My office today is a bar overlooking the historic Taos plaza in New Mexico and my Internet access comes courtesy of tethered Verizon 3G (don't tell!) service. That's all because my normal ISP has been out of commission since early this morning thanks to a major satellite malfunction that's also impacting all sorts of services, from ATMs to flights in Canada's northern territories.
Hyundai bails on EVs, satellite radio just got more expensive, when is it cheaper to fly? (there's an app for that), and we drive the new (but maybe not new enough) Honda Civic Hybrid.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 234 SHOW NOTES
We're generally skeptical of any video of strange lights in the sky, but this one is worth a gander. A family in Okotoks, Alberta--a suburb of Calgary--believes they caught footage of the fiery death spasms of NASA's UARS satellite, parts of which returned to earth early Saturday morning after two decades in orbit.
We can't confirm this video actually shows UARS' final descent. It's certainly out of the ordinary, but it's also not consistent with reports that the satellite likely fell in the Pacific Ocean before reaching Canada. NASA says that other amateur satellite watchers … Read more
Dish and Blockbuster announce their Netflix-killing movie delivery and streaming plan, but it's kind of a letdown unless you're a really happy Dish subscriber. HP puts Meg Whitman in charge and boots Leo Apotheker, which no one seems all that happy about except maybe HP's wildly dysfunctional board. The entire foundation of the world and physics is rocked by the possibility of particles that can travel faster than light, but mostly, you just wish we could go back in time and un-announce that the show's going weekly. Hey, but bonus show Monday! See you then!Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
The satellite that once confirmed the existence of a hole in the ozone layer is now tearing a new path across the sky in a final fiery descent back to Earth, and there's a chance it could hit you upside the head.
OK, so the chance that you'll get smacked with space junk this week is only about 1 in 20 trillion, but why risk it? You can track the Thelma and Louise-style ending of the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite--or UARS for short--on your Android phone or tablet with an app called Satellite AR.
AGI--makers of the augmented reality app that also has the nifty ability to tell you what satellites are currently passing overhead by simply pointing your phone's camera at the sky--have added a temporary button to the app's menu to easily keep track of UARS' demise.
While the odds that you, specifically, will wind up in an involuntary boxing match with UARS are in the trillions, the chance that someone on Earth will be hit by a piece of the satellite is about 1 in 3,200--that's lower than the acceptable threshold of 1 in 10,000 that NASA adopted after UARS was launched.Related story Heads up! NASA satellite descends toward fiery doom… Read more
Watch our for a falling satellite on Friday, AT&T launches its 4G LTE network in five markets, and Netflix splits itself into a streaming video company with the same name and a DVD-by-mail service called Qwikster.
Links from Monday's episode of Loaded:Netflix spins off DVD-based Qwikster AT&T launches its 4G LTE network Facebook to share media The sky is falling Google Wallet coming today Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (HD) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS HD
Happy birthday to the emoticon, invented 29 years ago today on a computer-science bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University. Thanks for making parents around the world feel tech-savvy. :)
Before we get into the important Netflix news of of the day, Jeff tells us about his weekend experience at "Sleep No More," an interactive theater experience in New York that's loosely based on the Macbeth story--with a creepy twist. The plot plays out in various acts throughout a three-story abandoned warehouse in Chelsea, so tune in to hear more spoiler-free details and reserve your tickets here!
Next we'll get into the Netflix mea culpa delivered by e-mail and blog post this morning that's giving current Netflix subscribers even more reasons to moan about the recent price hike.
CEO Reed Hastings announced that the company will soon split in two, with the name of the DVD mail rental service changing to Qwikster (not to be confused with Quixtar, QuickStar, Kwikster, Quickster, or Quik-Star), while the video-streaming arm will retain the Netflix name and Web address.
We'll also talk today about a satellite plunging from space, a group of scientists that are poaching PS3 gamers to help find a cure for AIDS, and the last single-space parking meter disappearing in Manhattan today.The 404 Digest for Episode 906 The emoticon was invented 29 years ago today. Netflix CEO: " I slid into arrogance." PS3 users are helping to find a cure for AIDS. A satellite loosely based on "Donnie Darko" is coming to Earth. World's largest sperm bank refusing donations from redheads. Iguana Fart. Episode 906 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Underneath the seemingly predictable veneer of the 14-inch Toshiba Satellite P745D-S4240 are two new stories, albeit ones that might not interest the average person much. The Satellite P series is a new laptop line for Toshiba, although you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between it and the M, A, and L series of Satellite laptops (the P replaces the M and A). Under the hood is a quad-core AMD A6 processor, part of a new line of budget-targeted AMD Vision A-series APUs that include better-than-Intel-integrated graphics to accompany mainstream processing power.… Read more
Sirius XM plans to unveil two next-generation satellite radio tuners next month. The portable devices will give subscribers access to 30 new stations, enhanced time-shifting capability, and a slew of on-demand programming, but unless you plan on taping the new radio to your dash, you can't get these new features in your car until next year.
According to an article in Twice, a universal tuner designed to be installed in vehicles won't be released until some time in 2012. The entertainment company has also indicated that an automotive manufacturer will launch a 2013 model year vehicle with the new platform, … Read more
Almost 20 years to the day after it was launched into space to collect data on Earth's atmosphere and interactions with the sun, NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite is coming back home--in pieces--and there's a higher than normal chance one of them will hit someone.
But before you run to grab your diamond and titanium alloy umbrella that I know you have somewhere in the back of the hall closet for just such an occasion, it's important to note that there's only a 1 in 21 trillion chance that a piece of the space junk will hit you specifically, according to an AP report. A NASA scientist apparently told the AP that there is a 1 in 3,200 chance that a piece of the satellite will hit someone on Earth, which is much higher than the 1 in 10,000 threshold NASA has adopted as an acceptable risk. That rule was put in place after the UARS satellite was launched in 1991.
CNET attempted to confirm the figure, but NASA's East Coast media headquarters is closed for the day. We've reached out through other channels, but did not immediately receive a response. I called U.S. Strategic Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, which also houses the Joint Space Operations Center that "works around the clock detecting, identifying, and tracking all manmade objects in Earth orbit, including space junk," according to a NASA release.
A communications officer there told me that she believed NASA had worked with another agency to come up with a risk model for the UARS re-entry. NASA often uses software called--in typical NASA naming style--ORSAT, for Object Re-entry Survival Analysis Tool, to figure these sorts of things out.