Thursday, February 11, 2016

Breakthrough: Scientists detect Einstein-predicted ripples - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Breakthrough: Scientists detect Einstein-predicted ripples - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social: " In an announcement that electrified the world of astronomy, scientists said Thursday that they have finally detected gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago. MORE Scientists in Louisiana detect gravitational waves, 100 years after Einstein's prediction Scientists have made the first-ever detection of ripples in space, known as gravitational waves, from the collision of two black holes in the distant universe, officials announced Thursday morning.   The waves were first detected at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, LIGO, in Livingston, Louisiana.   The waves were detected on Sept. 14, 2015 by both LIGO Observatories in Livingston and Washington state. According to a news release, the detection of the gravitational waves confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, 100 years after that theory was published.   Based on their detections, LIGO scientists estimate the two black holes were 29 and 36 times the mass of the sun and the collision took place 1.3 billion years ago.  According to scientists, the collision of the black holes form a single black hole, converting a portion of the hole's mass into energy.  That energy is emitted as a final burst of gravitational radiation.  Some scientists likened the breakthrough to the moment Galileo took up a telescope to look at the planets. The discovery of these waves, created by violent collisions in the universe, excites astronomers because it opens the door to a new way of observing the cosmos. For them, it's like turning a silent movie into a talkie because these waves are the soundtrack of the cosmos. "Until this moment we had our eyes on the sky and we couldn't hear the music," said Columbia University astrophysicist Szabolcs Marka, a member of the discovery team. "The skies will never be the same." An all-star international team of astrophysicists used a newly upgraded and excruciatingly sensitive $1.1 billion instrument known as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, to detect a gravitational wave from the distant crash of two black holes, one of the ways these ripples are created."

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Halliburton Said to Plan Sale of Baker's Offshore Fluids Unit - Bloomberg Business

Halliburton Said to Plan Sale of Baker's Offshore Fluids Unit - Bloomberg Business: "Almost 16 months after announcing its takeover of oilfield services rival Baker Hughes Inc., Halliburton Co. is adding yet more assets to the list of businesses it plans to sell to appease antitrust regulators who’ve been stalling the deal. Halliburton plans to divest Baker’s offshore drilling-and-completions fluids division and the bulk of Baker’s completion systems, according to people familiar with the matter. The units join two other batches of overlapping business lines that Halliburton has said it will sell to assuage the U.S. Department of Justice’s concerns that the deal will hurt competition."

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Houma Residents React To Brown Water | THE PUSH POLE

The PushPole is hilarious...Especially the latest post! They even end it with the No BS Truth about the situation.

Here are a couple of my favorite parts:

Houma Residents React To Brown Water | THE PUSH POLE: "The Truth: When installing new lines, water flows around the distribution system at velocities and directions it normally didn’t in the past. This causes lots of sediment (which has already been disinfected) to break free and get into circulation. Now, that gunk is coming to a faucet near you, and there isn’t much you can do about it. It has to make its way out of the system somehow, and hopefully it will be out soon.  The good news is that Terrebonne Parish has got some new water lines, and judging by the amount of gunk in the old ones, we really needed them. You can read more about what’s going on here."

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Monday, January 25, 2016

SMBC Funny: An Alternative Path to Idiocracy!

Driverless Cars!

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

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Investors, Issue 1099s NOW: Here's Who Needs to Receive Them

Investors, Issue 1099s NOW: Here's Who Needs to Receive Them: "The rule is that if you paid someone more than $600 during the 2015 year, then you may need to issue a 1099 to them. One common misunderstanding is that the $600 rule is by vendor, not by check amount. For example, let’s say you have a plumber that you call out to one of your rentals a few times a year. If each time he comes out he charges $300 and he came out a total of three times that year, then the total you paid your plumber is $900. In this scenario, you may need to issue him a 1099 since the total you paid him during the year is more than $600."

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

NEWS  |  Saudis Plan Unprecedented Subsidy Cuts to Counter Oil Plunge  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Saudis Plan Unprecedented Subsidy Cuts to Counter Oil Plunge  |  Rigzone: "Confronting a drop in oil prices and mounting regional turmoil, Saudi Arabia reduced energy subsidies and allocated the biggest part of government spending in next year’s budget to defense and security. Authorities announced increases to the prices of fuel, electricity and water as part of a plan to restructure subsidies within five years. The government intends to cut spending next year and gradually privatize some state-owned entities and introduce value-added-taxation as well as a levy on tobacco. The biggest shake-up of Saudi economic policy in recent history coincides with growing regional unrest, including a war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is battling pro-Iranian Shiite rebels. In attempting to reduce its reliance on oil, the kingdom is seeking to put an end to the population’s dependence on government handouts, a move that political analysts had considered risky after the 2011 revolts that swept parts of the Middle East. “This is the beginning of the end of the era of free money,” said Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of London-based consulting firm Cornerstone Global Associates. “Saudi society will have to get used to a new way of working with the government. This is a wake-up call for both Saudi society and the government that things are changing.”"

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

At Least 32 Dead in Worst Offshore Disaster since Piper Alpha - Oil and Gas News

At Least 32 Dead in Worst Offshore Disaster since Piper Alpha - Oil and Gas News: "Oil and Gas People has learned that at least 32 People are dead in what has been hailed one of the worst offshore disasters since Piper Alpha. The incident in the Caspian Sea yesterday happened on Platform 10 on the Guneshli field offshore Azerbaijan. It is believed severe weather ruptured a gas line causing an explosion and huge fire that engulfed the platform. Rescue was hindered due to 8m waves and strong winds. Just a few hours after the incident and as Oil and Gas People were getting reports of people trapped in lifeboats blown against the platform, a spokesman for the State Oil Company (SOCAR) went on record saying that everyone had been safely evacuated. The region is notorious for controlling the media and very little information has been released by SOCAR who have declined to take our calls."

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Russian foreign minster calls plane downing ‘planned provocation’ - The Washington Post

Russian foreign minster calls plane downing ‘planned provocation’ - The Washington Post: "The Kremlin sharpened its accusations Wednesday in the wake of Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane, as Moscow’s top diplomat called the incident a “planned provocation” that has dealt a major blow to already fragile relations with NATO. But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also tamped down speculation of a military response by Russia after the jet broke apart in flames along the Turkish-Syrian border. “We’re not going to war against Turkey,” he said after talks with his Turkish counterpart."

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Encryption Is Being Scapegoated To Mask The Failures Of Mass Surveillance | TechCrunch

Encryption Is Being Scapegoated To Mask The Failures Of Mass Surveillance | TechCrunch: "Well that took no time at all. Intelligence agencies rolled right into the horror and fury in the immediate wake of the latest co-ordinated terror attacks in the French capital on Friday, to launch their latest co-ordinated assault on strong encryption — and on the tech companies creating secure comms services — seeking to scapegoat end-to-end encryption as the enabling layer for extremists to perpetrate mass murder. There’s no doubt they were waiting for just such an ‘opportune moment’ to redouble their attacks on encryption after recent attempts to lobby for encryption-perforating legislation foundered. (A strategy confirmed by a leaked email sent by the intelligence community’s top lawyer, Robert S. Litt, this August — and subsequently obtained by the Washington Post — in which he anticipated that a “very hostile legislative environment… could turn in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement”. Et voila Paris… ) Speaking to CBS New at the weekend in the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks, former CIA deputy director Michael Morell said: “I think this is going to open an entire new debate about security versus privacy.”"

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Greater Lafourche Port Commission wins national environment award

Greater Lafourche Port Commission wins national environment award: "At its regular board meeting, the Greater Lafourche Port Commission showcased its latest national award for environmental restoration and recognized Nicholls State University as a valuable partner on the award-winning project. The Port Commission was awarded the 2015 Environmental Enhancement Award by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) for its Beach and Dune Restoration Geotube Project, which restored approximately one mile of beach and dune habitat at Port Fourchon. Fourchon Beach is the first line of defense for Port Fourchon, which services over 90% of all deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production, accounting for approximately 20% of the nation's energy supply. The Fourchon Beach area sustained extensive damage from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Isaac. The Port Commission's project restored approximately one mile of this critical beach and dune habitat by utilizing over 250,000 cubic yards of sand to fill and cover a 30-ft diameter "geotube." Geotubes are large fabric mesh tubes pumped full of a sand and water mixture. The water is able to seep through and escape the mesh, leaving only extremely hard-packed sand behind in the tube and creating a solid barrier, which is then covered with more sand and vegetated."

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NEWS  |  Crowdfunding Platform Officially Launches  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Crowdfunding Platform Officially Launches  |  Rigzone: "EnergyFunders LLC, a crowdfunding platform that will allow accredited and non-accredited investors to invest directly in oil and gas projects, officially launched this week. The company has already funded some projects that are producing oil, but the company had reached a point where officials determined they had gotten the process and the user experience to the point where EnergyFunders felt ready to announce to the broader public that it’s open for business, Philip Racusin, CEO and co-founder of EnergyFunders LLC, told Rigzone."

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Friday, November 6, 2015

FireEye Shares Tank 14% After Hours On Sales Miss | TechCrunch

FireEye Shares Tank 14% After Hours On Sales Miss | TechCrunch: "Cybersecurity and malware protection company FireEye on Wednesday reported its third quarter sales were $165.6 million, compared to the $167.13 million Wall Street expected. Despite missing on sales, the company’s losses were not as high as analysts expected. Wall Street thought the company would lose 45 cents per share, but instead the company posted a loss of 37 cents per share. Investors have overlooked FireEye’s losses in the past due to healthy revenue growth. However that growth has slowed in recent quarters, causing shares to plummet. Today’s low sales number sent stocks diving 14 percent in extended trading."

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Joe Biden not running for president - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Joe Biden not running for president - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social: "Vice President Joe Biden announced from the Rose Garden at the White House on Wednesday that he will not run for president. Flanked by his wife Dr. Jill Biden and President Barack Obama, Joe Biden said that the window of opportunity for his candidacy has passed. "As the family and I have worked through the grieving process, I have said all along and time again what I have said to others that the process by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president that it might close. I have concluded it has closed," Biden said."

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Activist Group Pushing For Removal Of New Orleans’ Monuments Tied To #BlackLivesMatter | The Hayride

Activist Group Pushing For Removal Of New Orleans’ Monuments Tied To #BlackLivesMatter | The Hayride: "An activist group seeking the removal of four Confederate-related monuments in New Orleans apparently has ties to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The group “STAND With Dignity” is a partner group under the “New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice” group, which often holds rallies comprised for immigrant and illegal immigrants demanding the state to cease deportations. STAND With Dignity often uses Twitter to promote the hashtags #BlackWorkersMatter and #BlackLivesMatter. And they usually get what the want. Most recently, the group was successful in lobbying the New Orleans City Council to increase the city’s minimum wage to $10.55 per hour, a plan bound to hurt businesses across the city, as it has happened in Seattle, Washington."

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NEWS  |  Angered by Air Strikes, Turkey's Erdogan Warns Russia on Energy Ties  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Angered by Air Strikes, Turkey's Erdogan Warns Russia on Energy Ties  |  Rigzone: " President Tayyip Erdogan, angered by Russian incursions into Turkish air space, has warned Russia there are other places Turkey could get natural gas and other countries that could build its first nuclear plant. Russian aircraft twice entered Turkish air space at the weekend as Moscow carried out air strikes in Syria. Turkish F-16 jets have also been harassed by Syrian-based missile systems and unidentified planes since then. "We can't accept the current situation. Russia's explanations on the air space violations are not convincing," the Turkish daily Sabah and other media quoted Erdogan as telling reporters as he flew to Japan for an official visit. Russia's air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad's forces have shifted the balance of power in the Syrian conflict and dealt a blow to Turkey's aspirations of seeing Assad removed from power. But beyond protesting, there is little Turkey can do."

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jet, Now Raising, Ditches Its Membership Fees But Says Profitability Still On Track For 2020 | TechCrunch

Jet, Now Raising, Ditches Its Membership Fees But Says Profitability Still On Track For 2020 | TechCrunch: ", the discount shopping site promising to take on Amazon by competing on lower prices, has made a fairly radical change to its business, the company announced this morning. Instead of charging members an annual fee of $50, similar to the fee associated with Amazon’s “Prime” membership program, Jet says it will now drop the fee entirely. While initially good news for price-conscious online shoppers who now will no longer have to pay to take advantage of Jet’s savings, the removal of the fee will impact Jet’s business model and path to profitability. Founder and CEO Marc Lore, who sold his e-commerce company Quidsi, including and other sites, to Amazon for $545 million back in 2010, had said earlier that Jet’s model would work when it reached $20 billion in products per year – something it hoped to do by 2020. At that point, the founder said Jet would have 15 million paying customers, or $750 million in membership revenues. Now that membership revenues are off the table, Jet will instead have to generate revenue on its sales – just like other e-commerce sites do. That also raises the question of when Jet – a business that’s backed by $220 million in funding, according to CrunchBase, will now hit profitability. According to Jet’s Chief Customer Officer, Liza Landsman, however, the timing of Jet’s profitability isn’t’ actually being affected. Now, it’s more like the site is shifting where its revenues come from, by moving from direct fees to slightly higher upfront prices."

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Announcing The Startups Pitching At The NOLA TC Meetup + Pitch-Off (Judges, Too!) | TechCrunch

Announcing The Startups Pitching At The NOLA TC Meetup + Pitch-Off (Judges, Too!) | TechCrunch: "TechCrunch is back on the road again with the upcoming New Orleans Meetup + Pitch-Off, in conjunction with Nola Tech Week, and we’ve finally made selections on which startups will have a chance to hop on stage and pitch. Seven companies will have exactly sixty seconds to pitch their wares to a panel of expert judges and a ready-and-waiting audience in a fight to win the opportunity to attend the next TC Disrupt, with First Place receiving a table in Startup Alley. We’ve been holding out on telling you who to expect, but no longer. Without any further ado, I’m proud to announce the companies participating in the TC Meetup + Pitch-off in New Orleans on October 8 at 6:00 pm at People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market on 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. CityKey Pupular ThatSoundsCool Meusu Echo Fantastic Casket Locally"

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Freeport-McMoRan may spin off oil and gas business

Freeport-McMoRan may spin off oil and gas business: "Freeport-McMoRan is undertaking a review of strategic alternatives for its oil and gas business, the Phoenix-based company said. According to a statement released Tuesday, Freeport is reviewing a number of options, with the aim of making Freeport-McMoRan Oil and Gas (FM O&G) self-funding. Earlier this year, Freeport indicated that it would be willing sell a minority interest in its oil and gas business in an initial public offering, and, according to the statement, the offering remains one of the options under review. "

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Today, all stores in the US should accept chip-and-PIN cards. Yeah, right. | Ars Technica

Today, all stores in the US should accept chip-and-PIN cards. Yeah, right. | Ars Technica: "On top of this, the US credit card industry isn't fully upgrading to the most secure version of EMV. Although new credit cards will have a chip that generates a new code every time the card is used at a terminal, guarding those cards from fraudsters who collect credit card numbers wholesale and reuse them on counterfeit credit cards, card users are also encouraged to set up a PIN and input that number after every transaction. But issuers like J.P. Morgan Chase and Discover will still allow customers to use a signature to authenticate transactions, and signatures can be forged more easily than PINs. "US bank executives said they are choosing the signature version so customers won’t be burdened at the checkout line to remember a new four-digit code," the Wall Street Journal reported in January. Julie Conroy, research director for retail banking at Aite Group, told that "It will probably take two to three years to fully convert to chip-and-PIN.""

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Piper Lets Kids Design Circuits Using Minecraft And Electricity | TechCrunch

Piper Lets Kids Design Circuits Using Minecraft And Electricity | TechCrunch: "There is a disease destroying our young people. It is silent, malignant, and fatal. It is called Minecraft and something must be done. If you have children of a certain age chances are they have made a giant Pikachu out of yellow blocks or put up a signpost that says “Poop Here” next to a chicken pen. It is truly terrible. But there is hope. With Piper, we can turn Minecraft into something more exciting. The kit lets kids create circuits in real life and then see how they interact in Minecraft. It lets you, for example, add a battery and a button to a breadboard and see those parts pop up on the screen. Electricity flowing through virtual wires simulates what is happening in real life. In short, what you make on screen happens in real life and vice versa – sort of. Watch the video to really understand it."

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John Boehner to resign as House speaker

John Boehner to resign as House speaker: "John Boehner will resign as House speaker and from his Ohio congressional seat at the end of October, according to a statement from his office. His resignation will take effect on Oct. 30."

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