Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

There is, as they say, a LOT happening today. Let’s get right into it.

Westpac leaves customers cashless overnight

Are outages the new trend of late 2023? If so, this trend really sucks. Overnight Westpac suffered a serious outage to its customer-facing banking systems, with customers unable to make payments using mobile apps or online banking from around 8pm last night through to 5am this morning. As The Guardian reports, it left some customers unable to pay for supermarket shopping, while others appeared to have no cards in their mobile banking apps. It’s all fixed, now, with Westpac’s website noting at the top (at the time of writing) that “We apologise to all our customers who were impacted by the issue overnight. We recognise this took too long to resolve and we thank customers for their patience.”

Amazon bowls out other bidders for cricket rights

Are you a cricket fan? It’s one of the country’s most popular sports, but if you were hanging out to catch the next few year’s worth of ICC events, then you’re going to have to pay for the privilege – because Amazon just did. Specifically, Amazon has secured the broadcast rights to all men’s and women’s International Cricket Council tournaments for the next four years, as per the ABC. Previously Nine (Gizmodo Australia’s parent company) broadcast Australian games while Foxtel/Kayo showed the rest, but if you’re a big Cricket fan, you’ll need an Amazon Prime subscription to catch every ball from January 2024 onwards.

GWM Ora has a power problem

The GWM Ora sits as one of Australia’s most affordable EVs – only slightly more pricey than the base spec models of the MG4 and BYD Dolphin – but it has a not-so-little problem. It’s the subject of a mandatory recall notice due to a charging issue… and it’s not a small one. Specifically, “if the operator removes the charging cable without cancelling the charge, an electrical arc between the charging plug and the vehicle may occur.” Yikes. Some 1,659 vehicles are affected, and they’ll need a software upgrade from a GWM dealer – if you own one, expect GWM to be in touch sooner rather than later.

Spotify Wrapped (up the employment contracts of its workers)

Spotify’s the latest big tech firm to decide that one way to cut costs is by slashing back its workforce substantially. As per The Guardian, more than 1,500 jobs have been cut, representing 17% of its workforce. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek blamed pressure from an activist investor, but also ran some very typical big-CEO lines, stating that “Embracing this leaner structure will also allow us to invest our profits more strategically back into the business.” Based on Weird Al’s note on his own Spotify year in streaming, something tells me they’re not likely to be investing in paying artists much more any time soon.

Is Apple just going to jump to 6G?

While recent rumours point to Apple having issues with its in-house 5G modem development, maybe thinking 5G is just thinking too small — at least according to the Apple rumour mill, anyway. Maybe Apple is having problems, maybe it isn’t – there’s bound to be a memo sitting on Tim Cook’s iPhone that explains it all – but as per MacRumors, it’s already working on its 6G plans, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman stating that it’s looking to hire more software architects to assist with future 6G plans. Apple’s never really been “first” to market with a given wireless generation – could 6G be the generation where that flips?

BONUS ITEM: The GTA 6 trailer drops tomorrow (sorry, no, I can’t leak it to you, because Rockstar would take my knees away… ah, who am I kidding, I’m just waiting same as the rest of you)… but in the meantime, as a long time fan of the series – I have a boxed copy of original 2D GTA on my shelves – why not pass the time with the trailer for the game that really made the series in popular culture, GTA III?

Have a nice day.

BONUS BONUS UPDATE: So, that whole “can’t post the GTA 6 trailer” idea didn’t last long. It’s been released, you can watch it here.

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