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Ford Develops a Way To Monitor Police Driving

shbazjinkens I just got a message from the future! (151 comments)

I just got a message from the present. This will never be allowed because I will definitely put a monitoring device in my vehicle showing where all of the cops are as soon as the data is publicly available.

about three weeks ago
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Chinese Hackers Mess With Texas By Attacking Fracking Firms

shbazjinkens Frack! Propaganda, anyone? (104 comments)

And.. innovative?? Innovation? Involving fossil fuels? The only trade secrets they are likely protecting is the toxicity and environmental impact of fracking.

You don't know what you're talking about. There are a lot of trade secrets in fracking. There are trade secrets in the instruments that monitor and improve drilling. There are a lot of trade secrets developed to improve production efficiency. There's a lot of essentially "public" knowledge too, but even that is hard to come by, so internal training materials can be extremely valuable to capture that knowledge that is typically only accrued with experience or being an insider at a reputable company. Just because fossil fuels have been down there a long time doesn't mean there is no innovation involved in getting them, otherwise we (the USA) wouldn't have just passed up Saudi Arabia as the worlds biggest energy producer. American fracturing companies dominate the world market for fracturing.

China has a problem trying to exploit its shale reserves. They aren't as flat and even as those in the USA. So they may be looking for ways to make similar improvements exploiting their own shale reserves by looking at how we fracture reserves in states that do have some geological variance in their shale reserves, like Pennsylvania and Colorado. Chinese companies are making often pitiful attempts to compete in the international market with sub-par technology. It won't always be pitiful though, I think. They're obviously trying to improve and the only thing holding them back is the trade secrets.

about three weeks ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

shbazjinkens Alarmist BS (651 comments)

FTA:

But precisely finishing the last 20 percent of a lower receiver has still required access to a milling machine that typically costs tens of thousands of dollars.

Whatever. I made mine with a $350 micro milling machine from Harbor Freight. The template kit to mill & drill the other 20% of the incomplete lower receiver was about the same cost as the 80% complete lower receiver. So all of the parts & tooling in sum total less than $550. Plus I use the mill for other things and the template has resale value. Also FTA:

Defense Distributedâ(TM)s machine canâ(TM)t carve pieces as large as its competitors, but its small size makes it more rigid and precise, allowing it to cut an aluminum lower receiver from an 80 percent lower in around an hour. Thatâ(TM)s a task Wilson says would still be impossible with todayâ(TM)s cheapest hobbyist mills but doesnâ(TM)t require five-figure professional tools. âoeWeâ(TM)re making this easier by an order of magnitude,â he says.

I think that they meant to quote him as saying it is POSSIBLE. An order of magnitude is a gross overstatement, given that this was the 3d milling version of trace paper.

Subversive ambitions aside, Wilson doesnâ(TM)t hide the fact that the Ghost Gunner is also a money-making project.

Indeed.

about 2 months ago
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Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

shbazjinkens Re:Welders make 150k??? (367 comments)

Maybe you're the one who sucks at business if you're not dragging all of these people from the south to fill the easily obtained positions. Sheesh, air your ego out a little. I don't weld, but I work in oilfield services. The guys who do pipeline work have to be top-notch. They weld round pipe, which is harder than straight-line welding in most applications, and it has to pass x-ray inspections as a flawless seam, or else they'll be grinding and re-welding or eventually be out of a job. They also have to provide their own equipment and off-road vehicle. The trucks are unmistakeable, they're usually heavy duty frame trucks with a custom-welded bed for their giant arc weld kit, generator and associated materials. Most of them probably do come from the south, just not Alabama, where there isn't a strong oil industry. A friend of mine makes ~$100k after expenses and spends a great deal of time away from home. That would be the other reason for the high compensation. If dropping $60k on equipment and going to the land that god forgot to work in all weather conditions for half of your year sounds better than making half the money, more power to you.. but as you can see from the numbers, most people don't feel like it's that good of a deal. There's the risk that you've spent your life savings on equipment only to find out that you're not good enough to cut mustard.

about 7 months ago
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Who's On WhatsApp, and Why?

shbazjinkens Girlfriend/fiance in Singapore (280 comments)

I don't use it for anyone else and no one else I know uses it. It is a handy app, but with Facebook acquiring it now I'm seeking alternatives. I used to use fb messenger but uninstalled it because I'm sick of being tracked and sold.

about 9 months ago
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Exxon Charged With Illegally Dumping Waste In Pennsylvania

shbazjinkens Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (246 comments)

For that matter, oil floats on top of water, so how does the lower 99% get contaminated? If somehow a gallon of oil was mixed into water in such a way that every molecule of oil was separate, and each molecule floated 7 inches from any other one, how many gallons would be contaminated by that oil?

All of them. Remember that when the fluid comes out of the well, there is gas, water and oil in one turbulent, bubbly stream. The separation process is relatively simple and doesn't include any filtering really. It's basically a settling process with some baffling to slow the turbulence. The oil and water in the beginning are quite well mixed from turbulence and so on. Lots of stuff that makes oil black can dissolve in water better than it can dissolve in oil, so produced water is really nasty, caustic stuff and varies from clear to black. Depending on the locale it can even eat through stainless steel sometimes. Oil contamination is not the biggest issue, but due to soaps used for lifting the fluid it may have some dispersion, regardless of the other chemicals often pumped down there specifically to separate the oil and water. A typical oil loss to water might be 0.001% if the process is fine tuned and the separation equipment is appropriately sized, or worse if it's not (which it usually isn't in the beginning).

I work on safety systems to prevent these kinds of accidents. By law these tanks have a berm around them to capture the leaked fluid if they are permanently installed, temporary vessels may not, so I'm guessing this was a temporary vessel like a frac tank (looks like a big shipping container). The plug they're referring to is most likely a 1/2" or 1/4" NPT plug where a level gauge or fluid level controller would be installed. They are usually isolated by valves, which may not have been completely closed, and may not have been noticed by the local FNG before the tank was filled and the leak began. No one would usually congregate in this area to notice, so bringing criminal charges is sort of ridiculous. In the end, we wouldn't be talking about jailing an Exxon CEO, more like your childhood buddy who didn't go to college and tries to make a living working wrenches in the oil field. It seems like a costly, but honest, mistake to me. I know from working in the area that there is definitely no top-down directive to violate EPA laws. There are literally daily meetings where human and environmental safety are stressed as the highest priority, especially at a larger company like XTO. They definitely realize that the public wants to castrate them for any reason it possibly can and make the utmost efforts to prevent these kind of environmental (and PR) disasters.

about a year ago
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Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

shbazjinkens Re:Why aren't more women in science fields? (608 comments)

In the 80's, women made up most of CS programs around the country. When I went in 2000 - they made up a handful of the entire class. But, engineering was the same (for all engineering majors). There isn't some evil conspiracy to prevent women from entering tech (some of the best innovators in tech I know are women). They simply, for whatever reason, aren't interested in it.

My stepmother was a programmer in the 80's. She quit and decided to be a homemaker because of rampant sexism in the workplace. Among the things she's told me about that, the one that stands out is that the office would throw incentive parties at strip clubs in order to exclude her from being rewarded for her work. She's a smart lady.. but they would give her the most menial of tasks (mainly testing other programmer's code, and having to very thoroughly document problems or else they would be dismissed as her error).

One would hope that the same things aren't going on today, but from reading /. my guess is that lots of things going on in the workplace make it a male-dominated workforce, least of which would be the capability and interest of smart women in doing the work. Instead, you'll find them in the more gender-neutral fields of medicine, chemistry and biological sciences.

I was shocked and thrilled that in my first industry job our staff programmer is a woman in her late fifties. That gives me hope that maybe it wasn't this bad everywhere. She's brilliant at her work and has a very strong work ethic. I truly didn't expect to see any women in my workplace after my experience in college.

about a year ago
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Government Study Finds TSA Misconduct Up 26% In 3 Years

shbazjinkens Re:TSA ? (196 comments)

TSA is the main reason I have been refusing to fly to and within the US for years now. Colleagues, friends and acquaintances reporting the same. The security craze is costing the US money.

I've flown through most regions of the USA, some 80k miles maybe through too many airports to mention. Been to foreign airports in London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Bucharest, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. All of them seemed pretty similar to TSA style screening, with some having stricter screening practice pre-board and upon departure. For my connecting flights through Frankfurt and Hong Kong, my luggage was searched again, even though I was simply deplaning and re-boarding the same plane. The main difference I've noticed is that the nude-o-scopes are absent, but people are still around to feel me up and rifle through my luggage in most countries. So what's different, from your perspective, in your home country?

about a year ago
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Energy Production Causes Big US Earthquakes

shbazjinkens Re:change over time (211 comments)

Ah, I actually RTFA : "the annual number of earthquakes record at magnitude 3.0 or higher in the central and eastern United States has increased almost tenfold in the past decade â" from an average of 21 per year between 1967 and 2000 to a maximum of 188 in 2011. " I don't think one needs a statistical test for those data. The trend is pretty clear.

You RTFA, and managed to miss that this is unrelated to fracking? I work in the oil and gas industry, so include me among the biased I guess, but I also understand oil and gas production so I'm here to tell you that it is injecting wastewater into fault lines that is causing earthquakes. Not fracking, not oil production, not gas production, but what we call "disposal wells."

In many areas of the USA, water is a scarce commodity, so there aren't any injection wells even though there is lots of fracking.

In many areas of the USA, there is water injection going on in order to "wash out" remaining oil in old formations. These wells are not hydraulically fractured shale formations (the "controversial" process). This has been going on for nearly 100 years.

A Geophysicist I know who works for a large independent oil & gas producer maintains that it has been known for about 20 years that injection wells can cause earthquakes by lubricating fault lines. Extensive testing was done during fracturing at multiple sites and the study was not able to find any data supporting a link between fracking and earthquakes. The instruments used were geophones, which are ultra-sensitive accelerometer devices normally purposed for analyzing formations by echolocation.

All of the comments I see so far clearly didn't click links.. the links mention geothermal production and water injection, the summary indicates that somehow natural gas is extracted by pumping fluid in the ground. That is only true for oil production. In natural gas production our aim is to deliquify wells so that the water isn't exerting backpressure on the gas production, slowing it down and eventually stopping it altogether. Disposal wells are only sometimes used, to get rid of the nasty, brackish, useless water produced from all kinds of hydrocarbon wells.

about a year ago
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Thousands of SCADA, ICS Devices Exposed Through Serial Ports

shbazjinkens Re:With "smart grid" or "smart cities" coming (66 comments)

1. Use a second physically completely separate Internet for infrastructure only?

It's called a WAN Link, They have been around for quite some time and are a lot cheaper than internet circuits in the same tier class for corporate/industrial.

T1s are cheap (usually under $600/month) and can be deployed anywhere (%90) there is copper phone service. (not as cheap as 'consumer' internet, but you wouldn't be using that anyway for something like this now would you??...) And other connections are usually available in most urban/industrial areas (DS3, Metro-Ethernet over copper/fiber, dark fiber leasing, etc...) and are usually covered with SLAs,

And all the major telcos already have all of the above on a "separate" internet infrastructure and even separate them out by customer so they can't even talk to each other (unless they installed a link between and only when they request it) You can even get WAN links between providers that are P2P (T1 from ATT in one location and a T1 from VZ in another and they will be a direct link as far as your router on each end is concerned.)

This is the proper way to link internal systems that you can not link yourself. And if your really paranoid you can even do VPN encryption over that just in case someone actually takes the time to dig up copper/fiber and splice into after some how knowing which in 1,000 pairs of copper/fiber is actually yours in the middle of a street.

Respectfully, $600/month is way, way too expensive for most industrial applications. I work in energy, and we use a tunnel to our VPN provided by cellular companies to link our hosting services to customer sites. It's closer to the realm of $40/month depending on the bandwidth of the connection. All of these options, and encryption, are plausible ways to sufficiently separate ones self from the public internet. I won't comment too much on my experiences with unsecured connections except to say that it is much worse than the summary says it is. These are the discovered devices only..

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Magazines Do You Still Read?

shbazjinkens Active web user, still read periodicals (363 comments)

There's really no substitute on the web (for free) that replaces quality scientific periodicals. If I want to know about some uncommon subject, often the only way to get that information is by paying a credible source to deliver it regularly. The news-media and blogosphere aren't particularly interested in detailing the latest way to detect carbon nanotubes of a particular chirality, or the latest low-energy method of measuring gas flow. That's why I'm still an IEEE member, among other organizations.

about a year and a half ago
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Inside the Tech of SpaceX's Homegrown Rocket Engine

shbazjinkens Re:Lawsuit Coming? (82 comments)

"Merlin" is an engine brand of Rolls-Royce, a V12 piston engine from the 30's onwards used in a wide variety of aircraft. I can imagine raised eyebrows in their offices, but would they actually sue? I hope not, that would show these lawsuit-happy Yanks what British class really is.

It's a different market segment, so the trademark can't be enforced in that way in the USA.

about 2 years ago
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US Near Bottom In Life Expectancy In Developed World

shbazjinkens Re:Yeah, but we're very productive (1063 comments)

I notice some US employers require their staff to take vacation on public holidays like Christmas or New Years when they couldn't work even if they wanted to.

A public holiday doesn't count against vacation time in the USA. If you added those days to discriminatory vacation days most people would have 3.5 weeks/year. Is it different in Europe?

about 2 years ago
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In Wake of Samsung Verdict, HTC Does Not Intend To Settle

shbazjinkens Re:HTC isn't Samsung (286 comments)

On the other hand, the different looks may also be the reason or part of the reason why Samsung is selling more phones right now than HTC.

Well that, at least, is about to change!

more than 2 years ago
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White House Finalizes 54.5 MPG Fuel Efficiency Standard

shbazjinkens Re:Air resistance. (1184 comments)

The solution is to not test the vehicles at 80 MPH and, instead, test them at 55/65 MPH, which is the speed limit. If you choose to go over the speed limit, your gas mileage will suffer.

Where do you live that Interstate speed limits are as low as 55/65? Where I live, speed limits on Interstates are 70. And there are places where the limits are higher.

Many states don't have those high speed limits. I live in Oklahoma, and travel all over the states for work. At home speed limits are mostly 65 mph on highways outside of the city. 70 on interstates. 75 on turnpikes in certain parts of the state. In TX, I commonly see 70/75 mph speed limits in the South and West parts of the state. In Louisiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Mississippi.. sometimes just 45, most often not more than 55 mph speed limits. It depends on what the terrain allows. So I would expect lots of people in the NE and select other parts of the country wouldn't know any better, since they haven't been to flyover country where we live. :)

more than 2 years ago
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Voyage to the ATX Hackerspace in Austin, Texas (Video)

shbazjinkens Re:Slightly misleading (47 comments)

Austin != the rest of Texas.. Their motto is "keep Austin weird" and it's a mix between hipsters, republicans and tech savvy professionals. A very dramatically different place than any other Texas city.

more than 2 years ago
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Toronto Police Use Facebook Picture in Online Lineup

shbazjinkens Re:mistake #1 (227 comments)

You must not be aware of this, but I was informed when I took first aid training & CPR that because I was a certified first responder, many states require me to ask if the person would like assistance, and comply if they respond affirmatively. If they respond negatively, or cannot respond, then almost every state absolves you of liability. "Good Samaritan" laws typically protect you from legal repercussions if you help and screw up. It's a civil suit, case law issue though - not usually enforced by statute.

more than 2 years ago
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Oklahoma Hit By Its Strongest-Ever Recorded Quake

shbazjinkens Re:Fracking Storage (202 comments)

You mean like this? The location is from the USGS Earthquake Page showing the locations of the recent Oklahoma earthquakes. Is that a gas well right next to the quake location (that "bright square pad")? And could those be fault lines in the background?

It's hard to tell exactly what's on it, but I see a pad with what looks to be four tanks just north of there. It looks like it has a few horizontal and vertical separators too. Major hydrofracturing activity in Oklahoma is centered around other places though.. McAlester, El Reno and Elk City.

The kinds of wells that are known to be quake-causing, according to my geophysicist friend, are water disposal wells. These will have lots of tanks, often 10-20 tanks, for storage buffering. It will also conspicuously have electricity leading to the site to power the injection pumps.

The XY location of the quakes has an uncertainty of 8 miles. The depth was something a little less than a mile uncertainty. So you don't need to look *right* by the given epicenter. I don't think that particular facility could be responsible for releasing several high-magnitude quakes, when compared to what has been causing problems in Arkansas and Texas.

Those ridges may or may not be fault lines.. there is another phenomena that formed those here, the dust bowl. They're all over the place, so I can't say for sure, you'd have to consult the USGS maps. I think there is a fault line through Lincoln County.

Probably Google maps are too outdated to show a recent problem well, in hindsight. I'm curious what kind of operations are in the area, because I've never been there for work, but I have been nearly everywhere in the state where there are major operations going on. Based on the Prague homepage, it looks to be a depleted field, and I wouldn't expect any major hydrofracturing or disposal activity there.

about 3 years ago
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Oklahoma Hit By Its Strongest-Ever Recorded Quake

shbazjinkens Re:Hello? Did someone order a fresh batch of scien (202 comments)

Come now, nerds. All this talk and no science. How about something from the Oklahoma Geological Survey? They set out to disprove an earlier quake this year was the result of fracking. Instead, they found correlation: http://www.eenews.net/assets/2011/11/02/document_pm_01.pdf

Here is some commentary on the report: http://www.eenews.net/public/eenewspm/2011/11/02/1

I'm glad you posted this.. but did you read it?

With his arm twisted, Holland would still not definitively tie the microquakes to fracturing at the well. It is fiendishly difficult to attribute earthquakes, given existing scientific uncertainties about why and when quakes are triggered. What is clear is that the quakes are not common: As Holland noted, firms have drilled 100,000 fracturing wells in Oklahoma, with three minor seismic events reported.

The fracturing continued at the Picket well after the earthquakes, and the survey detected no additional seismic activity during that time, Holland said. The well was located in a geologically complex region riven by thrust rocks, he added, and a quake would likely have occurred at some point with or without the drilling -- the rocks were primed for it.

For all of those talking about hydrofracking / drilling / wastewater disposal wells in the same sentence, as if they are the same thing.. they are three completely different processes. First you drill a well. Then the drill rig leaves, and there is a well casing going to the formation. Hydrofracturing equipment moves in and swarms over the wellsite.. but this does not involve a tall drilling rig, as there is no drilling going on. High pressure water and sand are pumped downhole until the well is sufficiently fractured. Then the fracturing equipment leaves. The well makes oil, gas and water. Not always oil.. but usually. The water is useless, so it's trucked off. If there is a whole lot of water, then trucking is expensive, so they drill a wastewater disposal well which pumps the water into a different formation. Sometimes this is on a fault line, and sometimes it lubricates the fault so that earthquakes start happening.

But notice.. the wastewater disposal well is both not on the same site nor in the same formation as the hydrofractured well. If hydrofracturing has any effect at all, it must be due to fracturing on a fault line where there isn't already a lot of fluid accumulated.

about 3 years ago
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Oklahoma Hit By Its Strongest-Ever Recorded Quake

shbazjinkens Re:Fracking Storage (202 comments)

FUD. According to a geophysicist buddy, salt-water injection wells have been known to cause earthquakes due to lubrication of fault lines. He doesn't seem to think there's a link to hydrofracturing. I work in the oilfield, I don't think there's a lot of that kind of activity in that area. If you check the satellite maps you can verify that, wells stand out as bright square pads. We would be much more likely to have that happen in the area West of Oklahoma City, where there is LOTS of horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing going on right now, rather than over by Prague, if hydrofracturing actually caused quakes.

about 3 years ago

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