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Submission + - Shell Allowed to Start Drilling at the Arctic ( 1

mvar writes: In a move that has drawn the opposition of quite a few environmental groups, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement and Regulation, or BOEMRE, gave its conditional approval on Thursday to a plan that could see Shell drilling in the Beaufort Sea as early as next year. The decision is contingent upon Shell securing drilling, air quality and other necessary permits and authorizations. Shell plans to drill up to four wells over two years in the Beaufort. Michael Bromwich, BOEMRE's director, said the agency bases it decisions surrounding energy exploration and development in the Arctic on the best scientific information available.

Comment The hazards of urban stargazing. (Score 1) 87

The Good:
                  I saw 5 rocks burn up on entry.
                  I smoked two really good cigars.
                  I had a really nice French Roast.
                  I had a really good Cabernet Franc.

The Bad:
                  I got hit up for money by bums.
                  I was cold.
                  My coffee got cold.

The Ugly.
                  I got hassled by a cop.
                  I got to learn what "light pollution" really means.

I really miss living in the New Mexico desert. As a child, I got to see the Milky Way spread across the sky on moonless nights. It was breathtaking.


Submission + - Technical Writing changes with the times (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "What characterized technical writing during the early digital years was what we might call a WTFM mentality, for "write the fantastic manual" (or words to that effect). When software or hardware development was done, the tech writer came in on contract and produced a manual, then vanished from the process except for occasional updates. The task was to produce the manual as the last task before shipping.

With the change in our society brought by digital technology has come a change in what the fantastic manual might be, both in form and content. In the 1930s, an egg-beater was a separate tool from a mixer; in the 1950s, they were interchangeable attachments to a motorized mixer base; in the 2000s, they are different rotation patterns programmed into a mixing unit which hooks up to the network, serves a web page of usage statistics, and probably stores recipes to boot."

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Bicycle Key Unlocked British Nukes

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "BBC is reporting that until 1998 British nuclear weapons were armed by inserting a bicycle lock key into the arming switch and turning it through 90 degrees. There was no code which needed to be entered or dual key system to prevent a rogue individual from arming the Bomb. The British military resisted proposals to fit bombs with Permissive Action Links — or PALs — which would prevent them being armed unless the right code was sent. PALs were introduced in the 1960s in America to prevent a mad General or pilot launching a nuclear war off their own bat — the Dr Strangelove scenario. The correct code had to be transmitted by the US Chiefs of Staff and dialed into the Bomb before it could be armed otherwise it would not detonate. Papers at Britian's National Archive show that as early as 1966 an attempt was made to impose PAL security on British nuclear weapons. The Royal Navy argued that officers of the Royal Navy as the Senior Service could be trusted: "It would be invidious to suggest... that Senior Service officers may, in difficult circumstances, act in defiance of their clear orders". Learn how to arm a WE 177 nuclear bomb (video)."

Submission + - Yahoo Downgrades MusicMatch Jukebox

BanjoBob writes: MusicMatch Jukebox has been a bundle of great MP3 and music management applications in one package. Apparently, it is the end of life for this wonderful MP3 player, ripper, catalog, CD player, Internet radio player, purchase outlet, Auto DJ, Super Tagger and music database. There was nothing not to like about the product. There is nothing to like about the new downgrade Yahoo! Music Jukebox. MusicMatch users are finding that they get upgrade notices to Yahoo! Those who have taken the bait are not pleased. Yahoo! Music Jukebox feedback doesn't have a lot nice to say about the product. Lots of features have gone away and that Free Upgrade costs about $20.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Order your OpenMoko open mobile phone

kliese writes: You can now order your OpenMoko open mobile phone. "OpenMoko is a GNU / Linux based open software development platform. Developers have full access to OpenMoko source and they can tailor their implementations to underlying hardware platforms."

According to a mass mailing received today, "Today is the day that we've all been waiting for: We can finally take your order for the world's first freed phone."
The Internet

Submission + - MediaDefenders caught violating copyright law?

uglydog writes: MediaDefenders is hosting a pdf of a Wall Street Journal article on its site in a manner that appears to violate section 6. b. of the WSJ subscriber agreement (read the disclaimer at the end of the pdf). The link to the pdf is off of MediaDefenders marketing page (mouse over "News" on the left navbar and check out link for the 2nd item on the page). This happens right after an incident where MediaDefenders was allegedly entrapping p2p users.

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