Monday, February 19, 2018

WAGUESPACK: Forget Politics, Let's Use The Checkbook To Smoke 'Em All Out

WAGUESPACK: Forget Politics, Let's Use The Checkbook To Smoke 'Em All Out: "It has become a new national pastime for folks to spend time bemoaning the rise of “partisanship” and to complain about how divided the country has become. This mantra has been bought hook, line and sinker by both the left and the right. Partisanship and petty politics are often blamed for all that ails us, even though the unsolved societal problems usually referenced as proof have been around for generations. Ironically, the political figures that tend to rail the loudest against partisanship are those that seem to practice it the most. It is a common refrain for liberals to say how easy it would be for new taxes of any kind to solve most of our long-standing problems and that anyone who refuses to rubber stamp this concept is a partisan hack. On the opposite end of the spectrum, many conservatives preach ad nauseam about how easy it is to slash our way to prosperity and that any government program with an ounce of waste is essentially garbage just as worthy of some back-alley dumpster as yesterday’s crawfish shells. Both sides have passion and conviction behind their arguments and see little reason to consider any other option than the one to which they loyally subscribe."

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Code Name Insight: Preparing for Automation

Code Name Insight: Preparing for Automation: "I came across this article today about a taxi driver who killed himself in front of City Hall in New York City to make a point.  Sadly I find his death to be relatively pointless.  First, if you are working 120 hours a week and not making enough to make ends meet, you need a different job.  Or to move somewhere else with a more reasonable cost of living.  Just because you feel you should be able to make a living doing something doesn't mean there is a market for your efforts.  Secondly, every industry undergoes change.  Sometimes it is slow change and sometimes it is massive and quick change but just because Uber comes on the scene and upends the traditional taxi business (thank goodness they did, the taxi industry in Las Vegas is rather awful), it doesn't mean that legislators should come to the rescue and try to turn back time to make someone happy.  Life doesn't work that way. Interestingly enough, my own city of Las Vegas is set to be hit the hardest by automation with forecasters saying that 65% of the city's jobs could be automated within 20 years.  And do you see 65% of the workers here getting prepared for the time when their job will become automated and their presence will become superfluous?  Not that I have seen.  Which leads us to today's post..."

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Halliburton takes fracing fight from oil field to patent office

Halliburton takes fracing fight from oil field to patent office: "Halliburton isn’t content to limit its battle for market share with Schlumberger to the oil field these days. It’s opened a new front in an unlikely place: the patent office. The Houston-based provider of drilling services is waging an aggressive campaign to persuade the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel some of Schlumberger’s fracing-related patents, telling the agency they’re not inventions but old ideas repackaged. At the same time, Halliburton is pursuing more patents and was awarded 35% more in 2017 compared to the previous year. “They’re the two big dogs in the space,” said J. David Anderson, an analyst at Barclays. “Halliburton and Schlumberger have been battling for that top spot in North American services for a decade, so the fact they’re going after each other with patents is not surprising.” Halliburton has long been the top North American contractor while Schlumberger has dominated international markets, but they’ve been increasingly encroaching on each other’s turf as crude recovers from its worst crash in a generation. In North America, Schlumberger is directly challenging Halliburton’s title as the top fracer after recently acquiring roughly 1 million horsepower-worth of rock-crushing pumps from Weatherford International Meanwhile, Halliburton grew at a faster pace in all international markets than Schlumberger in the final three months of last year."

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Code Name Insight: Finding a Missing Person

Code Name Insight: Finding a Missing Person: "Quite often on Las Vegas social media (Facebook/Reddit/NextDoor/Twitter/etc) you will see posts from people looking for a missing loved one.  Initially they think that if they just call the police they will have an entire task force dedicated to finding their missing loved one but it doesn't actually work that way.  Considering that more than 200 people go missing each month from Las Vegas (and that there are thousands of other crimes going on in the city on any given day), the police will take a report but the actual finding of the person often rests with others (family and friends, private investigators, the public).  Here is how to go about finding a missing person:"

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Compression ignition engines are a big breakthrough—we got to try one | Ars Technica

This looks interesting...a gas engine that operates similar to a diesel engine. It has a lot of moving parts, (no pun intended), but based on the review in the article, it looks like Mazda has a handle on getting it right. The main takeaway appears to be a 20% improvement in efficiency with higher torque. Who doesn't want that?

Compression ignition engines are a big breakthrough—we got to try one | Ars Technica: "Despite rumors to the contrary, the internal combustion engine is far from dead. Recently we've seen several technological advances that will significantly boost the efficiency of gasoline-powered engines. One of these, first reported back in August 2017, is Mazda's breakthrough with compression ignition. On Tuesday, Mazda invited us to its R&D facility in California to learn more about this clever new Skyactiv-X engine, but more importantly we actually got to drive it on the road."

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WAGUESPACK: Spend It Differently This Time Around, And Maybe There Won't Be Another Fiscal Cliff


Louisiana Politics...a phrase that has haunted our state since before I was born. Until we stop the quid pro quo, the the pork barrel deals, the spend-spend-spend attitudes, and more recently, aggressive litigiousness at the state level, we will continue to be at the bottom end of the good lists and the top of the bad lists.

WAGUESPACK: Spend It Differently This Time Around, And Maybe There Won't Be Another Fiscal Cliff: "Not sure if you have noticed or not, but there is something called the fiscal cliff looming in Louisiana. If you haven’t heard of it yet, sit tight, because you will hear a whole lot about it over the next few months. The 2018 crisis will be filled with plenty of drama, finger-pointing and inflammatory rhetoric. Every (former, current and future) politician will say it is the other (former, current and future) politician’s fault for the deficits and lack of agreement on the appropriate mixture of taxes and cuts to fill it. Pull some old Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR) reports or Advocate headlines over the last 40-50 years and you will read a similar version of the same fights. Close your eyes and listen to some old political speeches and legislative debates on the Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) website and you will swear the commentary is filled with the same words used today."

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'Major' Deep Offshore Oil Discovery Made in U.S. Gulf of Mexico  | Rigzone

'Major' Deep Offshore Oil Discovery Made in U.S. Gulf of Mexico  | Rigzone: "Chevron Corporation announced Wednesday that a ‘major’ oil discovery has been made at the Ballymore prospect, located deep offshore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Ballymore well reached a total measured depth of 29,194 feet and encountered more than 670 feet of net oil pay with ‘excellent’ reservoir and fluid characteristics, Chevron said in a statement on its website. A sidetrack well is currently being drilled to further assess the discovery, which is already deemed commercially viable."

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