Travis Plunk

572 Flips | 18 Magazines | 717 Likes | 1 Following | 7 Followers | @travisplunk | Sr. Eng. at Microsoft The opinions and views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Microsoft.

The Republican tax law is becoming less popular, not more

Six months in, the majority of voters are neutral to negative on the GOP tax cuts.<p>It’s been six months since President Donald Trump signed into law the Republican tax cuts. During that time, the measure appears to have become less popular — not more. The GOP’s big 2018 midterms sales pitch isn’t …

Polling

How four cups of coffee might protect the heart

Researchers found that consuming the amount of caffeine that is equivalent to four cups of coffee might be enough to set off a cellular chain of …

Medical Research

Corruption in the Trump Administration Is Spreading

While petty scandals like Scott Pruitt’s grab attention, there are more egregious and profitable conflicts of interest elsewhere in Washington.<p>You’ve got to at least give credit to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for finding the silver lining—or the gold one, as it were.<p>It was late October 2017, …

Donald Trump

AGNI Energy Claims Nuclear Fusion Isn't As Far Away As You Think

On Feb. 22, 2016, Bill Gates said, an ‘energy miracle is coming and it is going to change the world.’<p>He was talking about nuclear energy.<p>Gates formed a nuclear engineering company a few years back, in Bellevue, Washington, to design and build a game-changing reactor that can burn old reactor fuel, …

Nuclear Energy

Rudy Giuliani says the Russia investigation could get “cleaned up” with pardons hours after Paul Manafort was jailed

Trump and his team seem really excited to talk about pardons lately.<p>Hours after former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was sent to jail, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation could get “cleaned up” with “some presidential pardons” when all is …

Donald Trump

This pill could reverse type 2 diabetes

by Kristin Houser June 12, 2018 Health & Medicine 12473<p>Most people don’t think of type 2 diabetes as a disease you can cure. Well, for some patients, …

Diabetes

We asked 9 Republican senators if it was appropriate for Trump to praise Kim Jong Un

Senate Republicans are trying to avoid the fact that Trump effusively praised a brutal dictator.<p>Senate Republicans are struggling to find a way to defend President Donald Trump’s acclaim for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.<p>Trump told ABC News “you see the fervor” in North Koreans’ “love” for their …

North Korea

Trump, after not sleeping for 25 hours, accidentally tells the truth

A moment of radical honesty.<p>During a news conference in Singapore following the signing of his agreement with Kim Jong Un, President Trump was …

North Korea

Using Apple Pay Cash precisely can make you appear petty, shows university study

Apple Pay Cash and similar peer-to-peer payment apps offer a convenient way to settle-up with friends and family for things like shared meals, but a university study suggests you may want to be a little careful in how you use them …<p>The study, carried out jointly at the University of Virginia, …

Apple Pay

We Compared Life Expectancy in All 50 States to Countries Around the World. The Results Are Truly Stunning

If you live in Mississippi, you have the same life expectancy as someone in Bangladesh.<p>What's the difference between living in Minnesota and living in Mississippi? About seven years.<p>It sounds like some kind of weird joke, but according to a new study, it's no laughing matter. That's because there's …

World Health Organization

Trump Confesses Illegal Motive, Blows Up Legal Basis for His Trade War

President Trump has been waging a trade war on a variety of American allies. His tool, ironically enough, is a 1962 law giving the president …

National Security

'Liquid Air' Technology Offers Prospect Of Storing Energy For The Long Term

Four years ago, I wrote about a new start-up energy storage technology company that had partnered with GE. This week, that company, Highview Power, has opened the world’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant, offering an intriguing and promising alternative to battery …

Clean Energy

Arizona court rules against calligraphy business that wanted permission to discriminate against gay people

The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled against a case from a religious business owner seeking to block an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance in …

LGBTQI

An Encryption Upgrade Could Upend Online Payments

At the end of June, digital credit card transactions are getting a mandatory encryption upgrade. It's good news—but not if you have an old device, or …

Information Security

This mesh WiFi router can track motion to protect your family

Back at CEATEC in October, I came across Origin Wireless and its clever algorithm that can turn any WiFi mesh network into a simple home security plus well-being monitoring system, and that's without using cameras or wearables -- just plug and play. At the time, I saw a working demo that left me …

Wi-Fi

Terminal breast cancer patient now cancer-free, thanks to experimental therapy

Judy Perkins' prognosis was grim: The breast cancer had spread to her chest and liver.<p>"I came to realize that I was going to die, and that's where my mind was," the 52-year old from Florida told CBS News.<p>But today, 2-years cancer-free, Perkins is being hailed as a success story in an experimental, …

Cancer

Fury and despair over the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling are misplaced

Legacies are fickle things. Until 10.15am on 5 June 2018, supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy was widely celebrated in the LGBTQ community as a judicial hero. The author of Romer v Evans (1996), Lawrence v Texas (2003), Windsor v United States (2013) and Obergefell v Hodges (2015), Kennedy had …

Law

Paul Manafort Loses His Cool

Special Counsel Robert Mueller says the longtime Trump associate tried to tamper with witnesses while awaiting trial on conspiracy and money-laundering charges.<p>At the height of his powers as a political consultant, Paul Manafort was known for his cool. In fact, the value of his counsel increased at …

Donald Trump

Special Master in Cohen Case Finds Few Seized Materials Are Privileged

A special master reviewing a trove of documents and electronic files seized in April from Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, said on Monday that, at least so far, only a tiny fraction of the materials are protected by the attorney-client privilege, meaning that most can …

Corruption

2,400 years ago, Plato saw democracy would give rise to a tyrannical leader filled with “false and braggart words”

Plato was not a fan of democracy. Many might consider this just a blip on the philosopher’s otherwise excellent political analysis. But his description of the “democratic man” does give pause for thought.<p>In the <i>Republic</i><i>,</i> written in 380 BC, Plato describes such the democratic man—by which he means a …

Political Science

Chrome, Firefox iframe exploit can steal Facebook profile info and other personal data

A side-channel attack on CSS could expose your personal data to malicious websites, unless you update your browser immediately.<p>A pair of independent …

IT security

Carry-on bags are causing a serious safety hazard, say flight attendants

When it comes to air travel, we’re living in the age of the carry-on. More and more airlines are rolling out basic economy tickets, while more and more travelers are stuffing as much as they can into their carry-on luggage before they board the plane.<p>This raises a safety issue: Heavy bags can cause …

Flying

Researchers Have Invented an Awesome And Scary Nuclear Battery Pack

Is the world ready for it?<p>Batteries powered by radioactive materials have been around for more than a century, but what they promise in power they …

Clean Energy

Canon ends film camera sales for good

Canon stopped building film cameras eight years ago, but it had still been selling them from old stock. Now, it has quietly announced that it will end sales of its last film SLR, the EOS-1V, marking an end to an era that started in 1934 with its first camera, the Kwanon. "By the way, we finally …

Cameras

Trump pardons Dinesh D'Souza -- and hints at more celebrity pardons

<b>Washington (CNN) —</b> President Donald Trump announced unexpectedly Thursday that he is granting a full pardon to Dinesh D'Souza, the conservative author and filmmaker who pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws in 2014 after he was indicted earlier that year on charges that he …

Donald Trump

Git repository vulnerability leads to remote code execution attacks

A serious vulnerability utilizes malformed Git repositories to remotely execute code on victim PCs.<p>A severe vulnerability has been patched in Git …

Information Security

New research drives home how crazy it is that triclosan is still in hundreds of everyday products

The antimicrobial chemical triclosan is in thousands of products that we use daily: hand soaps, toothpastes, body wash, kitchenware, and even some toys. Work in our lab suggests that this compound may have widespread health risks, including aggravating inflammation in the gut and promoting the …

Medical Research

Black Magic Powder: Sila Nanotechnologies Gives Lithium-Ion Batteries A Double-Digit Power Boost

Sila Nanotechnologies has all the trappings of a typical Bay Area startup: an open floor plan, conference rooms named for Atari games, healthy snacks in the kitchen. Two Portuguese water dogs, Ångström and Lumen, rule the boss’ office.<p>Walk through the entrance and open the door, however, and you …

Clean Energy

New research reveals one of the bad things about a higher minimum wage

Ever since there have been economists, there have been debates between economists about the impact of a minimum wage (pdf). Few research topics feature so many twists and turns. Many economists once presumed that higher wage floors would decrease employment; after all, if you make something more …

Economics

To Lower Your Medicare Drug Costs, Ask Your Pharmacist For The Cash Price

A simple question at the pharmacy could unlock savings for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.<p>Under a little-known Medicare rule, they can pay a lower cash price for prescriptions instead of using their insurance and doling out the amount the policy requires. But only if they ask.<p>That is because …

Health Care