I see Link Bubble as an additional application rather than a complete replacement for your existing browser. Drive the Prius (Link Bubble) around the city during the week, take the truck (Chrome) out on Sundays.
Wrote a script which plays using a simple greedy approach. Chooses the current best option. Doesn't seem to get past 512 so far. It does however consistently get till 256. Just copy the code in the console and restart the game (space bar) to run.
Does anybody have a better approach? Other than randomize and trying your luck? Or maybe that is the best algorithm for this case..
More likely a header. It's 3081 byte blob after base64 decoding. If we consider it's encrypted with some block cipher with 128 or 256-bit blocks (IV and/or MAC would be likely to be 128-bit, too), there are 9 bytes for some header and/or padding.
Mars does have wind. In fact, dust storms have been known to last for weeks and encompass nearly the entire planet.
However, I don't think the wind is a likely culprit. If the wind was strong enough to knock over a rock, it would also be strong enough to blow a lot of dust around. That would be very noticeable to anyone watching the rover's feed, and would surely have been mentioned in the article.