Archive for January, 2011

Videoscape Via Satellite?

Thursday, January 6th, 2011


The vision that was IP-PRIME is now being preached by none other than Cisco. Is it real or just a dream at CES? Everything you want in video and communications. Delivered everywhere, any time.

What the Internet did to the telephone? Dude.

The details…

For consumers, Videoscape delivers:

  • Immersive experiences. Access to vast entertainment content sources, including broadcast channels, pay TV and the Web, integrating the Internet, social media, communications and mobility. The result is an experience that offers:
    • Ease of use. Videoscape provides easier access from multiple devices to content from multiple sources.
    • More entertainment possibilities on-screen, as content is delivered from a greater range of sources, including broadcast channels, on-demand TV, DVR and the Web.
    • More social and interactive features that integrate popular social networking websites and Cisco Telepresence video conferencing technology to allow you to show, share and engage with others through the TV.
    • More choices for content on the go, enabling consumers to take their TV experiences with them, viewing multiple forms of content over a wide range of mobile devices and smart phones.
  • Cisco quality-of-experience. Videoscape has network intelligence built in to enhance Internet video on the TV and to deliver the premium quality necessary for a higher-resolution experience instead of "best-effort" quality.

For service providers, Videoscape offers:

  • Expanded business models. Videoscape differentiates service provider video offerings from the competition and extends service opportunities for revenue generation. New models could include capabilities such as application delivery, home Telepresence, in-video e-commerce and more.
  • Extended service reach. Videoscape enables service providers to monetize activities outside their own network or traditional device footprints. For example, a service provider can offer a branded and personalized experience to its customers, regardless of their location or method of accessing content.

Enhance Internet video? Forget it, Mr. Phelps. That’s just impossible.




Lego Antikythera Mechanism

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011


 Think you can build cool things in Lego? Ha!

Apple engineer Andrew Carol just wrecked your thinking. He built a working Lego replica of the famous Antikythera Mechanism, created by ancient Greeks in 100 B.C. as a way of predicting astronomical events like eclipses, and probably the oldest known analog computer.

My machine uses about 110 gears, and 7 complete differentials, to do most of what the original one did. But their calendar and ours are completely incompatible, so I also had to add complexity to make the eclipse predictions understandable. My machine has two extra indicators: one for the decade and one for the year. That way, as you turn the crank on the machine, you can read the dials and say "OK, a solar eclipse will happen in April of 2024."


New Scientist reported on a recreation a couple of years ago. Here’s that video…

G15: “I’m Back!”

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Via Intelsat’s Galaxy-15 update


On 23 December, the power from the Galaxy 15 battery completely drained during its loss of earth lock and the Baseband Equipment (BBE) command unit reset, as it was designed to do. Shortly thereafter Galaxy 15 began accepting commands and Intelsat engineers began receiving telemetry in our Satellite Operations center. We have placed Galaxy 15 in safe mode, and at this time, we are pleased to report it no longer poses any threat of satellite interference to either neighboring satellites or customer services.

After completing initial diagnostic tests, we will load updated commanding software to the satellite. We expect to relocate the satellite to an Intelsat orbital location where engineers at our Satellite Operations Control Center will initiate extensive in-orbit testing to determine the functionality of every aspect of the spacecraft.

 An insurance claim wasn’t filed, so no messy accounting to look after.


Korean & Spanish Rocket Scientists: A Happy Lot

Monday, January 3rd, 2011


Last week’s on-target Ariane 5 launch occurred at sunset in French Guiana, providing an excellent view of the vehicle’s ascent – including the separation of its two solid boosters at an altitude of some 67 km., and the payload fairing’s jettisoning at 106 km.    Estimated orbital parameters at the injection of its cryogenic upper stage:
– Perigee: 249.4 km. for a target of 249.4 km.
– Apogee: 35,922 km. for a target of 35,907 km.
– Inclination:  2.99 deg. for a target of 3.00 deg.