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Archive for September, 2010

Congress Scraps Net Neutrality Legislation

Well, after all this summer’s hullaballoo about the Google/Verizon partnership’s proposed net neutrality legislation, it looks like congress is just scrapping net neutrality altogether, for the time being. Without much support from Democratic and Republican parties, the latest form of the proposal has been canned at least until after general elections in November. Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) had this to say…
“This development is a loss for consumers and a gain only for the extremes. We need to break the deadlock on net neutrality so that we can focus on building the most open and robust Internet possible.”

I <3 Space Colonies

With the recent news about a potentially hospitable planet, I felt like getting a little nostalgic about some space colony scifi…

Earth 2
You might remember this show from the 90s about the first terraformed colony:

Firefly
In Joss Whedon’s Firefly, when Earth is overpolluted and overpopulated, we leave and colonize some nearby planets. The planets closest to earth received the most resources, while the outer planets were left with next-to-nothing, making it sort of a wild west in space.

Titan A.E.
Without many hospitable planets, the universe of Titan A.E. includes these massive junk colonies floating in space. Basically giant truck stops and shantytowns made out of old spaceships, these colonies house a variety of species from throughout the universe.

New Planet May Host Life

Astronomers claim to have found a planet outside of our solar system that is a prime candidate for hosting new life. They are referring to it as a “goldilocks” planet, which means it’s not too hot and not too cold. It sits in what’s known as the habitable zone unlike the nearly 500 other planets outside our solar system that have been found.
It is approximately 3 times the mass of Earth and is much closer to its sun, orbiting every 37 days, and barely rotates, which means one side of the planet is almost always frozen in the dark. Because it’s sun is a low-energy dwarf star, the planet can be closer but still have a moderate temperature, suitable for life.
Temperatures can be as hot as 160 degrees or as frigid as 25 degrees below zero, but in between — in the land of constant sunrise — it would be “shirt-sleeve weather,” said co-discoverer Steven Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Known as the Gliese 581 system, it’s about 120 trillion miles away and would take a couple of generations just to reach the new planet. It seems impractical, but in the scope of the universe this is “right in our face, right next door to us.”
It could be a few generations before we have the technology to launch a space mission of that magnitude, but I for one would sign up immediately to be a space colonist.