August 19, 2013
How Do You Buy Friends? – The Daily Orbit
What kind of friends can be bought?
Trying to run yourself to sleep might not work.
NASA’s got a hot diversion.
And a battle is brewing on the Daily Orbit.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
They always say you can’t buy real friends, but you sure can buy fake ones! A virus originally intended to steal credit card numbers has been modified to create more likes and followers for social media. They’re sold in bundles of a 1,000—1,000 followers on Instagram for $15 or 1,000 “likes” for $30. The same number of credit card numbers sells for just 6 bucks a bundle. According to Reuters, a fake fan can be worth five-times more than a stolen credit card number. Who knew fake friends could be so lucrative? This modified Zeus virus controls infected computers from a central server, forcing them to post “likes” for specific social media entities. They say be careful when dealing with hackers offering fake friends and likes, because they may be faking themselves to cover for identity theft or other cybercrimes. And here I thought fake friends were pretty easy to come by.
When I asked my doctor what to do to treat my insomnia—she was like, exercise. What she didn’t tell me is that it takes months for the payoff. A new study says that aerobic exercise during the day doesn’t immediately mean a better night’s sleep. It can take months. Researchers say it’s because patients with insomnia “have a heightened level of brain activity and it takes time to re-establish a more normal level that can facilitate sleep.” They said the key finding from their study was that people who suffer from sleep disturbances have to be persistent with exercise. They said, “Just do it! It will help in the long run!” Ugh! But it’s so hard to make yourself exercise after a sleepless night.
And while we continue the search for Earth-like planets, scientists say most of what they’re finding are gas giants. Of the more than 850 confirmed exoplanets, the majority are being called, “Hot Jupiters.” But it may not be that they are more plentiful, just easier to see. Because they orbit close to their parent stars, they block a fraction of the star’s light when they pass in front of the star. Smaller Earth-like planets are much harder to detect. So for now scientists are happy with these hot diversions until we can find life on another exoplanet.
Here’s another hot topic of study for NASA—meteor debris. Scientists are using satellite and computer models to track and study the debris of the meteor that exploded above Russia in February to see how future events might affect the Earth’s atmosphere. Not only did pieces of the meteor fall to the ground, but it also unleashed hundreds of tons of dust into the atmosphere. Three and a half hours after the explosion, one satellite detected a dust plume about 25 miles above the Earth, moving east at about 190 mph. Scientists continued following the plume in the days and months after the event and have observed how the dust has moved and evolved. They say their findings could allow for more precise measuring of tiny atmospheric particles, enabling new studies on high-altitude atmospheric physics.
And even in death, Richard III is instigating battles! The University of Leicester and the late king’s descendants are battling over where his remains should ultimately rest. Richard III’s remains were uncovered by the University and identified through DNA testing. The University had announced their plan to re-bury Richard III in the Leicester Cathedral, which is near the excavation site. But a petition started by 15 of his descendants garnered 27,400 signatures and won them a judicial review to have the king buried in the city of York—Richard III’s birthplace and often home. They say that is what the king had wished. The King’s death brought an end to the War of the Roses, and he was hastily buried in the site in Leicester in an untidy grave with no coffin or shroud. The High Court Judge recommended that an independent advisory panel be set up to consult on where the remains should go. He said that the skeleton “touches upon our history, heritage and identity,” and added, “The public interest requires that these issues are resolved.”
And that’s all for the Daily Orbit, see you tomorrow!