Pluto Forcibly Retired at the Age of 6,000,000,000,000,003

Pluto No, this isn’t an article like The Moon Is Made of Gas. According to C-Net, Pluto is no longer considered a planet by scientists due to the re-working of the definition of a planet. Had Pluto remained a planet in our solar system, our planet total would have quickly jumped to 12 by:

including Ceres, the largest known asteroid, which orbits between Mars and Jupiter; Charon, which has been considered Pluto’s moon; and the recently discovered 2003 UB313, an object nicknamed Xena that was discovered in 2005 orbiting far beyond Pluto.

C-Net further writes that

Pluto is now considered a “dwarf” planet because it has an oblong orbit that overlaps with Neptune. Ceres and UB313 or Xena will also be considered dwarf planets. Charon will have no special designation.

This will most definately take school teachers a bit of time to teach childeren the proper number of planets. I remember a similar fiasco when the 4 food groups jumped to 5. Now that was a troubling time in my youth.

Slashdot Goes Tagging!

Slashdot is a blog no matter how much they attempt to deny it. Its about time that the well known nerd news site implements more searchable articles besides categories. Folksonomy is definately the way to go! Currently, Slashdot is labeling tagging as a Beta feature (*sniff sniff* do I smell web 2.0?). All Slashdot needs to do is make good with its proposed redesign and I’ll be a happy reader once again. Until then, I suppose I’ll remain the slightly disgruntled, yet loyal, reader that steals and elaborates on a number of their topics! w00t!

School Bans Social Websites

This is week-and-a-half-old news, however it struck a nerve so I figured I’d post it. According to this article on App.com, Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, NJ is threatening students to make them stop participating in social networking with websites such as MySpace, Facebook and Xanga. The article states:

Effective immediately, and over student complaints, the teens were told to dismantle their Myspace.com accounts or similar sites with personal profiles and blogs. Defy the order and face suspension, students were told.

While public and private schools routinely block access to noneducational Web sites on school computers, Pope John’s order reaches into students’ homes.

The primary impetus behind the ban is to protect students, McHugh said. The Web sites, popular forums for students to blog about their lives and feelings about their teachers and schools, are fertile ground for sexual predators to gather information about children, he said.

While it seems like the school is trying to protect its students, they are going about it the wrong way. Its a violation of free speech to police the students in this way. Educating the students about the dangers of a web presence would be a more reasonable approach.

Slashdot Getting a Face Lift

Finally! I have been frequenting Slashdot for quite a few years now and the current layout…well…sucks. I have often remarked to my friends that the geek news site really needed a new look. You see, I wouldn’t consider myself a super graphic designer or artsy person but I know what I like. I’m somewhat critical with sites and their layouts, especially with ones that are extremely high profile like Slashdot. There is a LOT of great news articles that come from them but I can never fully get past the icky layout. Well, I have been praying to the binary gods of THE internet and they have seen fit to answer. Slashdot – after 8 years – will be moving to a CSS layout with a more up-to-date look’n’feel. Read the article!