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Submission + - Scribbles reveal Leonardo da Vinci ahead of his time, again

schwit1 writes: A historian doing a detailed study of Leonardo da Vinci’s research on the nature of friction has discovered his first notes on the subject, where da Vinci outlined the laws of friction two hundred years before they were finally documented by a French scientist.

“The sketches and text show Leonardo understood the fundamentals of friction in 1493,” says Hutchings. “He knew that the force of friction acting between two sliding surfaces is proportional to the load pressing the surfaces together and that friction is independent of the apparent area of contact between the two surfaces. These are the ‘laws of friction’ that we nowadays usually credit to a French scientist, Guillaume Amontons, working 200 years later.”

It is an unfortunately thing that da Vinci lived and worked in Italy. Though this was where the Renaissance blossomed, it is also the place where some scientists at the time were persecuted for being too honest about their research. To protect himself da Vinci confined his scientific genius to his private diaries, written in a backwards script he created so that no one could easily understand them. Thus, while his brilliance as a painter was recognized in his lifetime and after, the discoveries he had made about engineering and science were lost for literally centuries.

Submission + - China Bans Internet News Reporting as Media Crackdown Widens (bloomberg.com)

schwit1 writes: Internet portals must shut all original reporting operations

Web services can now carry only state-approved media news

China’s top internet regulator ordered major online companies including Sina Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. to stop original news reporting, the latest effort by the government to tighten its grip over the country’s web and information industries.

The Cyberspace Administration of Chinaimposed the ban on several major news portals, including Sohu.com Inc. and NetEase Inc., Chinese media reported in identically worded articles citing an unidentified official from the agency’s Beijing office. The companies have “seriously violated” internet regulations by carrying plenty of news content obtained through original reporting, causing “huge negative effects,” according to a report that appeared in The Paper on Sunday.

The agency instructed the operators of mobile and online news services to dismantle “current-affairs news” operations on Friday, after earlier calling a halt to such activity at Tencent, according to people familiar with the situation. Like its peers, Asia’s largest internet company had developed a news operation and grown its team. Henceforth, they and other services can only carry reports provided by government-controlled print or online media, the people said, asking not to be identified because the issue is politically sensitive.

The sweeping ban gives authorities near-absolute control over online news and political discourse, in keeping with a broader crackdown on information increasingly distributed over the web and mobile devices. President Xi Jinping has stressed that Chinese media must serve the interests of the ruling Communist Party.

Submission + - The Common Core Costs Billions and Hurts Students (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: Six years after the release of our first national standards, the Common Core, and the new federal tests that accompanied them, it seems clear that the pursuit of a national curriculum is yet another excuse to avoid making serious efforts to reduce the main causes of low student achievement: poverty and racial segregation.

The people who wrote the Common Core standards sold them as a way to improve achievement and reduce the gaps between rich and poor, and black and white. But the promises haven’t come true. Even in states with strong common standards and tests, racial achievement gaps persist. Last year, average math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress declined for the first time since 1990; reading scores were flat or decreased compared with a decade earlier.

Submission + - Iran destroys 100,000 satellite dishes in crackdown (yahoo.com)

schwit1 writes: Iran destroyed 100,000 satellite dishes and receivers on Sunday as part of a widespread crackdown against the illegal devices that authorities say are morally damaging, a news website reported.

"The truth is that most satellite channels... deviate the society's morality and culture," he said at the event according to Basij News.

Under Iranian law, satellite equipment is banned and those who distribute, use, or repair them can be fined up to $2,800 (2,500 euros). Iranian police regularly raid neighbourhoods and confiscate dishes from rooftops.

Submission + - MH370 Pilot Flew a Suicide Route on His Home Simulator Closely Matching Final Fl (nymag.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was likely steered into the sea intentionally, by its own captain, in a pre-planned mass murder-suicide, a new report reveals.

In an exclusive story posted online Friday, New York magazine says that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, “conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances.”

Submission + - Physicists Combine Gold with Titanium And Quadruple Its Strength (futurism.com)

schwit1 writes: When it comes to bone replacements, the go-to material is still titanium. Hard, wear-resistant, and compatible to the body, titanium looks like the best alternative to actual bone, maybe even better. Who knew that you could improve the ‘gold standard’ by just adding actual gold?

Rice University physicists have discovered that an alloy of titanium and gold is three to four times harder than steel, and may actually be better as a material for replacement body parts. The study, published in Science Advances , described the properties of an alloy of the two metals, a 3-to-1 mixture of titanium and gold, called Titanium-3. They found the alloy to be four times harder than titanium.

When they checked the biocompatibility and wear rate of the alloy, the researchers knew that it would rank high, since its parent metals are already biocompatible and used in medical implants. Surprisingly, Titanium-3 performed well over their expectations, actually being more biocompatible and wear resistant than pure titanium.

Gold-pressed latinum?

Submission + - Inside the VP hunt: How Clinton picked Kaine (politico.com)

schwit1 writes: How tough was the vetting? Finalists had to turn over every password for every social media account for every member of their families.

They had to list every piece of property they’d ever owned, and copies of every résumé that they’d put out for the past 10 years. Every business partner. Every gift they’d ever received, according to those familiar with the details of the vetting process.

For the finalists in the hunt to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, it was five weeks of questions and follow-up, and follow-up to the follow-up questions, starting from when they were summoned one-by-one to meet with campaign chairman John Podesta and lawyer Jim Hamilton and told to bring along just one trusted person who’d serve as the point of contact.

Submission + - $12.9B aircraft carrier 'struggles with jets taking off and landing' (dailymail.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: The USS Gerald R. Ford, is not ready for combat, DOD says. The 'supercarrier' is the most expensive Navy warship ever built and is due to be commissioned this year. The ship delivery is scheduled for November, more than two years late of its original date of September 2014. A government memo says 'poor or unknown reliability issues' are behind the latest roll out problems with the ship.

There are two other ships in the Ford class: the USS John F. Kennedy and a new USS Enterprise — expected to be commissioned in 2020 and 2025 respectively. The total cost for the three vessels is estimated to be more than $43 billion.

Submission + - "The Hillary Leaks" - Wikileaks Releases 19,252 Previously Unseen DNC Emails (zerohedge.com)

schwit1 writes: The state department's release of Hillary emails may be over, but that of Wikileaks is just starting.

Moments ago, Julian Assange's whistleblower organization released over 19,000 emails and more than 8,000 attachments from the Democratic National Committee. This is part one of their new Hillary Leaks series, Wikileaks said in press release. To wit:

Today, Friday 22 July 2016 at 10:30am EDT, WikiLeaks releases 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the top of the US Democratic National Committee — part one of our new Hillary Leaks series. The leaks come from the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC: Communications Director Luis Miranda (10770 emails), National Finance Director Jordon Kaplan (3797 emails), Finance Chief of Staff Scott Comer (3095 emails), Finanace Director of Data & Strategic Initiatives Daniel Parrish (1472 emails), Finance Director Allen Zachary (1611 emails), Senior Advisor Andrew Wright (938 emails) and Northern California Finance Director Robert (Erik) Stowe (751 emails). The emails cover the period from January last year until 25 May this year.

The emails released Friday cover a period from January 2015 to May 2016. They purportedly come from the accounts of seven key DNC staffers, listed above: Andrew Wright, Jordon Kaplan, Scott Comer, Luis Miranda, Robert Stowe, Daniel Parrish and Allen Zachary.

A quick scan of the emails focus on Bernie Sanders and dealing with the fallout of many Democrats opposing Hillary Clinton and calling the system “rigged.” Many of the emails exchanged between top DNC officials are simply the text of news articles concerning how establishment democrats can “deal” with the insurgent left-winger.

Submission + - Almost Half of All TSA Employees Have Been Cited for Misconduct

schwit1 writes: Almost half of all TSA employees have been cited for misconduct, and the citations have increased by almost 30 percent since 2013.

Of the total allegations filed, 90.8 percent were against TSA officers, while 4.8 percent were filed against managers or administrators. Of the areas of misconduct, “Attendance & Leave” sees the highest number of offenders, while “Failure to Follow Instructions,” “Screening & Security,” “Neglect of Duty,” and “Disruptive Behavior” round out the top five.

It also appears that the TSA has been reducing the sanctions it has been giving out for this bad behavior.

Submission + - Milo Yiannopoulos Permanently Suspended from Twitter

Raenex writes: Breitbart writer and conservative provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos, was permanently suspended from Twitter amid a dust-up with Ghostbusters (2016) actress Leslie Jones. Trolls had been harassing Jones with racist tweets after the movie's opening, prompting agitated responses from Jones. Milo entered the fray with, "If at first you don't succeed (because your work is terrible), play the victim" and "EVERYONE GETS HATE MAIL FFS". After some back and forth, Milo was eventually blocked by Jones and banned by Twitter after CEO Jack Dorsey became involved.

While outlets such as TechCrunch signaled their approval, Milo summed up his banning with the following: "Twitter is intent on protecting free speech, as long as you are a Hollywood actress who bravely tweets about white people, or a New York globalist advocating for violence against Donald Trump. They’ve made it clear that being gay and conservative doesn’t get me past the velvet rope into their free speech club, which is looking more and more like the same liberal echo chamber the mainstream media turned into decades ago."

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