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NASA Releases First Multi-Player Facebook Game

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WASHINGTON — NASA has launched its first multi-player online game to test players’ knowledge of the space program. Who was the first American to walk in space? Who launched the first liquid-fueled rocket? These are only a few of the questions players can answer in Space Race Blastoff.

Available on Facebook, Space Race Blastoff tests players’ knowledge of NASA history, technology, science and pop culture. Players who correctly answer questions earn virtual badges depicting NASA astronauts, spacecraft and celestial objects. Players also earn points they can use to obtain additional badges to complete sets and earn premium badges.

“Space Race Blastoff opens NASA’s history and research to a wide new audience of people accustomed to using social media,” said David Weaver, NASA’s associate administrator for communications. “Space experts and novices will learn new things about how exploration continues to impact our world.”

NASA chose to make the game available through Facebook to take advantage of the social media site’s large audience and enable players to compete against others. Individuals also can play solo games.

Once in the game, players choose an avatar and answer 10 multiple-choice questions. Each correct answer earns 100 points, with a 20-point bonus to the player who answers first. The winner advances to the bonus round to answer one additional question for more points.
Correctly answering the bonus question earns the player a badge.

Space Race Blastoff was developed by Scott Hanger, Todd Powell and Jamie Noguchi of NASA’s Internet Services Group in the Office of Communications. Play the game now at:



Lego Man in Space

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Lego Man in Space

Lego Man in Space CREDIT: Mathew Ho/YouTube

Two 17 year olds put this Lego man holding the Canadian Flag into the stratosphere. Toronto 17-year-olds Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad put together this project and it is amazing to see the curve of the Earth and the dark of space in the video.

More in the Facebook page Here.

There are several videos of Balloon launches into space but this one has gone Viral.


Most impressive Earth Blue Marble image ever from newest satellite

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VIIRS Blue Marble Image January 2 2012


VIIRS Blue Marble Image taken January 4 2012

Incredible pictures of Earth from new satellite

The newest Earth Observation Satellite,  NASA’s Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) mission took this stunning image on January 4th, 2012. Suomi NPP is a low earth observation satellite which takes images in swathes each time it passes over earth. You can see hi-res images by clicking on image above or click here to see even higher res images with a stunning amount of detail.

This picture represents a composite of passes over the planet as the VIIRS instrument cannot see the entire globe at once. Suomi NPP represents a critical first step in building the next-generation Earth-observing satellite system that will collect data on both long-term climate change and short-term weather conditions.


How to Remove Carrier IQ from phone

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If you think you have the hidden application, known as Carrier IQ, stored on your smart phone you are not alone. There are over 140 million smartphones that could have it right now. This includes Android, Blackberry and iOS devices. Here is Android developer Trevor Eckhart has posted a video in YouTube showing users the application simply logged almost everything performed on the device. Carrier IQ could record everything, including text messages, phone calls and web browsing history. Now you might think this is some sort of virus, (guess it really depends how you define virus), however it is not.

Developers confirmed that the application is not a malware, but a service that can be sold. Carrier IQ states that its purpose is “to make the phones work better.”If however, if the application is recording and sending data, it is considered illegal. This results to an immediate violation of the Wiretap act. Eckhart’s original report has shown that Carrier IQ has been discovered on HTC and Samsung devices, and that CarrierIQ counts Sprint among their domestic carrier clients. AT&T also appears to use Carrier IQ on their devices AT&T states that Carrier IQ is indeed preloaded on the HTC Vivid. Other carriers, including Verizon, Vodafone, and O2 have all denied that they use Carrier IQ on their devices.

If all this makes you worry and you want to know if you have it here are some steps you can take. First you need to see if it is on your device.

Lucky for you it’s fairly simple to find out if your device has the tracking service running on it. All it takes is a quick download of Eckhart’s free Logging Test app (currently in its 7th revision). Once installed, hit ‘CIQ Checks,’ and you’ll know almost immediately whether or not your device is affected. If you find you have it you have a few options to remove it.

1) You can uninstall it with the logging app/ This is straightforward: once you’ve installed the app, pay the $1 for the Pro key upgrade in the Android Market. Once you’ve done that, the option to remove Carrier IQ will be unlocked. However ExtremeTech notes that the process may not always be successful.

2) Flash the ROM. This is a more extreme a solution and requires some bravery, but it has its benefits: since many custom ROMs are based of the of the open-source Android code provided by Google.. On top of that, a good custom ROM can also help give your aging hardware a shot in the arm thanks to software tweaks and features it may not get otherwise. You have to Root the device and this can be daunting for some users.

3) Live with it. This may be an option for some. If you can live with big brother watching the so be it. Let him watch.

Bottom line as with any device there may or may not be tracking software you know about on it..so as they used to say in the old police TV shoes…be careful out there!


Google Page Rank, Not that imporant anymore

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Anyone with a Web site eventually wants their page to be found by Google. If you do a search of the internet you will see a lot of discussion about Google Page Rank and how important it is to being found by Google and getting a good listing by them...You may also have noticed that your pagerank has not changed in a while, or eve gone down...well not to worry. According to Google, page rank has been over rated by the SOE people and it really does not play a major factor in  your web sites position for Google searches. According to the Google web site

"Q: My site's PageRank has gone up / gone down / not changed in months!
Don't worry. In fact, don't bother thinking about it. We only update the PageRank displayed in Google Toolbar a few times a year; this is our respectful hint for you to worry less about PageRank, which is just one of over 200 signals that can affect how your site is crawled, indexed and ranked. PageRank is an easy metric to focus on, but just because it's easy doesn't mean it's useful for you as a site owner. If you're looking for metrics, we'd encourage you to check out Analytics, think about conversion rates, ROI (return on investment), relevancy, or other metrics that actually correlate to meaningful gains for your website or business."

This is in line with the fact that they have even more reason not to worry:

More details on why not to obsess over PageRank here:

You may have also noticed the PageRank distribution feature, once found on the crawl stats section under "Diagnostics," is no longer displayed....It looks like Google is trying to tell Web site owners something. If you are obsessing about your Pagerank...stop..it is just not that important. Make sure you have good content and a quality website and you will be much better off.




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