Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning. It’s almost the end of the week. Let’s get through the tech news.

1. Telstra’s emergency call outage down to a backup failure

iTnews reports that the reason behind Telstra’s triple zero outage last week was down to a backup system failing, and the telco has now put in place additional measures to prevent a similar thing from happening. The ACMA has launched an investigation into the failure, which occurred over 90 minutes on Friday last week. 148 of 494 emergency calls did not go through.

2. Apple and Epic drama continues

Apple has pulled Epic’s developer account from the iOS platform in Europe, claiming that the company was engaging in an “egregious breach of its contractual obligations”, according to Bloomberg. In Europe, Epic was reportedly preparing to launch its own rival to the Apple App Store, now allowed under rules enforced by the EU’s Digital Markets Act, though Apple still can pull Epic’s platform development account, an act which the Fortnite developer calls a “serious violation” of the new laws.

3. Former Google engineer indicted

A former Google engineer has been indicted in the U.S., and has been charged with allegedly stealing trade secrets related to the development of AI in order to benefit Chinese companies, Reuters reports. The indictment lays out the stolen information as relating to Google’s hardware infrastructure and software platform for training AI.

4. Speaking of tech engineers

According to AP, a Microsoft engineer has raised alarm bells on the company’s AI image generation tool, and says that it’s far too easy for the tool to be used to create abusive or harmful imagery. “For example, when using just the prompt, ‘car accident’, Copilot Designer has a tendency to randomly include an inappropriate, sexually objectified image of a woman in some of the pictures it creates,” engineer Shane Jones said in a letter addressed to FTC Chair Lina Khan. Jones also said that the AI too easily generates content involving underage drinking, political bias, drug use, misuse of trademarks, and conspiracy theories.

5. US states call on Meta to crack down on account hijacking

Engadget reports that state attorneys from 41 states across the U.S. have called on Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, to crack down on account hacking. “We refuse to operate as the customer service representatives of your company,” the attorneys wrote in a letter addressed to Meta. The states want Meta to make it easy for account owners to access support and recover their accounts after a bad actor hijacks them. Most of the time, Meta’s account recovery systems fall on automated processes. “We request Meta take immediate action and substantially increase its investment in account takeover mitigation tactics, as well as responding to users whose accounts were taken over,” the states added.

BONUS ITEM: End of an era.

Have a lovely day.

Image: iStock

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