5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Woo hoo it’s Friday! Here’s what you need to know.

1. Australia is getting its first floating solar power plant. The plant, which will be built in South Australia over the next two weeks, will float on a wastewater treatment facility, preventing water evaporation to 90% of the covered area – a big water saving initiative. Developed by Infratech and used in France and South Korea, the plant will be operational by early April.

2. What ‘safeguards’ are in Australia’s data retention plans? Tony Abbott is pushing for mandatory data retention laws to passed but many are arguing there are still questions about the proposed legislation. Last week the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security released a report on the bill providing recommendations for the scheme. Here are some of the privacy and civil liberties dangers that data retention schemes pose and what safeguards are in place to handle them.

3. Asia Pacific Internet Group’s PricePanda announces merger with Australia’s Getprice. Two of Asia Pacific’s leading online comparison shopping businesses, PricePanda and Getprice, have announced the companies will merge as Next Commerce. The businesses operate in nine countries across Asia Pacific and reach more than four million unique visitors each month. Under the umbrella of Next Commerce, PricePanda and Getprice will continue to operate as standalone brands in their respective markets.

4. Apple TV is getting a makeover. The tech giant is working on a new version of its Apple TV, with a slimmer set-top-box, new “tactile” remote with increased capabilities and redesigned software that will include the App Store. It was thought that Apple was initially aiming to debut the new Apple TV as early as this month, but new reports suggest it won’t be until later this year. Read more about the reinvented Apple TV here.

5. A new deal will see Telstra power Ikea, 7-Eleven across Asia. Australia’s largest telco has inked a deal with Dairy Farm Group which has more than 100,000 employees and 5800 stores and franchises across Asia, including Ikea and 7-Eleven. Dairy Farm will complete its move to Telstra’s private cloud solutions by next month in what is the start of the organisations plan to broaden its relationship with Telstra in 24 months. This could include unified communications as a service, network and retail media solutions.

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