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Comic for May 29, 2020

Dilbert - May 30, 2020 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

US “terminating relationship” with World Health Organization, Trump says

Ars Technica - 58 min 38 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Westend61)

President Trump today said the US government is "terminating our relationship" with the World Health Organization, alleging that the global health group has not implemented needed reforms and that it is controlled entirely by China.

"China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year, compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year," Trump said during a brief press conference at the White House Rose Garden (see video).

Trump halted funding to WHO in mid-April. On May 18, he sent a letter to WHO, saying that the US will permanently stop funding the group if it "does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days." It's only been 11 days since then, but Trump said today he is moving ahead with his threat.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

135-year-long streak is over: US renewable sources topped coal in 2019

Ars Technica - 1 hour 9 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Mark Rickaby)

Two weeks ago, we covered a US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projection that renewable wind, solar, and hydroelectric power would top coal for total electricity generation in 2020. That was particularly believable given that renewables had beat coal in daily generation every day going back to March 24. As it happens, that daily streak finally came to an end this week, as coal picked up amid rising demand and a couple low days for wind. Coal likely topped renewables on Tuesday, although it’s possible that rooftop solar generation (not included in EIA’s daily data) extended the run until Wednesday.

But the EIA also released some numbers Thursday that highlight a related and interesting piece of trivia: if you include energy use beyond the electric sector and all types of renewable energy, renewables actually beat out coal last year. And to find the last time that was true, you have to go all the way back to the 1880s.

(credit: US EIA)

This comparison includes biofuels (like ethanol and biodiesel), wood-burning, and waste incineration or landfill gas. And beyond electricity, it adds in energy used by industry, residential and commercial buildings, and transportation—uses where coal plays little or no role.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Twitter hides Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence'

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 10 min ago
For the first time, Twitter has hidden a tweet on the president's profile behind a warning.

SpaceX’s Starship underwent a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly—we do mean rapid

Ars Technica - 1 hour 44 min ago

Enlarge / Aftermath of SN static fire test on Friday. (credit: Screengrab from NASASpaceflight.com video)

On Friday, SpaceX prepared its latest iteration of the Starship prototype vehicle, known as Serial No. 4, or SN4, for a static fire test in Texas. The Raptor engine appeared to fire nominally for a couple of seconds at 1:47pm local time and then shut down as planned.

However, about one minute after engine shutdown there was some kind of uncontrolled gaseous leak, and one minute later the vehicle exploded almost instantaneously—a truly rapid Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly.

The Starship prototype, fueled with liquid oxygen and methane, appeared to be mostly destroyed when the fire and smoke cleared. The test stand also sustained substantial damage. Some of the surrounding ground support equipment appeared unharmed, but it is possible the shock wave from SN4's demise may have also damaged those structures.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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