Gadget News

Hmm. I have a few things to catch up on, I guess.

Good news for me is that my cable company (Comcast) now has the Sci-Fi Channel in high definition. And, thank the Lords of Kobol, those at the channel seem to properly understand the issue of aspect ratio. All my friends already know my pet peeve about HD channels not showing programs correctly. Sometimes a show or commercial is stretched or squashed to fit the screen. This is the main reason I haven't been watching The Universe on the History Channel, because I'm tried of round planets and stars looking like eggs and scientists with fat heads.

Moon phase on iPod
New toys! And this one will do astronomy.
S&T: Dennis di Cicco
Anyway, apparently the broadcasters at the Sci-Fi Channel know what they're doing, probably because the channel is owned by NBC Universal. Now Stargate: Atlantis looks better. Can't wait for Battlestar Galactica to resume!

In other personal news, I bought myself an early birthday present two weeks ago: an iPod touch. It's the iPhone without the phone, and it works great. The Wi-Fi capability is very cool. I can receive and send e-mail and use Google Maps. And even though I'm cellphoneless (shocking, isn't it?), I can still use my iPod to contact people via phone by sending them text messages via e-mail.

The iPod's Web browser lets me check Clear Sky Clock and can run some of our interactive observing tools. You can save a bookmark as a touch-screen icon for easy access. I have the Moon phase one as a button on my home screen. Hopefully software developers will write new mini programs soon.

Of course, now that I finally have an MP3 player, I'm using the iPod for iPoddy things, like downloading and listening to podcasts more regularly. I've brought myself up to date with Astronomy Cast and the Onion News Network. I'm eager to find more media to listen to while walking to work, or to watch while eating a meal when out by myself.

2 thoughts on “Gadget News

  1. Al C.

    Stuart,
    I thought it was just me. I tried to fit the picture properly on my Sony HDTV but could never get it right. Thanks for letting me know it is the lunkheads at History Channel that are not broadcasting it correctly!

  2. RapidEye

    I’ve been listening to Podcast on my iPod at the eyepiece for a couple of years now. Pamela and Fraser are great on AstronomyCast, but are far from being the only ones out there!

    My current lineup consists of:
    AstronomyCast (Best one out there now)
    JodCast (this one is top notch – very funny too)
    Astronomy A-Go-Go (Alice has the voice of an angel)
    Hubblecast
    NASACast
    Skywatch
    Space.com
    Universe Today (not updated now because of AstronomyCast)
    SWAG (OK, but can drag)
    Astronomy.com and S&T’s monthly podcasts
    David Levy’s Starizona (reruns – no new shows posted)
    Slacker Astronomy (reruns – no new shows posted)

    There have been some others, but those are the handful that have withstood the test of time and are top quality (IMHO).

    You’re right about the Onion – its the first Podcast I have in my queue in the morning. Its a great way to start your day!!! =-)

    eMail me if you have any questions about the list: rapideye.us-at-gmail-dot-com

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