“This country was conquered by those who moved forward.” – John F. Kennedy
With just four NASA Space Shuttle launches remaining, there is little time to waste to witness the remaining launches with your kids and grandkids and be part of the greatest adventure mankind has ever embarked upon.
Watch President John F. Kennedy’s historic speech explaining why our nation made the commitment to go to the moon. Watch what the last man to walk on the moon thinks of President Obama’s decision to discontinue America’s prominence in space.
First you say you do, and then you don’t
Eye in the sky
How would you like to have a bird’s eye view of Space Shuttle Endeavour’s undocking from the International Space Station? Be sure to click the zoom button in the lower right corner to watch the Shuttle separate from the ISS. Move your cursor over the Space Station and Shuttle and a window pops up telling you which astronauts are on board. You can also watch the detachment on NASA TV online.
Star light, star bright!
Host a star watcher party for your friends or Boy Scout troop! Here’s a worldwide shuttle viewing schedule, so that no matter where you are, you can watch the Shuttle/ISS pass over your piece of the Earth.
See where the Shuttle/ISS are now with this NASA tracker. Get daily mission updates and news here. Endeavour is scheduled to land after a 14-day mission at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at 10:16 p.m. EST, Sunday, Feb. 21.
A sign of the times?
Iran blocks Gmail, Google confirms.
Iran says it’s cutting off Google’s Gmail to boost local development of Internet technology and to build trust between people and the government. But a founder of an Internet security firm says just the opposite.
“The primary purpose for doing this is to control communication and mine that communication, so the government can crack down on dissenters and people who threaten the government,” said Richard Stiennon, founder of Internet security firm IT-Harvest, based in Birmingham, Mich.
“If the government can induce the population to use a state-controlled e-mail service, it would have access to the content of all of those e-mails,” he added.
Vancouver 2010 online
Now you don’t have to miss a moment of the month-long 2010 Winter Olympics. Catch it online. This is arguably the most comprehensive compilation of video highlights, pictures, scores, medal counts and news from the Olympics ever assembled. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Yahoo Sports, NBC Olympics, Google, iPhone apps – it’s all here.
Marketers watch Olympics, too
In my Feb. 1 Surfin’ Safari column, I wrote that integrated marketing services provider Alterian did a study on social media and found that marketers are embracing social media in a big way. To prove the point, Olympic sponsors have allocated a sizeable portion of their ad dollars to online social media. VISA, Coke, McDonald’s and GE are targeting what’s referred to as “Vancouver Olympics: The Social Games.”
“More consumer eyeballs will be on computer and mobile phone screens during the Winter Olympics than on TV screens,” writes Bruce Horovitz at USA Today.
“Coca-Cola says that while 100 million saw its Super Bowl ads air once, online interactions with the ads now number more than 500 million. The Olympics will be no different,” he continues.
Coming in at No. 1 of the top ten biggest advertising publishers on the Web is Yahoo.
The “BUZZ” over privacy at Google
A new social or micro-blogging feature is all the buzz this week. Introduced by Google as the latest feature in its Gmail, Buzz enables you to post Twitter-like status updates and Facebook-like postings that will be instantly distributed to your followers.
A rolling Wi-Fi cafe
How cool is this? Students in Vail, Ariz., riding it call it the Internet bus because it is outfitted with Wi-Fi capability. No more horseplay or other behavioral problems because the students on this school bus are busy typing away on their computers during the trip to and from school. This rolling study hall is mounted with an Internet router and is part of a wider effort to use technology to extend learning beyond classroom walls and the six-hour school day.
The company marketing the router, Autonet Mobile, says it has sold them to schools or districts in Florida, Missouri and Washington, D.C.
Meeting your match
Online dating is apparently nothing to smile about. Women: Drop the sexy glamour shots. Men: Forget the smile. If you want to find mating match-up success online, do what these statistics geeks recommend.
Look for love in all the right faces. OKCupid, a company founded by four Harvard mathematicians in 2004, catalogued the photos on more than 7,000 user profiles and looked at how many responses those users received. It found, among other things, that it didn’t matter whether people showed their faces, as long as the photos were intriguing enough to start a conversation.
“If you want worthwhile messages in your inbox, the value of being conversation-worthy, as opposed to merely sexy, cannot be overstated,” says Christian Rudder, OkCupid founder.
Chirp! Chirp! Birds on a wire
Twitter’s Chirp Conference is selling out fast. It’s a developer’s heaven for application geeks who want to grow Twitter’s capabilities.
Twitter’s Chirp Conference (really, that’s what it’s called!) is attracting hundreds of developers to its first annual conference April 14 and 15 in San Francisco. The price isn’t cheep cheep at $469. Demand is so great, tickets are selling out within hours, and are being time-released in three batches.
“Everyone is excited about getting the ecosystem’s top developers in the same room as Twitter’s leadership and technical staff for the first time,” reads Twitter’s official statement on the conference.
Faster than the speed of light
Google, seemingly, is taking over the world, at least in the realm of communications. Now the Internet giant is getting into the broadband business.
With its network of “dark” fiber around the world, Google notes on its blogsite: “We’re planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.”
The service will compete pricewise with existing cable and telephone broadband services, but will be much faster. And a major city in Google competitor Microsoft’s backyard says “bring it on”.
Sometimes it feels like somebody’s watching me
Feds tracking your cell phone? It’s a critical question for the times in which we live. How much privacy do we really have? Do you want the government to know where you are anywhere in the real world or online?
The Obama administration says warrantless tracking of our cell phones is permitted because Americans enjoy no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in our cell phones’ whereabouts. Obama’s hand-picked Department of Justice maintains that a cell phone customer’s Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals its records to the government showing where a mobile device placed and received calls.
Not so, say the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, who last week presented oral arguments (PDF) before the U.S. Third District Court of Appeals that Americans’ privacy deserves more protection and judicial oversight than what the administration has proposed. Cell phones can be tracked by the signal emitted between the phone and transmitting towers.
Table for … two million, please. Dinner tonight, where shall we go? Simple solution. Pull out your personal device and check OpenTable, the online service that lets you find and book reservations at more than 11,000 different restaurants in several countries via mobile applications for the iPhone, Palm, Android and Blackberry. Other smartphone users can book reservations through OpenTable’s mobile-optimized website.
This rapidly growing service has in less than six months, seated an additional one million diners via its mobile apps. In late October, OpenTable had seated one million diners with its mobile offerings, just one year after its iPhone app launched. Based on an estimated $50 average check per diner, OpenTable claims that diners using its mobile applications have generated more than $100 million in revenue for its restaurant partners.
Weather when you want it
Weather Underground for weather on demand is one of my personal go-to sites for weather checking. Weather at your fingertips.
A look back in time at a very historic week
1965 – Malcolm X assassinated.
1972 – Nixon arrives in China.
Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.
Congratulations to WorldNetDaily readers Rebecca H. of Douglasville, Ga., and Seymour B. of Fargo, N.D., who correctly identified last week’s movie “The Usual Suspects” and both lines from that movie:
“I’m telling you this guy is protected from up on high by the Prince of Darkness.” – Jeff Rabin, played by Dan Hedaya.
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” – Verbal, played by Kevin Spacey.
This week’s movie feature presentation presents the following line: “Listen, I’m a politician, which means I’m a cheat and a liar, and when I’m not kissing babies I’m stealing their lollipops. But it also means I keep my options open.”
Name the movie, the actor and the character who said the line. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!