Congratulations NASA on Getting Curiosity to Mars

The clock ticked from midnight all the way through to 1:32am Monday morning as I sat glued to my laptop watching a live stream from the Griffith Observatory in California where a packed crowd gathered to watch the suspensful conclusion to the long journey of the Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover.  I would have loved to be in the control center as the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and world witnessed a part of history.  I love space and always have ever since I was a kid.  I am an engineer at heart and can appreciate the complicated series of events that had to take place in order for this to work out the way it did.  I have since watched all of the press conferences and I like how everybody is open to explaining where things stand.  This is all uncharted territory and nobody can fully predict what’s to come. I wish I knew somebody so I could get an inside look at the operations. 🙂 

I’m now ready for even more exciting things to come and seeing  the highly anticipated high definition images / videos when they finally beam their way back here to Earth.  Curiosity is bound to turn into amazement.

My Name Landed in a Delco Times Article

My name landed in the paper for the first time in a while since I was a kid throwing snowballs at my brother. A story relating to a major widespread outage of Comcast TV/Internet services throughout Delaware County had contributions by me.  I was contacted by a reporter regarding the outage and how it impacted the services of the email/web related services with regards to Vazoom (www.vazoom.com)
Comcast you still rock!

http://delcotimes.com/articles/2012/04/18/news/doc4f8e26c2cf89c830961629.txt?viewmode=fullstory

 

Venus and Jupiter Appearing Near One Another

Gazing into the night sky reminds me of the neat space illustration books I had when I was a kid. I believe one of my first ideas on what I wanted to be when I got older was an astronaut.  I loved my toy space shuttles.  Last night I peeked up into the sky for the second night in a row and viewed Jupiter and Venus.

 

There is a great program called Google Sky Map that you can download to your smart phone which acts as your binoculars into spectacular views of stars and planets surrounding our world. Simply install the program and point your device up as if it were your eyes and you will be amazed at how accurate it is.

 

Jupiter and Venus appear to be in close proximity to one another once every 24 years according to Space.com. The last time they appeared this close in view to use was in 1988. The graphic below from Solar System Live gives an idea of how we are view the two planets from our standpoint.

 

Solar System March 15, 2012

Using the Google Sky Map program while pointed toward Venus and Jupiter with my phone, I snapped a screen shot image from my Android. Pretty neat!

 

My Screen Capture Using Google Sky Map of Venus and Jupiter on March 14, 2012
I also snapped a very low quality pic from March 14, 2012 looking up at the two planets.

 

Low Quality View From Camera Phone

First Post of 2012

Hey everyone! I realize have been neglecting the site however I am in the process of posting a bunch of items related to projects on the house. I actually just updated the About section a bit. Any section that I touch will come up in the Recently Updated section shown on the homepage of the site. There have been many projects since my last postings where a new paver walkway was installed.
Some of the projects include:

  • New Decorative Border Along Front Walkway Front Yard Areas
  • Planting New Bushes and Shrubs
  • Laying Concrete Foundation for new Stone Veneer Decorative Columns at Entrance
  • Installation of New Fence in Backround and Removal of Stumps
  • T-Mobile Tethering for $15 Android Workaround

    If you happen to have one of the new Android phones such as the HTC Amaze or even the Samsung Galaxy SII which happens to be my new phone 🙂 .. you may be surprised to find that even though you pay for a “unlimited data” package of either 2GB or even 5GB with massive throttling of under 56K modem speeds thereafter you won’t be allowed to make your phone a wireless hotspot without adding a $15 package on top of your existing plan.  But before you upgraded from your other Android phone you were ok.  Don’t cry just yet or get angry even though you feel being billed twice for something you already pay for seems a bit unfair….there are plenty others who feel the same frustration.

    So how do they know that you are attempting to use a computer as opposed to your phone to conduct Internet functions you might ask?

    One way is due in part to a custom application running within the Android OS called TetheringManager which monitors the status of the this hotspot functionality on the phone itself.  A detailed look into the application package content show references to AT&T and Tmobile’s online splash notification pages.

    …TetheringManagerService$ShowNotificationDialogATT  ….

    …TetheringManagerServic$eShowNotificationDialogTMOBILE …

    This  results in an unsubscribed user being redirected to the splash screen shown below (Tmobile example).

    It’s quite simple to get around this obstacle and it involves first rooting your phone or gaining higher priviledges which voids your warranty however opens up a world of possibilities for backing up your applications and doing lots of other tweaking nerdiness.

    The process of getting root access is very easy and a simple search for your phone type and the word root access will typically yield good directions.
    Once root access is obtained download a quick program like System Tuner from the Google Marketplace.  (System Tuner requires you to turn on USB Debugging which is found under SETTINGS > APPLICATIONS > DEVELOPMENT)

    Once you open System Tuner click System Apps located at the top and scroll down until you find TETHERINGMANAGER.  Click it and then select Freeze located at the bottom.  You should now be in business and able to browse the web without being asked to add on a package. This may violate the terms of your agreement with T-Mobile so user beware.  Don’t abuse the use of it and pay your bills on time! 🙂

     

    Earthquake 8/23/2011. Cell Phones Down

    An earthquake which just occurred outside of Richmond, VA is being told to be a magnitude 5.9 5.8.  I was sitting in a lunch room with a couple of coworkers here in King of Prussia, PA when all of a sudden the floor started shaking.  My initial thought was that a large truck had driven on by.

    Cell phone service is currently down at least with my carrier T-Mobile.  A few minutes ago I completely received no bars and my phone now states that it is January 5, 1980 at 7:24 PM.  See picture below!

    No Service and Wrong Time After Earthquake 8-23-2011

    I had a co-worker take a picture of my phone.  That’s kind of funny.  If aliens are invading the planet your cell phone will do no good. Run!!