The fight over who can see you scoot
Good morning! This Tuesday, Microsoft's fast-tracked plan to kill the password, a fight over scooter data, and the first-ever streaming movie turns 25.
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Xbox Series X production didn't change because of COVID-19, but Microsoft's Phil Spencer said his thinking about the product did:
Facebook's chief AI scientist Yann LeCun said people have the wrong idea about the company:
IBM is getting out of the facial-recognition business, and CEO Arvind Krishna urged Congress to legislate the space:
Companies have talked about ditching the password for years. Microsoft is making it happen. The company's passwordless tech was scheduled to be ready by mid-2021, but with the COVID-19 remote-work shift it's started the rollout early.
Arsenault would know. He's been at Microsoft for 30 years, protecting its secrets for much of that time. For a man who loves simplicity, he's lived a life that's far from it.
Read Tom's story about Microsoft's most interesting man for much more on Arsenault and Microsoft's work on passwords.
Suffice to say Lemonade's done a lot better than most SoftBank-backed startups have recently. The company, valued at $2 billion, filed to go public yesterday after a reported pump-fake last year. That means it's time for every reporter's favorite activity: reading the Risk Factors in the S-1!
Lemonade's pitch is pretty straightforward: It essentially believes it has built the most accurate and usable insurance platform on the planet. It's been successful with young people applying for their first policies, and wouldn't have to bite off much of the trillion-dollar insurance market to be a huge success.
One of Lemonade's great strengths, the company believes, is a feature called Giveback. Once a year, Lemonade takes any unclaimed money from users' accounts and premiums, and gives it to a charity of their choosing. You know the deal: doing good and doing well.
Lemonade is a poster child for a certain kind of tech company: the one that shows up to an old, bloated market everyone hates and tries to solve it with smart tech and good design. If it can do that to the huge, fusty insurance business, there's a lot of money in the Lemonade stand.
Join us for Protocol's Transformation of Work Summit on June 23 at noon ET. A discussion of where in-demand skills meet job opportunity. First speakers announced: Congressional Future of Work Caucus co-chairs Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Representative Bryan Steil (R-WI). This event is presented by Workday.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles. About scooters. Which seems weird! You wouldn't sue the road for your car troubles, right?
But the city is unusually involved in the system. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation, mostly called LADOT, played a huge role in creating a standard called the Mobility Data Specification, or MDS, which provides cities with real-time information about the scooters on their streets.
The ACLU is decidedly anti-MDS. The suit seeks to effectively kill the standard, ending all collection through MDS and destroying existing records.
This isn't really a scooter fight: Most people's experiences on a Bird or Lime wouldn't change a bit if MDS went away, or was replaced by a less precise standard like the General Bikeshare Feed Specification. No, this is a privacy fight — about whether any government entity has the right to track people as they move, even without personal identifiers, even on a delay.
Melissa Waters is Instagram's new global vice president of marketing. She's worked at Hims and Hers, Lyft, and other tech companies.
Brian Hall is joining Google Cloud to lead product marketing. He was at Amazon until earlier this year — and his former employer is suing him, saying he violated a non-disclosure agreement that Hall says he was told wouldn't be enforced. In announcing the move, Hall also wrote maybe the greatest "some personal news" tweet of all time.
In 1995, a $150,000 movie called "Party Girl" didn't exactly set the box office on fire. But it turned out to be a seminal film in internet history: It was the first feature-length film ever streamed online. The Wall Street Journal has a great oral history of the movie on its 25th anniversary, in which among other things journalist Glenn Fleishman explains just how bad the streaming quality was: "It was black and white, maybe like ten frames a second if you were lucky, maybe slower. It was just this very herky-jerky thing … but it worked!" Oh, and if you're feeling nostalgic, you can now stream "Party Girl" on a bunch of streaming services. It'll look much better now.
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