Numlock News: June 5, 2018
The skeleton of a dinosaur sold for $2.3 million at auction to a French buyer who intends to lend the fossil to a museum. The dinosaur is as yet unidentified: sure, the case is a bit cold so we'll likely never know his killer or even his name, but more importantly scientists can't quite place the 30-foot-long carnivore's species, and it could be a new one altogether.
Celia Mebroukine and Sarah White, Reuters
China has finally noticed that the entire motion picture business is predicated on shady accounting, preposterous budgets and fantastical contracts engineered to minimize taxes. One of China's biggest stars is Fan Bingbing, who a television host alleged signed multiple versions of a contract for the same four days of work: one worth 50 million renminbi (or $7.8 million) and one for the taxman's eyes worth 10 million renminbi (or $1.56 million). Fan denied the allegations, but nonetheless the State Authority of Taxation is about to crack down on the finances of China's film and television business.
Patrick Frater, Variety
Representatives from California
Today, Californians go to the polls to vote in their weird primary. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election this November. As a result, each party stands a chance of splitting the vote and getting locked out of major races: Democrats are fretting about some House races and the GOP is worried about statewide races. Congressional Democrats need to win 23 net GOP seats to win the House, and there are 7 Republican-held seats in California won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
David Wasserman, The Cook Political Report
States That Are Not California
About those GOP statewide concerns in California: it's entirely possible the party will not have a candidate to run against Sen. Dianne Feinstein should Democrat Kevin de Leon get second place. And even if a Republican does break through, the leading contender is Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, who ran for president as a Democrat in 2016 and has also qualified this year for Senate races in 4 other states — Florida, Minnesota, Washington and Wyoming — with Delaware and Vermont still getting back to him.
Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC News
Percent of Pentagon Computers
The Pentagon has millions of computers, and right now it is trying to get all of them on to Windows 10. That's really, really hard! For instance, when Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in 2014, 3 percent of Pentagon computers were still running the 2001 operating system. Sometimes, this is with good reason: specialized and critical software built for XP that keeps people alive or does other important stuff can be hard to update. Let's just hope the Army never sees those John Hodgman-Justin Long Mac ads and decides it needs the creative suite and lightweight package offered by Apple, as switching to that would be a catastrophe.
Jeremy Hsu, Slate
Percent of Recycled Plastic
As it stands, 15 percent of plastic sent to recycling centers is black, but traditional centers sort with infrared scanners that can't pick up the color black. This is building up to an environmental and health problem, as black plastics from e-waste recycling centers are being melted down into new plastic, but some electronic black plastic has lead and bromide in it, which is bad news for people who want to make black plastic products for the kitchen.
Mark Wilson, Fast Co. Design
McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook told CNBC that the company will add self-service kiosks to 1,000 locations every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters. This brings American McD's up to international standards, as Canada, Australia and the U.K. already have full kiosk service and mobile ordering, and France and Germany are almost done, facts that make me inexplicably mad?
Sarah Whitten, CNBC