Category: Technology

How to Use the Stars to Tell Time

Posted on July 24, 2016 in Technology

Imagine this! You are on a solo camping or fishing trip and stumbling on your way to the river in the dark, both your watch and cell phone fall into the river. You can’t retrieve either, since you can’t see, but you need to know what the time is. Doesn’t matter why you need to know, but it is imperative that you know how long it is before sunrise. What to do?

Well, if you know same basic astronomy, you can use the North Star and the Plough (Big Dipper) asterism to tell the time to within about 30 minutes or so. Here is how, but if you don’t know some basic astronomy and are a beginner to using stargazing equipment, refer to the image below before you leave on a camping or fishing trip.

Image credit: TimeAndDate.com

Image credit: TimeAndDate.com

This image shows the relationship between the Plough and Polaris, the North Star. Note that the distance between the star and the asterism never changes. The only thing that changes is the position of the Plough relative to the star, since the asterism completes one complete orbit around the star in the course of each 24-hour period. Thus, the asterism will return to the same position relative to the star on the same date every year.

It is worth noting that the rate at which the Plough revolves around the North Star also does not change, meaning that the time it takes the asterism to compete a part of its rotation around the star, say 15 degrees, will always be the same, regardless of where in the rotational circle each subsequent 15- degree segment falls.

So referring to the image again, we can see that it is possible to divide the circle traced out by the Plough’s anti-clockwise rotation around the North Star into equally-sized segments- 24 in this case since the Plough takes 24 hours to complete one revolution around the North Star in an anti-clockwise direction. For our purposes, one segment represents 15 degrees, or one hour of time.

Telling the time

Before you can actually use our Big Dipper clock, you need to remember that the relative positions of the Plough and the North Star as they are represented on Fig. 1 indicate the correct time, but only on the night of March 7/8, but this happens every year, so the clock is reasonably accurate from one year to the next.

So on March 7/8, the clock will show the correct time, midnight, but as the year wears on, you need to correct for the passage of time. There are various ways of doing this, one being the addition or subtraction of one hour per month before or after March 7/8, but there is an easier way. Here’s how:

  • Bear in mind that the Plough takes 24 hours to complete one revolution. Therefore, and regardless of where in its rotation the Plough is, the passage of four hours will equal an angle of 60 degrees.
  • So, remembering that midnight is represented by the Plough being at the top of the imaginary clock, it becomes a simple matter to gauge the angle between the pointer stars and the North Star from the perpendicular to where it is now. Every 60 degrees of movement translates into four hours of elapsed time. Subdividing each 60 degree segment yields a more accurate guesstimate of the actual time, but remember that the actual time read off the celestial clock will be accurate only on March 7/8. Thus, on this date, follow the rule below-
  1. Midnight (24:00): The Plough is directly over the North Star.
  2. 6AM (06:00): The Plough is due west of the North Star.
  3. Noon (12:00): The Plough is due south of the Pole Star.
  4. 6PM (18:00): The Plough is due east of the North Star.

Correcting for the date

Since a circle only has 360 degrees, and the Earth takes roughly 365 days to complete an orbit around the Sun, the celestial clock runs fast at the rate of 4 minutes per day, which translates into around two hours per month.

To correct for this deviation, you must subtract 30 minutes for each week after March 7/8. Thus, if you read a time of say, midnight on May 7, (3 months, or 12 weeks later), you get a value of 360 minutes, or three hours that must be taken into account. This would make the time on May 7 not midnight, but 9 PM, since you must subtract the time that the celestial clock had been running fast over the 12 weeks from March 7, to May 7. To correct for Daylight Saving Time (when DST is in effect), add one hour to the calculated time to get a reasonably accurate time.

Sky Go Abroad: Never Miss Another Show

Posted on November 19, 2015 in Technology

British TV is undoubtedly one of the best in the world, and when you’re at home, you’re spoilt for choice with all the great content available there. Be it movies, sports, TV shows or news, nothing beats British TV. And one of the most popular on-demand UK TV services for accessing all this great content is Sky Go. With over ten million people hooked on to this service, it is one of the best in UK at the moment. But there is one question that has bothered Sky Go fans over the years. Can you watch Sky Go abroad?

Sky Go is basically a service that is very similar to BBC iPlayer. It lets you access all the programs you’ve missed out on and is one of the best services for catch-up TV in the UK. It is also a great on the road service, since you can sync it up with your tablet or your mobile phone and get to see all that great content at the touch of a button. But there is one thing that many of us Sky Go lovers complain about. That is the services of Sky Go abroad.

If you’re out vacationing in Spain, and want to catch up on a great British movie, there are chances that you might be completely disappointed when you realize that your Sky Go doesn’t work there. The service is available, but you cannot watch any content outside UK soil using Sky Go. This is a terrible thing, because with so many great things to watch, we don’t want to miss out on our entertainment when we’re out of the country, be it on vacation or on a work trip. It is a pay TV service, and what you feel really bad about is not being able to watch all the TV content you want especially when you’re out on vacation.

So in case you’re in the USA, France, Germany or any other place in the world, you’ll be really sad about the fact that you are missing out on all the great TV that you could watch back home. But there is no need to despair. There is a way in which you can watch your favorite TV shows on Sky Go abroad. The process is quite simple and completely legal.

All you need to do is to install a VPN or an encrypted Virtual Private Network and voila, you’ll be able to access your favorite shows once again, even if you’re outside the country. What the VPN does is to bypass all the restrictions which stop you from watching British TV abroad. Basically, Sky Go gets blocked when your IP address shows that you are not on UK soil.

But with the VPN, you can get your connection encrypted. And watch all the awesome content that defines television, no matter where you are.

UK TV Box: Watch your Favourite Shows Abroad

Posted on November 18, 2015 in Technology

You are on a holiday or on business trip abroad, or you have shifted base to another remote country and missing your favorite soaps and other programs, wondering how to catch up with them. No need to worry anymore.

You can watch close to 100 channels of UK Television from anywhere in the world, using the all new IPTV set top boxes. No need for any satellite system. Not even a computer.

A broadband connection, with minimum of 2.5MEG download, is enough to enable you to watch a range of UK Television channels from BBC to ITV to Sky Sports, and many more. You just have to buy a UK TV box and plug and play it on the television set in your room and there you are!

There are many types of set top boxes available in the market today like MAG250 and MAG254, which come with remote control devices. Connect the set top box to your ADSL router and the TV will instantly start beaming all those shows that you were craving for, living thousands of miles away from home.

Using MAG250/254

It is an amazing light weight and easy to carry device. It also comes with a remote control system. One of the biggest benefits of using MAG250 is that it is compatible with almost all kinds of modern HDMI ready television sets. It gives you a very high sound and picture quality and supports most modern audio and video formats, even subtitles. It is a fantastic UK TV Box which will ensure that you never miss your favorite British TV show.

There is not much of difference between MAG250 and MAG254, when it comes to design and functionality. Just that MAG254 is a slightly improved version of 250 with a better memory and a faster processor. Its remote also has more functions.

What is IPTV?

IPTV is an acronym for Internet Protocol Television. It is a system that uses an Internet protocol for delivering television services. IPTV currently has three kinds of services: Live Television, Time Shifted Television and Video-on-Demand. All three kinds of services come at very affordable prices. You can get an IPTV at very reasonable rates and they are available widely. You just have to subscribe to the service, paying a nominal fee and the UKTV will travel with you, wherever you go on the planet earth.

So if you are looking for a cost effective way of catching up on your favorite UK shows, go ahead and get a UK TV box today.

Watch Sky TV in Belgium: Amazing Internet Connectivity

Posted on November 14, 2015 in Technology

Nowadays, most people can’t just let their gadgets slip away from their hands because of the Internet. It enables everyone to see the world on the screen, even just a very few clicks away. However, there is a product released in the market that is not only for one person to enjoy the web, but the whole family. With Blade Stream HD IPTV, you can watch Sky TV anywhere in Belgium.

You can Watch Sky TV in Belgium using this gadget, with proper installation and of course, given that you have paid your Internet Connection or get the Sky viewing card from Insat International. It would be a great weekend treat for everyone in the house, watching high definition videos on YouTube and other web sources.

Live streaming is made possible, which gives you an access to the movie series that you would like to watch online. You can also invite your friends to watch the live streaming with you since you can connect the Blade IPTV set top box in your television.

With this device paired with a fast Internet connection and you can enjoy the best deals of television adventures. If you have some visitors to come over your house in Belgium, then it would be easier for you to entertain them by just letting them watch whatever saved channels and movies you have or you can just ask them to browse online using your device. It would give you no hassle in giving them the best relaxation of scanning the videos they wanted to watch, given your big screen available at hand.

If you are an expat, you can still make the most of the best features that the gadget and the Internet can offer. You can choose in your subscriptions on how many channels you would like to get and what those channels are. You can try whatever the TV network you would like to watch from your home country if there is available in Belgium. There are premium channels you can opt to subscribe, while there are also those free ones.

Based on the physical attributes of the device, it has an elegant look of plain black and sleek model. It can go, whatever the interior design of your living area. The MAG 250 has two USB ports, which give you comfort on whichever port to use. One good feature this gadget can give is that it allows you to record the favorite programs using your flash drive so you can watch them at your most convenient time and again and again.

Aside from high definition videos and digital music, you can also brown high resolution images, which makes them very nice to look at in a wide screen. Watch Sky TV in Belgium in the most entertaining way with the best features of Blade Stream HD IPTV can offer.