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How I Got 9K YouTube Views in 24 Hours

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On December 1, 2020, an uncrewed vehicle of the Chinese Chang'e 5 sample return mission was about to land on the Moon. There was a lot of excitement. As an astronomy and space enthusiast, I shared the interest and anticipation. These fields are a major part of my creative endeavours. An opportunity Space experts, scientists, enthusiasts, and reporters were sharing online a lot of information on the mission and the vehicles. But they were hardly talking about Mons Rümker (Latin for mount Rümker), the spacecraft's landing area. The Mons Rümker area is of great scientific interest. However, it's a subtle lunar feature that may be difficult to locate even if you know where to look for. So I played with Google Maps a bit to explore this area of the Moon and get a refresher ahead of the landing. Mons Rümker looked great in Google Maps. Therefore, the night before the landing I made a video to share and contribute to the online mission coverage and conversation. It's a simp

Follow Mars Rover Operations With SpaceTime for Android

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NASA SpaceTime is an Android app for displaying the time on Mars and the schedule of the operations teams of NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory runs the missions and developed this official app. The NASA SpaceTime app on my Pixel 4 XL phone. The app shows the local time at the rover sites on Mars along with a list of upcoming events, planning activities, and key meetings of the mission operations teams. The entries provide the times at your location and countdowns to the events. The descriptions of the entries are terse and worded with obscure acronyms, so it may be hard to figure what they’re about. Ex Mars rover driver Scott Maxwell helped me make sense of the acronyms and jargon. Here’s what they mean. Keep this list handy when running the app: Ace : call sign of the team member who triggers the uplink, among other things CI: Campaign Integration (the equivalent of Curiosity's supratactical process ) D/L: downlink EDR: Experiment Data

Screen Sharing Android Apps in Video Calls on Chromebooks

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On your Chromebook you can present the screen of an Android app in a Google Meet or Zoom video call. The trick is to select the app’s window when sharing. In Google Meet, pin the shared window to the screen to see what the app looks like to the guests in the call. Presenting the Celestia Android app in a Google Meet video call on my ASUS Chromebox 3. The same goes for Linux apps. But, if an app opens over one window, you’ll be able to share only one at a time. Sharing the whole screen with an app open in the foreground works too and has the advantage of showing all the app windows. It’s less practical, though. Given the limited resolution and quality of video calls, it’s better to maximize the Android app’s window so the guests can view a larger image with more detail. The only downside is most Android apps aren’t optimized for large screens and may have large blank areas and widgets spread wide apart. Keeping the default, non-maximized app window fixes this and can be useful. For ex

Space Apps for Android: 10 Jan 2021 Update

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I published version 10 Jan 2021 of my ebook Space Apps for Android: Discover the Best Astronomy and Space Apps . The readers who purchase it get free lifetime updates. So, if you bought the book, you can download the latest files in PDF, Mobi, and ePub format where you originally got it at Gumroad or Leanpub . Meteor Shower Calendar, an app my ebook Space Apps for Android covers in chapter Meteors. In this release I added an introduction to chapter Meteors, reported on how the listed apps work on Chrome OS, and revised the chapter. Among the astronomy apps for Android, few are about observing or learning about shooting stars and meteor showers. As a result, this is a brief chapter. Space Apps for Android is a work in progress. I regularly update and expand the book with the Lean Publishing process.

How to View the Rings From Saturn

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What would the rings of Saturn look like from the globe of the planet? Imagine you flew a spacecraft to the visible surface at the top of the atmosphere. The rings may look like this. The rings seen from the surface of Saturn at middle northern latitudes. View in Celestia for Android on my ASUS Chromebox. On Android, you have a spacecraft: the Celestia app . I’ll explain how to view the rings of Saturn with Celestia for Android. But the instructions work also with Chromebooks, Android devices, and likely other operating systems. What you need Celestia is the best universe simulation software. It’s a popular open-source project originally developed for desktop operating systems. Now Celestia is available also on Android and works well on Chrome OS. It’s actually one of the few Android apps optimized for Chrome OS. A unique feature of Celestia is the ability to “land” on the surface of a planet or celestial body , i.e. change the point of view as if you looked at the sky standing on or

Why Your Blog Still Needs RSS

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Back in the early days of blogging, the tech press bashed RSS out of existence as it was supposedly too complex for ordinary users. To the point new bloggers don't even know what RSS is, some recent blogging platforms don't support RSS, and the blogs of new startups sometimes don't provide RSS feeds. But if your blog doesn't have RSS, you shoot yourself in the foot. The RSS feed of my blog Moonshots Beyond the Cloud in Feedly. You completely give up control of your traffic to search engines and social platforms. Along with email newsletters, RSS is among the handful of options remaining to bloggers for establishing a direct communication channel and relationship with readers . With no gatekeepers. The readers who subscribe to your RSS feed always see all of your posts. No matter what Google, Facebook, or Twitter decide. What if only a minority of readers subscribe to your RSS feed? Is it still worth it? They are the readers you want. The superfans who share your work.

Code With Repl.it Review

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Code With Repl.it: From Beginner to Expert Through Guided Tutorials is a free ebook by Gareth Dwyer sponsored by Repl.it. The cover of Code with Repl.it in Google Play Books on my Pixel 4 XL. It contains a series of tutorials and walkthroughs to learn Python using Repl.it. Each tutorial is a complete project that implements an app or tool . The book groups the tutorials into three parts, from beginner to advanced. Part 1 covers the basics of developing and running code with Repl.it. Part 2 is about software engineering best practices and tools such as version control with GitHub, testing with Pytest, collaborating with other developers, code security, and more. The last part builds more advanced projects in domains ranging from web apps to machine learning. Repl.it is an excellent online IDE with support for Python and dozens of other languages. As a Chrome OS enthusiast, I love Repl.it as it works fully in the cloud and requires no software other than a browser. Code With Repl.it t