5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Atlassian graduate intake of 2017 at HackHouse event in Coogee, Sydney. (Source: supplied)

Welcome to Friday! Check out these tech stories before letting your hair down for the weekend:

1. The chairman of Xero has resigned to take up a new position in Donald Trump’s team. New Zealand-born US businessman Chris Liddell stepped down from the Kiwi cloud accounting software startup to become an assistant to the new president after his inauguration on Saturday morning. Read more on his political track record.

2. Atlassian’s latest graduate intake is mostly female. The Australian tech giant is rather proud of that achievement, after women made up just 17% of the 2016 class – a rate similar to the industry average. The turnaround has been deliberate, with reforms made at every stage of the recruitment process and company culture. It’s a far cry from 2014 when an employee embarrassed the company with sexist remarks at a developer conference.

3. Metadata harvested by Australian telcos is not personal information, the Federal Court ruled. The decision is a blow to Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim, who had been lobbying to have a broad definition of “personal information” legally applied in order to have telco metadata fall under the auspices of the Privacy Act. Read more here.

4. Digital communications company Avaya has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Reuters reports the US firm made the move as it attempts to restructure and reduce its massive $US6.3 billion debt, following a decade of losses. Avaya has a substantial presence in Australia with offices in five capitals, but has churned through four MDs in the past two years. Business Insider has contacted them about the impact on local operations and will let you know what they say when we hear back.

5. Australian-born invention hoverbike has the US Army intrigued. USA department of defense officials saw a demo and is reportedly considering the device – capable of carrying 135kg at 100km/h — as viable transport for non-human loads. Read more here.

Have a great day! Please email me your story tips or find me on Twitter.

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