5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Winter is coming… no it’s a tech bubble. Photo: Supplied/ HBO

Hope you had a great weekend. Here’s what you need know.

1. Centrelink’s ‘Walkman-era’ computer system may get a $1 billion upgrade. Social Services Minister Scott Morrison is pushing for the national welfare system’s ICT department to get a much need upgrade – it would be the first time in 30 years. The current system, which processes $100 billion in payments a year, takes three months and $2000 to change a letterhead. If the federal government goes ahead with the revamp, the funding will be announced in the May budget.

2. Telstra will give you your metadata. Australia’s biggest telco will give its customers the same access to metadata that government and security agencies will have under its controversial new data retention laws from 1 April, 2015. Simple requests are expected to cost around $25, while detailed requests covering multiple services across several years will be charged at an hourly rate.

3. HP Australia has lost up to $500 million dollars over the past three years. The local arm of the global tech company has recorded a net loss of $152 million in its 2014 financial year ended last October. This follows a $270 million net loss for the 12 months to 31 October 2013. And things aren’t expected to get much better, signalled by last year’s decision to write off $161 million in deferred tax assets.

4. A “tech bubble” is coming. Venture technology backer Stephen Moss says Australian startups are all chasing just $100 million of capital in the Australia seed space and it’s going to end badly. He added the that the lack of corporate investment in the sector is also hurting early phase online businesses. Read more here.

5. The NSW government keeps investing in tech hubs. With the Baird government going to the polls on March 28, it’s busy on the announcement front, continuing to roll out five tech hubs in key industries. Today it’s health, with $1.7 million going towards a medtech hub in Sydney.

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