10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Keep it simple. Keep it delicious.

Good morning.

1. First, to markets, where oil is leading everyone on a merry rally. It hit $44 a barrel overnight and the Dow broke 18,000 for the first time in nearly a year. The S&P 500 closed marginally higher yesterday, but still clung above 2100 and with the June SPI futures contract up 36 points overnight, the ASX 200 looks spritely. US dollar strength pushed the Aussie back below 78 cents.

2. So yes, cheap petrol! Woot! With oil at $40 a barrel for so long, it’s been one long party for revheads, shipping magnates and airline owners. And traditionally, low oil prices are great for the world economy. But not this time. For one, it’s leading to huge layoffs at giants like Shell. It has all but destroyed Venezuela. And spending power in other huge oil-dependent markets like Brazil is way down, so right now is a classic example of when low is too low.

3. We tried Neil Perry’s breakfast burgers and they were delicious. More importantly, they were cheap.

4. North Korea’s missile test last Friday failed badly. The medium-range Musudan blew up so soon after launch it damaged the launcher. So there was probably no need for the US and South Korea to remind Kim Jong Un not to mess with them by carrying out a training exercise just across the border, but they did anyway. Kim, this is how you do it:

There’s more here.

5. Meanwhile, in China, its aircraft carrier Liaoning is not the newest, most capable, or most technically advanced carrier in the world. Or even in East Asia, for that matter. But it’s still huge, and at the very least, something to fill the gap until it rolls out its own designs. And Sketchfab have just released this cool, whirly, 360-degree interactive of it if you care to have a look around.

6. All your Tinder problems might be linked to that profile picture where you’re just standing in front of a white wall trying to smile naturally. Or Blue Steel. If you want to know what kind of picture will get you all the swipes you need, here’s some advice from someone with all the data – Tinder CEO Sean Rad.

7. Rapper Ludacris laid down a 15-minute gig for the University of Georgia’s “G Day” spring football game. UG stumped up $US65,000 for the privilege, which is alarming enough, but Macon-com got hold of the rider. Are you ready? Remember, this is for a 15-minute appearance:

Image courtesy Macon.com

You might have noticed the condoms. For a 15-minute gig. The entire list is, well, ludicrous, and you can see it all here.

8. Who wants to live forever? Google’s chief futurist, that’s who. Ray Kurzweil reckons we’ll start on the road to immortality “around 2029”. That’s when he sees technology having evolved to the point where we’ll have stuff like nano-machines regulating our immune systems. It will change our brain, he says, telling Playboy:

“We’ll be funnier. We’ll be sexier.”

And because he’s 68 now, Kurzweil’s hanging in there until 2029 as best he can with this “immortal’s breakfast” and 100 pills a day.

9. You’re probably worried you don’t look silly enough squeezed into a lycra sock, face all like an angry beetroot with the effort of keeping in your boss’s peripheral vision while pretending you can’t match his pace on your bike that cost you four months’ wages. Never fear, because here’s the Twicycle!


Please crowdfund it, if only for the entertainment value.

10. Apps. The biggest summit of the year for developers is Apple’s WWDC, and it lands in San Francisco in June. They’ve popped out a little poem puzzle on a page for developers to enter a lottery for the chance to buy a pass:

Meanwhile, Microsoft looks like it’s quietly launched a Slack competitor.

BONUS ITEM: Every wondered what snake venom does to your blood? So did the BBC:

Have a great day.

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