It’s a short week, so let’s get cracking.
1. Apple just revealed iOS 9, the next big software update for your iPhone and iPad. This time around, it’s more about security and performance updates, starting with Siri, Apple’s voice-activated assistant, who now apparently only gets words wrong 5% of the time. Apple Pay got an update too, but there’s a couple of new tricks worth checking out. Here’s all the details and here’s a couple of highlights:
- Apple is taking on Evernote and Microsoft OneNote
- Apple is hailing this new feature which Windows has had for years
- Your iPhone will now tell you who every mystery caller is
2. It didn’t all go smoothly though. In fact, one major announcement went super awkwardly – Apple Music. The “Spotify killer” gives you unlimited streaming music for $US10 a month, but doesn’t seem to offer anything the current services don’t have. And it was one of the sloppiest presentations Dave Smith had seen at an Apple event. Rapper Drake went off script a couple of times and sounded like he had no idea how it worked. The interface looked extremely cluttered and not very intuitive. And Apple VP Eddie Cue felt the need to dance to one track.
Then he asked Siri (which now gets “95%” of stuff right, right?) to play him a song from the movie “Selma” but got “Selene” by Imagine Dragons.
To the markets:
3. The ASX looks like it’s going to open under pressure again today if the futures are any guide. Last week’s price action on the ASX200 index was weak with multiple levels giving way for a poor technical outlook. It’s already down 8% from the highs but where the bottom is on this run is as yet unclear given continued pressure on the major banks, which make up around 27% of the index. There’s more here.
4. The White House is denying Barack Obama told G7 attendees that the strong US dollar was a problem. But given the OECD just last week released a report saying the strong US dollar was a problem, it’s not unlikely. So the euro surged and the US dollar fell and that helped the Aussie dollar back above 77 cents this morning.
5. While you were raising a stubby to the Queen’s good health yesterday, the rest of the world was getting on with it. You might have missed Chinese trade figures for May and revised Q1 GDP data from Japan, but luckily David Scutt has all the details here. And here’s a heads-up on today’s big releases – the NAB Business Survey and ANZ job ads here in Australia, and CPI and PPI figures from China.
6. NASA launched the giant flying saucer it hopes will one day give humans a soft landing in their first attempt to colonise Mars. It seemed to go well, with lots of cheering and clapping. We have the video here if you’d like to watch it.
7. A couple of murderers escaped from New York prison on the weekend. One, Richard Matt, is, according to one detective, “the most vicious, evil person I’ve ever come across in 38 years as a police officer”. Matt, 48, was serving a sentence of 25 years to life for killing and dismembering his boss in 1997. Enough said, really, but while he was in court:
A sniper watched over the outside of the courthouse. Double the usual number of deputies were posted inside the courtroom. The defendant was required to wear an electric stun belt. And the glass that covered the wood counsel tables was removed, out of concern that Mr. Matt could break the glass and used the shards as weapons, according to the retired law enforcement official.
Do not approach.
8. “Top Gear” on Netflix? Obviously it won’t be called “Top Gear”, but rumours are strong that Messrs May, Clarkson and Hammond are headed to the streaming service to start anew. Just last week, May and Hammond reportedly turned down $9.2 million to return to the BBC, but wouldn’t without Clarkson.
9. Han shot first. It’s always been a bone of contention for Star Wars fans. Did Han Solo shoot Greedo without warning when they met in the Cantina Bar. It looked so bad for Solo, George Lucas made it clear Greedo shot first in the updated 1997 version. But now an original script has popped up to clear the air once and for all.
10. You’ve got to be something special to compete in the Red Bull Air Race, flying tiny planes at 426km between giant inflatable pylons just 10 metres apart. But Australian Matt Hall is not only doing it, he’s beating the world at it. Go Aussie.
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