Issue 1575 - Monday 28th March, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

EU's Digital Markets Act could also force Apple into allowing 3rd party app stores

Following up from the EU's Digital Markets Act from last week, smarter people than me think it'll force Apple to "allow alternatives to its App Store for downloading apps and allow payment methods for the App Store other than Apple's own" - something Apple really doesn't want to do. Google and Facebook will "no longer be able to offer targeted ads across multiple platforms" without explicit consent and Amazon "barred from using data collected from outside sellers on its services to offer competing products". The more I read about the DMA, the more I like it.

Kaspersky joins Huawei and ZTE on USA's naughty company list

Russian security software and research company Kaspersky is now deeper on the USA's shitlist. It was added to the Federal Communications Commission's list of entities that pose an "unacceptable risk to US national security" - the same list Huawei and ZTE are on that keeps them out of the US market. Kaspersky was already banned from use in federal government, but now any companies using FCC funds for projects can't use that money to buy Kaspersky products or services. Kaspersky responded with a press release, saying it reckons getting added to this naughty list is simply political maneuvering due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, not that Kaspersky has done anything wrong.

Whistleblower alleges Microsoft paid over $200m of bribes in Middle East & Africa

Former director of emerging markets for the Middle East and Africa for Microsoft, Yasser Elabd, now turned whistleblower, is alleging Microsoft has paid over US$200m in "bribes and kickbacks linked to the company, often in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Qatar and Saudi Arabia". Some examples include "a contractor for the Saudi interior ministry receive a $13 million discount on its software — but the discount never made it back to the end customer" and the "Qatar'’s ministry of education was paying $9.5 million a year for Office and Windows licenses that were never installed". When Yasser raised this with his superiors he was labelled a "blocker" and eventually sacked. Yasser's allegations are detailed in this essay.

Something I Saw On The Internet

A podcast about Sony's business past, present and future

The Acquired podcast has another ripper episode. This time it's about Sony, an iconic company that I think most nerds have a soft spot for, even if perhaps their prime is behind them. It was informative about Sony's history (born in the ashes of post-WW2 Japan fixing radios), nostalgic over Sony's triumphs of the 80s and 90s (Triniton TVs, the Walkman), then to learn what Sony does today to remain profitable (PlayStation and image sensors apparently!). Thanks to the Sizzle subscriber that turned me onto this podcast, I've enjoyed their episodes on TSMC, Epic, Twitter and Intel.


The End

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