Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mission to Mars

Earth is rapidly reaching capacity. Year on year there is an exponential increase in the human population, and it's about time we seriously thought about alternatives.

Mars One has taken the next leap for mankind by starting an initiative to transport humans on a one way trip, i.e. no return, to start a colony on planet Mars. Candidates volunteer themselves and then go through a series of interviews and physicals and eventually shortlisted for the trip to Mars.

There will be multiple one way trips in groups of fours.  Each trip will bring in supplies and equipment and materials to expand the colony.  Eventually the aim would be to sustain themselves without aid from Earth.  The first trip is scheduled to leave in 2023 and will arrive at Mars in 2024.
The magnitude of this event is beyond comprehension. If the first mission is successful it may be the beginning of the next stage of evolution for mankind. 

There are questions around the feasibility of the project. Although there are various companies that have already bought into the idea, a project of this nature does not have a budget.  Expenses are literally open ended. Think about it, there is no telling what to expect. Date from Curiosity is limited, We know about the composition of the ground and air in and around Mars, but once there is a human life form on the actual planet surface, that human brain that is absorbing all the information from the planet will be the ultimate data capturing and processing computer of all time to tell us what we really need to do to colonise and survive on Mars.

But once that is done, you have to ask yourself the question... "now what?". Will it be just like it is on Earth? I'm not talking about buildings, parks and beaches etc., I'm talking about economy, currency, politics. Will it be the same or will humankind start a new way of thinking? Now you start to think about all the sci-fi movies and series that you've ever watched in your life, personally I think that the Star Trek scenario will prevail, but all we can do is wait and see what mankind chooses to do.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Mugg & Beans new Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

For all the Red Velvet fanatics like me out there, you have got to give the Red Velvet Hot chocolate at Mugg & Bean a try.  This delectable cream cheese topping infused with fresh cream is enough to wake up your wintery tastebuds and bring you back for more.

The red velvet cupcake crumbles finishes the top of this hot chocolate off perfectly.  A small price of R26.90 will be all that you have to pay for this absolutely marvellous hot drink.

The red velvet cupcake would compliment this drink well for a special kiddies treat or a family wanting to spend some quality time together, all would work well whilst enjoying the new Red Velvet Hot Chocolate from Mugg & Bean.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Sprinkle Islands

Sprinkle Islands is a great physics based game by Mediocre. It has a million plus downloads so far on Google's Play Store and the best part is, it's free. It's available for both Android and iPhone.

You drive around on a little red fire truck and put out fires that are all about the islands. The villagers that you have to save are called Titans.

You are given a tank of water and the less you use to put out fires the more points you get.  There are also a lot of puzzles that you have to solve, by using a bit of physics.

The game comes with great graphics and the best part is that there are no annoying ads all over the screen.  The only downside to it is that you get only eight levels to play and if you want to play more then you have to get the full paid version.  For just 17mb I think it's worth a shot. You will definitely enjoy it although it's very short lived.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Affordable Mobile Data

Some time ago I blogged about getting affordable data through FNB Connect. Where you can load APN settings on your phone for FNB Connect and purchase prepaid data. At first this seemed to be far cheaper than what the networks were offering in terms of bolt on data. Over time the networks revised their data costs and dropped the bolt on data to a fraction less than what FNB Connect was offering. So I moved back to MTN, which is my service provider.

Then the networks started offering cheaper stand alone data contracts, such as Cell C's 2gb for R99p/m. I then got myself a mifi and went that route. But the biggest issue was that the mifi battery doesn't last very long and was forced to switch back to my network.

This became frustrating because we know that mobile data is way cheaper than the bolt on data that the networks are shoving down our throats. I then searched for APNs similar to FNB Connect and came across Afrihost.

Basically what they do is offer data packages via standalone sim cards or as an APN through MTN. So I was in luck, because I am on MTN. I browsed through the packages they offer and came across a package called Mobile 500 for R58p/m, which comes with 500mb data and an additional 500mb anytime data for free! 

So I followed the prompts and pulled out my credit card and loaded the details into the site. 2 minutes later I got an email stating that my APN has been successfully linked to my sim. I then loaded the APN settings onto my phone and gave it a shot. I was dumbfounded! In under 10 minutes Afrihost had me up and running and I was able to use all functions as normal. I immediately cancelled my bolt on bundle that I had with Autopage for MTN, which was R79 for 300mb.

The beauty about all this is that if I reach my limit my data service will stop until I top it up again with one of their various options such as R99p/gb or wait till the next billing cycle. Usage notifications are sent to you periodically or you can just check online.

The whole process was simple, fast and efficient. Their website is informative and tells you as it is, with no hidden traps. All I can say is, "Well done Afrihost!"

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hay Day - Supercell

Ok, I know that Hay Day, by Super Cell, has been around for a while now and it might be a bit old for some people, but it's still a great game. I started playing it about a year ago and was hooked on it. Then I got busy and forgot about it. Four months later I logged on and saw that my farm was still alive.

I planted some crops and got started again. The aim of the game is to grow your farm by increasing what types of crops you plant and what type of animals you farm. You start of with the basics, like wheat and chickens. You grow the wheat and covert it into chicken feed to feed your chickens. After a while you chickens lay eggs and you can either sell them or use them to make better products like, baking a pie or bread, land then sell those. The final products yield a higher income and those profits can go towards upgrading your farm.

Hay Day isn't a game that you can play in a couple of hours and finish it. It's designed to take weeks, even months to complete. You can spend your own money and accomplish things faster but if you are like me and do it the old fashion way it can take a while, but the results are more satisfying.

The game goes well with Clash of Clans, because when you are waiting for things to be upgraded or completed in Clash of Clans you can kill time in Hay Day, and vice versa.

Give it a go, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Hay Day is available for both Android and iPhone, on tablet and iPad as well.



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rosetta Comet Probe

If you're looking for a space event to track this year, look into the Rosetta Comet Probe, which was launched in 2004 from Europe.

Rosetta was put into hibernation about 31 months ago after reaching its designated destination about 500 miles away from Earth. So it's still in our solar system.

Before Rosetta was put into hibernation the European Space Agency set an alarm clock that will wake it up in 2014. On Monday 20 January 2014, Rosetta successfully answered to that wake up call. Now tasks ahead for Rosetta will be warming up its star tracker sensors so that it can get co-ordinates for positioning itself. Then the probe will fire its retros to adjust its position so that its solar arrays can face the sun which will recharge its batteries.

Rosetta is scheduled to meet comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November this year and will be the first comet probe to enter an orbit around the comet, instead of just doing a fly by. Rosetta also carries a space craft, called philae, which will land on the comet to collect data. 

This space mission is the first of its kind and is a must follow event for everyone.

DSTV Remote Control - Buttons Not Working

Anybody having problems with their DSTV remote control i.e. certain buttons are not working? Well I've got a simple solution.

My decoder and remote is quite old now and I occasionally had a problem with my Exit button on my remote. It was quite annoying when looking at the info on a program and then not being able to get rid of that pop up information.

I searched online and a new one was going to set me back a hundred bucks. There was no way I was going to do that. So I decided to strip my remote to see what the problem was.

Once stripped I noticed that their was a lot of oil build up behind the contacts, use a tissue paper to clean this up. Find the Exit button contact on the under side of the keypad, you will notice that there is a slight bit of wear in that area. Clean it up with the tissue paper and then gets a tiny piece of foil from your kitchen and cut it up so that it just makes it to wrap around the Exit button contact. Re-assemble your DSTV remote, pop in your batteries and you should be good to go. This is guaranteed to work saving you R100.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Clash of Clans

I've been playing this game on my Android phone recently called Clash of Clans, by SuperCell. I was introduced to it by my brother, who plays it on his iPhone. Basically it is a defense strategy game that involves building a village and defending it with canons, towers and traps.

You gain resources in two ways i.e. by "farming" it yourself or attacking other villages and stealing it. Basic resources consists of gold and elixir. You get gold from gold mines and elixir from elixir collectors. Both can be upgraded to produce more resources per hour. And every time you upgrade the next upgrade costs more and takes longer to complete. Some upgrades can run into days leaving you twiddling your thumbs, which is the one thing I don't like about the game. Unlike the games rival, Castle Clash, you can play other parts of the game while upgrades are happening.

But the thing that makes this game interesting is a building called the "Clan Castle". The Clan Castle, once rebuilt, allows you to join a clan, which are other players around the world, and together with your clan you can help each other progress and defend your village by providing troops to each other. This gives you an advantage because even if you may be in a lower level, you can get advanced troops from you clan that will help you defend your village.

Apart from the clan support, joining a clan also gets you in contact with the clan members and you join in a live chat with them. My brother and I belong to a clan with a "unique" name called Game of Thrones. I must say that it's been better fun after joining the clan.

The game is great, but be prepared, this game can run into months of play if you don't want to spend money on gems that can be used to speed up build and upgrade time. Otherwise you can collect gems by cutting down trees and bushes and completing goals.