5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Uber is a lot closer to being legalised in Victoria now. Photo: Getty

Hello. Here’s what’s happening in Australian tech today.

1. There’s been a big win for Uber in Victoria. A Melbourne driver who was found guilty by a magistrate last year of 3 charges around driving a hire car without a licence has won a landmark appeal in the Victorian County Court.

Nathan Brenner was fined $900 without conviction in December after he originally lost his case, which at the time was seen as precedent to outlaw ride-sharing services in the state until legislation changed.

However, this week Brenner successfully appealed his sentence, claiming that Uber was not covered by the legislation that was used to charge him. This is being seen as a major win for Uber and an important step in legalising ride-sharing in the state.

2. Virgin Mobile was down and it didn’t tell anyone. The problem appears to have begun around midnight last night, but it wasn’t until Australia woke today that most people noticed, with AussieOutages.com receiving nearly 1000 notifications of the outage by 8am.

Hundreds of Virgin Mobile customers flooded the company’s noticeboard saying they could only get SOS, but the Optus subsidiary failed to provide any details via social media or on its website.

Virgin Mobile waited until the problem was fixed before saying anything, taking to Twitter to break the news and telling customers to restart their phones.

3. Equity Crowd-funding platform VentureCrowd made it easier to be an angel investor. Australian equity-based crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd has launched a new option for wholesale investors, starting from $25,000, using the same progressive fee structure as larger investors.

The crowdfunding company has partnered with the Artesian Australian Corporate Bond Fund, where investors can invest in a diversified fund managed by them.

VentureCrowd is aggregating demand from potential investors for the fund, while it will also allow them to retain individual control over their portfolio. The company says that by doing this, they’re able to lower the barriers for individual wholesale investors and give them opportunity usually reserved for institutional investors.

4. Netflix has a new tool that shows how fast your internet really is. Jump to Fast.com and Netflix will show you just how fast your internet speed is, working in a similar way to speedtest.

5. iiNet was out yesterday.Outages at the telco began early yesterday morning, affecting email, voice and other services. The problems include an inability log in to email and authentication errors and began at 4am. To make matters worse, iiNet’s voice support service was also down so customers could not make contact with the internet provider.

It eventually took well over 10 hours for the services to come back online.

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