25 May 2012

Tech-Stew Podcast E16: Whoa Not So Fast was recorded on Friday May 25th, 2012.

Summary: 

Facebook launches a camera app, Windows 8 booting too fast, Leap Motion control system, Verizon kills grandfathered unlimited plans, SpaceX docks with iss and more.

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25 May 2012

As of 9:56 a.m. EDT (13:56 GMT), the robotic arm of the International Space Station (ISS) successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon capsule.  NASA will be giving a news briefing later this afternoon on the events.  Read on for the full run down as well as a brief history and diagram of ISS as well.  Then at 12:02 p.m. EDT, the capsule successfully docked to the station itself.

24 May 2012

Now that we are discovering hundreds of extrasolar planets, the next logical jump will be to discuss finding ways to reach the star systems of some of those planets, particularly ones that are only a few light years away.  Remotely analyzing these planets with telescopes is great but it may never fully prove whether life exists there or has evolved into sentient beings.  So how do we get to the stars?  The biggest science fiction method, particularly that of Star Trek, has always involved antimatter.

23 May 2012

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Tuesday marked the historic flight of the Falcon 9 rocket and now Friday, assuming passing grades for the Dragon Capsule, the Canadarm2 (Space station robotic arm) will grapple the capsule and dock it with the International Space Station (ISS).  The animation in the video below shows exactly how this will occur.

22 May 2012
The Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from space launch complex 40 at Cape Canaveral in Floriday early Tuesday, May 22, 2012. This is the first time a private company sends its own rocket to deliver supplies on the International Space Station. (CREDIT: AP Photo/John Raoux)

At 3:44 a.m. the unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket basted off from Cape Canaveral Florida with 1300 pounds of food, clothing and science experiments in route to the International Space Station (ISS) making history and opening up a new era in private space travel.   Falcon 9 becomes the first private rocket to deliver supplies to ISS.

21 May 2012

So you want that special car that can do it all.  One that goes fast and can transform into a boat in mere seconds.  The Sea Lion is the car you seek - the world's fastest amphibious "land speed" vehicle and you can buy it for $259,500 (USD).

21 May 2012

There is a new motion control startup in town called Leap Motion.  Leap Motion demoed its Leap 3D motion control system that is capable of tracking motion to about 0.01mm accuracy.  This is 100 times more accurate than Kinect.  Leap creates a 3D space of about four cubic feet.  It consists of a small USB device with sensors and cameras that work in tandem with the company's software to track multiple objects and recognize gestures.  Leap Motion states that their software can be embedded into almost anything with an onboard computer from phones to refrigerators.  Users can also customize their needs with custom gestures and sensitivities as well as chain multiple leap devices to create a larger 3D workspace.

16 May 2012

Verizon has revealed from their communications CFO, Fran Shammo that they will be getting rid of any grandfathered unlimited data plans.  This came from a presentation given by Shammo at the JP Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference.  Yet another anti-consumer move by communications companies.

Shammo said, "Everyone will be on data share," and everyone will be forced onto Verizon's new shared data plans once the upgrade cycle comes.

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