10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Sorcery! Picture: FlyBoard/YouTube

Good morning. Let’s get this Friday started.

1. Markets, and it looks like the ASX can finish off a great week on top. Despite lower iron ore and gold, and flat energy markets, a 14-point rally in the SPI 200 June futures overnight should power the ASX 200 further beyond the 5100 point it broke yesterday. The Aussie dollar pushed all the way to .7736 overnight, the highest level seen since July 1 last year. But all eyes are on Chinese GDP, out midday AEST – here’s David Scutt’s cut-out-and-keep sheet for the release.

2. Beer that doesn’t bloat you. It’s hard to imagine anything more depressing than the doctor confirming your gluten intolerance means it’s a life sentence of gluten-free beer. It doesn’t have to be that way. Australian scientists have built a barley called “Kebari”, and brilliantly, it’s so good the German will use it to brew the first gluten-free beer good enough to pass the German Beer Purity Law. It’s called Pionier, and it’s only available in Germany. But the CSIRO is already working with local brewers…

3. The Newport Arms is open again. Arguably Sydney’s most beloved watering hole has been given the Justin Hemmes treatment, and our boss Paul Colgan took it on himself to give it a thorough going over so he could write about it for you, the reader. The best part is it hasn’t changed a whole lot, just got shinier, with better food. The worst part is, you need a map to get around in it:


And there are so many food options scattered all over the place… Here are all the pics and how not to get lost.

4. On Tuesday, two Russian warplanes flew simulated attack passes past the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea. That was aggressive, and in the movies, their pilots would have been eating a packet of Uncle Sam’s tasty lead sandwiches. Unfortunately, in real life, “You don’t get to kill people just because they’re being annoying,” says retired frigate and cruiser Commanding Officer Captain Rick Hoffman. Here’s why, and what might happen next.

5. We hope this isn’t one of those awful “trolls” we read so much about on the webs:

Because if not, that’s Franky Zapata actually flying for nearly 4 minutes at potentially fatal heights (3000m+) like Green Goblin from Spider-Man. And Flyboard is well on track to make the Martin Jetpack defunct before it even hits the market. If it even hits the market.

6. Sell your house for more. “The Property Brothers” are kind of a big deal in the US, hosting a TV show and writing books about buying and selling real estate. In their latest tome, they offer these couple of simple things to do before putting your house on the market which could make you an extra $20K or so. They call it eliminating the “Ick Factor”, because apparently, home buyers checking inside your fridge is a thing in the US. Too late for the Sydney owner of a Potts Point terrace that just sold for a record $13 million though.

7. The University of California paid $175K to scrub the internet of this picture:

UC Davis

That’s a UC Davis police officer casually pepper-spraying seated protesters in November 2011, and UC reckon it’s not a great look for them. Documents obtained by The Sacramento Bee show multiple PR firms were hired by UC Davis to deploy “an online branding campaign designed to clean up the negative attention”. They’ve never heard of the Streisand Effect, then.

8. Your next interview. Becca Brown worked at Goldman Sachs for almost six years. As chief of staff, she spent a lot of time interviewing job candidates – over 100, in fact. And here’s the single biggest mistake the not-so-great candidates made.

9. Movie news. James Cameron has announced four sequels to Avatar. But cheer up, because Alex Winter has all but confirmed a third “Bill & Ted” adventure will start production this year, with Keanu Reeves on board and hopefully, So Crates.

10. No Hitler please, we’re Microsoft. After its chatbot Tay turned into a genocidal racist, Microsoft is having another go at releasing an AI bot into the wild. Upload photos to CaptionBot, and it will tell you what it thinks is in them using natural language. Unless it’s a photo of Adolf Hitler, because that will see CaptionBot in denial that Hitler ever existed:

Captionbot ai hitler microsoft colour bot

Go on, try it. You get an interesting message for porn, too.


BONUS ITEM: Here’s that pic again UC wants everyone to forget:

UC Davis

Have a great weekend.