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Member Since 01 Jan 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 10:17 AM

Zohr gas field discovery largest in the world

30 August 2015 - 07:10 PM

Italian energy group Eni says it has found one of the world's largest natural gas fields off Egypt's coast.

The company said the area was 1,450m (4,757 feet) beneath the surface and covered 100 sq km (39 sq miles).

It could hold as much as 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, or 5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Eni said.

The company says that the Zohr field "could become one of the world's largest natural-gas finds" and help meet Egypt's gas needs for decades.
"This historic discovery will be able to transform the energy scenario of Egypt," said Claudio Descalzi, chief executive of Eni.

Eni, which has full concession rights to the area, is the biggest foreign energy firm in Africa.

In June, it signed an energy exploration deal with Egypt's oil ministry worth $2bn (£1.5bn) allowing the company to explore in Sinai, the Gulf of Suez, the Mediterranean and areas in the Nile Delta.

Eni's find follows other significant gas discoveries in the Mediterranean in recent years, including by Egypt's neighbour Israel.

LSU being LSU

27 August 2015 - 11:54 AM

God bless 'em for being MASH while the Cresent City shook. It's all about understanding what's the priority and they figured it out.

A man lying down on a cot asked me to come see him.

He said, "I just need someone to talk to, to tell my story because I have nobody and nothing left."

He turned out to be a retired military veteran. His story was what everybody was saying. He thought he survived the worst, woke up this morning and the levees broke. Within minutes water rushed into his house.

He climbed to the attic, smashed his way through the roof and sat there for hours. He was completely sunburned and exhausted. Nearly 12 hours later a chopper rescued him and here he was.

We finished the night hauling boxes of body bags and more were on the way. As we left, a man was strolled in on a stretcher and scarily enough he suffered gunshots. The paramedic said he was shot several times because a looter or a convict needed his boat and he wouldn't give it to him.

Another man with him said it was 'an uncivilized society no better than Iraq down there right now.' A few minutes later, he was unconscious and later pronounced dead. I then left as they were strolling a 3-year old kid in on a stretcher. I couldn't take it anymore.


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Diamonds grown in 10 weeks

27 August 2015 - 07:51 AM

Unlike imitation diamonds such as cubic zirconia, stones that are “grown” (the nascent industry’s preferred term) in labs have the same physical characteristics and chemical makeup as the real thing. They’re made from a carbon seed placed in a microwave chamber with methane or another carbon-containing gas and superheated into a glowing plasma ball. That creates particles that crystallize into diamonds, a process that can take 10 weeks. The technology has progressed to the point that experts need a machine to tell synthesized gems apart from those extracted from mines or rivers.

Retailers including Wal-Mart Stores and Warren Buffett’s Helzberg Diamonds are beginning to stock the artificial gems.  “To a modern young consumer, if they get a diamond from above the ground or in the ground, do they really care?” asks Chaim Even-Zohar, a principal at Tacy, an industry consulting firm in Ramat Gan, Israel. In a survey by Gemdax, an Antwerp-based consultant, only 45 percent of North American consumers from 18 to 35 said they prefer natural diamonds. “Some substitution for natural diamonds is inevitable,” says Anish Aggarwal, a partner at the firm, which wouldn’t disclose who paid for the study. Gemdax says more research is needed to better gauge consumer attitudes.


Why in the hell does government subsidize a stadium?

25 August 2015 - 12:45 PM

Is this really the purpose of government?   It's the ultimate mis-allocation of limited resources.

Atlanta Braves Stadium Bonds Price Tuesday

AUG 21, 2015 5:52pm ET

Cobb County, Ga., plans to competitively bid $372.55 million of AAA-rated taxable bonds on Tuesday to finance the Atlanta Braves stadium.

Choose your reality

24 August 2015 - 04:00 PM

What is virtual reality?

You’ve probably heard the most about virtual reality, or VR. It’s the technology that is set to see big consumer releases within the next year, in devices like Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Samsung Gear VR. People also tend to know VR better because of its disastrous stab at the consumer market in the 1990s, and pop culture moments like “The Lawnmower Man” and “VR Troopers.”

In VR, you wear something on your head — currently, a “head-mounted display” that can look like a boxy set of goggles or a space helmet — that holds a screen in front of your eyes, which in turn is powered by a computer, gaming console or mobile phone. Thanks to specialized software and sensors, the experience becomes your reality, filling your vision; at the high end, this is often accompanied by 3-D audio that feels like a personal surround-sound system on your head, or controllers that let you reach out and interact with this artificial world in an intuitive way.

What distinguishes VR from adjacent technologies is the level of immersion it promises. When VR users look around — or, in more advanced headsets, walk around — their view of that world adjusts the same way it would if they were looking or moving in real reality.

Got it. So, what is augmented reality?

Augmented reality, or AR, is similar to VR in that it is often delivered through a sensor-packed wearable device, such as Google Glass, the Daqri Smart Helmet or Epson’s Moverio brand of smart glasses. That’s not always true, though, and the similarities stop shortly after that.

The key term for AR is utility. A typical augmented-reality experience will probably be a lot less exciting than meeting a dinosaur or riding a roller coaster, but analysts have argued that the potential market for AR applications is actually much larger than VR’s.

The whole point of that ugly word, augmented, is that AR takes your view of the real world and adds digital information and/or data on top of it. This might be as simple as numbers or text notifications, or as complex as a simulated screen, something ODG is experimenting with on its forthcoming consumer smart glasses. But in general, AR lets you see both synthetic light as well as natural light bouncing off objects in the real world.

Okay, then, what is mixed reality?

This is the least-well-known of the trio right now, but it ironically might have the easiest road to mainstream consumer adoption — if the tech works as advertised.

The key term for mixed reality, or MR, is flexibility. It tries to combine the best aspects of both VR and AR, wrapped up in a marketable term that sounds marginally less geeky than its cousins.

In theory, mixed reality lets the user see the real world (like AR) while also seeing believable, virtual objects (like VR). And then it anchors those virtual objects to a point in real space, making it possible to treat the “real,” at least from the perspective of the person who can see the MR experience.

So, to borrow an example from Microsoft’s presentation at the gaming trade show E3, you might be looking at an ordinary table, but see an interactive virtual world from the video game Minecraft sitting on top of it. As you walk around, the virtual landscape holds its position, and when you lean in close, it gets closer in the way a real object would.