Apple spending $11B on Texas campus, data centers

Apple has announced that it is putting its cash pile to work. The technology giant will invest $1 billion to build a new campus in North Austin, Texas and another $10 billion for new data centers. It is all a part of a five-year investment aimed at creating 20,000 jobs in the United States. The Cupertino-based company said on Thursday it would also to set up new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California and expand operations in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado over the next three years. “Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Talent, creativity and tomorrow’s breakthrough ideas aren’t limited by region or zip code, and, with this new expansion, we’re redoubling our commitment to cultivating the high-tech sector and workforce nationwide.” Apple has faced increasing political pressure to ramp up investments at home since 2016, when then presidential candidate Donald Trump targeted the company for using Asian factories for the bulk of its manufacturing. Data centers in North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada are being expanded. The new Austin campus will be located less than a mile away from its existing facilities, Apple said. Apple’s technology rival Amazon.com last month ended a months-long search for new headquarters, picking locations in New York and Virginia.

Great news!!   🙂

Black South African politician urges followers to ‘kill whites’, saying: ‘We will kill their children and their women’

The leader of a South African political party has called for the killing of white women and children in a row over the taxi industry. Andile Mngxitama, president of Black First Land First (BLF), was speaking at a rally on the weekend in Potchefstroom near Johannesburg when he made the violent comments. He tells the cheering crowd: ‘For each one person that is being killed by the taxi industry, we will kill five white people. ‘For every one black person we will kill five white people. ‘You kill one of us we will five of you. We’ll kill their women, we’ll kill their children, we’ll kill anything we find in our way.’ Mngxitama then beckons the crowd: ‘For every one of them, we’ll kill how many?’ And they chant back: ‘Five,’ Mngxitama repeats, ‘For every one of them?’ and they respond, ‘Five.’ This back-and-forth is repeated several times until Mngxitama continues his rant and even calls for the deaths of dogs and cats owned by white people.

You really can’t make this stuff up, folks.  And, you certainly won’t find this story on MSNBC, CNN, or any other organ of the dominantly liberal mainstream media because it destroys their narrative that only white people can be brazenly, violently racist.  For more on this story out of South Africa, click on the text above.

Virgin Galactic flies its first astronauts to the edge of space, taking one step closer to space tourism

Virgin Galactic completed its longest rocket-powered flight ever on Thursday, taking a step ahead in the nascent business of space tourism. The two pilots on board Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft Unity became the company’s first astronauts. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson was on hand to watch the historic moment. Virgin Galactic said the test flight reached an altitude of 51.4 miles, or nearly 83 kilometers. The U.S. military and NASA consider pilots who have flown above 80 kilometers to be astronauts. Test pilots in 2004 were awarded a commercial astronaut badge by the Federal Aviation Administration for flying a previous, experimental iteration of Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft design. Lifted by the jet-powered mothership Eve, the spacecraft Unity took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in the California desert. Upon reaching an altitude above 40,000 feet, the carrier aircraft released Unity. The two-member crew of Mark Stucky and Dave Mackay then piloted the spacecraft in a roaring burn which lasted 60 seconds. The flight pushed Unity to a speed of Mach 2.9, nearly three times the speed of sound, as it screamed into a climb toward the edge of space. After performing a slow backflip in microgravity, Unity turned and glided back to land at Mojave. This was the company’s fourth rocket-powered flight of its test program. Unity is the name of the spacecraft built by The Spaceship Company, which Branson also owns. This rocket design is officially known as SpaceShipTwo (SS2). Unity also carried four NASA-funded payloads on this mission. The agency said the four technology experiments “will collect valuable data needed to mature the technologies for use on future missions.” “Inexpensive access to suborbital space greatly benefits the technology research and broader spaceflight communities,” said Ryan Dibley, NASA’s flight opportunities campaign manager, in a statement. The spacecraft underwent extensive engine testing and seven glide tests before Virgin Galactic said it was ready for a powered test flight — a crucial milestone before the company begins sending tourists to the edge of the atmosphere. Each of the previous three test flights were successful in pushing the spacecraft’s limits farther.

Very cool!!  For more, click on the text above.     🙂

Dick’s Sporting Goods Says Gun-Control Stance Hurt Business, May Close Field & Stream

Dick’s Sporting Goods told investors during the Goldman Sachs Retailing Conference that its gun-control stance hurt sales of its hunting business, outdoors business, and that it may close its outdoor-focused Field & Stream stores. Edward Stack, chairman and CEO of Dick’s, said during the event that the sporting goods chain’s recent 3.9 percent drop in same-store sales was the result of a mix of factors beyond their control as well as some he called “self-imposed.” Specifically, he said, “the decisions we made on firearms” negatively affected their bottom line but the drop in sales was something they expected. They did not, however, regret their decision to change a number of their gun-sales policies and back new gun-control legislation. “Well I think it’s definitely a factor, and it’s nothing that we didn’t anticipate,” Stack said during the call. “As we put out kind of our guidance for the year and our earnings guidance for the year, we knew this would happen when—we’ve made some decisions on firearms in the past and we’ve had a pretty good idea of what these consequences were going to be. We felt that was absolutely the right thing to do. We would do the same thing again if we had a mulligan, so to speak, to do it again.” Dick’s first modified its gun-sales policy in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting when it said it would no longer sell AR-15s and certain other semiautomatic rifles. The retailer quickly circumvented that pledge when it opened its outdoor-focused Field & Stream chain. But in the wake of the Parkland shooting earlier this year, the chain once again pledged to stop selling AR-15s and certain other semiautomatic rifles. In addition, Dick’s decided to hire their own gun-control lobbyists in order to push for stricter gun laws nationwide. That action led the National Shooting Sports Foundation—the firearms industry’s trade group—to expel the retailer. The retailer also said in February it would no longer sell firearms to legal adults under the age of 21. On Tuesday, the company settled an age discrimination suit stemming from that decision, according to a report from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Dick’s has every right to shoot itself in the foot (pun intended) with such fascist, anti-gun, policies.  But, we-the-consumer have the right to take our business elsewhere…and we should.  For more, click on the text above.

Voyager 2 probe moves into interstellar space

Eleven billion miles from Earth, NASA’s long-lived Voyager 2 probe, still beaming back data 41 years after its launch in 1977, has finally moved into interstellar space, scientists revealed Monday, joining its sister ship Voyager 1 in the vast, uncharted realm between the stars. Voyager 2 moved past the boundary of the heliosphere, the protective bubble defined by the sun’s magnetic field and electrically charged solar wind, on Nov. 5. The transition was marked by a sharp decline in the number of charged particles detected by the spacecraft’s plasma science experiment, or PLS. The instrument has not detected any signs of the solar wind since then. Three other instruments measured corresponding changes in cosmic rays, low-energy particles and magnetic field strength. At Voyager 2’s enormous distance from the sun, it took 16-and-a-half hours for the data to make its way back to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Voyager 1 crossed the boundary of the heliosphere, a transition zone known as the heliopause, in 2012. But Voyager 1’s plasma detector stopped working in 1980, and the new data from Voyager 2 provides fresh insights into the nature of the boundary between interstellar space and the sun’s magnetic and electrical influence. “Working on Voyager makes me feel like an explorer, because everything we’re seeing is new,” John Richardson, principal investigator for the PLS instrument at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, said in a statement. “Even though Voyager 1 crossed the heliopause in 2012, it did so at a different place and a different time, and without the PLS data. So we’re still seeing things that no one has seen before.” Voyager 2 was launched in August 1977, 16 days before Voyager 1, which explored Jupiter, Saturn and Saturn’s large moon Titan before heading out into the depths of the solar system. Voyager 2 flew past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune before it, too, left the realm of the major planets. “Voyager has a very special place for us in our heliophysics fleet,” Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters, said in a NASA statement. “Our studies start at the sun and extend out to everything the solar wind touches. To have the Voyagers sending back information about the edge of the sun’s influence gives us an unprecedented glimpse of truly uncharted territory.” While both Voyagers have now departed the sun’s heliosphere, they are still inside the solar system as it’s currently defined. That boundary is the outer edge of the Oort Cloud, a vast collection of rocky debris left over from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago that is held in place by the sun’s gravity. At its current velocity, it will take Voyager 2 another 300 years or so to reach the inner boundary of the Oort cloud and possibly 30,000 years to move beyond it.

Fascinating!!     🙂

This Is the Right Time to Drink Your Coffee, Scientists Say

We love coffee. And what’s not to love? It perks us up in the morning, tastes heavenly and even has health benefits (plus a few extra benefits if you try it “bulletproof”-style). But as much as we love a hot cuppa as soon as we roll out of bed, it turns out that might not be the best time to take advantage of all coffee has to offer. In fact, scientists have found that there’s a better time to get your morning caffeine fix. Turns out the best time to drink coffee might not be first thing in the morning, but an hour after you wake up. This is because in the hour after you wake up, your body’s production of cortisol is at one of its three daily peaks, according to researchers who published a small but intriguing clinical study. We tend to think of cortisol as the “stress hormone” because it’s secreted in higher amounts when feel strain or tension from circumstances we perceive as demanding (and decreases when we eat yummy chocolate). But another way of thinking of cortisol is as the “alertness hormone,” because the reason our bodies produce more cortisol when we’re under stress is that it increases alertness (which supports our “fight or flight” response when we’re faced with stressful situations). Consuming caffeine while our bodies are already at peak cortisol-production teaches the body to produce less cortisol, according to chronopharmacologists who study the way drugs (such as caffeine) interact with our body’s natural biological rhythms. Not only does this undermine the effect of the caffeine, it also works against cortisol’s alertness effect. Perhaps even worse, it may contribute to developing a tolerance for coffee (meaning that it takes more and more just to get to the same place — yikes)! So to get the biggest jolt from your morning coffee, try to wait an hour after waking to brew that first cup (I know it can be hard!). And when you’re looking to follow up with another caffeine fix, try to do it outside the other peak cortisol production times — typically between noon and 1:00 p.m. and between 5:50 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. This will definitely help you kick any of those afternoon lull feelings and will power you into a productive evening.

Good to know!    🙂

Apple Watch can now detect your irregular heart rhythms and other problems: Here’s how it works

Apple Watch users can now take a reading of their heart’s electrical signal by holding a finger on the crown of the device. On Thursday, customers with the Apple Watch Series 4 who install the latest software update can access a new feature to identify atrial fibrillation, a common form of an irregular heart rhythm, as well as opt in to more passive monitoring. Anyone over age 22 can use these new heart health features, although not all them are designed for people who have already been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, or AFib, by their doctor. All of this has been in the works for years. Apple got a first-of-its-kind clearance for its electrocardiogram app from federal regulators in September after conducting a preclinical study with 2,000 people. It also did a clinical trial with 600 other participants to ensure it could distinguish between a normal heartbeat, or sinus rhythm, and atrial fibrillation. The company released data on its new features in a white paper, published on Thursday, as well as a physician-facing website. Click here for more

If you’re an Apple Watch Series 4 owner, and have heart concerns, you really need to read this article.  Just click on the text above for more.   This is excellent!    🙂