Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning. It’s time to get caught up on the tech news.

1. Singtel denies Optus sale

Late yesterday, The AFR reported that Optus’ parent company Singtel was well advanced in a sale of the Australian telco to Canadian private equity giant Brookfield, with a value of between $16 and $18 billion. Now, Singtel has come out and directly said that there is no sale happening, despite the AFR’s sources. “There is no impending deal to offload Optus for the said sum, as reported. Optus remains an integral and strategic part of the Singtel Group and we are committed to Australia for the long term.,” Singtel said in a Singapore Exchange filing. “Our current focus has been on improving network resilience and conducting a CEO search.” Singtel previously denied reports of a similar sale in January.

2. CSIRO achieves rolled solar breakthrough

CSIRO says an international team working on rolled solar panels have achieved an efficiency breakthrough, the first demonstration of such technology, produced entirely using industrial roll-to-roll printing tools under ambient room conditions (via Nature). “CSIRO’s thin and light-weight solar cells are now on the cusp of emerging from the lab to create clean energy in the real world,” CSIRO Renewable Energy Systems Group leader Doctor Anthony Chesman said. “The successful commercialisation of printed flexible solar cells has the potential to create significant economic and environmental benefits for Australia and the world.”

3. TikTok facing impending US ban

Social video platform TikTok is facing an impending ban in the U.S., after the passing of a House bill early this morning that would see it made illegal unless it divested from Chinese parent company ByteDance. “Our strategy remains the same — we continue to believe that the best way to address concerns about national security is with transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems with robust third-party monitoring, vetting and verification,” TikTok said in an internal employee memo viewed by Bloomberg.

4. Free speech lover doesn’t like free speech

Elon Musk has reportedly cancelled Twitter’s (now X’s) latest program, ‘The Don Lemon Show’, after the former CNN news anchor interviewed the CEO in a yet-to-be-aired episode, AP reports. Lemon said on the social media site that “Elon Musk is mad at me,” and announced that the video will be airing on YouTube and on podcasting services next week. “The Don Lemon Show is welcome to publish its content on X, without censorship, as we believe in providing a platform for creators to scale their work and connect with new communities. However, like any enterprise, we reserve the right to make decisions about our business partnerships, and after careful consideration, X decided not to enter into a commercial partnership with the show,” X said in a statement.

5. Spotify looks to broadside YouTube

Speaking of pivots to video, Spotify is currently rolling out a beta to enable music videos on the popular music streaming app. Videos will be accessible on phones, desktop versions, and on TVs, with a new ‘switch to video’ toggle to be introduced. It’ll begin with a limited number of music videos from popular artists like Ed Sheeran and Doja Cat, along with some ‘local favourites’. Australia is not among the 11 initial markets Spotify is rolling the beta out to.

BONUS ITEM: A touching tribute from our very own Chris Neill.

Have a lovely day.

Image: iStock

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