Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning, and a happy TGIF to you. Let’s get into the tech news.

1. Australian news could get paid by Meta for AI data

The Guardian is reporting that Australian media companies could be compensated by Meta for its use of news material when training its AI, according to researchers. “In the case of AI, the news businesses have the option of turning off AI crawlers, in OpenAI’s case at least,” Professor Monica Attard and Doctor Michael Davis from the University of Technology Sydney said. “Still, the code doesn’t specify which platforms might be designated, or even which services. So an AI service could feasibly be brought within the auspices of the code.”

2. World’s largest radio telescope moves forward in Australia

The SKA-LOW radio telescope in Western Australia, the largest radio telescope in the world, is taking a step forward, with the first of some 130,000 Christmas-tree-shaped antennas deployed on the site. The radio telescope is intended to help scientists research the billions of years following the ‘dark ages’ of the universe, and learn more about how stars and galaxies came to be. “Astronomers have been dreaming of this project for decades. To see the antennas that make up the SKA-Low telescope finally on the ground is a proud moment for us all,” SKAO director-general Professor Phillip Diamond said.

3. WorldCoin eyeball scans paused in Spain

WorldCoin, the crypto pet project of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has been ordered to pause scanning people’s eyeballs in Spain. The Spanish Agency for Data Protection said in a statement that it has received several complaints against the company, particularly to a lack of information, collection of data from minors, and consent that cannot be withdrawn. “This precautionary measure is a decision based on exceptional circumstances, in which it is necessary and proportionate to adopt provisional measures aimed at the immediate cessation of such processing of personal data, preventing its possible transfer to third parties and safeguarding the fundamental right to the protection of personal data,” the watchdog said.

4. EU prioritises Apple and Epic’s spat

Reuters reports that the continuing spat between Apple and Epic Games, which reared once again yesterday when Apple banned Epic’s iOS development account in Europe, has become a priority for the European Union. “Under the #DMA, there is no room for threats by gatekeepers to silence developers. I have asked our services to look into Apple’s termination of Epic’s developer account as a matter of priority,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton said. Under the Digital Markets Act (the DMA), Apple was forced to open its iOS platform up to allow for App Store alternatives – which Epic was working on, until it got banned.

5. Spotify raises prices in France in response to new laws

Spotify is raising the cost of its music streaming subscription service in France, in response to the new ‘Centre for National Music tax’. The French Centre for National Music (the CNM) is a French body that studies and supports the French music industry, and provides financial aid to record labels. As part of the 2024 French budget, it was decided that music streaming services would need to pay a cut to the Centre, which Spotify has railed against in a blog post. “Our worry, on top of what would be equivalent to a double payment on our part,  has been that this tax will not go directly to artists, nor will it have a tangible output visible to fans; instead, it will simply come at the expense of listeners and create an additional middleman: the CNM,” Spotify said in a statement.

BONUS ITEM: You’ll never stop me from posting CSIRO’s cute creature videos as the bonus item.

Have a lovely day, and even better weekend.

Image: iStock

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