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Telco giant launches new Sidekick service so you’ll never feel alone or unsafe again

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A major telecommunications giant is doing its part to ensure the safety of customers

Australia’s second biggest telco, Optus has launched a new feature called Sidekick which help customers to feel safer and reassured when they are making their way home, out on a walk by themselves or just at home on their own.

The new Optus feature will allow Optus customers to choose up to three close and most trusted contacts to check in on them whether they’re home alone, walking alone or making their way home on their own.

How it works:

You select your three contacts, you set a timer to cover the amount of time for your walk, your commute home or anything else you want – and if you don’t stop this timer before it runs out your contacts will receive a notification.

Users can cancel the timer at any time when they’re feeling comfortable or when you get a reminder to stop it.

“Optus Sidekick was initiated as a passion project by our team who, from experience, research and news stories, realised that a certain sense of apprehension when out and about alone wasn’t uncommon and we wanted to give our customers just a little more peace of mind,”

says Katie Brodie, Optus Director, Digital AI.

“Many of us can identify with that feeling of wanting someone to check in with us in a little while to make sure we are okay, even if we can’t exactly pinpoint why we feel that way.

“It may feel awkward to ask someone for that extra assurance.

“Optus Sidekick can help you prearrange a time when Optus will let the people you care about know you want them to check in on you, and only gets in touch if that time arises.

“We have also discovered that it’s not just women who may want to use Optus Sidekick, but also kids walking home from school, people out for a late-night walk, and even an elderly neighbour who walks to the store alone.”

Customers can set up the Optus Sidekick with a simple tap in their My Optus App.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Business

Apple on its own as U.S. stocks make comeback

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U.S. markets have rallied after a disappointing week for investors. But what is Apple doing?

The Dow Jones is up around 548 points, marking a big comeback from its recent 2022 lows.

Overall, it was a broad-based rally, with Apple as an outlier.

The tech giant’s stocks were down about 1.3 per cent after reports the company is ditching plans to increase new iPhone production, as demand falls short of expectations.

The broad-based rally follows the Bank of England announcing it would buy bonds, to stabilise financial markets, a huge reversal in policy implemented by most institutions this year to tackle soaring inflation.

The move caused the pound to become more stable, after it had tumbled to a record low against the U-S dollar earlier in the week.

U-S yields retreated from their highest level in more than a decade – easing concerns that rates were growing too quickly and could damage the economy.

But what does this all mean for the future? It’s hard to say, but this move by the Bank of England could signal a change in policy for central banks around the world.

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We know how the crypto market will recover, but when?

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$2.2 Trillion Institutional Crypto Price Prediction Reveals Bitcoin And Ethereum Could Be Poised For Recovery

The crypto market took a huge hit after the Federal Reserve’s announcement of quantitative easing, but one analyst is predicting that both bitcoin and ethereum could stage a recovery in the near future.

According to a report from investment firm JP Morgan, the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization could see prices rise to $14,000 and $3,900 per coin, respectively.

This would represent a significant rebound from their current levels of around $10,000 and $200.

The report cites the recent influx of institutional investors into the crypto space as a key driver of this price growth.

With more and more big money players getting involved in crypto, JP Morgan predicts that the market could soon see a “new paradigm” of price discovery.

So far, crypto has been largely driven by retail investors, who are often more prone to emotional buying and selling.

With institutional investors coming in, there could be more stability in the market and less volatility.

JP Morgan’s report is just one of many bullish crypto predictions that have come out in recent months.

With more and more mainstream companies and financial institutions taking crypto seriously, it seems that the once-niche market is finally coming into the mainstream.

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Business

Virgin Atlantic ditches gender uniforms

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Virgin is now the most inclusive airline in the skies, thanks to its new gender-neutral uniform policy.

Pilots, cabin crew and ground staff are now free to wear whatever they feel expresses their individuality, whether that be traditional men’s or women’s clothing, or something more unique.

Previously women had to wear a red uniform and men wore burgundy and the airlines says that the change makes it “the most inclusive airline in the skies”.

The move away from gendered uniforms has been applauded by staff, and sets Virgin Atlantic apart as an airline that is championing inclusivity.

Jaime Forsstroem, a member of Virgin cabin crew, said: “The updated gender identity policy is so important to me. As a non-binary person, it allows me to be myself at work and have the choice in what uniform I wear.”

The airline is amending its “trans inclusion policies” which include time off work for medical treatments related to gender transition,.

It is also introducing an option to include pronouns on workers’ name badges.

 

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