10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Playboy googlePlayboyBrin and Page appeared in the September 2004 edition of the magazine.

Good morning.

1. First, the markets, which were so dull, we’ve had to resort to writing about stuff that happened 28 years ago. It was Black Monday, and now that we’ve looked at it, there’s actually a few things worth remembering in light of today’s ructions. But in real time, China’s “better than expected” GDP print of 6.9% kept everything a little red, a little green and a little in-between.

2. The ASX went nowhere and futures traders have left the December SPI200 futures contract unchanged. But we’ll be getting PM Turnbull’s official response to the Murray Financial Services Inquiry this morning before the market opens, so forget about that long lunch you had planned.

3. “Those dumpys won’t drive themselves,” is a line you won’t hear at Rio Tinto’s Pilbara sites. That’s because its dumpys – the massive, seven-metre high trucks giving otherwise unqualified workers a case for moving to WA to earn big mining bucks – now drive themselves. (Actually controlled by employees 1200km away in Perth.) Here’s Andrew Harding, the company’s iron ore chief executive, on why:

“Our autonomous fleet outperforms the manned fleet by an average of 12%, primarily by eliminating required breaks, absenteeism and shift changes.”

4. Puzzles! There’s a creepy one shifting through the webs which began when “Johny from GadgetZZ.com” allegedly received an anonymous CD in the mail from Poland. On it was a mysterious, Plague-referencing video and a weird noise which, when it was put into a spectrogram, revealed this image with the message “You are already dead”:

Home sleuths have also uncovered a bunch of other spooky references, including the GPS coordinates of the White House, but if you prefer something a little more old-timey, here’s an aerial view of the corn maze at Hank’s Pumpkintown in Water Mill, New York. It’s a real dilly of a pickle.

5. People loved the Nexus 5 back in 2013. It wasn’t pretty, but to coin a phrase, it just worked. And it came with a version of Android free of all the junkware big manufacturers like to load their phones up with. Today, you can get the Nexus 5X, made by LG, but it’s only available online. BI’s Ben Gilbert has had it for two days and he’s already convinced it’s one of the best phones ever made.

6. This is how to tell if someone is cheating on you. Sorry.

7. Haters can hate, hate, hate all they like, but Taylor Swift’s got better things to do than care, such as staying on track to make $US365 million this year. Let us do the math for you – that’s $US1 million a day. And twice as much as the top three earning hip-hop artists — Diddy, Jay Z, and Drake — made combined last year. Here’s how.

8. Need a holiday? Check out these digs in Sicily and imagine the serenity waiting for you:

Picture courtesy Oyster.

Now check out what it’s really like in the pan-out view, along with eight other reasons to never, ever trust the photos hotels put online.

9. People do read Playboy for the articles. Especially those people in 2004 who were wondering if this Google IPO thing was worth throwing some money at. They might have read this interview Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin gave to Playboy, which, according to Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt, put the IPO in jeopardy and resulted in them not talking to the press for the next 11 years.

10. Maybe you prefer something a bit meatier. If so, consider these 17 books Bill Gates thinks everyone should read. He gets through an average of one a week, and is happy to share his thoughts on them, so we culled this list from five years of his book criticism.

BONUS ITEM: OK, just one more unexplained mystery. Last week, people in China claimed they saw a city floating above the clouds. That’s because they saw a city floating above the clouds:

But it’s not a mystery at all – just a “fata morgana”, and here’s how it works, thanks to science.

Have a great day.

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