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Comment Re:Substation? (Score 1) 572

While an object in motion tends to stay in motion - it only does so until subjected to an opposing force. In this case, that opposing force is Earth's gravity, and all a "little propellant" buys you is a slightly higher orbit.

Gravity will not bring it down, not for millions of years. Collisions with molecules in the fringes of the atmosphere are the opposing force.

The Internet

Submission + - Wikipedia wins defamation case

Raul654 writes: Yesterday, a french judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Wikimedia Foundation for defamation. The judge found that "Web site hosts cannot be liable under civil law because of information stored on them if they do not in fact know of their illicit nature". According to the inquirer: "Three plaintiffs were each seeking 69,000 euros ($100,000) in damages for invasion of their privacy after their homosexuality was revealed on the website."

Comment Grain of Salt (Score 1) 311

Let me first say that I've read TFA but not the original paper. The following criticism is based on a presentation I attended long ago on another proposed mechanism to explain periodic extinctions.

When you look for a periodicity in a bunch of data, you might do a fourier transform and look for peaks. (The other work did that.) Essentially you're doing a large number of correlations. If you try 100 corelations, you should not be surprised to see one that's significant at the 99% level, just by chance!

On the other hand, if the periodicity they found matched known astronomical phenomena (as opposed to the other work I looked at), the probability of a chance result is much reduced.

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