5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Uber surge price heat map during train outage. (Source: Twitter/@bradarnoldt)

Huzzah, the weekend is here. Check out these tech stories before you run out of the office:

1. Australia’s answer to Tesla is raising $14.5 million of capital to meet the demand for high capacity batteries. Serial entrepreneur Simon Hackett said his ASX-listed company Redflow is busy getting deals done with industrial customers, especially in the telecommunications sector. The Brisbane company will still continue to make its residential battery ZCell, which competes against the Tesla Powerwall range. Read more on how the new cash will be used.

2. The new Sydney Startup Hub is a hit with the tech community. Business Insider spoke to startup founders, investors and industry bodies and they all praised the new 11-floor facility, which will open in November. But they all like the state government’s $35 million project for different reasons.

3. It’s hard enough launching a startup, but what do you need to do when you want to take it to the next level? The founder of Spectur, which is due to raise $4.5 million in an IPO this month, has written a guest column for Business Insider that details the four things that any entrepreneur must do to turn their business into a scaleup.

4. The Turnbull government wasn’t bluffing. The prime minister mentioned at the G20 last week that he wanted tech giants to shine a light on the “dark places” on the internet to help fight terrorism. And now his government will legislate to force companies like Facebook and Google to reveal encrypted communications when asked by law enforcement agencies. Read more here.

5. The NBN pulled down an ad celebrating its progress after it showed some embarrassing numbers. The television and online advertisement shows a broadband speed meter with a “ping rate” of 598 milliseconds – which is pretty awful. The organisation initially defended the ping rate, saying it was showing a satellite connection – which normally does lag a long way behind terrestrial broadband. But that wasn’t the reason – it was because it also published an IP address, which on satellite, is static. The ad was later re-issued it with edits, with the NBN confirming the address is inactive. Read more here.

Bonus: A computer fault has been blamed for bringing Melbourne’s rail network to a standstill in the middle of Thursday afternoon’s peak hour. Crazy overcrowding then ensued at city stations and Uber’s surge pricing hit 3.7 times the standard fares. Read more here.

Have a great day! Please email me your story tips or find me on Twitter.

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