5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Atlasssian co-founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes. Photo: Supplied

Hello and welcome to the weekend. Here’s what’s happening.

1. Atlassian just introduced Stride, the successor to its popular HipChat chat app. The battle over workplace chat apps just went up a notch, with the Australian tech company positioning to take on Microsoft and Slack with Stride, which is designed to make it easy to bounce between text chatting and videoconference meetings. More here.

2. Amazon could launch in Australia next month. Citi analysts have been talking to suppliers and orders have been placed in recent weeks, and the bank believes things could kick off within 60 days to give the online US retailer momentum before the November 24 Black Friday sale kicks off the Christmas season. More on what Citi has to say here.

3. The Australian government wants new powers to access encrypted communications, but most people are unaware of current police and intelligence powers when it comes to accessing our data. They already have significant abilities to access data about our emails, phone calls and text messages if we’re suspected of committing a crime, although it can be difficult to tell exactly what they’re doing with them. More on that here.

4. RMIT is launching a Blockchain Innovation Hub. Startup Daily reports the research centre will develop an interdisciplinary research team that will look to examine the economic, cultural, and social implications of applying blockchain technologies.

5. The CSIRO is working on using six-legged robots to send into unpredictable, unstable environments and help people escape from a disaster. “In an emergency, first responders often have to make a very tough call: can I enter the area safely or is it too dangerous?” says the CSIRO. Watch the robot they’ve built here.

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