Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

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Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today
Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Happy Friday. This week has been heavy on the iPhone content, with the new 14 range going on sale today (if you’re after a good deal, we’ve got some), bringing with it a tonne of new things to do in iOS 16 and a throwback to the ’90s with an Apple website blunder. But there’s more happening outside of the Time Cook empire.

1. YouTube will now sell you ads vertically

It’s well established that, if a major tech company sees another platform succeeding based on a (relatively) original idea, it’s going to want to shamelessly copy that idea. And it’s probably also going to want some upgraded ad-tech to go with it. That’s what YouTube is doing. Google is bringing vertical ads to your phone, using AI to translate the horizontal to a more TikTok/Instagram Reels-like experience. Ugh. Fab.

2. TikTok’s newest feature is a brazen copy of BeReal

While YouTube is trying to be TikTok, TikTok is trying to be BeReal. The company is experimenting with a new feature called TikTok Now that, just like the once-a-day photo app BeReal, will prompt users to capture what they’re doing at a moment using both front and rear cameras. The key takeaway? Originality is a dead language, at least in the world of social media apps.

3. Zoom outage gives quick solace

Zoom went down for around an hour super early this morning, giving everyone working from home on the other side of the world a bonus brief period of time without back-to-back meetings. As reported by The Verge, users saw plenty of “an error occurred” messages, and most weren’t able to launch meetings. Zoom’s main website, zoom.us, even displayed a 502 gateway error for the majority of the outage.

4. Ethereum just completed ‘The Merge’

The Ethereum network, which powers the second largest cryptocurrency in the world, completed a long-planned upgrade known as “The Merge”, moving from a proof-of-work system to a proof-of-stake system. And nothing catastrophic has happened yet, despite plenty of dark predictions by an army of short-sellers. Read our explainer on The Merge over here.

5. myGov audit is go

Prior to the election, Labor said if it were successful, myGov would undergo an audit. The user audit, Albanese said previously, would take a “fresh look at how well myGov is performing when it comes to reliability and functionality for a user-friendly experience”. Well, that audit is actually going ahead. The man who led the last major review of the Australian Public Service will also chair the myGov audit: none other than former Telstra CEO David Thodey.

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