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Oil Leak Could Be Stopped With a Nuke Screenshot-sm 799

An anonymous reader writes "The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico could be stopped with an underground nuclear blast, a Russian newspaper reports. Komsomoloskaya Pravda, the best-selling Russian daily, reports that in Soviet times such leaks were plugged with controlled nuclear blasts underground. The idea is simple, KP writes: 'The underground explosion moves the rock, presses on it, and, in essence, squeezes the well's channel.' It's so simple, in fact, that the Soviet Union used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities, and it only didn't work once."

Filming For The Hobbit Begins In July 298

krou writes "Sir Ian McKellen has revealed that filming for The Hobbit and its sequel is scheduled to begin in July, and will take approximately a year to complete. Casting is now 'taking place in LA, London and New York,' and [director Guillermo] Del Toro is already 'living in Wellington, close to the Jacksons and the studio in Miramar.' Apparently the script is still being worked on, and 'the first draft is crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle-earth.' The planned sequel to The Hobbit is to be an original story not written by Tolkien, covering the 60 years between The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings."

Emmerich Plans Foundation As a 3D Epic 283

spuke4000 writes "Roland Emmerich, the writer/director/producer behind Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012 is planning to adapt Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. The plans include using technology developed for Avatar including 3D and motion capture technology. When asked about using this technology Emmerich responded: 'It has to be done all CG because I would not know how to shoot this thing in real.'"

Banking Via Twitter? 193

In the latest example of how just because you can do something doesn't mean you should, one credit union has decided to offer a new feature, dubbed "tweetMyMoney," that allows members to interact with their accounts via Twitter. Can't wait for the next version, "tweetSomeoneElsesMoney." "tweetMyMoney, available exclusively to Vantage members! With tweetMyMoney, you can monitor your account balance, deposits, withdrawals, holds and cleared checks with simple commands. And, you can even transfer funds within your account. It's all available on Twitter, 24/7!"

Sam Raimi To Direct World of Warcraft Movie 298

Decado writes "Blizzard has just announced that Sam Raimi is to direct the new World of Warcraft movie. 'Raimi, acclaimed director of the blockbuster Spider-Man series, will bring the forces of the Horde and the Alliance to life in epic live-action film. Charles Roven's Atlas Entertainment will produce alongside Raimi's Stars Road Entertaiment.' While it's still early in the process, does this offer hope that someone might finally make a good movie based on a game IP?"

Inflatable Tower Could Climb To the Edge of Space 296

MonkeyClicker writes with mention of a proposal that could see an inflatable tower helping to carry people to the edge of space without the need for rocket propulsion. This would function in place of previous space elevator designs which featured a large cable and could be completed much faster, if proponents of the project are to be believed. "To stay upright and withstand winds, full-scale structures would require gyroscopes and active stabilization systems in each module. The team modeled a 15-kilometer tower made up of 100 modules, each one 150 meters tall and 230 meters in diameter, built from inflatable tubes 2 meters across. Quine estimates it would weigh about 800,000 tonnes when pressurized — around twice the weight of the world's largest supertanker."

Russian Manned Space Vehicle May Land With Rockets 197

The Narrative Fallacy writes "Russia's next-generation manned space vehicle may be equipped with thrusters to perform a precision landing on its return to Earth. Previous manned missions have landed on Earth using a parachute or, in the case of space shuttles, a pair of wings. Combined with retractable landing legs and a re-usable thermal protection system, the new system promises to enable not only a safe return to Earth, but also the possibility of performing multiple space missions with the same crew capsule. The spacecraft will fire its engines at an altitude of just 600-800m, as the capsule is streaking toward Earth after re-entering the atmosphere at the end of its mission. After a vertical descent, the precision landing would be initiated at the altitude of 30m above the surface. Last July, Korolev-based RKK Energia released the first drawings of a multi-purpose transport ship, known as the Advanced Crew Transportation System (ACTS), which, at the time, Russia had hoped to develop in co-operation with Europe. 'It was explained to us how it was supposed to work and, I think, from the technical point of view, there is no doubt that this concept would work,' says Christian Bank, the leading designer of manned space systems at EADS-Astrium in Bremen, Germany. However, the design of the spacecraft's crew capsule had raised eyebrows in some quarters, as it lacked a parachute — instead sporting a cluster of 12 soft-landing rockets, burning solid propellant. Inside Russia, the idea apparently has many detractors. During the formal defense of the project, one high-ranking official skeptical of the rocket-cushioned approach to landing reportedly used an unprintable expletive to describe what was going to happen to crew members unlucky enough to encounter a rocket engine failure a few seconds before touchdown."

Energy-Beaming Space Collector To Also Alter Weather? 274

Recently we covered California utility company PG&E's ambitious deal with upstart Solaren to beam energy to earth from a space-based solar collector. What we didn't know is Solaren's patent also covers the alteration of weather elements with that very same system. "By heating up the upper and middle levels of an infant hurricane, they say they could disrupt the flows of air that power the enormous storms. Air warmed by tropical waters flows up through a hurricane and is vented through the eye into the upper atmosphere. Theoretically, you could heat up the top of the storm and lower the pressure differential between layers, resulting in a weaker storm. "

UK Cops Want "Breathalyzers" For PCs 545

An anonymous reader writes "One of the UK's top cyber cops, detective superintendent Charlie McMurdie, says the top brass want to develop the equivalent of a breathalyzer for computers, a simple tool that could be plugged into a machine during a raid and retrieve evidence of illegal activity. McMurdie said the device was needed because of a record number of PCs were being seized by police and because the majority of cops don't have the skills to forensically analyse a computer."

Battlestar Galactica Gets Spinoff Prequel Series 297

It was recently announced that sci-fi remake series Battlestar Galactica is getting a whole new spinoff prequel series called "Caprica." Signed on for twenty hours worth of finished product, including a two-hour pilot, the new series is to be set 50 years prior to Battlestar Galactica, and will focus on two rival families, the Graystones and the Adamas. "Enmeshed in the burgeoning technology of artificial intelligence and robotics that will eventually lead to the creation of the Cylons, the two houses go toe-to-toe blending action with corporate conspiracy and sexual politics. 'Caprica' will deliver all of the passion, intrigue, political backbiting and family conflict in television's first science fiction family saga."

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.