1. F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, kicked off Tuesday morning in the US, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg came out swinging. The biggest product news of the event was Facebook’s decision to offer its own online dating service. Other updates were announced in relation to the Oculus VR platform, its AR platform, and Messenger. Facebook also announced that it will add a “Clear History” feature that deletes all your browsing data from your account.
2. Apple’s stock was up over 4% in after-hours trading following a stellar Q2 earnings announcement on Tuesday. Apple’s profit and earnings per share were higher than Wall Street expectations. Earnings per share were up a whopping 30% from a year ago. Apple also announced a $100 billion share buyback program and raised its dividend by 16%.
3. The Australian dollar is getting smoked. The move was driven by another surge in the US dollar index which jumped to a four-month high, leaving it unchanged for the year. The AUD/USD fell below key support at .7500, leaving it at the lowest level since June 6, 2017.
The AUD/USD has now lost 8% since late January, including over 4% in just the past eight sessions.
4. Kim Jong Un has reportedly agreed to meet Donald Trump for a historic meeting in the Korean demilitarized zone. By meeting Kim in Korea, Trump has potentially headed off some potentially embarrassing logistical difficulties for the North Korean leader, who may not have access to a plane fit to cross the Pacific. They will reportedly meet in the same spot Kim met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday, when Kim made history by being the first North Korean leader to enter the South.
5. Australian home prices continue to slide. According to CoreLogic’s home value index, prices fell by 0.1% in April in average weighted terms, extending the streak of losses into a seventh consecutive month. Prices fell in Australia’s largest cities — Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane — masking flat to higher price growth in other parts of the country. And for the first time since November 2012, these prices fell on an annualised basis.
6. Leaders aren’t “walking the walk” on values, according to APRA’s report on the CBA. A staff survey as part of the APRA inquiry in the Commonwealth found a blind eye was sometimes turned to indiscretions by leaders, and there was a sense of “learned helplessness” among staff. That culture allowed for a lack of accountability. The Commonwealth Bank has been hit with an additional $1 billion capital requirement following the review.
7. A former BHP executive has been found dead in a river in Sydney. Cecilia Haddad’s body was found in Lane Cove River by kayakers. Her death is being treated as a possible murder. The 38-year-old was a Brazilian national was working as a logistics manager for a freight company. She previously worked in iron ore logistics for BHP Billiton in Western Australia.
8. ASIC is taking aim at dodgy ICOs. The corporate regulator has taken action to prevent illegal initial coin offerings in Australia. Along with its powers under the Corporations Act, ASIC can also make inquiries into ICOs under consumer laws. The ASIC commissioner said misleading or deceptive conduct will be a key area of focus.
9. An outrageous plan to drag icebergs 4,000km from Antarctica to Cape Town has been floated as a solution to its unprecedented drought. Cape Town is currently living through one of the worst droughts in its history – and marine salvage experts think the iceberg plan could help solve the crisis. Cape Town’s current plan is to push back so-called Day Zero by drastically cutting down its water use. A massive injection of fresh water, like an iceberg, could be a gamer-changer – although, let’s be honest, it’s pretty unlikely ever to happen.
10. A huge change just hit Fortnite. The much-anticipated meteor shower kicking off season four of the most popular game in the world has arrived. The meteor shower has reshaped the main island, altering some regions and (bizarrely) adding a few new ones. The site of the meteor crash now also has a new item that when consumed enables players to bounce around in low gravity. Here’s a quick look:
— Patricia Hernandez (@xpatriciah) May 1, 2018
BONUS ITEM: The Google Photos Assistant “Now & Then” feature is creepy as hell. After Business Insider’s Peter Farquhar took a photo of two of his sons, the Google’s AI bot powering the tool scanned eight months worth of photos to instantly identify an almost identical photo of his kids. Check it out:
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