Business IT

 

How one woman disrupted Silicon Valley

Ellen Pao (R) and attorney Alan Axelrod walk to their courtroom before the start of her trial at San Francisco Superior Court in San Francisco, California, February 23, 2015. Pao, a former partner at prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is seeking $16 million for discrimination and retaliation in a lawsuit against the firm, a Kleiner attorney said earlier this month. Kleiner has denied the accusations of discrimination and retaliation, along with accusations that it did not take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS CRIME LAW SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

FARHAD MANJOO 3:56 PM   Ellen Pao's gender bias case has accomplished something improbable.

Social

Facebook wants Messenger to become a hub for commerce

Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the company's F8 developer conference in San Francisco.

Vindu Goel   Social network opens chat app up to developers, allowing for applications like ordering food or tracking packages through chats with businesses, or more customisable games and emoji.

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Streaming

Apple, Beats move forward with streaming service to rival Spotify

Moving to the Beats: Ian Rogers, the chief executive of Beats Music (left), Luke Wood, chief executive of Beats by Dre, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, record producer Jimmy Iovine, and Dr. Dre.

Ben Sisario, Brian X. Chen   Apple is pressing ahead with a sweeping overhaul of its digital music services that would allow the company to compete directly with streaming upstarts like Spotify.

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Software

Microsoft partners with Android tablet-makers in mobile Office push

Samsung will be one of 11 partner companies to pre-install Microsoft Office on their Android devices.

Nick Wingfield   Microsoft is serious about making its most lucrative business, Office, relevant for mobile users. What is less clear is how much money it will be able to make from them.

Wearables are the next smartphones, says Telstra

Telstra chief technology officer Vish Nandlall.

Hannah Francis   Telstra is preparing for the "Internet of Things", and 5G will play a crucial role.

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Start-up

Melbourne clusters around start-ups

Cluster

Lia Timson   Lord mayor Robert Doyle says the Victorian capital has the economic pillars needed to sustain business growth.

Start-up

Stylerunner twins Julie and Sali Stevanja teach lesson in upmarket online success

Stylerunner twins Julie and Sali Stevanja, 34, shy away from discounting.

Sylvia Pennington   While scores of e-tailers target the bargain dollar, these twins have hit a sweat spot with their online start-up that does the opposite.

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CeBIT

Angela Merkel urges closer ties with rising tech giant China

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, China's Vice Premier Ma Kai (L) and Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma at the official opening of the CeBIT Hanover 2015.

Frank ZELLER   German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged closer high-tech cooperation with China as she opened a major IT business fair where the Asian giant is the official partner country.

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Start-ups

'Dead unicorns': investor warns Silicon Valley bubble burst draws near

Burn out: a tired South by Southwest attendee recharges.

Mik Isaac   Bill Gurley, who has made a career of picking the winners and losers in the future of technology, says we'll soon see the negative effects of tech start-ups' high burn rates.

'We're world champions, we want to be better,' says Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton wins the 2015 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne.

Lia Timson   Already World Champions, Sunday's winners Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg want to use biometrics to improve further.

Virtual currency

IBM looks at adopting bitcoin technology for major currencies

Regulated currencies like the US dollar could soon join Bitcoin in the virtual space.

Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss   The objective is reportedly to allow people to transfer cash or make payments instantaneously without a bank or clearing party involved, saving on transaction costs.

Email

Slack is a transparent office chat app that may finally sink work email

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive of Slack. The start-up is changing the way workers communicate, with a group chat app that eschews privacy and automatically archives almost everything.

Farhad Manjoo   If email is to be replaced, it will be by new tools that allow people to collaborate in big groups and promote information transparency across the company.

m-payments

Commonwealth Bank does away with smartphone tap-and-go pay sticker for Android

iPhone users will still need the Commonwealth PayTag sticker for now.

Beverley Head   Commbank's latest app opens up tap-and-go payments for any Android phone using 4.4 and above

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Start-up

Andrew Dent presents Zeetings to help keep audiences awake

Andrew Dent

Beverley Head   Andrew Dent returned to Australia five years ago – but he still bears the hallmarks of years spent in the start-up scenes of Seattle and Silicon Valley.

Sports Tech

Competitive sport still afraid of technology

Rafael Nadal in action with his Babolat racquet.

Matthew Hall   With so much technology around, you’d think more would be making its way onto sports grounds and playing fields.

Leadership

The best path to CEO? Myer's Richard Umbers found it

Bernie Brookes (left) has stepped down as Myer chief executive and has been replaced by Richard Umbers.

Sylvia Pennington   Myer's CIO was recently elevated to the top job, but he's in a very small minority.

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Components

Google challenge to iPhone opens modular door for Toshiba

Toshiba

Pavel Alpeyev and Takashi Amano   Google's key ally in its challenge to the smartphone status quo is a company that Apple's iPhone drove out of the market.

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Acquistions

HP to buy Aruba Networks

IS HP on a new buying spree?

Jeremy C. Owens   Technology company buys second largest Wi-Fi equipment manufacturer for $US2.7 billion.

Mobile

Google confirms plans for mobile internet service in US

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google, speaks during a keynote session at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Brian X. Chen   It’s official: Google wants to offer a wireless service, but not like just any other phone carrier.

Investors keeping an eye on cornea-based biometric banking

The future may be bright for Stephen Mason's biometric tech.

Beverley Head   Sydney optometrist Stephen Mason should know soon if his cornea-based biometric technology can be successfully commercialised.

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