5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

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As we all limp along the first week of the year, check out these five must-read tech stories for Thursday.

1. Centrelink’s data-matching system is pushing Australians to the brink of suicide, says MP Andrew Wilkie. He made the claim as the furore over unjustified debt notices sent to welfare recipients escalates, with the Commonwealth ombudsman now getting involved. Read more on the saga.

2. Foxtel is a dinosaur that just doesn’t get the new entertainment landscape. The AFR has written a scathing piece on the pay TV provider’s recent treatment of its customers, including the cancellation of his beloved classic movies channel and a price increase for its sports channels despite losing the broadcast rights to English soccer.

3. Telstra has called on the government to scrap the “line of sight” rule for drones in Australia. iTnews reports the telco’s view that the current laws, which require drones to be in sight of the operator, is outdated and restricts many use-cases for the technology like disaster response, shark surveillance and mobile tower damage assessment.

4. Samsung will unleash its new quantum-dot LED televisions into the Australian market. The Australian reports from the Consumer Electronics Show that QLED is Samsung’s new answer to rival LG’s OLED technology and the new colour performance in high brightness is ideal for the typical open-plan Australian living room.

5. On other news out of Las Vegas, BMW showed off the interior of its driverless concept car — complete with hologram controls, televisions and bookshelves. Meanwhile, Intel handed out vomit bags for those that might feel queasy after its virtual reality demonstration.

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

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