10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Close your eyes, kids. It’s the NRL. Picture: Getty Images

1. The Fed is back. In their first meeting since they raised rates in the US, Janet Yellen and Co still managed to keep everyone on edge, this time by voicing their fears about the global economy. Here’s the key sentence:

The Committee is closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and is assessing their implications for the labour market and inflation, and for the balance of risks to the outlook.

Cue jitters and everything down. The Dow – down 1.4%, more than 200 points. S&P 500 – down 1.2%. Futures on the ASX – down 28 points from positive territory pre-Fed to 4,887 now. US dollar down, Aussie down and the Kiwi down. (But that’s after the RBNZ left rates on hold this morning.)

Happy trading.

2. Facebook – up. The stock is up more than 7% and climbing on a beat on both the top and bottom line, as well as solid user growth. Which means Mark Zuckerberg is officially having a great first week back after two months of paternity. Here’s all the helpful advice and support his Facebook followers have given him so far.

3. Let’s talk about you getting rich. You probably won’t if you’re working for a hedge fund, according to this new pay report from SumZero. You probably will if you pull together one or more of these 9 essential tech skills. And it won’t hurt to think like Steve Jobs, who once gave away this secret about the world that all billionaires know.

4. But the quickest way to make $14 or so million is to become famous, have legions of fans hanging off your every word, buy into a product, then tweet something positive about that product. Like Oprah Winfrey just did:

5. But will it make you happy? 69-year-old monk Matthieu Ricard doesn’t look like he’s desperate for one of 24 $US3.4 million Aston Martin Vulcans. But he does own Google’s top ranking for “world’s happiest man” and he told Davos last week that he earns it by spending 15 minutes a day thinking happy thoughts. And a scientist at Stanford has a new book out called “The Happiness Track”, which has this great strategy for dealing with disappointment.

6. Your awesome GoPro video is invalid:


Actually, that’s just a teaser. You don’t actually get to see a round’s journey out of a Ukrainian tank cannon. But you do get to see some incredible action, including the most badass selfie stick in creation.

7. So, Zika. By now you’ve probably heard that 2016 already has its first global virus alert, but in Brazil cases of babies born with undersized heads – microcephaly – have grown from 146 in 2014 to 4000 by last April:

Ludmilla Hadassa Dias de Vasconcelos was born two months ago with microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil. Picture: Getty Images

It’s because of a mosquito called Aedes aegypti, the same one which carries dengue fever around Far North Queensland. And yes, there have been cases of Zika virus already reported in Australia. The reason it’s in the news now is that, despite the virus being recognised for some 70 years, the link with microcephaly is only just becoming clearer. Here’s the latest in our coverage:

But here’s the biggest potential problem – Zika is rampant in Brazil, and how many people are going to get pregnant in the country hosting the 2016 Olympics this year?

8. AI. In the same week that pioneer Marvin Minsky died, a Google AI program has beaten a human champion 5-0 at ‘the most complex game ever devised’. The game is Go, and futurists and the like expected AI to not master it for at least another 10 years. So, be afraid. And Facebook is taking it seriously too, and clearly reading the embargoed press releases. It released news yesterday to ensure everyone knew its AI was “getting close” to beating human Go players.

9. OK, so there’s the one about the dog and the NRL player, but that happens all the time, right? So this is the best headline today:

Here’s what he means, and it actually makes sense.

10. Oh, allright.

Have a great day.

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