5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Long before Spotify or Pandora, Australia had the first computer that could play music. Photo: Getty.

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening.

1. The innovation cycle is getting shorter – fast. The pace of new technologies, new methods of business, hitting the market and being adopted, has never been faster. The innovation cycle is now incredibly short, measured in days and weeks instead of months and years.

As businesses feel pressure to develop and adopt these new ideas, they need to consider what makes an innovative environment — how can they foster a situation where ideas are fostered and adopted? Josh Nicholas has more.

2. Vocus Communications’s has acquired Nextgen for $807 million. Vocus executive director James Spenceley told The Australian Financial Review that Nextgen has been a target for the company he founded in 2008 since it listed in 2011. The move brings together four telcos and likely marks the end of major transactions for the company in the near term. The AFR has more.

3. Who has more friends on Facebook, Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten? Who has a stronger Instagram game? Want to know how the leaders performed on social and mainstream media? Chris Pash has the break down from social and mainstream media by Meltwater here.

So far it looks like prime minister and Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull took an early lead and kept it throughout the election campaign. While Bill Shorten, the ALP leader and opposition leader, couldn’t keep pace with Turnbull.

For example, Turnbull has 628,000 followers on Twitter to Shorten’s 147,000.

4. KPMG will soon be using artificial intelligence for audits in Australia. KPMG plans to use IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technology for its professional services in Australia.

The artificial intelligence deal with IBM includes a focus on audit and assurance services. More here.

5. Long before Spotify or Pandora, Australia had the first computer that could play music. You may not have known it but the world’s fourth digital computer was designed and built in Australia by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, the precursor of the CSIRO). It started life as a dream in 1947, ran its first test program in 1949 and played music in 1950 or 1951.

Music was one of CSIRAC’s parlour tricks. Dick McGee remembers it playing music when he started at the CSIRO in April 1951. At Australia’s first computing conference, on August 7-9, 1951, everyone was talking about it afterwards and it caused quite a stir. The Conversation has more.

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