Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Hello, happy Tuesday. We’ve got a few things to bring to your attention this morning.

1. Norway to fine Meta, daily, over privacy concerns

Starting in Norway and Reuters is reporting that Meta will be fined one million crowns (around $US100,000) per day over privacy breaches unless it takes remedial action. Per the report, Norway’s data protection authority said on Monday it would charge the fine every day from August 4 until November 3 unless Meta takes action to stop ‘data harvesting’. Such data includes users’ physical locations, used to target advertising at them (which is exactly what all Big Tech does). Meta reportedly said it would review the decision and that there would be no immediate impact on its services.

2. Victorian government latest HWL Ebsworth victim

Back home and the fallout from the HWL Ebsworth data breach is continuing, with The Australian reporting the Victorian government is the latest to confirm it has had “highly sensitive” documents released onto the dark web. Australian commercial law firm HWL Ebsworth fell victim to a ransomware attack earlier this year, with Russian-linked hackers claiming to have obtained client information and employee data. There have been a number of casualties, with the latest, per the report, including highly sensitive documents from legal files with state government departments and agencies.

3. Tesla charging via the sun

TechCrunch this morning is reporting that Tesla’s latest feature will allow some drivers to charge their vehicle via excess solar energy. Per the report, Tesla owners with home solar and a Powerwall charger will have an in-app option to exclusively use the excess solar. Tesla started rolling out the setting in May, under the name: Drive on Sunshine. The setting is now more straightforwardly dubbed “Charge on Solar”. Unfortunately, it’s only currently available to those in the U.S. and Canada with Teslas made after 2021.

4. YouTube testing helpful new features

Over to YouTube and the Google-owned platform is testing a few things at the moment, including ‘stable volume‘, which will keep volume of videos at a more consistent level (also, side note, all streaming services need to agree on the one volume) and a new way to 2x stream. As someone who watches things faster than 1x, long-pressing to make something faster is so much better. Elsewhere, though, YouTube has enlarged the preview thumbnail that you see when moving forward or back in a video, and taken steps to make features blocked from your lock screen.

5. Optus introduces Call Stop

Ending at home and Optus yesterday revealed a new anti-scam system that’s being deployed to its phone network customers, one creatively named Call Stop. Call Stop is an automated technology that will stop calls to scam numbers known by Optus. It’s a new initiative that’s being run in collaboration with Australia’s major banks and the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange (AFCX). Read more about it over here.

BONUS ITEM: Instagram has been rendering funny as an embed, so instead we tried to look on Twitter for a bonus item. Unfortunately, despite having had a Twitter since 2009, my ‘trending’ and ‘home page’ is just filled with awful, awful stuff, almost like the idea of the platform is to now be a meeting of monsters. So instead, here’s Elon Musk attempt to explain self-driving cars during a live-stream this morning.

See you tomorrow.

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