Author Archive: Matt

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.

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By August 5, 2005 Read More →

No more Space Shuttle Discovery repairs

Following a series of wind tunnel tests and engineers reviews, Nasa has decided a further spacewalk to repair a torn thermal blanket on the shuttle Discovery is not necessary.
The US space agency told the seven crew members the shuttle would be safe for re-entry, due on Monday, despite the torn blanket below the cockpit window.

A Nasa representative told journalists that “I think in the old days we would not have worried about this so much”. Presumably the fact that all eyes are on Nasa at the moment is forcing them to be rather more cautious that they may normally have been.

On Wednesday, astronauts removed protruding material from the orbiter’s underside which was threatening the heatshield’s integrity.

If Nasa had decided upon a further spacewalk, it would have been the fourth carried out by the Discovery crew.

(Image: Nasa)

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): shuttle, nasa, Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle Discovery, Discovery, Space, Science]

By August 3, 2005 Read More →

More shuttle fears?

There are fresh fears that there could be further problems with the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Apparantly there is some concern about a thermal blanket below the cockpit. Experts believe that this may have been damaged during lift off when the orbiter stuck a bird. It is feared that the thermal blanket could tear off during re-entry.

Flight director, Paul Hill, said a decision would be taken once engineers had finished studying images of the blanket.

What does that mean? If they don’t like the look of the blanket images they leave the orbiter up there and parachute home?! Could they possibly send another unmanned orbiter up to return the crew and return Discovery at a later date?

The shuttle has to be manned for re-entry doesn’t it?

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): shuttle, nasa, Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle Discovery, Discovery, Space, Science]

By August 3, 2005 Read More →

Shuttle repair successful

Shuttle astronaut Stephen Robinson has successfully removed two ceramic strips protruding from the heatshield on the Discovery orbiter’s underside.

The astronaut rode the robotic arm from the ISS in order to reach the underside of the shuttle and was able to remove the strips with his finger.

Nasa was concerned the strips could have caused Discovery to overheat as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

So what are these gap fillers for? If they are that easy to remove and they can work lose during launch (as they have done on previous missons) and the shuttle can re-enter safely without them installed why are they fitted in the first place?

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): shuttle, nasa, Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle Discovery, Discovery, Space, Science]

By August 2, 2005 Read More →

A blog every second!

The blog community is continuing to grow at an exceptional rate. According to blog trackers Technorati one new blog site is created every second!

The current number of blogs tracked by Technorati is 14.2m blogs, up from 7.8m in March.

It suggests, on average, the number of blogs is doubling every five months.

Blogs, the homepages of the 21st Century, are free and easy to set up and use. They are popular with people who want to share thoughts online.

They allow for the instant publication of ideas and for interactive conversations, through comments, with friends or strangers.

Technorati is like a search engine that keeps track of what is happening in the blogosphere, the name given to the universe of weblogs.

It relies on people tagging – giving keywords to – their blogs or blog posts so that its search engine can find them.

Thirteen percent of all blogs that Technorati tracks are updated weekly or more, said the report, and 55% of all new bloggers are still posting three months after they started.

I started my blog just three weeks ago and I must admit its becoming something of an addiction. I keep thinking ‘I must blog that’ when ever I see something news worthy. Im blogging an average of two items per day but some days I get a bit carried away and have a blogging frenzy!

Matt

(Sources: BBC News and Technorati)

[Technorati tag(s): blogs, blogging, weblogs, internet, RSS, weblog, news]

Posted in: News
By August 2, 2005 Read More →

Shuttle to be repaired in space!

Astronaut Stephen Robinson will make a space walk underneath the Shuttle Discovery to remove strips that are sticking out between heat shield tiles on Discovery’s belly.

Nasa is concerned the dangling material – called gap fillers – could cause part of the shuttle to overheat as it re-enters the atmosphere.

Nasa confirmed that debris did indeed strike the shuttle during launch but Nasa officials say this is not related to damage from foam debris. Instead, the fabric could have been shaken loose by the vibrations during launch.

The International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm will position Discovery mission specialist Robinson underneath the shuttle so he can pull the gap fillers out.

This will be the first time that a space walk has been made underneath an orbiting shuttle.

See also Mark’s Article

(Source: BBC News)

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): shuttle, nasa, Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle Discovery, Discovery, Space, Science]

By July 31, 2005 Read More →

Olympic Lottery Taxed?

I work in London and consider myself to be a part-time Londoner. I was pleased when the Olympic comittee awarded the 2012 Olympic Games to London. I did wonder how London would finance such a major sporting event but my question was soon answered: The UK National Lottery

Camelot who run the UK national lottery have started a special Olympics fund raising scratch cards. The first of which has already gone on sale is called ‘Go For Gold’ and offers a top prize of £2012.

This seems like a great idea. I assumed that most if not all of the profit from the sale of these scratch cards would go towards financing the London Olympic Games. This is normally about 28% of the £1 ticket price.

So imagine how shocked I was to learn that the Labour Government has decided that 12% of the profit from the sales of Olympic Lottery tickets will be creamed off by the treasury for an ‘Olympic Lottery Tax’! This is expected to be about £340 million.

This is just plain old wrong! This money should go directly towards the Olympic Games. Why should the goverment profit from this?

Read the articles from The Conservative Party HERE

Read the BBC news article Olympic Lottery Puzzle

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): london, olympics, lottery, London 2012, sport, taxes]

Posted in: Editorial
By July 28, 2005 Read More →

Space Shuttles Grounded

NASA has said it is grounding the space shuttle fleet as engineers investigate debris which fell from Discovery’s external fuel tank during launch.
A spokesman for the US space agency said big chunks of foam broke off the tank after Tuesday’s lift-off but are not thought to have damaged the craft.

The Columbia shuttle was destroyed in 2003 after a similar incident.

If the shuttle is damaged, its crew could wait in the International Space Station until a rescue craft arrives.

Discovery is taking parts and supplies to the ISS.

It is the first orbiter mission by the US space agency since the loss of the Columbia and its crew.

It is due to return to Earth in 10 days’ time.

See also Mark’s Article

(Source: BBC News)

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): shuttle, nasa, Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle Discovery, Discovery, Space, Science]

By July 16, 2005 Read More →

Courier companies: The weakest link?

So we are well and truly in an age where everything and anything can be purchased online. I buy about 80% of items from the web. There’s better choice, more information and more competitive prices available online, not to mention the convenience of buying goods without leaving my seat.

So what’s the problem? Well the weakest link in this online boom is getting the goods to our door steps. Countless times have I had to re-arrange deliveries, give drivers directions and make sure that someone was there to take delivery.

Just this week I ordered some electronic goods from a UK site. The items where shipped same day and were on an overnight delivery. This was perfect for me as I wanted the items for a job I was doing over the weekend. I arranged for someone to be here to take the delivery and even called the courier to make sure it was out for delivery.

It’s now Saturday morning, the goods didn’t arrive and I’ve been told a variety of excuses:

  1. The Driver left a card as you weren’t in; I was and no card was left.
  2. The Driver said that your company wasn’t listed on the building directory; This is my home address not a company.
  3. The Driver couldn’t find your house; Isn’t it his job to find my house? My house is easy to find, and he could call for directions. Is this the same one that put the card through my door?
  4. We can’t find your parcel; Then why did they tell me it was out for delivery?

Courier companies are clearly the weakest link in home shopping!!

If someone came along with a company that could:

  1. Employ quality staff that can read a map
  2. Advise approximate delivery times
  3. Call if they have a problem

Then they would be on to a winner.

Matt

Posted in: Editorial
By July 15, 2005 Read More →

Free Game!

Ive been playing an excellent free game today, very adictive!

Download a copy from here.

Enjoy!

Matt

Posted in: Apps & Games
By July 13, 2005 Read More →

Thanks to my PHP guru!

Just a quick shout out to my best buddy Iain (aka Muff) for the work he put into this and my other site. You truly are a PHP guru! Thanks for the customisation!

Anyone else want customised PHP stuff on their blog contact me and I’ll put you in touch with the boy genius!

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): Internet, PHP]

Posted in: Site Announcements