By Walt Hickey
The NFL uniform policy is a sporadically-enforced set of rules that packs some serious penalties for violation. There are 64 uniform inspectors on the payroll to enforce the rules, and a first violation leads to a $5,305 fine and a second offense leads to a $15,914 fine. One specific group of players has been feuding with the enforcers this year, as kickers and punters have been shellacked with fines for wearing pants above the knee. The league mandates that players cover their knees during games, but that can jeopardize the freedom of movement for the leg-based players, and so a number of kickers including Younghoe Koo, Matt Gay and Graham Gano are speaking out about the league policy of sartorially roughing the kicker.
Last night NASA’s DART spacecraft purposefully collided into the asteroid Dimorphos, an asteroid orbiting a larger asteroid called Didymos. The point was to see how much they’re able to change the orbit of the 525-foot space rock, which is 7 million miles away. The crash happened when DART was hurtling 14,760 miles per hour, or about 4.1 miles per second. Right now it takes Dimorphos 11 hours and 55 minutes to complete an orbit around Didymos, and the researchers are interested in finding out how much a head-on collision with a 1,300-pound spacecraft can slow that down.
Earlier this summer an investigation found that Meta’s tracking pixel was installed on the websites of 33 of the top 100 hospitals in America, and the pixels were transmitting details of doctor’s appointments back to Facebook. The trackers could also be found inside password-protected patient portals in seven systems. This raises questions about violations of HIPAA and sharing protected health information, and as of this September, of the 33 hospitals that were sending data to Facebook 28 of them have removed the Meta Pixel from doctor booking pages.
YouTube announced a plan to pay creators to make Shorts, their rival to TikTok, with the people who make the Shorts getting 45 percent of the money from the creator pool of ad revenue. The issue, though, comes down to denominators: For instance, when YouTube started offering the 55 percent creator cut to normal videos, it was clear where the money at least was coming from and how people got it. The issue becomes that as the platform becomes larger, the pool of money gets split more ways, and it’s hard to figure out what kind of money we’re talking here. The money for creators on TikTok has also been fuzzy: Hank Green talked about seeing income of 5 cents per thousand views in 2020 drop to 2.5 cents per thousand views despite a growing following.
Malaysia is a massive exporter of rubber gloves, accounting for 60 percent of the global market, which amid the pandemic has had a roller coaster of the past several years. Top Glove, the market leader, reported a 97 percent fall in net profit for the fiscal year ending last month, while Hartalega and Supermax reported sales collapses that made share prices drop 90 percent from peaks in July and August of 2020. Overall, sales volume at Top Glove was down 25 percent last year, and rival glove-makers ramping up their production to meet demand meant that there’s new competition in the business.
A flaw in a 1.5-carat diamond from Botswana called an inclusion makes it a one-of-a-kind entity, with the stone containing a pocket of the mineral ringwoodite that was formed 660 kilometers deep in the Earth in the area between the upper and lower mantle. It’s the first time that this mineral has been found in crystal from that zone, and the only other similar example was destroyed during the attempt to analyze it. This is weird because it means that there’s probably lots of water in the mantle — not flowing around like in the ocean but locked into the mineral structure itself — and there could be a lot more water inside the Earth than previously understood.
A new survey found that over two-thirds of U.S. electric car shoppers would want 300 or more miles of range on an EV, which is a bit of a disconnect between how people actually drive. About 95 percent of U.S. car trips are 30 miles or less, but when people buy cars they don’t buy cars for what they actually drive but what they fantasize they will drive. This is why a 2021 survey found the average desired range of an EV was 341 miles. This gets tricky, because battery packs are a major element of the weight and cost of an EV, and at a certain point you’re adding a lot of weight and a lot of cost for a thing you’re not really using.
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