Source Code: What matters in tech, in your inbox every morning

×
×

Sign up for Source Code — David Pierce’s daily newsletter on everything that matters in tech.

Not today, thank you!

Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

Protocol Source Code
What matters in tech, in your inbox every morning.

From Twitter hacks to internet seat belts

Image: Michael Chacon / Protocol
From Twitter hacks to internet seat belts

Good morning and welcome to Source Code Weekend Edition, your five-minute guide to the best of Protocol (and the internet) from the week that was, from silly pitch decks to HR failures to Yubico founder Stina Ehrensvard's new love of walking meetings.

(Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here to get Source Code every day.)

As always, let me know what you think and what you'd like to see more of in our weekend edition. I'm david@protocol.com, or you can just reply to this email. Thanks! Onto the good stuff.

Best of Protocol

How tech HR departments fail Black and brown employees, by Emily Birnbaum and Issie Lapowsky

  • Emily says: "When Black and brown tech employees face discrimination in the workplace, their first recourse should ostensibly be HR. But according to over a dozen tech workers and diversity consultants, too often, discrimination complaints are mishandled by HR departments, whose primary function is to protect the company."

Inside the 'fwd: fwd: lucky pitch deck' that's reached over 500 investors, by Biz Carson

  • Biz says: "Don't be fooled by the purple fonts and unicorn GIFs. Not only was a viral chain letter a creative way to pitch VCs, but it's also an interesting study on the venture capital industry, which still relies on who you know more than what you do."

Hackers took over Twitter after 'a coordinated social engineering attack' on employees, by Emily Birnbaum, Issie Lapowsky, and Tom Krazit

  • Tom says: "Twitter's security incident sent shivers down the backs of anyone responsible for maintaining access to their sensitive corporate and user data, and the most amazing thing about it was that the perpetrators were basically kids stealing a car for a brief joyride. The incident should be a wake-up call for anyone who manages information security in an election year."

How Abu Dhabi hopes to build a better Silicon Valley, by Kevin McAllister

  • Kevin says: "ADIO told me they've provided more than $136 million in financial incentives to the tech companies and VC funds they're partnered with. But culture and location are centerpieces of the pitch. Bin Hendi highlighted that Abu Dhabi was only a seven-hour flight from London (it's 11 hours from London to San Francisco) and that, for European companies, the city could be used as a key connecting point to the rest of the MENA region."

Microsoft's new cloud gaming service is more about the cloud than gaming, by Janko Roettgers

  • Janko says: "Cloud gaming has long been pitched as a kind of Netflix for video games, with services that could one day stream any game from the cloud to any device. But if you look closer, the services Microsoft, Google and others are working on seem much more designed to sell cloud computing to game publishers than to change video gaming as we know it."

A MESSAGE FROM ALIXPARTNERS

AlixPartners

Join us on July 30 at 12 pm et for a conversation on why there's no 'digital' in transformation. Protocol's transformation editor Mike Murphy will dive into specific industry case studies - some that were born digital, others that have moved there - and discuss how companies are managing transformation initiatives. Speakers to be announced. This conversation is presented by AlixPartners.

RSVP today.

Best of everything else

Inside the Clubhouse: What's All the Fuss About Silicon Valley's Exclusive Social Media App? — The Wall Street Journal

  • Between this, The Verge's story on Clubhouse's role in the tech vs. media spat, and Biz Carson's story on why audio moderation is so hard, we're getting a clearer picture than ever of why Clubhouse is so enticing. And why it'll be so hard to get right.

Airbnb Was Like a Family. Until the Layoffs Started — The New York Times

  • So much of the ethos of Silicon Valley starts with the idea that working in tech is more than just work: It's making the world a better place, it's home, it's a calling. But when times get hard, cultures change, and jobs become … jobs. The pandemic laid that bare in a totally new way, I think, and it's going to change how the industry works.

Electric Crypto Balkan Acid Test — The Baffler

  • How crypto-mining took over an old mineral-mining town in North Kosovo, used so much power it made the freaking clocks slow down, and became part of a long-standing fight in the region. It's a wild, messy story, and also taught me the word "cryptoquarry," which I quite like.

Camo app

  • In the last four months I've tried every way imaginable to improve my video chat quality. You could copy Matt Mullenweg's $9,000 rig, which I'm sure works great, or try one of the many stream-your-camera-to-your-computer setups that only work for me about half the time. So far, though, Camo's the best middle ground I've seen: It's $40, but it's super reliable, pretty plug-and-play, and looks way better than my laptop.

Is David Dobrik the future of the internet? — Business Casual podcast

  • "To break through the clutter, you have to first go to where the attention is. And I think the attention right now is with these digital creators." That's the case that SeatGeek's Ian Borthwick makes in this podcast for why companies like yours need to pay attention to influencer marketing, which is more effective and more powerful than it gets credit for. This is a great, deep conversation on the metrics, mechanics and reasons behind the industry. (Also: Can we come up with a better name than "influencer marketing?" That doesn't even mean anything.)

one person's opinion

Yubico CEO Stina Ehrensvard

After weeks like the one Twitter just had, it can feel like internet security is an impossible idea. The folks who created the internet didn't really think about security, so how are we supposed to plug the holes now?

But Stina Ehrensvard, the CEO of security-key company Yubico, is optimistic that there's a better path forward, a way for the whole internet to be more secure and work better for everyone. (And it doesn't just involve Yubikeys.) To hear more about her plan for the future, check out this week's Source Code podcast. Here, meanwhile, are a few of the things Stina is into right now.

  • Chromebooks. "I needed a new computer, and last week my very security-aware internal IT team handed me a Chromebook. My first reaction was that it would be too limited. Then it dawned on me that every application I am using the last couple of years is in the cloud — and I secure access to them with a Yubikey."
  • Greta Thunberg. "When COVID hit us earlier in the year, the silver lining that touched many of us were the pictures from around the world on clean air and clean water. Yesterday I went for a long walk and listened to a great but scary talk by the young brave climate activist."
  • Missing IRL. "I am grateful that my team and company is doing fine in these times. But I do very much miss the personal informal interaction with the team, joint lunch breaks and real-world white boarding."
  • Walking meetings. "After weeks of staring at screens, I moved half of my own online calls to walking meetings without any screen sharing or camera, using a simple note tool on my phone. It helped to get energy and brain clarity."
  • Fajitas. "Today my three children, husband and I are cooking chicken fajitas for dinner and I very much look forward to that. After high school and before I went to college to study industrial product design, I worked for a few years as a chef at a scrappy lunch restaurant. Today, my job is quite different but I still love cooking."

A MESSAGE FROM ALIXPARTNERS

AlixPartners

Join us on July 30 at 12 pm et for a conversation on why there's no 'digital' in transformation. Protocol's transformation editor Mike Murphy will dive into specific industry case studies - some that were born digital, others that have moved there - and discuss how companies are managing transformation initiatives. Speakers to be announced. This conversation is presented by AlixPartners.

RSVP today.

Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to david@protocol.com, or our tips line, tips@protocol.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

Recent Issues

TikTok, QAnon and RBG

New TikTok, new boss?