5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

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Classic Perseid. Picture: Getty Images

1. Telstra is finally opening the wallet to fix its problems. CEO Andy Penn announced the telco’s results today, with annual profit jumping 35.9% to $5.8 billion, but more importantly, Telstra will spend an extra $1 billion a year for three years to “boost capacity in key networks to cater for increasing demand, building 4G network capabilities while laying foundations for the 5G network” says BI’s Chris Pash.

Penn acknowledged there were a “pain points” for customers they needed to fix, so the business is upping its capex to sales ratio to 18% – its highest since the 3G build in 2009.

But Telstra is cagey about where the $3 billion is being spent, saying it doesn’t want to alert its competitors. The details are here.

2. Why are we waiting? The census website is due back up today. Possibly maybe. Could any other business survive with its site down for more than 40 hours? And now the IT prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, flicked the switch to full bluster mode today declaring “heads will roll” (didn’t the last guy use that line too?), 24 hours after his everything’s-ok-we’re-in-control media address yesterday. Today the PM’s “very angry about this” and “bitterly disappointed” – and he actually got to lodge his census form before it all came crashing down…

Here’s the PM on the warpath today.

Still no peep from the ABS today, 14 hours after they last said they’re working on things. But for our favourite moment from yesterday in explaining the “confluence of events” that caused the crash, check out No. 2:

· A fourth denial of service attempt
· A large increase in traffic to the website with thousands of Australians logging on to complete their Census
· A hardware failure when a router became overloaded
· Occurrence of a false positive, which is essentially a false alarm in some of the system monitoring information.

If you’re into post-mortems, we covered the fallout from #censusfail as it unfolded yesterday here.

3. Apple’s told the ACCC why it won’t let the banks in. We have a copy of Apple’s submission to the competition watchdog after a bunch of Australia’s big banks lodged an application for permission to collectively negotiate with Apple over access to its contactless payment tech.

“Providing simple access to the NFC antenna by banking applications would fundamentally diminish the high level of security Apple aims to have on our devices,” the company said its submission.

Apple also say letting the banks team up would constitute a “cartel”, and would be illegal under competition law. The submission and story are here.

4. Mobile is the remote control of peoples’ lives. ANZ’s head of marketing, Carolyn Bendall, says she’s now heard this at Google, MIT and from Spanish Bank BBVA. She’s been over at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston, looking at how her job is changing and outlines what she learnt here at BlueNotes. Worth noting is her comment that “overwhelmingly, if you think things are moving fast now, the pace that we have today will be the slowest that we experience from here on!”

5. TradingPost is buying ServiceCentral A year after Telstra sold off TradingPost.com, the new owners have gone on another acquisition spree, announcing they plan to buy jobs & services booking website ServiceCentral.com.au. TradingPost CEO Geoff Holmes said his company was happy to be the winning bidder for ServiceCentral, which was founded in 2005.

“We see many opportunities to build on the ServiceCentral offering and provide even better results for consumers,” he said. “This acquisition is consistent with our growth strategy for TradingPost and the trades & services category in particular.”

BONUS ITEM: It’s shooting stars season. Don’t forget to look up from tomorrow night when the Perseid meteor shower rolls into town. Peter Farquhar has a great roundup of the meteors hitting the night sky – there’s one shower a month through to the end of the year – right here.

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