Friday, March 27, 2009

You know something is good when....

Criminals are using it.
High fives to the folks at research in motion, the makers of the blackberry. Now everyone can have military grade encryption on their messages. Of course this makes tapping into those blackberries by police/intel types more difficult. This in turn has prompted mp's in canada to attempt to introduce legislation that would force rim to make their software tappable. Can't see that little plan going anywhere fast.

Blackberry has a easy-to-read 92 page document outlining their security systems here (in case you have nothing else to do for the next 2 hours or so).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

helicopter down in north atlantic

Anyone who has ever worked offshore can commiserate with possibility of a helicopter ditching over water. Although oilfield workers train for these eventualities its difficult to imagine an underwater escape from a helicopter in one of the most inhospitable oceans anywhere.

So far the coast guard have found one survivor. Really really really hope they find the other 17.


As of today there are still 16 missing, 1 survivor in intensive care, and 1 confirmed dead. The helicopter was a Sikorsky S-92, a very modern heliocopter. The search has located 2 life rafts which were both empty. Its looking very bad now for anyone still in the water - their survival suits are only good for about 24 hours under good conditions: 3 m seas and 30 knot winds are hardly ideal.

The survival suits are equipped with emergency transponders which activate upon contact with water. So far of the sixteen possible transponders not one has been activated. This would suggest to me that all of the missing passengers never made it out of the chopper.

Hope I'm wrong.

I find this very disturbing, terrifying even.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jon Stewart Kicks Ass

Jon Stewart putting it to cnbc. Brilliant!!

Electrical Disconnect

I received a pressure washer today from Italy. Thats not really news. The newsy bit was when I went to plug it in. Couldn't do it! The plug was different. Why is it that all electrical connections in the Oil Patch must be as individual as snowflakes? The generators are typically 3 phase but are often single phase. The loads are usually single phase but can also be three phase. Power outputs can vary from 220v-480 v and equipment can require anywhere from 120V-480V. Some equipment can only run on 50hz, some can only run on 60hz and some doesn't care. None of this stuff has any drawings or nameplates and can only be identified with intuition and a fluke meter.
Why does it have to be this way...always.
Calling the sparky now...