Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning, hope those of you in Victoria and New South Wales enjoyed an extra day off. Let’s see what we missed over the weekend.


1. U.S. FTC wants Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal blocked

Reuters overnight reported that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission asked a court to temporarily block Microsoft’s $US69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, seeking to halt the deal from closing before the government’s case against the deal is heard. The FTC said the deal, which would be the largest for Microsoft and the largest in the history of the video game industry, would give Microsoft the “ability and increased incentive to withhold or degrade Activision’s content in ways that substantially lessen competition.” Basically, it’s concerned the deal is being rushed.

2. ChatGPT boss heads down under

Over to The Australian and it’s reporting ChatGPT boss Sam Altman will this week fly to Australia to advise a number of local tech companies and startups on the future of artificial intelligence and chat with some folks about how the technology should be regulated. Altman is being flown down under by The Startup Network, previously known as Startup Victoria, as the report notes, as the former Victorian-centric start-up hub looks to rebrand and expand across Australia.

3. Google and QUT use AI to detect bird and wildlife songs

Google Australia has announced a partnership with QUT to detect bird and wildlife sounds and songs with AI technology. The pair said that as bird species are a really important indication of the overall health of an ecosystem, tracking their song enables scientists to make more informed decisions about conservation. They’ve developed an AI model that uses audio detection to track threatened birds – starting with the Glossy Black Cockatoo, a threatened species found across Australia’s east coast. Traditional methods of analysis were laborious and time consuming, requiring experts to manually review hours of audio data. Google’s AI automatically analyses raw audio data to identify species with more efficiency and accuracy.

4. Reddit goes dark

As you logged on to Reddit this morning for your daily browse of news and memes, you may have been greeted by a glaring inconvenience on the pages for most of your favourite communities. Beginning today, hundreds of subreddits across the social netwrk are protesting recent changes Reddit has made to its API. The forums have been set to private, invisible to nearly all users, and will remain that way for at least the next two days. Read all about it over here.

5. Hackers taunt HWL Ebsworth over data breach

HWL Ebsworth, a large Australian law firm, reportedly had 1.45 terabytes of data containing over a million documents published to the dark web, data that was allegedly stolen from its systems in April 2023. HWL Ebsworth confirmed its network was hacked after Russian-linked cybercriminals, the ALPHV ransomware gang, began leaking data they claim was stolen from the company. Read more over at the ABC.

BONUS ITEM: A quick snapshot of all 25 games announced during Xbox Showcase.

See you tomorrow!

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