The NewsDemon Blog

New Moon Found Near Neptune

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

A new rocky object similar to a comet and known as a minor planet has been discovered in the solar system some 3.2 billion kilometres from Earth and could provide clues about the formation of comets, scientists said Monday.

newmoon.jpg

The minor planet 2006 SQ372, which could be as wide as 96 kilometres across, is slightly closer to the Earth than the planet Neptune and is orbiting the Sun in a 22,500-year, 241-billion- kilometre trip, researchers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey announced at a gathering of astronomers in Chicago.

Major planets, such as Earth and Mars, travel around the Sun in more circular orbits, but the object has a pronounced elliptical orbit similar to a comet, said Andrew Becker, the University of Washington astronomer who led the research.

The unusual orbit is similar to only one other known object, Sedna, a dwarf planet found in 2003.

The new minor planet could have come from the Oort Cloud, a distant reservoir of icy bodies that scientists believe is the birthplace of many asteroids, or may have formed ‘like Pluto, in the belt of icy debris beyond Neptune, then been kicked a large distance by a gravitational encounter with Neptune or Uranus,’ researcher Nathan Kaib said.

Minor planets is a broad category of objects in orbit around the Sun that neither full-blown planets nor comets.

The category includes dwarf planets, like Pluto, whose downgrade from full planet sparked controversy in 2006.

The new planet is not being called a dwarf planet. Instead, scientists stressed its similarity to comets but noted it does not have the typical tail of debris that comets normally carry around with them.

Scientists happened upon the object while they were looking for supernova.

‘If you can find things that explode, you can also find things that move,’ said Lynne Jones, an astronomer at the University of Washington, in a press statement.



Microsoft Believes You’ll Buy Anything

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

Recently, Microsoft launched a new tool to detect online commercial intention. The intention with the tool is to generate a statistical calculation on how likely an average user would be inclined to purchase from a website or the likelyhood they would be searching for keywords to purchase something.

For instance, using this with our own website, Newsdemon.com, we generated these results:

Probabilities for Each OCI Type:
Commercial-Informational    Prob.: 0.5848
NonCommercial                    Prob.: 0.37661
Commercial-Transactional    Prob.: 3.8585e-00
2

According to this tool, you are 58% likely to buy something from our website.

Running this for the keyword Usenet, generated these results:

Probability for Commercial Query:
0.13459

We have a measly 13% probability that someone will be likely to buy using this keyword. No one likes Usenet anymore? This prompted suspicion.

So we decided to look further into this and to see what else is more popular than Usenet according to this Microsoft tool. The following is our results.

Toe Nails
Probability for Commercial Query:
0.43807
Beats Usent by 30%

Lint
Probability for Commercial Query:
0.30344
Beats Usenet by 26%

Grandmas Dentures
Probability for Commercial Query:
0.32371
Beats Usenet by 19%

Used Tissues
Probability for Commercial Query:
0.54734
Beats Usenet by 41%!!!!
If Microsoft is using their own tool for there marketing and estimating the intelligence of their audience by the results of this system would explain the reasons for most of their current lines of products.

It begs the question at the end of the day, can poor Microsoft get anything right anymore?



Beijing Blocks Olympics

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

It may not win a gold, a group of chinese lego builders still set out to make there own history of accomplishment with a complete replica of the Beijing Olympics – Lego Style.

beijingolympicslego11-thumb1.jpg

Built by the Hong Kong Lego User Group, the Beijing replica celebrates the Olympics with scale models of many of the venues of the Games, including the National Stadium, the National Aquatics Center, and Olympic Village.

medium_2701457496_535e5cdd35_o.jpg

Although impressive, it can’t be helped to wonder how much better it would have come out if Michael Phelps had a hand in it.

beijingolympicslego121-thumb1.jpg



Dead Man Vacationing

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

The 49-year-old had left his home a couple of months earlier for an extended break but hadn’t informed his friends. Police were contacted and officers broke into his home, but couldn’t find any evidence of his whereabouts. Then last week, friends of the man felt their fears had been confirmed when a family announcement was made in the local evening newspaper. By coincidence, it announced the death of another Michael O’Neill from Middlesbrough.

Both men were of almost the same age – the late Mr O’Neill was 50 – and both have brothers named Kevin and Terry.

Mr O’Neill from Coulby Newham, Middlesborough said: “I went out on June 2 to stay with a friend and when I got back last Monday I found my door had been smashed in!” said Mr O’Neill.

“My neighbours thought I had died so they got in touch with police who came and broke the door down.

“The police were watching the flat but then one of the neighbours received a postcard from me and said ‘So that’s where he is!’.”

But Mr O’Neill said many of his friends are still mistaking him for a ghost!

“Everywhere I am going, people I know are grabbing hold of my hand, saying ‘I thought you were dead!’

“They can’t believe it’s me and I’m still alive. I’m a nervous wreck because everywhere I go people keep grabbing me!”

Mr O’Neill said he made the decision to visit Australia last minute and it slipped his mind to inform his neighbours.



T-Mobile Gets Dibs on Google Android

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

500px-android-logosvg.pngT-Mobile will be the first out of the gate this year with a smartphone running off of the Google Android software.

The first Google Android smartphone is going to be offered by T-Mobile, and is being manufactured by HTC.

The phone, though little details have been revealed, is being seen as a major threat to the Apple iPhone.

It is expected to feature a full touch-screen, as well as a five-row keyboard.

T-Mobile plans for the phone to launch in October. Don’t be surprised if the date is moved earlier as it is heavily rumored that both T-Mobile and Google are anxiously expediting the launch.

How capable Usenet access or Newsgroup viewing  is on the Android device is still to be determined



Newsdemon.com Usenet Trivia Contest August 18th, 2008

By Newsgroup Usenet August 18th, 2008

Here is today’s usenet trivia question:  What year did spamming become an issue on Usenet?

The FIRST person to reply to the following email address with the correct answer PLUS their Name, City, State, and Country will be declared the winner.  The winner will receive a free month of Newsdemon.com Usenet Access!  Only the FIRST CORRECT email we receive at [email protected] with the user’s real information will be considered.  We will announce the winner within 24 hours of posting the Trivia Question.  If you submit an answer and do not hear back from us, then you are not the winner.  We will post the winners first name, last initial, city, and country on the blog after we have emailed the winner.  If you are not the winner, check back tomorrow, we may post another Usenet Trivia question tomorrow!



Scientist One Step Closer to Disappearing

By Newsgroup Usenet August 11th, 2008

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, reporting that they were able to render a three-dimensional object completely invisible for the first time. Previously, scientists could only cloak super thin, 2D object. Harry Potter is not happy right now. It’s going to be way harder to save the wizardry world from certain doom if everybody has got their own invisibility cloak. Jeez, bandwagon jumpers, much?

Here’s what the AP has to say:

People can see objects because they scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye. Cloaking uses materials, known as metamaterials, to deflect radar, light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream.



BlizzCon Tickets Go On Sale Today

By Newsgroup Usenet August 11th, 2008

BlizzConBlizzCon tickets go on sale today. Blizzard Software, makers of such classics as Diablo, Starcraft and World of Warcraft is having there convention in Anaheim, California between October 10th-11th.

Last year, the sold out event allowed attendees a first hand look at Starcraft II.

This year, with Starcraft II in the works for release later this year the expected turn out should be huge.

Tickets will go on sale sometime today and go for $100.00. There will be contests, tournaments and discussion panels at the convention.

Even though tickets have yet to go on sale yet, there are many who have already made travel arrangements to attend the event.



Newsdemon.com Usenet Trivia Contest August 7th, 2008

By Newsgroup Usenet August 7th, 2008

Here is today’s usenet trivia question:  When was the first mention of Microsoft made on Usenet?

The FIRST person to reply to the following email address with the correct answer PLUS their Name, City, State, and Country will be declared the winner.  The winner will receive a free month of Newsdemon.com Usenet Access!  Only the FIRST CORRECT email we receive at [email protected] with the user’s real information will be considered.  We will announce the winner within 24 hours of posting the Trivia Question.  If you submit an answer and do not hear back from us, then you are not the winner.  We will post the winners first name, last initial, city, and country on the blog after we have emailed the winner.  If you are not the winner, check back tomorrow, we may post another Usenet Trivia question tomorrow!



How Special Are You?

By Newsgroup Usenet August 7th, 2008

Working with multiple US databases of names, you can see how unique your first and last name is to the rest of the country with this free search from HowManyOfMe.com. Around the office here at Newsdemon.com, this started a chatter as some names which we thought would be particularly unique actually have a large list of people with similar names but fewer with those we assumed would be more common.

Give it a shot, see how unique you may really be – http://www.howmanyofme.com/