5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Hello and welcome to a new week. This is what you need to know in tech.

1. Australians personally lost $85 million to online scams last year. The ACCC has released its annual report on how much Australians lose to online scammers, with $3 million more lost last year.

“If you add Scamwatch and ACORN [Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network] data with losses detected through scam disruption work, total scam losses exceeded $229 million last year. We know that in reality the actual total is higher still as many people never report that they’ve been scammed,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.

2. A landmark Uber court case is happening in Melbourne today. With Victoria still yet to legalise ride sharing services, a court case today could set precedent for its future.

In December last year, Nathan Brenner was found guilty of driving a hire car without licence or accreditation and fined $900. Uber covered his legal costs and the fine and also the appeal due to be heard today. The decision on Brenner is a test case for Uber and the Victorian government. He is the first of 12 drivers in Victoria facing similar charges.

3. Optus is looking to nab more football rights from Foxtel. With the A-League and Socceroos rights set to go up for auction soon, Optus has said that it is also interested in grabbing them to add to its EPL offering.

“We’re looking at it seriously,” Optus CEO Allan Lew told the AFR.

“If it makes sense and it adds value to what we are providing football fans, at a commercial deal that we feel is fair, then we will see how we can bring it across. But, it’s early days and let’s see what happens.”

4. Australian tech startup Big Unlimited made an interesting hire. Behavioural finance strategist Hugh Massie has been appointed as independent non-executive chairman of the company. Previously, Massie pioneered the development of Financial DNA, the world’s first behavioural Fintech platform providing validated financial personality insights based on extensive behavioural finance research.

Big Unlimited’s major product is Big Review TV, a vide review platform for small and medium sized businesses.

5. This bloke wants to pay HBO for every episode of Game of Thrones he pirates. A Game of Thrones fan from Tasmania has offered to pay HBO $10 for every episode of the series he illegally downloads.

John Hyslop reached out to the television network’s Facebook page earlier this week to complain about the “serious distribution problem in our country” that left him with just one of two options to watch the medieval fantasy drama series.

His proposition is as follows:

I will gladly pay HBO $10 an episode for every episode of your show that I download illegally, just provide me with a means by which to pay and I will transfer the coin. Alternatively offer HBO go in Australia, or literally mail me out a memory stick with each weeks episode saved on it because even waiting for a memory stick to come by mail would be a better option than paying $30 a month for what is quite possibly the worst streaming service this side of West Africa…

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