Issue 1241 - Monday 2nd November, 2020

Quick heads up, there won't be a Sizzle tomorrow because it's the Melbourne Cup public holiday in Victoria and I don't work on Victorian public holidays.

In Today's Issue

The News

Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft Q3 2020 financials

The five largest companies in the world's largest economy - Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft - dropped their Q3 financial statements over the past week. Despite a pandemic, all of them beat analyst expectations. Microsoft's revenue grew 15% compared to this time last year, the biggest part of their business is now Azure (more revenue than Windows or Office). Amazon's revenues grew 37% for a whopping US$96.1b flowing into its bank accounts in a single quarter and US$6.3b of that being "profit". Facebook made US$7.8b profit out of its US$21.5b of revenue, but lost 2m users and saw fewer daily and monthly active users in the US & Canada. Alphabet's revenue grew 14% to US$46.2b and profit of US$11.2b. YouTube ad revenue pulled in US$5.04b for the quarter. Apple sucked up US$59.7b of our hard earned money in 3 months and it wasn't even a quarter with a new iPhone in it. Mac sales reached an all-time high apparently.

Attorney-General to conduct a deep review of Australia's Privacy Act

Thanks to the ACCC's Digital Platforms Inquiry, Australia is getting a review of the Privacy Act - the law that determines (amongst other things) how companies handle all the data they collect on you and the punishments that are handed out when they fuck it up. The Attorney-General's review will "consider the definition of personal information; whether existing exemptions for small businesses, political parties, and the storing of employee records to comply with the Act should remain; whether individuals should gain the power to drag privacy violators to court; and whether a privacy tort should be created". One of area of particular interest that'll be reviewed is "the failure of Australian privacy laws to be compatible with those in Europe, especially the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)". The terms of reference are on the AG's website.

Optus gobbles up a bunch of MVNOs whilst it makes its own budget brand, Gomo

Optus is gonna spend $200m to buy Amaysim's mobile phone business and its 1.19m customers. Amaysim was an Optus MVNO and over the years purchased other budget Optus MVNOs like Vaya, Jeenee and OVO. Curiously, just a few months ago Optus shut down Virgin (remember them?) and today announced they're going to bring the Gomo brand to Australia, which started as a Singtel brand in Singapore (Singtel own Optus). Gomo will operate as a fully owned subsidiary of Optus and be fully app-based. It'll also get access to the Optus 5G network. Also in cheapo phone provider land, TPG is going to do something similar to Telstra's Belong with a brand it's calling "felix". There's never been a better time to go on an MVNO and save a heap of cash! (unless you have an LTE enabled Apple Watch or really want Visual Voicemail)

Something I Saw On The Internet

Scottish soccer fans look at bald umpire's head instead of ball due to AI-camera silliness

Nothing shits me more in an AFL game than the score review system. You sit there looking at a blurry pixelated yellow or red blob going back and forth one frame at a time for what feels like an eternity, whilst all the air is sucked out of the game only to be told "results inconclusive, umpire's call", resulting in the whole thing being a waste of everyone's damn time. Imagine then, if in a soccer game where goals are a billion times more precious than in AFL, that when "cameras with in-built, AI, ball-tracking technology" replace humans, think an umpire's shiny bald head is the match ball and decides to follow his polished cranium instead of the game action, how upset you'd be. This happened to the poor fans of Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC in Scotland. My condolences.


The End

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