Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SMBC: And The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth...

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

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SMBC: Robot Horror Discussion

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

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Comcast mega-merger brings more cable consolidation with new Charter deal | Ars Technica

Comcast mega-merger brings more cable consolidation with new Charter deal | Ars Technica: "Another cable company merger was announced today, but it won't be completed unless the government allows Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC). Charter Communications plans to buy Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion, but the deal is contingent on Comcast's big merger. That's because Charter itself has a stake in Comcast/TWC; Charter stands to gain 1.4 million subscribers from Time Warner Cable in exchange for $7.3 billion. Comcast would also divest itself of 2.5 million subscribers with the spinoff of a new cable company called GreatLand Connections.

 If the Comcast/TWC and Charter/Bright House mergers go through, Charter would end up as the second biggest cable operator in the US behind Comcast. But all these deals could now be stopped if the Federal Communications Commission or Department of Justice blocks Comcast's purchase of Time Warner Cable. The Charter/Bright House merger "is subject to several conditions, including Charter shareholder approval, the expiration of Time Warner Cable's right of first offer for Bright House, the close of Charter's previously announced transactions with Comcast and regulatory approval," the merger announcement says."

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BP Terminates Contract For ENSCO DS-4 Drillship - gCaptain Maritime & Offshore News

This was known for a little while...But not the Seadrill stuff.

BP Terminates Contract For ENSCO DS-4 Drillship - gCaptain Maritime & Offshore News: "ENSCO announced on Monday the receipt of a termination notice for their ultra-deepwater drillship DS-4 which is currently on contract to BP in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The original contract for the 2010-built drillship was scheduled to last until July 2016, however BP has decided to cut that short by 12 months upon completion of their current well program. Under the terms of the contract with respect to early termination for convenience, ENSCO says BP is on the hook for a lump sum payment of approximately $160 million. The approximately $560,000 day rate will continue to apply through the termination date currently estimated to be July 2015, ENSCO says. UPDATE: BP Exploration & Production has also sent a notice of termination to Seadrill for the early termination of its contract for the West Sirius semi-submersible drilling rig. At the same time, BP extended its contract for Seadrill’s West Capricorn rig. According to Reuters, West Sirius dayrate was decreased by $40,000 per day and the term was decreased by two years to expire in July 2017 while the dayrate for the West Capricorn was increased by $40,000 per day and the term was extended by two years to expire in July 2019."

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Now there’s a secure boot add-on for Raspberry Pi. Oh, yay? | Ars Technica

Now there’s a secure boot add-on for Raspberry Pi. Oh, yay? | Ars Technica: "Raspberry Pi, the low-cost ARM-based system on a board, has gotten lots of attention from hardware hackers and people experimenting with embedded systems. Aside from various intelligence agencies building computing clusters out of them, Raspberry Pi boards have become an increasingly popular part of prototyping network-integrated industrial systems—that Internet of Things that people keep talking about. And now, it's getting attention from the software digital rights management (DRM) industry. At the Hannover Messe industrial technology fair in Germany today, the software licensing protection technology firm Wibu Systems introduced a "starter kit" for Raspberry Pi based on its CodeMeter technology that provides embedded systems developers a secure boot capability for Pi-based hardware. The kit, which includes a software developers' kit and the CmStick—a USB hardware "dongle" that can be used to ensure that only signed software with proper certificates can execute on the Raspberry Pi. This presumably prevents tampering with embedded code by an attacker. This isn't exactly UEFI for Raspberry Pi, however. The CmStick contains a SmartCard chip with about 384 kilobytes of secure memory and can store information on "thousands" of software products, according to Wibu literature, allowing the system it's attached to to check against a pre-approved set of developer certificates, as well as perform signature checking. The CodeMeter technology has previously been integrated with Wind River's VxWorks real-time OS; the SDK in the starter kit is intended to allow developers to integrate the CmStick's license and digital signature checking into the OS of their choice to prevent unsigned or forged code from executing."

Continue Reading...

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Amazon’s On-Demand Services Marketplace Launches Monday | TechCrunch

Amazon’s On-Demand Services Marketplace Launches Monday | TechCrunch:

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Zumper’s New App Lets You Submit Rental Applications From Your iPhone | TechCrunch

Zumper’s New App Lets You Submit Rental Applications From Your iPhone | TechCrunch: "Real estate startup Zumper, which offers tools that connect brokers and property managers with potential renters, has today released a new mobile application that allows users to fill out their rental applications – including pulling their Experian credit report – right from their iPhone. The company, which says it’s now seeing over a million monthly visits from web and mobile, had first announced this feature last fall. However, at the time, it was only available in beta on web and Android, even though Zumper expects most usage to take place via iOS. The feature, which is now known as “Instant Apply,” could help give potential renters an edge over others in competitive real estate markets, like that of San Francisco where Zumper is currently headquartered. Explains CEO Anthemos Georgiades, there are always multiple offers on the same apartment, so being able to apply immediately from your phone can help you beat others looking at the same property."

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SEC Greenlights Equity Crowdfunding, So Anyone Can Invest In Startups | TechCrunch

SEC Greenlights Equity Crowdfunding, So Anyone Can Invest In Startups | TechCrunch:

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Schlumberger acquires full-azimuth multiclient surveys for deepwater GoM

Schlumberger acquires full-azimuth multiclient surveys for deepwater GoM: "HOUSTON -- Schlumberger has completed the acquisition of approximately 2,750 km2 of two new full-azimuth multiclient seismic surveys over the Garden Banks and Green Canyon areas in the Gulf of Mexico. These acquisitions are the initial phase of the Revolution X and Revolution XI surveys and will provide full-azimuth, high-density broadband data to optimize future operational decisions. Maurice Nessim, president, PetroTechnical Services, Schlumberger, said, “The new exploration investments will enable customers to make better-informed, strategic decisions during exploration as well as field development and production phases. These high-density broadband surveys that use our latest acquisition and imaging technologies will deliver critical information that can help reduce drilling risks and support future 4D reservoir monitoring.” The combination of WesternGeco Dual Coil Shooting multivessel full-azimuth acquisition, with proprietary ObliQ broadband acquisition and imaging technology, optimizes the recorded bandwidth of the seismic signal to enhance imaging of potential subsalt prospects. When completed, the Revolution X and Revolution XI surveys will provide more than 3,800 km2 and 2,940 km2 of 3D data, respectively, for suprasalt and subsalt targets, and deeper subsalt Miocene and Wilcox formations."

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Turkish Petroleum expands its Paradigm software portfolio with Reverse Time Migration

Turkish Petroleum expands its Paradigm software portfolio with Reverse Time Migration: "ANKARA, Turkey -- Paradigm has announced that Turkish Petroleum (TP), the national oil company of the Republic of Turkey and a long-time Paradigm customer, has added Paradigm Reverse Time Migration (RTM) to its product portfolio. The Reverse Time Migration is often the imaging solution of choice in subsurface areas characterized by complex geology and complementary complex wave propagation phenomena. This selection complements other seismic imaging solutions from Paradigm used by TP. Paradigm RTM is a preferred solution for imaging seismic data in areas of complex wave phenomena. It easily handles the most severe combinations of structural dip with high velocity contrast that are found in many of TP's exploration basins."

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RIGZONE - BP Sees TANAP Gas Pipeline Project Deal within Two Months

RIGZONE - BP Sees TANAP Gas Pipeline Project Deal within Two Months: "TBILISI, March 25 (Reuters) – British oil major BP expects to sign a deal with the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project within two months to become a stakeholder in the multi-billion dollar project that aims to reduce Europe's reliance on Russian gas. Chris Schlueter, BP country manager for Georgia, told Reuters on Wednesday that all main documents were signed last week. "We are very, very close ... That has been very good progress over the last week and a half ... I think (we will sign the deal) within the next two months," Schlueter said on the sidelines of the Georgian Oil, Gas, Energy and Infrastructure conference in the capital Tbilisi. BP said in 2013 it wanted a 12 percent stake in the TANAP project. Azeri firm SOCAR holds a 58 percent stake in TANAP, while Turkish pipeline firm Botas raised its stake to 30 percent from 20 percent in 2014. TANAP envisages carrying 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea, one of the world's largest gas fields, which is being developed by a BP-led consortium. The pipeline will run from the Turkish-Georgian border to Turkey's border with Bulgaria and Greece. The preliminary cost of the pipeline has been estimated at $10-$11 billion. Schlueter said the BP-led consortium was on track in Georgia and Azerbaijan with its works on the project, despite the decline in global oil prices. "Of course, we are tightening our belts ... But there is no change to commitments in our operations," he said. He added the consortium planned to spend about $6 billion in 2015 on the Shah Deniz II and the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion (SCPX) projects. The TANAP project was inaugurated last week and the 1,850 km (1,150 mile) pipeline's construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and start deliveries of gas from Shah Deniz II to Europe in 2019."

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Petrobras discovers 200-m hydrocarbon column at Libra C1 extension well

Petrobras discovers 200-m hydrocarbon column at Libra C1 extension well: "RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Libra consortium has finished drilling extension well C1. The drilling results confirmed the presence of a hydrocarbon column approximately 200 m deep in reservoirs with good permeability and porosity characteristics. The C1 well is located in the central part of the Libra block, in Santos basin, around 220 km offshore from Rio de Janeiro. The final depth reached was 5,780 m, including a water depth of 2,160 m. This is the second well successfully drilled by the Libra consortium, and is 18 km from the first well, called 3-RJS-731. The hydrocarbon and CO2 bearing intervals were calculated through electrical profiles and fluid samples, which are being characterized through laboratory analysis. The consortium will continue with the exploration plan by drilling new wells in order to evaluate the Libra area, which covers around 1,550 sq km. The Libra consortium is composed of Petrobras (operator, with a 40% stake), Shell (20%), Total (20%), CNPC (10%) and CNOOC (10%), as well as Brazilian state-owned company PrĂ©-Sal PetrĂ³leo S.A. (PPSA), which is the contract manager."

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Schlumberger unit to pay $233 million in Iran, Sudan sanctions case

Schlumberger unit to pay $233 million in Iran, Sudan sanctions case:

"WASHINGTON -- Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd. (SOHL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd., has agreed to enter a guilty plea and to pay a $232,708,356 penalty to the U.S. for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by willfully facilitating illegal transactions and engaging in trade with Iran and Sudan.  The plea agreement, which is contingent upon the court’s approval, also requires SOHL to submit to a three-year period of corporate probation and agree to continue to cooperate with the government and not commit any additional felony violations of U.S. federal law.  In addition to SOHL’s commitments, under the plea agreement, SOHL’s parent company, Schlumberger Ltd., has also agreed to the following additional terms during the three-year term of probation, inter alia: 1) maintaining its cessation of all operations in Iran and Sudan; 2) reporting on the parent company’s compliance with sanctions; 3) responding to requests to disclose information and materials related to the parent company’s compliance with U.S. sanctions laws when requested by U.S. authorities; and 4) hiring an independent consultant to review the parent company’s internal sanctions policies and procedures and the parent company’s internal audits focused on sanctions compliance. "

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RIGZONE - Mexico's First Oil Tender to Feature Extended Exploration Period

RIGZONE - Mexico's First Oil Tender to Feature Extended Exploration Period: "MEXICO CITY, March 25 (Reuters) - As Mexico opens up its oil sector to private producers for the first time in decades, the initial set of contracts up for grabs later this year will feature extended exploration periods, the country's oil sector regulator said on Wednesday. The change to the draft production-sharing contracts for 14 shallow water exploration projects will allow companies another year to satisfy requirements that they drill a field's first test wells, said Juan Carlos Zepeda, head of Mexico's national hydrocarbons commission. "In this new version ... the exploration phase will be four years instead of three with a possible extension of two years," said Zepeda, before the change was approved by the commission."

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Shell to cut staff, change working patterns in North Sea

Shell to cut staff, change working patterns in North Sea: "Paul Goodfellow, Shell’s Upstream V.P. for the UK and Ireland, said, “The North Sea has been a challenging operating environment for some time. Reforms to the fiscal regime announced in the budget are a step in the right direction, but the industry must redouble its efforts to tackle costs and improve profitability if the North Sea is to continue to attract investment.” “Current market conditions make it even more important that we ensure our business is competitive. Changes are vital if it is to be sustainable. They will be implemented without compromising our commitment to the safety of our people and the integrity of our assets.”"

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