Information Week has an article with the provocative title above making the blogosphere rounds. It supposedly warns us about how easy it would be to blow up a satellite using a free piece of satellite tracking software called Orbitron in combination with Google Earth. If prospective Dr. Evils read the article, though, they’ll see that the inclusion of Google Earth as part of this “system” is gratuitous. Google Earth is only used to “visualize” the satellite position based on the data it gets from the Orbitron software, and would play no part in the actual shooting down. Oh, and you need an operational ground-to-space missile system as well (I have one, but it’s down right now).
There seems to be a fad these days among journalists to treat Google Earth as some kind of military threat based on its satellite imagery; this article pushes that meme to a new extreme. Still, Orbitron is a pretty cool free program for satellite tracking. And if you’re looking for a free multi-platform program to show a visually-appealing map of the night sky, there’s no beating Stellarium.