Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning friends. Let’s get you caught up on the world of tech.

1. Telstra fined for failing to provide accurate customer details

Telstra has paid a penalty of $300,000 for failing to provide details of around 19,000 customers to the Integrated Public Number Database, which is used by emergency services to warn of natural disasters, locate missing persons, or assist with law enforcement. The ACMA also noted an issue with Telstra, where the telco flagged 600 silent numbers for listing in directory services, and that there was the potential for these numbers to be made available to public directories.

2. Optus paying customers cash as outage compensation

As reported by the ABC, Optus has confirmed that it has paid cash in compensation to some of its customers affected by the Australia-wide outage earlier this month, after the telco was criticised for offering 200GB data to compensate for dropped phone and internet services over almost an entire day. The admission from Optus came as a written answer in the Senate inquiry into the outage on November 8, however, a detailed breakdown has not been shown. The cash compensation has supposedly been offered to small businesses.

3. Commbank takes a bigger stake in More

The Australian is reporting that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is taking a bigger bite out of More Telecom, the bank’s ‘virtual telco partner’ that offers internet and mobile services. Supposedly around 140,000 of Commbank’s customers have switched to discounted mobile or internet services from More (and More’s Tangerine mobile and internet provider) since the bank took a 25 per cent equity stake in the company in 2021. Commbank’s stake in the company is now up to 30 per cent.

4. Google boots up its geothermal plant

Google is now using geothermal energy to meet the massive power needs of its data centres. Google announced a first-of-its-kind geothermal project is now operational in Nevada in a blog post, using heat from the Earth’s core as energy. The tech giant has been carbon neutral since 2007, meaning it purchased carbon offsets but still uses fossil fuels, but Google has bigger goals on the horizon. By 2030, the company intends to run on carbon-free energy everywhere, at all times. They call the initiative 24/7 by 2030, and Google’s investment in Nevada geothermal centres is a key piece of this plan.

5. YouTube gets in on gaming

Wrapping things up with a lighter one this morning, and YouTube has just rolled out some games to its video streaming platform. Google announced it would test out YouTube Playables as a test feature back in September for certain users. That experiment has now expanded to all Premium users, according to Droid Life, implying early tests were not a complete bust. Users have seen forays into gaming from Netflix and TikTok in the last year as well, so it’s not all that surprising that YouTube has gone down a similar path.

BONUS ITEM: Zuckerberg, the merciful god that he is, has decided it is time to bless his subjects with legs.

Have a wonderful day.

Image: iStock

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