Source Code: Tech talks the protest talk
Good morning! This Monday, the tech community tries to figure out how to talk about protests, the CDC has ideas about office design, and SpaceX hits its mark.
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Amid a weekend of protests, Tim Cook told Apple employees that it's time to step up:
Successful investing is a solo show, Chamath Palihapitiya believes:
EU government officials called on tech companies to give them more access and data for contact-tracing projects:
Google added a note to its homepage over the weekend: "We stand in support of racial equality, and all those who search for it." YouTube's homepage showed a video called "Stand Against Racial Injustice."
All weekend, tech companies were posting similar messages, supporting those protesting against racial injustice:
An interesting thing happened in response to all these tweets (I mean, other than the predictable politics and fighting): People asked tech companies what they were going to do about it — how they'd put their money where their mouth is.
After the last few days, in which we've also seen Facebook employees speak out against Mark Zuckerberg's decision to not moderate Trump's tweets, the chorus is only getting louder in asking tech companies to take more action, spend more money, and pick more fights in support of their values.
These questions are bigger than social, bigger than moderation, and bigger than Trump even. They're about what tech companies are supposed to do, and be, and represent in the world. And I don't think they're going away.
In happier news, Launch America launched! A few minutes before lift-off, SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell said that "I stopped getting nervous for launches. Today I'm nervous again. Super nervous. Stomach in throat." But things went as smoothly as could be: Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley took off on Saturday, and docked with the International Space Station on Sunday morning. SpaceX even managed to catch the Falcon 9 rocket with its drone ship, the one hilariously named "Of Course I Still Love You."
If you missed it, you can still watch the whole 9-hour launch livestream, or the footage of the Crew Dragon docking with the ISS. (The video is amazing enough that it made my wife, Anna, say, "Yeah, I get why people think this stuff is faked.")
This whole thing was cool because, well, space is always cool. But don't forget what's at stake:
How Walmart Is Promoting A Safer Store Environment
The retailer has expanded paid leave policies, closed stores for overnight cleaning, installed plexiglass barriers and social distance markers and introduced temperature checks for associates.
Desks 6 feet apart, separated by big transparent shields. Temperature and symptom checks every time you walk into the building. Face coverings at all times. When offices do start to reopen, the CDC recommends companies make huge changes to how they're run. Many of the adjustments are borderline impossible.
The CDC also suggests a rethink on what to do with "work and common areas where employees could have close contact." Cafeterias, break rooms, even lobbies are all danger zones now.
No wonder so many companies are adopting permanent remote-work policies — that might be easier than trying to get everybody back, at least for now.
Protocol's next Virtual Meetup is on Thursday. I'll be talking with Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer about moderation, remote work, AI, brain computing and much more. Come join us, and ask Mike your burning questions!
Cisco Live starts Tuesday, with free talks on all things tech and IT. (Though maybe it's now more like Cisco Digital.)
Zoom reports earnings Tuesday. We'll see what's happened to the poster company of quarantine, which has gone through about 40 hype cycles in three months.
Sony's holding a PlayStation event on Thursday, where it'll share much more about the PlayStation 5 and the future of gaming. And that weird controller it's been teasing for a while.
There's a photo making the rounds. A picture of a sunset over a lake. But if you try to set that image as a wallpaper on your Android phone, it might crash so badly you have to reset your phone. It has to do with a wrongly coded color profile, but it's a nice reminder that the ways to brick your phone are weirder and more plentiful than you ever imagined. Also, that the best way to get someone to do something stupid is to tweet "don't do this, it's stupid" at them.
Walmart Makes Face Coverings a Requirement for Associates
Walmart is providing masks for associates in stores, clubs, offices, and distribution and fulfillment centers. This is in addition to in-store measures like plexiglass barriers and customer limits.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or our tips line, email@example.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.