Here are the tech stories to take you through Hump Day:
1. The combination of smart home devices and NBN is still in its early days. That was evident when I used Google’s Nest home security camera while on an interstate holiday. The Nest system works brilliantly to show you on your mobile what’s going on back at home from anywhere in the world, but the NBN conked out three days into the trip. Read the review here.
2. Freelancer boss Matt Barrie is frustrated with Australia. He said we all need to get our “heads out of the sand” and realise how important it is to transition from a property-and-mining economy to a tech-focused one – because we’re missing out big time otherwise. Read his comments here.
3. A Perth edutech startup just raised $6 million ahead of a reverse listing. Software and consulting provider Schrole Group, which already has customers in 32 countries, now has a market cap of $11.7 million based on the oversubscribed prospectus. Read more on the company here.
4. Australians are turning to home batteries as electricity prices go up. Gizmodo reports that while 6,500 home battery systems were installed in 2016, just the first half of this year saw 7,000 – with predictions that 2017 will see 20,000 deployments all up. The escalating price of power has reportedly seen the payback time (the time taken before the amount spent on a home battery system equals the savings in power bills) is now shorter in many parts of the country.
5. Amazon needs to change its rules if it wants to be legal in Australia. The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has pointed out that many parts of the internet giant’s US terms & conditions with customers would not be acceptable in Australia – like reserving the right to refuse service or cancel orders at its sole discretion. Read more here.