5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

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Is there something happening in the US? While the world holds its breath to see who will become the next leader of the Free World, check out these five tech stories:

1. Australian Tim Kentley-Klay is leading a startup that has just been valued at US$1.5 billion. But Zoox is still in stealth mode, so no one is really sure what it’s up to. Past presentations and graphics suggest the company is working towards an autonomous vehicle, the likes of which we have not seen before. Read more here.

2. Uber rival Karhoo has shut down. The trans-Atlantic startup, in announcing the closure, stated that many employees had worked unpaid in the last six weeks to turn the venture around. Read more on the demise of the taxi app.

3. Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines had “a technical glitch” that allowed customers to book international flights at absurdly low prices. The mayhem took place for a short period on Tuesday morning before the airlines closed the loophole. However, the lucky few that secured cheap flights are expected to have their tickets honoured.

4. Webjet is claiming that it has created the first-ever blockchain for hotel reservations. The AFR reports that the ASX-listed online travel agency and Microsoft have created a proof-of-concept with the “potential to transform the way the travel industry processes and manages online payments for hotel bookings”.

5. Apple has just opened up a way for customers to buy iPhones for cheap. The company’s existing online refurbished store, which sells restored versions of returned hardware, has added the popular smartphones into its catalogue for the first time. Read how much you can save and how the units are refurbished.

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