5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Atlassian co-founders Mike Cannon Brookes and Scott Farqhuar. Photo: Supplied

It’s Thursday! Here’s what you need to know in Australian tech today.

1. The government isn’t missing it, they’ve missed it. Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes is concerned the government isn’t taking a leadership position when it comes to transitioning the economy towards growing sectors like technology and it’s a missed opportunity Australia could pay for over the next two decades. The full story is here.

2. Payments is about to “smack” incumbents in the face as the pace of disruption in the space quickens. Eftpos Australia boss Bruce Mansfield said with the emergence of tech companies like PayPal in the space and the rise of the digital wallet in particular, payments is “now at this cusp — whether it be a cliff or a cusp — where it’s just all going to change dramatically.”

“We don’t know how much impact this is going to have over the next two years. Whatever you think, it’s going to be much bigger than that.” There’s more here.

3. The Australian CEO of a San Francisco startup hub StartupHouse just fired his entire team, including himself. Elias Bizannes made the bold decision in July and told Business Insider it was one of the best things that’s happened to the business. He said it’s an opportunity to recalibrate and he can once again be an entrepreneur working on strategy and vision. Under the guidance of new CEO Karolis Karalevicius most of the old employees were rehired with their roles redefined. You can read the full story here.

4. Shaking on it. Handshakes should mean a done deal, but that doesn’t always happen, so startup accelerator Y Combinator instituted a formal “Handshake Protocol” to ensure shaking on it sticks. A handshake deal only happens if:

  • The investor says “I’m in for [offer].”
  • The startup says “OK, you’re in for [offer].”
  • The startup sends the investor an email or text message saying “This is to confirm you’re in for [offer].”
  • The investor replies “yes”.

There’s more here.

5. The fallout from the Ashley Madison hack continues. Hackers released nearly 10 gigabytes of customer data from the site yesterday after a security breach in July. Sydney and Melbourne made Ashley Madison’s top 6 cities where people want to cheat. You can see the chart here. Australian data security company Covata told Business Insider there’s a lot to be learned from this hack and users should be demanding their data be encrypted if they’re handing it over. “This is also the first time that we are seeing hackers hold a business to ransom and forcing them to close due to stealing sensitive data. I think we will see a lot more of this now that hackers know what they can do with valuable data they steal,” a spokesperson for the company said. There’s an easy way to check if your details were a part of the release.

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