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Osage Oppose Wind Power At Tallgrass Prairie 147

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Tulsa World reports that Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle of the Osage Nation says the tribe, although not opposed to alternative energy development in general, has found significant reasons to oppose wind farms on the tallgrass prairie, 'a true national treasure' whose last small fragments remain only in Osage County and in Kansas. The Osage County wind farms would not be built in the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, located northeast of Ponca City, but would be visible from it and Preserve Director Bob Hamilton has urged the county and the state to steer wind development to areas of the county that are not ecologically sensitive. 'Not all areas in the Osage are sensitive,' says Hamilton. 'What makes the tallgrass prairie so special is its big landscape. It's not just local — it has global significance.' The Osage also fear that large wind farms will interfere with extracting oil and gas, from which royalties are paid in support of tribal members as the Osage retain their tribal mineral rights owned in common by members of the tribe. 'They weren't thinking about the mineral estate — just about compensating landowners,' says Galen Crum, chairman of the tribal Minerals Council. 'How are we supposed to know the price of oil in 50 years?'"

Google Wallet: the End of Anonymous Shopping 253

jfruhlinger writes "Google today announced Google Wallet, an NFC-based payment system that will allow people to pay for purchases just by waving their phone across a reader. It's the beginning of a future where commercial transactions are 'frictionless' and convenient — but it's a future where every transaction can be tracked and data-mined, as Dan Tynan points out. Stores can user information about your Doritos purchases to rearrange their wares; Google could push coupons via its new Google Offers service; your health insurance company might be interested in your sodium intake."

Comment Bose quality (Score 2, Interesting) 275

True story: An elderly gentleman walked into an electronics store in Toronto looking to buy speakers. The salesman showed him a couple of different models. The customer pointed at another set on the shelves and asked about them. The salesman said "Oh, those are Bose, they're crap." The customer was Amar Bose.

Comment Re:Shoestring budget (Score 3, Insightful) 40

Sorry, your facts are reversed. NASA's budget is $17 billion. China's space budget is $1.3 billion. Russia's space budget is $2.4 billion.

For eight times the money, the US manages to reach approximate parity with the Russians. This is the result of the badly designed Space Shuttle program which over its lifetime has cost $1.5 billion per launch.

Looking forward, SpaceX is on track to cut US launch costs by a factor of ten. That will make the US the #1 place to launch rockets -- for the first time since the 1970s.


YouTube Founders Acquire Delicious 66

An anonymous reader sent in a link to the Delicious blog, which reads, "Today, we're pleased to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, they have firsthand experience enabling millions of users to share their experiences with the world. They are committed to running and improving Delicious going forward."

Punish Bad Users With Drupal Misery 418

If you're sick of banning or deleting troublemakers on your Drupal website, you might want to check out Misery, the module designed to give trolls a taste of their own medicine. Creating a random length delay for a user, redirecting them to a random page, presenting them with a 404 error, and crashing their browser if they're using IE6 are just a few of the things you can make users endure with Misery. I'm still waiting patiently for a Punch In the Nose module, but this is a good start.

Comment Re:Spy plane makes no sense (Score 5, Interesting) 55

I agree completely that the X-37 makes no apparent sense. The only argument I can come up with is that returning is just a nice side effect of its real purpose: inclination changes. Chaning altitude and period and phase is all relatively easy with onboard thrusters (and X-37 has an orbital maneuvering engine almost as big as the Space Shuttle's). But the amount of thurst needed to change oribal inclination from, say equatorial to ISS, is vast. I calculated it recently as being equivalent to the delta-v provided by an earth to LEO launch.

What X-37 might be capable of is dipping into the atmosphere, banking, then thrusting back up to orbit. That's exactly what the Air Force's previous space plane was designed to do, the Dyna-soar. Once one has this capability, returning from orbit to a runway landing is a freebie since you already have the wings.

The recently concluded X-37 test flight did not show an inclination change. But look for it on a future flight. This would allow extreme flexability in imaging enemy action at completely unpredictable times.


Japan's Latest Rockstar Is a 3D Hologram 305

kkleiner writes "Hatsune Miku is a Japanese pop diva who's just started to play massive stadium concerts to sold out crowds. Her hair is blue, she dresses like Sailor Moon, and she'll only appear in concerts via a 3D 'hologram.' Oh, and did I forget to mention that she's completely fictional? Created by Crypton Future Media, Hatsune Miku and her virtual colleagues have gone on limited tours in Japan."

Comment Atmosphere (Score 5, Interesting) 140

Docking of course is just the first step. One also needs agreement on the atmosphere. American spacecraft (Apollo, Skylab) used 100% oxygen at 5 psi. Soviet spacecraft (Soyuz, Salut, Mir) used 20% oxygen 80% nitrogen at 14.7 psi. Neither side could change this easilly. Thus even though Apollo and Soyuz were able to physically dock in 1975, they had to use an airlock between the two spacecraft. Otherwise the cosmonauts would have gotten the bends from decompression and Apollo could have ruptured from overpressure.

Fortunately this is no longer much of an issue. As a result of the Apollo 1 fire and the deaths of Grissom, White and Chaffee, American spacecraft (starting with the Space Shuttle) adopted the Soviet approach.

Submission + - Open Source Space Docking System (

FTL writes: "Engineers from the US, Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe have come together to publish an International Docking Standard for spaceships. Currently the space station has three different types of incompatible docking ports, and the Chinese are developing their own. Standardizing on one type would permit interoperability and facilitate emergency rescues."

Submission + - Black hole emits a 1,000 light-year wide fireball ( 1

PhrostyMcByte writes: "12 million light-years away in the outer spiral of galaxy NGC 7793, a bubble of hot gas approximately 1,000 light-years in diameter can be found shooting out of a black hole — one of the most powerful jets of energy ever seen. The bubble has been growing for approximately 200,000 years, and is expanding at around 1,000,000 kilometers per hour."

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