News of the week

Newsworthy items of the last fortnight or so. We look for stories in the space between geoscience and technology, but if you come across anything you think we should cover, do tell

CNLOPB map of blocksNewfoundland blocks announced

Back in May we wrote about the offshore licensing round in Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada's Atlantic margin. The result was announced on Wednesday. There was no award on the northern blocks. The two parcels in northwest Newfoundland, in the Gulf of St Lawrence, were awarded to local outfit Ptarmigan Energy for a total work commitment of $2.002 million. The winning bids in the Flemish Pass area were won by a partnership of Statoil (at 50%), Chevron (40%) and Repsol (10%). The bids on these parcels were $202,171,394 and $145,603,270. Such arbitrary-looking numbers suggest that there was some characteristically detailed technical assessment going on at Statoil, or that a game theorist got to engineer the final bid. We'd love to know which. 

CanGeoRef for Canadian literature

CanGeoRef is a new effort to bring Canadian geoscience references in from the cold to the AGI's GeoRef bibliographic database. The Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences is coordinating the addition of literature from the Survey, various provincial and territorial agencies, as well as Canadian universities. Better yet, CanGeoRef has a 30-day free trial offer plus a 15% discount if you subscribe before December. 

In related news, the AGI has updated its famous Glossary of Geology, now in its 5th edition. We love the idea, but don't much like the $100 price tag. 

Tibbr at work

Tibbr logoTibbr is a social media engine for the enterprise, a sort of in-house Facebook. Launched in January by TIBCO, it's noteworthy because of TIBCO's experience; they're the company behind Spotfire among other things. It has some interesting features, like videocalling, voicemail integration and analytics (of course), that should differentiate it from competitors like Yammer. What these tools do for teamwork and integration is yet to be seen. 

The 3D world in 3D

Occasionally you see software you can't wait to get your hands on. When Ron Schott posted this video of some mud-cracks, we immediately started thinking of the possibilities for outcrops, hand specimens, SEM photography,... However, the new 123D Catch software from Autodesk only runs on Windows so Matt hasn't been able to test it yet. On the plus side, it's free, for now at least.

To continue the social media thread, Ron is very interested in its role in geoscience. He's an early adopter of Google+, so if you're interested in how these tools might help you, add him to one of your circles or hangout with him. As for us, we're still finding our way in G+.

This regular news feature is for information only. We aren't connected with any of these people or organizations, and don't necessarily endorse their products or services. Unless we say we think they're great.