Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mobile American Red Cross Hurricane App in Season

Photo Credit: PRNewsFoto/American Red Cross

Embroiled inside the most active period of the year for tropical storms and hurricanes within the northern hemisphere region of the Americas, mid-August to October is typically a risky period in particularly in the southern region of the United States. So far this 2012 season, United States communities have been largely spared from the potential effects of a major ocean-derived storm system. With effective information transfer a key to protecting lives when disaster strikes, mobile communications a breakthrough method for sending important messages to people in danger.

Launched at the beginning of August, the American Red Cross Hurricane App for Apple devices or Android devices provides comprehensive information on hurricanes and tropical storms. A multi-purpose preparedness kit in electronic form, the free official American Red Cross Hurricane App is equipped for escaping and/or surviving an incoming disturbance.

A well-loaded program bundle, the American Red Cross Hurricane App offers a full range of tools useful before, during and after a major storm. Allowing users to monitor weather in areas using the reliable information gathering of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) The American Red Cross Hurricane App can be programmed to relay an alert if you or a loved-one is in a location where a weather system is expected to hit.

While being a warning tool, the American Red Cross Hurricane App is also meant to teach the public on hurricanes as well as emergency planning when placed within an affected area. The app provides historical information on hurricane and tropical storm systems that have impacted an area. Through interactive trivia quizzes, users can also earn badge rewards that can be shown off to friends on-line. Other useful responses on within the American Red Cross Hurricane App includes emergency preparedness information and details to best ready against a storm. Locations of open American Red Cross storm shelters and checklists assure educated efforts for survival through the Hurricane App.

Other features involved in the American Red Cross Hurricane App includes a flashlight, strobe light and an audible alarm to improve the user's detection. One of the simplest yet most reassuring items on the American Red Cross Hurricane App is the one-touch "I'm Safe" messaging alert feature instantly notifying family and friends that you're safe through a variety of means such as email, text or social networks Facebook and Twitter.

While a newly released application for smartphones and tablets, the Google Play marketplace has understandably seen a profound spike in downloads of the American Red Cross Hurricane App in the past week as the tropical storm system Isaac motions towards Florida. With reviews widely positive of the Hurricane App, the lives that can be lived with the extra information of this program would be more valuable than any amount of stars.

Apple Online Store:

Google Play:

Monday, August 6, 2012

NASA Curiosity Has Landed: Mars' New Rover Resident

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On November 26th of this past year, Cape Carnival set up a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with a specialized exploration tool determined to venture across the surface of the surface of our cosmic neighbour Mars. NASA developed Mars rover Curiosity On August 6th at approximately 1:32 am Eastern Daylight Time, the elaborate landing of the NASA rover Curiosity set its wheels on the Mars soil charting what will be a new generation of exploration on the fourth planet from the sun.

As the 6-wheeled Curiosity rover beamed its first pictures back to Earth, the elated staff of NASA celebrated the success of the most important part of the mission. Described by one NASA engineer as setting a compact car on the Mars surface, a supersonic parachute and an array of retrorockets (the first time NASA undertook landing a vehicle on the planet in such manner), the capsule carrying the Curiosity rover withstood strains up to the equivalent of 12gs to a final dissent speed of around 10 meters a second.

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Popularly known as the “Red Planet“, he surface of Mars had been a red zone to the realm of interplanetary exploration for more than two decades. In 1960, the Soviet space program (at the time had been leading off-planet scientific pursuits) first attempted to conduct a fly-by mission of Mars with an unmanned probe. Between late 1960 to 1962, five largely unsuccessful efforts by the Soviets amounted in little data collection and no fly-by. NASA’s attempted fly-by of the planet Mars took place with the Mariner 3 and Mariner 4 probes. While Mariner 3 ended with disaster when the probe would eventually loss power, Mariner 4 accomplished what no other mission had done prior. Capturing 21 images of the red planet’s surface, this represented a major feat for NASA becoming the first at a pivotal exploration of our solar system.

While NASA was able to take pictures of Mars from space first, the Soviet space problem would lead in successfully landing on the Martian soil. A lander connected to a Mars 3 mission touched down on Mars in December 2, 1971 though communications with the vehicle was maintained for only 14.5 seconds. Conspiracy theories aside to what happened to the Soviet lander, more effective efforts by NASA were accomplished with the Viking program.

As part of the short-lasting success of the Soviet Mars 3 mission, a rover called Prop-M landed on the surface along with the lander craft. However, since communications was lost the 4.5 kilogram Prop-M never roamed Mars terrain. It wouldn’t be until the Mars Pathfinder mission landed the Sojourn rover on July 4th, 1997 that a functioning vehicle would crawl along the Martian soil. A mass of 10.5 kilograms and measuring just two feet long, the Sojourn rover carried a limited arsenal of scientific tools that nonetheless provided some phenomenal first-hand of a planet still unreachable by a practical human being. In 2004, NASA achieved major success by landing their Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars. Rover Opportunity is still operational to this date.

The Curiosity rover's landing signifies the largest ever wheeled vehicle to be placed on Mars. With a mass of 3,893 kilograms (roughly 22 times more than the Opportunity rover) and measures just under 9 feet, 10 inches in length, Curiosity has been compared to a small car in most aspects. NASA rover Curiosity arrives on Mars better equipped than any scientific vehicle to ever touch the alien soil.

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

With a main mission of determining sources of life and/or past life on the Mars surface, Curiosity is said to “The overall science objective of the MSL mission is to explore and quantitatively assess a potential habitat on Mars.” said the 2004 solicitation for proposals were made by NASA. The Canadian Space Agency-provided Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer will be used to examine rocks and soil with the highly sensitive scanning ability. Chemistry and Camera combination called the ChemCam, Mars Hand Lens Imager for magnifying views of rocks as well as a complex set of meteorological monitoring Rover Environmental Monitoring Station are some of the highlighted tools available on the Curiosity rover. Radiation detection technology and sample analysis are also part of the new rover’s scientific array. Powered by a nuclear-powered with plutonium-238 serving as the heat source, Curiosity is projected to roam at least one Mars year (about 98 weeks).

In part of a statement on the landing of Curiosity, United States president Barack Obama declared, “Tonight’s success, delivered by NASA, parallels our major steps forward towards a vision for a new partnership with American companies to send American astronauts into space on American spacecraft. That partnership will save taxpayer dollars while allowing NASA to do what it has always done best – push the very boundaries of human knowledge. And tonight’s success reminds us that our preeminence – not just in space, but here on Earth – depends on continuing to invest wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made our economy the envy of the world.”

In locking the secrets of the fabled red planet, the Curiosity rover is yet another step to what many will believe the progression of humans beyond the terrestrial confides of planet Earth.





Thursday, August 2, 2012

CBC Takes the TV Podium for 2014 and 2016 Olympic Coverage

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy

With the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games underway, CTV has been beaming the accomplishments of Canadian athletes. While lacking the same pomp or nationalistic enthusiasm as the Vancouver Games that brought the grand land of Canada so close together in 2010, an audience of millions can still be accounted upon to tune in to cheer on the red and white. While CTV stations (with a partnership between Rogers Communication) have relished what appears to be two memorable games, the broadcasting reigns are being turned over to CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) for the next two Olympic festivities in Sochi, Russia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

CBC's renewed involvement for the future Olympic Games brings a rich Canadian broadcasting relationship back to the forefront. Televising the Olympic Games for the first time in 1960 when cameras were taken Squaw Valley, California for the Winner events, a total of 19 Winter and Summer Olympics have been recorded, broadcasted as well as commentated upon by CBC personnel.

Understandably, the news of the 2014 Winter Games and 2016 Summer Games coming to CBC made for a momentous day at their Front Street headquarters. CBC/Radio-Canada President Hubert Lacroix was quited as saying, “This is excellent news for Canadians across the country who will once again experience the Olympic tradition with their public broadcaster. We've promised Canadians signature events on all our platforms that create opportunities to connect with each other and the country" On the event side, IOC (International Olympic Committee) President Jacques Rogge declared that, “Canada is a sports loving nation and Canadians are big fans of the Olympic Games. CBC/Radio-Canada has a wealth of experience in broadcasting sports and the Olympic Games and we are pleased that we will once again be joining forces with them in the future.” 

Bell Media's president Kevin Crull was gracious on CBC's successful effort in winning the 2014 and 2016 Olympics saying, "Congratulations to CBC/Radio-Canada on their successful bid,". Crull added "We look forward to CBC/Radio-Canada building upon the high standards and expectations that we have established in Vancouver and London. We wish them the very best and offer them our complete support in presenting the next two Games."

The Canadian Olympic team issued a statement shortly another the new broadcast partnership was affirmed. President of the Canadian Olympic Committee Marcel Aubut declared, “CBC/Radio-Canada has been an unwavering champion of amateur sport and our nation’s best athletes. “. Another bode of support to CBC came from the Canadian Paralympic Committee "CBC/Radio-Canada has a strong history of supporting Canada's amateur sport athletes and the Paralympic movement, most recently through their broadcast of both Athletics and Para-Athletics events last month at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Calgary." said Henry Storgaard, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Paralympic Committee adding "We look forward to working with them to help tell the stories of our incredible athletes at the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi and the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio."

As can be expected, the digital cable news channel Sun News Network were none too pleased with the notion of the Olympics returning to government subsidized CBC. Commanding a long-running vendetta to have the public broadcaster stripped of operating funds from the federal government, they naturally took issue that taxpayers money is being used on purchasing rights of an expensive event. Making note that CBC nor the International Olympic Committee would announce the price paid for the coverage, the Sun media collective acted swiftly to dishonour the honour with an alleged cover-up.

While true the cost for the licensing was not announced, on-line media news website uncovered a source claiming the Olympics were acquired for under half the cost that CTV had to pay for the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the current London Summer games. By the numbers, the CBC deal for the next two Olympics is estimated to cost around 70-80 million dollars.

The distribution of the Olympic programming on the CBC family of networks and any on-line coverage is still to be determined how Canadian as well as other world athletes will be broadcasted into homes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bombardier-Built, Dual-powered Locomotive Now in Service

Photo Credit: Bombardier Transportation

Debuting radical, new transit technology, the New Jersey commuter tracks is testing a dual-power locomotive for the first time in the United States. Powered by either two diesel engines or off an overhead catenary wire, the Bombardier-built ALP-45DP locomotive could become a more refreshing standard in urban mass transit. Advertised as more fuel efficient, the dual-powered locomotive will also reduce the amount of emissions as well as noise.

Entering service with the NJ TRANSIT, the ALP-45DP locomotive when towing can move at 125 miles per hour on diesel power or 100 miles per hour when rolling on electric mode. "With the ability to run under both diesel power and alternating current electric power, these new locomotives provide greater operating flexibility for our clients." said Christopher Holliday, senior vice president for the design, inspection and test engineering support firm STV.

Traditionally, locomotives utilized since the Second World War relied upon diesel fuel powering electrical turbines. diesel-electric trains have been the industry standard for passenger as well as freight movement along rails. For longer trips, the use of diesel-electric is efficient and cost-effective but its application in dense residential areas is questioned. With technology exhibited in the ALP-45DP locomotive, the dual power system in the could avail the possibility that the diesel engine could be shut off where ever an overhead catenary wire will be installed. The design of the ALP-45DP locomotive allows the possibility for electric infrastructure to be built into diesel train tracks gradually.

Now running in New Jersey, there will be a total of 36 of the locomotives are planned for the rails in the state. In the near future, 20 of the ALP-45DP locomotives are will run in the Canadian city of Montreal under Agence M√©tropolitaine de Transport.