickly and aggressively than most, what at first feels thrilling and cutting-edge can quickly turn into something problematic.

He helped build Tesla. Now he's gunning for it. — The New York Times

  • Peter Rawlinson pulled off quite the feat: He helped build the car company everybody wanted to beat, and then built its most formidable competitor. The Lucid Air looks like Tesla's first true challenger, but of course there's much more to winning the car market than building a great car. The real competition is just beginning.

What went wrong with Zillow? A real-estate algorithm derailed its big bet — The Wall Street Journal

  • The chaotic housing market of 2021 spared no one who tried to grapple with it, including Zillow. The company thought it could turn the home-buying process into software, automating away countless complicated decisions, but never quite got it right. And now it's paying a steep price for an imperfect algorithm.

A look under the hood of the most successful streaming service on the planet — The Verge

  • Doesn't it feel like half the web has gone down recently? The vicious configuration changes are coming for everyone. And yet through it all, through internet problems and huge spikes in viewership, Netflix just keeps streaming. The system underpinning it, Open Connect, is complex and fascinating.

The Bored Apes take Manhattan — Input

  • The Bored Ape Yacht Club is many things: an NFT success story, an exclusive clique full of cool celebs, a weird art project. It's also a bit of a real-world phenomenon. This is a fun dispatch from inside a group that feels a bit like the future of the internet: clubby, weird, digitally created, yet as real-life as it gets.

A MESSAGE FROM WORKHUMAN

After a year and a half of uncertainty, stress, burnout and isolation, employees are now more certain of what they will and won't tolerate at work. They're making it clear that if their organizations won't create a more human workplace, they'll leave. Click the link below to learn more about how the Great Resignation will shape the future of work.

Learn more

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to our tips line, tips@protocol.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

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