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Comment Re:oil leaks aren't natural? (Score 1) 341

Of course we do. The Gulf is said to leak 2000 barrels a day naturally.

Technically a truism, but is there someone other than you by whom that is said?

Some natural leaks in the gulf of California are even bigger.

Which ones?

In 1995, the Smithsonian was saying that natural seeps globally totaled 62 million gallons/year which is about 4k barrels/day. In 2000, NASA put a number around 1.5k bbl/day on Gulf of Mexico seepage, with a methodology that couldn't fully exclude human-caused leakage but only included the northern GoM. The 2003 NRC "Oil in the Sea" report put global seepage at 600k tonnes/year which is about 12k bbl/day, and extrapolated the NASA GoM seepage data to 140k t/y for the whole GoM, or 2.8k bbl/day.

My point is not that 2k bbl/day is a wrong number, but that (as that NRC report made clear) natural seepage numbers are only a little more than order of magnitude estimates, and at best have only one significant digit. That is largely because the nature of marine seepage is such that it generally does not cause noticeable effects. The spread of those few thousand barrels per day across the whole of the GoM has led to the development of ecological systems that can degrade that widespread and essentially continuous input of oil that is seeping slowly in any single location and doing so through porous areas in sedimentary deposits that have effects on what reaches the open water. A well blowout is fundamentally different because the oil is spewing out of an open channel to a sub-surface reservoir which in most cases worth drilling has a non-porous cap layer above it. So even a partial well blowout like the current one brings both a gross carrying capacity overrun with more "oil" coming out in one place than the whole GoM system normally handles and a qualitative difference in what that "oil" consists of.

Comment Re:How is this different? (Score 1) 246

Well, this was the man page I found yesterday:
And, if you get the package from debian or ubuntu, it has the Artistic License.

Anyway, I just noticed that f I install d4x (version in debian 4.0), the binary is called "nt", and d4x is just a symlink to that binary. The man page installed along with it refers to "nt" and not d4x.
Maybe the license was changed from the artistic one at some point by the author, which probably means the source code was forked by debian developers and the name of the binary changed in the debian fork.

So, get the source package from debian or ubuntu, and you can modify it all you want. I'm assuming that the name change won't bother you.

Comment Re:Sorry kids (Score 1) 739

Actually, you really can't build a machine with better specs for less money, or at least not much less. A critical spec for a machine that goes into a media center is "small and quiet". Just dealing with the "small" part (nano-ITX, for example) is hard to do for significantly under $300 even without an optical drive, and that will get you a VIA CPU with VGA output. Want DVI? You're pretty much forced into the pico-ITX form factor and a $250 motherboard. And you still get a little toy VIA CPU.

If you can go as big as micro-ATX, you can get a real CPU and motherboard and case and come in just under $300 ($50 motherboard, $60 case, $50 HD, $60 CPU, plus probably another $50 for RAM), but you still have no Blu-Ray playback, no console gaming, etc.

Comment OK, a little advice (Score 1) 441

First, any company bigger than 20 people is going to have an HR person who is screening resumes. That person has no technical background at all. They don't know a good programmer from a good accountant from a good coffeemaker. What they do have is a buzzword bingo card. And they run through your resume, looking for the right buzzwords, and the ones they find get a checkmark, they add up the checkmarks and put the resume into one short stack, to send on to the manager that's actually hiring, and the big stack of rejects.

So you need to get a buzzword compliant resume. If you know C# put that on there. If you know SQL Server, or Oracle, or whatever else, put that on there. Do you know how to program microcontrollers? Put that on there. Break every convention you were taught in writing classes, and put a big list of all of the technologies you know using all the industry jargon you can. This isn't to make you look like a smart insider. This isn't for anyone's benefit but the little buzzword bingo player. You should have a collection of a half dozen or so targeted resumes you can send out, each one tailored to a certain industry and technology set with appropriate buzzwords for each.

That sounds really really cynical. It isn't. It's absolute truth. You must have the skills they're looking for, but more importantly they must be clearly presented somewhere so a receptionist (that's who did it at my first job) can figure it out. When I was looking for a job getting out of school, I went fully buzzword compliant and that's what got me there. Managers do not have time to go through 300 resumes to find the 5 people they want to interview for 2 positions. They delegate that. Delegation is what managers do.

Second, if you don't have the buzzwords (C#, Java, .Net, SQL Server, etc) get them. Find an internship. If you're getting ready to graduate and you didn't do that, you screwed up. Internships are how you get jobs. Or summer jobs. Or part time jobs. Or something where you can learn something practical in a real office environment. You still have time. Go pick up a "Learn C# in 30 days" book and figure it out well enough to write some code and make sure it's prominently displayed on your resume.

Third, know your market. If you tried to apply for a java programming job here in Kansas City, you'd be out of luck because Sprint's been laying off Java programmers by the bucketload. But trying to get a job using C# or VB.Net or as an entry level systems person on Windows Server would be pretty easy.

Finally, just remember, it does get better. The first job is the hard one to find. The rest get easier as you meet people and develop contacts. That's the key really. After you do your first blind job hunt, you never have to do it again, because you'll know someone. That means you need to build a reputation as someone who's really good at doing what they do while being extremely easy to work with and get along with.

I know it sucks, but really it's pretty much the last thing that sucks.

Comment Interesting reference to data loss (Score 1) 102

This may be a bit nit-picky but this bit in the article rubs me the wrong way:

"It's sort of a plague," said Kent Woerner, a network administrator for a public school district in Beloit, Kansas, some 5,500 miles away from Innovative Marketing's offices in Kiev. He ran into one of its products, Advanced Cleaner, when a teacher called to report that pornographic photos were popping up on a student's screen. A message falsely claimed the images were stored on the school's computer.

"When I have a sixth-grader seeing that kind of garbage, that's offensive," said Woerner. He fixed the machine by deleting all data from the hard drive and installing a fresh copy of Windows. All stored data was lost.

Stephen Layton, who knows his way around technology, ended up junking his PC, losing a week's worth of data that he had yet to back up from his hard drive, after an attack from an Innovative Marketing program dubbed Windows XP Antivirus. The president of a home-based software company in Stevensville, Maryland, Layton says he is unsure how he contracted the malware.

But he was certain of its deleterious effect. "I work eight-to-12 hours a day," he said. "You lose a week of that and you're ready to jump off the roof."

Here we have 2 supposedly technically proficient individuals who apparently had no clue how to recover data from the hard drives of computers before reinstalling the OS. Hell, even if you don't have a second computer on which to mount the infected drive in order to simply copy the data (absurd for a school admin, let alone a software developer) you could do a parallel install onto the same drive.

Let's get this right, folks: recovering the data should be paramount in most cases. There is no excuse for simply deleting data because you're too lazy a tech to back it up first. It simply is not that difficult.

Comment Re:You need a disc? (Score 2, Informative) 171

This is correct but I suspect MS' agreement runs out at the end of 2010 as that will be how long PS3 owners require the disk and possibly the same for Wii owners. Though depending on the size of the app and the Wii's limited space, Wii owners may be stuck with the disk for good.


Comment Re:Doesn't matter what country you are in... (Score 1) 667

An insight from the Old Continent. Italy used to have a fairly good health coverage, middle-class people were well off. Costs have consistently skyrocketed. In last years huge waves of immigration have almost loused up the service. You have to queue up after the enlarged family of the African immigrant worker, each having on average a couple of housewives, each having more or less five children and a grandma. All this on the contributions of the one breadwinner in the family. Guess what? The service is shite and the only happy people are the rich in their private clinics. God forbid you need the ER. Welcome back to the Middle Ages.

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