In This Issue


Elon Musk goes on investor call tirade against coronavirus lockdowns, calling it fascist & unconstitutional

Elon Musk went on a rant about the US coronavirus lockdown in an investor call last night. When asked about the impact of California's shelter-in-place laws, Musk said that "to say they cannot leave their house, and they'll be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic, this is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom" and "I would call it forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional rights - my opinion - and erasing people's freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong, and not why people came to America or built this country. What the fuck?". Musk has also been saying dumb shit on Twitter about coronavirus, but dumb shit on Twitter is Musk's brand lately. Oh and Telsa’s financials: profitable again, plenty of cash on hand, but unsure about how they’re gonna sell cars in a depressed economy.

Latest beta of iOS 13.5 gets various coronavirus influenced updates

Apple has released a fresh beta of iOS 13.5, notable for its coronavirus related features. The exposure API they worked on with Google is included, with an option in the settings to enable or disable your device's participation. If you want all the technical info on how it works, Google and Apple recently updated their whitepapers and FAQs. Note that it's still unknown if it will allow apps like COVIDSafe, which don't use the Google/Apple tracing method to work in the background. More info regarding this and sample code for developers will be made public Friday (Saturday our time). The update also changes how Face ID works if you're wearing a mask (pops up the passcode screen faster) and lets you disable the "enlarge the face of the speaker" in group FaceTime calls.

How coronavirus impacted the finances of Amazon, eBay, Qualcomm, Facebook, Microsoft and Spotify

A bunch of tech companies have released their financials for the 2nd quarter of 2020, containing interesting info about how COVID-19 has impacted their business. No surprise that Amazon had the biggest gains, with its market cap growing by US$90b since mid-Feb due to the explosion in online ordering. Competitor eBay however hasn't grown and actually had 2% less revenue compared to the same time last year. Qualcomm has remained on-track despite the rona, signing more deals to get its expensive and high margin 5G based SoCs into upcoming smartphones. Facebook's advertising slump from March due to companies tightening their belts as COVID-19 impacts the economy, stabilised in April, despite record levels of usage. Microsoft's business is "booming" with a 15% revenue increase as remote work takes off (Teams usage increased 110% vs last quarter) and customers keep their Azure and Office subscriptions going despite the economic downturn. Spotify's usage grew 31% compared to this time last year, but more people are on the free-tier than ever before as they cut spending due to job losses.

Not News

These Ethics Litmus Tests might help you avoid becoming the next Peter Thiel

Ever faced a tricky decision at work regarding the ethics of a certain course of action and even though your gut says "this is bad, I shouldn't do it", your team or management think otherwise? You might want to try this Ethics Litmus Test. It's a set of cards with questions that help prompt discussion and consideration of what happens if you do that thing with a computer you know you shouldn't do but might do anyways because it'll make you a few extra bucks. The cards are free if you just wanna print em out or you can buy a cool little test tube with the cards pre-printed for $66 when they're back in stock. I reckon they're a great idea not because you personally are morally corrupt (you're one of the good ones) - but to have a third party or a process back up these types of decisions, that if were simply "well of course bleeding heart Anthony wants to do it that way" style objections, would be ignored.


🎶 Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely - Hüsker Dü

😁 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.​