Hello. We’re a little tired from the Budget last night, but we love a bit of tech news in the morning, so here it is.
1. Federal Budget
The 2022-23 October federal Budget delivers a handful of brilliant initiatives for parents and those looking to buy a home and gives funding to a new National Anti-Corruption Commission. It also commits $1.6 billion to support women’s safety. There’s also a handful of technology-related initiatives (not as many as we’d like), including $5.5 million to Australia’s Privacy Commissioner to probe the Optus data breach. On the climate front, there’s a little more, with Labor’s ‘Powering Australia’ plan taking centre stage.
— Jim Chalmers MP (@JEChalmers) October 25, 2022
2. Dating apps getting a little better
Hinge is planning to introduce a video profile verification feature to the platform, and the change is intended to combat the rise of sham and bot accounts on the app. These faux accounts often use fake photos to lure in marks and then attempt to scam actual users out of money, for instance via “pig butchering” schemes that convince victims to invest in phony crypto coins. Bumble, meanwhile, TechCrunch is reporting, is open sourcing its AI tool that detects unsolicited nudes. The tool is called “Private Detector”. Fabulous work, Bumble.
3. Apple to take a cut from internet .jpgs
Apple, one of the internet’s largest toll booths, wants to make damn sure it’s getting its cut of NFT purchases made on The App Store. The company adjusted its App Stores rules around cryptocurrency and NFT services listed on the platform this week, making clear users must purchase NFTs through Apple’s in-app payment system. The new rules clarify app makers can let users view, list, mint or transfer NFTs but prohibits them from unlocking additional features or functionality on the app. So it’s like a stupid tax, yeah?
4. WhatsApp, iMessage, FaceTime outages
At about 6 pm AEDT Tuesday, Meta-owned WhatsApp was down. The outage lasted for about two hours and left users of the app unable to send messages and make calls. But it wasn’t just WhatsApp. Problems were apparent off the Zuckerverse, too, with iMessage and FaceTime suffering from a bug that was causing “message not delivered” notifications for users and calls just not connecting when attempting to video call. Both Apple and Meta have since fixed their issues, but are yet to provide a diagnosis.
Everyone coming on Twitter to confirm iMessage is not working pic.twitter.com/QtHZGDFe2A
— Adam (@FGRAdam) October 25, 2022
5. Videogames are good (we knew this already)
It’s been widely reported this week that a study has proven that kids who played three hours or more of videogames a day performed better on tests of memory and impulse control than ones who didn’t play games. The research, according to Bloomberg, found that frequent gamers showed more activity and higher blood oxygen levels in frontal brain regions associated with more cognitively demanding tasks, and less brain activity in regions related to vision.
BONUS ITEM: Rats with backpacks to the rescue.
Have a great day.