Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

TGIF. Here’s what’s making news in tech this morning.

1. Optus CEO faces parliamentary scrutiny

As I type, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin is facing Senators over her company’s outage that plagued customers for nearly an entire day last week. During her opening remarks, the CEO apologised again, stating that, “The reality is our network should have coped with the change”, conceding “but it did not”. She said that while the crisis was over for Optus customers at 4 pm, it wasn’t for the teams, noting that they had to still work hard to find out what exactly happened. “We did everything we could to provide information … there was always more we could have done”. She also explained that her time was better spent working with the teams instead of facing media.

2. The next iPhone will have an easier time texting Android’s green bubbles

Could it be? Is Apple finally relenting and letting Android users frolic in its walled garden? 9to5Mac reports that an Apple spokesperson has revealed that RCS support is on the docket for next year’s iPhone launch. That means more parity for Android users’ messages to iPhone wielders. To be clear, enabling RCS on the Apple side will not allow iMessage for non-iOS users. (Unless you’re using a Nothing Phone, that is.) Android users will continue to be Green Bubbles. But at least their iPhone-using friends and family will see emoji reactions and message receipts, helping take the sting off the lifestyle they’ve chosen for themselves.

3. Samsung data breach impacts UK store customers

Over in the UK, Samsung is dealing with a data breach. The company says that the cyberattack impacted only customers who made purchases from the Samsung UK online store between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, with BleepingComputer noting Samsung determined that it was the result of a hacker exploiting a vulnerability in a third-party application it used. To be clear, this does not affect anyone in Australia unless you walked into a Samsung store in the UK and bought something.

4. TikTok has cancelled Osama bin Laden

TikTok has officially cancelled Osama bin Laden. Somehow, videos promoting Osama bin Laden’s letter explaining his reasoning for orchestrating the 9/11 terrorist attacks have gone viral this week and TikTok is responding with a crackdown on bin Laden stan accounts. Bin Laden’s 2002 “Letter to America” has grabbed the attention of millions of social media users this week as people debate the conflict between Israel and Hamas as well as America’s role in foreign conflicts. Here’s Gizmodo U.S.’ piece on it for more.

5. Kids can now call Santa

Ending with something a little sweet and Telstra has officially switched on Australia’s direct line to the North Pole, inviting all Aussie kids to visit their nearest payphone ahead of Christmas to call Santa for free with their wish list. From 15 November to 24 December, kids can dial # HO HO HO from any Telstra payphone and speak directly with Santa. Telstra said it’s also a great way to teach children about the use of payphones in case of emergency. Cuuuuute.

BONUS ITEM: What kind of programming sorcery is this?

Image: AP Photo/Mark Baker

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