10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Terry Pratchett© Luigi Novi / Wikimedia CommonsThere’s a new freckle on the nose of the giant pixie tonight.

1. There’s nothing like a takeover to warm your heart on a Friday morning. TPG telecom announced this morning that it’s buying out iiNet in a $1.4 billion transaction. That’s a premium of over 30% on yesterday’s closing share price. A spicy meatball.

2. The Aussie dollar is fighting back, sort of. After hitting a six-year low yesterday, it regained the 77 cent level to trade back up to a high of 0.7727. Chalk it up to a switch from Asian traders buying US dollars and selling euro to European buyers buying the Aussie and euro. And add in news the Fed may be more patient than expected after a big miss on retail sales, ending the US dollar’s rally.

3. It was a good try, but it’s generally accepted that Joe Hockey’s idea to let young Aussies use their super to buy a home actually stinks. Today, PricewaterhouseCoopers gave the AFR these $31 billion reasons why.

4. Shanghai stocks are not far now from the 3,402 high we saw back in January. Driving the excitement are the proposed changes to the rules which will allow banks to act as brokers and enduring expectations of further monetary stimulus. ANZ’s China economics team yesterday released a note saying that there will be another 100 bps of RRR cuts and a 25% rate reduction this year. That combined with the solid new loan data (Y1.02 trillion v Y750 billion expected) suggests the economy is getting traction from the PBOC’s cuts already in the system. In Tokyo, the close at 18,991 was a new 15-year high.

5. Feeling ugly today? Here’s 9 ways to make yourself appear more attractive, and they’re scientifically proven.

6. Vladimir Putin may be dead; Terry Pratchett definitely is. The beloved author of the Discworld novels had that all-too-rare combination of great humour, deep insight and lust for science and he will be very, very sorely missed after losing his battle with Alzheimer’s – what he termed “The Embuggerance”. Putin, maybe not so much.

7. PUP will eat itself is a line we’ll never get sick of here at 10 Things. Today it’s The Brick With Eyes, rugby league legend Glenn Lazarus, who “has a different view of teamwork” than Clive and will go his own way as an independent senator for Queensland. West Australian Dio Wang is now the sole Palmer United Party representative in the Senate.

8. While we’re on the self-help, if you’re going for a job interview today, nail it by asking your new boss this one question which all CEOs love.

9. Chameleon skin. If you were awesome, you would have owned one of those t-shirts that changed colour in the 80s. Now the University of California has invented a new material that, well, changes colour. But wait, wait – it changes according to force applied. Think of a paint that shows where a building is under stress, or skyscrapers that are simply huge display screens. “It’s extremely cool,” says research team member Connie J. Chang-Hasnain.

10. Want to climb Mt Everest? Now you can without leaving your loungeroom, where it’s less deadly. Google Street View has done the hard work for you, and the climb is now live and waiting. It’s all ropes and ladders and helicopters, oxygen tanks and sherpas now anyways, so what’s the difference? And you won’t be leaving all your Twix wrappers behind.

BONUS ITEM: Apple’s copping a beating over claiming its new MacBook is “the future of laptops”. But this video does it best, by a long, long way. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh again.

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