Squiz Today / 09 November 2023

Squiz Today – Thursday, 9 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

17 / 27
14 / 22
16 / 27
11 / 29
15 / 24
14 / 22
26 / 32
10 / 23

Squiz Sayings

“I was in such an awkward position… but by accident, my teeth caught his eyelid.”

Said Top End cattle producer Colin Deveraux as he shared the story of how he survived a croc attack last month. He managed to escape the 3.2m salty after it latched onto his leg – but not before getting in a bite of his own…

An omnishambles for Optus

The Squiz

Yesterday wasn’t a great day to be an Optus customer – or their pet cat relying on a Wi-Fi feeder – with a national network outage affecting more than 10 million customers and 400,000 businesses. Analysts say it’s the biggest telco outage in our history. Services went down around 4am AEDT, and by early afternoon, CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said things were getting back online. “We know how much everybody relies on our connectivity. We’re very, very sorry for this outage,” she said. 

What on earth happened? 

The company says it’s still investigating what was behind the outage, but it was confident yesterday that it wasn’t a cyberattack – it said a “technical network fault” was more likely. And network engineers reckon it could have been an early morning software update. Long story short, they’re not really sure yet… Regardless, it caused big problems across the country – Melbourne’s train services, hospitals and banks were early victims. And triple-zero calls weren’t going through in SOS mode – so customers were given advice to find “a family member or neighbour with an alternative device”. Small businesses were also hit hard. Some implemented an “honesty policy” for customers to return and pay when payment systems are back online. 

So why was it so bad?

Optus’s lack of clear information was widely criticised… Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland jumped in to urge it to be “transparent and timely” with its updates. That forced Bayer Rosmarin to reiterate the company’s remorse, saying “when I have more information about the root cause, I will be the first to let all our customers know”. Already, plenty has been said about the company’s response, given it should be match-fit after last year’s mega data breach. Another unanswered question relates to customer compensation, including businesses that couldn’t transact yesterday… When she was asked, Bayer Rosmarin said the company would consider “every possibility” in the coming days – and reports say one option being considered is extra customer data. How the company handles it will be something Rowland and the industry Ombudsman keep an eye on…

Australian News Business & Finance Technology

Squiz the Rest

Tunnel warfare in Gaza

Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant says Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, has been isolated and surrounded in his bunker. Israeli troops have surrounded Gaza City, and Gallant says they’ll go tunnel to tunnel to flush out the terrorist group. Much of the diplomatic discussion has turned to what might happen after the initial phase of fighting is over. The White House has rejected Israel’s idea that it might reoccupy Gaza to prevent further Hamas attacks, while the G7 foreign ministers are discussing everything from sending a multinational force to setting up an interim Palestinian-led administration. Time is ticking – former Israeli PM Ehud Barak reckons his country has only weeks left to eliminate Hamas as public opinion around the world turns against the war.

World News

US voters back abortion rights

Voters in America’s Ohio have moved to enshrine abortion rights in their state constitution – a result that is seen as a bit of a litmus test ahead of the presidential election next year. Democrats have been campaigning hard on the issue ever since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade last year – and 57% of Ohioans have now locked in “an individual’s right to one’s own reproductive medical treatment” including abortion and miscarriage care. The result’s a big deal for President Joe Biden because the state was won by former leader/aspiring Republican candidate Donald Trump in 2020, and as we mentioned yesterday, opinion polls out this week showed he’s trailing Trump in several key states. Biden says, “Voters vote. Polls don’t. Now let’s go win next year”.

World News

Getting water wise

We’re fast heading into an expected hot/dry summer after an unusually dry October, and authorities are encouraging Aussies to get water-savvy. With drought already affecting Western Oz, NSW and Queensland, households are being urged to implement water-saving measures before water catchment levels drop. While parts of NSW, including all of Greater Sydney, are currently drought-affected, a new report by Sydney Water found many city-slickers believe there’s an “endless” water supply after years of rain. Most dam levels across the state are high, but experts warn they’re seeing red flags. Speaking of valuable liquids, extreme weather has pushed global wine production to its lowest level in more than 60 years, with Oz among the countries seeing the most significant drop. Even the beer industry can’t catch a break

Australian News Environment & Science

Preparing for all things bitey

Summer also means that more of us will be enjoying the great outdoors alongside many of our bitey/stingy fauna… So [drumroll…] you’ll be interested to know that it’s National Venomous Bites and Stings Day, and new research has found most Aussies are underprepared to deal with an encounter with critters like these creepy guys. Biotech/vaccine company CSL Seqirus says we’re not good at identifying the correct first aid steps for treating bites and stings. And 8% of parents said they felt very confident delivering first aid to their child if they had been bitten or stung – a 50% drop on 3 years ago. With more than 3,000 hospitalisations each year, experts say a little education will go a long way. Speaking of bitey things, South Korea now has a bed bug infestation after the blood-suckers made headlines in France. That’s too close to Oz for comfort…

Australian News Environment & Science Health

An exhaustive cook-up

Irish chef Alan Fisher has cooked his way into the Guinness World Records, clocking a whopping 119 hours and 57 minutes of non-stop kitchen time at his Irish-themed restaurant in Japan. Fisher’s culinary marathon saw him peel 300kg of potatoes, bake 357kg of soda bread, and whip up an impressive 3,360 meals. And if that sounds like a lot of hard work, you betcha it was… Fisher says he hallucinated and has a very sore back. The previous record holder, Nigerian chef Hilda Baci, has tipped her chef’s hat to Fisher on his achievement. She notched up 93 hours of continuous cooking earlier in the year and started a craze in her home country with people trying to cry and sing non-stop to make it into the record books…

Quirky News

Apropos of nothing

If smelling like your favourite cocktail is up your alley, you’re in luck… Absolut vodka and Kahlua have teamed up to create an espresso martini perfume. Warning: people might want to drink you… 

A series of “remarkable” items salvaged from the Titanic shipwreck are going under the hammer on Saturday. They include a first-class menu, a tartan blanket, deck chairs, and a pocket watch. Browse the catalogue here

In other auction news, a blue diamond said to be one of the rarest in the world has sold at a Christie’s auction for a smidge over $6.8 million. The 17.61-carat gem was described as the “largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue gem” ever sold at auction. What a compliment…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

ABS Data Release – Monthly Business Turnover Indicator, September; Public sector employment and earnings, 2022-23

Company Results – NAB; Xero

Company shareholder meeting – Nine Entertainment; Star Entertainment; Myer Holdings

Cambodia’s Independence Day

International Day of Radiology

World Adoption Day

World Quality Day

National Venomous Bites and Stings Day

A birthday for Delta Goodrem (1984)

Anniversary of:
• Napoleon Bonaparte becoming the dictator of France under the title of First Consul after staging a coup (1799)
• the opening of checkpoints allowing East Berliners to walk freely into West Berlin (1989)
• the birthday of actress/inventor Hedy Lamarr (1914)
• the deaths of British PM Neville Chamberlain (1940), French president Charles de Gaulle (1970) and author Stieg Larsson (2004)

Squiz the Day

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