Instagram-Trialing Paid Subs for Creators; Google Killing Free G Suite Level; Sony Dropped 12% Post Microsoft Buy of Activision; Battery Breakthrough-5X EV Range

Every tech platform is grubbing for more of your money these days, it seems. Now Facebook-owned (or Meta…which is about like Alphabet for Google…no one really will call it Meta) is trialing a paid subscription feature for creators, using in-app purchases. According to, the feature launches today over the iOS and Android apps. It is essentially to compete with platforms like OnlyFans, which are enjoying good growth. Despite the continued haggling with Apple over their App Store fees, the subscription fee charged by Google will get the 30% haircut that Apple gives to most apps and app features before the creator gets any cash. Google is apparently working on a way for creators to see ‘how much they pay to Apple.’ Only a small group of creators will initially get the new subscribe button as this is a test right now to see how it works. It does include special exclusive live broadcasts (really webcasts), stories that can only be seen by subscribers, and messages that note that you are a subscriber. 

Google is killing off its legacy freebie G Suite tier as of July 1st. reports that this is in conjunction with the rebranding of G Suite as Workspace. Users with the free version will be migrated to a paid account as of May 1st…Google will automatically select a subscription plan for users who don’t pick their own by that date. Users who are migrated to paid plans won’t actually be billed for at least 2 months, but if they don’t furnish billion info to Google by July 1st, they will be suspended. Business and enterprise Workspace accounts start at $6 a month per user. Google says it will offer ‘deep’ discounts to those affected by the decision. NOTE: if you use Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and others via a free Google account, you will NOT be affected by this move. Google will also keep offering free Workspace plans to nonprofits and schools that qualify for its Fundamentals tier. 

With the announcement as covered here yesterday that Microsoft was buying Activision for a huge sum, Sony shares have tanked today. says they were down over 12% in Tokyo Wednesday morning. The hit is due to investor worry that Microsoft will be able to syphon off popular games from the PlayStation platform. Up to now, Sony has had a better stable of third party games for its boxes, but this will bring Microsoft into a much more competitive position (some are saying the deal is anti-competitive, as it seriously consolidates the industry.) Activision’s Call of Duty has been out on both Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation, but should MS pull future updates from Sony’s boxes, it could seriously impact them. There are some market watchers who follow the gaming industry who think the market badly overreacted to the deal, and they expect Sony’s continued efforts to line up third party games to keep them plenty competitive. 

Some geniuses at the University of Michigan have figured out how to build a biologically inspired membrane that could quintuple the range of EVs using batteries with the tech. reports that they have patented their system of a network of aramid nano fibers, made from recycled Kevlar bulletproof vests. It dispenses with the issue of cycle life for lithium-sulfur batteries. (Lithium-sulphur batteries have big sustainability advantages over lithium-ion…no rare cobalt is needed for the electrodes.) The article gets way into the weeds on the tech, but the net is, you can get over 1,000 cycles of fast charging without losing capacity, PLUS the batteries work well over the whole temperature spectrum…from desert hot to frigid winter weather. The team is forming a company to bring the membrane to market right now. 


One Comment on “Instagram-Trialing Paid Subs for Creators; Google Killing Free G Suite Level; Sony Dropped 12% Post Microsoft Buy of Activision; Battery Breakthrough-5X EV Range”

  1. Pain in the membrane 😂

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