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Issue 1194 - Wednesday, August 26, 2020

In This Issue


News

Ready to buy shares in pure evil? Palantir prepares itself for an IPO

Palantir, probably one of the most evil tech organisations on the planet, has filed paperwork to become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. They make money (or at least plan to, they haven’t been profitable since their founding in 2003) by supplying surveillance software to anyone that wants it, like law enforcement and intelligence agencies to harass citizens down to healthcare, energy, and manufacturing businesses to spy on their employees. It’s basically Google but instead of sucking up data for ads, it’s sucking up data to rat you out to the cops or your boss. You might also remember Palantir as being Peter Thiel’s baby. Anything that bloke is involved in has to be dodgy.

Apple can’t ban Epic from being a Mac/iOS developer, but doesn’t have to let Fortnite back in the App Store

Epic tried to get a temporary reprieve from Apple’s banhammer whilst they sort their shit out in court and was semi-successful today. Concerning Apple’s threat to kill Epic’s developer account, the judge said “Apple has chosen to act severely, and by doing so, has impacted non-parties, and a third-party developer ecosystem” so they can’t shitcan Epic as it planned to on August 28th. In regards to getting Fortnite back on the App Store, Epic isn’t so lucky as the judge reckons “the current predicament appears of its own making”, so Fortnite will remain unavailable for iOS users. The meat of Epic’s beef with Apple (that the App Store is a monopoly amongst other things) is yet to be argued. That’s scheduled to kick off in late September.

ALP isn’t a fan of how the proposed news media bargaining code helps News Corp

The ALP has been making some noise about the proposed laws to get Facebook and Google paying Australian news outlets for “using” their content. Ed Husic is “very concerned this is shaping up to be a News Corp bailout rather than a genuine attempt to level the playing field”, which is 100% correct. Andrew Leigh reckons “we need to have this high-quality investigative journalism” (also 100% correct) and that the proposed laws are “simply an ask for a trillion-dollar company to make a small contribution to keeping the news media going”, which is a weird way of putting it. I wasn’t aware Google and Facebook, despite the massive pricks they are, owed the news media anything. If the government reckons a free and fair press is so important to democracy they should do something to protect it, not rely on Google and Facebook to do it for them.


Not News

Would something as revolutionary as a web browser be allowed on the App Store if it existed 30 years ago? Probably not

Michael Tsai has collected some thoughts from developers regarding the lost innovation due to Apple’s domination of the App Store. Francisco Tolmasky (a member of the original iPhone team) argues that Apple’s current App Store rules “would not have allowed for the invention of the web browser”. Loren Brichter (also an iPhone alumni) says radically new software like a web browser was back in the 90s “can’t happen because it wouldn’t be allowed on the computer you all already have in your pocket”. Rasmus Andersson (who used to work at Dropbox) reckons a service like Dropbox would never have come about because “Apple’s sandbox only allows “innovation” that Apple has already thought of and allowed”. This is sad, but we were warned that this would happen.


Bargains


Flood Plains – Boomgates

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony “@decryption” Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

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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.​

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