Australia Technology
Is this the most pointless labour-saving device ever?
CES 2018: Intel showcases 'air taxi' drone to avoid road traffic
Analysts cut iPhone X shipment forecasts, citing lukewarm demand
This is what happens to your bitcoin when you die
Australian stock exchange to move to blockchain
Queensland Police consider camera technology that will photograph drivers using mobile phones
Sometimes Google Home needs a stern talking to
Blockchain energy trading startup Power Ledger to pitch to Richard Branson after becoming Extreme Tech Challenge finalist
2018-01-19 12:23:00 Emerging Aussie blockchain startup Power Ledger will soon find itself pitching its power trading platform to Sir Richard Branson himself after getting into the finals of the Extreme Tech Challenge pitch competition in Las Vegas last Friday. The pitch comp is one of the world’s largest, held at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and judged by members of the international startup community   Read More ...
Small bites: Blockchain of beers and uptown chunk a first for Perth
2018-01-19 08:26:07 If you build it, they will come. Well, that's what Kevin Costner once said, and organisers of Perth's very first Lego pop-up bar are banking on his wise words. If you've been waiting for an excuse to pull out those old Lego blocks you last played with as a kid, now is a legitimate time. But forget cars and castles, this time we're crafting a bar   Read More ...
Why investor Steve Baxter’s changed his tune on the blockchain, but warns current hype levels are “dangerous”
2018-01-18 12:11:46 Last year, prominent Australian investor and Shark Tank judge Steve Baxter told StartupSmart in an interview he believed the blockchain was “overhyped”, and he had no blockchain-focused startups in his portfolio, nor was he “in a hurry to find any”. Since then, blockchain startups and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have seen an astounding boom in both popularity, recognition, and price, with multiple success stories locally and abroad   Read More ...
Warnings to bin ATO scam email with malware-filled zip file
2018-01-18 12:11:32 Businesses are being warned to trash emails purporting to be from the “revenue collection agency”, with a new scam impersonating the Australian Taxation Office landing in inboxes right as staff come back on deck for 2018. MailGuard uncovered the fake message, which uses ATO letterhead, yesterday. The messages include a simple hyperlink to a “tax form”, which recipients are asked to follow to fill in their tax details by a designated date   Read More ...
Top 100 global technology leaders revealed, with one Aussie company on the list
2018-01-18 12:11:27 Technology companies from the US and Japan have made their mark on a new list of top global technology companies, with business intelligence firm Thomson Reuters highlighting the 100 businesses with the best long-term performance. The Top 100 Global Tech Leaders list was built from data sets across the Reuters network, with the report’s authors highlighting the importance of recognising technology businesses that are out of startup phase and have shown long-term innovation as well as financial success   Read More ...
2018 set to be the year of 5G: The race is on for telcos
2018-01-17 23:12:51 The top global minds in telecommunications and technology met in January to discuss future innovations in their industries and one topic kept coming up: 5G. As Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn said at the CES 2018 conference, “2018 will be a big year for 5G”. This is not because Australian mobile phone users can expect to see themselves on the 5G network during the year, but because the topic is set to go mainstream as telcos across the world test the technology and race to bring it to market   Read More ...
Alexa gets Aussie accent as Amazon launches smart speakers down under
2018-01-17 21:17:10 Amazon's talkative Alexa smart assistant is officially on her way to Australia as the online retail giant opens preorders for its Echo smart speakers, in preparation for an "early February" local launch. Rival to Google Assistant and Apple's Siri, Amazon's smart assistant has been localised for Australia. Along with sounding like an Aussie, Alexa will also recognise regional accents and place names as well as offer local news bulletins, weather forecasts, surf reports and sports scores   Read More ...
AI's grades are improving but computers still can't read between the lines
2018-01-17 06:37:32 When computer models designed by tech giants Alibaba and Microsoft this month surpassed humans for the first time in a reading and comprehension test, both companies celebrated the success as a historic milestone. Luo Si, the chief scientist for natural-language processing at Alibaba's artificial intelligence research unit, struck a poetic note, saying, "Objective questions such as 'what causes rain' can now be answered with high accuracy by machines   Read More ...
New app lets you see free Wi-Fi through your camera
2018-01-17 06:37:17 A new app promises to connect phones to free Wi-Fi in two clicks, with users able to spot hotspots in augmented reality through their smartphone's camera. Global telecommunications company Norwood Systems has built the World Wi-Fi app to allow users to find Wi-Fi using heatmaps and Pokemon Go-style AR. They can then click to connect, or auto-connect to these hotspots. Norwood chief executive and founder Paul Ostergaard said it offered high-quality mapping combined with technology that protects users' privacy using Virtual Private Network (VPN)   Read More ...
CES 2018: Ruslan Kogan on the trends that excited him at the year's biggest tech show
2018-01-14 23:10:52 I first spotted Ruslan Kogan at McCarran International Airport, surrounded by what appeared to be nerdy groupies, before the craziness that was the week-long CES tech show in Las Vegas. The outspoken CEO, always dressed in a t-shirt emblazoned with some kind of geeky slogan, is easy to spot in a crowd. Kogan has expanded his online retail store to sell over 50,000 products — everything from rugs to televisions to blood pressure monitors — not bad for an outfit that started selling just two models of televisions back in 2006   Read More ...
Augmented reality: Why 2018 might be the year AR tech goes mainstream
2018-01-12 04:08:34 The world's largest annual consumer technology show — CES 2018 in Las Vegas — ends today and some of the most exciting gadgets this year were on display in the augmented reality (AR) marketplace. This follows the news, announced in December, that 2018 will be the year the previously secretive company Magic Leap joins the likes of Microsoft, Meta, ODG, Mira and DAQRI to launch an AR headset   Read More ...
Telstra expands Internet of Things network with narrowband launch
2018-01-12 01:10:38 Telstra has launched a new technology in Australia that enables millions of devices to send small volumes of data at low power, allowing businesses to become connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). The technology, called narrowband, can be used to connect any number of devices to the internet, from irrigation systems for commercial farming all the way to home pool filters   Read More ...
'Astronomical': New iPhone X pushes retail sales sky high
2018-01-11 11:10:52 So big was the spending splurge on the new iPhone X that it pushed pre-Christmas retail sales to a record high in November, confounding expectations of a weak lead in to Christmas. Market economists had forecast a lift of 0.4 per cent in November. Instead, sales shot up 1.2 per cent, the biggest jump in almost five years. Unusually, the Bureau of Statistics has attributed the jump to one specific product   Read More ...
The Consumer Electronics Show in the dark after mass power outage
2018-01-11 06:07:29 The Consumer Electronics Show lost its electrics shortly after 6am AEDT time, during the show’s busiest hours, shutting down parts of the Las Vegas Convention Centre, including Central Hall where the show’s biggest exhibits are located. Multimillion-dollar installations from technology giants including Samsung, LG, Nikon, Panasonic, GoPro, Canon, Hisense, and Intel all fell dark, leaving crowds of people reaching for their mobile phones to light the way out   Read More ...
Australian retail sales surge on iPhone, Black Friday bonanza
2018-01-11 04:30:51 SYDNEY: Australian retail sales surged past all expectations in November as consumers splashed out on Apple iPhones and Black Friday promotions, a major boost for an economy that had been struggling with sluggish spending. The local dollar jumped almost half a U.S. cent to a three-month peak of US$0.7882 as the strength countered concerns consumers had lapsed into a near-permanent depression   Read More ...
How blockchain - the technology behind Bitcoin - could change your life
2018-01-11 02:10:05 Las Vegas: One of the many buzzwords at this week's CES technology show is "blockchain" - the technology underpinning the Bitcoin craze. While Bitcoin is the flash of the moment, there's growing excitement about how this concept can move beyond digital currency and affect people's lives. Simply put, blockchain is like a ledger book that can be group-edited by people in the cloud   Read More ...
Is this the most pointless labour-saving device ever?
2018-01-10 08:10:06 But the FoldiMate, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has a flaw bigger than its $1200 price tag. Sure, it folds. The shirts it spits out look great. But that's all it does. It smooths, but doesn’t iron. It won’t do socks and jocks. It won’t put the folded clothes neatly back in the cupboard. Fitted sheets — or any sheet for that matter — are beyond its capabilities   Read More ...
CES 2018: Intel showcases 'air taxi' drone to avoid road traffic
2018-01-10 02:08:33 The near future could see an Uber-style service picking workers up to take them on a commute through the air, with tech giant Intel showcasing an autonomous drone-like vehicle you can sit in. The company hopes the new machine will be used in cities the world over, not only as a way of getting passengers from point A to point B but also as a way to help avoid increasingly congested city road traffic while doing so   Read More ...
CES 2018: Intel showcases 'air taxi' drone to avoid road traffic
2018-01-09 23:11:30 The near future could see an Uber-style service picking workers up to take them on a commute through the air, with tech giant Intel showcasing an autonomous drone-like vehicle you can sit in. The company hopes the new machine will be used in cities the world over, not only as a way of getting passengers from point A to point B but also as a way to help avoid increasingly congested city road traffic while doing so   Read More ...
Blockchain marketplace startup CanYa raises $12 million in Australia’s second-largest initial coin offering
2018-01-09 12:16:42 Blockchain-based services marketplace CanYa has completed Australia’s second-largest initial coin offering (ICO), raising $12 million in cryptocurrency Ethereum over a 30-day period via a crowdsale of its CAN tokens. During that period, the 2015-founded startup also completed the acquisition of a majority stake in online bug bounty platform BountySource for an undisclosed amount, taking the platform’s 46,000 members under its wing in a move that CanYa co-founder Kyle Hornberg says is unprecedented in the ICO and cryptocurrency space   Read More ...
iPhone users urged to update
2018-01-09 11:43:29 All iPhone and iPad users are being urged to update their devices today, after major security flaws were revealed last week. Apple today released iOS 11.2.2 for both iPhone and iPad, a move the company said was a bid to fix the ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ processor vulnerabilities which could leave the devices susceptible to various hacks through Apple’s Safari browser. The software update highlights security improvements, and Apple recommends the update “for all users   Read More ...
'Swarm' cyber attacks, crypto-currency stealing malware predicted for 2018
2018-01-08 02:08:00 2018 will be the year malicious software becomes smarter and cyber criminals increasingly chase crypto-currencies like bitcoin, according to predictions from computer security companies. It will also be the year ransomware — software designed by hackers that locks up computer systems until a fee is paid — will become more targeted and prevalent among big business, where ransom demands are often much higher in dollar value due to businesses having more money to divulge than consumers, according to computer security firm Fortinet   Read More ...
In rare showing, Google arrives at CES to battle Siri and Amazon's Alexa
2018-01-07 23:07:57 than 3900 companies are on hand to show off their latest technologies at CES in Las Vegas this week, but there's one giant name that stands out from the pack: Google. This is the first time in several years that the titan has had a big, stand-alone booth at the show and its presence not only reflects the changing dynamic of the show, but also serves as a declaration of war on the battlefield of digital assistants   Read More ...
Apple Launches 'Back to University' Promo in Australia/New Zealand: Free Beats With Mac or iPad Pro
2018-01-05 22:00:42 Apple today launched its annual Back to University promotion in Australia and New Zealand, offering the choice of a free pair of Beats Solo3, BeatsX, or Powerbeats3 headphones to qualifying students, teachers, lecturers, and educational staff members who purchase an eligible Mac for a limited time. Eligible models include any MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, iMac Pro, or Mac Pro, including custom configurations   Read More ...
Apple confirms all iPhones, Macs vulnerable to CPU flaws as tech giants roll out fixes
2018-01-05 04:07:55 Apple has confirmed that all iPhones, iPads and Macs are vulnerable to attacks exploiting Meltdown and Spectre, two flaws found in almost all the world's processors, and has outlined its plans to keep the devices secure. The flaws were disclosed this week by a security group associated with Google and by various researchers, and take advantage of a feature in chips built by Intel and ARM designed to improve performance   Read More ...
Virtual reality bushfires recreate nightmare scenarios to encourage disaster planning
2018-01-05 00:10:25 Fire authorities are using virtual reality to place Victorians in worst-case bushfire scenarios to encourage them to better prepare for a disaster. The virtual reality program shows the user the possible fatal consequences if they act too late when a bushfire has broken out. The Victorian Government will take the program to Echuca, Benalla, Shepparton and Seymour over the next three weeks, and plans to expand it further   Read More ...
Slowdowns expected as computer industry races to fix security flaws
2018-01-04 06:11:16 Your laptop could soon be running noticeably slower, an Australian security expert says, as the world's computer industry scrambles to counteract two major flaws just discovered in the design of almost all of the world's processors. Security researchers have disclosed a pair of security flaws, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, that they say could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device, from smartphones and laptops to the machines that power the internet   Read More ...
A processor vulnerability could leave most computers open to hackers
2018-01-04 04:06:10 Security vulnerabilities in widely used Intel processors made over the last two decades could affect computers, mobile phones and cloud servers. Researchers who released details of the two exploits, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, claim they could allow data to be stolen from people's devices. While Meltdown has been found to affect Intel chips, researchers say Spectre could affect most modern processors   Read More ...
Security flaws in Intel, AMD, ARM chips put virtually all devices at risk
2018-01-04 01:10:38 Security researchers have disclosed a pair of security flaws that they say could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, AMD or ARM. One of the bugs is specific to Intel but the other affects laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and internet servers alike. The disclosures have apparently force fundamental redesigns in the way operating systems like Windows and Linux utilise interact with a machine's processor, prompting fears of machine slow-down when the patches are released   Read More ...
The one trait that all innovative businesses have
2018-01-02 12:09:13 Long before the government announced the National Innovation & Science Agenda, small businesses have been at the heart of innovation, not for glamour or recognition, but out of necessity. Since time began, small businesses have been developing creative solutions to ensure their businesses are equipped to run as smoothly as possible. One such innovation was patented in 1881, when William Stickney Lamson of Lowell, Massachusetts, patented the cash railway   Read More ...
iPhone battery program could encourage people to upgrade less often
2018-01-01 02:05:22 Apple's announcement that it's going to reduce the price to replace some iPhone batteries gives those holding on to older phones a cheaper way to make them last longer, and adds a little nuance to the debate over whether to upgrade or not. Upgrades have already been slowing over the years. When smartphones were a new technology, each year's model brought significant improvements   Read More ...
“As big as the internet”: Why this venture capitalist says blockchain technology and “cryptoassets” are the future of fintech
2017-12-31 12:08:14 One of Australia’s leading venture capital firms believes the future of fintech is rooted in emerging blockchain technology, predicting “cryptoasset” networks will be a trillion-dollar opportunity for companies and investors in years to come. Speaking at the annual StartCon conference in Sydney last week, managing partner at OneVentures venture capital firm Michelle Deaker outlined what she believes will be the key aspects of the next “great fintech startup” — and where she would start a business if doing it today   Read More ...
Kidnappers free blockchain expert Pavel Lerner after receiving $US1 million ransom in bitcoin
2017-12-30 00:12:17 Kidnappers in Ukraine have released an employee at a United Kingdom-registered cryptocurrency exchange after getting more than $US1 million ($1.3 million) in bitcoins as ransom, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister has announced. Pavel Lerner, a leading analyst and blockchain expert, was abducted by unknown masked people on December 26, according to a statement by his company, EXMO Finance, on its website   Read More ...
Why investors aren't worried about slow sales of Apple's iPhone X
2017-12-29 00:12:47 In years past, demand for Apple's latest flagship phone was critical to the company's results over the holiday shopping quarter. That dynamic might be changing, however, as Apple's widening lineup of devices and services more than makes up for any tepidness in demand this quarter for its lead product, the . On Tuesday, Apple's stock fell 2.5 percent to $US170.57 ($218   Read More ...
Siri's creator says AI assistants will know you intimately. But can we trust them?
2017-12-28 22:11:59 The man who co-created Apple's virtual assistant Siri found the 2013 science fiction film Her a challenge. Given it stars an artificial intelligence named Samantha, it is a little like going to the office. Adam Cheyer, who has worked on digital assistants for almost 25 years, could not turn off what he calls his "engineering mind". He deconstructed the technical process behind each word Samantha said until the moment the film's hero Theodore goes to bed and she asks: "Can I watch you sleep?" "There's no informational content that can be derived from observing a prone human," Mr Cheyer laughs   Read More ...
Analysts cut iPhone X shipment forecasts, citing lukewarm demand
2017-12-26 01:05:47 Apple looks like it's having a not-so Merry Christmas. Analysts have lowered iPhone X shipment projections for the first quarter of next year, citing signs of lacklustre demand at the end of the holiday shopping season. Sinolink Securities analyst Zhang Bin said in a report on Monday that handset shipments in the period might be as low as 35 million, or 10 million less than he previously estimated   Read More ...
Crypto craziness: Long Island Iced Tea shares soar after renaming itself Long Blockchain
2017-12-21 23:12:53 There's a new leader in the sweepstakes for the zaniest name change in the crypto craze. Long Island Iced Tea shares rose as much as 289 per cent after the unprofitable Hicksville, New York-based company rebranded itself Long Blockchain. It's the latest in a near-daily phenomenon sweeping the stock market, where obscure microcap companies reorient to focus on some aspect of the mania sparked by Long Blockchain, whose business has been selling non-alcoholic beverages, says it will now seek to partner with or invest in companies that develop the decentralized ledgers known as blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin   Read More ...
Google Home, Amazon Echo: The tech threat of smart devices this Christmas
2017-12-20 03:25:33 If there's a gadget-lover in your life, chances are they're getting a "smart" device for Christmas. But would-be tech buyers beware: if that device is a smart speaker or similar internet-connected home device, you may be getting more than your money's worth. Voice-enabled speakers and other home devices connected to the internet do not pose a threat to privacy by themselves, but the risks — according to Edith Cowan University cyber security expert Paul Haskell-Dowland — are that these devices may be used as portals to personal information   Read More ...
Razer Blade Pro review: big, beautiful gaming laptop arrives in Australia
2017-12-19 01:10:44 Following its more mobile Blade and Blade Stealth laptops, Razer has introduced its top-of-the-line Blade Pro gaming-focused machine in Australia for the first time. With a 17.3-inch screen, a Core i7 Kaby Lake processor and a beautiful, comfortable design in black aluminum crammed into a shell only 2.2cm thick, this is an absolute beast of a laptop that also manages to look and feel premium and classy   Read More ...
NCI in Australia to Deploy $70 Million Supercomputer
2017-12-19 00:06:18 Today the Australian Government announced plans to invest $70 million for a new supercomputer at the The Board of Australia’s National Computational Infrastructure (NCI). The funding will be used to replace NCI’s aging Raijin supercomputer. NCI plays a pivotal role in the national research landscape, and the supercomputer is the centerpiece of NCI’s renowned and tightly integrated, high-performance computing and data environment,” said Chair of the NCI Board, Emeritus Professor Michael Barber   Read More ...