iPhone 4 Goes To Space

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?

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White iPhone 4 Available For Order

It seemed to many that the white iPhone 4 would never happen. But apparently, it’s a certainty now.

The U.K’s 3 Online Store had the white iPhone 4 available, starting April 20th.

You can check out the listing here.

The white iPhone 4 was supposed to launch alongside the black one in June 2010, but unforseen production complications saw Apple postponing the release many times until it looked like they buried the product.

Tweets around February re-sparked the interest in this iPhone as many Apple insiders and employees tweeted about how “beautiful” it was.

Apple had confirmed last week that the white iPhone would see a late April release date and it looks like it’s now set for the 20th.

So for those still holding out for a white iPhone 4, your time has come.

The iPad 2 Event Rundown

Apple announced its upcoming product today, the second generation iPad, named: iPad 2.

Steve Jobs, whose presence at the event was doubted, came on stage to give the keynote address, starting, as usual, with a few stats.

iBooks:

– Over 100 million books have been downloaded so far.

– Publisher “Random House” (DaVinci Code…) is now available on the iBooks Store, adding up over 17,000 books.

Apple ID:

– Over 200 million subscribers, possibly the biggest credit card subscribers online.

App Store:

– $2 Billion is the total revenue App Developers have made by selling their apps via Apple’s AppStore.

iPhone:

– Apple has crossed the 100 million iPhone threshold.

Pretty interesting, right?

Jobs then proceeded with a brief presentation about how 2010 was the year of the iPad. Calling it their third post-PC blockbuster, it’s both “magical and revolutionary.”

With over 90% market share, the release of the iPad has been the most successful consumer product launch yet. Over 15 million iPads were sold between April and December 2010.

Moreover, he announced the availability of over 65,000 apps for the iPad currently. Other platforms have a measly 100.

A brief video was then played about how ground-breaking the iPad was: used with doctors, in brain surgeries, in helping autistic children, in universities…

Then it was time to announce the main event of the keynote:

iPad 2:

– All new design.

– Boasts an A5 processor, becoming the first tablet to have a dual core processor, using the same low power as the A4 processor found in the original iPad and the iPhone 4.

– Has a built-in gyroscope, like the iPhone 4.

– It’s thinner than the iPhone 4, at 8.6 mm and 33% thinner than the original iPad. It’s also, at 1.3 pounds, lighter than the original iPad.

– It has two cameras: One on the front and one on the rear.

– Comes in two colors: black and white.

– Battery life is over 10 hours, or a month on standby.

– Same prices as the original iPad.

– Supports HDMI video output via a separately purchased cable for $39.

– Available starting March 11th in the U.S. and March 25th in 26 other countries.

Next was another highlight of the evening, the Smart Cover:

– Instead of hiding the iPad’s design, this is a front cover.

– Has magnets, allowing it to auto-align.

– iPad sleeps when the cover is closed and wakes up when it’s opened.

– Can be folded into different shapes, depending on your need.

And it wouldn’t be a complete Apple event without a part addressing iOS.

iOS 4.3:

– Available March 11th, along with iPad 2.

– Involves improvement to Safari’s performance.

– Enables iTunes home sharing, allowing you to get your iTunes content over Wi-Fi.

– Involves improvement to Airplay.

– And for the iPad, it enables the preference if you want the side button to be a mute button or an orientation lock button.

– Enables personal hotspot, for iPhone 4 only.

– Facetime is also added to iPad 2, along with PhotoBooth functionality, allowing the user to have split-screens, tamper with colors, etc…
Facetime iPad2

Then two apps for the iPad were demoed: iMovie and Garageband, both available on March 11th as well. They looked pretty cool and on a Dual Core device, I think they’d be pretty functional, as evident by the many video and song demos that were played at the keynote, made only by those apps.

So are you buying an iPad 2?

There Goes My Heart… Home

We all know how it feels to be home… you’re too comfortable being there, you’re yourself there… But you know what feels even better than being home? Going home after a long absence.

I belong in Batroun. I am from the North and my heart will always go there. Driving around my hometown, Ebrine, in the Batroun Caza, I snapped these pictures.

When I wake up and open the blinds, this is the first thing I see:

And if I feel like going to sightsee, I don’t need to wander off a lot… these are a few scenes that await me after a few minutes of walking.
And whenever I feel like I want to be alone, I can simply drive down to a very old church, dating back to the 1400s. This is St. Charbel (the Lebanese saint took his name).

My hometown also harbors the mother Convent for Sainte Famille. We all know people who have been to their schools and there are two streets, one in Tripoli and one in Beirut, named after my hometown because they have Sainte Famille convents on them.

And if I feel like visiting my grandma, I pass by a canopy of trees and beautiful olive tree fields…

And if you ever feel hungry, Royal’s Pizza in Batroun offers the best pizza in Lebanon. And trust me, I have tried many, many pizzas. Nothing will ever come close.

All of these pictures were taken through my iPhone 4 and all effects are via an iPhone app: Camera+