Welcome to Friday! A lot of fascinating tech stories to get through today before you log off for the weekend:
1. The Centrelink debt data debacle has hit new lows. The government agency’s official Twitter account has been referring distressed customers to Lifeline, while Malcolm Turnbull’s former digital tsar has ripped into the way the data-matching has been handled. Paul Shetler says a 20% error rate would have already sunk a private company and it is “unfathomable” that the government thinks this is acceptable.
2. Two of Australia’s most famous startups are locked in a bitter feud over allegations of plagiarism. Freelancer says Airtasker’s “Like a Boss” advertising campaign, which has been running online and on television since September, is exactly like the one that it has been developing since 2013. Read more on why Airtasker thinks this claim is rubbish and why it has refused demands for the campaign to be withdrawn.
3. Meet the refugee who is now CEO of a $1 billion company. Aram Mirkazemi landed in Tasmania in the 1970s as a teenage refugee that couldn’t speak a word of English. Now he leads Altium, an ASX-listed engineering software company that has seen its share price go up from 13c to $7.94 in the past five years. Read more here.
4. Ford has put Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa into its cars. The integration will allow drivers and passengers to control Alexa-enabled smart home devices, as well as check the weather, play audiobooks and write shopping lists. Check out the news here.
5. Has Sony just launched the best television ever? The AFR reports the Japanese manufacturer has joined an exclusive group that produces OLED televisions with the unveiling of the XBR-A1E Bravia 4K. And what’s more, the screen is the speaker – sound is produced by vibrating the glass.