5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Vinomofo co-founders Justin Dry and Andre Eikmeier. Photo: supplied.

Good morning. It’s already Thursday! Here’s what’s happening

1. That one-armed robot bricklayer from Western Australia has triumphed again. It’s one the winners of the Australian Information Industry Association iAwards. The AIIA Innovation of the Year went to Balconi Telecommunications for the Balconi Smart Torch – Global Live, a handheld two-way video conference system developed for remote telehealth care, while Fastbrick Robotics, a robotic bricklaying system, got the Inspiration of the Year Award. The full list of winners is here.

2. Vinomofo co-founders Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry are now movie stars. They’re among five startup entrepreneurs, alongside SafetyCulture’s Luke Anear and Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht from Canva, in the excellent feature-length documentary The New Hustle, which we saw the other night and thoroughly recommend. They all sat down for a Q&A after the screening, where Eikmeier recalled how, after four years, they took on their first employee and realised they had to think about the company culture they wanted to create. His advice – and terror – about how you do that is recounted here.

3. The NBN is fixing the really annoying “ready for service” claim on its “check your address” function. Rather than the broadbrush claim, it’s acknowledged that within the roll-out there are individual sites where more work is needed and that takes, on average, six months. So they’re adding the term “ready to connect” for when you can actually hook in — and promises to give better timeframes on when the connection will happen.

4. Technology will kill retail jobs. As many as 80% of retail jobs are at risk from automation, a Citibank and University of Oxford predict, and low-skilled jobs are most at risk in a “watershed” moment for the sector. It’s a global phenomenon that’s going to hit Australia hard too.

5. Two female co-founders created a fake male co-founder to get a better response. Witchsy’s Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer said the way their invention “Keith” was treated in email communications “was like night and day”. Dwyer added: “He’s being used as a tool now to help highlight how rampant sexism is in tech and the workplace in general.”

BONUS ITEM: Here’s the promo from The New Hustle. Yep, it’s that good.

Have a great day. You’ll find me on Twitter.

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