This was June 2008 | « May 2008 | Main | July 2008 »

The One Computer

Posted on Friday, June 27, 2008

Kevin Kelly re-iterates his earlier thoughts (a must-read) in the latest edition of Wired (via). Still makes sense to me. And guess who's heading all of this?

NASA Ames 20g centrifuge & Mission Design Center

Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2008

It seems we have a thing going at Ames. Every other week or so we organise a tour to one of the many cool locations on base. Just to have a glimpse. The center is packed with labs, test facilities, centrifuges, cool design centers...and on and on and on. Only, hardly the time to go for a scroll around and nock on those doors these days. So, we send out an email and get a group together to get a brief intro. Below are a couple of images (more at Flickr 1 & 2) of some recent visits, one to the 20g centrifuge (which seems to be kinda hidden under the massive low speed windtunnel, thanks Russell!), and one to the Mission Design Center (think CDF, Team X, thanks James!).







Windy Hill Overlooking the Bay Area

Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2008

Click to Enlarge

Last weekend I finally found what I was looking for the first few weeks I arrived here: on top of a hill, a place to at the same time overlook the Pacific on one side and the Bay Area on the other (Thanks Deborah!). If you look closely, you can see the City (SF) in the far end of the Peninsula (follow the Bay to the left, the City is just visible before the hills start) and Stanford in front (the tower). At the end of the Bay (to the right), you can see the large windtunnels of NASA Ames. Further to the right is San Jose.

To make things easier, see below for the exact location on Google Maps from where I made the panorama.

And the folks in the image....uhm...they happened to be there as well ;-)

View Larger Map

What Union Square Ventures Likes To Invest In

Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2008

'Merging of cyberspace and real space' (amongst others). Below slide is taken from the same Techcrunch post. Nice signal overshoot.


Steve Jobs Down the Road From Here Back In 2005

Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008

24/7 Data Center Breathing

Posted on Sunday, June 22, 2008

From On Clouds, the Sun and the Moon:

Follow the Moon: And with so much focus on energy costs, data center power consumption and cooling (not to mention the environment), there’s also a cloud computing approach known as Follow the Moon. It posits that a cloud provider with physical data centers in several different geographical locations can run the applications that are active from the day side of the world in centers on the night side of the world, taking advantage of lower power and cooling costs.

Martian Skies

Posted on Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nicolar Carr points to a photoblog with a post of great photos from Mars. Worth your precious Internet time I promise.

Excellent article on the Asteroid Underground movement here in the US

Posted on Saturday, June 21, 2008

In the July 2008 issue of the Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine: The Million Mile Mission. (via).


Space Behind the NASA Portal

Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ever since the re-design, I've been itching to hit the top right corner of my screen to make all of the modules on the NASA Portal go away, providing me with an unobscured look into outer space (yes, its an OSX thing). One of my current activities involves the NASA Portal so diving into the css sheets I finally got a chance to see what I was looking for. I'd still like to see a realtime background image there some day, but from the first looks into the back end CMS on which the Portal is build, this will have to wait a while ;-)


Ever Wondered How Much a Yottabyte is?

Posted on Monday, June 16, 2008

(from this Cisco report)

Committee For The Cultural Use of Space

Posted on Monday, June 16, 2008

Well, seems our efforts over the years are paying off in an interesting way. Nicola Triscott recently presented at UNCOPUOS and announced the setup of a new Committee at the International Astronautical Federation: the IAF Technical Activities Committee for the Cultural Utilization of Space (ITACCUS):

The IAF Technical Activities Committee for the Cultural Utilization of Space (ITACCUS) seeks to:

Promote and Facilitate the innovative utilization of space and ground segments of space projects and systems, and space applications systems by Professionals and Organizations in the Cultural Sectors of Society Internationally

Google I/O videos

Posted on Saturday, June 14, 2008

are here (via)

WorldWind presentation at the Yahoo Brickhouse (revisited)

Posted on Friday, June 13, 2008

The video of this presentation came online at the Yahoo Developers Network (via).


Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2008

An audio interview with NASA CIO Jonathan Pettus on web2.0 and NASA's web presence.

As we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world...

Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nicolar Carr looks ahead. Searchblog responds. I definitely like Nicolas' point of view. Whereas the conservatism standpoint never seems to win, he makes a good point about the influential nature of media beyond what they carry (the medium is the message, or first we shape the tools, then the tools shape us). The deep reading he talks about seems on the web more to revolve around 'deep experience'. For example my first encounters with Google Earth definitely carried some element of 'deep experience' that would not have been possible weren't it for the Internet. I'm sure there's more on the way where that came from.

Friday Afternoon Yawns

Posted on Saturday, June 7, 2008

OgleEarth is on the ball with his critique on Walt Disney Park's layer in Google Earth being 'the next best thing to being there'. Reading it, I recognise I am reading my own unexpressed yawn about it (without having had a look at it myself I do admit, but that tells it all I guess). A virtual Disneyland devoid of people, and no possibility to take a ride, WoW!? If only I had some time to go back to the enthusiasm while working on UGO, but for some reason, its not that attractive at the moment. Even with the ability to bring it into the browser, which is pretty cool yes, apart from the techno fetish, there's at the moment not much occasional inspiration to throw time at Google Earth (apart from learning the javascript GE API implementation perhaps). Has anybody heard anything about Second Life lately btw?

On a more enthusiastic note, I attended the Google I/O conference 2 weeks ago here at Moscone West. Now that was exiting! Not so much from a Google Tech or developers point of view (albeit that was pretty inspiring too, mostly diving into the Google App Engine, on which I had my first encounter with the GE browser plugin), but more from a cultural real people point of view. Apparently they brought Google culture over from the Googleplex to the conference center. I lost my camera in the meantime so can't show you my pictures of all the beanbags, free food, and other goodies, but man, that's a sweet company culture (and flickr tags are there to prove it). And a young crowd too.

I recognised the same kind of culture here at Yahoo HQ earlier this week where we were sitting in on a meeting on the upcoming Yahoo Hackday. Working at a place where the coffee corner closes 30 minutes after lunch has been served (that's around 2:00pm folks), and where the cappucino comes out of a prefab instant-make coffee-crap-machine, I am all for Google joining the ranks here on the NASA Ames premises. And I certainly hope some of their culture bleeds over the fence into Ames, which I'm sure it will (not sure if i'll be around to witness it though as they only start building in 2013).

As usual, these high profile Google announcements draw quite a bit of cynical critisism from the likes of Bull's rambles, Valleywag and ZDNet but that's as yawn inspiring as the Disney layer in Google Earth.

My two cents for the weekend: Ask not what Google or Yahoo! can do for you, but what Google/Yahoo! culture can do to your space program.

(see it in google maps, or, if you really really want to, in Google Earth)

View Larger Map

Self-portrait by Mike Fossum

Posted on Friday, June 6, 2008


Easily The Best Live TV Channel Around

Posted on Thursday, June 5, 2008

Now how do I go about getting an RSS or email message (or better, a live TV player popping up) whenever there is a live EVA going on on NASATV? And what about having the spacewalks made available on-demand? Would I be able to switch cameras myself perhaps? Lots of opportunities to make the NASATV service even better.





Spacewalk ongoing

Posted on Thursday, June 5, 2008

Excellent background sound and video while working. Especially when mixed in with SomaFM's secret agent channel in iTunes (look for it under radio->electronic). Even better, mix it up with SomaFM's own Space Station Soma channel: Tune in, turn on, space out. Just playing around, I included the NASATV broadcast on this page of mine. U can also get it at NASA.




Intergalactic TV

Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Doing some research on NASATV (wikipedia) I come across a couple of other space agency TV stations, like ESA's (boring not much happening there) and this one from the Russian Space Agency. On the latter, I am welcomed by Mr Ostrovsky, Head of Roscosmos-TV (below). Reminds me of a Dutch show. Too bad they don't have regular TV webstreams ;-).


Real or virtual?

Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Its hard to tell these days if you look at below photos of todays Kibo docking (via).



The Awakening

Posted on Tuesday, June 3, 2008

After Phoenix's recent twitter success, satellites are waking up to the opportunity. Its LRO, its LCROSS, its..its...the ISS? The Shuttle? Why not the Shuttle's external tank (it travels a fair bit over land before it gets shot into space), the Deep Space Network antenna's, NASA's Columbia supercomputer ...Hallelujah, let there be light, the sensor web awakens!

(nice job title: for 2 years I was LCROSS twitter. Would like to see some GPS going on at the same time...following all of NASA's hardware around in Google Earth in real time would be kinda neat...)

Phoenix Twitters

Posted on Monday, June 2, 2008


NASA Watch gives us the twitter of all twitters: MarsPhoenix. From an interview in Wired:

...can imagine a future academic writing the clause, "identity creation through character limitation," but the personal touch, even if borne of necessity, caught on with the Twitter community.

Writing from the first person turned out to be mainly a solution to the 140 character limitation on twitter. Nice how evolutionary solutions play into the impersonification of spacecraft.

The future is process, not a destination
Bruce Sterling

Everything is ultimately becoming information technology
Ray Kurzweil

Data is the Intel inside
Tim O'Reilly

There is only one machine and the web is its OS
Kevin Kelly

The medium is the message
Marshall McLuhan