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News & Analysis

5 things you should know about tech today

- June 1, 2020 3 MIN READ

Welcome to winter and Monday.

It’s a massive day!

 

1. The Startup Daily Show launches

Forgive us for blowing our own trumpet for a second, but we were pretty excited to launch the Start Daily Show on Ausbiz TV.

We’re talking startups, tech and innovation for 60 minutes daily show on the business streaming service ausbiz.com.au.

Every weekday, we have around six guests on the show, via Skype or in the Ausbiz studios at Sydney’s Barangaroo, where Startup Daily is also based.

Tune in via the Ausbiz website. You can watch on 7Plus or download the Ausbiz app. We’ll also be posting some of the interviews on the website, so keep an eye out.

See you on the show soon. If you want to get in touch, you can email startups[at]ausbiz.com.au

 

2. To infinity and beyond

Elon Musk’s SpaceX company made history on Sunday morning with a 19-hour trip to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurle aboard the spaceship Dragon Endeavour.

It was the first time a commercially built spacecraft delivered astronauts to the orbiting laboratory and marked a return to launching NASA astronauts from US soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. And while the astronauts could have steered the ship, it docked remotely in a triumph for what’s known as NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 to validate the SpaceX plan as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Future Crew Dragon flights will be able to launch as many as four crew members and carry more than 100kg of cargo, which NASA says will
lead to an expansion of inhabitants at the space station, increase the time dedicated to research i, and returning more science back to Earth.

3. Trumped up

Not since Ali and Foreman met for 1974’s Rumble in the Jungle have we seen a heavyweight fight like Twitter v Trump, with free speech as America’s most interested bystander.

To recap, Twitter put fact-checking links on Trump tweets about mail-in ballot voter fraud – a claim the President makes repeatedly about California’s push to have a mail votes – pointing out the likelihood is extremely rare. POTUS went beserk, and within 72 hours, signed an executive order that tries to dictate how social media deals with free speech.

First thing to note is the First Amendment does’s apply to private companies such as Twitter or Facebook – they have a internet law known as Section 230, which at its most basic, stops them getting sued for defamation over what users say on the channel the way a normal media publisher would be held liable.

The executive order reduces that protection if the platform intervenes to edit or remove content, even based on its own T&Cs on playing nicely, and also threatens revenue on the basis the federal agencies would cut their spending on platforms that supposedly violate the “principles” of free speech. It also lets people complain directly to the White House about supposed bias, and they’ll be sent directly to the US Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission.

How this plays out is anyone’s guess – most expect through the courts, although The Guardian’s technology editor Alex Hern argues it could backfire on Trump.

“By barring social media companies from using the nuanced forms of moderation they currently employ, the executive order could force them to resort to heavy-handed actions: deleting posts, or blocking users, rather than simply factchecking or reducing the reach of the worst material,” Hern wrote.

Meanwhile, Twitter pulled down the shades on this Trump tweet because violated the company’s rules of glorifying violence.

 

 

4. Cybersec & blockchain ed goes online

RMIT Online is launching two postgradtech programs in partnership with IBM, Palo Alto Networks and Stone & Chalk. The Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security and Graduate Certificate in Blockchain-Enabled Business kick off in October 2020.

The Blockchain-Enabled Business program will explore the fundamentals of blockchain and its impact on the economy and societal institutions within the context of the Australian business sector. The cyber security program offer a comprehensive understanding of cyber security risks and issues, as well as the technical skills to transition into a career within cyber security.

Both postgraduate programs will run for 9 months, and will be fully credentialed by RMIT University. Details at online.rmit.edu.au

 

5. CBA’s VC fund is looking for startups

X15 Ventures, the Commonwealth Bank’s investment vehicle is holding a virtual pitch event for startups focused on improving the financial wellbeing of small businesses, with the winning pitches receiving up to $150,000 in funding.

The Xccelerate 2020 program will see 15 shortlisted entrepreneurs and startup teams develop, refine and then pitch their businesses to X15’s Innovation Investment Committee during a virtual pitch event on July 23.

X15 Ventures has the goal of bringing more than 25 great ideas to life by 2024.

Applications are open until Sunday, 7 June, with the 15 shortlisted entrants to be notified by 15 June. More on Xccelerate 2020 is available here. 

 

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