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Earth

Osage Oppose Wind Power At Tallgrass Prairie 147

Posted by timothy
from the shooting-the-breeze-is-more-efficient dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Tulsa World reports that Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle of the Osage Nation says the tribe, although not opposed to alternative energy development in general, has found significant reasons to oppose wind farms on the tallgrass prairie, 'a true national treasure' whose last small fragments remain only in Osage County and in Kansas. The Osage County wind farms would not be built in the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, located northeast of Ponca City, but would be visible from it and Preserve Director Bob Hamilton has urged the county and the state to steer wind development to areas of the county that are not ecologically sensitive. 'Not all areas in the Osage are sensitive,' says Hamilton. 'What makes the tallgrass prairie so special is its big landscape. It's not just local — it has global significance.' The Osage also fear that large wind farms will interfere with extracting oil and gas, from which royalties are paid in support of tribal members as the Osage retain their tribal mineral rights owned in common by members of the tribe. 'They weren't thinking about the mineral estate — just about compensating landowners,' says Galen Crum, chairman of the tribal Minerals Council. 'How are we supposed to know the price of oil in 50 years?'"
Google

Google Wallet: the End of Anonymous Shopping 253

Posted by timothy
from the if-you-choose-to-accept-it dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Google today announced Google Wallet, an NFC-based payment system that will allow people to pay for purchases just by waving their phone across a reader. It's the beginning of a future where commercial transactions are 'frictionless' and convenient — but it's a future where every transaction can be tracked and data-mined, as Dan Tynan points out. Stores can user information about your Doritos purchases to rearrange their wares; Google could push coupons via its new Google Offers service; your health insurance company might be interested in your sodium intake."

Comment: Bose quality (Score 2, Interesting) 275

by FTL (#35988420) Attached to: Amar Bose To Donate Company To M.I.T.

True story: An elderly gentleman walked into an electronics store in Toronto looking to buy speakers. The salesman showed him a couple of different models. The customer pointed at another set on the shelves and asked about them. The salesman said "Oh, those are Bose, they're crap." The customer was Amar Bose.

Comment: Re:Shoestring budget (Score 3, Insightful) 40

by FTL (#35977096) Attached to: Endeavour Launch Delayed For At Least 48 Hours

Sorry, your facts are reversed. NASA's budget is $17 billion. China's space budget is $1.3 billion. Russia's space budget is $2.4 billion.

For eight times the money, the US manages to reach approximate parity with the Russians. This is the result of the badly designed Space Shuttle program which over its lifetime has cost $1.5 billion per launch.

Looking forward, SpaceX is on track to cut US launch costs by a factor of ten. That will make the US the #1 place to launch rockets -- for the first time since the 1970s.

Yahoo!

YouTube Founders Acquire Delicious 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-there-a-video-yet? dept.
An anonymous reader sent in a link to the Delicious blog, which reads, "Today, we're pleased to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, they have firsthand experience enabling millions of users to share their experiences with the world. They are committed to running and improving Delicious going forward."
Image

Punish Bad Users With Drupal Misery 418 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-good-for-the-goose-is-good-for-the-griefer dept.
If you're sick of banning or deleting troublemakers on your Drupal website, you might want to check out Misery, the module designed to give trolls a taste of their own medicine. Creating a random length delay for a user, redirecting them to a random page, presenting them with a 404 error, and crashing their browser if they're using IE6 are just a few of the things you can make users endure with Misery. I'm still waiting patiently for a Punch In the Nose module, but this is a good start.

Comment: Re:Spy plane makes no sense (Score 5, Interesting) 55

by FTL (#34438934) Attached to: X-37B Robotic Space Plane Returns To Earth

I agree completely that the X-37 makes no apparent sense. The only argument I can come up with is that returning is just a nice side effect of its real purpose: inclination changes. Chaning altitude and period and phase is all relatively easy with onboard thrusters (and X-37 has an orbital maneuvering engine almost as big as the Space Shuttle's). But the amount of thurst needed to change oribal inclination from, say equatorial to ISS, is vast. I calculated it recently as being equivalent to the delta-v provided by an earth to LEO launch.

What X-37 might be capable of is dipping into the atmosphere, banking, then thrusting back up to orbit. That's exactly what the Air Force's previous space plane was designed to do, the Dyna-soar. Once one has this capability, returning from orbit to a runway landing is a freebie since you already have the wings.

The recently concluded X-37 test flight did not show an inclination change. But look for it on a future flight. This would allow extreme flexability in imaging enemy action at completely unpredictable times.

Music

Japan's Latest Rockstar Is a 3D Hologram 305

Posted by samzenpus
from the as-real-as-it-gets dept.
kkleiner writes "Hatsune Miku is a Japanese pop diva who's just started to play massive stadium concerts to sold out crowds. Her hair is blue, she dresses like Sailor Moon, and she'll only appear in concerts via a 3D 'hologram.' Oh, and did I forget to mention that she's completely fictional? Created by Crypton Future Media, Hatsune Miku and her virtual colleagues have gone on limited tours in Japan."

Comment: Atmosphere (Score 5, Interesting) 140

by FTL (#33955086) Attached to: International Effort Brings an Open Standard For Docking In Space
Docking of course is just the first step. One also needs agreement on the atmosphere. American spacecraft (Apollo, Skylab) used 100% oxygen at 5 psi. Soviet spacecraft (Soyuz, Salut, Mir) used 20% oxygen 80% nitrogen at 14.7 psi. Neither side could change this easilly. Thus even though Apollo and Soyuz were able to physically dock in 1975, they had to use an airlock between the two spacecraft. Otherwise the cosmonauts would have gotten the bends from decompression and Apollo could have ruptured from overpressure.

Fortunately this is no longer much of an issue. As a result of the Apollo 1 fire and the deaths of Grissom, White and Chaffee, American spacecraft (starting with the Space Shuttle) adopted the Soviet approach.
Space

+ - Open Source Space Docking System->

Submitted by
FTL
FTL writes "Engineers from the US, Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe have come together to publish an International Docking Standard for spaceships. Currently the space station has three different types of incompatible docking ports, and the Chinese are developing their own. Standardizing on one type would permit interoperability and facilitate emergency rescues."
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - Serious window damage to Atlantis->

Submitted by
FTL
FTL writes "While in orbit a metal knob floated between a window and the dashboard of Atlantis. Once back on Earth, the shuttle contracted, wedging the knob firmly in place and damaging the window. Initial attempts to free the knob have failed and engineers may need six months to disassemble that section of the orbiter. Given that the shuttle program will probably end next year anyway, such a delay might mean scrapping Atlantis early rather than repairing it. Efforts to remove the knob using less invasive techniques continue."
Link to Original Source

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