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Leak Meter — Why Now?
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Leak Meter

For the duration this will be at the top of the page, with new posts below it.

Please note that PBS is having to make changes to this meter, as BP changes its story. The new default is the Department of Energy’s final figure of 2,604,000 gallons [62,000 barrels or 8,454.9 metric tons] per day. The total on the meter is the oil that went into the Gulf, as PBS deducts what BP has collected.

Via Pensacola Beach Blog, PBS has a new widget that includes the live feed from BP.

July 15th Update: BP puts the stop time at 2:25PM CDT.


1 cookie jill { 05.09.10 at 12:00 pm }

This just makes me want to cry.
.-= last blog ..california’s institutional sclerosis =-.

2 Bryan { 05.09.10 at 1:45 pm }

BP doesn’t really seem to have a plan. They appear to be winging it.

3 Moi;) { 05.12.10 at 9:03 pm }

This is just so unbelievable. There aren’t words.
.-= last blog ..You Can’t Do Ethnic in Arizona =-.

4 Bryan { 05.12.10 at 9:52 pm }

It may actually be five times worse. That’s just what BP admits to.

5 LadyMin { 05.14.10 at 3:21 pm }

They don’t have a plan because they never considered failure an option. Now that it’s happened I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s way worse than they admit. And Congress won’t do much until oil is washing up on the shores of the Potomac.
.-= last blog ..International Migratory Bird Day =-.

6 Bryan { 05.14.10 at 3:56 pm }

If it reaches the Loop Current, which is actually part of the Gulf Stream, that could be a reality, Lady Min. Most of the oil is hanging below the surface, not coming to the top.

7 Steve Bates { 05.14.10 at 4:11 pm }

Hmph. The calculator’s rate adjustment control cannot be set to the experts’ worst case. An oversight? or (appropriate for this matter) lack of oversight?
.-= last blog ..Eight-Inch Tarballs Wash Up On La. Coast =-.

8 Bryan { 05.14.10 at 5:42 pm }

BP’s worst case seems to the the upper limit, but that is 50K+ barrels/day.

If you know the pressure and have the pipe size, a fairly accurate measure isn’t hard. BP is just avoiding the issue.

9 hipparchia { 05.14.10 at 6:22 pm }

Hmph. The calculator’s rate adjustment control cannot be set to the experts’ worst case.

it can’t? i can make it do the calculation. maybe a ctrl+f5 or two is in your future?

10 hipparchia { 05.14.10 at 6:29 pm }

also, javascript hacker wanted! any takers here?

11 Bryan { 05.14.10 at 8:30 pm }

The highest number I can set is the BP worst case. The underlying code is multiple chunks of javascript which are resident on PBS’s server. Playing with it in any serious way requires going to restricted areas of the server which they would not look upon kindly.

12 Steve Bates { 05.14.10 at 9:39 pm }

it can’t? i can make it do the calculation. maybe a ctrl+f5 or two is in your future?

You’re assuming all browsers implement caching the same way and that all the intermediate server caches between you and PBS work the same way as those between me and PBS. This whole issue is the bête noire of developers of real-time client/server (e.g., AJAX-style) web applications. My last app before retirement was that way.

That said, with the latest Firefox, I was able to get a working version of the leak meter by clearing the browser cache and then doing your much-praised Ctrl-F5. The problem is having multiple JavaScript sources server-side: each browser decides when to update its cached copy of everything but the main source, and the decision is based on more things than you can imagine. Well, you can imagine them, but that doesn’t prevent your having to experiment if you actually care which source isn’t updating. Usually it’s sufficient… and a lot easier… to forget the specifics, clear the cache and hard-refresh the page.
.-= last blog ..Eight-Inch Tarballs Wash Up On La. Coast =-.

13 Bryan { 05.14.10 at 10:13 pm }

Yep, clearing the cache cleared that up, plus some other problems I’ve been having with graphics. The software was trying to be “helpful” again.

14 Steve Bates { 05.14.10 at 11:21 pm }

Bryan, I’m not unsympathetic with browser authors. (Slightly less so with web server administrators, who can do odd things with caches completely out of the end user’s control.)

There are compelling performance reasons for caching a lot, both content files and (perhaps especially) script sources. Most script libraries underlying whatever script you invoke from the page never really change… you “buy” one version (many are free), call it out from your script in your HTML file, let the browser download it once and cache it, and “all is right as right can be.”

But when you change library versions (not always a good idea under production conditions), sometimes your users all have to clear the cache to make sure every browser loads the latest version instead of trying to run with the old library version. It’s one of the few things Firefox seems not to be clever about.

And if you are the sort who tidily breaks up an app into multiple sources of your own, it can happen to your code, too, not just a third-party library. That’s what apparently happened with the leak meter.

15 Bryan { 05.14.10 at 11:34 pm }

I found it early, Steve, and they added the fourth condition later, so everyone who came by my site had the old code in their cache.

I have been making changes to the Gusher symbol and Firefox would occasionally revert to the original red flag version which is no longer on my server, so I know it came from the cache.

16 Steve Bates { 05.14.10 at 11:56 pm }

hipparchia… see my note on Corrente under lambert’s post asking about a “JavaScript hacker.” I believe it’s not the JavaScript but that chunk of CSS styles before the widget that you need to insert in your own HTML and tinker with. Use the PBS page as a model. Obviously the defaults are what we see above, but it appears from PBS’s page source that some of the internals can be tweaked by some styles appearing before the embed. Will that work? I’m uncertain, but if it were my task, that’s the approach I’d explore first. You’re never going to (ahem) drill down to their JavaScript, and there’s no guarantee you could transplant it even if you could see it… no, the CSS is the likeliest route to changing the appearance of the widget.

17 Steve Bates { 05.15.10 at 12:01 am }

Bryan, that sounds like a horror movie title: “It Came from the Deep Cache!”

18 Bryan { 05.15.10 at 12:07 am }

Well, Steve, I’ve avoiding going into the “basement” to do something about it… at least until I could find the appropriate theme music, but the Jaws theme that I have been hearing since the well from hell blew works.

19 Steve Bates { 05.15.10 at 12:16 am }

Actually, hipparchia, it may be simpler still: try tinkering with the size of the <iframe> in which the widget lives. Might not work, but it just might: I noticed the widget is bigger on the PBS site than it is on my site.
.-= last blog ..Eight-Inch Tarballs Wash Up On La. Coast =-.

20 Steve Bates { 05.15.10 at 12:25 am }

Well, John Williams has written deeper theme music, Bryan… (Sorry; couldn’t resist.)

21 hipparchia { 05.15.10 at 1:38 am }

i tried the iframe trick. no go.

22 hipparchia { 05.15.10 at 1:41 am }

i tried playing with the css stuff, on my test blog, but blogger wasn’t buying any of that, and i’m not about to try it on somebody else’s blog. that sounds like it ought to work [but then that’s what i thought about the iframe]… if lambert wants to try it, he now has your suggestions and mine to start from.

23 Steve Bates { 05.15.10 at 9:54 am }

Ah, well. Sorry, hipparchia; those were my first two thoughts. Blogger will let you apply your own local styles, but the folks who invented CSS had a love of complexity that makes the precedence rules hard to predict in specific circumstances. (Ever wonder why no browsers (at least none I know) have a developer feature that will show you all the styles that apply to a selected text? Too hard, that’s why.) Anyway, sorry to have wasted your time.
.-= last blog ..Eight-Inch Tarballs Wash Up On La. Coast =-.

24 hipparchia { 05.16.10 at 3:10 am }

you didn’t waste my time at all! i’m still tempted to play with it some more.

25 Elizabeth Westmark (Beth) { 05.19.10 at 10:27 am }

Thanks for posting this, Bryan. (By the way, I’m on Firefox — have not experienced a problem adjusting the meter.)
.-= last blog ..Fly =-.

26 Bryan { 05.19.10 at 2:52 pm }

Welcome, Beth. The problem was caused by browsers being helpful and caching. The original widget was edited and people had a problem until they “flushed” their cache.

27 Elizabeth Westmark (Beth) { 05.19.10 at 9:37 pm }

Thanks, Bryan. Would you mind if I embed the meter on my blog? I’ll let my readers know where I found it. It’s horrible to watch, but critical to keep right up front the way you are doing.
.-= last blog ..Fly =-.

28 Bryan { 05.19.10 at 10:53 pm }

Beth, it belongs to PBS. They published it in early May.

I always appreciate links, but it isn’t necessary. The current best guess on the rate is over 4 million gallons/day.

Nice house, BTW.

29 Steve Bates { 05.26.10 at 8:31 am }

Be aware before you install it: the new widget is exTREMEly bandwidth-intensive because of the live video feed it contains. I tried it on my site for a day but commented it out just now and replaced it with a link to the PBS page.
.-= last blog ..Truly From The Depths, Via PBS =-.

30 Bryan { 05.26.10 at 11:47 am }

That’s why it isn’t up here, Steve. It must have been in comments to another thread that I mentioned that I was going to put it up, but didn’t after checking the resource usage.

I knew something was wrong when when my normally silent systems unit kicked in the secondary fans because the CPU was working hard, and then a glance at the DSL modem showed that it was working its diodes onto death.