... Scientists at the Kepler-186f Exoplanet Survey were quick to dismiss speculation that a planet discovered in the habitable zone of a G2V dwarf star might be Kepler-186f 2.0.

"We'd probably find it quite unlike our own dear planet," said Prulthetnic Bleen Baxrat of the Glibndorkian Science Academy. "For one thing, it… » 4/17/14 12:30pm Yesterday 12:30pm

Putting a giant planet close in, then seeding the rest of the system with Earth-like planets seems to work pretty well. On the other hand, putting a couple of giants further out with small bodies close in seems to lead pretty rapidly to the smaller planets being ejected from the system and departing on a tour of… » 4/08/14 7:56am 4/08/14 7:56am

When was Soundex invented? Right, 1918. The patent's even expired by now. And while Soundex has known limitations, there are improved systems like Daitch-Mokotoff and Double Metaphone that offer better results, especially on non-Anglo names.

It's 2014, guys — why are we still doing naive string matching on proper names, … » 4/08/14 7:38am 4/08/14 7:38am

Nice. Incidentally, one of the two existing colossi at the site was once reported to "sing", usually around sunrise or sunset, although the last reported occurrence was apparently around 196CE.

Also incidentally, the village that you can see in the background in the second shot was formerly larger: many houses have… » 3/31/14 8:22am 3/31/14 8:22am

Unfortunately, even if the Three Laws did work, they rest on another law: "A human may not build a robot that does not embody/implement the Three Laws of Robotics". Given all the potential advantages that exist from building a non-compliant robot, I think we can expect that one to fall by the wayside pretty fast.

The… » 3/28/14 9:48am 3/28/14 9:48am