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  #1  
Old 20 March 2007, 07:24 AM
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Icon13 China bans firm from selling land on the moon

A Chinese company has been banned from selling plots of land on the moon.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070317...t_070317220150
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  #2  
Old 06 July 2007, 02:51 PM
SALAManda
 
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That link appears to be dead now, but I read somewhere that these "buy land on the moon" things are just scams, and that if we ever populate the moon, the "deeds" wouldn't count for anything as far as legal ownership of land goes.

The same is true for the "name a star" things; the name won't be officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union (the only body that can officially name stars), and most of the time the co-ordinates printed on the certificates are just random numbers that aren't the position of any known stars.

The reason for the names not being offically recognised should be obvious, all known stars are given unique codes, and this is the best way of classifying them for the people that need to know such things. Imagine the confusion that would be created amongst astronomers if we had a million different stars named "Fred". The only way to officially choose a name for any astronomical body is to discover a new asteroid, and even if you somehow manage to do that, you may not get the name you want - all names must be approved by the International Astronomical Union and obviously duplicate names are not permitted.

More info here: http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeqt9sg/b...alassociation/
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  #3  
Old 06 July 2007, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SALAManda View Post
That link appears to be dead now, but I read somewhere that these "buy land on the moon" things are just scams, and that if we ever populate the moon, the "deeds" wouldn't count for anything as far as legal ownership of land goes.

The same is true for the "name a star" things; the name won't be officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union (the only body that can officially name stars), and most of the time the co-ordinates printed on the certificates are just random numbers that aren't the position of any known stars.

The reason for the names not being offically recognised should be obvious, all known stars are given unique codes, and this is the best way of classifying them for the people that need to know such things. Imagine the confusion that would be created amongst astronomers if we had a million different stars named "Fred". The only way to officially choose a name for any astronomical body is to discover a new asteroid, and even if you somehow manage to do that, you may not get the name you want - all names must be approved by the International Astronomical Union and obviously duplicate names are not permitted.

More info here: http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeqt9sg/b...alassociation/
I alway's thought, although having no legal status, rather than a scam, these buy an acre of the moon, or name a star things were just novelty presents, and they are usually advertiswed as having no actual worth. You get a nice-ish looking certificate to hang on your wall and a map of 'your' bit.

It's a bit like getting a mug on your birthday which says "World's Greatest Dad" or the personalised letters for kids from Santa. It means nothing really, but you have paid for the priviledge of someone maufacturing the item.

Last edited by Eddylizard; 06 July 2007 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 07 July 2007, 10:48 PM
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It's a bit like getting a mug on your birthday which says "World's Greatest Dad" or the personalised letters for kids from Santa. It means nothing really, but you have paid for the priviledge of someone maufacturing the item.
It depends on how you define "scam". Some of the sites are more upfront about it being a novelty than others. They make a big deal about you "being entered in the official star registry" which implies something other than novelty (but it's only "official" as far as their own internal operations go). They talk about how this is "your own unique star", etc. etc, even though other star naming companies can (and will) assign the same star, since they are not coordinated in any way (and that's aside from the fact you'd never know if a single companies stars are truly unique...)

I personally consider it a scam, or at least taking advantage of people's romanticism/emotionality. Most of us consider stars to be romantic, which is why you see "name a star" and not "name a grain of sand on Daytona Beach" or "name a drop of water in Lake Superior".

If you really want to present someone with a nice certificate and a "novelty named" star, why not just find the coordinates of one on the internet, print one up in Word, and save yourself the $50 or whatever they're charging now? At least "world's greatest dad" gifts don't tend to be hideously overpriced for what they are...

-Tim
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  #5  
Old 07 July 2007, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rehcsif View Post
It

If you really want to present someone with a nice certificate and a "novelty named" star, why not just find the coordinates of one on the internet, print one up in Word, and save yourself the $50 or whatever they're charging now? At least "world's greatest dad" gifts don't tend to be hideously overpriced for what they are...

-Tim
Well firstly it's a function of the economic principal of division of labour. Do I want to do that myself, or would I be prepared to pay to have someone do it for me?

I could learn how to service my car and probably save a few , but frankly I can't be bothered, so I take it to the local mechanic and pay him and his cohorts to do it..

Secondly, I think some of these services started up before computers in the home became a reality, and printing things yourself was not available to anyone and everyone. With traditional printing techniques, the bulk of the cost is preparing the plate, such that if you want one it will cost $50, if you want an thousand it will cost $55, if you want ten thousand it will cost $100. If you want a further ten thousand printed later, and they have kept the plate, then that will be $50. It's the same as making a plastic bucket - it costs 5.00 to buy and there's maybe 0.05 of plastic in it. But the mould costs over half a million pounds to make.

That the cost of getting your star certificate hasn't diminished with cheaper printing techniques is just a function of 'what the market will bear.'
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  #6  
Old 08 July 2007, 09:50 PM
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The reason I classify this as a "scam" is not so much about the inflated price, as it is the misrepresentation of what they are doing. About the only way to fairly do what they are doing would be to make it VERY clear that this is strictly a novelty, and remove all talk about "official registries" and the like. But the MOST up-front sites bury this info in a FAQ, and many don't mention it at all, leaving you to believe that your loved-one's name will now grace this star forever.

Here's a good article which supports my point.

Aside from that, though, low-cost laser printing has been available for decades. These businesses have never had to charge $50 to cover their costs - they've simply set a price high enough to make people think they're getting something more than a printed certificate. If they sold this for $5.99, nobody would believe they were getting their name on a star. For $50, though, you'd have to think you're getting something besides a laser-printed certificate...

Note that when I call this a "scam" I'm not implying it is illegal, or even should be. I'm just saying it's using misleading advertising techniques in a predatory manner to collect money from the gullible (and the romantic).

How would you feel about me creating a site that offered you a chance to "Name a Vessel in the US Navy!" For only $50, your name can grace the ship in the official* registry!

*Of couse the registry is only "official" to me, but I'll be happy to give you a nice printed certificate, including a public-domain picture of "your" ship! Only $50 plus $12.95 shipping and handling. PM me if you're interested!

-Tim
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Old 08 July 2007, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Rehcsif View Post
How would you feel about me creating a site that offered you a chance to "Name a Vessel in the US Navy!" For only $50, your name can grace the ship in the official* registry!

*Of couse the registry is only "official" to me, but I'll be happy to give you a nice printed certificate, including a public-domain picture of "your" ship! Only $50 plus $12.95 shipping and handling. PM me if you're interested!

-Tim
I would be absolutly delighted, up to the point where I visited my ship, noticed that they hadn't repainted the name to the USS Eddylizard, then on attempting to board my ship I was promptly escorted off by some friendly uniformed men with guns. Is the picture on glossy photographic paper, or just generated on cartridge paper by your laser printer?

I suppose you have a point. I've not looked on the internet (not wanting to buy an acre of the moon or 'own' a star myself) I've only seen it in paper catalogues, where they do make it clear, in the same size print as the rest of it that it means bugger all. If they bury that information, then that is a bit deceitful. Not that I personally believe any of us will live long enough to visit our acre of moon

Here the price (last time I looked) is about 13 ($26) which given the ridiculous cost of pictureframing does not seem really unreasonable.
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  #8  
Old 08 July 2007, 10:30 PM
Rehcsif
 
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Here the price (last time I looked) is about 13 ($26) which given the ridiculous cost of pictureframing does not seem really unreasonable.
$26 framed would indeed not be that bad of a deal. Here it's $50 (plus S & H) unframed. The site I linked to was talking something like $136 framed (too lazy to go back up and look it up exactly...)

-Tim
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  #9  
Old 09 July 2007, 09:12 AM
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This is a pretty old concept.... my Grandparents bought me "an acre on the moon" back in the late '60s. I was immensely proud of it, but I'm sure that nobody outside of my grade school class took it seriously.
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  #10  
Old 09 July 2007, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Rehcsif View Post
$26 framed would indeed not be that bad of a deal. Here it's $50 (plus S & H) unframed. The site I linked to was talking something like $136 framed (too lazy to go back up and look it up exactly...)

-Tim
Sorry. $50 does sound like a rip off for unframed. at those prices I would seriously consider whipping out my Word installaton disc.

Obviously there are several companies offering plots of land on the moon. Probably the same plots.

Think of the money you could make though when you sue NASA for building a moonbase on your property without your permission.
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Old 09 July 2007, 09:35 AM
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This is a pretty old concept.... my Grandparents bought me "an acre on the moon" back in the late '60s. I was immensely proud of it, but I'm sure that nobody outside of my grade school class took it seriously.
On a similar theme, has anyone got one of those Pan-Am tickets for a moon trip that they sold in the sixties. or seventies. Now that would be a cool but useless thing to own.
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Old 10 July 2007, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
On a similar theme, has anyone got one of those Pan-Am tickets for a moon trip that they sold in the sixties. or seventies. Now that would be a cool but useless thing to own.
I'd be interested in seeing one of those. The wording on it could certainly make for an interesting legal case, especially if passenger space flight ever become possible and Pan-Am begins offering flights.
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Old 10 July 2007, 04:40 PM
Rehcsif
 
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I'd be interested in seeing one of those. The wording on it could certainly make for an interesting legal case, especially if passenger space flight ever become possible and Pan-Am begins offering flights.
Pan-Am has been out of business for years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-Am

-Tim
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Old 10 July 2007, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
On a similar theme, has anyone got one of those Pan-Am tickets for a moon trip that they sold in the sixties. or seventies. Now that would be a cool but useless thing to own.
Not so useless if you could make something on them:
Quote:
During the Apollo program, Pan Am sold tickets for future flights to the moon. These later became valuable collector's items
- the wikipedia

But then, I expect you can follow links as well as me...
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  #15  
Old 10 July 2007, 10:43 PM
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Not so useless if you could make something on them:
- the wikipedia

But then, I expect you can follow links as well as me...
Well yes, I was already aware they are now collectors items and fairly valuable. By useless I merely meant than any holders of said tickets are highly unlikey to ever set foot on the moon.

Last edited by Eddylizard; 10 July 2007 at 10:49 PM.
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