More from: General



Tax-Free: settlements for wrongful incarceration

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today released guidelines on how wrongfully-incarcerated taxpayers can take advantage of the new retroactive exclusion from income for any civil damages, restitution or other monetary award received in connection with their incarceration.

The guidelines are contained in a set of frequently-asked questions, posted today on IRS.gov. According to the FAQs, taxpayers who in the past received payments related to their wrongful incarceration and included those payments in taxable income can now file a refund claim for any income tax paid. To do this, eligible taxpayers must file Form 1040X for each year these payments were reported and write “Incarceration Exclusion PATH Act” at the top of each Form 1040X they submit.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/wrongful-incarceration-faqs


Kill It Already

01 Jan 1966, Houston, Texas, USA --- Sandy McGee at the Laboratory Universal Control computerized lab controls using IBM equipment --- Image by © Pete Vazquez/Science Faction/Corbis

01 Jan 1966, Houston, Texas, USA — Sandy McGee at the Laboratory Universal Control computerized lab controls using IBM equipment — Image by © Pete Vazquez/Science Faction/Corbis

“Agencies reported using several systems that have components that are, in some cases, at least 50 years old. For example, the Department of Defense uses 8-inch floppy disks in a legacy system that coordinates the operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces. …”

For more information, read the Network World article Not dead yet or see the General Accounting Office document http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/677436.pdf

Department of Veterans Affairs
System: Personnel and Accounting Integrated Data
Age: 53
Function: Automates time and attendance for employees, timekeepers, payroll, and supervisors.
It is written in Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL)—a programming language developed in the 1950s and 1960s—and runs on IBM mainframes.
Replacement coming?: Yes -The agency plans to replace it with a project called Human Resources Information System Shared Service Center in 2017.

Department of Veterans Affairs
System: Benefits Delivery Network
Age: 51
Function: Tracks claims filed by veterans for benefits, eligibility, and dates of death. This system is a suite of COBOL mainframe applications.
Replacement coming?: No -The agency has general plans to roll capabilities into another system, but there is no firm time frame associated with this transition.


New solid state of carbon glows when electrified

Diamond_and_graphite2Now that is interesting.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, which is distinct from the known phases of graphite and diamond. They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.

http://phys.org/news/2015-11-phase-carbon-diamond-room-temperature.html

The new carbon allotrope has some unusual characteristics: it is Readmore..