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The latest news

Google’s “Wing” drones start delivering products in Canberra

Tags: australia, tech

Today, we are excited to be launching our first air delivery service in North Canberra . Our service allows customers to order a range of items such as fresh food, hot coffee or over-the-counter chemist items on our mobile app, and have them delivered directly to their homes by drone in minutes.

Initially a Google X-Moonshot project like Waymo & Loom, Wing has been running trials for over 18 months and completed nearly 3000 test deliveries.

Available to residents in Grace, Palmerston & Franklin Wing drones will embark on a world first in delivering goods after receiving CASA approval today.

Initially product offerings will be slim, with launch partners including Bakers Delight, Guzman Y Gomez, Drummond Golf and Capital Chemist. More are expected and a callout to local businesses has been raised as the service continues to grow to other ACT suburbs such as Harrison and Gungahlin.

Interestingly the drones flightpath and a large part  of the approval by CASA require them to avoid major roads and aren’t allowed to cross them or get too close to people whilst flying, hence the extravagant winch system.

Customers whom sign up to use the service will also be required to undergo training on how to receive a delivery as a part of the regulatory requirements.

Source: Wing launches commercial air delivery service in Canberra

Heritage Victoria kills Apple’s Melbourne Federation Square plans

Tags: australia

Plans to build an Apple store at Federation Square will not go ahead, after heritage authorities refused an application to demolish an existing part of the square.

After a roller coaster ride of events, Apple’s plans to build a new flagship store in Melbourne’s Federation Square it have all come crashing to an end.

Apple have confirmed they will not proceed with their plans after Heritage Victoria’s refusal to allow the demolition of an existing structure.

Whilst the blocking of the build will undoubtably be a win for many who saw it as the commercialisation of a public space, it will leave many lamenting the fact Melbourne remains without a CBD based Apple store.

Source: Apple store plans shelved after heritage authorities say ‘no’

Play “The Amazon Race” – A news game about what it’s like to work at Amazon Australia

Tags: australia

You can play the role of a ‘picker’ at Amazon’s Melbourne warehouse.

The ABC (yes the Australian one) has created a game that illustrates the conditions Amazon Australia workers are put under in their Melbourne based fulfilment centre.

The interactive news piece is an incredible piece of work that highlights some of the atrocities contract workers are expected to endure.

Food for thought.

Source: The Amazon Race: A news game about what it’s like to work at Amazon Australia – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Melbourne GTA Online cheat developer has home raided

Tags: australia, gaming

A gamer in Melbourne has had his assets frozen in connection with a cheat for Grand Theft Auto Online, raising questions about the reach of copyright law and the policing of online civility.

This is a cracking read & raises so many great discussion points around the reach of copyright, cheating in online games, profiting from selling cheat-enabling software and the stifling of the mod-ing community out of fear of legal action.

Spend the five minutes to read through, it’s an incredibly well written piece and well worth it.

Source: He Developed a Video Game Cheat. Then His Home Was Raided. – The New York Times

Aussie government plays ‘tip of the spear’ in bid for ‘Five Eyes’ encryption backdoor

Tags: australia, tech

Released on behalf of the US, UK, Canada & NZ the Australian government has decided it will carry the torch for thinly veiled threats to tech companies whom they want to:

…create customized solutions, tailored to their individual system architectures that are capable of meeting lawful access requirements.

Now they’ve also begun warning that there could be repercussions for failing to provide the access their after essentially saying they’ll just make up laws to enforce it:

…we may pursue technological, enforcement, legislative or other measures to achieve lawful access solutions,”

It’s interesting that Australia’s essentially falling on the sword here on behalf of everyone else, or more precisely the US & UK. Perhaps pumping out press-releases “down under” come under less global scrutiny, perhaps its a pat on the back for standing up and telling the world we have no respect for the laws of mathematics. Either way they refuse to call it a back door, ignore the gross misuse and abuse by government employees of existing systems, let alone this new one and play down the huge privacy implications every citizen is affected by.

Source: ‘Five Eyes’ governments call on tech giants to build encryption backdoors — or else | TechCrunch

The TPG and Vodafone merger is all systems go

Tags: australia, tech

TPG and Vodafone Hutchison Australia have announced that they will proceed with their merger to form a telecommunications giant that they say will have an enterprise value of approximately AU$15 billion.

Sing it..

Two strong hearts,
We stick together like the honey & the bee,
But we’ll be called TPG!

Poised to become Australia’s 2nd largest telco in the next five years. Optus potentially getting the ass by a compatriot of it’s Singaporean parent.

Source: TPG and Vodafone Australia to merge into AU$15b telco named TPG | ZDNet

Turnbull government’s new encryption legislation doesn’t break the laws of physics but they do send you to jail 

Tags: australia, tech
AAPImages

Under the legislation, tech companies would have to: remove protections on devices; give law enforcement agencies the design specs of their devices; install software on a device when asked; provide access to devices; and help agencies build their own systems.

The draft legislation was introduced by cyber security minister Angus Taylor and is open for submissions until September 10th. The sitting government is aiming to have it introduced by years end but will struggle to do so given its sensitive nature in affectively removing an individuals right to privacy and thus likely being submitted to a committee for review.

Under the legislation companies who do the right thing will be compensated for their time, however for those that don’t, expect a fine of up to a lazy A$10m.

For individuals, failing to unlock your device or decrypt any information requested by the powers that be, you’ll face a A$500k fine or a lazy 5 years in jail for “simple offences” or 10 years for crimes deemed “serious”.

Source: You Could Go To Jail For 10 Years For Refusing To Unlock Your Phone

Cricket Australia sinks to new lows firing worker over abortion rights tweets

Tags: australia, tech

Cricket Australia has sacked a female employee after she campaigned for abortion reform on social media, telling the woman that concerns she had insulted the Tasmanian government were central to her dismissal.

Due to the closure of the last publicly run abortion clinic in Tasmania Angela Williamson, whom was working as the manager of public policy & government relations for Cricket Australia, was forced to travel to Melbourne for a termination.

The mother of three had criticised the Tasmanian government in a series of tweets beginning in January of 2018 and was told they’d “damaged [her] relationship with the government”.

Cricket Australia has confirmed that the matter is now in the hands of each party’s legal teams and has made a statement saying that whilst they “respect an individual’s right to their opinion” they expect “employees will refrain from making offensive comments that contravene the organisation’s policies.”

Personally, my takeaway from the statement is that Cricket Australia doesn’t believe women should have publicly available local options for pregnancy terminations in the state of Tasmania.

Source: Cricket Australia sacks worker over series of tweets about abortion

We Happy Few is coming to Australia after all 

Tags: australia, gaming

After considering our appeal to get We Happy Few reviewed for classification, the Australian Classification Review Board [ACRB] has decided to allow the release of We Happy Few in Australia!

Initially denied classification by the ACRB because of its showcasing of illicit drug use they’ve now seen fit to overturn their decision and grant the game an R18+ rating.

Nice to see sanity has prevailed and congratulations to Compulsion Games for persisting in getting it over the line.

We Happy Few is scheduled for release August 10th.

Source: We Happy Few coming to Australia | Compulsion Games

Australia to have its first Amazon Prime Day, July 16th

Tags: australia

 

Australia, as an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get fast, free delivery, great entertainment, exclusive early access to deals and more.

Amazon’s Prime service launched in Australia a couple of months ago. For A$59/year you get access to their video service, faster shipping & access to thousands of Kindle books, comics and more.

For a change, Prime is actually cheaper in Aus than in the US, but now that we’re geoblocked to Amazon Australia’s paltry reduced offerings there’s justification for it being less.

Regardless, Prime Day is a 36 hour long shopping spree exclusive to Prime members beginning July 16th. In previous years pricing for Amazon hardware has been heavily reduced along with a myriad of specials across many third party products too.

While no details have been made public around exactly what deals you can expect, you can hedge your bets and sign up for a 30 day free trial of Prime to cover you through Prime Day this year.