Sarah Palin is the other whom Yoda spoke about.

calendar   Sunday - April 17, 2016

Turtler’s Game Corner: UFO Alien Invasion

After about half a month of preparing for moving, working on a few odd jobs, and getting school in order, I can finally come back and hack out a post on here. Well, thanks for holding down the fort Drew. Life has kind of been a bugger for me lately, though I should be thankful it is still better than many. Please keep your prayers and thoughts with Peiper and his wife.

I know there are dozens of things happening in the wider world for me to talk about, but right now it’s the start of a new week and I just want to catch my breath, kick back, and Relaaaax! So when I sat down I realized I wanted to make a post about something I enjoy doing in my off time, and which some of you might be able to enjoy doing as well. But which is still at least a little bit topical to the hell-in-a-handbasket way of the real world.

So without Further ado, allow me to present you with....



Ok, more specifically the explosions- and everything else- in a little thing called UFO: Alien Invasion. Some of you might have heard of it before, some of you might have played it before. But I figure that there are probably at least a few other videogamers out here who would enjoy it, and that in a time like this at least a few people who aren’t that would be able to appreciate it..

I figure the best way to introduce it would be to give a

It is the year 2084. You control a secret organisation charged with defending Earth from a brutal alien enemy. Build up your bases, prepare your team, and dive head-first into the fast and flowing turn-based combat.

UFO: Alien Invasion is a squad-based tactical strategy game in the tradition of the old X-COM PC games, but with a twist. Our game combines military realism with hard science-fiction and the weirdness of an alien invasion. The carefully constructed turn-based system gives you pin-point control of your squad while maintaining a sense of pace and danger.

Over the long term you will need to conduct research into the alien threat to figure out their mysterious goals and use their powerful weapons for your own ends. You will produce unique items and use them in combat against your enemies. If you like, you can even use them against your friends with our multiplayer functionality.

UFO: Alien Invasion. Endless hours of gameplay — absolutely free.

Yeah, you read that right… UFO: Alien Invasion is ABSOLUTELY FREE. It costs exactly NO MONIES. NADA. GOOSE EGG. You can (and I’d suggest should) download it from here:

I’d probably have to rate this game as one of the real gems you can find online if you like strategy and tactics. It isn’t the newest thing in the batch and it doesn’t look like a modern Triple A title- though I do think it looks good in its’ old way, and the globe is breathtaking.

(Yes, this is what it really looks like in gameplay.. and this still doesn’t really do it justice compared to how it Moves.).

But what really makes it sparkle is the sheer *Depth.* There is an awful lot of depth to the game, from being on the worldview map deciding where to place bases like you’re a command in chief pointing at a map, taking emails, and tracking allied and friendly aircraft. To being down on a base managing what it researches or builds, to probably the heart of the game: meeting the enemy on the ground, where your squad and theirs fights it out for the future of a world one turn at a time. All the while trying to keep your coalition above water and close the tech gap.

The storytelling is also pretty good. The backstory lore is… probably average to above average, with the world of 2083 being a rather peaceful, idyllic place where super-nations and federations live in relative peace and increasing prosperity and freedom, even for places like the Middle East. The actual backstory I’d say is hit and miss with a few liberal buzzwords thrown around but nothing that offensive (unless you figure working with the UN is offensive in and of itself.... and by the off chance you DON’T playing politics with your funding nations will swiftly change your mind). On the whole I’d probably say there are some things that come across as incredibly optimistic or off tone, but others that sound incredibly prescient (like what happened to the US because of reckless deficit spending and China’s totalitarian expansionism before it fell). But I’d probably say that it comes across mostly like they wanted to establish one big happy world to juxtapose it against the coming darkness.

But the actual story over the game is quite good and (from what I’ve been told and can figure out) relatively scientifically sound (or “hard") as far as Sci-Fi goes. Don’t expect the enemy to let you get complacent, because there will be a lot of twists and turns before the end, and it’s obviously where most of the lore attention and juicy technological red meat went into. And wisely so!

So, I’d highly suggest you give it a try, for something that *might* have you coming back a lot.

Now, I’ve tries to explain why I like this. But what makes it topical?

Well, this game- and ones like it- is probably one of the great anti-terrorist epics in recent game history.

Yeah, you heard me right. Because while the enemy are aliens and the game is set in a relatively utopian world (again, including the MENA, Africa, and Asia...), the means and messages are far more down to Earth than Angela Merkel is. You see, the enemy you face are terrorists in how they act and behave, they just happen to be aliens terrorizing the Human Race. You’re going to be facing an enemy that will spend much of its’ time dropping violent squads in cities, indiscriminately murdering whoever they can before trying to get out just as suddenly as they struck. Trying to identify and pre-empt these attacks and strike at the heart of those waging murderous war on you is the heart of the game. And it will not be an easy one, because this will be a rather long war and all the while you will have to keep a weak kneed public and their politicians from losing their cool and simply surrendering to the terror, and yourself from being wiped out by attrition against an enemy that seems to have no trouble replacing its’ cannonfodder.

Yeah, that’s not familiar at alllllll....

In a way, it’s a chance to spend some hours away in the kind of position that you might dream of. Or have nightmares of. The chance to lead a combined, international fight to understand and destroy an enemy that endangers everyone and seeks to shape the world in its’ image. To make the calls and avoid the mistakes that Merkel/Obummer/InsertNameHere has. But at the same time that means that you will have nobody to blame more for defeat than yourself.

So hope you guys enjoy. If things like this are popular enough, I might make these kinds of “Free Game Spotlights” a semi-regular feature. >/br>

I’ll probably will try and get more posts after a day or so. But until then, I’ll be killing some digital terrorists of the human and alien varieties.... 

Posted by Turtler   United States  on 04/17/2016 at 06:18 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-StuffInternationalMilitaryScience-TechnologySelf-DefenseTerroristsWar On TerrorWar-Stories •  
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calendar   Friday - March 18, 2016

I spy, with my massive eye

“There’s a watchbird, watching you!”

Civilian Observation Drone Perfected


Soon you won’t even be allowed to spell freedom, much less have any.

Skye Aero is a project to build 10-foot helium-filled balloons, with small propellers attached to give better control than your average blimp. The benefits are a much bigger aircraft—useful when you want to advertise to people—and one that won’t crash the second it loses power, or bumps into anyone.

It’s not a totally new design—British band Muse have been using a fleet of similar drones on their most recent tour—but Swiss firm Aerotain’s design stands out, due to its soul-sucking practicality. The company thinks Aerotain will be a perfect, audience-engaging advertising platform, which is probably true, but a little too consumerist to get excited about.

Moving away from its role as a replacement for the Goodyear Blimp, lighter-than-air drones are an interesting and underutilized concept. Provided they’re not filled with hydrogen, they offer increased safety for flying over crowds, and a much greater payload than traditional quadcopters. Hopefully, someone will find a better application for them than giant floating billboards.

A giant floating eyeball with cameras and data link that works indoors or out? Crime Stoppers much? Or just looking for faces in a crowd. Or license plates in a parking lot. Or dissidents secretly meeting up to talk about guns or large V8 engines or Christianity. Enemies of the State. White guys.

No need to weaponize it. Just give it a high powered water pistol that shoots glowing goo. When SkyEye finds a bad person, it would give them a squirt, then turn red and start flashing with a siren. And all the zombie sheeple would know that it was time for their daily Two Minutes of Social Justice on the targeted one. Crime would come to a screeching halt everywhere. Hey, what could go wrong?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/18/2016 at 06:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-TechnologyTyrants and Dictators •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 25, 2016

Dark Mass Found, Pope Exonerated

Does This FRB Make My Universe Look Fat?

Also: Anisotropic probing done to ionize Bary on intergalactic medium caused “redshift”

Radio telescope catches signal older than the Earth, realizes frequency anomalies are road map to missing “dark matter” that contains most of the mass of the universe.

For nearly a decade, astronomers have been puzzling over a certain type of signal. They’re called fast radio bursts, brief radio pulses that last only a few milliseconds, but give out as much energy as the sun will emit in 10,000 years.

To date, 18 of these vexing signals have been identified. Because they are so transient, all scientists had previously known about them was that they exist, and they’re really powerful.

Now researchers from Australia’s CSIRO and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru telescope in Hawaii have for the first time calculated the originating location of a radio burst. The most recent of these signals, FRB 150418, was captured on the 18th of April in 2015.
Staggeringly, FRB 150418 came from an elliptical galaxy 6 billion light-years away.

What caused the FRB (or any FRB) is still unknown, but pinpointing the location of this burst indicates that they often occur from massive distances away. And it’s had another unexpected benefit: locating the universe’s missing matter.

The gravity in the universe is far greater than can be accounted for by what we observe. Astronomers believe that most of this is accounted for by dark energy, which makes up 70 percent of the universe, and dark matter, which makes up 25 percent of the universe. The remaining five percent is ordinary matter, and it’s what everything we see is made of.

But all the observed ordinary matter, from all the stars and galaxies and planets and nebulas, only adds up to about half of what should be there if this model of the universe is correct.

Using FRB 150418, the team was able to “locate” this missing matter. As radio waves travel through space, they run into gas and other material, which has an effect on the signal. By looking at delays in various radio frequencies, the team was able to calculate exactly how much material it had passed through on its 6 billion light-year journey.

The delay in the frequencies of the burst, visible as a spike, caused by matter between Earth and its origin.

“The good news is our observations and the model match—we have found the missing matter,” said lead author Evan Keane of the SKA Organisation. “It’s the first time a fast radio burst has been used to conduct a cosmological measurement.”

These signals are dispersed according to a precise physical law and this dispersion is a key observable quantity, which, in tandem with a redshift measurement, can be used for fundamental physical investigations10, 11. Every fast radio burst has a dispersion measurement, but none before now have had a redshift measurement, because of the difficulty in pinpointing their celestial coordinates. Here we report the discovery of a fast radio burst and the identification of a fading radio transient lasting ~6 days after the event, which we use to identify the host galaxy; we measure the galaxy’s redshift to be z = 0.492 ± 0.008. The dispersion measure and redshift, in combination, provide a direct measurement of the cosmic density of ionized baryons in the intergalactic medium of ΩIGM = 4.9 ± 1.3 per cent, in agreement with the expectation from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe

Since “paradigm” is pronounce para-dine, then “ΩIGM” must be “Omega Dyne”, right? Wasn’t that the cover corporation in Buckaroo Banzai for John Big Boo Tay? Or would Omega Dine be the actual name of the Restaurant at the End of the Universe? And if all of this theorizing and matter finding fits on the same intergalactic medium, just think what we’ll be able to pack onto next year’s intergalactic large!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/25/2016 at 04:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-TechnologySpace •  
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calendar   Monday - July 13, 2015

solder? We doan nee no steenkeen solder

Cool stuff I learned about today

The Rigid Pro Press

A no-sweat way to hook your pipes up.



No torches, no solder. No wrenches, no twisting. No crocus cloth, and no flux.

5 seconds to attach a valve to a copper pipe. Or a stainless steel pipe. Or PEX. Or that multi-layered stuff. Or the same 5 seconds to butt two pipes together. Or put an elbow one. Whatever. Completely leak proof. There’s a revolution in plumbing going on, and it’s awesome.

Sure, you can go the PEX way. Maybe Shark Bites. And they are neat, I’ll grant you. But this Pro Press thing is just awesome, and it works on the pipes you already have. There’s some kind of O-ring inside the collar on each end of the connectors.  Stub them together, position the battery powered tool, press the trigger. The tool applies several tons of pressure and scrunches things down just the right amount. In 5 seconds you’ve got a joint so strong you can’t pull it apart with a truck. Ho. Lee. Crap.

Love it.

Let’s go to the video tape:

Maybe it isn’t the latest and greatest. I’m not a plumber. But I saw an impossible to get at dead valve cut out and replaced in about 30 seconds, and there was still some water pressure in the line. Snip snip, pop pop. Done. Dry as a bone. Holy crap.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/13/2015 at 09:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technologywork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Saturday - January 24, 2015

Mandatory labeling for foods containing…

DNA? Yes that’s right.

A recent survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics finds that over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t everything we consume, with the exception of salt and water, contain DNA?

The Oklahoma State survey result is probably an example of the intersection between scientific ignorance and political ignorance, both of which are widespread.

No! Say it isn’t so! Okay, it is so. Original article here.


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 01/24/2015 at 09:06 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-TechnologyStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Tuesday - January 06, 2015

Isn’t This Interesting.

One wonders why we don’t trust the Government anymore. (note: I’ve twice taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution; not the government.)

Raytheon Riot Software Predicts Behavior Based on Social Media

Sounds like George Orwell’s 1984. I think he got it right… except for the year.

Here’s a quote I find especially chilling:

Last year, there were reports that the FBI was turning to social media to track stock fraud. Earlier in the year, the agency said it was developing a social media monitoring application, but insisted it would protect the privacy of individuals and protected groups before being used.

‘Protected’ groups? Who decides?


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 01/06/2015 at 08:08 AM   
Filed Under: • Big BrotherComputers and CyberspaceDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsObama, The OneScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Monday - July 21, 2014

Says It All



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/21/2014 at 01:17 AM   
Filed Under: • HistoryScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Wednesday - July 16, 2014

And 45 Years Ago Today It Began

July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 lifts off with 3 astronauts, bound for the moon.

Houston, we have ignition.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/16/2014 at 09:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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calendar   Saturday - December 28, 2013

whose side is he on?

Our President, or theirs??

Iran’s centrifuge surprise

AFTER IRAN ANNOUNCES a new generation of equipment to enrich uranium, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., says the Islamic Republic is ‘showing their true intentions’ toward building nuclear weapons and deserves increased sanctions — a demand President Obama opposes.

Surprise? To whom exactly is this a surprise? This is not even “unexpected”, like those massaged to death lies about the economy thrown out as news stories.

Not one single real American had the slightest doubt that somthing like this would happen, under Obama directly, but even more so under Secretary of State John Fuckface Kerry the traitor and his laughably worthless “treaty”.

What kind of fools run this country, and why do they persist in believing that We The People are as big a bunch of fools as they are??

President Obama faced mounting bipartisan pressure on Friday to drop his resistance to an Iran sanctions bill after Tehran announced a new generation of equipment to enrich uranium—a move the Israelis claimed was further proof the regime seeks nuclear weapons.

One of the president’s top Democratic allies is leading the charge for Congress to pass sanctions legislation, despite the president’s pleas to stand down. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., told Fox News that the “Iranians are showing their true intentions” with their latest announcement.

“If you’re talking about producing more advanced centrifuges that are only used to enrich uranium at a quicker rate ... the only purposes of that and the only reason you won’t give us access to [a military research facility] is because you’re really not thinking about nuclear power for domestic energy—you’re thinking about nuclear power for nuclear weapons,” he said.

Fuck, even a dirty little Lolita whoremonger Senator from NJ can see this one coming. What’s with our great leader? At this point I seriously, seriously question whether he is working to bring about the New Caliphate, The Seventh Imam, and the collapse of the West.

And yeah, I blame Bush for half of this. He should have dropped a nuke on Tehran, just for the fun of it, back at the onset of Gulf War II. Or at the very least saturation bombed their nuclear R&D mountain redoubt until it was a giant crater 1/2 mile deep. Oh heck, Iran were even expecting us to do so at the time. But no ... Chimpy McHitlerBurton trotted out that giant NSA/CIA/FBI report: look here you stupid flyover rednecks - Iran isn’t trying to build nukes! Says so right in this report, so y’all just shut up now and go back to quietly accepting the loss of all those freedoms under the Patriot Act. And the whole country (except for the media) knew it was a lie, yet that was the ONE time his enemy the MSM didn’t doubt his word. Hmmm. Go figure.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/28/2013 at 08:10 AM   
Filed Under: • IranObama, The OneScience-TechnologyWar On Terror •  
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calendar   Friday - November 29, 2013

tech stuff … sort of

Am curious to know how many of you are still running Windows XP. For those who are, a question.

Are you concerned with the decision to stop all support and especially the monthly security patches come April of 14?

I have read only in the last day or two, that MSFT has been very critical of the continuing support of XP by browsers Firefox, Chrome and Safari. MSFT wants those browsers to stop supporting XP in April, I have read.

Well, I have XP and my pc won’t take Windows 8 but I think it can accommodate Windows 7.  Sooooo.

I have been thinking of an upgrade to 7 till that one ends and then buy a newer pc which to be honest, I’d like anyway.

According to the things I have read in computer magazines here, it will be very risky to continue running XP after April, and they advise upgrade at the least.

Upgrade to 7 will be cheaper then buying new of course, and so far there really isn’t anything wrong outside of software, with my pc.

Something else I take into consideration that many of you won’t is age. Not the computer’s age but MINE.

These things can last quite a while, and I think my next new one whenever that is, might just be my last.  Funny how one thinks with age, innit?

What with some serious spending coming up shortly, repair to roof and other home repair, I can not spend huge sums on a pc. But .... one also gets what one pays for and I won’t try and buy unbranded stuff I am not familiar with.  Since the next will probably be the last, my head keeps returning to a MAC, even tho I know they have a gouging unreasonable mark up.  I think DELL now owns Alien but have seen no ads for it in a year.  It was supposed to be a very fast machine but then, what do I know?  Not much or I would not be writing this.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/29/2013 at 01:59 AM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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calendar   Monday - March 11, 2013

curious bit of old technology wedded to new?

Happen to see this and went to you tube for the video.
Pardon my slow working brain but, how does this actually work out to be easier?
Also, I noticed the video is a year old so, if it’s the future then why by this time hasn’t it been advertised more?
Not being a nerdy sort , these things always get away from me and I need someone to splain.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/11/2013 at 03:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Sunday - December 09, 2012

so then, has the usa been missed by the bullet or are we joining the greens and urope?

I heard on the radio that the US didn’t sign on to this.  Hope that’s all there is to it but, being somewhat cynical and not having much faith in the word of politicians and especially this administration, I really don’t know.  In other words, I should say little as I clearly would not know what the hell I was talking about when it comes to the deeply scientific stuff.  Mostly I hear from the folks who want to ban cars from downtown and make all sorts of claims with regard to planet poisoning and of course, saving the children of the next generation from choking to death on carbon fumes.  Locally, they may be small in number but they make far more noise than they deserve. And they are very quick to shout down opposition cos we all know folks on the other side of this argument are Nazis and anti social types and money ppl who are not interested in anything but profit. 

So anyway, I caught this article and wondered if by chance America has missed being hit by this left wing bullet. But reading further I found this disquieting quote.

vital step towards a new global pact meant to be agreed in 2015 and enter force five years later, which will for the first time set legally-binding targets for every nation, including China, India and the US.

AND the USA? 
So, we’ve joined or on the brink of joining the EU?  OK not that and yeah, that is meant with extreme unpleasantness and in a snide manner.

Britain poised to sign costly climate deal that could tie us into stringent new emissions targets

By Nick McDermott

Britain is set to sign a new international climate treaty which could require us to meet stringent — and expensive — new emission targets.

After a fortnight of fraught negotiations between 194 nations at the UN climate talks, which are expected to conclude in the early hours of today, a deal to replace the historic Kyoto Protocol is almost on the table.

Under the deal, Europe is committed to cutting its emissions by a fifth by 2020, with each member state set an individual target. But Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey is supporting a bid to raise that pledge even further later this decade, which would force Britain’s to reduce greenhouse gases by up to a quarter more than the current ambitious level of 34 per cent.

The UK has already pledged £2.9 billion to support windfarms in Africa and greener agriculture in Colombia, known as climate aid, over a four-year period ending in 2015.

And only last month, the Government announced a green energy strategy which will treble the costs levied on power bills from £2.35billion a year to £7.6billion. So any further environmental pledges would likely prove unpopular at home.

Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, said: ‘We need to expand our economy and focus on growth, and we won’t do that by increasing the cost of power and signing up to increased targets.

Can it get any dumber?  Can it get any more crazy? What’s with this govt.?  Windfarms where? And is that figure right? Almost $4 BILLION. And “climate aid” for who?  They are cutting services left and right and falsely claiming that, “We are all in this together.” Oh come on. There isn’t one single solitary person anywhere in the UK who actually believes that BS.  Not even the left are that stupid and self delusional. As usual, the bureaucrats are telling lies.
Sure thing England. Tighten your belts some more so that the govt. can grab the cash to make friends in Africa and Columbia. What utter tosh. Rubbish.

‘A lot of carbon targets could be met in the future with new technologies, so by signing this deal we are just handicapping ourselves and hard-working families.’

The new pact has already come under fire for lacking any real ambition as it is only expected to cover a mere sixth of the world’s polluters — Europe, Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine and tiny Lichtenstein — but does not require action from the biggest emitters, the US and China.

To fulfil Europe’s commitment to reduce emissions by a fifth by 2020 compared to 1990, the UK must produce 34 per cent less carbon dioxide. This is the same figure set out under British domestic law.

A clause within the new agreement will allow signatories to set tougher legally-binding targets for 2020 later this decade.

If Europe raises its ambition to a 30 per cent reduction — a pledge supported by Mr Davey — Britain would face much tougher and more expensive green commitments, with estimated emission cuts of 42 per cent needed.

A DECC spokesperson said: ‘This is speculation as the final text of the agreement has not yet been decided.

‘If this scenario does occur, it would commit all parties in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to review their level of ambition by a set date. This date has not yet been finalised.’

Speaking yesterday between negotiations, Mr Davey said: ‘That money has actually helped change the dynamics of these negotiations. Our early pledging of that money has catalysed others.’

The new deal is seen as a vital step towards a new global pact meant to be agreed in 2015 and enter force five years later, which will for the first time set legally-binding targets for every nation, including China, India and the US.

The goal of the UN talks in Doha, Qatar, is to keep temperatures from rising more than 2C, compared with pre-industrial times — the level scientists say is needed to prevent dangerous climate change.

I found this photo caption amusing.

Qatar has come in for criticism as it has so far failed to set clear targets for reducing its own emissions, despite having the world’s highest per capita carbon footprint

Right. Go after those Arabs you gween activists.


On the other side of things there was this. I’ve done a lot of editing for space so see link for all. Pretty interesting stuff.

Thought we were running out of fossil fuels? New technology means Britain and the U.S. could tap undreamed reserves of gas and oil

By Nigel Lawson

Blackpool is sitting on one of the biggest shale gas fields in the world with a reserve of 200 trillion cubic feet lying under the Lancastrian countryside.

sections of U.S. manufacturing are even repatriating their activities from China.

Sadly, however, Europe’s leaders have wholly failed to face up to this energy revolution and many European policy-makers are blocking shale gas developments.

There are a mere two dozen test drills around Europe, compared with an estimated 35,000 fracturing sites in the U.S.

As a result, instead of benefiting from cheap shale gas, new industries and hundreds of thousands of new jobs, Europe is constraining itself with self-imposed green limits to growth.

This is despite the fact that gas-fired power stations emit roughly half the carbon dioxide that coal-fired power stations do, which is why the U.S. is the only country to have significantly reduced its CO2 emissions in recent years.

By going for those green energy targets, countries such as France and Germany are making their energy-intensive industries increasingly uncompetitive. Germany’s largest companies have warned that they are already losing out against their U.S. competitors thanks to rising energy costs.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/09/2012 at 12:13 PM   
Filed Under: • EnvironmentInternationalOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas PricesScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Monday - September 10, 2012

Getting Positive

Word of the Day: Anodic

It means “pertaining to an anode or the phenomena in its vicinity”.

Outside of remembering that the anode is the Plus one, and a cathode is the Minus one in an old television set or an X-ray machine, or that it also means the plate if you’re into old-school tube radios, we don’t have much to do with anodes. But perhaps we ought to.

Because anodic also means “deliberately sacrificial”; the skeg underneath your motorboat is made out of zinc, and the electrolytic action of driving your boat over the water eats away the skeg before it eats away the metal propeller. It was made to be self-sacrificing. In a very similar way, your hot water heater has an anode in it too; it’s a cheap part and a new one every 4-5 years will extend the life of your heater quite a bit. And in their own way, bodyguards are anodic, as are soldiers, airbags in your car, and so forth. Anything that has the job of sacrificing itself to protect something else.

Plus it’s a good Scrabble word. Not all that high scoring but unusual enough to perhaps generate a challenge.

So where does this one come from Drew?  Why, from bridges of course. And from a bit of state pride.

I’ve been noticing these silver bridges from time to time. Or at least the silver joists, diaphragms, and floor beams underneath. And I figured they were galvanized steel. And I was probably wrong.

Galvanizing steel is a multi-step rust proofing process that deposits a layer of zinc. Originally this was a straight electrical process, but the term has for a long time also embraced the more effective hot dip process, in which a part made of steel or iron is dipped in molten zinc.  The zinc coating is anodic and will deplete itself before the ferrous metal will rust. Even if the coating is scratched through! Pretty awesome stuff ( recall the Simpsons episode with the “a world without zinc” scholastic film ).  But you can almost always spot actual dipped galvanized steel by its unusual and slightly mottled appearance, known as spangles ... and I wasn’t seeing this on the steel I was looking at. Everything was a uniform, even, gray.

Turns out what I’ve been seeing is “galvanic paint”, a sprayable coating made with zinc silicate, Zn2SiO4. The paint, often made by Dulux as a primer, is actually more sacrificial than standard galvanizing, and can be reapplied on site as necessary. And it does not have spangles. The stuff looks uniformly gray, and not at all thick like paint or even powder coating. If anything, it makes steel look like aluminum.


Neat. Or batshit boring, depending on your worldview. And the stuff comes from New Jersey. Mineralogists know this one as Willemite, and it comes from the mines in Franklin, Sterling Hill, and Paterson NJ. Ok, it also comes from Arizona, Namibia, and Belgium. And Greenland. But the stuff was discovered in NJ first. And what makes it a bit more interesting is that not only is it highly fluorescent, it’s also sometimes phosphorescent. Which could make for some trippy after dark bridge experiences if you happened to have a big enough black light with you, because you could make one glow in the dark a bit. Neater!

Ok, daily knowledge infusion over. Now back to our regularly scheduled cover of politics, injustice, Travelers, racism, whacked out leftists, and the pisslamic menace. And an occasional pretty girl to look at.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/10/2012 at 01:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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calendar   Friday - May 11, 2012

some tech stuff

This is for you guys and gals that are up to date on this new fangled tech thingy stuff. I take it an iPad is also a phone. Is that correct? Why would I want one? That’d be assuming I could afford the costs I’ve seen for this product.  Which is even higher over here.
Maybe the question I should ask is, what influences you to make the choice you have or will make on these products?

I’ve been looking at Kindle a bit but not sure which would be best. I’ve seen ads that claim you can be online for things like email with no extra charge.
Online?  I thought they were electronic books. ??

Still haven’t got a mobile phone. Trying to justify one but can’t. I get caught up in all the ads I see and a few ppl I know who have these phones that do all sorts of things and one of my friends back in the states is in love with her Samsung which she says has voice recognition. Seems a bit overwhelming with all the bells and whistles. So anyway, looks here like Apple is declaring war on the competition.

Anyway, the price is expected to be about 200 to 250 American dollars.

But I also see it says “Mini” so maybe it isn’t any big deal at all. But I wouldn’t know and so I’m asking.

Any answers?

Apple ‘planning to sell £150 iPad Mini AT A LOSS in order to kill off Android tablets’

Claims suggest Apple will launch iPad Mini this October for between $200-$250

Dramatic price-point will help Apple compete with cheaper Android tablets

Apple’s $100billion cash reserves may soften blow of loss-making device


Apple is planning to launch an assault against the burgeoning Android tablet market by releasing an ‘iPad Mini’ - at a loss-making price of around £150, according to new claims.

The bargain-basement priced tablet will even feature the same ‘Retina’ display featured on its big brother, bringing the same 3.1million pixels to a smaller 7-8” display.

Sources told Apple fansite iMore that the aggressively-priced tablet will launch in October this year, with Apple potentially selling the sub-$250 tablet at a loss in order to leave no room for competition.

With Apple sitting on cash reserves of $100bn, the tech giant should at least be able to stomach such a move financially.

iMore reported: ‘Today’s claim says that Apple is going to step-up the pressure on Android tablet manufacturers with an iPad mini that will sell for a surprisingly low $200-250.

‘That’s a bit hard to accept in the light of the other major claim this rumor makes, that the iPad mini will keep the full-sized iPad’s 2048x1536 resolution.

‘If this is true, Apple might have to take a serious cut to its margins, if not sell the mini at a loss. Considering the kind of cash Apple has on hand, though, it might be willing to take the hit just to help kill-off competition from Android tablets.’

If the iPad sells for $250 in the States, that would translate to £150 in the UK, although whether Apple would respect currency rates is up for debate.

With the screen as a premium feature, it is likely sacrifices will be made in other parts of the tablet, such as reduced storage space of, for instance, 8GB for your apps, videos and music.

This will likely cause issues for users as that amount of space will be used up quickly, marking this out as very much a budget tablet.

However, it will also appeal to people who want an iPad for casual browsing and occasional use of apps and movies, but who are not willing to shell out £400 for the bigger brother.

iMore and another website, Daring Fireball, have separately heard that Apple has already built the seven-inch device, and the only decision left is whether to ‘go to market’.

Both iMore and Daring Fireball have proven to be reliable sources of internal Apple discussions in the past.

Steve Jobs hated the thought of a smaller iPad, calling them ‘dead on arrival’. He said people did not wish to use smaller tablets for video-playback, and feared a smaller tablet would serve as a bridge between the iPad and the iPhone, resulting in app-makers simply ‘stretching’ their phone apps for the tablet.

In a 2010 earnings call, he said: ‘One naturally thinks that a seven-inch screen would offer 70 percent of the benefits of a ten-inch screen.

‘Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. … The reason we won’t make a seven-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit a lower price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software.’

Another big problem - which Android is struggling to deal with - would be the resulting fragmentation, with app-makers having to invest more money for coding different versions of their apps for different devices, something Apple has almost entirely succeeded at avoiding so far.

With the Android tablet market maturing, and competitors like Amazon launching their own tablets such as the Kindle Fire at less than $200, it would make sense for Apple to join the burgeoning cheaper market, although the company may be concerned about devaluing their premium brand, which is associated with high prices but also high quality.

However the company has previous form with cheaper models. The iPod music player was released in 2001, and in 2004 and 2005 the iPod Minis and Nanos were released, bringing elements of Apple’s flagship device to a cheaper market.

In March, a source from within competitor Samsung made a ‘mini’ indescretion while talking to the Korea Times.

While discussing Apple and Samsung’s $9.7billion deal for Samsung to manufacturer parts of the iPad, an official said: ‘The contract is expected to rise to $11billion by the end of this year as Apple is planning to release a smaller iPad, probably with a 7.85-inch screen, and to sell more of its MacBook Air PCs using Samsung’s faster solid state drive storage.’



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/11/2012 at 04:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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