Issue 1253 - Thursday 19th November, 2020

In Today's Issue

The News

Apple cuts App Store commission down to 15% for devs turning over less than US$1m

Apple realised developers are cranky so as a peace offering/political signal to avoid regulation, they're taking a haircut on the commission they take from developer revenue. Instead of the long standing 30% Apple keeps whenever money changes hands on the App Store (app sales, IAP, subscriptions, etc), it'll now be 15% - but only for businesses that are doing under US$1m of sales. They're calling it the App Store Small Business Program and it takes effect 1st Jan, 2021. John Luxford has a solid take on why this change of heart from Apple does nothing to solve the real problem of the App Store's monopolistic practices (which by the way, are currently under investigation by the ACCC). It also makes fuck all difference to Apple's biggest critics like Epic and Spotify.

Google wants to sink its teeth further into your life with new Google Pay update

Google Pay has had a significant overhaul in the USA. The new app is split into three sections: Pay, Explore & Insights. Pay is what we have now, with your cards and shit. Explore will have various offers for Google Pay users that'll eventually be personalised based on God knows what info Google has on you. Connect your bank accounts and credit cards to Google Pay and the Insights section of the app comes to life, showing you in excruciating detail how you've pissed your money away. Next year they'll be partnering with US banks to offer a service called Plex - bank accounts that are accessible directly via Google's app so you don't have to touch the yucky bank apps. If I was an Australian bank CEO I'd be a little worried.

UK to ban sale of fossil-fuel cars by 2030, California introduces fresh EV rebates, NSW & SA persist with EV tax

The UK has moved forward its plan to ban the sale of pure-internal combustion engine (ICE) cars from 2035 to 2030 - a year not that far away - as part of a 10-point "green industrial revolution" plan and the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Pretty ballsy move, good on em for aiming high. Still amazes me such a policy comes from a conservative government - it's almost as if our politicians are just dickheads and environmental policies have nothing to do with political leaning? Also announced today is the California Clean Fuel Reward - a US$1500 point of sale rebate for any electric car sold new in California, on top of all the other incentives power companies, local counties and the federal government operate. Meanwhile in Australia, NSW and SA are doing the opposite of an incentive, planning to introduce an additional tax on EV owners.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Wind turbines on top of phone towers sounds like an interesting idea

ARENA has given $320,000 for a Newcastle company called Diffuse Energy to test chucking a wind turbine on top of telecommunications towers. The turbines generate ~500W of power and are designed to replace diesel generators should grid supply be cut off. Diffuse claims that "a nationwide rollout of our wind turbine technology to these sites could displace 17GWh and 33,000 tonnes of CO2 from fossil fuelled generation per year" and bring "$43.9 million in savings of diesel fuel, transportation costs, and generator maintenance". Not an as stupid idea as it sounds. Pair it up with some solar and batteries and you got a solid off-grid setup for resilient comms.

Bargains

The End

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