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Astronauts, Cosmonauts, Taikonauts and Spationauts February 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Science.
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Did you know Astronaut is derived from Greek words Star Sailor?

We see and hear the terms astronaut and cosmonaut when dealing with the various space programs around the world. Here is some background on astronaut, cosmonaut, and other space-faring terms for space travelers.

An astronaut is any person who is trained by NASA to travel and perform tasks in space. Although the space traveler may not necessarily be a United States citizen, each astronaut does go through a rigorous training regiment by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Other space travelers go by other names then astronaut depending on their country of origin.

In the United States, astronaut is derived from the Greek words ástron (star) and nautis (sailor). While, in Russia, a space traveler goes by the name космонавт (English: cosmonaut), which is derived from the Greek words kosmos (universe) and nautis (sailor). Westerners call a space traveler from China a taikonaut, based on the 1998 writings of Chiew Lee Yik and Chen Lan where the term tàikōng (great emptiness), Chinese for “space”. In China, the term yuháng yuán (universe navigator) is used for space traveler.

Only the United States of America (United States), Russia (earlier, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), and the People’s Republic of China (China) have sent manned spacecraft into space. Other countries have assisted these countries by sending their own space travelers on space missions. For instance, a French space traveler is called a spationaut (from the French word spationaute), which is derived from the Latin spatium (space) and Greek nautis (sailor). (plural in Greek nautes = sailors)

It is believed that the first modern use of the word astronaut was in the short story “The Death’s Head Meteor”, which was published by Neil R. Jones in 1930. Older versions of the word, such as astronautique and aeronaut, had also been used in earlier writings.

The first space traveler was Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who reached orbit about the Earth on April 12, 1961, aboard Vostok 1.

On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first U.S. astronaut to travel into space when he was launched aboard Freedom 7 and flew a suborbital flight to an altitude of 116 statute miles.

On June 16, 1963, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space when she flew aboard Vostok 6.

Sally Ride became the first U.S. astronaut to fly on space on June 18, 1983, when she flew aboard Space Shuttle Challenger on STS-7.

Norman Thagard became the first U.S. astronaut to become a U.S. cosmonaut when he flew onboard the Soyuz TM-21 spacecraft on March 14, 1995, for Russian’s Mir-18 mission.

Today in the United States and Russia the words astronaut and cosmonaut, respectively, is a general term for a person who travels into space as one’s profession. When a person’s profession is not as an astronaut nor as a cosmonaut then that person, according to NASA and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (now called the Russian Federal Space Agency [Roskosmos]), is called a spaceflight participant. They may be journalists, politicians, scientists, or tourists. The privately-funded commercialization of space in 2005 created the term commercial astronaut.

Over 450 people from 37 countries have traveled into space. Only 24 people have left Earth’s orbit. These men were astronauts aboard Apollo 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 as they traveled back and forth between the Earth and the Moon between December 1968 and December 1972. Of these 24 astronauts, twelve of them walked on the Moon. Six of these twelve men drove a Moon rover.


Fables that we can all learn from February 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Entertainment.
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Fables, anecdotes, and allegories help to identify cultures in ancient countries such as Iran, India, China and Greece. The people of these lands are proud to have so many stories. However, the global community changed different races to one nation and all fables are more common in more places.

Once upon a time a brutal old wolf who harmed so many animals decided to repent. Therefore, he traveled too far to repent as a result of other animals like him. The old wolf became hungry and searched around. He saw the fleshy horse grazing on the farm. He went forward and said, “I want to go to a far land to repent, but I am so hungry now. Please help me to fulfill my commitment.”

“How can I help you?” The horse said. The old wolf replied, “Please victimize yourself. Your meat can feed me and others. Don’t delay! Help your mates, buddy.”

The horse, in an effort to save himself made a trick. He smiled, “Uncle Wolf! I am ready to participate in this charity but I have to tell you an issue.”

The wolf said, “what?”.

“I have been troubled for many years. Please solve my problem then eat me,” the horse said.

The old wolf wondered, What happened?

“I can help you surely,” the horse said. “Many years ago, a stupid furrier wounded me while making a heelpiece on my hoof. He pounded it on my flesh instead of my hoof. I am enduring so much pain in these years. I want you to see my injuries.”

The wolf went forward to check the horse’s hoof. The horse raised his foot and delivered a lethal kick to the wolf’s head as hard as he could.

While the old wolf was dying, he whispered to himself, “Damn stupid wolf.” Why did you let him knocked you?”

The dancing horse said, “Never trust a wolf’s repentance.”

This is one of the Persian Fables.

What is Web 2.0? February 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Blogging, Internet, Internet Software.
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Web 2.0 changes the whole ballgame. It not only places the Internet user squarely in the middle of things, but it gives that user the means and power to create and manipulate data. Web 2.0 dramatically changes how we view and use the web. Actually, in many respects, it creates a whole new Internet.

Just what exactly is Web 2.0? What does it mean? Is there a precise definition that all webmasters can get their heads around and understand? Not really, many believe Web 2.0 is just another one of those contrived buzzwords, signifying mostly marketing hype!

However, perhaps the simple definition can be found in the word “you”! Time magazine probably summed it up best by making reference to the “you” in user generated content. Web 2.0 is basically all the platforms that give us this brave new user-powered interactive Internet, generally referred to as ‘social media’.

Web 2.0 can be seen or manifested in such sites as YouTube, MySpace, Del.icio.us, Digg, Squidoo… Web 2.0 uses scripting languages such as Python, Perl PHP, RSS… to construct interactive platforms that websites can use to create all this user-generated content.

Many refer to these evolving formats and scripting platforms under the name AJAX and no this does not refer to the popular cleaning agent under your kitchen sink! This AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScrípt and XML) comes from Google and takes web based interactive programs such as Google Maps, something that’s usually associated with desktop applications, but is now being applied on the web. If you have used Google Earth, you will realize how powerful and revolutionary these new applications can be, not to mention, they are a whole lot of fun.

Where did the name Web 2.0 come from? > Many point to Tim O’Reilly, the constant innovator of many technological changes on the web. O’Reilly has been at the forefront in discussions and conferences on the nature and substance of the ‘meme’ open source platforms dominating the new social media.

How all this new media plays out is anyone’s guess, but all webmasters should optimize their sites for this new Web 2.0 and take full advantage of all the SEO possibilities presented by this brave new Internet.

Here are a few SEO suggestions you can try >

1. RSS/Blogging: You must place a blog and RSS feed on all your sites. This is a fairly simple procedure to do with free server-based programs such as WordPress. Having a blog and RSS feed will place your site into the whole tagging process. Each category you create in your blog will be seen as a tag by such sites as Technorati. RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ and your RSS feeds will get your content distributed across the web. A simple and easy way to tap into the new Web 2.0 universe.

2. Create some Google Juice!: Join as many of these highly interactive sites as you can: MySpace, YouTube, Del.icio.us, Digg, Wikipedia … my favorite is Squidoo, where you can create Lenses on different topics that interest you. User driven content that’s utilized by all the major social media sites. Of course, link back to your sites in your posts and creations in these user-created content havens and watch your PR ratings go way up.

3. Use Interactive Scripts: Place interactive JavaScripts and platforms on your own sites. Have membership forums, polls, blogs, feedback forms, user-contributions… to build unique content driven sites. Become the spider!

4. Tagging (Folksonomy): Be constantly aware of the tags (keywords) you’re creating with your blogs and sites. This can have a very beneficial effect on your traffíc and rankings. Closely relate these tags to the content on your sites and build higher rankings in all the major search engines.

5. The Long Tail: Especially important for affiliate marketers, you need to cover special niches where there is less competition and content. These narrow niches make up a large portion of the whole vast web, creating content in these unique areas will get your site included in the search engines a lot quicker and keep them there a lot longer.

6. Holistic Web 2.0: Be constantly vigilant in placing your sites in the whole ‘Interactive Game’, building links and partnerships with the important YouHubs: MySpace, Del.icio.us, YouTube, Digg, Squidoo… the more connections you have, the more your own sites will prosper.

Be the Spider! > No doubt, Web 2.0 will play an ever increasing role in the development and evolution of the web. Make sure your sites are optimized and in the ‘You’ game. Create blogs, RSS feeds, interactive forums, membership areas, user-generated content and truly make your sites interactive havens in their own right. Just remember to tag everything and your sites will reap the benefits of this new Web 2.0 generated SEO gold rush.

Google Buys Adscape for $23 Million February 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Google.
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The rumors were true. It’s been confirmed today that Google has reached an agreement to acquire in-game ads firm Adscape Media. While Google is loaded with cash, some remain skeptical about Google making a big splash in in-game advertising.

Following a Wall Street Journal report that surfaced late last month, industry sources have confirmed that Google has indeed entered the in-game advertising space. According to business publication Red Herring, Google has reached an agreement to purchase Adscape Media for a cool $23 million.

Adscape, a company that officially launched in February of last year, hasn’t firmly established its position in the in-game advertising market and the company has not gotten the kind of attention that Massive, IGA or Double Fusion have received, but what Adscape does give Google is some interesting technology patents. And with Google’s vast resources, the company could no doubt leverage the in-game ad tech to eventually gain a solid foothold in the space.

Some remain skeptical of Google’s capabilities in this area, however. “There is a whole world of difference between the form of advertising done by Google and Madison Avenue,” one source familiar with the in-game ad business told Red Herring, comparing Google’s familiar text-based ads to the rich media used in videogames. “While everyone appreciates the dollars Google can throw around, when it comes to [in-game ad] experience they just don’t have it.”

The report points out that the deal is signed but not yet fully closed. Adscape’s executive team will probably remain together until the start of March, and then certain key staff will move to Mountain View. Adscape execs likely to make the move include CTO Dan Willis, Chairman Bernie Stolar, and VP of Marketing Eva Woo. The exact details on the management shuffle are not confirmed, however.

Assuming the deal is closed, in-game ad leaders would seem to welcome it, not fear it. Speaking to GameDaily BIZ recently, Ed Bartlett, IGA’s VP of Publishing for Europe, commented, “… it’s another validation of the sector. With Microsoft buying Massive, it’s another one of those proof points. From a business standpoint, however, we’re not particularly concerned. Even if it’s true, we see it as positive for the sector and it shouldn’t affect us much.

“For what they might do, there’s been talk of Google selling ads to magazines and things like that. For us, to be able to talk to video game companies, to speak their language, is huge. From what I understand [Adscape’s] pure technology at this point, not a built up network. We’ve already got a two-year head start, so for someone to come into the space and take over will be difficult.”

He added, “Even if they do come into the retail space, the market is going to be large enough to handle 3 or 4 major players. We like competition; we think this validates the space. For us, I think we have an advantage in that we cover all types of media. A lot of stories are guessing that Google will go after the casual space, similar to the fields they’re covering already. So that’s going to be interesting to watch since we’re going into the casual media ourselves.”

Microsoft launches answer to YouTube February 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Microsoft.
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Microsoft launches answer to YouTube >

yeah, you read it right! although I think they can’t compete to the people’s most popular.

Check it out at > http://soapbox.msn.com