In This Issue


Google launches Play Pass, an app subscription plan for Android

In the wake of Apple Arcade going live with iOS 13 recently, Google has formally announced Play Pass, "their new subscription service that offers the user access to over 350 apps on the Play Store". Unlike Apple Arcade, Play Pass also includes apps that aren't games, like AccuWeather and Hi-Q recorder. A key benefit of Play Pass is that all apps in it have no ads, no in-app purchases and no upfront payments. It launches in the US later this week and will cost US$4.99/m. Australia will probably get it eventually, but no details yet. It'll be interesting to see how this impacts developer bottom lines - will they make more cash selling their app upfront, with ads, with in-app purchases or via Play Pass?

Chef the latest tech company to cease work with ICE & CBP after employee backlash

If you're someone with a job title like DevOps, you're probably familiar with Chef - a configuration management system. It was recently revealed that Chef has a contract with the USA's ICE & CBP, who are pretty on the nose right now with the whole separating families, chucking kids in cages and random raids of immigrant communities thing. When Seth Vargo, a former employee of Chef that developed some open-source Chef addons found out, he removed them GitHub, impacting Chef's business for a few days. At the time Chef's CEO said they will continue to "work with the institutions of our government, regardless of whether or not we personally agree with their various policies". Today Chef's CEO changed his mind and said they won't renew their ICE and CBP contracts. A win for the high ground.

QUT opens research center to investigate the impact of digital tech on kiddies

Queensland University of Technology is opening the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child that will spend $67.1m to research how technology is (or isn't, but you know it probably is) fucking with the brains of kids from birth to eight years old. QUT professor Susan Danby is leading the research centre and said that "issues like the amount of screen time children are exposed to, social media, online safety and digital gaming will all be considered as part of the study". Ultimately the goal of the research centre is to "produce practical guidance for families in safely navigating the digital environment and inform the development of new technologies aimed at young children". Good luck to them.

Not News

Everything you wanted to know about eSIMs but were afraid to ask

Curious about eSIMs now that you've got a smartphone which supports such technology and the big three telcos are onboard, but don't know what an eSIM really is? Beau Giles has a tidy article explaining what the go is with eSIMs. Basically it's a second SIM for your smartphone, but without a physical SIM. So if you want two phone numbers (i.e: one for work, one for home) on a single smartphone, eSIM lets you do that. You can even store multiple eSIMs on a single iPhone, but only one can be active at once. eSIMs gets really interesting when you want a global roaming/overseas SIM before your trip, as it means you can get the SIM instantly, rather than waiting for it to be posted out to you.


🎶 Freckles - Pip Blom

😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.​