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Comment Say this aloud: "It's so massive..." (Score 4, Interesting) 232

"How massive is it?"
"It's so massive that even at an insane distance, this Oort Cloud body can out-twist the masses of both Jupiter AND Saturn."

Wait? How massive is it? How is it able to tilt the axis of the sun, since tilting an axis is a TIDAL action? IMHO (as a degreed rocket scientist) that Occam's Razor would indicate that it's easier to shift the orbital planes of the planets, rather than tidally torque the sun. Remember, for the tidal action, the Planet IX must be very close to Sol to work its magic.

Submission + - AppleBot Begins Spidering the Web (

starglider29a writes: Spotted February 26th, the AppleBot has begun spidering the web, building a database for Siri and Spotlight.

Applebot is the web crawler for Apple, used by products including Siri and Spotlight Suggestions. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags. It originates in the net block.

User-agent strings will contain “Applebot” together with additional agent information. For example:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_10_1) AppleWebKit/600.2.5 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0.2 Safari/600.2.5 (Applebot/0.1)

If robots instructions don't mention Applebot but do mention Googlebot, the Apple robot will follow Googlebot instructions.

Will AppleSearch be 'a feature Apple users want', 'a Google Killer', or 'the Rise of Siri'? You decide...

Comment One Second After by William R. Fortschen (Score 1) 796

Not because it's a great book. It's a good book. The books listed all discuss how to think logically, feel compassionately, seek truth, govern (or dominate) wisely, and every civilized person should be reading them.

But One Second After forces you to think about what happens when logic, compassion, truth, and governance flash into oblivion under the power of an EMP. If you have read all of the above, you need to read One Second After to make you think about what happens if everything they taught you about civilization vanishes.

What do you miss first? How do you know what happened? How long will your meds hold out? Why didn't I think of this beforehand? Why didn't I prepare? Why did the government not harden against this? How can I read all of the above books if my Kindle is bricked?

Submission + - Twitter Marks Clean Sites as Harmful, Breaks Links

starglider29a writes: This morning, a website (which I maintain) that has a Twitter presence encountered an "unsafe" warning when clicking on the tweets. "This link has been flagged as potentially harmful." After scanning the site, its database, checking with Google, and 3rd party site scanners, I found no evidence of harm. At noon, The Atlantic posted this article which describes the same issue with the Philadelphia City Paper.

If they are incorrect, how does Twitter justify this slander/libel (IANAL)? Has Twitter become the "credit score" for sites in that they are now guilty until proven innocent?

Comment So 'Gravity is God'... (Score 4, Funny) 85

According to Hawking, Gravity (capital G) created the Universe:
According to TFA, Gravity (capital G) created life (via the kinetic energy of the comets obeying laws of Gravity)
According to Genesis, God created the Universe and life.
Therefore, Gravity = God.

Glad we finally solved that! Can we move on now?

Comment Stratigraphy vs. the Created Young Earth (Score 3, Interesting) 528

I am aware of many ideas that "young Earth believers" foster to explain the stratigraphy of fossils in a 6K-year old Earth.

Question: What explanations have you heard? What answer can you offer from the middle ground between a scientist (whose expertise relies on that stratigraphic record) and a man of faith who reads the same Bible that the "young Earth believers" do?

Comment Flame wars on science articles (Score 5, Interesting) 528

It is my observation that reader comments on science article quickly follow a Godwin-like trajectory to a flame war between those who hold to religious (though many are scientists) beliefs and those who hold to scientific (usually atheist) beliefs. The two factions spew hate, obscenity, and generally impugn the intelligence of the other.

Question: What advice can you offer to help the readers, and thus the comment posters, to strike a balance? Can there be some kind of 'kumbaya manifesto' to skip the quarreling and get to the matter at hand? Climate change, dark matter, even human colonization need well-tempered minds, of all persuasions. How do we get there?

Comment Even Chinese must obey laws... (Score 1) 481

of Orbital Mechanics. Physics, too... when convenient.
  1. Let's start with the mass of this asteroid, so we can determine the VAST amount of energy it will take to "nudge it." Recall that the 365-foot Saturn V pushed a capsule the size of a VW Bug.
  2. Secondly, note the orbital change is a plane change, which takes orders of magnitude more Delta-V than an in-plane maneuver.
  3. Thirdly, what will they gain from this rock that will be worth the effort, energy, money, and risk to the planet?
    Sure, mining asteroids is a great idea, in principle, but not in theory.

Submission + - iTunes Killer... dead (

starglider29a writes: It looks like price isn't the most important thing when it comes to music downloads. Once upon a time, Walmart was an 'iTunes-killer' with deeply-discounted, 88-cent MP3s. But discounts meant little compared to integrated iPod and iPhone integration, a superior iTunes user interface, and the tether created by stored credit cards (which Apple does well).

Submission + - Google TV sales "Negative" (

starglider29a writes: In its fiscal first-quarter earnings release, Logitech said demand for the Revue, which works with special Google TV software to allow viewers to navigate Internet content, had been disappointing. The Swiss firm said customer returns of the Revue have outpaced the device's "very modest sales."

Submission + - First Earth Trojan asteroid discovered ( 1

The Bad Astronomer writes: "Astronomers have found the very first Earth Trojan asteroid, a rock that more-or-less shares Earth's orbit around the Sun. Seen in data by NASA's WISE mission, 2010 TK7 is about 300 meters across and leads the Earth by 60 degrees around the Sun. Trojans have been seen for Jupiter, Neptune, and Mars, but this is the first for our planet."

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