Issue 1325 - Wednesday 17th March, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Google lowers its cut for apps to 15% for 99% of developers on the Play Store

Google has dropped the commission it takes on the Play Store whenever a developer sells an app or an in-app purchase. Instead of a 30% cut, from July 1st Google will take 15% on the first $1m of annual revenue that developer earns. Google reckons 99% of developers on the Play Store will end up with extra cash in their pockets. Apple did a similar thing last year, but layered in forms and bullshit, plus structured the cut-off point in a different way that means they'll pay more to Apple than they'd pay to Google for the same amount of revenue.

Apple adds option on Russian phones to install locally made apps on activation

To comply with a Russian law that requires "smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and smart TVs sold in Russia to come pre-installed with specific apps made by Russian companies", Apple is adding a screen when you activate an iOS device that'll let Russians pick from a list of Russian made apps from companies like Yandex,, Kaspersky Lab and the government. Interesting idea to make sure home-grown apps get a chance against US-based incumbents, but also the perfect way to make sure more people use apps with government backdoors. Nobody tell Peter Dutton!

Kid who gained control of celebrity Twitter accounts last year is going to jail

Remember that 17 year old kid who busted into a bunch of high-profile Twitter accounts belonging to people like Bill Gates, Kanye West and Elon Musk a few months ago and used this power to promote a cryptocurrency scam that netted him a paltry US$100,000? His name is Graham Ivan Clark and he was sentenced to 3 years in the slammer, with 3 years probation when he gets out. Graham managed to get access to the accounts by befriending someone on a forum called, who saw the username and password for Twitter's internal admin tools in an internal Twitter Slack channel he possibly bribed a Twitter employee to join.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Facebook study finds a small number of people responsible for most anti-vax content

A study about anti-vaccination content on Facebook by Facebook, has leaked to the Washington Post and the learnings are fascinating. They found that a tiny amount of users are responsible for the bulk of anti-vaccination bullshit on Facebook and Whatsappp. Everyone else just sees this stuff and amplifies it. Facebook doesn't say it, but the obvious thing to do is simply hard ban those this handful of users and anti-vaccination misinformation would plummet overnight. Banning people from Facebook is so easy and costs nothing, it's unconscionable they don't just boot out these troublemakers, what's Facebook so afraid of? Everyone already hates them!


The End

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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