Archive for the ‘Around the Blogs’ Category

DIY Friday: KickSat Deployment

Friday, May 9th, 2014

KickSat follow-up:

Regular updates as well as more background information are available on the project’s Kickstarter page. As an open source project, all of our code and design files are freely available. The primary source for technical information on the KickSat project is the project wiki. Academic publications are listed on our research group’s website.


Internet Killed the Satellite Star

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The trends are pointing in favor of the cord-cutters.

Even BSkyB, the pay-tv service that put Astra on the map, is itself moving away from using satellite technology.

The Telegraph published an excellent report, which could be the slow de-orbiting of the satellite business…

BSkyB is preparing a major overhaul of its set-top box technology to address the threat to its subscription business from internet-based television services from American giants such as Amazon, Apple and Google.

A special unit has been set up within the company under the name “Project Ethan” to develop an entirely new system that will aim to make it easier for customers to access programmes on any device, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

For instance, Project Ethan is understood to include plans for television recorded using the Sky+ service to be stored in a central data centre rather than on set-top box hard disks. The recordings in “the cloud” will be accessible via smartphones and tablets, or on internet-connected televisions outside the living room.

For both recorded and on-demand video, the new software will make it possible for viewers pause on their main television and then pick up where they left off on another device, and vice-versa. Sources said BSkyB, which formerly referred to the investment as “Project 2016,” could roll out the system to millions of customers as soon as two years from now.

The multi-screen technology would also allow BSkyB to extend the reach and sophistication of its recently-launched targeted advertising service. In one possible scenario, retailers could target viewers in a given postcode on their sofa then follow up with a special offer delivered to their smartphone via the Sky app.

Almost sounds like the IP-PRIME service that SES killed back in 2009.

I Got Negative Aura — What Color is Your Aura?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014


Change The Mascot

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Great message. Of course it never ran during the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, idiots criticized the Coke spot.

No Comment

Friday, January 24th, 2014

From Ukraine, Russain FSB dressed as riot police in Kyiv.

DIY Friday: ArduSat To Go

Friday, November 1st, 2013


From NanoSatisfi, a way to conduct your own in-orbit experiments…

Space has never been closer, which brings with it innumerable possibilities. And these are just a few of the things that we think are pretty neat about it:

1) Affordability. NanoSatisfi is driving down the cost to build, launch and maintain satellites in space—it’s a rocket scientist thing, no big deal. The important part is that it means we can offer access to space, and all of the possibilities therein, at a cost that won’t break anyone’s piggy bank.

2) Simplicity. Space is more than a playground for rocket scientists and astrophysicists—NanoSatisfi is building technology to make exploring and interfacing with space accessible for everyone, starting with ArduSat.

3) Creativity. We’re empowering tomorrow’s explorers with ArduSat, the world’s first open space platform. Whether it’s a dream to map every river of the world, or an aspiration to build the first live-action version of space Invaders the game, we are making the tools available.

And to think it all started with a successful Kickstarter campaign.


Satellite of Love

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Satellite’s gone
up to the skies
Thing like that drive me
out of my mind

I watched it for a little while
I like to watch things on TV

Satellite of love
satellite of love
Satellite of love
satellite of

Satellite’s gone
way up to Mars
Soon it will be filled
with parking cars

I watch it for a little while
I love to watch things on TV

Satellite of love
satellite of love
Satellite of love
satellite of

I’ve been told that you’ve been bold
with Harry, Mark and John
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to Thursday
with Harry, Mark and John

Satellite’s gone
up to the skies
Thing like that drive me
out of my mind

I watched it for a little while
I love to watch things on TV

Satellite of love
satellite of love
Satellite of love
satellite of

Satellite of love
Satellite of love
Satellite of love
Satellite of love
Satellite of love
Satellite of love

DIY Friday: Frankenstein Bulbs

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Via Instructables

Step 1.) Remove The Tab on the light Bulb
Step 2.) Break the insulation layer (black part)
Step 3.) Break the fialament and pulling it out
Step 4.) Add Water to wash it out if white (if clear skip step)
Step 5.) Add Gel i ended up using a different gel i used a garage door lubricate instead of the hand sanitizer
Step 6.) Add Padding to bottom of box
Step 7.) Make an outline of the cut your about to do to fit the light bulbs in
Step 8.) Cut out the holes made with 7/8 bit
Step 9.) Wire the leds two both battery terminals and the switch Refer To This Diagram ——–>
Step 10.) Glue together and Turn On And Enjoy

Bohemian Gravity

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

This is awesome. McGill University Masters candidate Timothy Blaise produced this video to accompany his thesis.

The lyrics…

Is string theory right?
Is it just fantasy?
Caught in the landscape,
Out of touch with reality
On S5 or T*S3

Space is a pure void
Why should it be stringy?
Because it’s quantum not classical
Any way you quantize
You’ll encounter infinity
You see

Must interact
Via paths we understand
Using Feynman diagrams
Often, they will just rebound
But now and then they go another way
A quantum
Infinities will make you cry
Unless you can renormalize your model
Of baryons, fermions
And all other states of matter

Curved space:
The graviton
Can be thought of as a field
But these infinities are real
In a many-body
Loop diagram
Our results diverge no matter what we do…
A Quantum Soup (any way you quantize)
Kiss your fields goodbye
Guess Einstein’s theory wasn’t complete at all!

I see extended 1-D objects with no mass
What’s their use? What’s their use? Can they give us quark plasma?
What to minimize?
What functional describes this
Nambu-Goto! (Nambu-Goto)
Nambu-Goto! (Nambu-Goto)
How to quantize I don’t know
I’m just a worldsheet, please minimize me
He’s just a worldsheet from a string theory
Reperametrized by a Weyl symmetry!

Fermi, Bose, open, closed, orientable?
Modes! They become particles (particles!)
They become particles (particles!)
They become particles (particles!)
Become particles (particles!)
Become particles (many many many many particle…)
Modes modes modes modes modes modes modes!
Oh mamma mia mamma mia,
Such a sea of particles!
A tachyon, with a dilaton and gravity-vity-VITY

(rock out!)

Now we need ten dimensions and I’ll tell you why
(anomaly cancellation!)
So to get down to 4D we compactify!
Oh, Kahler!
(Kahler manifold)
Manifolds must be Kahler!
(Complex Reimannian symplectic form)
If we wanna preserve
Any of our super-symmetry

(Superstrings of type I, IIa and IIb)
(Heterotic O and Heterotic E)
(All are one through S and T duality)
(Thank you Ed Witten for that superstring revolution and your new M-theory!)

(Type IIB String!)
Dual! Dual!
(In the AdS/CFT)

Molecules and atoms
Light and energy
Time and space and matter
All from one united

Any way you quantize…

Lyrics and arrangement by Tim Blais and A Capella Science
Original music by Queen

All Fracked Up and No Place to Go

Friday, September 6th, 2013
bakken frackin

SkyTruth’s view of the Bakken from space. The red stuff at the upper left is rig lighting and flaring from oil and gas drillers working the Bakken Shale. The bright area on the right is the city of Minneapolis.

The folks over at SkyTruth are doing a really good job, using existing observation spacecraft and they’re ready to send up a balloon to document what other ways frackers are polluting.

I missed this coverage over the summer…

Thanks to that and lots of other people, they’ve met their funding goal on indiegogo. The project…

SkyTruth is teaming up with Space for All  for a skytruthing mission over the massive Bakken shale oil and gas fields in western North Dakota.  We’re planning to launch a sensor package from the ground to the edge of space tethered to a high altitude balloon rig, courtesy of Space for All.  We will combine on the ground observations with detections from the balloon rig and measurements we are making from space to measure the amount of natural gas flaring there.  This will help us test the accuracy of our satellite-based flaring detections so we can do a better job of monitoring and reporting on the amount of environmentally damaging (and unnecessary and wasteful) flaringthat happens in the Bakken and elsewhere in the world.  The more good data we can collect on when, where, and how much, the more we can help groups that are working to reduce and eliminate it. This is what we mean by skytruthing – using remote sensing and mapping to understand and change the world.

Read more about the Bakken and oil shale fracking in this great piece by National Geographic: The New Oil Landscape


Watch their video pitch…

Hat tip to Motherboard.