Welcome to the weekend! Check out these must-read tech stories before you run out of the office:
1. Smart appliances are now reality. Business Insider saw some startling things you can do in your home with Samsung devices that seem futuristic, but are actually coming to our shores this year — including a fridge that will order groceries directly from Woolworths. Meanwhile, the boss of the electronics giant has been detained in South Korea over corruption allegations.
2. It seems Samsung isn’t the only company hoping lots of Australians will be talking to their refrigerators. Following on from yesterday’s stock price tumble, Business Insider has distilled Telstra’s growth challenges down to three charts. Meanwhile, the AFR reports on chief executive Andy Penn’s attempt to soothe investors’ nerves by saying the Internet of Things revolution in Australia would revive earnings.
3. The government’s Digital Transformation Agency now has a blunt financial instrument to control tech projects in the public service. InnovationAus.com reports that the Digital Investment Management Office within the DTA is now up and running, with a remit to review up to 100 IT projects before the middle of this year to give the government an insight into project costs, benefits, risks and progress. For taxpayers, such a review has been a long time coming in the wake of colossal tech failures at the ATO, ABS and Centrelink among others.
4. Mike Cannon-Brookes is getting fair dinkum about diversity. His company Atlassian is supporting the LGBTQI community this year by replacing its three corporate flags at its Sydney headquarters with rainbow ones. He said that it’s important to stand up for one’s values, especially in the current political climate. Read more here.
5. NAB and Westpac have both invested in medical fintech. The AFR reports NAB has put money into Medipass Solutions, which has built an allied health booking system, while Westpac has taken equity in Surgical Partners – which acts as an interface between medical software and doctors’ accounting systems.