Friday Grok: Relax, you’re in Australia’s best places to work

Unless you work for Twitter... Plus, a Microsoft phone

BRW released its ‘Best Places to Work’ edition yesterday, and once again tech companies dominate the list. In fact, nine of the top 10 companies where IT businesses, with only biotech Amgen upsetting the Apple cart. It was a similar story last year.

According to BRW, “In all, technology and biotech companies took out 20 places in the top 50 as some of the sector’s biggest names duked it out with small players for the right to call themselves Australia’s best place to work. Topping the list overall is Melbourne-based Microsoft consultancy OBS, which has been a regular member of the top 10 since 2009. OBS knocked of last year’s best place to work, Google Australia, to secure the No. 1 rank.”

Ironically, the business mag quoted a Computerworld survey which says that in the US, the best place for IT staff to work is outside the IT sector. “ Computerworld’s 100 Best places to work in IT features two financial services companies, a food manufacturer, a careers website and an online mortgage broker in the top five.”

Twitter crashes, again

Twitter crashed for an hour today, but how would you know? Oddly enough, the sun rose, the earth rotated on its axis and about an hour later normal services were resumed.

The site suffered its biggest outage in eight months, according to Mashable. For the geeks, Mashable actually sought clarification from Twitter about its fairly opaque explanation — the outage was caused by a “cascaded bug in one” of its “infrastructure components”. A Twitter rep later explained: “A cascaded bug is a bug that’s not confined to a particular software element, but one that ‘cascades’ into other parts of the system.” Clear as mud and at a 132 characters, still enough room for an adjective like "fracking". At least one hacker group has already claimed credit. No doubt there will be others.

And a final word from the audience itself, and thanks again to BRW for these gems.

* @BorowitzReport: “You learn a lot when #Twitter is down. For example, my wife left me four years ago.” * @b3witched_: “You realise how sad your life is when Twitter crashes for an hour and you have no idea what to do.” * @joanwalsh: “Whew, I really needed Twitter to tell me that everyone else was freaked out that Twitter was down.”

Now, a Microsoft phone

No sooner has the dust died down on the launch of the Microsoft’s Surface tablet than the speculation begins that the company is planning to manufacturer its own phones as well. According to a report in Business Insider, an analyst named Rick Sherlund from Nomura said, “Separately, our industry sources tell us that Microsoft may be working with a contract manufacturer to develop their own handset for Windows Phone 8. It is unclear to us whether this would be a reference platform or whether this may be a go-to market Microsoft branded handset.”

Andrew Birmingham is the CEO of Silicon Gully Investments. Follow him on Twitter @ag_birmingham.

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