Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Goooood morning how are we doing? I’m still a little tired from the 3 am WWDC wakeup yesterday, but otherwise OK, thanks for asking. Let’s dive in.


1. Court says Dell misled consumers

Back in November, the ACCC announced it was taking Dell Australia to court, with the watchdog alleging the computer maker misled consumers about the cost of monitors. Yesterday afternoon, the Federal Court declared by consent that Dell Australia Pty Ltd made false and misleading representations on its website about the prices of add-on monitors and in ‘strikethrough’ prices shown on the website. There’s no fine at this stage, but Dell had already been refunding customers affected. Read all about it here.

2. CSIRO makes $25M biotech investment

CSIRO has invested $25 million in a new program that it said will “harness the building blocks of life to solve intractable problems”. Advanced Engineering Biology (AEB) is the latest of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms (FSP) program, which are aimed at discovering future breakthroughs in new and emerging areas of science. It’s expected the program will integrate engineering and biology to develop solutions for broad-ranging issues from the environment and energy transition to food security and human health.

3. CBA pays $3.55M spam penalty

Overnight, the ACMA announced the Commonwealth Bank of Australia had paid a $3.55 million penalty for failing to comply with Aussie spam laws. The ACMA investigated the yellow and black bank, finding that it sent more than 61 million marketing emails to customers that unlawfully required them to log in to unsubscribe. According to the ACMA, CBA also sent a further 4 million marketing emails that did not have a functioning unsubscribe option and the bank was also found to have sent more than 5,000 marketing emails to customers who had asked to unsubscribe from these messages. Read all about it here.

4. ACMA goes HAM on scams

Staying on the ACMA for a sec and the regulator has joined five other nations in “strengthening strategic engagement in the global fight against scams”, which would also include unsolicited telemarketing and spam. The renewed memorandum of understanding is part of the global Unsolicited Communications Enforcement Network, which also includes agencies from the Republic of Korea, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Basically, the group will collaborate and share information to assist with investigations that know no country borders.

5. Excel mix-up leads to an election mistake in Austria

The result of an Austrian election has been corrected after the wrong winner had been announced due to the misreading of an Excel spreadsheet, Washington Post has reported. Hans Peter Doskozil had been announced as the new leader of the Social Democrats (SPÖ) party, but just two days later, it had been announced that Mayor Anddreas Babler had actually won with 52 per cent of the votes. “Due to a colleague’s technical error in the Excel list, the result was mixed up,” SPÖ electoral commission head Michaela Grubesca said.

BONUS ITEM: We’re very intrigued by how this thing is gonna actually fit into our lives, so much so that hands-on vids are what we’ve been watching this morning in the Gizmodo Australia office and we thought we’d share the geeking out with you.

Enjoy your day.

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