Weekend Roundup: 2020’s Worst Passwords, Apple’s Epic Brawl

It’s the weekend! Let’s cover some notable tech stories from the week, including the always-popular release of the year’s worst passwords; plus, the legal war between Apple and Epic rumbles on…

The Worst Passwords of 2020

You’d think that people would stop using ‘12345,’ ‘11111,’ or similar, easy-to-guess passwords… and you’d be wrong. NordPass has issued its latest annual list of the world’s worst passwords, scraped from data breaches across the web, which shows that folks just aren’t learning their lesson when it comes to security.

For example, it takes less than a second for hacking software to crack ’123456,’ yet 2.5 million users relied on that password. It’s a similar story with ‘123456789,’ used by almost a million people. Here are the top 11 offenders:

Check out NordPass’s website for the full list, which also includes all the times that various passwords have been exposed. If you’re using anything on the list as a password, you should change it ASAP. Access to your data is less than a second away for any hacker with the right tools. 

Epic’s Epic Apple Brawl Continues 

Earlier this week, Apple (AAPL) announced that it would lower its cut of iOS app sales from 30 percent to 15 percent, so long as the apps made under $1 million per year in total revenue. The announcement led to speculation that Apple is trying to not only build goodwill among the iOS developer community (which has occasionally chafed at Apple’s rules), but also dodge antitrust scrutiny from the federal government.

But there’s one party that seems dissatisfied with Apple’s decision: Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games, which has been locked in a vicious, potentially industry-redefining legal battle with Apple over App Store fees and regulations. In a conversation with Dealbook (excerpted in TechCrunch), Sweeney suggests that Apple’s fee cut (which doesn’t apply to the biggest developers) doesn’t solve some of the App Store’s most pressing issues: 

“If we had adhered to all of Apple’s terms and, you know, taken their 30% payment processing fees and passed the cost along to our customers, then that would be Epic colluding with Apple to restrain competition on iOS and to inflate prices for consumers. So going along with Apple’s agreement is what is wrong. And that’s why Epic mounted a challenge to this, and you know you can hear of any, and [inaudible] to civil rights fights, where there were actual laws on the books, and the laws were wrong.”

Sweeney wants Apple’s fee cut to eight percent, which he feels is representative of the App Store’s true worth as a payment-support and bandwidth provider. Whether or not that comes to pass (and Apple seems intent on fighting to the death in court), and whatever fees end up applied in the end, Epic will continue to make millions of dollars per month off “Fortnite.” In the meantime, smaller developers probably appreciate a little more profit on their apps.  

Airbnb’s Big IPO Filing 

To say that Airbnb is going through a “complicated period” is a bit of an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the company’s business model, as people stopped traveling and hosts grew reluctant to let strangers into their homes. Nonetheless, the startup plowed ahead with plans for an IPO.

That IPO reveals some interesting things about one of tech’s most buzzed-about unicorns. As quoted by The Verge, Airbnb states: “In early 2020, as COVID-19 disrupted travel across the world, Airbnb’s business declined significantly… But within two months, our business model started to rebound even with limited international travel, demonstrating its resilience.” Specifically, Airbnb had revenues of $1.34 billion last quarter, down from $1.65 billion.

“If we fail to retain existing hosts or add new hosts, or if hosts fail to provide high-quality stays and experiences, our business, results of operations, and financial condition would be materially adversely affected,” the IPO added. However, all of those risks might be more than worth it for software engineers who want to work at Airbnb, which is known for paying high compensation

Have a great weekend, everyone! Stay safe!