Numlock News: February 23, 2023 • Honeypot, Chicken Sandwiches, Subs and Dubs
By Walt Hickey
The FDA has given the all-clear for plant-based beverages like almond milk, oat milk and soy milk to continue selling themselves as “milk,” much to the chagrin of the cow milk crowd. The move comes after 13,000 comments to the agency since 2018 on the matter and the ensuing rise of plant-based milk as a fairly significant industry. Retail sales of plant-based milk hit $2.4 billion in 2020 according to the FDA, and as far back as 2016 already a third of U.S. households were enjoying them.
A new proposal at the Food and Drug Administration would rule whole suites of consumer packaged goods as not meeting new requirements as to what can be marketed as “healthy” owing to their salt and added sugar contents. This wouldn’t ban or require the labeling of “unhealthy” foods, it would simply rein in food companies throwing around the word healthy where it ought not be. Under the proposed rules, grains and dairy products can’t have more than 2.5 grams of added sugar per serving and also be billed as healthy, which would impact food like Raisin Bran, Chobani yogurt, and lots of pastas and pickles and frozen foods currently sold as healthy choices.
Since 2007, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics, which investigates allegations of misconduct by Senators and staff, has received 1,523 complaints that alleged rule violations. Over the course of the past 16 years, it has voted to issue disciplinary sanctions in precisely zero cases. That includes 204 instances where the bipartisan body has found enough evidence of wrongdoing to launch a preliminary inquiry. In seven cases, they issued strongly worded letters to Senators or staff, which is about the best they do.
Releasing a movie is not just releasing a movie, it’s releasing lots and lots of different versions and languages and files for specific types of cinemas and regions. The movie Avatar: The Way of Water involved a massive 1,065 different delivery versions of the film in 2D, 3D, HDR, 4K, high frame rate, 51 subtitled languages and 28 dubbed languages as well as a number of different aspect ratios and light levels. This involves a ton of work, especially as the movie comes together at the same time that the technicians are trying to get it onto a digital cinema package, in this case 800 versions of the film being quality controlled in the five days before release. This is a lot, even for a blockbuster; your standard Marvel movie involves 500 or so delivery versions, itself a lot.
Wingstop, the chain best known for remarkably good wings and movie theater priced soft drinks, had a killer quarter as a result of introducing a chicken sandwich. The chain reported 8.7 percent domestic comparable sales growth compared to the previous quarter, smashing the 6.1 percent expectation. The stock jump that resulted from this added $400 million in market value to the company, meaning that this was one damn good chicken sandwich.
Much of running a multiplayer online gaming company now has become waging a war on aimbots and clients that reveal secret game data to get an advantage, and Valve’s game Dota 2 was lousy with ‘em. The company decided to get clever, and in a new patch to the game added a piece of data that regular players would never see but cheating clients could see, accessing a secret area. Valve then banned 40,000 accounts that accessed this secret area.
A recent episode of The Last of Us explored how gasoline would handle 20 years of time, and it has managed to tick off gearheads by being not exactly accurate. It turns out that gasoline breaks down over time, with regular gasoline taking some three to six months to decay, with ethanol-infused American gas breaking down in one to three months. Fuel stabilizers exist, but not the kind that last 20 years. Indeed, the real solution to fuel in the apocalypse is probably diesel, which also doesn’t last 20 years, but biodiesel is at least somewhat a thing.
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