5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

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Georgia Beattie is the new CEO of Startup Victoria. Photo: supplied

1. Robotradie is here! Perth-based ASX-listed company Fastbrick Robotics has built a robot brick layer that could seriously disrupt the CFMEU. The Hadrian 105 works four times faster than the average brickie, but in the video accompanying this story by Chris Pash, the robot is pretty neat when it comes to slapping down layers of mortar between the bricks, so we’re just hoping the house it can build in three days is going to remain standing when the Big Bad Wolf tries to blow it down. But just imagine – a tradie who doesn’t vanish when it’s sunny and the surf’s up. Watch the action here.

2. Lying down on the job. Startup founder Dany Milham is a disgrace to his Byron Bay childhood. He didn’t go surfing when he was a kid, instead starting his first business aged 13, building and selling custom gaming computers, before a computer science degree at University of Queensland. Fast forward several more years and he’s launched Koala Mattress, a startup taking on a traditional industry and hoping to disrupt everything but your sleep. He launched in November last year and is aiming for $12 million in sales in the company’s debut year.

Sarah Kimmorley caught up with this young early achiever, recounting his story and where to next here.

3. Startup Victoria has a new CEO. And she runs the sort of startup you can’t help but like. Georgia Beattie’s business Lupe was named one of BRW’s 10 start-ups to watch a few years back, having launched straight out of uni. She came up with the clever idea of prepackaged wine-by-the-glass for places where you can’t actually use glass – the idea came at a music festival – and is now in six countries.

Beattie takes over from Scott Handsaker and is already big fan of Startup Victoria, telling StartupSmart “they made a really, really big impact on my business and this is sending the lift down and contributing back into that community”.

Details on her appointment are here.

4. The banks want to gang up on Apple. The Fin reports that Australia’s big banks want permission from the competition watchdog to collectively negotiate with Apple on digital wallets. While ANZ signed up with Cupertino to be part of Apple Pay, the Americans locked down the iPhone’s antenna to prevent competitors into their contactless payments sphere. There’s no point in developing an contactless app if the phone’s maker won’t let it work

Now those with their noses still pressed up against the iOs – NAB, Commmonwealth, Westpac, Bendigo and Adelaide want the ACCC to let them gang up on Apple, hoping their might will be enough to make them right. Good luck with that guys (is that knocking sound we hear Tim Cook shaking?)

At stake is the highly profitable interchange fees banks charge each other to pass around your cash, so this is going to be an Godzilla vs Gamera epic level battle.

There’s plenty more on the jostling here.

5. Technology is stressing out millennials. And apparently it’s not about being able to find a handy Pokestop. According to the Snapshot of Australian Workplaces by HR business Reventure, more than half of Millennial workers (54%) are freaked by tech stress, ahead of Gen X (47%) and the remarkable chillaxed Boomers (37%) who must still be figuring out how to work a fax machine.

Millennials also top the list for feeling they were “always on and cannot ever completely shut off from work”.

Mind you, about half of the 1000 workers asked said they’re looking for a new job in the next 12 months. Masseur or yoga teacher sounds like a good option if you’re in the youngest cohort.

There’s more here.

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