Possible Solar Flares and Their Effects on Our Technology

The sunspot labeled AR2770 could be cause for some concern as it is expected to grow in size according to spaceweather.com. Some minor solar flares have been emitted by this sunspot already. Though this has caused no reason for alarm.

However, if this sunspot, which can be up to 50k kilometers in diameter, may release a huge amount of energy in the form of solar flares. The phenomenon called Coronal Mass Ejection can cause solar storms and flares whose energy can reach all the way to earth and have a major effect on radio communication, GPS, satellites and even power girds.

NOAA stated that CMEs can cause changes in electrical currents in space which varies the Earth’s magnetic field. CMEs can also cause auroras.

A sunspot is a dark part of the sun that appears cooler than the other parts and contains electrically charged gases which in turn can generate great magnetic forces. Solar flares are the result of changes in the magnetic fields in the sunspots which cause huge explosions—the flares’ radition can disrupt many different types of technology on earth. One solar flare can be as powerful as one “Little Boy” atomic bomb like the ones dropped on Japan in 1945 by the United States.

 

Some Ways Covid-19 has Changed the World

There are too many ways to count how this pandemic has changed the world. Here in America, it is like life has come to a stand-still. Many establishments are closed including schools, churches, libraries, dine-in restaurants, to name a few. Sometimes while we wallow in our own self-pity, we forget how it is affecting others, especially children, teenagers, and college students who are missing once in a lifetime milestones. We want to talk about how tech can be used to help.

First, the high school seniors are missing out on prom. Some have taken the initiative to try to have a virtual prom on Instagram or TikTok.

One college in Japan is holding their graduation via robots. The robots, dressed in cap and gown, have the students faces via Zoom showing their faces where the robot faces would be.

Our church has been able to bring services weekly during this crisis by keeping band members at least 6 feet apart. We were streaming every week anyway so we had everything in place for this to begin with. Our small groups have all moved to using online virtual meetings using software such as Webex or Zoom.

There are also new cautions about using Zoom. You need to make sure your settings are set up correctly as it could be hacked. Meetings are being “Zoombombed” and intruders putting in awful posts and images.

Remember the Y2K issue? There’s another issue coming!

The Y2K problem, or bug, or just Y2K refers to when the year 2000 hit, there was a scare put into some people as computers weren’t set up for the rollover from the year 1999 to 2000. All sorts of rumors went around that time. Some thought there would be no electricity and that the power grids would come down. Many went into survival mode and bought gold, canned goods, and other commodities they thought they would need in the case they needed to barter for goods.

So this leads us to what the next “crisis” that is looming. The year 2038. We have plenty of time to prepare for this crisis but here is the gist. When digital systems started, they began with the date of January 1, 1970. So having it as 32-bit binary integer, time cannot be implemented after 03:14:07 UTC on January 19, 2038. Strings for storage are limited to 2147483647 and that would be the same as that time in January 2038 in bytes in a 32-bit system. 20 years from now, you would hardly still be running a 32-bit system you might still be running today.

Hello Lumio!

Sometimes you find some cool gadgets when you least expect it. This one was recently spied by Jody Victor’s crew on Shark Tank. This gadget even started a bidding war between most of the sharks.

So what is it? It is called Lumio Book Lamp. It looks like a book or journal. When you open it (it can go to 360°), it lights up. You can rest it like an open book flat on a surface or standing up. The end covers are also magnetic so you can stick them to metal cabinets, refrigerator or anywhere you have metal.

With the accessories you can clip it when you open to full extent. There are also pegs to stand it up. Presently they are being sold at several art museums around the country and online. The rechargeable batteries are charged via USB.

It currently comes in two size. The mini is ready for presale for $100.00 right now with 3 color options: orange/black; red/gray; yellow/navy blue. The regular price is $125.00. It measures 3.75″ W x 5.5″ H x .875″ thick and weighs about 0.75 lbs. The ambient light for the mini will continue for up to 10 hours of continuous use.

The full-size Lumio Book Lamp comes in dark walnut or blonde maple and sells for $190.00. It is 6.5″ W x 8.5″ H x 1.25″ thick and weighs about 1.5 lbs. The ambient light will continue for up to 8 hours of continuous use.

Not every one uses the Internet

Jody‘s crew found an article citing one in seven Americans don’t use the Internet. In the article, Steven Vaughan-Nichols talks about a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project from May 2013 that 34% of the Americans not using the Internet aren’t even interested in it. They say it’s not relevant to them. 32% say it’s not easy to use, frustrating, and they are afraid of spam, hackers, spyware. 19% state it’s too expensive to own a computer or pay for connection.

Nearly half of the non-Internet users are over 65. Maybe some of you tech-savvy youngsters can help your family connect!

Jody Victor® discovers a site dealing with communication and technology manners

Jody Victor wondered about proper communications with today’s technology and found a site that has several articles dealing with “etiquette” by Emily Post.

She has a section on being a Good Conversationalist which also covers some American sign language. Another section on Notes and Letters that includes E-vitations, a section on telephone, cellphone, and texting manners, a section on personal communication devices which includes articles on smartphone and tablet use, video and conference call etiquette, mobile and texting manners. Finally there is a section on computers and communication which covers iPad etiquette, using computers in public, LinkedIn networking tips and email tips.

Jody hopes you will take the time to read some of these articles.

Jody Victor® finds out about Raspberry Pi

Yum – that sounds good! But it’s spelled wrong!

No, Jody, it isn’t – Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It can do many of the things your desktop computer can do … for as little as $25!

Currently there are 2 models: A and B. Model A has 256 MB memory, one USB port. Model B has 512 MB memory, 2 USB ports and an ethernet port with necessary networking chip.

It is just a circuit board – cases, power supplies etc are extra.

Raspberry Pi is a charity-based organization registered in the UK. The idea behind it was to put more computers in the hands of children for their education. This small computer has captured the interest of developing countries in areas where they can’t afford the power, hardware, and connections necessary to run desktop computers. Some people have even expressed interest in incorporating it into a robot.

Unfortunately, due to high demand, sales of the B Model have temporarily been suspended.

Jody Victor, we will have to get on the list to get one!