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Aug 05 2012

Curiosity piqued, tonight at 2:31am!

Atlantic Daylight Time, of course. So 05:31 UTC.

Remember Curiosity and its Rube Goldberg-like planned landing? That happens tonight. Tomorrow morning, technically, for some of us. Phil Plait has details on how to participate in the fun:

If you want to watch the proceedings live, I have a few things you can do.

1) Fraser Cain, Pamela Gay, and I will be doing a Google+ Hangout on August 5th starting at 03:00 UTC on August 5/6 and running until 07:00 – note that for the US, this starts on the evening of the 5th at 23:00 Eastern time and runs through 03:00 in the morning. We plan on having special guests, a live feed from NASA, and more. The Hangout is being sponsored by Google itself, CosmoQuest, and the SETI Institute, which has a strong astrobiology mission and therefore is very interested in Mars. Our coverage will be complete, intense, awesome, and fun. Promise! There’s more info at Universe Today, and we have an events page set up on G+ to help you out. There’s also a Facebook events page, too! Use the #marshangout hashtag on Twitter to follow along, too.

2) You can always watch NASA TV. They’ve posted a schedule of events for media.

3) If you are in the Pasadena California area, then join the party! Literally: The Planetary Society is throwing a bash to celebrate and watch the landing at the Paseo Colorado – Garfield Promenade on Saturday, August 4. Attending will be TPS blogger (and big pal o’ mine) Emily Lakdawalla as well as Bill Nye (yes, THE Bill Nye). You can get more info on Emily’s blog, and get tickets online. If I could, I’d go there too! But I’ll be at home and quite busy myself (see #1 above).

4) The Planetary Society is holding PlanetFest at the Pasadena Convention Center on August 4 and 5 – it’s again a celebration of planetary exploration. It looks like fun!

X-Box 360 users will also be able to live-stream the landing. My sleep schedule has been completely screwed by work for a very long time, so I’m planning on staying up myself. I’m trying to figure out if the PS3 browser can handle Ustream, but I’m not having a lot of luck with it myself. Anyone know of a good way to stream to PS3, given that’s my primary media centre?

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  1. 1
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    Grr. NASA deprecated their Windows Media streams. Used to be able to view page source and watch the asx playlist in VLC.

    It’s rtmp buried behind flash now…

  2. 2
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    Warning: Commandline technobable ahead.

    With this script, I got the info needed to rtmpdump the NasaTV Public channel on ustream.

    rtmpdump -r "rtmp://ustreamlivefs.fplive.net/ustream3live-live/stream_live_6_1_6540154" -W "http://www.ustream.tv/flash/viewer.swf" --live -o tmp.flv

    That -W bit is what rtmpdump is needed for, spoofing the flash client.
    Let the stream accumulate for a few seconds, then open the flv in VLC.
     
    There are alternate streams at varying quality:
    HQ: stream_live_1_1_6540154
    480p: stream_live_8_1_6540154
    360p: stream_live_4_1_6540154
    240p: stream_live_6_1_6540154
     
    Linux users can optionally create a fancy ‘named pipe’ called tmp.flv beforehand with mkfifo/mknod. That way, instead of a real ever-growing file, rtmpdump’ll write to a buffer that’ll shrink as VLC consumes it.
     
    * The guide recommends directly piping into VLC, but piping’s been broken on Windows since 2.0.1. Other OSs and nightly 2.0.3+ users can possibly drop the -o arg and pipe directly into vlc.
     
    For the playstation, google says there’s a project called “ps3mediaserver” that might forward tmp.flv over a LAN to the console…

  3. 3
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    Another ustream server that can be dropped into the command above:
    rtmp://cp152495.live.edgefcs.net/live/ustream-sj2_44@7605

    HQ: ustream-sj2_63@53274
    480p: ustream-sj2_677@19148
    360p: ustream-sj2_195@20448
    240p: ustream-sj2_44@7605

  4. 4
    Jason Thibeault

    CA: Excellent sleuthing. God damn but I wish I had more time these days to investigate that stuff myself.

    I’ve started installing PS3 Media Server on my old laptop I use to stream stuff to my PS3. I will let you know how that goes.

  5. 5
    eNeMeE

    EEEEEEEEEE!

  6. 6
    Jason Thibeault

    Successful touchdown.

    Holy. Fuck.

  7. 7
    Jason Thibeault

    CA: I got rtmpdump to pipe into that named pipe, but I couldn’t convince PS3MediaServer to pipe it back out. In fact, it doesn’t even show that file at all even if you try to stream directly to a temp file and read it back on the PS3 — I think it won’t recognize it as a valid file if it’s locked for writing. I might try again later to pipe into a file without locking it, but I suspect PS3MediaServer won’t even show it in its index.

    Google searches on the matter don’t turn up anything of use either. There’s another media server called Serviio that can apparently send UStream streams to the PS3, but I’ve been completely unable to install it properly on Linux. Well, I can install it, but trying to configure the library gives me an “error 500″ which, the logs tell me, means it was unable to add one of the variables that’s on the page to the XML config.

    Worse, I can’t find the bloody XML config to add it myself. *sigh*

  8. 8
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    In fact, it doesn’t even show that file at all even if you try to stream directly to a temp file and read it back on the PS3.

    If you save to a file and ctrl-c, the result should be a typical flv video. I can see a named pipe partially read would lose it’s header though (one reason to save the fancy stuff ’till after it’s working).

    It’d be useful to test with other videos you’ve got lying around to be sure ps3mediaserver works in mundane circumstances. Get each piece working, then rig them together.

    What’s weird is ps3mediaserver has had plugins that incorporated rtmpdump, and it’s using ffmpeg for transcoding, which has understood flv for a long time now.
     
    I don’t have a PS3, but I’ll play around with the app a bit…

  9. 9
    Jason Thibeault

    Works fine with ctrl-c, and on a bunch of other media (including some MediaTomb struggled with!), so it’s not ps3mediaserver — it’s the fact that either streaming to the file or piping into a named pipe produces a file that the program simply can’t index until everything else is done with it.

  10. 10
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    That’s good to hear. Glancing at the GUI, it looks like it could be configured to use another transcoder ‘engine’ which doesn’t mind partial/in-use files. The PMSEncoder plugin might be coaxed into dumping ustream.

  11. 11
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    The channel plugin aggregates streams with xml feeds. Several in the rtmpgui.ch channel give rtmpdump the ‘live’ arg
    (<advanced><![CDATA[-v...]]></advanced>) as well as the swf to spoof.
     
    I don’t know how these plugins work together to make use of that information, but the infrastructure is definitely in there somewhere to do this.

    Worst/laziest case: you can post that ustream guide in their dev forums for someone else to figure out.

  1. 12
    Curiosity successfully touched down on Mars | Lousy Canuck

    [...] terror is over. Our first 256×256 snapshot of the surface of Mars after the utterly terrifying touchdown [...]

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