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The one question about Pluto that just won’t die down

Many people alive today learnt that our solar system has nine planets, which included Pluto. However, that changed in 2006 when the International Astronomical Union voted to relegate Pluto to the status of a “dwarf planet” leaving us with only eight internationally recognized planets. The rationale for the decision was based on a criteria for planets that says that a planet must be spherical, orbit the sun and have cleared its neighboring region of other objects.

It is the third where Pluto was deemed to fall short, as it is surrounded by a number of objects called “plutinos” which are Kuiper Belt objects that share a similar orbit to Pluto. This criteria has become a key sticking point in a wider classification debate.

A group of scientists is challenging not only the reduced status of Pluto but is also calling for the definition of what constitutes a planet to be considerably expanded, arguing that the decision to downgrade Pluto was founded more in astronomy than in astronomy (via Extreme Tech). Their paper argues that the inner eight (or nine) planets have granted a special status that has its roots in 1800s astrology and thus lacks a solid scientific basis. Rather, the scientists argue that the definition of what constitutes a planet should be far less exclusive and in fact be expanded to include a number of substantial bodies orbiting the Sun – this would take the actual number to around 150.

Source: Bill Ingalls/nasa/Getty Images

Before this new scientific paper was published, Pluto was back in the international spotlight with NASA’s New Horizons’ mission which saw the probe return stunning images of the would-be planet and its five moons across 2023 and 2023. It revealed that Pluto was much more planet-like than had previously been suspected.

Instead of just a cold icy ball, New Horizons revealed Pluto to be tectonically active, have an underground ocean, a relatively stable atmosphere and may even still be volcanically active. This once again sparked debate about whether astronomers had been too hasty in reducing Pluto to a dwarf planet status.

The scientists behind the call for Pluto to be reinstated as a planet argue that not only is Pluto technically a planet, but so too are its moons and, indeed, all moons orbiting the eight formally recognized planets in the solar system. Furthermore, they argue, there are numerous trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) in addition to Pluto, that should also be reclassified as planets.

Among these TNOs are dwarf planets like Eris, which is a similar size to Pluto, Haumea, Makemake. These are joined by Orcus, Quaoar, Gonggong and Sedna. The prevailing thinking of the scientists behind the paper is that by recognizing these other objects orbiting the sun as planets, it will reshape the popular understanding of our solar system as something much more extensive and complex than how it is currently perceived by the wider public.

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Facebook Just Won Social Media

Back in August, I wrote an article about Google+ and how its list of new features had the potential to take on Facebook as the next social media powerhouse. I championed the Circles feature of Google+ as the next great thing, as I don’t always like to share things with my entire Facebook friend list. Since that article, Facebook has rolled out a slew of fresh new changes which are aimed at holding onto its spot on top. And while Facebook did introduce its own version of Circles, they call “Lists,” I think they just won social media with the introduction of the new ‘Timeline feature.’

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the recent sentiment on the Internet has been that of general disfavor towards the new ‘Big Blue.’ Privacy issues, profiting from users personal information, or people just not wanting to hang out in the same place as their parents. Lately, I’ve felt like Facebook was doomed to suffer the same fate of its predecessors MySpace and Friendster. Up until now, there’s been a total lack of loyalty to social media platforms, with users jumping ship at the first sign of shiny new features.

Last week, after reading a few reviews on the new Facebook design, I decided to sign up for the developer program to get early access to the Timeline and check it out for myself. When I logged in for the first time, I immediately noticed the completely new look and feel of the Timeline vs the old Wall. This is definitely the best Facebook has ever looked. Scrolling through my digital life was a joy. But Facebook isnt’ just my digital life, it’s my real life, digitalized. Every photo from every memorable night out, every big life event, every conversation and debate, and every awesome link I’ve shared with friends, all right there and beautifully organized by date, framing little snapshots of my life. With Timelines, Facebook may have just ensured its army of users remain faithful for many years to come.

The hook was set deeper when I scrolled down my timeline and noticed a big grey empty box that read “Started Work at InMotion Hosting Inc May 2011.” Facebook automatically logged the day I changed my employment status on my profile. I couldn’t help but upload a photo as I wanted to mark the occasion. From there, I filled in a few other big life events like graduating High School, and moving to Hermosa Beach. I have to admit, after scrolling back to my first Facebook posts in 2008, I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t joined Facebook earlier so that I could go back farther in time. It’s like a scrapbook for people that would never put together a scrapbook. Facebook did what no other social media site had done before, they made an emotional connection with me.

discussion. Right now I’m still too distracted looking back at how awesome my Halloween 2009 was.

How To Search On Tiktok For Just About Anything

It’s time to venture beyond your FYP. We’ll show you how to search on TikTok to find accounts, sounds, effects, and more.

If you’ve never even wondered how to search on TikTok, that’s fair: Depending on what the algorithm curates, you may be distracted by funny fails, dance routines, cute dog videos, and wacky mirror effects on your For You page.

But while it’s fun to scroll for a while, it’s pretty easy to get lost or overwhelmed. And what if you want to find that hysterical cat video you saw last week or expand your horizons beyond the algorithm’s selection?

Whether you’re on the platform to market your brand, see the latest videos from your favorite creator, or just impress your niece, you’ll need to know how to search on TikTok.

Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.

How to search for videos on TikTok

We get it. Falling down a TikTok rabbit hole is just too tempting sometimes.

But instead of scrolling mindlessly through the platform’s recommendations, you might want to watch something specific like a cooking demo or the latest glow-up.

Here’s how to search the platform for videos:

Scroll through and tap on any of the TikToks you want to watch in full.

How to search for filters on TikTok

People often think (myself included!) that TikTok filters and effects are the same. But there’s actually a big difference between filters and effects.

TikTok filters change the color balance of what you’re filming. Effects add graphics, sounds, stickers, and games to your content.

Here’s how to search for filters on TikTok:

How to search for effects on TikTok

You can always save or heart the video if you see a TikTok that uses an effect you like. But if you forget that, it can be hard to go back and find the effect.

The good news is if you remember anything about a TikTok effect, even a rough term like “bling” or “mirror reflection,” you’ll probably be able to find it using TikTok’s search tool.

You can also use the Search tool to find effects you haven’t seen before or play around with them in preview mode. That’s often how you’ll find the best TikTok effects for the kind of content you like to post.

Here’s how to search for effects on TikTok:

Tap the Search icon and type a keyword into the search bar. If you remember the name of the effect — which appears on the lower left-hand side of TikToks that use the effect — that’s extra helpful.

If there’s an effect with that specific name, it will pop up first. It will then be followed by the top-performing TikToks that have those terms tagged so you can find what you’re looking for.

Pro tip: If you see a video with a cool effect, tap the effect’s name to head to its homepage and see other videos that have used the effect.

Bookmarking the effects you like when you see them will save you a ton of time.

How to search for sounds on TikTok

88% of TikTokers say that audio is “essential” to their experience on the app. So knowing how to find and use trending sounds on TikTok can help elevate your videos and make them more engaging for your audience.

You can find the name of any sound on TikTok videos by looking at the lower left corner. You can then tap on it to see the top-performing content using that sound and add it to your favorites for later.

To find a particular sound, you can search for it.

Tap the Search icon and type in a keyword.

You can play a preview of each of the sounds to help you find the one that matches what you’re looking for.

How to search for people on TikTok

Whether you’re looking for a TikTok creator everyone’s talking about or just want to find your friend’s profile, you’ll need to search for people at some point.

Here’s how to search users on TikTok:

Tap on the Search icon at the top right corner of the Home screen.

All the profiles with the same name will pop up. You can tap on the profile you were looking for or tap the Follow button to the right of the profile name.

If you want to connect with people you already know, there’s an even easier way to find them. Here’s how to search contacts on TikTok:

Go to your TikTok profile and tap the User icon at the top left corner of the screen.

Tap Contacts and allow access to your phone’s contacts.

If any of your contacts have TikTok accounts, they’ll pop up now. You can tap the Follow button next to their name to start following their content.

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Like on other social media platforms, hashtags make content more discoverable. On TikTok, searching popular hashtags can help you find the latest challenge, dance routine or viral trend.

Here’s how to search hashtags on TikTok:

Tap the Search icon in the top right of your screen.

The most relevant results will appear in the Top tab.

How to search on TikTok without an account

While you can’t interact or publish content on TikTok without an account, you can search the platform.

Let’s say your Gen Z brother won’t stop talking about the trending tortilla challenge, and now, he wants you to star in his latest video. Instead of saying yes right away, here’s how you can search on TikTok without an account to see what you’re letting yourself in for.

Search for TikTok and your keyword in your mobile browser.

Note: The search experience on TikTok is very limited without an account. There’s no option to search for content on the TikTok web page.

How to search for duets on TikTok

A TikTok duet allows you to share your video alongside another creator’s content. Duets use a split-screen effect, so your video plays at the same time as the original video.

Duets are a fun way to interact and collaborate with other TikTok users. Before you post your next duet, search for some inspo on TikTok first.

Tap the Search icon in the top right of your screen.

The top-performing content will appear under the Top tab.

How to search your followers on TikTok

Want to take a closer look at your growing TikTok fanbase? It’s easy to see who exactly is following you on TikTok.

Head to your profile.

How to search GIFs on TikTok

Just like on Instagram Stories, you can add GIFs to your TikToks. You search for them when you create your TikTok.

Upload or take an image or video to your TikTok as normal.

How to search for someone on TikTok from your computer

As a mobile-first app, TikTok on desktop has limited capabilities. But if you find yourself without your phone and are desperate to see your favorite creator’s next TikTok, here’s how to search for someone on TikTok from your computer.

Type TikTok into your desktop browser. Navigate onto the home screen.

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Acer Ferrari One Ultraportable: No V12, Just A 1.2Ghz Athlon

Acer Ferrari One ultraportable: no V12, just a 1.2GHz Athlon

Acer’s latest Ferrari-branded notebook has pulled up, and it’s an 11.6-inch ultraportable.  The Acer Ferrari One has a 1.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor under the hood, together with 4GB of DDR2 memory, a 250GB 5,400rpm hard-drive and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200 graphics.  As with other Acer Ferrari models, there’s plenty of fake carbon fiber together with a one-touch shortcut key to the supercar manufacturer’s website.

While we’re not sure exactly how often you’ll actually be visiting the Ferrari site, at least the Acer squeezes in a little more than the regular CULV ultraportable.  As well as a full-sized keyboard there’s WiFi a/b/g/n, a multitouch trackpad, three USB 2.0 ports and VGA output (though no HDMI, sadly).

Acer reckon the 6-cell 5,600mAh battery is good for up to 5hrs runtime, and the whole thing weighs 3.31lbs.  The Acer Ferrari One is available now, priced at $599.99; our review unit is expected any day now, so we should be able to tell soon enough if the performance matches the looks.

Press Release:


The Latest Notebook Inspired by Racing Legend Scudetto Ferrari Exudes

Beauty, Power and Excitement

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 9, 2009 – Acer America, part of the world’s second largest PC vendor (Source: Gartner data, 3Q 2009), today debuted the new Ferrari One notebook PC to U.S. customers. An Acer exclusive, the Ferrari One is a full-featured, 11.6-inch notebook PC utilizing the same exquisite details and performance features celebrated by Scudetto Ferrari, the world’s most prestigious racing team.

Racing Performance in a Notebook PC

In the true spirit of the Ferrari racing team, the Ferrari One notebook combines performance and extreme portability. Fueled by VISION technology from AMD, the notebook delivers highly responsive, balanced multitasking performance via the AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 dual-core processor with low-power CPU designed for long-lasting battery power. ATI Radeon™ HD 3200 Graphics provides high-definition visual quality coupled with up to 4GB of DDR2 667MHz system memory to drive digital and multimedia features and other demanding applications with ease. The Ferrari One comes equipped with Windows 7 Home Premium, 250GB hard drive and a built-in optical drive.

The notebook features enhanced stereo speakers and Dolby® Home Theater® Audio Enhancement, which deliver vibrant surround sound and bass effects to bring a true cinema-style experience to movies, music and casual games.

“Both Acer and Ferrari have a tradition of designing products built on passion, innovation and performance,” said Chris White, senior director of U.S. business management for Acer America. “The new Ferrari One notebook blends the ideas of racing and technology into a superior PC product.”

Acer Ferrari One FO200-1799 Notebook Specifications

AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 dual-core processor L310 (1.20 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB)

Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit

11.6″ HD Widescreen CineCrystal™ LED-backlit Display

AMD M780G Chipset

ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 3200 Graphics

4096MB DDR2 Dual-Channel Memory

250GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive

Multi-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader

Acer InviLink™ 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N Wi-Fi CERTIFIED®

Integrated Acer Crystal Eye Webcam

Two built-in stereo speakers

3rd Generation Dolby Home Theater® audio enhancement

Full-size Acer FineTip Keyboard

Multi-Gesture Touchpad supporting circular-motion scrolling, pinch-action zoom and page flip

3 – USB 2.0 Ports

1 – VGA port

6-cell Li-ion Battery (5600 mAh), up to 5-hour battery life

3.31 lbs. (system unit only)

11.2 x 8.03 x 0.9/1.2 inches

MSRP: $599.99

Availability and Pricing

The Acer Ferrari One FO200-1799 netbook is available now via Acer’s authorized resellers and at major retailers nationwide, with prices beginning at $599.99. The Ferrari One comes with a one-year limited warranty.

About Acer America

Since its founding in 1976, Acer has pursued the goal of breaking the barriers between people and technology. Globally, Acer ranks top 3 for total PCs and No. 2 for notebooks, with the fastest growth among the top-five players. A profitable and sustainable Channel Business Model is instrumental to Acer’s continued growth, while the successful acquisitions of Gateway and Packard Bell complete the company’s global footprint by strengthening its presence in the U.S. and enhancing its strong position in Europe. Acer is proud to be a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Movement in staging the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter and London 2012 Olympic Games. The Acer Group employs more than 6,000 people worldwide. 2008 revenues reached US$16.65 billion. See chúng tôi for more information.

Why You Shouldn’t Freak Out About One Rubella Case At The Detroit Auto Show

A lone case of rubella doesn’t typically sound the alarms the way a case of measles does. But when it happens at an auto show with hundreds of thousands of attendees it does. Especially when there are two simultaneous outbreaks of measles occurring on either coast.

Rubella is like measles’ little cousin: it causes the same kind of red rash, but isn’t as harmful, debilitating, or contagious (it’s even called “German measles” or sometimes “three-day measles”). You might wonder, then, why you should be concerned at all with one person who attended the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and later turned out to have rubella. So let us tell you.

You can carry rubella without knowing it

Unlike measles, which can kill children infected with it, rubella is rarely dangerous. Most often they get a rash alongside less common symptoms like a low-grade fever, cough, headache, pink eye, and a runny nose. It’s so generic—even the rash is similar to multiple other illnesses—that the Centers for Disease Control recommends against diagnosing it unless a physician has tested for the virus.

Weirdest of all, anywhere from a quarter to a half of all cases don’t cause any symptoms at all. The rubella virus inhabits the respiratory pathway, and in many people, it just never causes any issues. These individuals are still infectious—they just have no idea they’re spreading the virus. It doesn’t help that you’re contagious for up to a week before and after the rash appears (if it appears at all), so it’s easy to say attend a large event where you might infect a lot of other people without even realizing you’re a risk.

A boy shows off his ‘Official Rubella Fighter Membership Card,’ which they handed out as part of the vaccination campaigns of the ’60s and ’70s. Public Health Image Library

It’s extremely dangerous for pregnant people

Asymptomatic cases are especially problematic for anyone who’s pregnant. Rubella virus can be passed from mother to fetus and cause congenital rubella syndrome, a condition which results in birth defects like heart problems, intellectual disabilities, hearing and eyesight loss, and liver or spleen damage. The mother is much more likely to have a miscarriage if she’s infected early in her pregnancy, or to have a stillbirth. It’s for this reason that women who are planning to get pregnant and haven’t had the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine yet get the shot—and why they then wait at least 30 days before trying to get pregnant. Even the rubella virus in the vaccine can cause harm to a developing fetus. That also means that if there’s some kind of outbreak of rubella, a pregnant person can’t get vaccinated to protect herself—she’s just at the mercy of herd immunity, the phenomenon where high rates of vaccinated individuals protect those in the population who can’t be vaccinated from disease.

The U.S. already eliminated rubella

There are very few annual cases of rubella in the states—fewer than 10—and since 2004 all of those have been imported. That is, rubella has no permanent home in the United States, it just enters when someone goes to another country with higher incidence and brings the disease home. Details on the recent case in Michigan haven’t been released, so it’s unclear where that case originated, but in all likelihood it’s someone who traveled internationally. And unless they happen to go to a pocket with very low vaccination rates, they’re unlikely to be able to transmit it much farther.

Vaccination rates are slipping for rubella like they are for measles

Since the vaccine got licensed in the U.S. back in 1969, rubella cases have declined by 99 percent. It’s not as contagious as measles, which means we don’t need as high a threshold to maintain herd immunity. (For measles, we need 95 percent vaccination rates or higher to protect the population from outbreaks, but only 83 to 90 percent to guard against rubella).

But because the rubella vaccine is generally packaged into the MMR shot, rates for rubella immunization are dropping alongside those for measles. It’s just that we pay less attention to rubella because it’s less dangerous.

Like measles, though, we only recently succeeded in eliminating a disease that used to be pervasive. Rubella used to be so common in children that the CDC considers being born before 1957 as sufficient evidence that you’ve been exposed to the virus and are therefore immune to subsequent infection. Now that we’ve come so far, widespread immunity should be easy to maintain—we just have to keep vaccinating our kids.

Xbox One: Here’s What We Know About Microsoft’s New Console

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Today, Microsoft unveiled its new console, Xbox One, from its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. There’s still going to be news coming out between now and another announcement at E3 in June (which we’ll be at), but this is what we saw so far.


This is just barely a gaming console. Microsoft is pitching it as something more like a Living Room Entertainment Box. For about half of today’s presentation, no games were even mentioned; instead, Microsoft opted to show the ways Xbox One is integrated with TV. It functions sort of like an amped-up Google TV: it’s a command center that hooks up to a cable box and allows you to control what’s happening on TV through gestures and voice control. You can switch between TV, games, and a web browser–all through a single system. Say “Xbox on” and the console fires up, then “Switch to TV” or “Switch to internet” and it flips over.

Xbox Announcement


One big, controversial rumor was that the Xbox One would require an internet connection to play any games. That’s turned out to be both true and false. Your games are downloaded to the console’s hard drive, but certain features in certain games may require an internet connection. It’s up to the game-makers to decide if they want to use those.

[Update: According to Kotaku, you will need to connect to the internet at least once a day, even if you’re not looking to play a game online.]

But there are apparently some restrictions on used games. The first time you use a game, it gets tied up to your Xbox account. If you want to move that to other accounts, you’ll need to pay a fee.


This is actually a pretty major departure from the Xbox 360’s design at launch. The controller, as predicted, looks fairly similar, but the sleek black console-box is a far cry from the white-and-green 360 we saw before a black version was adopted. That makes sense: after all, if this is something meant to work as more than just a console, it needs to be able to disappear in the living room.

Xbox One


The Xbox did get a bump in power (obviously): it’ll have 8GB of RAM, USB 3.0, a fancy Blu-ray player, and an HDMI in port, but more interesting is probably the overhaul of Kinect. The Xbox’s motion-sensitive camera looks like it’ll be better at picking up movement, with a 1080p camera replacing the lower-res VGA sensor of the last generation. Microsoft also announced that the gadget would automatically respond to a specific user’s voice and movement patterns. In other words, it knows you, and just you. Apparently that new Kinect is a mandatory feature, too.


This is last for a reason. For better or worse, Microsoft seems to be backing off the idea of a console devoted only, or even mostly, to games. Even an announcement seemingly about the popular Halo game series ended up being an announcement about a live-action Halo TV series.

There’s a racing game (Forza Motorsport 5) and the new Call of Duty: Ghosts (in a promotional video, they made a big deal out of the game featuring a dog, for some reason). There’s also a partnership between Microsoft and EA for a slew of sports games, including the next edition of the popular FIFA series. More original franchises, they say, are on the way. We’ll probably see more when Microsoft takes to the more game-centric E3 next month for another announcement.

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