Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Hello and happy Thursday. Let’s jump straight into your morning tech news briefing.


1. Spotify wants to be TikTok

Overnight, Spotify held an event called Stream On. While the event name was not-so-innovative, the announcements … also not innovative. The company is focusing on making stuff easy to find, but a side effect of this is that it’s making the app more TikTok-like, with album covers displayed in a similar manner – vertical scrolling. Ugh. The streaming platform will have album covers featured at the top of the app’s feed, but an auto-playing podcast or music video may appear directly underneath them. The user will be able to select the posted video or podcast which will take them to a page that is solely structured around that section. Everyone wants to be TikTok.

2. Sydney trains just collapse

It was mayhem in Sydney on Wednesday, with thousands of commuters left stranded while trying to get home following a complete shutdown of the Sydney trains network. Sydney Trains ruled out a cyber attack on the network, the ABC is reporting, quoting Sydney Trains chief executive officer Matt Longland as saying: “We’ve done quite a bit of work to identify the route cause of the incident … we don’t believe it was anything around cyber security”. And “It’s never happened before … we’ve never had an incident of this scale.”


3. VPN access for all Goggle Oners

Google is announcing more features for all Google One subscribers. The new additions include VPN access for every Google One member, not just those with Pixel devices or Premium plans, and the company is also launching a “dark web report” so you can figure out where your sensitive information is circulating. Staying on Google for a sec, and Android 14’s second developer preview is now available for download. It’s more feature-filled than the previous rendition, which came out last month, with a particular focus on features like being able to log into websites by scanning your face.

4. First Aussie-born woman to train as an astronaut

Back in November, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced its 2022 astronaut class. There were 11 reservist astronauts selected, including one UK woman who grew up in Australia – Dr Meganne Christian. Now, another Aussie woman is making (space) waves. Katherine Bennell-Pegg will be the first Australian-born woman to represent our nation in astronaut training by an international space agency. Bennell-Pegg is a space systems engineer with over 12 years’ experience, studying, and working, across six countries on human spaceflight missions and technologies, the International Space Station, debris removal concepts, scientific, earth observation and space exploration missions. Hell yeah.

5. Video ‘super resolution’ in Edge

Microsoft is testing a new feature for its Edge browser that’ll allow for video quality upscaling (as in, improving the image quality of videos) on the internet while using either an Nvidia or AMD GPU. Provided the video is being played in 720p or a lower resolution, and the device isn’t operating on battery power, you should be able to bump up the quality of videos on YouTube or social media. It comes not long after a similar update was rolled out to Chrome specifically for Nvidia GPUs.

BONUS ITEM: Even as an adult, this had me so excited, so I wanted to share.

Have a good one.

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