March 4, 2022
Photo: Yuriy Duachyshyn/AFP via Getty Images
Good morning! Donating to Ukraine’s war effort is commendable. But the last thing Ukraine needs is an NFT of an alien dog. I’m Owen Thomas, and while I haven’t been to Nice or the isles of Greece, I’ve been to Makhachkala, and that has to count for something.
If there’s one thing Ukraine does not need right now, it’s $19 worth of Dogelon, or 50,000 AssangeDAO coins, or an NFT of an alien shiba inu. But that’s what the war-torn country got, along with more than $50 million of cryptocurrency since it opened up bitcoin and Ethereum wallets and announced the addresses on Twitter last week.
The bitcoin, ether and USDT that landed there will help the country’s war effort. But the random assortment of coins getting sent Ukraine’s way points to a problem with the narrative of crypto as the new war bond: Along with the fungible tokens, you get a lot of funk.
The novelty of crypto is driving donations. World War III? More like World War Web3, am I right?
The blockchain is making Ukraine’s fundraising public. The transparency is arguably helping fuel more donations.
Will crypto turn the tide of war? No.
If we might make a modest suggestion for those who want to make a difference to the millions of Ukrainians in need of food, shelter and medical treatment, how about the Red Cross, which puts 90 cents of every dollar it receives to relief programs, an excellent ratio among nonprofits? Red Cross affiliates have called for $272 million to fund relief efforts in the country, where they’ve been operating since 2014. Oh, and if you absolutely insist, the Red Cross does take bitcoin.
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U.K. leader Nadine Dorries wants Meta, Twitter and TikTok to ban RT and Sputnik:
Yandex – Russia's answer to Google — is in league with the Russian government, said former head of news Lev Gershenzon:
Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Richard Blumenthal and others want an investigation into Amazon's worker absence policies:
Rivian’s RJ Scaringe apologized for increasing prices for reservation holders:
Twitter wants someone to lead its Future of Work Innovation team. The position will “ensure we are aligned in our approach so that any employee can be successful at Twitter,” the job listing reads.
Marian Lee was promoted to CMO at Netflix. Lee had been the company’s VP of Marketing in the U.S. and Canada since last summer.
Cameron Cohen joined Square as general counsel. Cohen had been in-house counsel for Amazon for over a decade.
Yacine Azmi is the new head of Engineering at Nova Credit. He was previously a software engineering leader at Meta.
Sandy Knechtel is the new COO of Alaska Communications. Knechtel was previously an area manager for Alaska and Hawaii for Gartner.
Sony and Honda are working together on electric vehicles. They're setting up a separate joint venture, and plan to start selling cars in 2025.
Google suspended all ad sales in Russia. That includes on search results, YouTube and elsewhere. A number of companies have made a similar move, but nobody's bigger than Google in the ad world.
Ukraine dropped its airdrop plans, a project that encouraged more donations with crypto tokens. Instead, the country is looking into NFTs as a way to support the war effort.
Reddit banned links to Russian state-supported media outlets, following similar moves from Alphabet, Meta, TikTok and others.
Information labels don’t exactly stop the spread of misinformation, but they do lead to fewer user interactions, according to a study analyzing Donald Trump’s old tweets.
Twitter is reopening offices on March 15. Employees still will be able to decide where they want to work.
Verizon introduced +play, a subscription hub that manages other services like Netflix, Peloton and more. It first launched to a small group and will roll out to more people over time.
Netflix is launching another interactive series. This one is called “Trivia Quest,” and players move the story along in the game by answering questions correctly.
It’s hard to step away from your devices when practically your entire life is on them. But maybe even just for an hour today, you can unplug. It’s the National Day of Unplugging, after all.
It’s not just a day, but also an awareness campaign that encourages people to get off their various devices. You can unplug for a cause, like taking time to declutter your pantry and donating those extra canned goods to a local food shelter, or find a place near you that’s participating in the day. How do you plan to spend your unplugged time today? Are you brave enough to extend it through the weekend? Let us know by replying to this email, and then get off your phone!
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