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NASA Gravity Probe Set for Launch

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the weighty-concepts dept.

Space 250

The Real Dr John writes "NASA announced yesterday that its longest running program, Gravity Probe B, was ready and scheduled for launch on April 17th. The project has taken 44 years to complete, at a cost of approximately $700 million. The reason for the high cost is that the probe contains the most sensitive gyroscopic equipment ever created, which will be used to test Einstein's theory of gravity. Einstein predicted that the gravity created by a large body warped space-time, but he also predicted that if the large body was rotating it would create a drag effect on space-time known as frame dragging. Gravity Probe B will be able to test Einstein's theory using Earth's relatively small gravitational field because the instruments are so sensitive."

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FYI (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756802)

Lunix == Gay.

NASA, too.

So gay.

1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756809)

me first!

FYI (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756827)

YFI

Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756814)

Why the hell Linux LDAP won't work with Windows 2000 Server?!?!?!

I got the impression from the web that if you've got a Windows domain you can connect Linux systems to it with Sambe, but no. Linux can't speak with W2K server Kerberos authentication. Goddammit!

Re:Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757220)

Why the hell Linux LDAP won't work with Windows 2000 Server?!?!?!

Not sure but it might be the "embrace, extend and fuck the open protocol" strategy used by MS.

I could be wrong...

Probe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756815)

my hairy ass.

oooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhh, faster, michael, faster....

Einstein was a (gravitational) drag... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756816)

Seems God plays roulette even if he doesn't play dice.

Re:Einstein was a (gravitational) drag... (5, Funny)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757028)

That's true, but I don't think he really knew the gravity of what he was saying.

Ouch! Hey what's with the tomatoes?!

Re:Einstein was a (gravitational) drag... (1, Funny)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757133)

Einstein would roll over in his grave. Not only does God play dice, but the dice are loaded.

Quantum Mechanics 101: If you have there is a possibility of something happening and not happening, it will both happen and not happen.

Re:Einstein was a (gravitational) drag... (1, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757147)

Yeah, I get the joke, but it's the same thing really. What Einstein meant by this statement is that God doesn't gamble with the fate of the universe. The universe follows rules such that God always knows the outcome in advance.

I'm afraid I'm of the opinion that Einstein was partially incorrect in this matter. God does, indeed, not gamble with the fate of the universe, but he may well play dice/roulette with it. The universe is a macro object, even if it made up of an, ummmmmm, unGodly number of small "dice."

God is the house, and thus has house odds. The number of dice, and thus the sample size, at every instant, is always equal to that unGodly number of dice.

Thus God himself may lack omniscience in that he never knows what the outcome of any particular roll of a die is going to be, but on the scale that's relevant to anyone who isn't an atom or smaller ( and few of us are) things are perfectly mechanistic nontheless.

The idea that God is perfectly omniscient is a matter of religious dogma, even when applied to a sectarian pursuit such as science. Maybe God ( or whatever) made it that way on purpose because he isn't omnicontent and likes a bit of entertainment now and again. Just as he made that rock that's too heavey for he himself to lift for the challange of it. He'll be the judge of that, not the Pope or scientific theory. Empirical data always trumps dogma.

None of this has anything to do with the Copenhagen "Interpretation" or other such wishy-washy, quasi-mystical philosophies that have grown up around quantum theory. It's simply straight statistical analysis, such as is applied in the kinetic theory of gases.

KFG

Re:Einstein was a (gravitational) drag... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757249)

"Your ideas intruige me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter"

Too sensitive (5, Interesting)

pholower (739868) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756818)

The slightest bit of interference could deem it unusable data with as much precision the gyroscopes will be operating. I have a feeling that even interference they are not thinking about (who am I kidding, this is nasa) such as solar radiation, and the magnetic north shift (which as of late, has been about 10 miles a year) will alter the results of this test dramaticly.

Re:Too sensitive (-1, Troll)

Sour Protein Supreme (762207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756858)

I'm a private pilot, and even on small planes we can have this problem. The problem does exist. It's not some pilot conspiracy to stop you from playing your Game Boy. Navigation is performed with the aid of a gyroscope and magnetic compass and VOR stations.(GPS is a few years away from becoming a standard). Any number of electronic devices can affect this system. In-cabin devices can have much more affect on these systems then outside incluences simply because you're basically travelling within an aluminum faraday cage. A microwave signal from a cellphone will bounce around inside the cockpit a lot more than if it is outside.

It is particularly crucial that these devices are off during landings. Landing is by far the most dificult portion of flying. On commercial planes, they are often making their approaches in IFR (Insturment) conditions. It takes very little to make approach devices go haywire. You don't want this happening when the visibility is 500ft and you are trying to touch down 30 tons of aircraft in fog. It hasn't happened yet, but sooner or later some aircraft is going to crash on landing because some schmoe couldn't wait till he got down safely to call and tell folks he is going to be late for his meeting. In 99 out of 100 cases there may be no effect on the plane, but it only takes one crucial event to destroy an aircraft. Try to remember that.

Re:Too sensitive (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756873)

Sounds like a horribly-broken system to me.

How about we design something that actually works in the real world. Oh, wait. It does. I guess you can't crash a 737 with a cell phone after all. /fud

Re:Too sensitive (1, Offtopic)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756951)

Re: "I guess you can't crash a 737 with a cell phone after all."

Kinda like how you can't hijack a plane with a boxknife?

Re:Too sensitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757235)

Parent comment will be "insightful" when they start confiscating cell phones at security checkpoints.

Not before then.

Re:Too sensitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756897)

WTF does this have to do with the topic? Really?

Re:Too sensitive (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756935)

Read the fucking comment. If you're too dumb to, here's a clue: it about how extremely sensitive equipment is easily fucked up.

Re:Too sensitive (2, Funny)

blindbat (189141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757055)

Great. Cell phones -- the next great terrorism threat.

not funny (1, Funny)

plasm4 (533422) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757116)

... it only takes one crucial event to destroy an aircraft. Try to remember that.


This is why I turn my cell phone to silent instead of turning it off.

Re:Too sensitive (2, Funny)

Neurotoxic666 (679255) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757125)

I'm a private pilot

Woohoo! A new one: IAPP/IANPP!!

Not so sure... (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757231)

Actually working in the civilian aviation I ahd Fluight Engineer swear to me that this is only a problem on OLDER model aircraft, but that the new boing and Airbus do not come with that problem or solved it (how ? Maybe they shield the instrument from the inside too).

Airlines still hold onto the "no cell phone inside" because this is far easier than differenciate old and new aircraft models, and I suppose this is far easier than convince insurance or the other passenger.

An experiment whose time has passed? (4, Interesting)

David Hume (200499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756981)


In addition to the sensitivity problem, I wonder if this could be an experiment whose time has passed.

In 1995, the GP-B was described as the "only experiment ever devised to test [the existence of frame-dragging] [sfsu.edu] ."

However, in 1997 NASA announced that it had successfully tested frame dragging [sfsu.edu] . See also here [scienceweb.org] .

Re:An experiment whose time has passed? (2, Informative)

David Hume (200499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757061)


Sorry to follow-up on my own post. Caught a link error. I stated:

However, in 1997 NASA announced that
it had successfully tested frame dragging [sfsu.edu] . See also here [scienceweb.org] .


That should instead read:

However, in 1997 NASA announced that
it had successfully tested frame dragging [nasa.gov] . See also here [scienceweb.org] .

Re:An experiment whose time has passed? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757105)

Your 1997 NASA link actually goes to the previous 1995 statement.

Anyway, while we do have astrophysical tests of frame-dragging, they're not direct. There's a big difference between trying to infer the effect by observing the orbits of matter outside a black hole, and actually putting a gyroscope into a frame-dragging field and seeing what happens to it. In particular, direct measurement is much more sensitive. Astrophysical tests can merely suggest the existence of frame dragging. GPB can quantitatively measure it to 1% accuracy.

Re:An experiment whose time has passed? (0, Redundant)

David Hume (200499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757255)


Your 1997 NASA link actually goes to the previous 1995 statement.


Sorry about that. I caught the mistake only after I posted. :( My 1997 NASA link should read:

However, in 1997 NASA announced that
it had successfully tested frame dragging [nasa.gov] . See also here [scienceweb.org] .

Re:Too sensitive (5, Informative)

QuantumET (54936) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757237)

Having worked on GP-B for a bit...

Just about all of the engineering that's gone into the project is to eliminate interference from everything else; those gyros are going to be just about the best-isolated objects we've ever made.

Yes, they need to account for solar wind, as well as atmospheric drag, as small as it is at that height. This is done by flying the satellite drag-free; one of the gyros free-floats inside its housing, and if it starts to drift off-center, the satellite fires its thrusters to reposition _the satellite_ so that the free-floating gyro is again in the center of its cavity.

This way, any external force on the satellite can be removed, since the gyro is shielded from them by the bulk of the satellite, and the satellite then follows the gyro on a perfect gravitational orbit.

Magnetic fields are filtered out to some ungodly factor; the leftover fields inside the science probe are on the of 10^-17 gauss.

They also account for micrometeorites, electric noise, and many other error sources. There's a reason this has taken 40 years.

Gravity dragging? (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756819)

large body was rotating it would create a drag effect on space-time known as frame dragging.

I think we're all familiar with time dialation (if you haven't read "The Elegent Universe", you're missing the best explanation of *why* time dislation occurs that I have ever heard), but what is frame dragging? What kind of effects does it have on the observer?

Re:Gravity dragging? (5, Informative)

pholower (739868) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756852)

The earth is a mass-energy. According to General Relativity, as a mass-energy, it should create a little dimple in the local space-time fabric. It is also theorized that the daily rotation of the earth causes a twisting of the local space-time fabric. This effect is known as frame dragging and it should manifest itself as a force that pushes a gyroscope's axis out of alignment as it orbits the Earth. [GP-B will be using four small, incredibly precise gyroscopes as its main tool for detection of relativistic effects on the local space-time fabric.] Gravity Probe B will attempt to measure the force, gravitomagnetism, giving scientists an important insight into how it might affect objects that are much larger than ping pong balls, such as black holes. At the same time, the gyroscopes will experience a much bigger force - the geodetic effect - which is a result of the warping of space-time predicted by Einstein. This force will tend to push their axes in a direction perpendicular to the frame-dragging effect which allow it to be measured separately. The geodetic effect is hundreds of times bigger than frame dragging and the experiment should measure its size with an accuracy of 0.01 per cent the most severe test of general relativity ever undertaken.

Re:Gravity dragging? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756871)

An excellent explanation, sir. Thank you.

Mods, How about helping the guy out?

Re:Gravity dragging? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756930)

You've never been laid, have you? heh

Lense-Thirring effect (5, Informative)

Doug Merritt (3550) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757044)

Contrary to the story, the Lense-Thirring effect wasn't predicted by Einstein, it was predicted by...Lense and Thirring.

See article [wolfram.com]

Re:Gravity dragging? (1, Informative)

qualico (731143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757074)

There is a nice lithograph on the web site to visualize the Frame Dragging.

http://einstein.stanford.edu/content/lithos/VIP_ Li thos-3.pdf

Frame-dragging and black holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757170)

Interestingly, frame-dragging can be so intense outside of a rotating black hole, it can force an object to be dragged with the rotation of the hole. There is a region of space outside a rotating hole's event horizon called the "ergosphere", and if you are within it, you literally cannot remain stationary, no matter how hard you try to thrust and resist the frame dragging: you will inevitably be pulled around the black hole, at least slightly.

Re:Gravity dragging? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756927)

Frame dragging occurs when a massive object is rotating. It turns out that a when a body rotates, it 'pulls' the surroundng space around in the direction of rotation. This means that if you drop an object toward the rotating body, it will not just fall radially tooward the centre but will aquire a component of velocity tangental to the surface.

Of course, this effect also applies to light rays, so the question of what one would actually see is a bit tricky.

Another situation that 'frame dragging' alters from classical theory is orbits around the body. Imagine an observer fixed at a particular set of coordinates in orbit around a rotatng body. If they send photons in orbits around the body opposite directions, they will not be recieved at the same time; that which travels in the direction of rotation will arrive sooner than that travelling in the opposite direction. In extreme cases, it is possible that the photon opposing the direction of motion, although locally moving at the speed of light, won't appear to move at all from the point of view of a distant observer.

Re:Gravity dragging? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756971)

Ask John Carmack, he prolly invented frame dragging :)

Interesting... (2, Interesting)

Mr. Certainly (762748) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756821)

It'll be interesting what the results would be -- was Albert right about all these theories?

More interestingly enough, what can we use this for? No, this isn't sarcasm, but how can we apply these scientific principals to help our daily lives and to understand the universe better?

Comments anyone?

Re:Interesting...Spinoffs. (2, Informative)

qualico (731143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756939)

If you look on the web site, you'll see they have already contributed to the technology sector. http://einstein.stanford.edu/content/spinoffs/tech nology.html

Gravity Probe A (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756824)

So what happend to Gravity Probe A?

(sorry had to ask)

Re:Gravity Probe A (5, Informative)

whopis (465819) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756907)

Gravity Probe A was the launch of an atomic clock on a suborbital rocket, designed to measure time dilation as it passed into weaker areas of gravity.

I believe it was done in 1976

Hopefully the start of another space race (-1, Interesting)

Sour Protein Supreme (762207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756825)

China is actually coming along nicely in a lot of ways. It's beginning to embrace capitalism. Socialism is a nice idea, but greed breeds innovation better. As China's economy heats up it's people are going to come into closer contact with the rest of the world and mainstream world ideas. The communist regime might not be overthrown, but its a safe bet they're going to gradually become more and more moderate. With China's vast natural resources and immense population their economy could easily dwarf that of the U.S. within a couple decades. Say what you will, 1 billion+ is a heckuva tax base!

Keep in mind that skilled labour costs in China are a fraction of what they are in the U.S.. The resources of China's space program could easily dwarf those of NASA long before their economy grows larger than that of the U.S.. (This assumes both nations spend a similar proportion of their GDP on their space programs. China may well value it higher and spend even more...) As has been said, they don't exactly have to reinvent every wheel that has led NASA to it's current cutting-edge 1970's shuttle program either. There are plenty of capitalists, many of them in the U.S., who would only be too glad to do a little Cantonese consulting.

This isn't necessarily how things will happen. However, if the Chinese don't do anything stupid their economic and technological superiority is functionally inevitable provided U.S. citizens don't start multiplying like mosquitoes. It's a simple matter of statistics unless you subscribe to some sort of white supremast movment and belive that Chinese minds are inherently inferior.

Personally, I'm thinking it might be a good idea to start early on those Cantonese lessons. :D

Not a troll, jackass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756887)

If you've been paying any attention at all to recent events you'd realize how relevant this comment is.

Stop trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756913)

Why is ServBeach advertising that they run Debian? That's a sure-fire way to insure that they don't get any business.

Re:Hopefully the start of another space race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757077)

What does this have to do with the gravity probe?

Nope, not Cantonese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757111)

Mandarin. The "ruling-class" of China speak Mandarin - mostly because Mandarin is spoken in the Beijing region, and Cantonese is spoken ... I forget where in China. The Canton province, obviously, but I forget where that is. Hong Kong is also mostly Cantonese-speaking, and I believe there are other areas in China that speak Cantonese. Not sure, but I think Taiwan is also Cantonese.

Re:Hopefully the start of another space race (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757124)

Um.... yes it is quite a troll... and offtopic

Letsee.....

1. Theoretical Discussion of Gravity Probe

2. ??????

3. China is actually coming along nicely in alot of ways..

??!?

The discussion is talking about a >gravity probe and what it might discover, not the future of the world economy/space race. The thought that a China/US/Rest of World space race
is a loosely-linked tangent at best, and posting an off-topic post such as this

"With China's vast natural resources and immense population their economy could easily dwarf that of the U.S. within a couple decades. Say what you will, 1 billion+ is a heckuva tax base!"

is just silly. Yes - WE KNOW - China is big. China is becoming modern. China could be /is becoming a technologicaly powerful country.

So what?

Proclaiming "China's future progress" is irrelevant to the topic at hand. Period.

So go stuff it, Chairman Mao ;-)

Re:Hopefully the start of another space race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757163)

China's space program is *extremely* on-topic because the chances are this project wouldn't have even been attempted had the Chinese not been making the very public progress they have lately. The only time NASA is lulled out of it's slumber to do actual groundbreaking scientific work is when there's a foreign rival (usually communist).

Not a troll, QED.

Re:Hopefully the start of another space race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757193)

If you had bothered to read the article you would seen this project has been running for nearly 40 years.

Re:Hopefully the start of another space race (2, Informative)

U.I.D 754625 (754625) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757230)

This comment is offtopic and stolen from here [slashdot.org] . Bloody trolls!

Lets hope it works! (0)

DoctorCool (700514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756826)

I really would like to see the result of this. Too bad that it took so much of the taxpayers money tho.

Re:Lets hope it works! (-1, Troll)

Sour Protein Supreme (762207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756848)

Yes it's certainly a lot of taxpayer money, unfortunately most people think the only solution is to privatize the space industry. This always makes me laugh.

How would you feel if for the sake of arguement the eventual winner of the X-Prize were to become the MS of space exploration, with almost total control over who does what in space. The private sector is not about bettering mankind, its about profit and many private sector companies are not averse to using very dubious, and in many cases downright criminal methods to achieve their aims. Suppose they discover valuable caches of materials. Do you think they are going to share them with the rest of the world or make us pay thru the nose ? What will the visa requirements be for landing on Planet Microsoft I wonder ? Suppose you are vacationing on Mars and disaster strikes, what do you reckon the odds would be the highest bidders get the first seats off the planet.

In typical fashion the private sector will not become a serious player in space travel until NASA and the other space agencies have made serious reductions in the cost of entry with lots of tax payer research dollars. The private sector will then demand access and want to cherry pick the most lucrative aspects. Remember, there was a time when Bill Gates was an entreprenuer.

Re:Lets hope it works! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757169)


Suppose you are vacationing on Mars and disaster strikes, what do you reckon the odds would be the highest bidders get the first seats off the planet.

Then I hook a ride with Cowboy Bebop...

confirmed: I just shat all over myself (-1)

confucio-licious (555476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756831)

I can't believe I just took a shit in my pants at work. What the fuck? I cant stand up and take it to the restroom, because I am wading in a puddle of feces at this very moment. Any change in my seating position will send my poo spilling down my legs and into my socks and shoes. There is no way I can play this off as a fart. I can hardly see straight! How am I possibly going to explain this to my Supervisor when she comes over here to ask me what the fuck I just did in the presence of my employer? She'll make me drop trau in front of everyone again. There it is. The person in the cubicle to the right of me just asked if I could smell "that". I gotta go.

We would learn more... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756837)

...if we sent the probe to Uranus. Earth has too small a gravity well.

The new blime is y e rex. 37bce. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756839)

Blimey! Everytime I cross the pond I have to get fingerprinted? I'd better stop wearing women's clothing. Bloody 'ell, those damn Yanks. Well, I best be catching me a lorry so I can have tea with me mum. Hope I don't break me arm cause I'd hate to have to wait 18 hours in searing pain in the emergency loo. 4 pounds sterling for a gallon of gas? Well, at least it isnt 4 pounds 50 like last year. God hail the Queen for providing for us. Bob's your uncle and all that. Cheerio.

considering string theories (5, Interesting)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756845)

i viewed the elegant universe, the other day by brian green, and am currently reading the text, much has changed in theory over the last 44 years, string theory for one, currently holds the possiblility that gravtiy strings are looped and therefore capable of jumping from our current brane/dimension. will this allow and or test for this theory or is the device antiquated before deployment? I guess thats a risk involved with such a long dev cycle. hopefully it will take this into account, or has the CERN project already made this redundant?

Re:considering string theories (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757136)


will [GPB] allow and or test for [braneworld] theory or is the device antiquated before deployment?


No, it won't serve as a test of string theory braneworld scenarios, and no, that doesn't make it "antiquated", either. There are lots of reasons to do the experiment, other than its ability to verify somebody's speculative pet theory. (Heck, string theory doesn't even predict that our universe is confined to a brane; it's just a possibility within string theory.)

The point of GPB is merely to test the accuracy of general relativity's predictions. If GR is wrong, there are many ways it could be wrong, and thus GPB might be able to tell us which way is correct, or rule out alternative theories that predict effects that aren't measured.

Re:considering string theories (2, Informative)

ajutla (720182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757143)

Well, as I understand it, string theory is incomplete and does not yet necessarily replace relativity, even though it aims to do that, since it's still untested/the math hasn't been worked out/something like that. So the device probably isn't antiquated. Yet, anyway.

Posted by Bill Gates: (2, Funny)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756846)

Well if it doesn't work, I'll buy the gyroscopic equipment and use it to balance a cup of coffee inside my car, to avoid spills.

Did I mention that my car is a Maybach 62, which costs $380,000? With an expensive car like that, you want to make sure the upholstery doesn't get dirty.

Re:Posted by Bill Gates: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756904)

With an expensive car like that, you want to make sure the upholstery doesn't get dirty.


If you can afford an expensive car like that you can likely afford a hot young lady to hold your beverage while you drive -- the only thing "dirty" touching the upholstery being the minimum clothing she'd require to meet public decency laws.

Re:Posted by Bill Gates: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756906)

ROFL What a worthless piece of shit car. It deserves to have coffee spilled on it!

Re:Posted by Bill Gates: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757031)

only in your wettest dreams could you afford such a car.

no wait, you are so fricking poor you cant even afford one in your dreams...

Gravity Wells (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756860)

I wish they would send a probe into my gravity well! Oooooh baby!

Eww! (4, Funny)

tigress (48157) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756861)

Einstein predicted that the gravity created by a large body warped space-time, but he also predicted that if the large body was rotating it would create a drag effect on space-time known as frame dragging.

AAagh! Mental images of my ex dancing! *SHUDDER!*

Re:Eww! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756923)

Just remember it was YOUR ex.

If dancing makes you *SHUDDER* then I wonder what kissing or sex makes you do? have a fit?

Einstein. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756866)

As far as I know, and I know a lot! Einstein was never right about a thing. Theory after theory was proven wrong.

I can honestly not see what mentioning his name is going to do, impress us? I think not.

Einstein *did* help develop the atom bomb that killed billions of innocent people in Japan during World War II(Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren't the only targets, see the recent documentary on The Discovery Channel for more information.), quite impressive, in my opinion. But, as we all know, half of his research was conducted by a woman in Berlin, unfortunately women weren't held in high respect during that time, ergo, Einstein stole all her research.

Re:Einstein. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756919)

mod parent funny.

Re:Einstein. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756965)

The atom bomb didn't kill billions of people you splooge. It killed thousands of people who were hell bent on conquering the united states and stamping out capitalism. Good for the atomb bomb. If it hadn't been invented, we'd all be speaking Japanese and German.

And since Einstein is such a slouch, please enlighten us: What have you accomplished?

Re:Einstein. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756998)

And since Einstein is such a slouch, please enlighten us: What have you accomplished?

1765 - Steam Engine
1853 - Condensed milk
1889 - Bolt-action rifle
1903 - Airplane
1979 - Compact disc

This is just a very small subset of my accomplishments.

Re:Einstein. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757006)

The atom bomb didn't kill billions of people you splooge. It killed thousands of people who were hell bent on conquering the united states and stamping out capitalism.

It killed thousands of people who were just living their lives in each of two cities. That may have been a good thing in helping to end a war but pretending that those people were hell bent on conquering or stamping out anything is the height of dishonesty.

Re:Einstein. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757026)

And since Einstein is such a slouch, please enlighten us: What have you accomplished?

Got you to bite, sucker.

Re:Einstein. (-1, Offtopic)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757140)

Both Germany and Japan had already lost the war when the atom bombs were dropped. It did not 'win the war'.

However, Japanese were too proud to surrender, so without the bombs, a lot of people would have died in a bloody amphibious landing on mainland Japan. History is written by the victorious side, so 'Atom Bomb won the WW2' is a common myth, but they could have just scrapped the project and taken the losses from the invasion of Japan. However, after spending all that money, it was important to show technological might over *Russia* to avoid them from overrunning the whole europe. And hey, it saved lots of bloodshed - sure, the bombs killed a ton of civilians, but in the grand scheme of things it most likely saved way more by speeding up the surrender.

Germany was already gone when the bombs were dropped. It wasn't the atomic bomb that won the war vs Germany. It was the superior mass production capabilities of the US and Russia that just out-produced Germany. Germans had better R&D on conventional arms, but it didn't matter when for ever single (superior) tank they had operational, allies could toss in dozens of (lesser) tanks. Toss in air superiority & mass bombings of the german industry to the stone age and the lack of reliable oil supplies after losses in the east, and that was pretty much game over for Germany. Had Germans built the first A-bomb, things *might* have worked out differently - vaporizing London and few divisions off the front lines could have changed a lot of things. Good for us that they never got that far.

So, one could say that the bomb did NOT prevent from making us all japanese/german speakers. However, it might have saved lots of europeans from speaking russian. The existence of the bomb definitely stopped Russia from overrunning western europe to 'top up' WW2.

Of course none of this has nothing to do with Einstein's theories & the satellite in question...

Bureaucracy (4, Funny)

slipgun (316092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756888)

NASA announced yesterday that its longest running program, Wooden Block B, was ready and scheduled for dropping off the Empire State Building on April 17th. The project has taken 44 years to complete, at a cost of approximately $700 million. The reason for the high cost is that the probe contains the most expensive wood ever created, which will be used to test Newton's theory of gravity. Newton predicted that an attractive force known as 'gravity' will act between any two bodies. Wooden Block B will be able to test Newton's theory using Earth's gravitational field, and a very tall building.

The real source of the problem (-1, Troll)

Sour Protein Supreme (762207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756925)

The problem is that NASA doesn't have the same backing as it did back in the 60's. We went to the moon because it was a priority, and a lot of money and effort was thrown at it. Now NASA is constantly struggling to make as much as they can out of a diminishing budget. I believe that this, more than anything else caused the famous shuttle accident.

If you are an administrator at NASA and you are told that their might be a problem with the age of the fleet and you know the odds of getting funding for a new project are near zero, do you keep that fleet flying? Of course. That's hardly the safest thing to do, but it's either that or close up shop and go work the chinese space program.

NASA puts safety as first as it can afford to. You can argue that NASA is an inefficent bureaucracy, but we seem to have no trouble financing the inefficent military bureaucracy. It's the nature of government, cope.

Re:The real source of the problem (1)

U.I.D 754625 (754625) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757262)

Parent comment copied from here [slashdot.org] . Please mod accordingly. (YHL HAND)

Re:The real source of the problem (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757264)

Inefficent military bureaucracy? I don't know where you heard this from, but in the military if something needs to get done, it gets done.

The main problem with NASA is lack of funding. The military has a similar problem (think about how many people they employ and what they have to buy before you flame that), but they still change when a better system is invented.

Maybe if we got rid of welfare and medicare/medicaid we could fully fund NASA.

When the mensch find they can vote themselves bread and butter, they will vote themselves bread and butter until it has all run out and the coffers are empty.

Finally! (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756892)

That project has been kicking around Stanford for decades. I saw that satellite under construction almost twenty years ago. It's basically a subsidy program for PhD students, not a satellite program. If that job had been outsourced to Hughes or Loral, it would have launched decades ago.

Re:Finally! (1)

awtbfb (586638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757128)

That project has been kicking around Stanford for decades.

So I take it the professor running it is planning on retiring soon?

I fought the law and the law won (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8756900)

I love Battlefield Vietnam.

Advertising Spyware
Stealth advertising components that are installed by some "shareware" products (and sometimes, legitimately purchased commercial software) and may collect personal information from your computer. These "adbots" are usually tied to a dodgy shareware program you have installed.

* TSADBOT (tsadbot.exe) AdGateway by TimeSink / Conducent Technologies
* Aureate/Radiate spyware DLL ADVERT.DLL by Aureate / Radiate AdSoftware Network
* FluxPC AdPipe
* DSSAGENT (dssagent.exe) Brodcast by Broderbund (tags along with some Mattel/Broderbund software)
* CyDoor "Ads On Software (tm)" - Comes with many ad-enabled products including KaZaA.
* Web3000 (MSBB.EXE) aka. N-Case - Dastardly advertising spyware that overwrites your wsock32.dll system file, and may transmit lists of URLs you visit. See Privacy Power! Reference and Network World Reference.
* Flyswat: See Privacy Power! Reference.
* TransCom's BeeLine : see Web3000.
* NewsUpd.exe - "News Engine Update Application" - Creative Labs advertising software installed with SoundBlaster (tm) and perhaps other products.
* Codehammer Message Mates
* BonziBuddy - A talking gorilla/parrot/etc. "software companion" targeting children. Silently Installed with some other software, and difficult to remove. See Privacy Power! Reference.
* OnFlow - Installed by BearShare among others. The company that makes this beastie describes its purpose fairly well on its own :) It is a browser plug-in designed specifically to display advertising, usually of the large, loud and flashing variety.
* SaveNow (WhenUShop) - Installed by BearShare among others. Put quickly, an advertising toolbar that monitors what sites you visit and pops up sponsored "deals" when products/shopping/etc. appears on those sites. Microsoft provides removal instructions.
* Gator "Trickler" (fsg.exe / fsg-ag.exe), OfferCompanion - installed by AudioGalaxy among others.
* PhoenixNet - Spyware embedded in your system BIOS!
* WNAD.EXE - secretly installed background task that goes online to transmit personal information and display stealth popup ads. Installed by the "Yo Mamma, Osama" game from TwistedHumor.com, as well as the SwapNut file sharing utility.
* Blackstone Data Transponder a.k.a. VX2 / RespondMiter / Sputnik / NetPal / Aadcom. This many-named piece of spyware is installed as an IE Helper (BHO) by third-party software OR website visits, and pops up ads continuously while you surf.
* FlashTrack (FTAPP.DLL) - An advertising spyware module (BHO) installed with the iMesh filesharing client. More information and removal procedure are here. Flagged as a Trojan by McAffee.
* dlder.exe - An advertising trojan that is installed by Grokster (1.33), Bearshare (2.4.0b7), LimeWire (2.02), Net2Phone (unspecified versions) and KaZaA (unspecified versions). The spyware itself comes from ClickTillUWin.com. Taking the torch from even the worst advertising spyware to date, this one creates a fake Explorer executable and process to hide its activities. More information here. Some antivirus manufacturers have listed this as a virus or trojan horse: TROJ_DLDER.A.
* ADP.EXE - Another spyware, distributed with LimeWire(?) and others. Appears to be an installer of Bargain Buddy (below).
* BARGAINS.EXE (Bargain Buddy) - Advertising spyware installed with Net2Phone and some versions of LimeWire. Appears related to ADP.EXE above. More info at www.doxdesk.com.
* bdeviewer.exe (B3D / BrilliantDigital Projector) - A "3D Web Animation" advertising-display plugin, similar to Onflow, as well as distributed computing client that can sell your hard drive space, CPU cycles, and bandwidth. Installed by KaZaA/Morpheus and probably others. Additional story here. Removal procedure here. This product, along with the SecureInstall software of Altnet (a subsidiary of BrilliantDigital), have been labeled spyware by some sources, a claim which BrilliantDigital disputes.
* EverAd - No information currently available.
* Expedioware - No information currently available.
* adshow.exe - No information currently available.
* HelpExpress / Attune (HXIUL.EXE) - Appears to be advertising spyware that displays sponsored ads, e.g. "Buy toner"/etc. messages when you use your printer. No additional information available at this time. Remove by uninstalling "HelpExpress" and "Attune" under Windows' Add/Remove Programs.
* Gator GAIN (GMT.exe, CMESys.exe, GAIN_TRICKLER_*.EXE) - Pops up advertising, apparently a new Gator product. A security hole in some versions allows Web sites to install arbitrary software on your computer. This URL will detect GAIN. Gator recommends on its Web site to contact support(at)gator.com for removal instructions. Gator software may be quietly installed by drive-by download.
* Wurld Media / Morpheus Shopping Club (bpboh.dll / mbho.dll / MSCStat.exe) - Installed by Morpheus, the "no spyware" (ya, we believe you) filesharing tool. Sneakily redirects IE through advertisers' referral links when certain sites are visited in your Web browser. More details here and here.
* NE.EXE (Network Essentials / SmartPops) - Displays stealthy popup ads while surfing the Web or using search engines. Wow! To hear it from them, this is the best service on earth--boy are they helpful. Remove by uninstalling "Network Essentials" in Add/Remove Programs. I have seen reports of this being installed simply by visiting certain Web sites.
* dw.exe, Movie Network.exe (Downloadware / Mediacharger / Movienetworks) - Displays lots of popup ads as you surf; Mediacharger may also function as a dialer for 1-900 #s for billing of adult movie downloads. Check for removal entries in Add/Remove Programs. Some removal instructions (may or may not work?) are here. I have had reports that the program will try to deter uninstallation by telling you that doing so will mess up your browser. It is, however, bluffing.
* ofrg.dll (FavoriteMan) - Installed by unknown means, possibly by NetPal spyware. More information here. One of its co-bundled products may be a homepage hijacker.
* ctbclick.exe (ClickTheButton) - Installed by (NetPal), Favoriteman parasite, and some versions of KaZaA. More information here.
* JavaRun.exe (Etraffic / TopMoxie) - Marketing software installed by products from "loyalty marketing partners", that pops up ads and coupons when you visit certain Web sites. TopMoxie description and info here. According to this site, partner software must be removed before an entry for TopMoxie will appear in Add/Remove.
* Download_Plugin.exe - SpywareInfo has the scoop on this, it is an infector for the infamous Lop.com portal-potty. It reportedly modifies your browser preference settings to place Lop.com as your start page, adds crap links to your bookmarks, changes your desktop and adds a spyware plugin ("Swish Browser Helper").
* openme.exe (xww.de ?) / Fast Download / Full Downloader - Loads at startup and pops up porn ads ("Live Chat mit Cams!") after about 20 minutes, according to this post in the message boards. May also try to install a dialer. To remove, find and delete openme.exe in your Windows directory, and remove it from your Registry's "shell=" line as well.
* Radlight DivX Movie Player - The nature of the software itself is unknown. However, it will intentionally search out and delete AD-Aware from your hard drive, then dump a number of malware products on your system. This puts it on the level of a VIRUS in my book; such a behaviour is completely unacceptable.
* NETBUIE.EXE (Unknown) - Source unknown. Places itself in C:\windows\system and adds a startup reference to the Registry. Continually loads porn popups (www.sexysquirter.com et al) while the machine is switched on.
* INetSpeak - Bundled with the Music Magnet file-sharing tool, installs a permanent ad banner into IE. Installs as a Browser Helper Object. Remove using a BHO remover, by disabling BHO42602.clslnetspeak or similar. See write-up here.
* plg_ie0.dll - More Lop.com crap, this one is a BHO that sends your browser to their site for most any IE error page (e.g. "The site cannot be found" becomes instead a bunch of useless lop.com links). See SpywareInfo's writeup for details.
* Netbroadcaster(?) - Related to Movienetworks (same registrar, IP block, etc.). There is reported to be a malware product by this name. No additional information available.
* Unknown (ftp_back.exe, istabm.exe, bm_insta.exe, attnvg.exe, createsw.exe, driverpg.exe) - Suspected ad/spyware programs. Implicated here. No additional information available.
* AdBreak (kvnab.dll) - The name implies an advertising program, but has not been observed in action. May be installed by a trojan. Some info here.
* PAgent, Vegas Palms Casino (MicroGaming), KFH, MediaLoads, WinEME - sub-parasites installed by DownloadWare, include casino gaming apps, ad programs and an unknown email-sending background task. Info and removal help here.
* HotBar - an advertising toolbar that spies on sites visited and the contents of forms you fill out. Installed by IMesh. More info here.
* OnlineDialer (VLoading / Download class and other variants) - A loader or "trickler" that is used to download and execute arbitrary programs, typically dialers, on your PC. More info here.
* EchoBahn.com BookmarkExpress (BMupdate.exe) - A program bundled with scanner drivers (!?) that allows you (and marketing partners(!)) to manage your bookmarks from anywhere, and pops up ads at you. The service itself has since been discontinued, and it is recommended to delete this file.
* wbeCheck (pbsysie.dll / Floid.dll / wbeCheck.exe) - Spies, and modifies the contents of HTTP traffic in IE. More info here and here.
* HuntBar - A browser toolbar and homepage hijacker. See its listing below, under Homepage Hijackers.
* Firstlook / new.net - A portal potty and paid-placement search engine operated by New.net. Reportedly, software is slipped in by the New.net client which directs the user to the firstlook.com search engine. This functionality is reported to be currently deactivated.
* Tgdc.exe / shopforgood.com - An affiliate link stealer similar to Wurld Media. More info here.
* CnsMin / 3271.com - A Chinese keyword-lookup program, possibly similar to QuickClick? Does not appear that harmful, but is very difficult to remove and re-installs itself even while you are still removing it. More info here.
* Search-Explorer - Another useless Browser Toolbar. Displays popup ads and places some cookies on your machine. More info here.
* WINSERVS / PurityScan / sear1.exe (winservs.exe, winservn.exe, etc.) - On first running, scans your IE cache/history/cookies for files with porn-words in them and displays a list of any found. Also drops in a background program (winservs.exe) that constantly loads popup ads when the computer is running.
* SmartAd (Cybersurf / www.cia.com) (file names unknown) - Canadian advertising program that "enables true one-to-one targeting of advertising messages against audiences defined by demographics, psychographics, lifestyle or location". The company boasts that its software's ads "can never be covered up, moved offscreen, or otherwise disabled." This product appears targeted mainly toward Internet kiosks and "free internet access" companies, not end-users. The company also hypes an "ad player" format similar to Onflow
* Permissioned Media (friendgreetings.com / cool-downloads.com / WinSrv Reg / OTMS.EXE / winservc.exe) - Another company that hawks those infamous "online greeting cards". The catch? To view the greeting card, the site attempts to install a 1+ megabyte application that will (unless you carefully read the license agreements and click "NO!") spam everybody in your Outlook address book with phony greeting cards and ads for their service, then place advertising spyware on your computer. The spyware will collect your name, email address and surfing habits, popping up ads and delivering HTML spam to your email address. Removal: Go to Add/Remove Programs and remove "Friend Greetings" and "WinSrv Reg". Possibly the first spyware program that lists "minimum 64MB memory" in its system requirements, and attempts to forbid linking to their Web site. It seems this company may have gone out of business--their web site / domain has ceased to be.
* Save / WhenUSave (SAVE.EXE) - Installed by some "free" software including Radlight Media Player. A removal reference is placed in Add/Remove Programs, but warns that removal will also disable the program (e.g. media player) that it was installed with. Appears to be a rebranded version of the SaveNow advertising parasite.

Spyware
Stealth components and background processes that may violate your privacy or expose your computer to attack.

* BESS, the notorious censorware program, caught spying on childrens' surfing habits and selling the information. Details at ZDnet.
* "The Red Sheriff" Java Applet from imrworldwide.com
* C_Dilla - A CD copy-protection program and more. Messes with the system, may interfere with Internet connection and use of CDRW drives. More info here.

"Backdoor Santas"
Non-stealth "freeware" and shareware apps that may transmit personal information or expose your computer to attack, under the pretense of providing a useful service.

* Download Demon / Real Download / Netscape Smart Download (same/similar programs)
* Comet Cursor
* RealJukebox See this article by Richard Smith.
* Alexa, Zbubbles See this article. An Alexa representative asserts that the company "no longer receives any personal information as of early 2000".
* Microsoft Windows Registration Wizard
* DigitalConvergence (DigitalDemographics) C.R.Q. software, CueCat barcode scanner
* NBCi QuickClick (tm) - See MSNBC article.
* Gator, Offer Companion, Trickler (FSG.EXE / fsg-ag.exe)@ - Installed by (EVERYTHING!) - Including AudioGalaxy

Homepage Hijackers
Once one of these nasty ad-trojans worms onto your system, it will constantly reset your homepage (and maybe Search, etc.) to where they want you to go. You can't change it back!

* General Homepage Hijacker info
* Gohip.com "Browser Enhancement" (Hijacker): More information on this is available at Privacy Power!. Undo hijacking
* PassThisOn.com (the newest venture of "Spam King" Sanford Wallace) Hijacker. See this article for details.
* United Parcel Service (UPS) - see this article.
* Rockstar Software's "Gearbox Connection Kit" used by some ISPs, a tool to let the ISP auto-setup or update users' connection settings, will reportedly attach to the browser and change the IE homepage back to the ISPs everytime the browser is started (more info). Rockstar Software clarifies that the software isn't "evil" or a security concern, and provides this simple procedure for changing the homepage on a computer using Gearbox Connection Kit. This software, unlike other listed here, does not appear to be malicious in nature.
* www.ezcybersearch.com - uninstall page to undo the hijacking.
* mycpworld.com (a bogus porn site consisting entirely of blind links to a referral script) hijacks the IE settings using a .jse file as well as a .tmp file loaded in at startup with Registry Editor. (Search for and remove .jse files, remove the start-up trash from the registry)
* Lop.com also hijacks, and even points IE's DNS Error and other error pages to lop.com. If you can't get rid of this as your homepage, download their two (!) uninstallers, to remove hompage hijacking and remove the Lop.com toolbar. Reportedly, lop.com may also alter the Domain field of your DNS configuration, visible by clicking Start > Settings > Control Panel > Network > (name of adapter) > DNS Configuration . There is also an unconfirmed report of it altering the domain suffix as well.
* Unknown portal potties (redirecting to goto.com, topsearcher.com, et al) - add files with names such as: sps.dll, sp.dll, sp.reg, sb.dll or similar to your system. In your StartUp folder you will see one or more lines such as: "regedit -s c:\windows\sp.dll". To fix, delete/rename the files appearing in this manner in the StartUp folder, and (optionally) remove the entries from the StartUp folder. These are actually Registry files that are loaded in at startup via Registry Editor.
* www.allcybersearch.com - save this registry file and double-click on it to un-hijack your settings. This will remove the stuff that auto-changes your settings on startup and restore your IE defaults (e.g. MSN start page). If you prefer other settings, you can right-click the file and Edit..., and change the homepage settings to your liking before clicking on it.
* www.globesearch.com - no verified fix yet. Possible fix (from examining suspect "Uninstall" binaries from the site): Find and delete the files: gshp.vbs, gsc0.txt, gsc1.txt.
* Bonzi Buddy - Unconfirmed, but it is reported that the Bonzi software will change your homepage, and if you change it back, pop up a "Would you like to change your homepage (back to Bonzi's)". Whether you select yes or no, your homepage gets changed.
* www.cool-xxx.net - Delete WINSYS.VBS (or .VBA), win0.txt, win1.txt from your Windows directory. Also find and delete the program that is loading them, which may be under a random name (in one case it was "zzgghh").
* www.huntbar.com - A browser toolbar and hijacker. Believed to be a drive-by download. Reportedly, even redirects "My Computer" and "Control Panel" to their site. Close IE, use Find to search for "MSIETS.DLL", and write down the path to it. It is normally "C:\Program Files\Common Files\MSIETS". Deregister it by typing the following command into Windows' Run box: "regsvr32.exe /u C:\Program Files\Common Files\MSIETS", replacing C:\Program... with the path you noted earlier.
* www.xupiter.com - This site will hijack your start page by way of a "browser enhancement" toolbar BHO. It is difficult to remove manually, but luckily Ad-Aware and SpybotS&D both remove it without any trouble. This sneaky b*stard is sometimes even disguised as an unsubscribe for spam mails: "In a moment a pop-up box will appear. Press Yes to be removed from all future mailings." The popup box, of course, installs the hijacker.
* www.provilation.com - Hijacker prefixes the URL prolivation.com/cgi-bin/r.cgi? to Web sites you visit (even when you type the address in manually), allowing the site to monitor visited URLs and/or redirect the requests, add popups, etc. Adult sites may be substituted for the requested site. SpybotS&D will remove this hijacker.
* www.searchresult.net - This hijack courtesy of a junk plugin from 'IGetNet', bundled with some p2p applications. More info and removal instructions at Doxdesk. A 'Support' page on the searchresult.net site claims to reset the homepage, but only sets a cookie and displays a popup ad.

Other Adware
Typically not hazardous, just annoying. These programs have bait-and-switched customers into viewing annoying blinky advertisements on the program's main window.

* AOL Instant Messenger (SM) by AOL
* AOL / Mirabilis ICQ - new AOLified versions

Foistware (Everything-installs-it-can't-get-rid-of-it)
Unwa nted application programs that come along, trojan-style, with completely unrelated software. Usually because some jerk is getting paid to foist it on your system whether you want it or not. Since they tag along with so many different pieces of third-party software, it is not uncommon to get re-infected with these foistware products again and again.

* Gator, Offer Companion, Trickler (FSG.EXE / fsg-ag.exe)@ - Installed by (EVERYTHING!) - Including AudioGalaxy
* WhenUShop / SaveNow@
* AOL Instant Messenger@ Installed by Netscape Navigator and other products.
* MSN Messenger - Installed by/with a number of Microsoft applications, including MSIE and MSN Explorer
* New Net, Inc (NewDotNet) Installed by BearShare among others
* EZula TOPtext / ContextPro / HOTText - This is a product some are calling "ThiefWare" - It inserts "yellow highlighter" advertising links in arbitrary web sites you visit! - Installed by KaZaA file-sharing tool among others.
* Spedia Surf+ - another "ThiefWare" product. Installed by Spedia software and very difficult to remove. See this site for removal instructions.
* WebHancer - a secretive "connection reporting tool" that seems to be quietly installed by dozens of unrelated programs!
* Fotino by Meltingpoint Software - A "thiefware" product similar to EZula TopText--see this article. No information currently available.
* Mirazo / NetAngel - A "thiefware" product similar to EZula TopText. No information currently available.
* CameoCast and CameoONE - May be installed by Western Digital Lifeline Installer.
* BackWeb / Western Digital DLGLI.EXE - Installed by Western Digital Data Lifeline among others. Purports to monitor your hard drive for problems, but is suspected of being a vehicle for displaying unwanted advertisements as well. More recently, Backweb was caught installing along with Logitech mouse drivers (!) (Do you really need web-update for ****ing mouse drivers?)
* Liveshows - A dialer program that tries to get you to accept a set of Terms it hounds you with on every startup. May be installed via unsolicited mail attachment and some adult Web sites.
* NetSetter / Marketscore - A "market research" program along the lines of WebHancer, intended to track your Internet usage and buying habits. Some users seem to have it and not know where it came from. Removal instructions here. (If you did voluntarily sign up for this service and wish to remove it, you can login to the Marketscore Web site for removal procedures.)
* IntelliTech Backdoor.Autoupder Trojan / BrowserToolbar (Ausvc.exe, Bvt.exe, Mnsvc.exe, Absr.exe) - A bona-fide backdoor trojan, this one is caught by antivirus. Writeup here and technical info here. A sneaky spyware dropper that was installed by an ad on a Web site (flowgo.com).
* CommonName toolbar - "Internet marketing tool" (and resolver of New.Net-esque bogus domain names) which, while it can be downloaded from its maker's Web site, often appears due to KaZaA and similar software. Info here.
* UCMore (ucmie.dll) - An IE toolbar that displays "related links" for the site you're visiting. Distributed by FreeWire file-sharing tool among others. Versions 3.x and below report back the URLs you visit along with a unique ID. As of Version 4, the ID has been removed, and the company asserts that the product will no longer be stealth-installed. More info here.
* freeaccess.exe - Distributed via adult spam, appears to be a dialer.
* sentry.exe, sentrystub.exe, ipinsigt.dll? (IPInsight UserTag / TrafficSensor) - Provides Web sites with demographic and geographic information about you (the company brags that it can determine what city you live in to 90% accuracy), along with connection-speed and other data. Thread here and full write-up on Doxdesk. Interestingly, the company claims its product (installed on YOUR computer) as an alternative to spyware.

Trojan Horses
Programs for the specific purpose of violating your privacy, stealing data, taking over or trashing your computer.

* NetBus See also PCHelp Reference , Barton Networking Reference and official NetBus homepage
* NetBus seems to have "gone legit" and progressed from its original form as a Trojan Horse to a non-malevolent, commercial remote-administration tool. Information is provided "for reference" as many of the "trojan" installations persist. Back Orifice See PCHelp Reference.
* * ICQtrogen See Trojans Lair Reference (use Find..)
* PWSteal (Note: several trojans go under this name) An AOL password stealer is among the most common.
* Norton AntiVirus refers to all password-snarfing trojans under the general name PWSteal. PrettyPark See PCHelp Reference.
* * Sub Seven - Another fairly nasty trojan, which can monitor keystrokes on your machine and allow others to access it remotely. While this program has a few limited "helpful" uses (retrieving keystrokes/passwords from your own system, e.g. censorware passwords), it is still a Trojan and should be used with extreme caution. See here for description and here for removal utility.
* Worm.Kazaa.Benjamin a.k.a. Full Downloader - A worm that spreads via the Kazaa file-sharing network. Signs of infection include presence of the file "EXPLORER.SCR" and a directory "C:\Windows\Temp\SYS32". To remove, delete both of these components. More info here.
* Load.exe - Part of the Nimda virus, can produce error messages ("Windows cannot find load.exe") and possible inability to run programs. To remove, run a virus scanner. To remove error message, open SYSTEM.INI, find the line similar to "Shell=explorer.exe load.exe" and change it to "Shell=explorer.exe". More info here.

The Great Unknown
Some generally bad-behaving software whose purpose and motive are not clear...

* RPCSS.EXE, mdm.exe (Remote Procedure Call, Machine Debug Manager) by Microsoft

Update: Purpose clarified. See "What is RPCSS.EXE?" (Guest). It appears to be a glorified port mapper.

Note: In the style of Yahoo's directory, "@" indicates a repeated listing.

Spyware database search by spychecker.com

Could it be Spyware ?

Enter the name of the software and find out

Links

Spyware & Trojan Lists

Doxdesk: Parasites - List of many adware, spyware, hijackers and more, with full descriptions and removal information.

SpywareGuide - Searchable database of ad/spyware/etc., with removal instructions.

SpyChecker - a comprehensive, searchable list of software containing spyware.

Tom-Cat.com Spyware List - a searchable database of software containing spyware - similar to Spychecker.

Securify contains an extensive list of trojan horses and removers.

SISL - List of Known Spyware Infested Software - A somewhat out-of-date (last update June '01) list of spyware-infested software and the unwanted guests it installs

F-Secure Virus Screenshots - As some Trojans and virii present messages to the user, this site provides screenshots of them.

Exhaustive Trojan list from Simovits Consulting

SuraSoft spyware search - Another (fast) software-contains-spyware database.

Spyware/Adware Links

www.doxdesk.com : parasite lists them by the dozens, with concise and brief descriptions, removal instructions, etc. (unlike my own ten-page-rant tendancy :)

SpywareInfo.com - Has information on spyware, downloads, spyware announcements, forums and even a weekly newsletter. Home of a comprehensive page on browser homepage hijacking.

Gibson Research Corp.'s Steve Gibson brought the Spyware issue to the forefront with his in-depth analyses and the first ever (?) removal utility.

Don McCuiston's Anti-Adware Essay covers reverse- and social-engineering of the spyware apps; details how he obtained more information about how the spyware operates and who is responsible.

Parasites deals with useless 'malware' and software parasites, in addition to spyware programs. These parasites, while not necessarily a threat to privacy, waste disk space, processing and memory, often for no useful purpose.

ScumWare and ThiefWare discuss ad-overlay products such as Gator and EZula TopText. The products cover sites' banners with their own, and add advertising hyperlinks to those pages on the client side.

Sponge's Anti-Spyware Page - Step-by-step instructions to secure your system, aimed at novices; easy to understand information about cookies, spyware, how Internet protocols work, Denial of Service attacks and more.

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Re:I fought the law and the law won (0)

qualico (731143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756955)

ok. and what does this have to do with GPB?

Einstein stole my idea. (-1, Offtopic)

twigles (756194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756902)

I thought of that first!

Ignoramus (1)

Heartz (562803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756961)

Pardon the ignorance but can somebody spell out what impact the findings of this probe will have Science in general?

what will GP-B measure? (1)

hkfczrqj (671146) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756972)

I thought the Lense-Thirring effect was already measured (abstract of the Science article here [doi.org] )... but it seems that GP-B is designed to do exactly that. I'm trying to RTFA anyway.

Re:what will GP-B measure? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757145)

You can see from the link you cite that LAGEOS only measured the Lense-Thirring effect to about 20% accuracy. GPB can measure it to 1% or better. It's both a refinement and an alternative method (using gyroscopes instead of laser ranging, good for a sanity check).

Wow (1)

rixstep (611236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756973)

Wow. That gravity probe is pretty heavy stuff. I remember them discussing it in that movie 'The Incredible Lightness of Being'. Far out.

45 years prep time... woo (5, Informative)

igrp (732252) | more than 10 years ago | (#8756978)

According to this BBC article [bbc.co.uk] , the mission completion is supposed to be in 16 months.

I found the following quote especially interesting:

Francis Everitt, the principal investigator of the project, said: "Aren't Einstein's theories all established and confirmed? After all it was 50 years ago that Einstein himself died and it's 100 years next year when he developed his first theory of relativity. Don't we already know it all? The answer is no."

I wonder what other theories that are generally accepted throughout the scientific community have not been completely tested and/or verified. And, quite frankly, I'm surprised that there isn't much more VC and grant money available to go and do research on stuff like this. Afterall, these projects are quite prestigious.

Re:45 years prep time... woo (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757210)


"Aren't Einstein's theories all established and confirmed? After all it was 50 years ago that Einstein himself died and it's 100 years next year when he developed his first theory of relativity. Don't we already know it all? The answer is no."

I wonder what other theories that are generally accepted throughout the scientific community have not been completely tested and/or verified.


All of them. It's not possible to perform every test of a theory that can be performed, nor is it possible to perform any given test to an arbitrarily high precision. There are tests of quantum electrodynamics that are accurate to 11 decimal places, but people still test QED, because we never know whether it goes wrong at the 12th place, or whether there's some new phenomenon that QED doesn't predict. Likewise, there are many tests of general relativity, many of which are very accurate, and nobody doubt's the theory's general validity --- but that doesn't mean that there might not be small deviations out there that point the way to an even better theory.

So What happened to the interference? (0)

qualico (731143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757001)

Does anyone know what the results are of the pesky problems they were having with onboard instruments duplicating the very readings they were trying to measure?

I'm thinking this mission is going to have serious problems. Some of which they already know about, but are unable to correct in time before the launch.
Due to the momentum of politics no doubt.

Guess it will be a measure of mass in the end anyway. Just not the kind we should be getting for the price tag.

what a waste of a cool probe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757007)

so we test it on a tiny gravity well where the results will be almost hidden in the background noise, while we have a couple of really nice BIG gravity wells that are near by. Saturn and Juipiter would give us a better result and clearer answer.

Re:what a waste of a cool probe... (0)

qualico (731143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757048)

I dunno...the sun is a good gravity well, guess they don't want too much radiation.

Maybe they should have put it in orbit around the dark side of Mercury.

Now that would have been cool.

Re:what a waste of a cool probe... (1)

pseudochaotic (548897) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757253)

IIRC, Jupiter spins faster as well, making it an even better choice. But on the other hand, Jupiter has a couple dozen moons to complicate things.

Anti-gravity probe? (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757047)

They should launch anti-gravity probes. Wouldn't even need rockets and save us taxpayers some bucks.

Is it just me? (-1)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757089)

Is anyone else worried that some future, deep theoretical physical measurement will, thanks to some poorly understood quantum something-or-other, cause the entire earth to explode?

Some physicist, meddling with a high powered particle accelerator, "click...oops?"

"How fascinating, I have accidentally annhilated the core of the earth...I must write this down, has anyone a biro?"

Gary Larson got there first of course. Physics worries me deeply.

Re: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8757101)

Blimey! Everytime Me cross the pond Me have to get fingerprinted? I'd better stop wearing women's clothing. Bloody 'ell, those damn Yanks. Well, Me best be catching me a lorry so Me can have tea with me mum. Hope Me don't break me arm cause Me'd hate to have to wait 18 hours in searing pain in the emergency loo. 4 pounds sterling for a gallon of gas? Well, at least it isnt 4 pounds 50 like last year. God hail the Queen for providing for us. Bob's your uncle and all that. Cheerio.

hmmm.... (0, Offtopic)

chachob (746500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757102)

i submitted this story, yet it was rejected...only to be posted as front-page news by michael...?

Re:hmmm.... (1)

chachob (746500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757113)

scratch that...it was rejected by me, yet accepted from "The Real Dr John"...

aargh.

NASA or Stanford? (1)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757117)

Is this a NASA thing or a Stanford thing?

Every article I found about it on NASA ends with "For more information, visit http://einstein.stanford.edu/".

There was a test (2, Insightful)

MrRuslan (767128) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757135)

Someone setup an experiment about 10 years ago with 2 highly percise clocks one was set up on the top of a tall build and the other was set at the bottom...they ticked and stoped at the same exact and the clock on top of the building was very slightly behind the clock on the bottom...so I guess that should say something about his theory of relativaty.

It's not going to work (1)

laing (303349) | more than 10 years ago | (#8757252)

Ok, I've read all of the technical specifications of the mission. My impression is that there are just too many non-redundant systems which require extremely precise calibration for the success of the mission. It will take a miracle for this thing to succeed. Maybe it's an elaborate April Fool's joke?
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