Issue 1322 - Friday 12th March, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Roblox IPO a success, values the kids game platform at over US$38b

Everyone with a kid in their house probably knows far too much about Roblox, but it listed on the NYSE today with a valuation of US$38.26B, so suddenly, I give a shit about Roblox. The best way I can describe Roblox is that it's a platform like Steam or the Apple App Store, where people make and buy games mostly aimed at kids and Roblox gets a 30% cut of every cent (or Robux, their currency) flowing through it. The special sauce appears to be its easy to use SDK to make games or assets for in-app purchases with none or very little programming skills. Kids absolutely go nuts for it and appears to be a licence to print money.

ACCC digs deeper into Google's search monopoly, interested in copying EU's choice screen for smartphones

The ACCC is looking at forcing Google to implement "choice screens" for Australian Android devices like the EU implemented about a year ago. The way it works over there is when you first set up your Android device, you are prompted to pick a default search engine, with 3 Google alternatives decided by an auction as to who will pay Google the most to appear. Apparently it's a fucked up process that nobody likes and hasn't lead to any meaningful change. The ACCC is also going to investigate Apple's payments to Google for it to be the default search engine on iOS and other places where Google maintains its stranglehold for any competition in the search engine market.

Apple suing former product design architect for leaking unreleased product info to the media

Former Apple product design architect, Simon Lancaster, who worked on stuff like the 13" and 15" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar redesigns, is being sued by Apple for leaking company secrets to the press. Simon was trying to start his own business and to get attention went to media outlets peddling insider Apple info regarding "Project X" (rumoured to be Apple's VR/AR headset) in return for coverage of his startup. Apple also reckons Simon did a Levandowski, downloading loads of confidential data the day before he quit and taking it with him to use at his new business. Gruber speculates which press Simon was leaking to, concluding its likely Bloomberg's Mark Gruman. Ever watched The Insider? I imagine that's what it's like fighting Apple in court.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Further proof Facebook is a cancer and should be removed

Facebook's worship of user engagement on their platform above all else is well known and this article in MIT's Technology Review highlights just how far up its own arse Facebook is as an organisation when it comes to the impact it has on its user's lives. A very senior and respected dude at Facebook made a taskforce to see if "maximizing user engagement on Facebook was contributing to political polarization" and found that it did, but nobody cared. More and more studies and experiments were done over the years with the results presented to all levels of management, yet nothing was done about it because even a slight change would interfere with engagement. Facebook is undeniably content with needlessly enraging its users, with all the impacts that has on society, just to show people a few more ads. Fuckers.

Bargains

The End

📻 Mountain of Piss - Cosmic Psychos

😎 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon.

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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.‚Äč