Despite the delay from a rocket booster steering engine on the 11th, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) took off today from the Californian Vandenberg Air Force Base, reports ABC News via Reuters. This extremely sensitive infrared system will take pictures every 11 seconds over the next year, by which time it will have catalogued the entire sky 1.5 times. This will allow celestial researchers to detect brown dwarf stars, uncharted comets, and renegade asteroids headed in our direction.
This couldn’t have happened at a better time, (nothing ruins new technology like the earth being bombarded by gigantic space debris) considering the confirmed reports that Google is in fact releasing its own phone, tentatively called Nexus One, which according to Reuters could begin sale, direct from Google, as early as January 5th, 2010. With reports stating that Google may intend to sell the new phone unlocked and available on all carriers, it’s happy times for anyone with T-Mobile or AT&T, as they both use GSM technology (which is all the Nexus One is apparently keyed to), and because Verizon hates its customers.
In other geekery, the B&N Nook has been hacked, mere days after it was released to the public. This wiki details the Nook Devs’ steps to obtaining root access and uploading Android, which seems pretty simple, all things considered. I am amazed that all B&N did was load the software onto an SD card which merely needed one word change of their code before running it through a Linux based machine. The possibilities alone are enough to sanction the voiding of warranty on a $259, plus tax, device.
So basically, NASA is mapping the sky, which will only add more data (I’m sure) to Google’s free app Sky Map (list of awesome free Android apps here: thanks Android OS) which you can download onto your new Nexus One and synch it to your hacked Nook, cataloging every star you’ve encountered, thereby helping you get off the island you find yourself marooned upon in your quest to return home to Ithaca after stirring shit up at Troy. Uh…this topic may have gotten away from me.