Firefox 3 Released

Firefox 3 Download Day
Firefox 3 has officially been released; download it now and help break a world record! (Connections may be spotty, as I figured they would be; here’s an alternate link with mirrors just in case…)

Why download this version? has a nice Field Guide to Firefox 3 that explains most of the new features. Webmonkey has a post entitled Why you should download Firefox 3 right now making the case for the browser if you haven’t already been convinced. I myself have been a devout user since version 0.3 or so, and I am very much looking forward to using this latest release.

Dwarf Planets Now Called Plutoids

Although Pluto was stripped of its planetary status two years ago, it is now regaining some measure of respect, as similar newly discovered distant bodies will be named “plutoids.” The IAU is defining plutoids as “objects that circle the sun and are too small to be considered planets, but big enough to have a level of gravity that keeps them in a near spherical shape.” By this definition, Eris, an object discovered in 2003, will also be designated a plutoid.

This is all well and good, but I tend to agree with Ralph McNutt, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University, who said, “I grew up with nine planets, I’m sorry.” :-p

Update: A article has some more information, including concern by some that this pronouncement is “just one more confusing term in the cosmic lexicon,” considering the fact that:

The term plutoid joins a host of other odd words – plutinos, centaurs, cubewanos and EKOs – that astronomers have conjured in recent years to define objects in the outer solar system, whose appearance seems to grow more complex every year.

Photo Tampering Throughout History

Although the feature Photo Tampering Throughout History concentrates on more modern examples, it covers almost the entire history of photographic journalism:

Photography lost its innocence many years ago. In as early as the 1860s, photographs were already being manipulated, only a few decades after Niepce created the first photograph in 1814. With the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo-editing software, the manipulation of digital images is becoming more common. Here, I have collected some examples of tampering throughout history.