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Comment Re:Seems the "industry" may be correct about this (Score 1) 328

Since you cant really see if the cemented went okay, its many thousands of feet underground, its hard to tell if this is happening. When the high pressure drilling fluids are injected, they would easily flow right up that channel into the groundwater supply.

Actually, there is technology for this:

Since there is an economic incentive for the petroleum company to apply all that pressure and frac fluids ($$$ to the tune of 1/4 to 2/3 of the total cost of drilling the well) only to the hopefully-producing zone and nowhere else, you can rely on the cementing operations to be ordinarily done right, and then verified prior to frac-ing. Which isn't to say that things don't sometimes go wrong with cementing:

Note that in that well, I doubt that fracturing was even contemplated, since the reservoir was clearly capable of significant production without aid.

They say in the propoganda that there is many thousands of feet of impermeable rock between the pay dirt layer and the groundwater, but this doesnt mean much as you just drilled a hole through it all.

"Dirt" isn't the best choice of words to describe a rock formation which requires fracturing to liberate economic amounts of hydrocarbons. But, that said, we clearly know that ground water eventually seeps down to a certain depth when it encounters something that stops it and allows it to accumulate. The reverse is true of the natural gas trapped down below. It wants to escape upward. Something stops it. So the rock itself clearly is impermeable. During drilling, the fluid (drilling mud) is designed to be viscous and heavy enough to move the rock cuttings back to the surface and protect the rock formation itself. Again, there is an economic incentive to get this right, as you don't want to either have a blowout during drilling, if the mud is too light, or for the mud to be so heavy that it forces itself out into the formations you're drilling through, causing loss of circulation of the cuttings. Best practices require drilling an oversize hole with just water as the fluid down below the bottom of potential fresh water aquifer, then setting an initial "surface casing" and cementing that alone in order to protect the fresh water, before proceeding drilling within that casing down to the (much) deeper productive zones. Incidentally, that surface casing is also what gives you the opportunity to place a "blowout preventer (BOP)" in case something goes badly wrong during drilling. If you didn't have the surface casing, you'd have nothing to attach the BOP to--nothing to allow you to seal off the well in case of major problems.

Submission + - Twitpic Shutting Down Over Trademark Dispute (

exiguus writes: As of September 25th Twitpic will be no more. Twitter, allegedly, has threatened to deny them access to their API. Noah Everett said "Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to shut down Twitpic."

Resources will be made available to users to download their videos and photos, but a date when that function will be available has not been made available. "We’ll let everyone know when this feature is live in the next few days."

Submission + - Newegg judged to have infringed on TQP Development patent, ordered to pay $2.3m 1

yoink! writes: Ars Technica is reporting Newegg has been judged, by a jury of peers, to have infringed upon TQP Development's patent covering "Encrypted data transmission system employing means for randomly altering the encryption keys." Newegg, as is their MO, chose to challenge the patent rather than settle. Whitfield Diffie even took the stand (paid) on their behalf. Newegg will appeal the verdict.

Submission + - DNA Sequence Withheld From New Botulism Paper

rex.clts writes: In the IT security world, it is common practice to withhold specifics when announcing a newly discovered software vulnerability. The exact details regarding a buffer overflow or race condition are typically kept secret until a patch is available, to slow the proliferation of exploits against the hole. For the first time, this practice has been extended to medical publishing. A new form of Botulism has been identified, but its DNA sequence (the genetic code that makes up the toxin) has been withheld, until an antidote has been found. It seems that censorship in the name of "security" is spreading (with DHS involved this comes as no surprise.) Is this the right move?

Comment Re:We've come a long way from sticks and stones (Score 1) 734

The only way for your words to hurt me is for me to value your words. Since you aren't my mother, and you aren't my friend, nothing that you say can hurt me.

Two problems here with your line of thought. First, people who are capable of completely devaluing others' words (and, by extension, therefore, other people themselves) might just be tending towards sociopathy. This isn't normal behavior, and I'm not sure I'd much like a society where it was, or where it was encouraged to be.

Second, there is the matter of reputation. Even if the recipient of those words is able to emotionally brush them off in their direct impact (or appear to, so as to give a useful impression), the reaction of the rest of society to those words can be rather serious.

Comment Re:Oh no! (Score 1) 1532

And most of that money going to the retired is money that they paid in themselves.

No, that money was spent long ago supporting a previous generation of the retired. The system was set up in such a way as to be pay-as-you-go, robbing Peter to pay Paul, as it were.

Comment Re:Too bad tablets aren't modular (Score 1) 201

That goal, writ large, is what EOMA68 is about. FYI.

But, to take a narrow interpretation of your comment, tablets and cell phones are so monolithic because the big vendors want them to be, so we're forced into their proprietary app store/music store/pay-the-manufacturer-for-flash-memory-at-inflated-prices. It's become a manupulated market segmentation thing. SD card slots have become very rare as a result. But there is no technical reason why this has to be. All the ARM SoCs support SD cards (usually multiple ones). Most of the no-name Chinese tablets actually include microSD slots.

Submission + - Rhombus Tech 2nd revision A10 EOMA68 Card working samples (

lkcl writes: Rhombus Tech and QiMod have working samples of the first EOMA-68 CPU Card, featuring 1GByte of RAM, an A10 processor and stand-alone (USB-OTG-powered with HDMI output) operation. Upgrades will include the new Dual-Core ARM Cortex A7, the pin-compatible A20. This is the first CPU Card in the EOMA-68 range: there are others in the pipeline (A31, iMX6, jz4760 and a recent discovery of the Realtek RTD1186 is also being investigated).

The first product in the EOMA-68 family, also nearing a critical phase in its development, will be the KDE Flying Squirrel, a 7in user-upgradeable tablet featuring the KDE Plasma Active Operating System. Laptops, Desktops, Games Consoles, user-upgradeable LCD Monitors and other products are to follow. And every CPU that goes into the products will be pre-vetted for full GPL compliance, with software releases even before the product goes out the door. That's what we've promised to do: to provide Free Software Developers with the opportunity to be involved with mass-volume product development every step of the way. We're also on the look-out for an FSF-Endorseable processor which also meets mass-volume criteria which is proving... challenging.

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Rhombus Tech 2nd revision A10 EOMA68 Card ( 1

lkcl writes: "The 2nd revision of the A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card is complete and samples are due soon: one sample is due back with a Dual-Core Allwinner A20. This will match up with the new revision of the Vivaldi Spark Tablet, codenamed the Flying Squirrel. Also in the pipeline is an iMX6 CPU Card, and the search is also on for a decent FSF-Endorseable option. The Ingenic jz4760 has been temporarily chosen. Once these products are out, progress becomes extremely rapid."

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