5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

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Google’s driverless car. Photo: Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images.

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Robots to the rescue. Scientists using a robot to hunt down and destroy crown-of-thorns starfish, and medical researchers growing a kidney in a test tube, are among finalists in the 2016 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes for Science. Here’s more.

2. I used Dyson’s super-powerful, $700 hairdryer — here’s why people will buy it. More than all the fancy schamcy, high-tech features, of Dyson’s new “Supersonice” hairdryer there was one reason why I loved it. Find out what it is, and what happened when I put it under a stress test — my normal 30-minute morning routine before rushing to work.

3. It’s ironic Australian banks are complaining about Apple Pay. Australian big banks are hypocrites to demand Apple give them access to cardless payments when the banks won’t do the same for fintechs in Australia, says Chris Brycki, founder and CEO of Stockspot.

Four banks have asked the competition regulator, the ACCC, for permission to collectively negotiate with Apple to get their own digital wallets on iPhones.

Apple has its own digital payments system, Apple Pay, and third party providers of digital wallets aren’t welcome on iPhones. See more of what Brycki has to say here.

4. Foxtel’s new iQ3 box is coming. Foxtel has commissioned a new iQ3 set-top box and will progressively fix bugs in existing units as the subscription television business prepares to add super-fast broadband to its bundles.

The new iQ3 box will see an update to the unit’s processing speed as well as significant cost reduction to Foxtel. However, a release date has not been finalised. Read more here.

5. All vehicles on Australian roads will be driverless by 2030. At least that’s what Telstra chief scientist Hugh Bradlow says. Bradlow has based his forecast on the rate of autonomous car development and falling costs of retrofitting driverless systems to existing cars, which would soon be in the $US1000 ($A1310) range. The Australian has more.

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