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Angry Birds™ Space: The Battle continues in Space!

What comes to your mind when you think about inter-galactic battles? Probably Star Wars or Star Trek, but this time a new space battle is going to keep everyone taking about it. Surprisingly, it is between birds and pigs! Get ready to be amused, as Rovio Entertainment brings the latest version of the most popular game. Yeah! It’s Angry Birds Space.

Rovio Entertainment maintains a good reputation when it comes to applied physics behind the destruction of pig castles. So, for the next space battle, guess whom did it consult? None other than NASA! Flight Engineer Don Petit of NASA gave a demonstration of a catapult in zero gravity using an Angry Bird toy to explain its trajectory, right from the International Space Station.

Angry Birds Space has 60 baffling levels, where you can experiment on the birds’ flight through space. The environments with variable gravity will amuse you when the birds sling through different spatial trajectories. The game will also reveal new characters and superpowers that can wreck havoc on their green archrivals.

Angry Birds Space will be launched on March 22 for all the platforms like iOS and Android, Mac, PC, and even for Angry Birds animation and merchandise. For now, watch the hilarious and yet highly educational video by the witty NASA space engineer, explaining about the new dimension of gravity that you can try on the new game.

YouTube® Space Lab competition

YouTube Space Lab is a creative and amazing campaign that can help unleash the future scientists hidden in the talented youth. As said by Thomas Reiter, ESA’s Director for Human Spaceflight and Operations: “The ‘YouTube Space Lab’ campaign is an excellent, creative way of reaching out to future generations of scientists, on the ground and in orbit.”

In the recent YouTube Space Lab student science competition, a total of 60 space experimental proposals have been selected. The competition is co-sponsored by ESA and the other big names to join them were NASA, JAXA, and the Canadian Space Agency. All these space agencies have collaborated with YouTube, Google, Space Adventures, and Lenovo for this project. This international science competition is primarily meant for students in the age group 14-18 years to help them design an experiment for microgravity on ISS.

YouTube Space Lab was started in October 2011 and received over 2000 proposals across 80 countries via Youtube.com/spacelab, of which 60 were finally selected. The chosen 60 entries include 10 from the U.S., nine from India, and others from Poland, Canada, and Spain.

The YouTube community along with a panel of judges will judge the finalists, post which six regional winners will be declared. These winners will travel to Washington where finally the global winners will be announced. These final winners will be the lucky ones to witness their experiments live on YouTube from the Space Station.

Fernando Doblas, European Space Association’s Head of Communication also said “European finalists will also win a visit to the training facilities of ESA’s European Astronaut Centre, Cologne, Germany.”

All in all, it is indeed a great platform for the youth to explore beyond horizons.

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Android™ App for Deep Space Networks

NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Apollo Mission, Man on Moon, space shuttle, Discovery are all synonymous with awe, inspiration, something that takes you out of yourself and forces you to be wanting to be part of a space mission. This is one topic, that each of us is inspired by and one of the most interesting aspects that we look up to. NASA besides their space missions, are also known for their active search for talent in all walks of life and that too in all age brackets. It is so common, to hear NASA arranges a drawing program or a Math program or many such innovative skill development and improvement involvements in the field of education, research and infrastructure building.

                                                        

Recently NASA administrators met with entrepreneurs and discussed innovations in space exploration and technology development, critical to America’s future in space. Almost a year ago, we saw the NASA App for the iPhone, iPadTouch and the iPad announced free of charge on the Apps Store. Mid January 2011, saw a NASAJPL internship opportunity for the development of the Android version of the App earlier developed for the Apple product with an aim to provide users with a global view, about the Deep Space Network or the DSN.

The DSN is an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions, and radio and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. The present three DSN Deep Space Communication facilities are located at California, Madrid (Spain) and Canberra (Australia). The network facility is managed for the NASA by the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).

As per the DSN site, the antennas and data delivery systems make it possible to :

  • Acquire telemetry data from spacecraft.
  • Transmit commands to spacecraft.
  • Track spacecraft position and velocity.
  • Perform very-long-baseline interferometery observations.
  • Measure variations in radio waves for radio science experiments
  • Gather science data
  • Monitor and control the performance of the network

NASA JPL is looking for personnel, with skills and requirements of software engineering, development experience in Java, XML processing and graphics and interest in Android platform mobile Applications development. The personnel selected will get involved in the development of the App allowing users to visually navigate to one of the 3 sites namely, California, Madrid and Canberra and provide a graphical dashboard for the selected Deep Space Communication complex.

The other Apps on the Apps Store include :

  • Space Weather Media Viewer
  • 3D Sun
  • Lunar Electric Rover Simulator
  • NASA App
  • NASA App HD
  • NASA Images
  • Space Images etc.

Besides, this informative App facility, NASA also develops various App for their own use by staff on various smartphones available in the market and in their use in various facilities. In one of the earlier blogs, in mid 2007, we also saw, reports from NASA’s Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA commenting that the iPhone is not enterprise ready but the Blackberry, at least the Blackberry 8800, is enterprise ready.

Which of the Android phones coming up is going to match and surpass this enterprise ready requirement is something to watch for. NASA’s search for exclusive talent is always there and if you feel that, you could be the one, go for it.

NASA’s Robonaut-The Multifaceted Twitter Account Holder

Twitter has already grown it’s user base to 20 million and now it is in the process of launching more  features to get new user groups.

You will find almost everyone on Twitter; if you are using Twitter functions correctly. Much to your surprise you will find any lost friend from high school or your boss from the previous company or even your ex-girlfriend on Twitter.

Now, Twitter is going one step ahead and has added a non human entity to its user list and it is exceptionally, but an experimental robot of NASA which has its own account in Twitter.

Twitter officials would have never thought of this kind of success, this is really getting them attention as it is creating sensation in social networking world as it means a lot to be associated with such a huge research and scientific institution like NASA.

Twitter account for Robonaut – 2

Robonaut -2 is the first humanlike robot which is mainly designed to live and report from the International Space Station. This robot is actually a mechanical astronaut which is extraordinary.

NASA has created a Twitter account, for the robot, which seeks to take the social networking concept to new heights and it a next level up gradation for twitter and social networking websites.

Since Robonaut or R2 is almost like a robotic humanoid, which  will be able to manage ISS very affectively similar to its human counterparts. This will also give you in depth knowledge of how the R2 is being prepared for this project to go deep into space.

Space enthusiasts are waiting anxiously for the moment when R2 will be sent to ISS and NASA mission STS-133, which is  set to launch on November 1 at 4:40PM Eastern Standard Time.  The mission is going to take R2 to the ISS. R2 will communicate with public from ISS using Twitter and will be actively providing details of International Space Station.

Huge followers for R2 Twitter page

R2’s Twitter page is already flooding with messages and followers as it is a sensation in social networking website.

R2 is very active on twitter and has been answering user’s questions as well.

Recently R2 has left a message that he is desperate to leave for Kennedy Space center.

R2 has already got 7600 followers since last month and they all have been manages and answers by NASA R2 handlers.

All the followers of R2 are getting regular updates and messages on R2 Twitter page and are very happy to be associated with NASA’s project in any form.

Now this is what we can call a phenomenal success for Twitter as it is being access out of the world.

Microsoft’s Telescope Is Going Places

Microsoft’s telescope project is going places, literally. It has made a number of improvements to its Worldwide Telescope project which includes partnering with NASA to offer much higher clarity of pictures of Mars. The improvements made are so extensive that reports suggest even the track marks made by the Mars rovers can be viewed!

THE RECENT IMPROVEMENTS MADE

Dan Fay, director of Earth, Energy, and Environment for Microsoft Research, commented that details such as boulders can be seen on the surface of the Red Planet with the help of this revolutionary project. Microsoft previously teamed up with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a Mars project that lets youngsters and other space enthusiasts help count and label craters on the Mars’ surface.

With these changes, the telescope will add various different new views of the planet as well as guided tours from some of NASA’s experts on Mars. The addition of Mars imagery is one of the many changes to the telescope that Microsoft is showed off during its annual Faculty Summit meeting, open to outside researchers. Other developments made in the telescope project include an attempt to put in an improved spherical image of the full sky and make the seams between individual still images much less visible. Altogether, the telescope is now based on a terapixel (1 trillion pixels) image of the known universe. To put that in comparative terms, Fay said it would take 500,000 HDTVs to show the image in its full fidelity!

The enhancements will be available on both the downloadable Windows version of the telescope, the Web-based version and on the telescope imagery used within Bing Maps.

ABOUT WORLDWIDE TELESCOPE

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a program created by Microsoft running under either a Microsoft Windows client or a new cross platform web client based on Silverlight which allows its users to view images of outer space. It was announced at the TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) Conference in Monterey, California in February, 2008. Users are able to pan around outer space and zoom into any one area as far as the data will allow. Images are retrieved from the Hubble Space Telescope and about ten earth-bound telescopes. It is possible to observe the sky in many wavelengths of light. The software makes use of Microsoft’s Visual Experience Engine technologies to function. This enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky, merging together terabytes of images, data, and stories from across multiple sources over the Internet into a media-enhanced immersive experience.

Data for WorldWide Telescope is stored in WTML, a specialized XML file format. Data can include references to new imagery, locations in space or even on Earth, or another planet. Developers can import their own images and create data files within the program, or instead author the WTML manually or by using their own custom tools.

Microsoft Research is making the WorldWide Telescope project available as a free resource to the astronomy and education society with the expectation that it will motivate and empower people to explore and appreciate the universe as never before.

AT&T iPad 3G Data Breach

The news of investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the recent data breach on the new iPad with 3G connection by AT&T has been released. The release of this information has taken the world by storm because of the implications of this news. The news was confirmed to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday by the FBI. However, according to FBI, the case is still in its primary state. This information that the case is in the primary stages of investigation gives the company enough time to think of an adequate response.

Hacking as a cause of the security breach

AT&T hold the exclusive right for the 3G connections in the iPad, like all other products by Apple that needs a connection for internet service. A group of black hat hackers, calling themselves “Goatse Security” obtained the list of email addresses of 3G subscribers of iPad on last Wednesday. They took over more than 114,000 email addresses and iPad ICC-IDs. This they did when they hacked the website of AT&T.

How they hacked the system

After entering the serial number of the SIM card into the website, they were automatically able to generate a new email address for each user. The hackers used script language to pull out the email addresses based on the possible serial numbers; and that gave the whole list of the email IDs.

Whose information was hacked?

No other information except the email addresses were gained and AT&T already shut down the service. They mailed to each customer stating their apology for the incident. Some of these customers hold important position in the government and military as well as several officials of NASA, FAA and FCC. There are even some CEOs from large scale multinational organizations. This has brought a whole new meaning to the situation. If the company had lost some of the information of some common people at a random, then it would not have caused such a big furore, but since many of the people who lost their important personal details are high profile people, it is to be investigated to see if there is some sinister plan like a terrorist organization trying to get important information.

FBI handling the case

Any breach of security is a serious crime and when the national security is involved because of the high profile nature of the crime, there needed to be prompt action that was seen to be a deterrent to further attacks. Due to the severity of the crime, the FBI took over the case. According to Katherine Schweit, the spokesperson of FBI, the agency was always aware of these possible intrusions that could occur through the computer and had opened an investigation as soon as there was some inkling of doubt about the actual intrusion. She did not give any details on the possible suspects.

However, it is clear that Goatse Security is the first suspect and FBI will take a closer look on their recent activities as well as keep an eye on the present actions so that they are under their watchful eyes.

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