Do you want space or do you want security? That's the fundamental question posed by this weeks' spotlight Firefox addon, Gspace. If you think about it for a moment, you can probably get a pretty good inkling of what this addon actually does. If not, here are a few clues. It's USB week here at Maximum PC. But not all of us have access to a USB stick (or a Dropbox account) at all times. And it's not like you can just hunker down and email yourself a 100MB file at once--even Gmail itself has a pesky 25MB attachment limit for anything you send.
The point I'm trying to get at is that sometimes you just need a little extra oomph in the online file storage department. And that's exactly where Gspace comes into play. This simple addon opens up a gateway to file storage via your Gmail account, all handled through an FTP-like display directly in your Firefox browser. No longer will you use your Gmail merely for sending and receiving emails. No, it's now its own file server--free for you to grab and take files anywhere you have access to Firefox and the Gspace addon. Of course, you can also access the gmail address you assign to Gspace through a standard Web client and download (as attachments) any files you've uploaded under 19MB in size--anything larger gets split into Gspace-only archives.
Neat, huh? As always, that description is but the tip of the Gspace iceberg. Click the jump to see what else this awesome addon can do!
Alright, so this isn't quite as dramatic as the first manned-space mission or (allegedly) landing on the moon, but thank to a special software upgrade earlier this week, we've now recorded the first Twitter message from space.
"Hello Twitterverse! We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station -- the 1st live tweet from Space! :) More soon, send your ?s," Expedition 22 Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer tweeted.
There have been other Twitter messages delivered from space, but in each of those cases, the tweets had to be emailed to the ground and posted by support personnel. That makes this the first tweet from space, not just originating from space.
NASA states that during periods when the station is actively communicating with the ground using high-speed Ku-band communications, astronauts will be able to remotely log into a ground computer using their onboard laptop.
You can follow Twitter updates from Creamer and two of his crewmates (ISS Commander Jeff Williams and Soichi Noguchi) right here.
I’ve often heard the rumor that a full hard drive is significantly slower than a mostly empty one. Despite my black belt Google-fu I am unable to find any stories, articles, or write-ups to elaborate on this. How much slower? At which point is a hard drive too full—60 percent? 90? When should I start looking for a bigger drive?
Read our answer to David's question after the jump.
Cisco has managed to shoot a special radiation-hardened router into space, next step global domination. The space router is part of the US Department of Defense's Internet Routing in Space (IRIS), and reached orbit by sharing a rocket with an Intelsat satellite. The goal is to use IP routers in space to deliver voice, data, and video via a satellite network the same way land-based lines are used now.
How does this differ from current satellite data routing? Currently, data is sent to satellites via radio waves from specialized ground substations. By deploying IP routers in orbit, Cisco believes that communication can be accomplished using standard internet protocols.
Now that the IRIS system is in orbit, the US government gets first crack at it. They will spend three months examining possible military uses for the system. After that, Cisco will allow businesses to test the system for one year. Possible issues with latency aside, this could open up an entirely new market driving cheap, flexible communication access around the globe.
You know you're doing well when your product is used not just on Earth, but in outer space as well. That's something Microsoft can boast with its Outlook email client, which was used on the space shuttle Atlantis, as well as the International Space Station.
Office Watch has a pretty interesting write-up on the whole ordeal, describing how the astronauts use Outlook 2003. It's a little different than what you might think. According to Office Watch, the crew is equipped with fairly standard laptops running Outlook 2003 with Exchange Server, only they don't link to the server using any of the standard methods.
All incoming and outgoing messages are bundled into a tidy file and exchanged one-by-by through a network link. This happens just a few times a day, when NASA uploads a small .OST file to each crew member. Unlike a regular .OST file, this one is nothing more than a container for exchanging groups of messages - no calendar, contacts, or anything else typically found in one.
There isn't a whole lot of bandwidth to work with, so extra effort is made to keep the .OST file as small as possible, usually no more than 4MB, as least for the space shuttle. OST files bound for the ISS typically check in at 30-40MB.
I'll preface: not that kind of hardcore file management. And I'll promise: I will do my best to not make some kind of witty reflection about how it's the new year, and you should really use this time to finish that big resolution of getting your computer's file system all tidy and organized, et cetera. Only, I just said that. And that's exactly what this first Freeware Files of the 2010 is about. Enclosed within the bits and bytes of this post are five killer applications that are designed to help out your cluttered, aging file system by hunting down junk, helping you organize, and giving you new ways to tackle issues that bugged you in 2009.
There's no freeware app that's going to get me to stop with this extended metaphor, unfortunately. But don't let that keep you away from the helpful programs found within the bowels of this very post. Need an app that better manages your Windows 7 libraries? Got it. Need a way to recover deleted files from a USB key? Fear not. Want to catalog and delete the duplicate files taking up unnecessary space on your system? Get ready to itch that trigger finger.
Those are but mere snippets of the full assortment of apps in this week's roundup. If frustrating file issues and a steadily decreasing amount of hard drive space makes you mad, then angrily click the jump with all your might--solutions are but mere moments away!
There's one thing I think of when Daylight Savings Time hits: zombies. Seriously. All that extra time in the dark just fuels the undead flames for an eventual takeover by our semi-bulletproof, plant-hating masters. It only makes sense, then, that I use this weekly freeware roundup column to provide you with some kind of effective training for fending off the gruesome hordes. And beyond that, you'll also find a few more fun freeware games to busy yourself with as the angry, moaning masses slowly overwhelm your pitiful human defenses.
Now that we've established the plot, let's check out the titles. A hearty mix of retro throwbacks, MMOs, and crazy puzzle games await your attention after the jump!
NASA just crashed two probes into the moon. Don’t worry though, they totally meant to do it. The two probes were slammed into the lunar surface at over 5000 miles per hour in order to throw up a plume of debris that could be analyzed for signs of water ice. Those non-science types watching online were hoping for a visible plume of dust from the impacts. They were disappointed.
The expected 6-mile plume of debris didn’t materialize, but according to NASA scientists it went just fine on their end. LCROSS principal investigator Tony Colaprete said, “I saw variations in the spectra. I'm thrilled—that's a very good sign. The spectra is where the science is."
The Centaur probe hit the surface first, while being monitored by the LCROSS probe. The LCROSS then took the plunge itself. The area of impact was selected because the craters near the South Pole are never completely illuminated by the sun, meaning ice could be present. Colaprete said in the press conference, “If there's water there, or anything else interesting, we'll find it."
The rocket scientists at NASA hope to have a communications network ready by 2011 capable of efficiently transferring data between Earth and various probes, rovers, and spacecraft whizzing around the solar system, Discovery News reports. As it turns out, creating an interplanetary Internet is no easy task, even for the brainiacs at NASA.
"The communication delays are huge, and they are variable, because the planets are in orbit around the sun," says Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet's TCP/IP protocol.
On the International Space Station, NASA has been performing tests of network technologies called Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocols. Computer scientists -- including Vint Cerf -- began working on DTN as far back as 1998 as a way to overcome issues in networks that lack continuous network connectivity. Whereas it takes just milliseconds for packets to go from source to destination on Earth, those same packets take at least 8 minutes when traveling from Earth to Mars. Not only that, but packets have to contend with constant motion of celestial bodies.
You won't find Lord British ruling over Britannia anymore, and after doing all that he could for the Ultima universe, Richard Garriott has started exploring ours. Literally. Garriott blasted off into space today in the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft mounted on a three-stage rocket. The $30 million flight ticket buys Garriot a 10-day excursion to the International Space Station (ISS).
While he might be the first virtual Lord to blast into space, he isn't the first in this family. That distinction belongs to Richard's father, Owen Garriott, who spent three months on a U.S. space station back in 1973, almost a decade before the first Ultima game saw store shelves. Owen, now 77, will support his 47-year-old son from mission control in Moscow.
Richard won't be collecting runes in space, but he doesn't plan to sit idly by, either. To help pay back companies who he says have contributed a "meaningful percentage" towards the ticket price, Garriott plans to carry out an experiment on behalf of the contributors, which involves protein crystal growth.