10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Actually pizza. Picture: A&E

1. Free data! Telstra is holding another free data day on April 3. That’s because its network went down last night for the second time in two months. CEO Andrew Penn said he’d take responsibility for it but blamed it on an engineer and offered another free data day. The outage peaked at 6.30pm and it wasn’t fully restored until midnight, but customers will get unlimited free data on April 3. Free data!

2. Boom. Sort of. As the US dollar weakens and Trump gets scarier and Europe wrestles with Brexits and Mario Draghi’s bazoohkas, Australia is the only sensible place in the world right now. The dollar is now roaring towards 78 cents, which isn’t great news at home apart from putting pressure on the RBA to drop rates, but the ASX looks like it will finally break up and through resistance today on the way to 5300. June SPI200 futures contract is off its highs but still up 0.5%, 24 points, and the miners did very well in London trade, and iron ore’s back on the way up.

3. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is trying to sell Boston Dynamics, the robotics company it bought for $500 million in late 2013. And maybe it’s because it’s now building robots which can walk better in snow than you can:

So, here’s the story. Google has a robotics division called Replicant, which was folded into its Google X hardware lab after Andy Rubin – the guy who invented Android – took off. Boston Dynamics was kept free. But apparently tensions about BD rose after the release last month of the full video of Atlas above (you can watch it here). Here’s Courtney Hohne, a spokeswoman for Google, who asked Google X workers to distance themselves from the video:

“There’s excitement from the tech press, but we’re also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans’ jobs”

So the most obvious conclusion is BD is getting thrown under a bus for being too good at its job – but no doubt there’s some world military power waiting to snap them up.

4. Crushed. Researchers from the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology got 16 women to run through 60 male profiles on the Hot or Not app. And in finding they were strongly biased by the face seen immediately before, they may have busted the “love at first sight” myth and replaced it with “love at second swipe”. Tinder fans, this one is important.

5. Aston Martin has announced it will build the world’s fastest car. Not by themselves, obviously, because they’re British and what’s the point of owning the world’s fastest car if you can’t get in it because the door won’t open properly and the pedals are a bit wobbly? That would be dangerous. But with Red Bull’s F1 technical excellence on board, they just might. And you already know it will look the part.

6. Celebs and their money are easily parted, maybe because celebs simply don’t have time to think about stuff. Like whether $200 worth of “Moon Dust” powders in a smoothie can replace your diet. That’s what Gwyneth Paltrow has, every day. Here’s the breakdown of what it actually is, why there’s virtually no evidence it’s actually any good for you, and how you can make it for $10.

7. Still, it’s better than Jailhouse Fish and Chips, right?

Some of the bravest journos in the world went undercover in an Indiana jail for two months to expose problems with the prison system for A&E’s documentary series “60 Days In”. Obviously, things are going to get worse than the food, but … just check out the food. Please.

8. Here’s a sad story about what happens when owners of private zoos in the US can’t keep looking after the estimated 10,000 lions and tigers they have locked away. It’s an absorbing and important read form the perspective of the officers who have to rescue the animals, but there are some very distressing pictures.

9. SurveyMonkey, the data company once guided by late CEO Dave Goldberg, is officially open for business in Australia. Yes, it already has 50,000 Australian businesses on its books, but now it has a real Asia-Pacific HQ in Sydney, and we got a tour of it. Here are all the pics.

10. Here’s why it’s a great time to buy marijuana. Wait. Did we say buy? Sorry, here’s why it’s a great time to invest in marijuana.

BONUS ITEM: You know it’s good when it can sort Cookie Monster’s life out. That guy’s a mess.


Have a great weekend.

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