Category Archives: Technology

Telecom in China

Now that I’ve gotten my resident permit in China, I finally taking care of some administrative business. First up, I am getting a China Mobile Phone account on one of the big networks in China. The good news is that I will finally be able to Periscope and Live Tweet from around town and the rest of China. The bad news is that I had to pay off my US Mobile account. It looks like I will be able to press pause on my US account with no issues for about 6 months and then resume paying my normal account fees. I might just keep the line active for now and see how this China account goes as I do not want to end up not having a working phone anywhere…

Of course there is a massive language barrier at most of the telecom places so this could end up being entertaining. When I tried to get my iPhone 4 to work on China Unicom, I spent an hour and got nowhere as it would not activate on the network. I should have better luck with my 6 and I have a few different options for carriers. I just want the one with the most data possible (especially for Periscope, Instagramming and iMessages).

Other than my rather limited social media interactions, things are going well here in China and the other day, I had a better idea of where we were going than the taxi driver. I am also looking forward to my first trip. Looks like it will either be to Macau or to Kyoto Japan. I’m leaning towards Macau since it’s technically country #32 and it’s much cheaper. Certain flights to Japan from Shanghai are just as expensive as they are from the US. That’s messed up since Japan is only about a 2.5 hour flight.

One Month Left

Last weekend, I headed off to Phoenix for one last visit to the relatives before I depart on my big adventure. I’ve got about one month left before moving away and the trip was a combination of seeing people as well as dropping off some important items that I did not want to put into storage.

Daniel and I had a good time, despite me having to work on Friday at the last minute. I was still out of there by 11 and by the time we packed the car and had lunch we were on our way at 130. Thankfully we didn’t get caught in too much traffic on our way out of town. We made good time and pulled up in Phoenix just after 7pm. As I was driving, I was trying to think of how many times I’ve actually driven the route from LA to Phoenix and just how much it has changed. I remember one of the first times post 1999 when I moved back to LA that it seemed like forever to get to Phoenix. Now it doesn’t seem that far – partially due to the urban sprawl over the last 15 years, but also due to the fact I mentally divide the trip between 100 mile segments.

Saturday we went to Sedona, AZ – sort of a last minute field trip. It was nice to go for a 2 hour drive and see a part of Arizona I haven’t been to yet. My nephew was along for the ride and I hope he enjoyed it as well. Around dinner, we met up with my Aunt and Uncle which was a nice surprise to say goodbye before my departure.

Sunday I finally was able to set up my new laptop! The first Club Josh laptop since my Dell I purchased in 2005! Ten Years, man a lot of technology has changed since then. I got it because I could not lug my 24″ iMac overseas and I was due for an upgrade. When I was younger I updated technology at a much faster rate, but in my old age I guess I am not as prone to be an early adopter. But so far, the new computer is so much faster and I’ve got one month left to put it through the paces to make sure that I have gotten all my programs and links ready to go.

The only issue I had was that it took me a long time to figure out why my iTunes wouldn’t see where my music was on my external drive, but it turns out there are configuration files you need to migrate as well. Consider it a pro tip. Oh and Google Searches of tech problems is the best thing ever. There has yet to be something I haven’t been able to resolve thanks to the net. My 1995 self is so jealous.

That’s it for now. Unfortunately I have fallen way off the update a day wagon and with my schedule it looks like it will wait until June to re-start once I am in my new place.

Josh – where are you going??? Don’t worry I still will write up a complete saga of where I am going soon!

Rocket Road Trip

One of my fellow #NASASocial Alumni Scott Manley posted a great video of his experience as part of the NASA Social. Check out his video – I do make a cameo in it – I’m wearing a red jacket. See if you can spot me..

Also, here is the SMAP NASA Social briefing featuring me!

You can find me at 1:24:00 asking how they got the satellite to Vandenberg. It was the best I could come up with after someone asked my question about landslides..

An Awesome Launch

Trying to get back into the swing of things after an exciting visit to the Vandenberg AFB as part of the NASA Social for the SMAP spacecraft. I had such a great time visiting with other nerds and making some new friends. I cannot express how fortunate I am to have been given this opportunity and I hope that I will get to again. This trip has really brought back to the surface my passion for space exploration and NASA. Now I just need to get a new telescope!

In the meantime please enjoy some videos of the launch of the Delta-II rocket. I was disappointed not to be able to stay all the way until Saturday to see the twice scrubbed launch, but I still felt the thrill watching live on the web and then running outside to the roof of my parking garage and seeing SMAP and the Delta-II streak across the sky. Amazing!

Two More Large Planets

Courtesy NASA/JPL CalTech

Courtesy NASA/JPL CalTech

This is crazy! With advances in planetary science, two researchers are now saying there is a chance there are two more planets out there beyond the dwarf planet Pluto! Being a Doctor Who fan, I of course would love for one of them to be named Mondas after the Cyberman home world (first mentioned in the First Doctor Adventure, The Tenth Planet.

Nancy Atkinson has all the details at Universe Today.

Comet Lovejoy

Image copyright Dieter Willasch

Image copyright Dieter Willasch

Barely visible here in Southern California with all of the lights, Daniel and I drove up into the foothills with my low power binoculars and were able to see the fuzzy nucleus in the constellation Taurus. It was a little hard to spot at first, and it makes me want a nice telescope more and more. I wish I saw the comet as the photo above, but I’ll take the fuzzy dot for now.