Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning everybody. Christmas is only two days away. Let’s get caught up on today’s tech news.

1. Airbnb to pay $30 million for misleading Aussies

The Guardian is reporting that Airbnb has been fined $15 million by the Federal court of Australia, and has been ordered to pay $15 million in compensation for making false claims to an estimated 70,000 customers. Aussies who booked accommodation with Airbnb were charged in U.S. dollars, and the company had not made it clear to customers, leading to higher costs than what appeared. “Eligible consumers will be contacted by Airbnb within the next 45 days and invited to lodge a claim, but they can also contact Airbnb to ask about their claim if they think they are eligible for compensation and have not been contacted by that date,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

2. Telynx to pay $106,000 for breaching Australian anti-scam rules

Staying on companies breaking the rules and Telynx, a communications platform that offers phone services to business customers, has been ordered to pay a $106,560 infringement notice by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA), after it was found that the company had breached anti-scam and public safety rules. The ACMA said that Telynx had not complied with rules fighting phone number fraud and SMS scams, and that the company’s failures had left Australians at risk. “The fact that Telnyx is a smaller telco is simply no excuse as it breached a raft of rules in place to prevent serious harms to Australians,” ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.

3. Nuclear still off the cards for Australia, according to CSIRO

The CSIRO, Australia’s national science organisation, has released a draft for its latest GenCost report, which investigates energy generation efficiency and how much it would cost, and once again the organisation has said nuclear isn’t realistic for Australia. In an article directly addressing nuclear feasibility in Australia, the CSIRO claimed that, since the collapse of the U.S. nuclear small modular reactor program (after a report last month indicated costs 70 per cent higher than previous estimates), nuclear energy is even more unrealistic for the Australian energy market. “We don’t disagree with the principle of SMRs. They are an attempt to speed up the building process of nuclear plants using standardised components in a modular system, and it may well be possible to achieve cost reductions over time. However, for now, the technology is yet to be deployed commercially,” GenCost lead author Paul Graham said. Wind and solar generation remained the lowest-cost energy methods, consistent with previous GenCost reports.

4. Apple reportedly planning Vision Pro for February

As reported by The Verge (by way of Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman), Apple is planning to release its virtual reality ‘Vision Pro’ headset by February 2024, however, another launch event is unlikely for the device, given that it’s expected to be in limited supply. Australian availability is still up in the air for the headset, but it’ll expected to be a costly piece of tech at $US3,500, or about $5,200 in Aussie dollars.

5. Bobby Kotick leaves Activision Blizzard

As reported by Kotaku Australia, Games industry veteran and CEO of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick has announced that he is leaving the company at the end of 2023, following the settlement of a $55 million discrimination lawsuit, and Microsoft’s acquisition of the company for $US69 billion (the largest gaming acquisition in history). The head of Microsoft Studios, Matt Booty, will oversee operations at the company going forward. ” Phil [Spencer] shares our values and recognizes our talents. He is passionate about our games and the people who make them. He has bold ambition. As we move into our next exciting chapter, you could not be in better hands,” Kotick said in a farewell letter, addressing the head of Xbox Phil Spencer.

BONUS ITEM: That’s Kenough.

Have a wonderful day.

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