Turns out the iPhone grip of death is simply a "fact of life" with all wireless phones. If holding your phone makes your iPhone 4 signal drop dramatically, Apple would like you to know you should either hold it a different way or buy a case. From them. That sounds logical, right? Right. No, thanks. Also, introducing Rafe's new side project, oneleggedgoat.xxx. Enjoy.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
HOUSTON--Last Wednesday, five weeks into the worst oil spill in U.S. history, BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward locked himself in a room on the third floor of the British oil giant's U.S. headquarters in Houston.
For the next five hours, Hayward, BP executives, senior engineers, and the U.S. Energy Secretary and Nobel Physicist Steven Chu, who had flown in two days earlier, grappled with the latest plan to stem the thousands of barrels of oil a day gushing from a broken well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
The scheme was called "top kill" and involved pumping heavy drilling fluids, known as drilling mud, into the blown-out well to stifle the flow of oil and allow the top of the well to be sealed with concrete. The technique had worked to seal other wells, but never one out of control in 5,000 feet of water. There was a risk that the extra pressure caused by pumping in mud could rupture the top of the well, and increase the amount of oil gushing into the sea.
Even so, Hayward and his team gave the plan a 60 to 70 percent chance of success. Quietly, they hoped an end to the devastating leak--and BP's five week-long, media-saturated nightmare--might be within sight.
The room they worked in measured about 30 feet by 30 feet and is normally used for training sessions. BP's crisis unit had commandeered it and renamed it the "intervention room" soon after the leak began. Cables wrapped in yellow tape with the word "warning" written on it, snaked from the ceiling to the cheap, white laminated tables, which were crammed with laptops. Maps of the Gulf and diagrams of the equipment on the seabed covered the thin walls.
Next door, in an almost identical space called the "containment room," a separate group of engineers worked on strategies to capture the oil that had already leaked.
The team in the intervention room pored over the results of tests to see if the well could take the pressure. The mood was "intense," BP's director for the Americas Bob Dudley told Reuters in the narrow, artificially-lit corridor outside the room during a break in deliberations. "It's kind of like NASA and the Apollo 13 mission in there." … Read more
TGIF!TGIF!TGIF!TGIF!TGIF! Before you take off for the weekend, be sure to check out today's episode of The 404 Webcast, where we're reintroducing the Semi-weekly Beck's Beer Audio Draft! Today's featured artist is Family of the Year, an up-and-rocking folk(ish) band from Los Angeles. The sextet mix together Fleetwood -style rock guitars with a tinge of country that make for a perfect end of summer soundtrack, and we're very psyched to help them promote their new EP release called "Where's the Sun."
The two tracks on today's show are titled "Let's Go Down" and "Psyche or Like Scope," both available as a streaming preview on their MySpace page.You can buy it on their Web site at a sliding scale, meaning you can throw down however much you want. Give $1, $5, whatever you can afford, but keep in mind that all the earnings will be put toward the expenses of their upcoming CMJ tour. You can also buy a signed postcard from the road with a personalized inscription from the members themselves! Give them a listen, buy the album, and check them out in a city near you. Who knows, they might even stop by The 404 studio the next time they're in town...*hint* *hint* *nudge* *nudge*
Plenty of stories to get to today as well, including a story about some fool trying to extort money from David Letterman for a little fling he had several years ago with his assistant. In our eyes, the king of late night can do no wrong. It's not like he's, oh I don't know, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; can we all just let the guy live? Keep doing what you're doing, Dave, and if you want to come on The 404 for an exclusive interview, we'll be more than happy to oblige.
We also have a quick story about 3.4 million or so phallic pictures crashing AT&T's servers last week, but there are also a ton of movie-related news stories to get to, including a list of 8 movie franchises that must die, a "Kill Bill 3" in the works, a Spore adaptation, and ugh- a new "A-Team" movie. Can we run through all these stories in time and still not bust over the 45-minute mark? Check it out and find out!
Have a great weekend everyone!EPISODE 437 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
When Apple released its highly anticipated iPhone OS 3.1 firmware update for the iPhone and iPod Touch, some users' worries were confirmed: the tethering hack we blogged about in June no longer works.
After upgrading, if you navigate on your iPhone to the Settings app, select General, then Network, you will see that the menu item for tethering has vanished.
Developers have not yet been able to find a way to downgrade or re-enable the tethering hack. If you or someone you know has had a different experience, we would like to hear about it in the comments.
Updated … Read more
If you're looking for a robust feature set from your security suite, and you're looking for an affordable price, you could do worse than Trend Micro's 2010 Internet Security and Internet Security Pro. However, this basic version offers the bare minimum of protection, even with decent performance benchmarks. This is problematic because the feature set is Trend Micro strength, but to get it you've got to pay for the Pro version.
Trend Micro claims that boot times are 20 percent faster, that the programs use 40 percent less RAM, that the download itself is 25 percent … Read more
Paper Toss is an extremely simple but still fairly addictive game that simulates the time-honored office pastime of tossing crumpled pieces of paper into a trash can. In the game's interface, you hold your iPhone or iPod Touch vertically as you flick a wad of paper toward the target can, attempting to account for a blowing fan when you calculate your trajectory. The fan changes sides and speed for each shot, and Paper Toss features three levels of difficulty, with the trash can at varying distances.
Where this game really shines, though, is in its production values: the crisp … Read more
The other day we got an e-mail from Jim, a reader in LA, who wrote:
"My question regards the care and feeding of headphones. From the coconut-halves sets of my youth to the in-ear sets of today, I've never failed to kill a set of 'phones within a few months. Even the two Shure sets I bought in the past year (E2C and SE110) and have tried to treat very carefully, have developed cracks and shorts where they loop over the ear."
Greatly improve your process-killing ability with this freeware utility. Process Terminator's simple list-and-button interface is immediately operable by intermediate to advanced users. Most won't even crack open the simple four-paragraph Help screen.
Operating Process Terminator is intuitive and simple. On start, the app loads the list of running processes. Selecting a process displays its start time, total CPU time utilized, maximum physical memory used and amount allocated, thread count, handle count, and whether the Process UI is responding. Double-clicking a listed name opens the folder where the process is located. Any process is easily killed with a single … Read more
If you think John and George were the only psychedelic members of the Beatles, recall that Paul wrote "Helter Skelter" (although John played that bassline) and check out some of the tracks from his first solo album, Ram. If you're still not convinced, head on over to The Fireman site and take a listen to Electric Arguments. This is Paul's second collaboration with Killing Joke producer Youth, and it's the wildest music he's made in years.