Gavin O'Hara

An inspiring year-long science contest—can we say voyage?—is about to come to an end in a most spectacular way. In the grand finale of YouTube Space Lab (powered by Lenovo), three teenagers will have their science experiments performed by astronauts high above Earth at the International Space Station. Best of all, we can watch the event unfold; it will be brought to us in the world’s largest-ever live stream from space. The awesome Bill Nye “The Science Guy” will serve as host. Click the link to go to the YouTube Space Lab channel, where the online broadcast will take place.   We got to wondering how the heck a live stream works—and particularly one this complex—so we asked the guys who are in charge of making it happen. David Thorpe (Live Streaming Operations) and Marc Joynes (Creator Space Manager) from Google/YouTube shared the story via email. Thanks for answering our questions. We're naturally very excited about the largest-ever live stream from space. Tell us from a technical standpoint how a live stream works normally, and then explain how this particular one might be different. YouTube live streams hundreds of events every day, so we're used to providing our audience with live music, news, sports and entertainment. But we've never streamed from space before, so this is an exciting new frontier for us! Live streams work by making sure we...

Continue reading “How The Largest-Ever Live Stream From Space Will Work”

Can you imagine being in high school and getting invited to be special guest at a real rocket launch? That's exactly what happened to Sara Ma and Dorothy Chen, Michigan natives and winners of the YouTube Space Lab competition. As part of their prize package, the teenage friends got to travel to Japan, where they watched up close and personal as their very own experiments were shot up by rocket to the International Space Station. On the eve of the Space Lab finale, we asked them about this incredible experience.   How long was your flight from Michigan to Japan? Did you have any interesting layovers? The flight was 13-14 hours long. We had no layovers. I couldn’t sleep on the plane at all, so the flight felt extremely long.   What cities in Japan did you get to see? Any significant landmarks? I just saw Tokyo and Tanegashima on my Japan trip. I was most impressed with the different landscapes of Tokyo: you can see the old classic side in the Asakusa district, the modern electric city in the Akihabara district, and the fashion-forward/young-teen scene in the Shibuya district. Tanegashima was relatively isolated from modern activity, and I really was able to enjoy the amazing nature and calmness that you can’t get in the bustling city.     Describe the overall experience, and emotions you felt, while watching your experiment launch on the JAXA rocket heading to the ISS.  I was just drowning in...

Continue reading “The Adrenaline of the Space Lab Rocket Launch”

Prep the smoke machines. ThinkPad X1 Carbon—impossibly tough, improbably thin and injected with pure rock-and-roll swagger—has landed.   Here’s what you need to know--we present three numbers that matter in the world of Carbon. 1) 2.998 pounds: Our engineers are proud to say Carbon is the worlds lightest 14" Ultrabook. Of course it’s equally tough—it’s forged form the same carbon fiber they use in the automotive industry. We’ve used carbon fiber for years in ThinkPads but this is the most we’ve used in one.     2) 8 millimeters: The X1 Carbon is the thinnest ThinkPad ever built: 8 mm in the front, 17 mm in the back. For dramatic effect, at a recent event we placed it next to the original ThinkPad 700 from 1992.     3) 35 minutes: That’s how long (or rather not long) it takes to charge X1 Carbon from zero to 80% of its battery capacity. That’s fast enough for a quick airport layover.     You can find full specs and info on our website. Or you can take the scenic route by popping some popcorn and watching our Hitchcock-esque “Unboxing” video.     That's it for now. We hope you love it half as much as we think you will and we look forward to hearing your take on Carbon in the comments below.   Gavin O’Hara is Global Publisher for Lenovo Social Media....

Continue reading “ThinkPad X1 Carbon: Three Numbers That Matter”

Amr Mohamed was beyond elated when he learned he was one of the global winners of the YouTube Space Lab competition this past March. He had already been named as one of the six regional winners, and was in the middle of an exciting trip to Washington, D.C. to experience a Zero-Gravity flight, see the sites in the US capitol and attend the competition award ceremony. But that was just the beginning of Amr’s incredible space adventures.   The global winners had a choice for their grand prize – a trip to Japan to watch their winning Space Lab science experiment get shot up to the International Space Station (ISS) on a JAXA rocket  or a unique space experience few get to make: a week-long space camp in Star City, Russia where the Russian cosmonauts train. Amr reached for the stars, and left his home in Alexandria, Egypt to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey. We spoke to Amr right after his Russia trip to get all the details on what it really means to train like an astronaut. Q: How long was the flight from Alexandria to Moscow? A: The flight was about five hours long. Q: From start to finish, describe a typical day during space camp training. A: At training...

Continue reading “Star City Dreaming With Amr from Space Lab”

Sometimes an outpouring of anger can reveal itself as a kind of profound love. I know it sounds strange but that’s been my conclusion after moderating your comments across Lenovo’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube pages over the past couple months. The source of the angst (as many of you know) is the recent design change to Lenovo’s famous, award-winning, ergonomically-renowned ThinkPad laptop keyboard. Nearly every negative comment I’ve read has been delivered with a sense of ferocious loyalty, a sense of love. You’re mad because you care. I respect that. Here are two samples of what we've heard from you guys: “Lenovo, have you lost your minds? Why did you do this? Did you do any research or testing or was this a whim? Have you messed up the classic ThinkPad typing experience?” “What I'd like to hear is some real arguments about why this has been done. Such a well-established keyboard should not be changed for no good reason or just to change something!” But wait, isn't this the same keyboard that Notebook Review called “fantastic” and The Verge said “makes a world of difference, improving on a historically splendid design?” (Perhaps the most apt quote came from

Continue reading “Change Is Hard: Why You Should Give In to the New ThinkPad Keyboard”