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Comment: Attraction? (Score 1) 262

the sort of spectacular, over-the-top attraction Dubai is known for.

"Spectacular", yes. "Over-the-top", certainly.


It's in fucking Dubai. That in itself makes it as attractive as a dose of syphilis.

(OK,I'll admit to having had to work in that area - there are a few nice people in the working classes, but most of the locals and ex-pats are a bunch of bastards.)

+ - UK government to rush in emergency surveillance laws-> 2

Submitted by beaker_72
beaker_72 (1845996) writes "The Guardian reports that the UK government has unveiled plans to introduce emergency surveillance laws into the UK parliament at the beginning of next week. These are aimed at reinforcing the powers of security services in the UK to force service providers to retain records of their customers phone calls and emails. The laws, which have been introduced after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that existing laws invaded individual privacy, will receive cross-party support and so will not be subjected to scrutiny or challenged in Parliament before entering the statute books. But as Tom Watson (Labour backbench MP and one of few dissenting voices) has pointed out, the ECJ ruling was six weeks ago, so why has the government waited until now to railroad something through. Unless of course they don't want it scrutinised too closely."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Original article. (Score 1) 2

by RockDoctor (#47423359) Attached to: UK government to rush in emergency surveillance laws
The original message from Tom Watson is at

Sounds indeed like they're up to something.

Tom Watson is an enemy of powerful people. "According to the Sun newspaper, Watson is a fundamentalist zealot who denounces any deviation from socialism. MP and author of a book on corruption by NewsCorp."

If the Sun hate you, as well as the rest of Murdoch's Empire of Evil, then you must be doing something right.

Did I get FP?

Comment: Re:Mt. St. Helens ins't the monster volcano... (Score 1) 105

by RockDoctor (#47423227) Attached to: Mapping a Monster Volcano

The yellowstone caldera - that thing is the nation killer, possibly world-killer if it ever goes up.

It's not "if it ever goes up" ; it's "when it goes up AGAIN" ; there have been 4 or 5 major eruptions of Yellowstone in the last couple of millions of years.

"World-killer"? Evidently not. Nation-killer? Possibly. Very destructive, when it next goes off? Certainly.

Am I concerned? See 2 minutes into this video.

Comment: Re:And this doesn't seem like a bad idea? (Score 1) 105

by RockDoctor (#47423193) Attached to: Mapping a Monster Volcano
Do you think they're al going to be set off at once?

If they did that, how would they know if they're listening to a delayed echo from shot point #7, indicating a magma chamber at 17km depth, or a differently-delayed echo from shot point #13, indicating a magma chamber at 27km depth, or a differently-delayed echo from shot point #4, indicating a magma chamber at 7km depth, or a differently-delayed echo from shot point #2, indicating a magma chamber at 2km depth, ...

It gets repetitive, doesn't it? That's why deconvolving seismic data is, and always has been, a major consumer of computing resources.

Watch some video of a seismic array being shot. They (well, "we" - I do some seismic-while-drilling work, though I don't claim to be an expert) fire one gun at a time, then listen for an appropriate number of seconds (the "two-way time" to collect the echoes. Then they fire the next gun in the array (or wait for the gun to re-charge, if there's only one gun), and listen for the echoes ... it gets repetitive. With every shot (hundreds of thousands in a survey) recorded up to kilohertz for each of up to thousands of hydrophones, each one of which has it's GPS position recorded at all times in the recording phase (because where things are matters) ... you rapidly climb through the tens of terabytes of data.

Comment: Re:And this doesn't seem like a bad idea? (Score 1) 105

by RockDoctor (#47423115) Attached to: Mapping a Monster Volcano

proposals to strip mine areas

There are intermittent efforts to develop various mineral resources in that area. But the details in the press are limited. What I can see is compatible with anything between literally tearing a mountainside apart and turning it into dust to driving an adit into the hillside and following a vein. That's a large variety of different mining techniques.

The people of the area have procedures for assessing environmental damage likelihood, and for balancing the likely effects of employment in a mining operation versus the (possible / probable) loss of tourism income. I'll let them argue that question.

Meanwhile, at the weekend I'm thinking of going up a very nice mountain which I know, but where there is ongoing disagreement between the locals (who want to develop a gold mine and have jobs to keep the young men in the area) and the regional capital (who want to keep the hillside pretty for tourism). And as both a geologist (interested in the minerals) and a mountaineer (who loves the whole area), I'm going to keep my mouth shut and my ears open.

Comment: Re:And this doesn't seem like a bad idea? (Score 1) 105

by RockDoctor (#47423077) Attached to: Mapping a Monster Volcano
As I say up-thread, the important issue is the length of fracture that you can create with your explosion, and whether that penetrates far enough into the volcano (cylinder) to increase the stress level in the remaining material to the point at which the fracture will continue to propagate after the fracture initiating event (explosion).

Understanding fracture propagation is a pretty basic part of materials science, and (probably) fundamental to many courses in mechanical engineering. (I'm a geologist, and we covered it un structural geology. But mechanical engineers of my acquaintance when I was a student studied the same material at a different part of their course. They also did a bit of geology - you need a bit to understand what you're building foundations in/ on.)

Try for a starter.

Incidentally, I've seen a charged compressed air cylinder fall 10m and land on rough boulders. With about 250bar of air inside, we leapt for shelter, expecting it to go off like a bomb, but it didn't. So, somewhat gingerly, the person who dropped it came down the rope and carried on "Sherpa-ing" it into the cave where the diver was going to use it. We gave the a hydraulic test the next day, and it passed, but with that dent in it, it was never going to pass a visual inspection, so it was relegated to the back of the club's air bank.

I don't recommend treating cylinders like that, but they're not as delicate as you'd think. Well, not the steel ones ; I don't know anyone who uses aluminium tanks.

Comment: Re:And this doesn't seem like a bad idea? (Score 1) 105

by RockDoctor (#47423037) Attached to: Mapping a Monster Volcano
Wearing my "Rig Geologist" hard hat, I'd not say that.

Even nuking the volcano would not cause an eruption.

You could trigger an eruption with a relatively small explosion - enough to displace a few hundred cubic metres of rock - BUT only if the volcano were already on the brink of erupting already. You'd need to have magma or gasses to within a few hundred metres of surface.

You'd feel the earthquakes from the rising magma for at least several days before the event. You might not notice the earthquakes - if you had a lot of background seismic activity, for example - but getting magma from a deeper magma chamber to within a few hundreds of metres of the surface would result in both earthquakes and also appreciable ground movement. Which is precisely why volcanic observatories deploy networks of local seismographs, tilt-meters, and latterly (D)GPS stations to, errr, observe the volcano they're trying to observe.

Basically, I agree with you. But we do have techniques capable of causing fractures in rocks for up to several hundreds of metres, so there is a necessary caveat.

(Just to poke a popular screaming point for the geologically ill-informed, most oil and gas wells subjected to fracking are several kilometres below any exploited aquifers. but fracking fractures rarely exceed a couple of hundred metres in length.)

Comment: Re:X-2 and X-3 (Score 1) 103

Why spend spend 100 Billion to go slower?

In the case of Eurocopter, the answer is obvious - there would be uproar if the US Army brought significant amounts of equipment of any sort from filthy foreigners.

I'm not sure if Sikorsky are USian or not. [Wikis] They're USian, so they should be OK to enter the bidding.

Going dual, co-axial rotor is complex, but it can be done. The Russian Kamov corporation has been making them for over 50 years now, in a variety of configurations.

Though I fly in helicopters all the time, speed of flight isn't important to me - we need more range.

Comment: Re:That's Less Than $1 per Device (Score 1) 526

by RockDoctor (#47422899) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots
... which is so different from the way that Europe raped Africa for it's resources for the last few centuries.

(With, it must be said, the active connivance of some Africans. Those slaves didn't catch themselves and haul themselves to the slave-trading ports. And those mine-workers didn't whip themselves.)

The world is not octal despite DEC.