Degenerative Brain Disease Found In Nearly All Donated NFL Player Brains, Says Study

A new study published Tuesday in the journal American Medical Association found that 110 out of 111 brains of those who played in the NFL had degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). NPR reports: In the study, researchers examined the brains of 202 deceased former football players at all levels. Nearly 88 percent of all the brains, 177, had CTE. Three of 14 who had played only in high school had CTE, 48 of 53 college players, 9 of 14 semiprofessional players, and 7 of 8 Canadian Football League players. CTE was not found in the brains of two who played football before high school. According to the study’s senior author, Dr. Ann McKee, “this is by far the largest [study] of individuals who developed CTE that has ever been described. And it only includes individuals who are exposed to head trauma by participation in football.” A CTE study several years ago by McKee and her colleagues included football players and athletes from other collision sports such as hockey, soccer and rugby. It also examined the brains of military veterans who had suffered head injuries. The study released Tuesday is the continuation of a study that began eight years ago. In 2015, McKee and fellow researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University published study results revealing 87 of 91 former NFL players had CTE.

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Vertu, Phone-Maker To the Rich, Says It’s Broke

A British-based luxury phone maker which made its name selling $ 50,000 smartphones decked out in alligator leather and titanium and fitted with sapphire screens, has applied to the courts to be placed in administration after running of out money to pay staff and suppliers, reports British outlet The Times. In a witness statement filed in the High Court in London yesterday, the report adds, the company’s last remaining director Jean-Charles Charki, said that Vertu was insolvent and unable to meet its June 30 payroll obligations of about 500,000 euros. From an earlier report: According to a juicy new report in the Telegraph, employees are worried about the future of the company after noticing that production had been running at reduced capacity. Employees are apparently worried about their unpaid wages, as well as pension contributions taken out of their paychecks without being added into the company’s retirement fund. Sources inside the company also told the Telegraph that Vertu has unpaid debts with suppliers such as Qualcomm and Microsoft, and bills from waste management, pest control, and other property services.

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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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