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Android Phones At the Edge of Space

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the i-can-see-my-house-from-here dept.

Google 42

garymortimer writes "It seems like the Google crowd are really keen to replicate what many in the small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) world have been playing with for the last couple of years. It really will be interesting to see the UAS apps that must be coming for the Nexus S. Quoting the Google Mobile Blog: 'Recently, we traveled to Ione, CA and sent seven payloads up, up, and away into near space, each equipped with a Nexus S. We took some cues from others who have sent homemade weather balloon rigs far up, and we wanted an opportunity to collect some interesting data about the sensors in Nexus S – GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer. We also couldn't resist what looked like a great way to spend a weekend. Sending the balloons up also gave us an opportunity to capture some stunning imagery and videos of Earth.'"

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42 comments

Yawn (1, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#34660674)

Your data isn't that interesting. Launching your cellphone into space* isn't worthy of slashdot. This has been done a hundred times before. All you're doing at this point is polluting the environment. Call us when you manage to launch a bucket of gravel into orbit or something truly novel.

*cue the "it's not space" replies

Re:Yawn (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 2 years ago | (#34660774)

Though entirely offtopic - I found your post more insightful when I replaced the following words. data=life, cellphone=activities, space=twitter, orbit=someone's face.

Re:Yawn (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 2 years ago | (#34660930)

First the didn't say it was in space, they said "so we decided to venture into near space, with the help of some Androids. " and the title "Android In Spaaaace!" was clearly a SNL Mr. Bill [wikipedia.org] Reference; So turn in your geek card immediately. If you watch the first video on the page you'll see the little Android Commander figurine get flicked off the payload package and into the void by one of the parachute lines, Mr. Sluggo must have bacame a parachute rigger.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34664152)

No true geek watches SNL.

Re:Yawn (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34665464)

It got lame after the original "Not Ready for Prime Time Players"left, 1975-1980 were really the golden age for the show. I remember, when the network interrupted SNL news of the Jonestown Massacre , I, a little bit drunk and at a party said "That's a little much even for Saturday Night Live."

Re:Yawn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34661124)

Wow were you born a dick or did it take years of practice? Were your mommy and daddy abusive to you? Did your daddy fuck you in the ass when you were a child?

Re:Yawn (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#34661186)

All you're doing at this point is polluting the environment.

From the story (I take it you didn't read?):

In the end, the team recovered all of the payloads sent up...

I'm sure you're jaded from doing this sort of thing all the time, but I still find it pretty cool. You will receive a t-shirt that says "Meh." for Christmas.

Yawn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34660678)

Kinda boring, so they still didn't make it to mars then?

Re:Yawn (1)

gbl08ma (1904378) | more than 2 years ago | (#34660800)

Hold your horses... don't you see this is marketing stuff? They will go higher on the 'space' on next Nexus version release, hoping more people will buy it thinking "this one flies higher than the other, so I'll go ahead and buy it!".

Yawn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34660696)

20 miles up? You're not in space until you reach an altitude of 62 miles (the Kármán line). Besides, we've already seen a million articles like this on slashdot.

Re:Yawn (2)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#34660770)

20 miles up? You're not in space until you reach an altitude of 62 miles (the Kármán line).

Is there any chance that would be the reason they never claimed to have gone into space? The article war pretty clear about the altitude and used the term "near space'.

Yes, others have done it before. I'm sure each and every one of them will also be delighted to see some big vendor support for their exploration.

Re:Yawn (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#34660810)

Is there any chance that would be the reason they never claimed to have gone into space?

This article may have been more careful than some. Often, by the time the hyperbolic press release gets a coat of polish by the editors desperate for a way to fill a few column-inches with something other than economic collapse or war, it sounds as if they just needed an extra gallon of gas to land on the moon.

It's a tolerable human-interest story, though old hat around here. And the exaggerations have long since worn out their welcome, even if the next article down the pike is better written.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34661224)

Better than the usual 'follow Santa in Google Earth' posted around this time.

hooray for android (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34660724)

Apple iProduct users would never do anything so outlandish since it would void the implied shrinkwrap warranty of 'thinking different' which usually means quaffing Starbucks while wearing square glasses and laughing about how Cory and Xeni are sooooo ironic and retro.

wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34660772)

Sometimes I wish I could send my phone into space

A Request (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34660780)

Dear Google,

Please send all Android phones to space and make the earth a better iPlace.

Signed,

iFans.

Great time for... (1)

gbl08ma (1904378) | more than 2 years ago | (#34660788)

...overclocking the device's CPU! It was so cold in the "space" that they could push the new Nexus to the limits... without cooking it :)

sudo rm -rf ./its-not-space-replies
sudo rm -rf ./it-didnt-happen-replies
sudo rm -rf ./apple-is-better-replies
sudo rm -rf ./unclassfied-troll-replies

Re:Great time for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34660948)

That would be neat. Maybe it could beat the G2's famed 1.9GHz [smartphonebenchmarks.com] . But isn't heat dissipation a much larger problem in space?

Too bad GPS on androids (0)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#34660866)

is a huge piece of crap

Seriously Google, get your game up

the time it takes to sync is RIDICULOUS

Re:Too bad GPS on androids (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34660898)

My original Motorola Droid has a GPS lock in seconds, even inside.

Only certain handsets have had problems with GPS locks, namely the Galaxy S series, which leads me to believe that the problem lies within something that handset manufacturers went and did with the code. Had they of just left Android alone (like with the original Motorola Droid) and not thrown all sorts of bloatware and hideous UIs onto it, the GPS likely wouldn't have a problem.

Re:Too bad GPS on androids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34661042)

It sucks. I flashed a community ROM [droidxforums.com] to someone's DroidX yesterday (the phone that still has a locked bootloader & eFuse chip) and it instantly cleared up 200MB of memory at boot. It's fucking amazing how much crap Motorola manages to push onto a phone.

Re:Too bad GPS on androids (1)

terminallyCapricious (1838672) | more than 2 years ago | (#34660972)

the time it takes to sync is RIDICULOUS

dude come get the ruler check this out

its time.......................
to GET my GPS on
i need to know what STALLEIT to use...
........

it isn't coming out

Re:Too bad GPS on androids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34661156)

I can't believe someone would take the time to write such a ridiculous, meaningless and idiotic comment. i'm a bit surprised i am taking the time to point out what a fool you've made of yourself. today is full of mystery.

Re:Too bad GPS on androids (2)

unkiereamus (1061340) | more than 2 years ago | (#34661596)

I can't believe someone would take the time to write such a ridiculous, meaningless and idiotic comment.

Welcome to slashdot.

It's not supposed to work at altitude (2, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#34661388)

Consumer GPS units aren't supposed to work above 60,000 feet or 1,000 MPH. Otherwise, they're subject to US military export controls. Of course, since Android units are probably made outside the US, that doesn't apply.

(The US needs to give up on export controls in the electronics area. It's just a headache for US firms, and everybody else can get everything they need elsewhere.)

Re:It's not supposed to work at altitude (3, Informative)

artg (24127) | more than 2 years ago | (#34661484)

No, it's BOTH those things together - ie, a missile. Each is ok on it's own.

Re:It's not supposed to work at altitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34662600)

Consumer GPS units aren't supposed to work above 60,000 feet or 1,000 MPH. Otherwise, they're subject to US military export controls. Of course, since Android units are probably made outside the US, that doesn't apply.

(The US needs to give up on export controls in the electronics area. It's just a headache for US firms, and everybody else can get everything they need elsewhere.)

Well.. some of the commercial GPSr's have accidentally gotten past that limit with their poor choice of programming logic when checking for the limitation. There are a number of GPSr's that work above the 60k limit, regardless.

Here's a list:
http://www.arhab.org/science/science/gpspass.html

Google backyard view (2)

artg (24127) | more than 2 years ago | (#34661494)

Coming soon to a location near you ..

Re:Google backyard view (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34670988)

We already have that. It's called Google Maps.

is it to late to send mine? (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 2 years ago | (#34661608)

I have a cliq xt and still waiting for the 2.1 upgrade that will probably never happen unless I root and custom rom it, so can I send it up? I'd be able to get a new phone and maybe able to talk my cell provider into giving me something else instead!

Some folks already beat Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34662570)

A group of folks in NC calling themselves GAIA actually sent up 2 Android phones into near space a few days before Google got around to it. For those interested, they actually recorded video and pics straight from the android phones as well as telemetry data. They sent their's up as part of their hobby called Geocaching (http://www.geocaching.com). Some very interesting data on their website and the videos and pictures look pretty amazing. http://gaia.terrasunder.org is their main site, their youtube channel is http://youtube.com/user/gaiacaching

Google a little late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34662670)

Some folks calling themselves GAIA in NC launched 2 Android phones into near space a few days before Google (says they got up to 101,001 feet). The 2 Android's actually took some of the photos and videos as well as telemetry data and made it back safely. These guys sent them up along with some geocaching (http://www.geocaching.com) items. Pretty impressive photos, videos and data.
Their website: http://gaia.terrasunder.org
Their youtube channel with a bunch of the videos: http://youtube.com/user/gaiacaching
Worth a look if you are into that sort of stuff.

something similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34662716)

I've been looking into doing a something similar for a while now, I'll start to put something together in the new year. Been doing a lot of reading and following similar projects.

Confirming belief (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34662792)

Working at Google is boring.

OpenMoko was there first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34663234)

OpenMoko beat Android into space:

http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.comp.handhelds.openmoko.community/56347
http://freeyourphone.de/portal_v1/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1430&p=14569&hilit=dlr#p14569
http://openmoko.soup.io/post/46776551/Stefan-Schmidt-Freerunner-preparing-for-his-second

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