Cosmic ordering app for iPhone

21 09 2009

During my daily trawl of the technology, lifestyle and fashion pages of the online newspapers, I worringly came across an article in today’s Daily Mail Science and Technology section with the headline “Noel Edmonds launches ‘cosmic ordering’ app for iPhone users to call on the universe for help.”

Surely, no rational person would believe an iPhone app has any kind of spiritual or religious power and even more worringly, the brainbox behind the idea is Noel Edmonds, famed for catapulting Mr Blobby onto UK Television screens, say no more!

Read full article





One giant leap for Twitter

13 05 2009

Source: Daily Mail

Hubble astronaut sends first ever Twitter message from space to say he is ‘enjoying the view’

A Nasa astronaut has become the first person to use Twitter in space, during a mission to fix the Hubble telescope.

The free social networking and micro-blogging website allows users to send and read other user’s updates.

It has already proved enormously popular particularly with celebrities who keep their fans up to speed on their latest movements.

Mission specialist Mike Massimino has been updating his 242,000 followers on preparations for the Hubble mission since April 3rd.

Today he tweeted: ‘From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!’

He plans to continue ‘tweeting’  under his Twitter name Astro_Mike while the shuttle is in orbit.

In his final tweet on Earth he wrote: ‘I’m going to put my spacesuit on, next stop: Earth Orbit!!’

Nasa has not placed any limits on what Mr Massimino can tweet about.  The messages or ‘tweets’ can only be up to 140 characters in length, but such brevity will suit the veteran spacewalker who will be busy upgrading the orbiting telescope.

He emails his messages to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, who then upload them to his Twitter page.

The mission includes five risky spacewalks and has been labelled Nasa’s ‘most dangerous shuttle mission’ due to the large amount of space junk in orbit close to where they will be operating.

There is even a back-up rescue crew on standby should events take a turn for the worse.

Despite this, Mr Massimino has remained upbeat about his upcoming stint in space.

‘Viewing the Earth from space is the most beautiful sight, words cannot describe the experience, can’t wait to see that sight again!’ he wrote recently.

Hubble astronaut Twitters from space

Hubble astronaut Twitters from space

This won’t be Mike’s first mission into space. He took part in the last Hubble telescope servicing mission in 2002 and completed two space walks totaling nearly 15 hours during the ten-day visit.

Over the last five weeks he has revealed what it is like training for a flight.

‘Completed our final practice for spacewalk 2 in the big pool, huge IMAX camera was in the pool with us filming a 3D movie, really fun day,’ he wrote on April 17th.

Other tasks included attending a space photography class to learn how to take memorable snaps as well as practicing inspections of the space shuttle with the robot arm.

In the final days before launch he and his fellow six astronauts carried out last minute preparations and enjoyed meals with their friends and family in quarantine.

You can follow Mr Massimino’s on Twitter at www.twitter.com/astro_mike





Twittering and watching YouTube videos ‘makes workers more productive’

14 04 2009

A report by the Daily Mail revealed an Australian study found surfing the internet for fun during office hours actually increased employees productivity by nine per cent.

Study author Mr Coker said surfing the net helps workers to rest their brains
Study author Brent Coker, from the University of Melbourne said ‘workplace internet leisure browsing,’ or WILB (Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing), helped to sharpen workers’ concentration.

‘People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration,’ he said.
‘Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days’ work, and as a result, increased productivity.’

According to the study of 300 workers, 70 per cent of people who go online at work engage in WILB. Among the most popular activities are reading online news website, playing online games and watching videos on YouTube.

‘Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from watching videos, using social networking sites or shopping online under the pretence that it costs millions in lost productivity,’ said Mr Coker.

‘That’s not always the case.’

However, Coker said the study looked at people who browsed in moderation, or were online for less than 20 per cent of their total time in the office.

‘Those who behave with Internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without,’ he said.