Raver32 writes: "Star Trek" fans know there were two pilots for the original series.
The first, "The Cage," was rejected by NBC for being "too cerebral" (ah, some things never change).
The second, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," replaced the actor who played the captain with William Shatner and was more action driven. That pilot had an alternate version which was largely lost and has never aired. Apparently, a film collector in Germany acquired the print and "recently brought it to the attention" of CBS/Paramount. CBS is now releasing this version on Blu-ray Dec. 15.
Raver32 writes: Mania.com has heard from reliable sources that Sam Raimi and company have begun the process of casting the villains and supporting players of 'Spider-Man 4'.
We can exclusively reveal that actress Rachel McAdams has met with the producers of the film for a major role. McAdams (of 'Wedding Crashers' and 'Sherlock Holmes' fame) is said to be a top contender for the role of Felicia Hardy, known to comic fans as The Black Cat.
Raver32 writes: The U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully shot down a short-range ballistic missile in space in a July 30 test, agency officials announced Friday.
The Navy's USS Hopper and USS O'Kane destroyers detected and tracked a missile fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai in Hawaii during the test, which was latest demonstration of the U.S. military's Aegis Missile Defense system.
The USS Hopper fired one Standard Missile-3 block 1A missile and destroyed the target 100 miles (160 km) above the Pacific Ocean about two minutes after launch, MDA officials said in a statement.
The test marked the Aegis system's 19th successful intercept in 23 attempts, including an operational mission in 2008 that destroyed a malfunctioning satellite as it re-entered the atmosphere, MDA officials said.
Raver32 writes: An American astronaut has brought social networking to new heights aboard the International Space Station, where he is "tweeting" about the ups and downs of life onboard a $100 billion laboratory that flies 220 miles above Earth.
NASA astronaut Tim Kopra is the latest active spaceflyer to use the Twitter microblogging site, and he's the first to do it from the space station as an Expedition 20 flight engineer. He was dropped off at the station by the space shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission, which landed July 31. Kopra is due to return home to Earth aboard the shuttle Discovery's STS-128 flight in early September.
"What a fun shuttle mission — especially w 13 people on board station. Life here is amazing — still getting used to floating!" Kopra tweeted Tuesday under the name "Astro_Tim."
Raver32 writes: Software company Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) says it is in the process of acquiring The Pirate Bay and file-sharing technology company Peerialism. GGF claims to have the biggest network of internet cafés and gaming centers in the world.
The changeover of ownership is scheduled for August 2009, whereby GGF will take over the operation of the site.
The company says that after it has completed the acquisition it will launch new business models so that copyright owners get paid, which is clearly a huge diversion from TPB's previous modus operandi.
"We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site," said Hans Pandeya, CEO GGF.
"The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited Internet sites in the world. However, in order to live on, The Pirate Bay requires a new business model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary," said Pandeya.
Raver32 writes: Dust off the slide rules and recharge the calculators. Square Root Day is upon us.
The math-buffs' holiday, which only occurs nine times each century, falls on Tuesday — 3/3/09 (for the mathematically challenged, three is the square root of nine).
"These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day — and poof — they're gone," said Ron Gordon, a Redwood City teacher who started a contest meant to get people excited about the event
Raver32 writes: SCIFI.COM announced the launch of a new 10-part series of Battlestar Galactica webisodes, "The Face of the Enemy," starting Dec. 12 at noon ET.
Two webisodes will debut weekly, leading up to the on-air return of the series on Jan. 16, 2009.
Each of the three- to four-minute chapters will complement and enhance the action broadcast on SCI FI and give viewers more insight into characters and events from the fourth and final season.
Raver32 writes: A team of astronomers announced they have discovered the smallest and potentially most Earth-like extrasolar planet yet. Five times as massive as Earth, it orbits a relatively cool star at a distance that would provide earthly temperatures as well, signaling the possibility of liquid water.
"The separation between the planet and its star is just right for having liquid water at its surface," says astronomer and team spokesperson Stephane Udry of the Observatory of Geneva in Versoix, Switzerland. "That's why we are a bit excited."
But researchers do not yet know if the planet contains water, if it is truly rocky like Earth, which might make it hospitable to life as we know it, or whether it is blanketed by a thick atmosphere. "What we have," Udry says, "is the minimum mass of the planet and its separation" from its star.
Raver32 writes: It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.
The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic — and worrying — examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.
"From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water," said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.
If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits below these a bed which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above.
Raver32 writes: At the party's congress this weekend, party members had to vote on a motion that would legalize the uploading and downloading of copyrighted material for personal use, as long as it is not for commercial purposes.
"To many of us in the Left Party, file sharing is something positive in the same obvious way that public libraries are," the motion read, going on to describe the general opinion on file sharing in Sweden.
In addition, the motion stated that the various measures taken for trying to stop file sharing, such as big brother-like surveillance, or arbitrary sentences against individuals, are unacceptable.
Raver32 writes: The sun has been laying low for the past couple of years, producing no sunspots and giving a break to satellites.
That's good news for people who scramble when space weather interferes with their technology, but it became a point of discussion for the scientists who attended an international solar conference at Montana State University. Approximately 100 scientists from Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and North America gathered June 1-6 to talk about "Solar Variability, Earth's Climate and the Space Environment."
The scientists said periods of inactivity are normal for the sun, but this period has gone on longer than usual.
Raver32 writes: At the recent World Science Festival in New York City, Ray Kurzweil outlined why he is certain that the future isn't as dreary as it's been painted, and why we are closer to the incredible than we think: Exponential upward curves can be deceptively gradual in the beginning. But when things start happening, they happen fast. Here are a selection of his predicted trajectories for these "miracles" based on his educated assessment of where science and technology is at in the present.
Raver32 writes: Calgary doctors have made surgical history, using a robot to remove a brain tumour from a 21-year-old woman.
Doctors used remote controls and an imaging screen, similar to a video game, to guide the two-armed robot through Paige Nickason's brain during the nine-hour surgery Monday.
Surgical instruments acting as the hands of the robot -called NeuroArm — provided surgeons with the tools needed to successfully remove the egg-shaped tumour.
Raver32 writes: "Small, ultrafaint "hobbit" galaxies recently found hovering around our Milky Way are comprised almost entirely of dark matter, a new study confirms.
Dark matter is a mysterious substance scientists think accounts for most of the mass in the universe but that is invisible to current instruments.
The finding, to be detailed in the Nov. 10 issue of Astrophysical Journal, could help resolve a cosmic accounting problem that has long vexed astronomers and also explain how such small galaxies form.
According to the "Cold Dark Matter" model, which explains the growth and evolution of the universe, large galaxies such as our Milky Way should be surrounded by a swarm of up to several hundred smaller "dwarf" galaxies. However, until recently, only 11 such companion galaxies have been found.
To explain this so-called Missing Dwarf Galaxy problem, theorists have suggested that the majority of dwarf galaxies contain very few, if any, stars and are instead made up mostly of dark matter."
Raver32 writes: "A cancer researcher in Erie, Pa., has stumbled on a technique that could turn salt water into fuel, a novel invention that is being touted by one chemist as the "most remarkable" water science discovery in a century.
John Kanzius happened upon the discovery accidentally when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies, it would burn.
The discovery has scientists excited by the prospect of using salt water, the most abundant resource on earth, as a fuel.
Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist, has held demonstrations at his State College lab to confirm his own observations. The radio frequencies act to weaken the bonds between the elements that make up salt water, releasing the hydrogen, Roy said. Once ignited, the hydrogen will burn as long as it is exposed to the frequencies, he said."