What’s my zodiac sign? Sorting out the Ophiuchus confusion.

Are you having a sun-sign identity crisis? If so, you’re not the only one. Recent supposed revelations by an astronomer have left many pondering how they could go to sleep as a Libra, for example, and wake up a Virgo. How did this astrological shakeup begin? During an interview with the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Parke Kunkle – an astronomer with the Minnesota Planetarium Society – explained that the astrological signs no longer line up with the constellations. But that’s not really news. Astrologers have known that for centuries. It just isn’t relevant.

Here’s why it’s not relevant: Astrological signs are not determined by the constellations. The signs are actually governed by the movements of planets in our solar system – within 12 zones representing each of the 12 signs – between the earth and the sun. But most importantly, the tools of measurement within that framework are the equinoxes and the solstices. And that’s what Western – or Tropical – astrology is based on, and always has been. The stars themselves don’t really have anything to do with the signs – other than having lent their names to them.

To simplify or perhaps to complicate things further, here’s a bit of the history. Thousands of years ago the Babylonians watched the sky for a period of one year. During that time one of the many things they observed was that that the sun moves through only 13 of dozens of constellations. Since the superstitious Babylonians preferred the number 12 over 13, they based the zodiac on 12 signs representing the 12 constellations – even though the equinoxes and solstices are truly the source of astrological knowledge and not the constellations. Hence in the beginning, the constellations aligned with the Tropical division of the year. However the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun causes the earth to wobble on its axis, which threw off the alignment of the constellations and the Tropical zodiac over time. These are the “news” that again and again pops up almost every year when some astronomer who has no idea about even the basics of Western or Tropical astrology comes forward and claims that astrologers got it all wrong. That the constellations do not correspond to the dates at all and astrologers could not agree more, only it is completely irrelevant as you just learned.

To sum it all up, even though astrology is based in science, it was neatly packaged way back when in perhaps a more romantic framework. The science, and the foundation of Western astrology, however, remains the same. It’s all more complicated than that, of course, but for the purpose of explaining why the recent hoopla is more hoax than revelation, you simply need to know that NOTHING HAS CHANGED! Simply because the dates when sun is in various constellations has absolutely nothing to do with Western or Tropical astrology dates. The only thing they have in common is that sometime in the past they actually aligned and the names of the constellations were used for the astrological names.

So, if you were born under the sign of Pisces and your traits include a great imagination, a keen sense of intuition, a sympathetic nature, and selfless compassion, you are still all of those things. Rest assured that you have not suddenly been transformed into a fiercely independent, detached, and unpredictable Aquarius. From now on, if someone asks “what’s your sign,” you can embrace your place on the zodiac wheel with certainty!

DailyHoroscope App (It’s FREE!)

If you have Android, iPhone, BlackBerry or Windows Phone 7 smart phone. You should try our DailyHoroscope app. It is a the most popular horoscope app on Android and BlackBerry. You can see the download options on this download page or you can use the badges below if you are reading this from your phone – clicking on the appropriate badge will take you directly to the appropriate download page!

Hey, did we mention it’s absolutely FREE?

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You can follow us on Twitter @comitic @DHiPhone @DHAndroid @DHBlackBerry

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Is there a new astrology sign – Ophiuchus?

Ok, we have received many inquiries from the DailyHoroscope App users lately regarding the question of the new “astrology” sign.

The Question

Lately some prominent news channels picked up a story about 13-th sign Ophiuchus and that due to various reasons (we don’t want to get into that) the dates for the zodiac are wrong and have to be changed/moved/recalculated.

The wave of confusion hit the Internet. Being developers of a very popular horoscope app for smart phones, we felt we have to step in with some sort of explanation not only for people who wrote us wondering about this but for everybody. We ask you to share this story on Twitter and Facebook (use the badges) so that we can put an end to the confusion.

The Answer

Short answer for those who are not interested in the details:

There is no new astrological sign. Astrology and Astronomy are completely different things. Astronomical interpretation of the boundaries of the constellations is in no way equivalent to Astrological interpretation.

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Facebook fix

We would like to use this post to explain recent issue DailyHoroscope users have experienced.

Many users could not post the horoscopes to their Facebook profiles/wall, getting strange errors with some random website names and just weird application names.

Many of you have written us about this problem (THANK YOU! We really appreciate your feedback!). We have investigated this issue since then but there was not a lot of information and since this problem was not persistent, meaning that it was only happening sometimes, it made it so much harder to track and understand the reason to this problem.

We think that we have now a good idea about why this is happening and how to fix this. Thanks to active Facebook developer forum.

At this point we would like to state and clarify the following:

  • This issue was not caused by the recent update.

This issue was caused by something internal to Facebook API implementation, which however coincided with the recent update and of course many users thought this is because of the last update. We know that this is the case because other developers integrating with Facebook APIs experienced the same problems both on iPhone and Android.

  • This is not malicious behavior of DailyHoroscope

To the remaining skeptics out there, who still think that this was some malicious behavior of DailyHoroscope. This issue is easy to reproduce on the Facebook website itself – just open the following URL in your browser: http://www.facebook.com/connect/uiserver.php

  • We fixed the issue (we really hope so…)

While we think that we have successfully fixed the issue using a workaround to prevent this bug in Facebook access APIs from happening again, we can not be 100% sure because in the first place this error was not happening all the time and although we tested the fix a lot, we could have just been lucky (or unlucky actually) to somehow fall on all the cases where this bug in the Facebook API does not happen.

If you still are experiencing problems after the latest upgrade - 1.8.3, please write us to contact@comitic.com with as much information as possible so that we can further analyze this and hopefully fix this issue for good.

We would like again to thank all the users who have reported this problem to us and provided further information when we tried to debug and fix this issue. Thank you!

We also hope that the users who reduced the rankings of the application will consider raising them back. Thank you for your continuous support!

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DailyHoroscope for Android – new update is on its way!

A new version of DailyHoroscope is coming to Android soon.

Not too many updates in this version though. The core development guys behind DailyHoroscope had to shift the focus to other things but they are getting back on track to bring more updates, improvements and new features!

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Adding tilting effect to DailyHoroscope for WP7

We also have added the tilt effect which was a breeze with the provided sample by Microsoft and this tilting effect is very, very nice! We even consider making a separate presentation of it on our blog, to show some really cool tilting effect it produces!

Have a look at it in the video:

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DailyHoroscope for Windows Phone 7 gets beautiful screen transitions

We have added screen transitions to the DailyHoroscope that should go hand in hand with the main system UI screen transitions.

The system screen transitions are not immediately accessible to developers but developers are welcome to imitate them according to the user interface/user experience guidelines. And it is relatively easy to do so since all the power of SilverLight is at the developer’s fingertips. We have almost no experience with SilverLight and also very little experience with C# – these are the main technologies for Windows Phone 7 development. But with great tools Microsoft released, which are quite intuitive and easy to use and with the great help from the samples and the developer forum, we were able to dive into straight into the open waters of Windows Phone development.

So for the screen transitions, we were referencing this walkthrough by Jeff Brand.

You can see the end result in this video:

P.S. We think the video does not do justice to how it actually looks, as it looks so much better on the simulator and will probably look even better on the device!

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DailyHoroscope coming to Windows Phone 7 with its launch!

We are glad to let our users know that we already started working on a version of DailyHoroscope to run on the windows phone 7 and we will be launching with the first device, which should be really soon. The rumors are somewhere in October – meaning in just a few weeks!

Here’s the first stub we took, it’s not much but we are working on it and it is starting to take shape. We have to develop relying only on the simulator so far and we can only hope it will look and work the same on the actual devices.

Without further ado, here’s the short video for DailyHoroscope fans!

UPDATE: this was just an initial stub and we continue to work on the app and it should be much nicer when we launch. We have already added some UI niceties. You can see the result of adding screen transitions for DailyHorosocope.

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FBConnect for DailyHoroscope on Android

We have good news that we wanted to share with you as soon as possible. They say one image is worth thousand words, so here it is:

As many of you know, sharing to Facebook using the regular intent mechanism on Android is well, impossible because Facebook applications screwed up is not using the intent parameters properly. We are almost done with an explicit sharing option to Facebook to be available in the next update to the DailyHoroscope for Android.

Maybe by the end of the next week, who knows :)

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New release 1.7.2 of DailyHoroscope for Android

Today in the early noon we have released the new version of DailyHoroscope.

The new version has reworked icons and the red color is back by a popular demand!

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DailyHoroscope gets a more universal date

DailyHoroscope application for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone gets a more universal date. We have set the date by default to an American standard which is month/day/year e.g. for the April 21 2010 (today) that would be 04/21/2010. This confused some people, not to mention is somewhat specific. So today we have updated the date format to be more universal. From today it will say “Apr 21 2010” and not 04/21/2010.

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