NigeriaSat-2 active

Wednesday, 28 September, 2011

NigeriaSat-2, the UK designed and build 2.5m micro-satellite, is now collecting imagery after its successful launch in August. The first image is over Salt Lake City and demonstrates the quality of the new 2.5m sensor. As the article notes, NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X, cost a total of 30M which included training in design and build of their own satellite. A remarkable knowledge transfer partnership.

New Kindles available imminently

Wednesday, 28 September, 2011

Amazon did a BIG product launch today attacking the portable media “appliance” market on all fronts with a swathe of announcements. A good roundup over at PCPro where we see the following:

Kindle (4?) ebook reader: e-ink, same size screen, smaller, lighter and no keyboard. The kick in the stomach…. $79 US or 89 UK!! Looks like the third generation with keyboard will remain available.

Kindle Touch: yes, a touchscreen version at $99

Kindle Fire (I blogged about earlier): the mythical beast is out, with a detailed review here and due out in November at $199. This is a killer price…. they are really going big guns for the tablet market and building in the media content (book, magazine, music, film) makes for a compelling product. It’ll be interesting to see how good the hardware is.

Kindle Maps

Monday, 26 September, 2011

The OS blog highlighted that maps are now making their way on to the Kindle. Kindle Map Guides are a nice example and reasonably well put together use OpenSpace data. They are probably the best of the bunch and replicate a paper map on your Kindle. They do the job, but I can’t help feel that they missed a trick in maximising the screen space given over to the map. Useful to have in the pocket though. Kindle Maps are using OpenStreetMap data with their first offering a map of Dublin.

IT setup for travel…..

Friday, 23 September, 2011

I took this picture last week whilst in Belfast. This is (currently) my IT setup whilst travel. On a day-to-day basis I now only take my San Francisco; however this isn’t sufficient for a longer trip. I need a Windows PC, reasonable size screen/keyboard, internet access and ALL my documents/software. The photo shows my ageing, but trusty, Sony Vaio, portable harddrive (stuff with all my work and portable apps. The San Francisco is then setup as a portable wifi hotspot to give internet access. Very portable.

Kindle Library Up and Running

Thursday, 22 September, 2011

Well the Kindle library lending scheme is now up and running in the US. Based upon a 2 week lending period… bear in mind this means Kindle the “brand” rather than Kindle the “device”. So if you want to borrow a book (and you need to be a library member) you can sync it to *any* Kindle application, be that iPhone, Android, Windows or Chrome.

Its not a panacea, but it will address those people who don’t want to buy Kindle books because they can borrow them. Quite how this would work for student textbooks I’m not sure, although discussions with academic publishers are meant to be ongoing….

GAMBIT and HEXAGON Declassified

Monday, 19 September, 2011

Two of the later US spy satellites were declassified this weekend; Very Spatial have a nice summary, but also look at the Wikipedia page and USGS page on declassified imagery. What none of the press releases make clear is whether all the imagery will become available now that the satellites have been declassified; one would assume yes, although this will take time to filter through. And it looks like the headline spatial resolution is about 30 cm.

Kindle Cloud Reader

Sunday, 18 September, 2011

I was snooping around the Amazon Kindle webpages a few weeks back and came across the Kindle Cloud Reader…. intrigued because its not overly flagged I followed the link which leads you to a browser based reading client. This requires you to install an extension (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) and, once you’ve logged in, gives you full access to all your books. And, because its Kindle, syncs all your notes, highlights and where you’ve read up to. Its also an offline reader allowing you to download the book to your browser. This really completes the full-set of clients for Kindle and is genuinely useful. Also reminds you that Kindle isn’t a physical e-reader, its a brand that you buy in to for buying and reading electronic content.

University of Ulster Visit

Thursday, 15 September, 2011

I’m visiting the University of Ulster tomorrow, so took the opportunity to fly up from Southampton to Belfast. The last time I flew to Belfast was by EasyJet from Luton which is pretty standard fare. So imagine my surprise when I boarded the FlyBe aircraft and noticed these blade shaped things spinning around on the outside. Spooky.

RSPSoc 2011

Wednesday, 14 September, 2011

I’m currently attending RSPSoc2011 which is again producing a wide variety of topics all centred around remote sensing. The conference is organised around three parallel sessions, with plenaries at the beginning of each day. Vegetation remains a key topic, but urban, UAVs, object based classifiers, archaeology, sensors and hazards are all key topics. There is pretty good commercial support (both journals and service/software/hardware companies) and its good to see these companies giving talks as well.

I missed the keynote yesterday, but Bob Binschadler gave a great historical overview and contemporary evaluation of how remote sensing has fed in to glaciology. A very interesting talk.

So another good RSPSoc, which is moving to U Greenwich next year.

Send to Kindle

Monday, 12 September, 2011

Send to Kindle is a handy app for Android that renders a webpage and automatically sends it to your Kindle email address for syncing at a later date. Useful.