5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Sept 10, 2015 – Taxi drivers are walking off the job in protest of then-illegal rideshare service UberX. Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Just one more week of work until Santa comes to town! Check out these five tech stories — and one bonus item — on this fine Friday:

1. The Federal Court is forcing ISPs to block The Pirate Bay and other bittorrent sites. In a major coup for TV and movie studios, Australian ISPs have 15 days to redirect users that attempt to reach five specific sites. Read more on the decision here.

2. ASIC has just given fintech startups a major leg-up. The corporate regulator is claiming it has launched an internationally unique “sandbox” environment, where businesses that meet certain criteria can test their products without having to apply for a financial services or credit licence. Read more on the breakthrough here.

3. There’s no love lost in the ridesharing market. Australian player GoCatch has accused Uber of pre-planning price surges during the busy holiday period, claiming the maths doesn’t add up in its earnings promises made to drivers. Read Uber’s response plus more here.

4. Microsoft Australia boss Pip Marlow has left to take up a position at Suncorp. She will commence her new life in the fintech sector in March as executive officer for strategic innovation. Former IBM exec Steven Worrall is the new lead for Microsoft’s local arm.

5. Cash flow (or the lack of it) is what’s killing Australian tech companies. CRN has reported ASIC research that shows the tech sector comes seventh among the industries with the most corporate insolvencies. Cash flow was cited as the top cause of failure, with poor strategic management and trading losses coming in second and third.

BONUS – 6. Would you believe it, the ATO website has gone funny again. Check out the developing story here.

Season’s greetings! Please email me your story tips or find me on Twitter.

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