How to avoid the next World War
Image: Benjamin Rascoe / Protocol
Good morning! This Tuesday, what a new book can teach us about the next decade in tech, what Coursera's future looks like, why you can't stream the Harry and Meghan interview and what Mark Zuckerberg wants you to look like in VR.
There's a new book out today that seems destined to change the way the tech industry thinks about the world. What "Her" was for voice and "Minority Report" was for weird video interfaces, "2034: A Novel of the Next World War" could be for how we think about conflict with China.
Here's all the plot you need to know right now: The book follows several characters on various sides of an escalating U.S.-China conflict, which eventually turns into nuclear war. It's set in 2034, which sounds like the future at first but feels in the book like it's right around the corner.
I spoke with the book's co-authors, Admiral James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman, about what's happening between the U.S. and China, and what war — and the world — might look like in the next decade.
The U.S. needs to improve its national tech abilities, Stavridis said. He saw huge shifts in how tech and government work together during his decades in the Navy, and said the two sides need to find a way to work together again.
We'll have more from Stavridis and Ackerman on tomorrow's episode of the Source Code podcast, so subscribe now to get it first. And read the book. It'll scare you, in a useful way.
Coursera played a central role in 2020's grand educational experiment, but Zoom School isn't the company's biggest opportunity as it gets ready to go public. Instead, as Protocol's Hirsh Chitkara reported, Coursera is trying to figure out how to help billions of people get ready to work in the economy of the future.
But what are the headwinds facing Coursera? Time for some S-1 risk factors:
COVID-19 presents a big question mark, too. Coursera's betting big on a hybrid future. "I think that there are similarities between the way the new normal for work and the new normal for online learning," Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda told me last year. "Managing groups — whether those are groups of students or groups of employees — you can't assume everyone's going to be in the same place or at the same time." Investors will need to feel confident that he's right about that.
Millions of people watched Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah on Sunday. Millions more did what the streaming era has trained us all to do: Wait until the next morning, and go find it streaming somewhere. In doing so, all those people got a fresh lesson in how stupidly complicated the streaming world is.
To recap: You can stream the interview (right here, if you're just looking for a link), but not in the place where it originally streamed, or in the app that CBS is promoting like crazy and would love to be the beneficiary of millions of royals-loving viewers signing up for free trials. And you probably can't find it on your TV. Because the streaming era is ridiculous.
As more companies look to digitize their operations, developers are becoming even more central to the business. Join Protocol's Tom Krazit and Joe Williams in conversation with Google Cloud's Amit Zavery and Webee's Cecilia Flores. This event is presented by Intel.
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency isn't set up to prevent hacks like SolarWinds or Hafnium, Rep. Yvette Clarke said:
On Protocol: Steve Case said the logic behind the pandemic has accelerated the Silicon Valley exodus — and that's fine:
The key to unlocking VR is getting the avatars right, Mark Zuckerberg said:
Meanwhile, Sheryl Sandberg said Zuckerberg was already worried about a pandemic in January 2020:
If we handle it right, technology will end the concentration of power, Satya Nadella said:
Lina Khan is President Biden's latest FTC nomination. She's been part of the House's antitrust investigation, with particular focus on Google.
Katsunori Sago has left SoftBank. He was once seen as a potential successor to Masa Son. Meanwhile, the SoftBank-backed Z Holdings said it would invest $4.7 billion and hire 5,000 AI engineers in the next five years.
Erica Joy Baker is the new CTO at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She'll be initially focused on House races in 2022.
Eric Yuan transferred about 40% of his Zoom stock, a stake worth $6 billion, to other trusts and recipients. Not a bad haul for the CEO.
DJI lost a third of its U.S. staff last year, Reuters reported, with layoffs and departures of some key staff to rivals.
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Anna Kramer and Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com, or our tips line, firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Lina Khan and Mark Zuckerberg's names. This story was updated on March 9, 2021.