5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Lawyers say it’s okay to keep geo-dodging Netflix. Photo: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story/ IMDb.

Welcome to a new week, this is what you need to know in tech today.

1. Samsung has two new phones and they’ll be in Australia next month. The Korean company announced its flagship phones for 2016 this morning in Barcelona, the S7 and S7 Edge, which will be available for pre-order on Friday and on sale March 11. If you pre-order one of the devices, you’ll even get a free set of Gear VR goggles thrown in. Prices start at $1,149 for the Galaxy S7 and $1,249 for the Galaxy S7 Edge.

Highlights of the phones include a 12-megapixel camera that lets in 95% more light than last year’s, a waterproof design, big batteries and expandable storage.

2. Telstra’s 4GX network is going to be ridiculously fast. Also announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telstra is upgrading its 4GX network in capital cities by the end of the year to support Category 16 LTE. What does that mean? Download speeds of up to 1Gbps. Crazy speeds.

At this stage though there are no mobile devices that support it, but Telstra will be releasing a Netgear mobile hotspot at launch which will allow you to experience it.

The telco also announced it will be switching on LTE-Broadcast, allowing videos to be sent directly to phones at certain events and locations.

3. Optus wants to fix mobile coverage in stadiums. Working alongside Nokia, Optus wants to make it so you can actually use your phone at a concert, festival or big sporting event. Nokia’s head of Oceania, Ray Owen, says the bigger problem they want to fix is the interference from competing devices trying to access he network.

“This results in devices increasing the power levels they use to communicate with the network, drowning each other out, increasing battery drain, and shrinking network capacity,” he said.

“We are significantly increasing uplink capacity on the Optus 4G Plus network in and around ANZ Stadium, boosting upload speeds while improving download speeds and reducing battery drain.”

4. NSW’s trade minister wants more venture capital for startups. Stuart Ayres says the state government should be working closer with the big financial institutions to better foster venture capital to support startups.

“Venture capital investment should be part of our investment culture,” Ayres told News Corp. “We’ve got to do a bit of work to shift the needle.”

“Government can play a strong educational role. What we have to do is talk to finance institutions and investment channels about why you can think differently about your investment profile.”

Ayres has been in the US in the last week to meet with startups and venture capital firms as part of the inaugural Australia United States Business Week.

5. Lawyers say it’s okay to keep geo-dodging Netflix. The AFR asked a couple of lawyers whether it was okay to use VPN and DNS services to watch foreign Netflix libraries and they said you betcha it is. One of them said that it may be frowned upon, but you’re not doing anything illegal.

“In many ways it’s like peeking through a window to watch a movie without a ticket. It’s rude but not illegal in Australia,” he said.

“Or, if you haven’t paid for a Jamiroquai concert, but your house overlooks the venue so you watch it.”

Rights holders have been putting pressure on the likes of Netflix recently to stop people from geo-dodging with VPNs, and even PayPal has stopped allowing payments to some VPN providers.

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