Friday Links: Pluto on the Outs

By now, you may have already heard that your grade-school science project about the solar system is getting a big, fat retroactive ‘F.’ A wise old wizard-esque council of the world’s astronomers met this week and kicked Pluto out of the planet club, demoting it to the status of “dwarf planet.” Isn’t that piling on? We already knew Pluto was small. Do we have to call it names now, too? OK, we’re done tut-tutting, so here are the links:

Too far? Too far was about two turns back thattaway Just when you thought there were just enough fake, ‘funny’ internet religions, Philipp Lenssen comes along and points out The Church of Google. They’re recently installed in a new domain with a new name (having apparently been called “The Church Of Googlism”), and they’ve even got the requisite holy gospels: “Proof that Google is God” includes PROOF #3, “Google Answers Prayers.” Oh yeah? Please don’t let there me a hymn book, please don’t let there be a hymn book, please don’t…

From our “That Explains It” Department If you’re like us, you’ve probably lost count of the number of times you sat in front of a monitor, stared at an email inbox explosively overfilled with penny stock spam, and wondered if all that nuisance is worth it to anybody. If you trust the BBC, the maddening answer is ‘yes.’ They carry a report touting a study that claims really good stock spammers enjoy a 6 percent return on their mailings, thanks to, well, the rest of us. The poor folks who go in on the spam stocks naturally fare a bit worse (via Threadwatch).

Gareth Keenan investigates… …Microsoft’s YouTube leak. Explains Ars Technica, the team behind the revered British comedy “The Office” agreed to do a series of training videos for the corporation a couple years back, on the condition that they never escape to the outside world. But as we now live in a YouTubed society, the temptation proved too much for one employee, and the funny clips made their way online. We have to say we’re pleasantly surprised at Microsoft’s self-deprecating sense of humor, though not in their reaction to the leak, which has been decidedly stern – the videos have been yanked from YouTube as of this writing. Still, Ars writer Nate Anderson calls this “a fine bit of PR for Microsoft,” and we have to agree that we like this side of them.

Have you ever tried downloading movies?

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