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Comment Defracking? Is that a thing? (Score 1) 28

If fracking contaminated well water with oil, I'm sure they would. Unfortunately, the claim is that fracking contaminates well water with fracking compounds used by the driller, not the oil. This does them no good at all.

Quite right... the water wells are seldom contaminated with oil. Salty production water, carcinogenic solvents, and as yet mystery fracking chemicals are much more common invaders of the fresh water table due to drilling activities.

Every well drilled for oil/gas exploitation travels through the water table to get to the energy reservoir. There is an industry practice of casing these wells with concrete to below where the water table ends, altruistically protecting the water table from the well.

Consider the millions of producing US wells alone: a fraction of a percent of casing failures would still be a huge number of well contaminations. Add the number of all wells drilled since Titusville in 1896, and factor in the likelihood that the older wells were less concerned with safety.

Comment Re:bunch of silliness (Score 1) 11

AT&T was paid to run fiber past my house. They weren't paid to hook anyone to it. The copper line doesn't support DSL. Cable ends a mile from my house. I pay $80 a month for 17 Gigs by satellite.

A similar conundrum has befallen our little neighborhood. We have local AT&T fiber, and were talked into upgrading to an ultra-fast Uverse deal. As luck would have it, we are 1.5 km (5000 ft) from the pedestal that has the magical fiber optic line, and our run from there is copper phone line. 12mbps down/ 1mbps up per month for $70+.

And it's better than what the neighbors get.

Comment Well, Jimmy's parents let HIM do it! (Score 1) 78

Perhaps the worst thing to come out of the Snowden revelations is not this apathy towards the surveillance state.

Reform may have been the the benign goal of the surveillance leaks, but as that just hasn't happened, the bar where right vs. wrong is set has been lowered along with the stock that is the United States.

Perhaps worse than people not caring (enough) that their whole world is fast becoming an Orwellian nightmare, we are now left without a credible nation to voice the message of Worldly evil.

Comment FTA (Score 1) 37

"Of course, nanobots are often the source of speculation about the death of all humanity. There is the "grey goo" theory that one day nanobots will learn to self-replicate and quickly eat everything organic on the planet in a never-ending urge to procreate. There are several explanations about why this couldn't happen, including the fact that we could stop it with a fairly simple electromagnetic pulse. But it is fun to think that with this step toward a viable 3D-printed microscopic delivery device we are either one step closer to curing all the diseases of mankind or one step closer to just destroying ourselves entirely. Or both."

It's the way of too many of our watershed technological breakthroughs. When you ask if we are ready for the responsibility of a potential Doomsday Device, be certain to solve for (we).

Comment Re:Dumbest thing I've heard today. (Score 1) 575

I rather want to believe he thought it was a joke rather than an immigration policy initiative...you know, the kind of thing a celebrity bounces off his sycophantic entourage instead of a single critical ear.

Part of Trump's charm seems to be his lack of a filter in this be careful as fuck what you say era we live in.

It would appear the Jersey Governor may lack the Donald's Teflon skin.

Comment Re:Coma (Score 1) 81

Wouldn't it be better just to put the crew into a medically induced coma for a year or so instead? Lower metabolisms, less calories and air required and no mental problems to deal with.

No. That would be great training for extended space travel.

This experiment is designed to examine close quartered living arrangements on a foreign planet.

What can we do to keep people from killing each other in Space?

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll