Democrats ‘haven’t been destroying each other’ in Virginia primary, McAuliffe says. They may be starting.

Democrats ‘haven’t been destroying each other’ in Virginia primary, McAuliffe says. They may be starting.The two Democrats locked in a tight primary contest for governor sprinted around the commonwealth Saturday, hoping to alert enough of their own supporters to the fact that the election will be held Tuesday.



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Sean Spicer says Obama administration was responsible for Michael Flynn’s vetting

Sean Spicer says Obama administration was responsible for Michael Flynn’s vettingWhite House press secretary Sean Spicer attempted Thursday to shift blame to the Obama administration for its role in vetting retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the national security adviser dismissed by President Trump. Spicer argued that the Trump transition team didn’t vet Flynn’s appointment because he already held a security clearance at the time. “My only point is that when Gen. Flynn came into the White House, he had an active security clearance that was issued during the Obama administration with all the information that’s being discussed that occurred in 2015,” Spicer said at the daily press briefing.



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NASA Spends 72 Cents of Every SLS Dollar On Overhead Costs, Says Report

A new report published by the nonpartisan think tank Center for a New American Security shows us where a lot of NASA’s money is being spent. The space agency has reportedly spent $ 19 billion on rockets — first on Ares I and V, and now on the Space Launch System rocket — and $ 13.9 billion on the Orion spacecraft. If all goes according to plan and NASA is able to fly its first crewed mission with the new vehicles in 2021, “the report estimates the agency will have spent $ 43 billion before that first flight, essentially a reprise of the Apollo 8 mission around the Moon,” reports Ars Technica. “Just the development effort for SLS and Orion, which includes none of the expenses related to in-space activities or landing anywhere, are already nearly half that of the Apollo program.” From the report: The new report argues that, given these high costs, NASA should turn over the construction of rockets and spacecraft to the private sector. It buttresses this argument with a remarkable claim about the “overhead” costs associated with the NASA-led programs. These costs entail the administration, management, and development costs paid directly to the space agency — rather than funds spend on contractors actually building the space hardware. For Orion, according to the report, approximately 56 percent of the program’s cost, has gone to NASA instead of the main contractor, Lockheed Martin, and others. For the SLS rocket and its predecessors, the estimated fraction of NASA-related costs is higher — 72 percent. This means that only about $ 7 billion of the rocket’s $ 19 billion has gone to the private sector companies, Boeing, Orbital ATK, Aeroject Rocketdyne, and others cutting metal. By comparison the report also estimates NASA’s overhead costs for the commercial cargo and crew programs, in which SpaceX, Boeing, and Orbital ATK are developing and providing cargo and astronaut delivery systems for the International Space Station. With these programs, NASA has ceded some control to the private companies, allowing them to retain ownership of the vehicles and design them with other customers in mind as well. With such fixed-price contracts, the NASA overhead costs for these programs is just 14 percent, the report finds.

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Asked about the ‘deep state,’ White House says Obama allies ‘burrowed into government’ to enact their own agenda

Asked about the ‘deep state,’ White House says Obama allies ‘burrowed into government’ to enact their own agendaWhite House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that there’s “no question” there are allies of former President Barack Obama who are “burrowed into government” and working to push a liberal “agenda.” Spicer’s comments came after Yahoo News asked if the White House believes there’s a “deep state” that is actively working to undermine President Trump. “Well, I think that there’s no question when you have eight years of one party in office that there are people who stay in government … and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration,” Spicer said.



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Americans Believe Robots Will Take Everyone Else’s Job, But Theirs Will Be Safe, Study Says

An anonymous reader shares a CNBC report: You may accept, by now, that robots will take over lots of jobs currently held by human workers. But you probably believe they won’t be taking yours. Though other industries are in danger, your position is safe. That’s according to a report released by LivePerson, a cloud-based messaging company which surveyed 2,000 U.S.-based consumers online in January. Their researchers find that only three percent of respondents say they experience fear about losing their job to a robot once a week. By contrast, more than 40 percent of respondents never worry about it. And a whopping 65 percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat agree that other industries will suffer because of automation, but theirs will be fine.

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Steve Ballmer Says Smartphones Came Between Him and Bill Gates

Steve Ballmer once said Apple’s iPhone would flop because it cost too much — though he now admits that he failed to anticipate carriers subsidizing the cost of the phone. But that was only the beginning. An anonymous reader quotes Fortune:
The former CEO of Microsoft says he and Gates drifted apart over Microsoft’s move into the hardware business in the early 2010s, according to Bloomberg. Ballmer says he was the one who pushed for Microsoft to design smartphones and tablets at a time when Apple was already well established. He says Gates and the board seemed reluctant to do so. “There was a fundamental disagreement about how important it was to be in the hardware business,” Ballmer told Bloomberg. “I had pushed Surface. The board had been a little — little reluctant in supporting it. And then things came to a climax around what to do about the phone business.”

Microsoft eventually took a $ 900 million write down for its first tablet, the Surface RT — plus most of the value of their $ 9.5 billion acquisition of Nokia Oyj’s handset unit as Microsoft pushed into hardware. “Ballmer’s only regret: not doing it sooner,” Bloomberg reports, adding that Surface is now profitable and this year will generate more than $ 4 billion in sales.

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Netflix Is 12x As Popular As Its Streaming Competitors Among Younger Viewers, Says Survey

Investment bank Piper Jaffray released a survey Friday that reveals just how much U.S. teens love Netflix. Out of the 10,000 U.S. teens surveyed, 37% of them watched Netflix every single day, while only 3% of them watched Amazon Prime Video and Hulu each day, respectively. That means Netflix is over 12 times as popular in terms of daily use. Business Insider reports: At the top of the pack for general video consumption, after Netflix, came YouTube (26%), which inched over cable TV (25%). This continued an upward trend for YouTube and a downward one for cable. Last month, analysts at UBS said Amazon and Hulu were closing the gap with Netflix in overall consumer satisfaction in the U.S. Amazon and Netflix were in a dead heat at 58% and 59% respectively. Hulu still lagged a bit, but was close to Netflix at 53% of people “very satisfied.”

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6 Million Americans Exposed To High Levels of Chemicals In Drinking Water, Says Study

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Business Insider: A new study out Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters looked at a national database that monitors chemical levels in drinking water and found that 6 million people were being exposed to levels of a certain chemical that exceed what the Environmental Protection Agency considers healthy. The chemicals, known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, are synthetic and resistant to water and oil, which is why they’re used in things like pizza boxes and firefighting foam. They’re built to withstand the environment. But PFASs also accumulate in people and animals and have been observationally linked to an increased risk of health problems including cancer. And they can’t be easily avoided, like with a water filter, for example. You can view the chart to see the tested areas of the U.S. where PFASs exceed 70 ng/L, which is what’s considered a healthy lifetime exposure.

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