Friday Five: Australia passes news law for tech giants

1. Australia passes Google/Facebook news law

Facebook and Google are almost out of Australia’s bad books — as long as they pay for their news. In what has been deemed a significant milestone, the Australian government has passed its controversial new law that requires the tech giants to negotiate with news outlets to pay for their content or face arbitration.

2. Bitcoin tie-in bites Elon Musk in the wallet

Poor old Elon Musk has lost his title as the world’s richest person. The shattering news comes after Tesla shares dropped more than 20% since hitting a high of $880 in January. The steep fall in the past week has been tied to Tesla’s mighty $1.5bn investment in Bitcoin, which initially shot up in value itself before dropping back.

3. Microsoft bringing AI text predictor to Word

Microsoft is bringing its AI-powered text prediction powers to Word next month. The feature, which uses machine learning to make writing suggestions in a similar vein to the ‘Smart Compose’ option in Gmail, was first rolled out last year to 50% of Windows Beta Channels such as Outlook.

4. Now you can let Netflix do all the heavy lifting

If Microsoft predicting your words wasn’t enough, Netflix is also predicting your new favourite TV shows and films. And the streaming giant is so confident you’ll like its suggestions, it’s even offering to download them automatically to your mobile device (currently Android only, but soon to be tested on iOS).

5. Spot the robo-dog set for paintball rampage

Boston Dynamics’ famous robo-dog, Spot, was originally funded by the military, but the company has been keen to distance itself from that image, showing Spot doing benign tasks such as gardening and cleaning. So it’s understandable that Boston are unhappy about plans to use Spot on a paintballing rampage in a mock art gallery.

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