G'day team. Happy hump day.
1. Who killed George Calombaris' empire? If you ask the hospitality industry, the Fair Work Ombudsman did. Speaking to the AFR yesterday, Restaurant and Catering Association chief executive Wes Lambert says Fair Work's "name and shame" campaign against employers accused of underpayment is to blame. "You add the bushfires, the drought and the coronavirus virus," he said. "Then when you add on top of that a regulator naming and shaming businesses that are coming forward and reporting underpayments – this is what happens." Hmm.
2. If national prices continue on their current trajectory, 2020 will see the fastest market recovery in Australian history, according to property research group CoreLogic. The property downturn saw an 8.4% correction in values. In just seven months, this fall has largely been made up, with prices on track to fully recover in the next three months. CoreLogic puts it down to increased affordability and low interest rates.
3. We have indications that the meteoric growth of rideshare platforms like Uber and Ola could be slowing in Australia. These services only grew by 3% in New South Wales last year, according to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, compared to 12% the year prior. While noting it would take future results to be sure, the Tribunal suggested “the period of constant growth may be coming to an end”.
4. Samsung has announced a slew of new Galaxy S smartphones this morning. Here are all the differences between the Galaxy S20, the S20 Plus, and the S20 Ultra. Much like Apple's strategy of keeping profits healthy by continually nudging up the price of their phone range, all three will cost more than a grand at launch.
5. Interesting bit of media news. Following last week's news music streaming service Spotify had bought sports and pop culture publication The Ringer – a bold and interesting play – we have an idea of how much they paid. According to a Bloomberg report, Spotify forked out US$250 million – big payday for founder, sports journalist Bill Simmons.
6. China has launched a new app which warns users if they have come into contact with anyone with the coronavirus. I guess that's one of the fun benefits of a vast, centralised surveillance state. The “Close Contact Detector” app was rolled out by the National Health Commission on Saturday. Users put in their phone number, which is checked against government databases, and reveals if they have come within range of a patient.
7. New Hampshire is voting in the Democratic Party primaries over in the US this morning. Senator Bernie Sanders led most polls going in, and is generally tipped to win – but some are expecting a surprise. Former vice president Joe Biden is so certain he is going to be steamrolled that he has already left the state and moved onto the next contest in South Carolina.
8. Airbnb was unprofitable for the first nine months of 2019. In that period, the company lost $US322 million, compared to a $US200 million profit during the same period a year prior. Results like this could spell trouble for the company's vision to go public.
9. Boeing booked zero new orders in January – the first time it has come up empty-handed in January since 1962. The plane maker's once best-selling jet – the 737 MAX – remains grounded following two fatal crashes.
10. Google's decision to remove third-party cookies from Chrome over the next two years has marketers in a panic. At the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Springs, California, this week, talk of the Chrome move darkened the mood among publishers, marketers, and adtech companies. "Everything we do as an industry was built around cookies, since that has been the only open standard built into browsers. We need to now rebuild around new, more privacy-forward, open standards," said Jordan Mitchell, head of identity, data and privacy at the IAB Tech Lab.
Google Maps turns 15 this month. You may be surprised to learn it has its roots right here in Australia. Here are 5 tech innovations which started right here.