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Comment Re:Shouldn't have to run oil by rail (Score 1) 199

I did some work on software used for a corrosion inspection system. The basic idea is that any medium travelling through a pipe corrodes the pipe at a measureable rate. Pipelines have procedures in place to monitor corrosion over time with special attention given to "weak links". There is a lot of careful engineering that goes into building and maintaining a pipeline.

Regarding setting conditions for running a pipeline through a sensitive area:
A review of the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline approved the proposal in principle with 209 conditions.
But the public's reaction proves that, for some people, no amount of protection will ever be enough.

I am very concerned that the opposition to pipelines will result in more of these kind of accidents.
It seems to me, from following the Lac Megantic disaster, that the safety protocols on rail lines needs some review.

Submission + - Nobel Prize Winner Randy Schekman Boycotts Journals for 'Branding Tyranny' ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: One of this year's winners of the Nobel Peace prize has declared a boycott on leading academic journals after he accused them of contributing to the "disfigurement" of science.

Randy Schekman, who won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, said he would no longer contribute papers or research to the prestigious journals, Nature, Cell and Science and called for other scientists to fight the "tyranny" of the publications.

Comment Re:Estimation (Score 1) 473

Estimating continues to be the bane of my existence.
But the most lost I every was involved trying to estimate a full database data conversion process from an old non-rdbms system.
"Oh but our data is clean", they said.
I spent over a week just fixing / coding for bad date formats.
I asked a senior guy for advice. He suggested something similar:

Come up with a number. Multiple by an arbitrary single digit. Double it. Double it again.

Eventually I learned not to fix bid data conversion. Ever.

Comment Re:Improvement (Score 2) 232

I agree that fusion power has been 20 years off for at least 60 years now.
We have known the basic principles for a long time so how hard can it be, right?
You just mash some atoms together until they fuse. After lunch we will tackle time travel.

What makes this different is the international consortium of government funding of the project to the tune of $30 BILLION.
Call me naive, but I believe this is going to happen. On time and on budget, well, that is a different question.

Comment Re:This is why they hate us (Score 2) 228

Yes, Fantec was approached in an effort to work it out.
Their initial reaction was to deny everything.
When confronted with undeniable proof, they simply blamed a contractor and said that they were not responsible. least, that's what the articles I read reported.
At that point, what options are left?

Submission + - Groupon CEO is fired but goes out with class (

Inzkeeper writes: Groupon CEO Andrew Mason made public an email he sent to Groupon employees. He takes responsibility for the company's downturn, expresses his appreciation for his staff, and wishes them well. "For those who are concerned about me, please don't be — I love Groupon, and I'm terribly proud of what we've created. I'm OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through."

Submission + - Torvalds clarifies Linux's Windows 8 Secure Boot position (

An anonymous reader writes: No one, but no one, in the Linux community likes Microsoft's mandated deployment of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Secure Boot option in Windows 8 certified PCs. But, how Linux should handle the fixes required to deal with this problem remains a hot-button issue. Now, as the debate continues hot and heavy, Linus Torvalds, Linux's founder and de facto leader, spells out how he thinks Linux should deal with Secure Boot keys.

Submission + - Anonymous Leaks Bank Of America 'Secrets' (

redletterdave writes: "Hacker collective Anonymous released 16 gigabytes of data, code and software on Thursday related to Bank of America, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and others, claiming that Bank of America had employed security firms to 'spy and collect information on private citizens.' From the Anonymous press release: 'We release the received files in full to raise awareness to this issue and to send a signal to corporations and Governments that this is unacceptable.'"

Submission + - Moscow's speed cameras 'knackered' by MYSTERY malware (

iComp writes: "Malware has infected a Russian police computer network, knackering speed cameras in and around Moscow, according to reports.

Broadsheet daily Izvestia reckons a server operated by the Office of Traffic Police was infiltrated by an unidentified Trojan. The infection disabled parts of the cops' Arrow-ST system used to monitor key highways in and around the Russian capital, we're told.

Cleaning up the mess has been complicated by the transfer of a government contract for the equipment's maintenance: SK Region, the supplier of the kit, handed the reins over to IntechGeoTrans earlier this year.

The cameras should bring in 100 million roubles ($3.2m) per month in speeding fines, but the network apparently hasn't been working properly for at least two weeks. Some reports suggested it went wrong as early as the start of February.

All this has sparked a massive political row: politicians blamed IntechGeoTrans for not sorting out the problem, but the company claimed it inherited a system in a state of chronic disrepair."


Submission + - Texas Declares War on Robots ( 2

Mr_Blank writes: Organizations like the EFF and ACLU have been raising the alarm over increased government surveillance of US citizens. Legislators haven't been quick to respond to concerns of government spying on citizens. But Texas legislators are apparently quite concerned that private citizens operating hobby drones might spot environmental violations by businesses. Representative Lance Gooden has introduced HB912 which proposes: "A person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image. ('Image' is defined as including any type of recorded telemetry from sensors that measure sound waves, thermal, infrared, ultraviolet, visible light, or other electromagnetic waves, odor, or other conditions.)" Can you foresee any unintended consequences if this proposal becomes law?

Submission + - Tech Guru Warns Of Internet "Disaster" (

helix2301 writes: "Speaking to Wired’s Michael V. Copeland at the TED 2013 conference currently taking place in Long Beach, Hillis argues that because so many interconnected systems are now reliant on the world wide web, “We’re setting ourselves up for disaster, like we did with the financial system.” Pointing to examples like the Stuxnet virus, US military data being routed through China, and the threat of a massive denial of service attack targeting the entire web, Hillis advocates building a second backbone that would kick in like a back-up generator “when the internet is in trouble.”"

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