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Showing posts from November 17, 2019

See What’s Up On The Red Planet With Mars Sky For Android

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Mars Sky is an Android app for viewing at a glance the major planetary objects in the sky of Mars at a given location.


This unusual app doesn’t show an accurate representation of the sky but a simplified view of the celestial sphere with the major Solar System objects. The view places the planetary bodies at their approximate positions in the sky.

The celestial objects Mars Sky features are the Sun, the planets (including the Earth and our Moon), and the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. You can get position and visibility data of each body such as the coordinates, the angular size, the brightness, and more. A list of major events like the rising and setting times of the objects is also available.

There are some preset observing locations to choose from, such as the landing sites of spacecrafts, but you can add more.

Mars Sky displays dates and times using a martian calendar you may not be familiar with. So be sure to check the app’s Help screen, under the main menu, for some backgrou…

My First Encounter With Android Bloatware

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I’ve always heard about the bloatware vendors preinstall to their Android devices but never experienced it. Until now.

A few days ago I turned on my Lenovo Tab E7 tablet and an unknown icon showed up at the left edge of the home screen. You can see the icon in this screenshot.


Dragging the unknown icon to the right brought up a screen that resembles the home page of YouTube as shown here.


Tapping the icon featuring a head wearing headphones, at the top right of the YouTube screen, opened a Lenovo account sign in and sign up dialog. The YouTube screen slid onto the main home screen from the virtual screen immediately to the left of the main home screen. This spot, where Pixel devices have the Google Discover feed, is not usually accessible on my Lenovo Tab E7.

Along with the unknown icon, when turning on the device that day I got an Android system dialog requesting permission from the Lenovo launcher to manage phone calls, which I declined. And besides, I have no SIM card.

Another dial…