5 things you need to know in Australian tech today


Today’s 5 Things you need to know in Tech are brought to you by Tower One, International Towers Sydney. Innovation is undoubtedly at the core of business success. Discover why business leaders are looking to Barangaroo to future-proof their enterprises.

The year was 1969 – and the CSIRO was still a long way off inventing WiFi…. a still from the satirical comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

Welcome to Wednesday. Here’s what’s going down.

1. Is public wifi the STD of the millennial era? Bear with me on this one. When baby boomers were growing up, it was all about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. Software company ESET has been comparing the tech-savviness of millennials versus baby boomers and it boils down to the older generation being much more conscious of cyber security. That means the kids are pretty lax when it comes to stuff like who they make friends with on Facebook and who has their credit card details.

Now ESET senior research fellow Nick FitzGerald is going to sound a little bit like your mum checking you have clean underwear on here, but listen up: “Millennials too often overlook the major risks with personal safety and data security.”

That means stuff like public wifi networks, which Fitzgerald points out “are unencrypted and can become an easy gateway for hackers to reach personal or professional information”.

That means your parents are not only holding onto your inheritance, they’re keeping it safe from hackers. There’s more on the issue here.

2. Mike Cannon-Brookes wants you to stop and think. The Atlassian boss is keeping an eye on The Australian Financial Review’s innovation summit today and what Australia’s chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, had to say.

When Finkel told the gathering today Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon all spend more on R&D than our federal government, here’s what Cannon-Brookes had to say on Twitter:

3. On the hunt for a real estate agent? This $20 million platform could help. OpenAgent, the three-year-old online real estate platform that’s kind of like iSelect for choosing an agent, has raised another $12 million in funding, thanks largely to Westpac’s venture capital business Reinventure.

OpenAgent lets you shop around and compare real estate agents to help find one that works for you when selling your house and 10,000 people shortlisted and met with agents in the past year. There’s more on what the two ex-McKinsey women who started the business in 2013 are up to with the cash here.

4. Optus Business is putting high speed wifi services in 81 shopping centres. The telco has signed a $20 million deal with the $7 billion Melbourne-based retail property group Vicinity Centres, which used to be known as Federation Centres, and Centro. Vicinity owns sites such as Chatswood Chase and Bankstown Central, along with Victoria’s massive Chadstone Shopping Centre, QueensPlaza in Brisbane and Galleria in Perth. The deal with Optus also includes six corporate sites.

Of course the spinoff is targeted advertising, or as Optus calls it, the chance to “enrich the consumer experience, including enabling personalised content and tailored location information”.

“The WiFi service will also provide significant benefit to retail tenants as they increasingly adopt the use of digital advertising, wireless terminals and beacon technology,” the telco said in a statement.

5. The NSW government is getting with the contactless payments program. A month after Google launched Android Pay in Australia, Service NSW, the state’s one-stop payments shop for things like rego, driver’s licences and parking fines, starting taking the smartphone digital wallet system from today. Here are the details.

BONUS ITEM: 13 things the Galaxy Note 7 can do that the iPhone can’t. Your move, Tim Cook.

See you tomorrow. I’m on Twitter at @simonthomsen.

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