Issue 1354 - Thursday 29th April, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

ACCC has big problems with how Google and Apple run their app stores

The ACCC has published its second Digital Platform Services Inquiry interim report and a big chunk of it is dedicated to Apple and Google's app stores. Problems discovered by the ACCC include a lack of info for developers on how their apps are made discoverable to consumers, the inability for consumers to change or remove pre-installed or default apps, developers forced to use Apple & Google's payment systems for in-app purchases and the lack of controls for Apple & Google not to use info they collect on 3rd party apps to advantage their own competing apps. I look forward to seeing how the ACCC plans to regulate this.

Advocacy group reckons Facebook makes it too easy to target ads for booze & gambling at teens

Reset Australia, "an independent organisation raising awareness and advocating for better policy to address the digital threats to Australian democracy" made a Facebook page called "Ozzie news network" and whipped up a few fake ads that they were able to target at Australian teens under 18 with interests in alcohol, smoking and vaping, gambling, extreme weight loss, fast foods and online dating services. Facebook then "approved" these ads for delivery via Instagram Stories. Reset didn't activate the ads, but the fact Facebook allowed the ads in the first place, and made it possible to align those interests with that age group, is pretty shit.

Apple and Google are making obscene, unholy, unfathomable amounts of money

Apple's 2nd quarter 2021 financial results are out and as usual, the rich are getting richer - in fact, this Q2 is Apple's best ever Q2 in terms of profit. They raked in US$89.6b and made US$23.6b profit on it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but the amount of money flowing through Apple is fucking insane. How can a company this massive keep it up for so damn long? It's probably stuff like a massive 70% increase in Mac revenue, which according to Apple's CFO, "more than half" of the Mac & iPad sales are from people that have never owned one. Alphabet/Google also put out their financials, same story making more money than they or the market expected. Obscene amounts of money - $55b in revenue, $17.93b in profit.

Something I Saw On The Internet

RIP to Michael Collins, Apollo 11 command module pilot

Michael Collins, pilot of the Apollo command module Columbia during the first moon landing, was knocked off by the bastard that is cancer last night at age 90. His name was not as widely known as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, but he was up there orbiting the moon, waiting for Neil and Buzz while they got all the glory. He even had to listen to President Nixon talking to the two men on the moon, congratulating them while he sat in Columbia. In Mike's autobiography, he wrote that "I have been places and done things you simply would not believe". That's an understatement. He was also responsible for this amazing photo of the LEM and Earth, a portrait of every human that has ever lived in a single frame.

Bargains

The End

📻 Suffragette City - David Bowie

😎 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