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Showing posts from August 4, 2019

Simulate Eclipses With Eclipse Calculator 2 for Android

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Eclipse Calculator 2 is the best Android app for eclipses and planetary transits.

It calculates and simulates solar and lunar eclipses as well as transits of Mercury and Venus across the Sun. It’s the best because it provides all the information to visualize the circumstances of the events and plan the observations. In addition, it presents this information through highly effective charts, data, and maps.


You start by quickly searching for the events you’re interested in, such as by type or observing location, and drilling down to the ones you want to know more about.

Then the app summarizes all sorts of details and information. For a total solar eclipse, for example, you get a map of the lunar shadow on the Earth, a view of the solar disk, a map of the sky with the visible stars, and even the lunar limb profile with Baily’s beads. Letting time run or interactively adjusting it shows how the event changes.

If you think like an astronomer, the app’s well designed user interface feels i…

StreamYard as an Alternative to Hangouts on Air: First Impressions

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Google discontinued Hangouts on Air on August 1, 2019. The StreamYard video streaming platform is the best replacement I found among the alternatives. I'm going to tell how I tested StreamYard in a demanding situation and what I've learned.

StreamYard can livestream video feeds from up to 6 participants and save a recording to YouTube or other video platforms. It works fully in the cloud, a huge plus for a Chrome OS user like me. And it’s even better than Hangouts on Air as it has additional useful features such as showing user comments in the YouTube chat of a livestream and banners, i.e. text cards. It also provides a few preset layouts for arranging on the screen the camera feeds of the participants.

A key feature is the ability to screenshare a desktop window or browser tab as well as any audio playing there. This allows, for example, to stream a YouTube video along with its soundtrack.

The product has a free tier that overlays StreamYard’s logo in livestreams and misses a…

Leanpub Conference Purchase Program: Book Discounts for Conference Giveaways

Leanpub announced the Leanpub Conference Purchase Program, which allows conference and event organizers to buy at steep discounts multiple copies of ebooks to give away to attendees. The eligible ebooks for sale at Leanpub are the ones the authors enroll in the program.

If you are an organizer see the instructions for buying ebooks to give away to attendees. Leanpub authors can learn more about the opportunities and risks of the Conference Purchase Program.

Leanpub is a self-publishing platform with a storefront. It supports the Lean Publishing process for publishing works in progress. It’s a perfect fit for the way I work and I use Leanpub for publishing and selling my book Space Apps for Android.

The Conference Purchase Program offers to organizers very low prices, such as $1.25 per book copy for 400 planned attendees, and Leanpub’s large selection of technical books on software development and tools, science and technology, and more. For authors the program is an opportunity for wi…