Old news for some but still awesome news nonetheless.
As part of its last mission to space, US space shuttle Atlantis took with it two iPhone 4’s, loaded with apps to allow the astronauts to undergo several experiments.
One of the apps in question is called Spacelab for iOS, which you can download from the iTunes store here. It will allow the astronauts to take pictures of Earth and estimate latitudes, do calibrations using the iPhone’s gyroscope and accelerometer which were proven to function with high accuracy in space. The sensory calibrations along with the pictures taken will allow the aircraft to locate itself, in addition to extensive data collection.
Interestingly, the iPhone 4’s gyroscope and accelerometer are both being considered to replace more expensive equipment because of their high-accuracy function in zero gravity.
After all experiments take place, the iPhones will be returned to have their data collected and analyzed.
Talk about multi-use, right?
On March 12th, my iPhone’s power button decided to sink in and become unusable. After asking around, it seemed that any attempt to fix it in Lebanon would render the warranty void, so my friend Ali agreed to do me a favor and I sent him the phone on March 14th to Canada so Apple could check it out.
Ali postponed his flight to Lebanon due to unforeseen complications and Apple eventually replaced my phone with a new one. How awesome is that?
But I’ve been without phone for a month.
Many people asked why I didn’t just use any other phone. Apart from the unavailability of any other phone (I’m not going to buy a phone just to use it for a few weeks), I also have to get my simcard replaced since my iPhone uses a microsim, which I decided not to do.
Instead, I convinced myself that I’d be sort of giving up my iPhone for lent.
So what did I learn from a month of being phoneless?
Twitter has just suspended two third-party twitter app developers: UberTwitter and Twidroy, for violating company policy.
According to a statement issued by Twitter, these companies allowed “direct messages longer than 140 characters … [and] changing the contents’ of users’ Tweets in order to make money.”
Twitter also mentioned that it has been in talks with the companies that developed these applications since April 2010 about their policies infringement and that it decided to announce all of this via its support center because many users were going to be affected.
Here’s the full Twitter statement.
We ask all developers in the Twitter ecosystem to abide by a simple set of rules that are in the interests of our users, as well as the health and vitality of the platform as a whole.
We often take actions to enforce these rules; in fact, on an average day we turn off more than one hundred services that violate our API rules of the road. This keeps the ecosystem fair for everyone.
Today we suspended several applications, including UberTwitter, twidroyd and UberCurrent, which have violated Twitter policies and trademarks in a variety of ways. These violations include, but aren’t limited to, a privacy issue with private Direct Messages longer than 140 characters, trademark infringement, and changing the content of users’ Tweets in order to make money.
We’ve had conversations with UberMedia, the developer of these applications, about policy violations since April 2010, when they first launched under the name TweetUp – a term commonly used by Twitter users and a trademark violation. We continue to be in contact with UberMedia and hope that they will bring the suspended applications into compliance with our policies soon.