The ISS, or International Space Station, is very easy to see from the surface of the Earth using just the Mark I Eyeball, providing you know where to look, and depending on whether or not you will have clear sky’s for viewing. There are a number of resources available for knowing where to look; the one embedded here is from the folks at SatFlare, who do a great job with online satellite and flare tracking. Another favorite is the one at I.S.S. Tracker, and of course Heavens-Above has a 2D tracker, the 3D tracker I linked here, and an app you can download to your phone or tablet. I rather enjoy watching the ISS hurtling overhead, knowing that someone might be looking back at us; you should try it sometime and see if you don’t agree.
SIGGRAPH is going on right now, from August 9th to the 13th, and many of us are missing it. Here are a few videos explaining a couple of the tracks. While it isn’t as good as being there, a number of these individual programs will hopefully be captured and uploaded to their official SIGGRAPH You Tube Channel soon. While we wait for that, enjoy these teasers.
The AnimeUSA con this past weekend was a lot of fun, even though the folks organizing it waited until the week before to announce the full schedule. They also abandoned the Guidebook app in favor of something I could not get to work on my iPad or iPod Touch, any of my Android tablets including my Nook (which will actually run the 3D graphical app for Second Life), or any of my computers. Because of some strange formatting that apparently required software to display it properly that I didn’t have, the PDF version of the schedule only allowed you to see what was scheduled on Thursday. I ended up having to track down the printer-friendly version of the schedule on their web site, print it out, and mark the things I wanted to attend with a Sharpie; how 20th century! It didn’t really matter, since the people who were doing all the different parts of the program worked their butts off to make sure their portion was done properly. Bottom line, a good time was had by all, thanks to the individual contributors and the wonderful attitude all the attendees carried with them everywhere they went. This matches the original concept for the event; BY Otaku, FOR Otaku. Most of the professional level guests were from Japan or the Left Coast companies who bring their Anime/Manga products our way. I loved the panels the Voice Actors put on, with the Inside The Voice Actors Studio segment perhaps being my favorite. The Cosplayers were fully represented and owned the hallways, and the panels I managed to attend were excellent, both Fan and Pro run.
I tried to take notes at the various panels, but was usually too busy enjoying them to remember to do so. Perhaps I can remember enough about some of them to post a few notes here. There was so much going on that most hours I had to pick between 3 to 6 things I wanted to attend that were scheduled at the same time. For those wondering, that is me in the picture taken at the con, holding up the sign for next year’s event, and wearing my Planet Tokyo shirt. Note that the shirt does not refer to the Puffy AmiYumi song, but to the radio show by Willow Leafstorm on Krypton Radio, Sci-Fi for your Wi-Fi.
Daisuki is an online streaming service created by a consortium of Japanese Anime companies. Some of the titles they are streaming this season include Sword Art Online II, the Irregular at Magic High School, and M3 the Dark Metal. It has taken them almost a year, but finally the first Daisuki App is available for the iPad or iPhone (word is they will have an Android version available soon). Unlike many of the premium streaming services, you don’t actually need a paid account to get to watch programs from them. You will still be limited to their free programs, or the first few free episodes from some of their paid programs, of course. But you only need a free registration from their web site to use their app, which puts them head and shoulders above most such applications, which require a paid subscription. And since even the free registration log in to their app allows you to stream a ton of videos not available anywhere else, you can’t really go wrong by signing up for this.
GParted is a world class rescue and partitioning tool that will allow you to save your old computer operating system, and failing that will allow you to export the files off of your old hard drive and back them up to external media. It may not be as intuitive as a lot of other Linux builds, requiring you to go through a bit of a learning curve before you can use it, but trust me when I say it is well worth the time and effort spent to get there. And since it is a Live Disc application, you never need to install it to a hard drive. Download it, copy it out to any media type your computer knows how to boot from, and run it from there. Myself, I have almost never used it to partition a hard drive, because I so rarely do that. But rescue files off a corrupt disc, external drive, or memory stick? That I do pretty much every day, and this is one of the better tools in my arsenal for that task. Try it out and see if you don’t find it useful as well.
It started out as a project to patch Android so you could run the open source operating system on netbooks and laggy tablets. They still have a long way to go before they have a run-anywhere version, but Release Candidate 1 of Android x86 shows some promise. With this build, you should be able to run Android on any computer, quite an improvement over having it stuck on your smart phone. Once they get the bugs out of it, it ought to be a lot of fun to be able to run all of those apps on your desktop.