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Earth

Exxon and Russian Operation Discovers Oil Field Larger Than the Gulf of Mexico 199

Posted by samzenpus
from the drill-baby-drill dept.
An anonymous reader writes The state-run OAO Rosneft has discovered a vast pool of crude in the Kara Sea region of the Arctic Ocean, arguably bigger than the Gulf of Mexico. From the article: "The discovery sharpens the dispute between Russia and the U.S. over President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine. The well was drilled before the Oct. 10 deadline Exxon was granted by the U.S. government under sanctions barring American companies from working in Russia’s Arctic offshore. Rosneft and Exxon won’t be able to do more drilling, putting the exploration and development of the area on hold despite the find announced today."
China

China Eager To Send Its Own Mission To Mars In the Wake of Mangalyaan 84

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-late-than-never dept.
MarkWhittington writes The recent arrival into Mars orbit of both NASA's MAVEN and India's Mangalyaan Mars Orbiter Mission has not escaped the notice of China. The achievement of its Asian rival has especially proven galling to the Chinese. China has yet to successfully send a space probe beyond the moon. The development has elicited calls in Beijing to accelerate China's Mars program. China currently plans to send a rover to Mars in 2020 and, perhaps, do a Mars sample return mission in 2030. However, it feels that India, which China regards as its rival in an Asian space race, has stolen the spotlight and has left the Chinese behind. China is now keen to try to play catchup with its own Mars mission. One of the hold ups for a Chinese interplanetary exploration program is the delays surrounding the development of the Long March 5 rocket, which will be roughly the equivalent of the America Delta IV in its capabilities. The Chinese launch vehicle unveiling has slipped to at least 2015 because of the technological challenges it faces. The Long March 5 is also needed to launch the 20 ton modules of the Chinese space station, currently planned for later this decade.

Comment: What old technology can't I give up? (Score 1) 635

by Hartree (#47789117) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Cooked food.

That's a very old technology that I just can't seem to give up.

Steak tartare just doesn't sit well with my tummy, and a glass full of raw eggs for breakfast is right out, regardless of what Rocky thought.

And don't even get me started about raw potatos.

(Clue: Technology is not just electronics.)

Stats

Statistics Losing Ground To CS, Losing Image Among Students 115

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the big-bad-data dept.
theodp (442580) writes Unless some things change, UC Davis Prof. Norman Matloff worries that the Statistician could be added to the endangered species list. "The American Statistical Association (ASA) leadership, and many in Statistics academia," writes Matloff, "have been undergoing a period of angst the last few years, They worry that the field of Statistics is headed for a future of reduced national influence and importance, with the feeling that: [1] The field is to a large extent being usurped by other disciplines, notably Computer Science (CS). [2] Efforts to make the field attractive to students have largely been unsuccessful."

Matloff, who has a foot in both the Statistics and CS camps, but says, "The problem is not that CS people are doing Statistics, but rather that they are doing it poorly. Generally the quality of CS work in Stat is weak. It is not a problem of quality of the researchers themselves; indeed, many of them are very highly talented. Instead, there are a number of systemic reasons for this, structural problems with the CS research 'business model'." So, can Statistics be made more attractive to students? "Here is something that actually can be fixed reasonably simply," suggests no-fan-of-TI-83-pocket-calculators-as-a-computational-vehicle Matloff. "If I had my druthers, I would simply ban AP Stat, and actually, I am one of those people who would do away with the entire AP program. Obviously, there are too many deeply entrenched interests for this to happen, but one thing that can be done for AP Stat is to switch its computational vehicle to R."
The Internet

Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps" 341

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the doubleplus-ungood-pirate dept.
mpicpp (3454017) writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica about Comcast's data caps that aren't data caps:Customers must pay more if they exceed limits — but it's not a cap, Comcast says. For the past couple of years, Comcast has been trying to convince journalists and the general public that it doesn't impose any "data caps" on its Internet service. ... That's despite the fact that Comcast in some cities enforces limits on the amount of data customers can use and issues financial penalties for using more than the allotment. Comcast has said this type of billing will probably roll out to its entire national footprint within five years, perhaps alongside a pricier option to buy unlimited data. ... Comcast's then-new approach was touted to "effectively offer unlimited usage of our services because customers will have the ability to buy as much data as they want."
Medicine

Why Bhutan Might Get Drone Delivery Copters Before Seattle Does 102

Posted by timothy
from the go-where-they'll-let-you-in dept.
From Quartz comes the story of a Silicon Valley start-up trying to kickstart a delivery system using package-laden drones to overfly gridlocked traffic — in Bhutan. Bhutanese roads are slow, the weather can be brutal, and there are very few physicians to go around. That’s why, earlier this year, the Bhutanese government and the World Health Organization reached out to Matternet, a Palo Alto company backed by some big name American investors that develops transportation networks using unmanned aerial vehicles to reach hard-to-access places. ... The project in Bhutan, however, is the first big test for the startup. Matternet is aiming to build a network of low-cost quadcopters to connect the country’s main hospitals with rural communities. Matternet uses small quadcopters that can carry loads of about four pounds across 20 km at a time, to and from pre-designated landing stations. The company is able to track these flights in real-time, and aims to eventually deploy fully-automated landing stations that replace drone batteries, giving them extended range and flight time. The drones it uses typically cost between $2,000-5,000.

Comment: Re:Memory Troubles: (Score 1) 582

by Hartree (#47558887) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

In response to shelling from South Ossetia which you somehow don't think of as a violation (of an agreement that only Russia recognized). The history behind that war is long, and each side can come up with justifications.

By your logic, the current war in Gaza wouldn't be considered aggressive because Israel was responding to rocket fire.

It's all aggressive. Your logic seems to be "My guys are good, so they are beyond criticism." Horse hockey.

Comment: Re:Memory Troubles: (Score 1) 582

by Hartree (#47547515) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Sounds like you don't just have memory troubles, but factual troubles as well.

Russia is indeed a major player in BRICS, but the Chinese economy is fully 4 times as large. Even Brazil's GDP is greater.

Now, how a dust up in the Ukraine will sink an economic union that the rest of outweighs Russia by 6 to 1 in GDP is beyond me. The Brazillians, Chinese, and Indians are not being heavily impacted by this.

Start learning some history. This is about the fact on the ground that it's extremely difficult to defend Western Russia without having at least a neutral Ukraine. It's just not far enough from Europe to Moscow. The military in Russia has a long memory, and it includes Napoleon and Nazi Germany invading. The Russian high command knows that the defense in depth and the long cold winter retreat in both cases was what let them win. Without the Ukraine they get very nervous.

This conspiracy theory that it's all to undermine BRICS at the behest of the Rothschilds or some other bogeyman/illuminati is laughable.

Comment: Re:The failure mode is transformer core saturation (Score 2) 91

by Hartree (#47536957) Attached to: The Truth About Solar Storms

Or, the grid operators could monitor space weather information. (Which they do.)

We have multiple satellite systems (ACE, SOHO, STEREO, etc.) that can detect CMEs nearly as soon as they happen. The travel time to earth, even for the Carrington Event was 18 hours.

With an even shorter warning, you can do a lot to minimize damage.

In that time, you can declare nationwide power emergencies, shed load and shut down vulnerable systems.

Yes, it's ugly and takes time to come back up, but it's a lot better than zapping the whole long distance transmission system.

Much of the really critical infrastructure can disconnect and run on internal generators.

Are there places that will get caught by it? Sure. Will it be a major pain in the kiester? Of course. But it'll hardly be the "Collapse of Civilization"(tm).

It's been a business doing pleasure with you.

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