Detective stops press conference to tackle some guy running past

If you’re running away from something, make sure it’s not right by a pack of cameras, and the police.

An Australian detective who was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday jumped into action when a man, who allegedly made inappropriate comments to a teenage girl, was chased by her father.

As per a video posted by 9 News, the detective, senior sergeant Daren Edwards, swiftly sensed the commotion behind him, and tackled the man sprinting past, who was then accosted by police. The absolute drama.

In a later interview posted by 7 News, the girl’s father said it was a mere coincidence that he chased the alleged perp past the detective. 

Completing the press conference, Edwards said the tackled man was charged with public nuisance. The same man also happened to drop by the press conference, accusing police of being “corrupt, disgusting, and abusing innocent people like himself.”

“Well you can have your day in court,” Edwards responded. Australia, is a deeply weird place.

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It’s not the first time a police officer has had to leap into action mid-press conference, as in this case back in 2017 when a heckler was hauled into a station nearby.

Australia, hey.

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Atlassian’s co-CEO Scott Farquhar will join us at TC Sessions: Enterprise

Few companies have changed the way developers work as profoundly as Atlassian. Its tools like Jira and Confluence are ubiquitous, and over the course of the last few years, the company has started to adapt many of them for wider enterprise usage outside of developer teams.

To talk about Atlassian’s story from being a small shop in Australia to a successful IPO — and its plans for the future — the company’s co-founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar will join us at our inaugural TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise event on September 5 in San Francisco.

Farquhar co-founded Atlassian with Mike Cannon-Brookes, in 2001. It wasn’t until 2010, though, that the company raised its first major venture round ($60 million from Accel Partners). Even by that point, though, the company already had thousands of customers and a growing staff in Sydney and San Francisco.

Today, more than 150,000 companies use Atlassian’s tools. These range from the likes of Audi to Spotify, Twilio and Visa, with plenty of startups and small and medium businesses in between.

It’s no secret that Farquhar and Cannon-Brookes consider themselves accidental billionaires, so it’s maybe no surprise that in 2015, ahead of Atlassian’s successful IPO that valued it at well above $10 billion, he also signed on to the 1% Pledge movement.

Today, Farquhar also makes his own venture investments as part of Skip Capital, which he co-founded.

TC Sessions: Enterprise (September 5 at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center) will take on the big challenges and promise facing enterprise companies today. TechCrunch’s editors will bring to the stage founders and leaders from established and emerging companies to address rising questions, like the promised revolution from machine learning and AI, intelligent marketing automation and the inevitability of the cloud, as well as the outer reaches of technology, like quantum computing and blockchain.

Tickets are now available for purchase on our website at the early-bird rate of $395; student tickets are just $245.

We have a limited number of Startup Demo Packages available for $2,000, which includes four tickets to attend the event.

For each ticket purchased for TC Sessions: Enterprise, you will also be registered for a complimentary Expo Only pass to TechCrunch Disrupt SF on October 2-4.

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Revolut launches in Australia as a beta release

Fintech startup Revolut is expanding beyond Europe for the first time. The service is going live for some users in Australia starting today.

Revolut isn’t opening its doors to all customers at once. The company calls this a beta release and plans to gradually on-board new users every day. There are currently 20,000 people on the waitlist in Australia.

You also don’t get the full Revolut experience for now. Cryptocurrency exchange, metal cards and business accounts aren’t available just yet. But you can open an account, get a card, send and receive money — all the basic stuff.

A new country also means a new group of users with a different currency. Families living on different continents could switch to Revolut to send money back and forth between Australia and the U.K., or Australia and Europe.

Sending money from one Revolut account to another is instant and free. Users can then choose to keep money in a foreign currency or convert it to their local currency from the app.

For instance, converting GBP to AUD is free during weekdays and below £5,000 per month (9,150 AUD, 5,600 EUR, 6,340 USD…). It costs 0.5 percent for bigger amounts (unless you’re a Premium or Metal customer), and you need to add 0.5 percent on top of that if you exchange money on the weekend.

If I try to convert 2,000 GBP in the Revolut app right now, I’d get 3,660.50 AUD. A similar transaction on TransferWise would give me 3,647.27 AUD. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on the day of the week, the amount you’re converting, etc.

Revolut currently has a team in Melbourne but doesn’t exclude putting together teams in Sydney and Perth as well. Eventually, the company plans to hire 30 people in Australia.

The startup has previously announced plans to expand to other countries, such as the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Japan and New Zealand.

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Uber Air announces first international city to trial flying taxis

Uber Air is coming to Melbourne.
Uber Air is coming to Melbourne.
Image: uber

Uber has announced the first international city its flying taxis one day might be buzzing over. 

The Australian city of Melbourne will join Los Angeles and Dallas as the third official pilot city for Uber Air, the rideshare company’s ambitious project to transport people in short distances via the skies. 

Test flights are expected in 2020, with commercial operations aimed for as soon as 2023. Uber claims trips will be priced the same as an UberX ride over the same distance, but we’ll see about that. 

“Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology,” Uber Australia, New Zealand and North Asia general manager Susan Anderson said in a statement.

One of Uber Air's Skyports.

One of Uber Air’s Skyports.

Image: uber

“This, coupled with Melbourne’s unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the perfect third launch city for Uber Air. We will see other Australian cities following soon after.

“The State Government of Victoria, Australia has been highly supportive, and we look forward to partnering with them to progress into this first international trial for Uber Air in Melbourne.”

The pitch for Uber Air is to reduce road congestion. Eric Allison, global head of Uber Elevate, said a trip from Melbourne’s CBD to its airport would usually take between 25 minutes to an hour, but with Uber Air it’ll be reduced to 10 minutes. 

On that, it’s worth noting that a train line to Melbourne’s airport doesn’t exist. It’s currently under development, and is expected to start construction in 2022 — with completion due nine years later.

Last year, Uber revealed the international cities it was considering for launching the aviation project. Cities included Tokyo and Osaka in Japan; India with Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore; Australia in Melbourne or Sydney; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Paris, France.

The company said it would preference high density metro areas which had a population of more than 2 million people, allowing pooled rides to be viable. 

Other preferences include “polycentric” regions (urban areas made up of multiple cities), and cities that already integrate Uber well on the street. 

Sasha Lekach contributed reporting.

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Australia is spending $278,000 so that Instagrammers can pee near this boatshed

Crawley Edge Boat Shed, Perth's hottest Instagram-worthy photo op.
Crawley Edge Boat Shed, Perth’s hottest Instagram-worthy photo op.
Image: ZambeziShark / getty images 

Apparently, influencers have bladders, too. 

It’s 2019 and brightly-colored structures are (still) all the rage on Instagram. That’s why The Crawley Edge Boatshed is experiencing a major influx of iPhone-wielding, content hungry visitors. In fact, it’s the “most photographed tourist attraction in Perth, Australia,” according to CNN.

The blue shed is only accessible via a long wooden boardwalk. And before that, visitors must cross Perth’s busiest street, Mounts Bay Road. This makes for a potentially dangerous trek, and the payoff is a photo in front of a shed. Given the general population’s hearty appetite for #content, though, the risky commute is not the issue. 

No, the problem here is that once you’ve snapped your pictures, there’s nowhere to go. The nearest bathroom is a mile and a half away.  Unsurprisingly, the owner of a nearby fine dining restaurant, Zafferano’s, isn’t happy with random people walking in and trying to use the bathroom. He claims the people that come in can be disruptive and even verbally abusive, according to Perth city council records

You know what they say: no wrath like an influencer that needs to pee after taking pictures on a dock for an hour. 

Perth’s city council addressed the issue during their assembly on May 28. Their solution is a solar-powered bathroom facility near the shed. With an estimated cost of $278,000 (AUS $400,000), it’ll be a lavish lavatory. Yearly maintenance is projected to be $14,000 (AUS $20,000). So basically, all this Instagram shit is going to cost Western Australia a pretty penny.

“The construction of the proposed facility, with appropriate signage at strategic locations, will allow visitors to the area the respite they need, without exhausting the current business facility’s capacity,” reads the council’s agenda. 

According to Insider, construction will begin in early June with the bathrooms expected to be finished by September 2019. 

Instagrammers should take solace in the fact that once they get the perfect blue-hued shot, they can relieve themselves. Lest they lose their footing on the boardwalk and go plunging into the waters of Matilda Bay while trying to nail the perfect pose, that is. 

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Image: ZambeziShark / getty images

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