Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning. We’re halfway through the week – more than halfway if you factor in the public holiday on Friday (I’m not counting down the minutes or anything). Let’s get into the tech news.

1. Canva goes for professional designers

Australian unicorn Canva has acquired the professional photo and design suite Affinity, its biggest deal ever. “The Affinity team comes with an incredible caliber of talent and technology and we’re delighted to welcome them to Canva as we enter our next phase together,” Canva co-founder and COO Cliff Obrecht said.

2. DigitalID to be made voluntary

iTnews reports the Australian Government’s DigitalID system will be made voluntary, with amendments to the bill to be brought to the Australian Senate later this week. People who don’t want a DigitalID won’t be disadvantaged, with Australia Finance Minister Katy Gallagher noting, “If a person chooses to deactivate their digital ID, it cannot be used or reactivated without their consent”. The ability for ID service providers to hold onto user information will also be further restricted, and that law enforcement will need to be transparent in accessing DigitalIDs.

3. Microsoft merges Surface and Windows teams under one boss

Microsoft’s Windows software and Surface hardware teams have been brought together under a single leader, with the appointment of new Windows and Surface chief Pavan Davuluri, The Verge reports. The teams were split under two leaders last year after the former Windows/Surface boss departed for Amazon. “This will enable us to take a holistic approach to building silicon, systems, experiences, and devices that span Windows client and cloud for this AI era,” Microsoft head of experiences and devices Rajesh Jha said in an internal memo seen by The Verge.

4. Meta oversight board calls for restraint on heavily moderated word

The Meta Oversight Board has called on Meta to change how it moderates the Arabic word “shaheed”, as it has led to more takedowns than any other word on Instagram, Threads, and Facebook. Though shaheed has several meanings, Meta’s policy has been to understand it as ‘martyr’, which has caused what the Board calls a “blanket ban” on the word. “There is strong reason to believe the multiple meanings of ‘shaheed’ result in the removal of a substantial amount of material not intended as praise of terrorists or their violent actions.” the Oversight Board said.

Democratic U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer is asking why the Food and Drug Administration didn’t question or investigate Elon Musk’s Neuralink company before it performed brain implants on humans, Reuters reports. Administration inspectors found poor quality controls and record keeping at the company shortly after it was approved for human trials last year, with Blumenauer now saying “these alleged failures to follow standard operating procedures potentially endangered animal welfare and compromised data collection for human trials.”

BONUS ITEM: Big fan of robots looking like, you know, robots. They don’t need big dumb heads.

Have a lovely day.

Image: iStock

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