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Comment crush us before we leave the nest (Score 2) 453

I think they would want to come here for the same reasons that we would want to investigate some other planet which shows strong signs of harbouring life. However, having seen how we have developed, it might not be too unlikely that they would at least consider destroying us before we've reached the point where we can leave our own solar system. Note: I've never even seen Independence Day. The notion that aliens would want to come all the way here just to destroy us had always seemed pretty silly to me. But upon further reflection i don't think it's at all silly now.

Comment who says WE will find THEM? (Score 1) 453

Our own planet has shown signs of life for ~a billion years or more -- the same features we ourselves are only now learning to detect in other star systems have long been apparent to all who know what to look for. Who's to say how long ago some other civilisation might have spotted us? It's not like WE are going to ignore other life-providing planets simply because there are no radio signals emanating from it. If we can conclude that another planet, however far away, harbours some kind of life that alone will place it quite high on our list of planets to keep a close eye on. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to assume that ours would hold a similar place for others out there. It's possible, IOW, that Earth was spotted long before any large mammals -- or even reptiles -- were crawling around on its surface.

Collision of Two Asteroids Spotted For the First Time 31

sciencehabit writes "Astronomers report that a small asteroid located in the inner asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter took a major hit early last year. Previously rendered only in artists' conceptions, the first asteroid collision known in modern times revealed itself in a tail of debris streaming from what astronomers at first assumed was a comet. Instead of a steady stream of dust, however, they found boulders near the object with dust moving away from them."

Large, Slow Airships Could Move Buildings 184

Algorithmnast writes "The Economist has a short article on using big, slow-moving airships to move large objects without the need to dismantle them. The company mentioned, Skylifter, refers to the lifting ship as an 'aerial crane,' not a Thor weapon. It could easily help move research labs to new parts of the Antarctic, or allow a Solar Tower to be inserted into an area that's difficult to drive to, such as a mesa in New Mexico."

Submission + - deported Russian (spy?) worked at Microsoft (komonews.com)

subtropolis writes: KOMO News in Seattle is reporting that a recently-deported 23-yr-old Russian man "appears to have ties to the recently-exposed Russian counterintelligence" (according to unnamed Feds). The article states that he admitted to unspecified immigration violations and was promptly shown the door on Tuesday. It also says that, "Microsoft confirms Karetnikov worked as an entry-level software tester for less than a year." So, I'm thinking that MS had better take a really good at their logs for that time. He may have got in at "entry-level" but his abilities may have been a fair bit beyond that. OTOH, we've read how l33t their IT situation was over on the East Coast, so maybe his mission was meant to be very long term and the Russians couldn't afford to send any of their really good talent.

Interestingly, his admission to mere "violations" and swift departure would be right in line with how this swap has gone down. The four Russians who were flown to Britain and the US had to first sign a confession before President Medvedev granted them pardons. But (IF he's at all related to the spy ring), was he uncovered only after the spy swap? Or did the FBI not have the proof they needed? Or, were the Feds deliberately holding him back just so as to rub it in?

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