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NASA app for Apple TV adds live streaming from ISS, on-demand video, 15k photos & more

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Space fans with 4th-gen Apple TVs are in for a treat, as NASA has released its popular app on the platform. It was already available for iOS, Android and Fire OS, but this is the first time you’ve been able to access it directly on your Apple TV.

You get live streaming NASA TV, including a real-time view of the Earth from the International Space Station, as well as on-demand access to over 10,000 NASA videos and more than 15,000 photos, either individually or as a slideshow.

If you want to get more closely involved, the app has that covered too …



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NASA’s Mac (and PC) app lets you join New Horizons spacecraft on its Pluto flypast

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The low bit-rate forced by the extreme distance of the New Horizons spacecraft from Earth means that live video isn’t feasible, but a new Mac and PC app from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers the next best thing. The app provides a simulated view of what New Horizons is doing, and allows you to preview the flypast.

While the view is simulated, it uses realistic data to show you what it would be like to track the spacecraft in real or accelerated time, including a “live” mode to show you what New Horizons is doing right now.

Visit the Eyes on Pluto page to install the helper app, then return to the page and click the Launch button to open it. It opens in live mode, and you can click the Preview button to skip ahead, adjusting the time using the buttons at the bottom of the screen.

Via TNW

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xkcd has fun trying iOS 8 predictive text with famous movie quotes

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My favorite iOS 8 feature is one of the simplest: the uncannily-accurate predictive text functionality, offering not just auto-complete of the current word but trying to predict the next one too.

xkcd cartoonist Randall Munroe decided to have a bit of fun with the feature, typing in the openings of a number of famous movie quotes and seeing how iOS 8 would complete them. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not going to the gym today” is my favorite.

Unlike many of the entries at sites like damnyouautocorrect.com, which are simply made up, all of Munroe’s examples are genuine. The feature does learn from your own vocabulary and phrasing, however, so results may vary.

xkcd is well worth bookmarking by anyone who loves technology and science.

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To see how to get the most from some of the features introduced in iOS 8, check out our ‘How-to’ series:

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A MacBook and a few parts from eBay allow hobbyists to take control of an abandoned NASA spacecraft

team A MacBook, a flatscreen monitor rescued from a dumpster, a few parts bought on eBay and an abandoned McDonalds as a base may seem a reasonable basis for a hobbyist electronics project of some kind – but taking control of an abandoned NASA spacecraft might feel a little ambitious. Not so, says a team of nine geeks who have successfully taken control of ISEE-3, a spacecraft launched by NASA 36 years ago to measure the solar wind and radiation. The story of what has to be a strong candidate for coolest thing ever is told in full in BetaBeat.

The satellite’s battery has been dead for over 20 years, but it had solar panels to power 98 percent of the satellite’s full capabilities. In its heyday, it ran missions around the Moon and Earth, and flew through the tail of a comet. But technology gets old, and everyone happily let the successful satellite go, knowing it would be back in Earth’s orbit someday — namely, 2014.

Since the satellite went offline, the team had retired, the documentation was lost and the equipment was outdated. They could still hear the satellite out there talking, but they’d need to build the equipment to talk back.

They did have a few more expensive requirements, like a helicopter to lift a transmitter into place, but a crowdfunding campaign took care of the costs. There was then the small matter of getting permission from NASA, no doubt helped by one of the team being a former employee.

They brought the idea to NASA, but there was no precedent on which to base an agreement. No external organization has ever taken command of a spacecraft, but NASA didn’t want to say no, so they asked the team if they needed any help.

Astonishingly, they’ve now successfully placed the craft in a new orbit around the sun, and Google has helped them build a website that will be used to share data transmitted back from it – appropriately enough named Spacecraft For All. The full story is well worth a read.

Is this the geekiest-freakiest Halloween costume yet?

I don’t know about you, but this is one freakily awesome Halloween costume. If you have a pair of iPad 2s lying around, you could put them to work and create an illusion of a huge hole in your torso. How? Dead simple, says one Mark Rober, a NASA employee. Just strap one iPad to your front and the other to your back and start a FaceTime chat between them.

The front iPad will display live video feed recorded by the back camera of the device strapped to your back and vice versa. The effect is totally believable, as if someone shot a hole through your body. Spray a little red paint around cutouts in your T-shirt and paint some gruesome flesh parts and you could easily become the star of this year’s Halloween amongst your geek friends.

via Gizmodo



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