10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Nom nom nom. Picture: Aston Martin

Good morning. Let’s get busy.

1. To the markets, where everyone’s dealing with the impact of yesterday’s Chinese trade data. The trade surplus was up impressively, but the import collapse accelerated from -13.8% in August to -17.7% in September – not good. That and more falls in crude and metals left the ASX pointing lower again down 32 points this morning. Today’s data highlight locally is the release of the Westpac Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment survey for October. In China, it’s CPI and the US gets the Fed’s Beige Book.

2. The Aussie’s near-record run ended yesterday and it pulled back 1.22% from 7am yesterday to be more than a cent off this week’s high. The Kiwi and CAD are doing better, euro and yen have rallied, and sterling has outperformed given the fall in consumer prices back into deflation. Greg McKenna reckons that show traders and investors globally agree with Westpac’s Bill Evans and Rob Rennie that the Aussie dollar is going to move well under 70 cents.

3. The Dutch Safety Board confirmed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was hit by a Buk surface-to-air missile while flying over Ukraine. It says “no scenario other than a Buk surface-to-air missile can explain this combination of facts”. It also released this animation of the event:

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is not impressed that still no one has been fingered for the blame, and has promised Australia will keep fighting for justice with other governments in the Joint Investigation Team.

4. It’s time to talk about tablets. Mainly because they’re just starting to become properly useful. A few years ago, it looked like Microsoft got it all wrong by releasing the Surface – a tablet with a keyboard and a stylus, which at the time was a mix of underpowered laptop and underperforming tablet. Awful. But anyone who held off buying one until the Surface Pro 3 came out has been a big winner, because it’s an awesome piece of kit. Now it’s Apple and Google’s turn to follow Microsoft’s lead. Here’s Dave Smith on how and why that’s happening.

5. Australia now has a Minister for Startups. Well, a shadow minister – Labor’s Ed Husic began his new role yesterday by emphasising Labor’s recent proposals focusing on coding in schools, a gap year for students to create their own companies and co-investing in early stage companies. See? All we needed to get this tech ball rolling in Australia is a new game of one-upmanship for our pollies to play. Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy is even holding a (finger quotes) “hackathon” this weekend.

6. But it’s still not so great to be a woman in tech. Here’s a few one-liners Leah Weitz has copped at events while working for startup Cloudability:

  • “I’m married, you know.” [wink]
  • [To me and my female coworker] “Can I borrow you two for a second? I made my coworker a bet I could find two girls at this party.”
  • “What size t-shirt are you wearing?” [stares at my bust, smirking] “Can you turn around for me so I can see the back?”
  • [Discussing a widely-circulated piece of writing that I authored] “Who wrote that? Did you write that? [points at male coworker to my left] Oh. Did you, then? [points at male coworker to my right] Wait, so you wrote that?”
  • “They only let you work here ’cause you’re hot.

Sad, but true, and there’s plenty more awkward moves here in her excellent post. Fortunately, Leah says for every bad encounter, there are so many more good ones. And for the last time, she already has dinner plans.

7. Last words. They’re for fools who haven’t said enough, according to Karl Marx – on his deathbed. But last words can be amazing and here are 17 great ones which were a great way to go out on. Unless you’re famed mathemetician Archimedes, and then they’re just plain embarrassing.

8. Never wash your jeans. Chip Bergh says so, and he should know, because he runs Levi’s. Here’s why he loves dirty jeans and how he cleans them.

9. Team Batman or Team Iron Man? It should come as no surprise that current “Batman” writer and artist Scott Snyder reckons the Dark Knight could take down Tony Stark in a fight. But his reason why is… unorthodox. For the record, celeb scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson also reckons there’s one way Batman could take down Superman.

10. Ever wondered what it was like to ride in Aston Martin’s insane $3.8 million Vulcan supercar? Lianna Brinded never did, but she got to go for a spin in one anyway, and this is what happened.

BONUS ITEM: What’s your goal today? Just checking, because if it was performing the world’s first triple forward flip on a bike, you better get back to the drawing board:

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