Good morning. It’s January 6 and, for the first time this year, TGIF. Let’s get you up to speed on the five things headlining tech news in Australia today.
1. Sony unveils Afeela, its new car brand
Sony used its CES 2023 keynote to announce a new brand, Afeela. Because, at the heart of Sony’s idea for a “mobility experience” is (wait for it), the word “feel”. Still in prototype mode, Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yasuhide Mizuno wheeled the Afeela out on stage to make the announcement. The prototype is equipped with a total of 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside the vehicle. Driver status and vehicle condition are monitored as part of this sensor network, hoping to prevent accidents.
— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) January 5, 2023
2. Crypto lender genesis cuts 30% of staff
Genesis Global Trading Inc. has been feeling the heat of the crypto crash that has been plaguing the industry over the past several months. The firm announced today that it was laying off 30% of its workforce, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal. This round of layoffs is the second since August, when the company first laid off a reported 20% of its staff in an initial cut while CEO Michael Moro stepped down. Genesis is facing continued financial turmoil due to loans it supplied to cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and trading firm Alameda Research.
3. HTC’s new headset
Late last year, Meta announced and released the Meta Quest Pro, its most powerful headset yet, shipping with face and eye tracking. Now, HTC’s upped the game with its new headset announcement: the HTC XR Elite. For the first time in a while, it seems like HTC is ready to once again be ahead in the VR market and claw back some of Meta’s market share. While Meta’s still dominating with its affordable all-rounder, the Meta Quest 2, the HTC XR Elite seems to be a more realised headset, functioning as a headset for enthusiasts more so than the Quest Pro, which functionally serves as an upgraded Quest 2.
4. Twitch experiences its second outage in a week
Streaming website Twitch has experienced its second outage in as little time as a week. Just this morning, users of the website were reporting issues with accessing live streams. This follows on from outages occurring on January 4, just two days prior. This week, social media site Twitter also had a major outage in Australia, lasting for 16 hours.
5. Engineers are racing to salvage a cubesat that launched with NASA’s moon mission
A mission to measure water-ice on the Moon is in jeopardy after the cubesat failed to fire its engines shortly after launch. Time is now running out, as the team has until mid-January to fix the spacecraft’s thrusters and give it a second chance to enter lunar orbit. NASA’s LunaH-Map, manufactured by Arizona State University, was one of 10 cubesats launched on November 16, 2022 as secondary payloads aboard the Artemis 1 mission. The tiny probe was one of six cubesats cable of sending radio signal to ground teams.
BONUS ITEM: Gizmodo Australia’s editor got to go inside Elon’s hole.
I went down Elon’s hole pic.twitter.com/2aKgXXirGl
— Asha Bee (@ashabeeeee) January 4, 2023
Have a lovely day and a great weekend.
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