Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning. It’s a new week and it’s time to get into the tech news.

1. Battery electric train trial coming to Queensland

Aurizon, the largest freight operator in Australia, is developing a battery electric train trial with a $9.4 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, with balanced funding provided by the rail giant. Aurizon describes what it’s developing as “essentially a big battery pack on wheels”, and involves modifying a diesel locomotive to turn it into a battery-electric hybrid. It’ll be capable of regenerative braking, like EVs on the road. “We know that Aurizon will need different solutions for different hauls and customers. We are committed to making a transition towards net zero operational emissions based on a locomotive fleet that uses zero emissions technologies, is flexible and suited to the challenging Australian conditions in which we operate,” Aurizon’s managing director and CEO Andrew Harding said.

2. NSW councils ordered to drop ticketless parking system

The NSW government’s ticketless parking fine system has been put on ice, with the state Minister for Finance, Domestic Manufacturing, Government Procurement, and Natural Resources Courtney Houssos having emailed local councils to scrap the trial of a ticketless parking fine system, which was introduced in May 2020. According to the Minister, in a letter addressed to local councils, 55 per cent of parking fines were issued using the ticketless parking fine system, and although there were benefits to using it, there were difficulties in gathering evidence if the driver wished to review the fine, there was reduced impact of the fine as a deterrent, and there were issues with the driver being issued multiple fines before being notified of an infringement. Councils have been requested to reintroduce written notifications.

3. Track someone with Tile, face a $1m lawsuit

Life360, the ASX-listed company that owns the massively popular ‘Tile’ keyring tracker, has put out an ultimatum against malicious users intending to track other people: “We will bring our entire resources to bear to make an example of that person so even if we don’t win, I think that it should be helpful to show that these guys are serious… You abuse this and we’re going to crush you,” Life360 chief executive Chris Hull said, per The Australian. The company has threatened anybody who uses a Tile to stalk another individual, to the value of $1 million.

4. Nvidia faces lawsuit from authors over AI training

Reuters reports that three authors are currently taking chip giant Nvidia on, alleging that the tech giant used their books without permission to train the company’s ‘NeMo’ AI platform. The three authors allege that their books were among nearly 200,000 books that trained the AI, before being taken down in October “due to reported copyright infringement”. It’s the latest in a continuing string of lawsuits brought by authors against AI companies, alleging copyright infringement and unauthorised use.

5. Apple pulls a u-turn

AP reports that Apple has completely changed course on its decision to pull Epic Games’ app development profile from the iOS platform in Europe, after it was reported last week that the company had axed it. Epic’s developer profile has been reinstated, and the company is back to work creating an Apple App Store rival in the European Union, allowed under the region’s Digital Markets Act.

BONUS ITEM: Thanks for ruining sci-fi again, Neil.

Have a lovely week.

Image: iStock

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