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Comment: Was Going On Before (Score 1) 408

by Greyfox (#48633623) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot
All that pot was crossing their borders before, they just weren't paying attention. A majority of states now allow it for medical use, so it's not like Colorado's the only source of the stuff. And it's not hard to get a medical card. Find the right doctor and tell him you have a headache, stress or PMS.

I don't think I could do better than my house in Longmont, Colorado right now. Weed's legal, we're rolling out a gigabit municipal fiber network, there's a skydiving dropzone 10 minutes from my house, a vertical wind tunnel ("indoor skydiving") an hour from my house, the food here is amazing and the gays can get married in the state now. Suck it, rest of the world!

Comment: Eh? (Score 1) 550

by Greyfox (#48625651) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'
What's this "we" stuff? Anywhoo, a portion of the "normal" population IS easily paralyzed by fear or prone to hysteria. Sometimes both. Another portion of them think they are but find they are able to act when push comes to shove. If it weren't for the big-ass herd, the first group would quickly be eaten by bears. Since they're not, we just have to deal with their hand-wringing. Sony obviously knows this, since they were very supportive and didn't just say "We think you're being a bunch of pussies, so show our damn movie already." Mr. Singer apparently doesn't, since that's pretty much what he said.

Comment: Re:Glad I Didn't Build an Application Around That (Score 1) 75

by Greyfox (#48607073) Attached to: Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015
As it so happens, I DO have an array of t,x,y,z points. My GPS tracker records time, latitude, longitude and altitude. I wrote a bunch of code in C++ and have a data factory to get the points from the GPS tracker into an array. From there, I convert the points to ECEF so that I can do linear speed measurements on them. ECEF is an X/Y/Z coordinate system that measures its coordinates as meters from the center of the geoid. IIRC the two axes are the north pole and the intersection of the prime meridian and the equator. Could be wrong about that, I don't often have cause to check.

Canopy detection turns out to be pretty easy. I just find the first place in the jump I'm doing less than 10 meters a second. It seems to be pretty accurate. I haven't got around to aircraft exit and landing, as my GPS source up until recently has been too bad to get decent data. I'll have to do a few test jumps (In the name of science!) with a new, more accurate phone and see if it's worth the effort now.

For output, I'm rendering to KML. I can display that directly on Google earth or OpenLayers or write my own thing to do it.

Once I have a decent data set, I'll also have to add some statistic gathering. The upcoming holiday time off might be worthwhile for cleaning up some of the code I have. Hmm... :-D

Comment: Hmm (Score 1) 249

by Greyfox (#48605837) Attached to: Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents
I didn't give a shit about Sony or its products before reading this story. Now let me see... nope! Still don't give a shit! Funnily I think this makes me their best friend, since I'm not planning to access any of their documents, pirate any of their stuff and frankly don't even care to invest the amount of energy required to actively hate them. I might never actually buy another thing that they make, but that seems like the least of their problems at the moment.

By the way, Boies is still alive? I thought he'd been killed by a pack of rabid raccoons after that whole SCO debacle. Are we sure he's not actually rabid zombie raccoon Boies?

Comment: Re:Glad I Didn't Build an Application Around That (Score 1) 75

by Greyfox (#48590429) Attached to: Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015
Ultimately what I'd like to do is leave my tracker running all day while I'm at the drop zone. At the end of the day I'd like to shovel my points into an application and have it break out the jumps. I could drop points at the exit location, canopy deployed location and landing location and compute total freefall and canopy time for that day. I could potentially store that data somewhere for my logs. I'd also like to look at each jump on some map app and potentially replay the jump by moving a point along the track of my jump.

I fall like a brick, so it would be nice to be able to see just how much things I do on a jump affect my fall rate. I also do a lot of horizontal stuff -- tracking, wingsuiting, that sort of thing. The other day I dove out the door of the plane, held a steep dive for a 10-count and then leveled off and started tracking. I have a digital altimeter that tells me I was falling at 158 MPH at 9000 feet and 116 MPH at 6000 feet, but I really need more information on distance traveled and speeds at various points, to know how effective any particular technique is.

Comment: Re:Glad I Didn't Build an Application Around That (Score 1) 75

by Greyfox (#48590411) Attached to: Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015
It's been a couple of months since I looked at it, but last time I did, it was storing its points on the phone's internal memory. You might also be able to convince it to store them on the SD card. I'm pretty sure it only needs network access if you try to export your points to Google Drive or E-Mail. Now you've got me wondering, though, so next time I'm in the mood to play with it, I'll have to turn off its network access with Cyanogen's privacy manager to see if it's doing anything else.

I think there's a GPS demo in the Android SDK. I just haven't been bothered with setting up a dev environment yet. It should be pretty easy to just log the points somewhere on the phone so that you can work with them later.

Comment: Re:Do We Need Dark Matter? (Score 0) 83

by Greyfox (#48589043) Attached to: Deflating Claims That ESA Craft Has Spotted Dark Matter
Sure, dark matter is just a question mark, really. We're observing something that doesn't fit in with our understanding of how gravity works. We have not observed what's causing it, but based on how we observe gravity working, we're building a model of properties this unknown effect must have. At the point we're at with our understanding of it, we may as well have called it "magic." That would be a much more honest name for the level of understanding we have of it. But it's awfully hard to get a research grant for a space telescope to go looking for magic.

It's starting to feel like supersymmetry, though, where each successive observation seems to provide evidence against the hypothesis. There just hasn't been a particularly compelling competing hypothesis to explain what we're seeing.

People tend to think of science as absolute because it's kind of taught that way in school. We go over everything we have a solid understanding of and people don't get exposed to the edges where we're still trying to understand things very often. But there are really still a lot of things we don't understand about the world and universe we live in, and watching the scientific method at work can be confusing if you haven't been exposed to it a lot. I think scientists feel compelled to talk about these things as if they understand them more than they do, because, again, it's very hard to get a research grant to find the thing that you think has to be there but you don't know exactly what it is.

Comment: Glad I Didn't Build an Application Around That (Score 3, Interesting) 75

by Greyfox (#48588957) Attached to: Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015
Google Earth is a nifty thing and I can think of several applications I'd really like to build around it. I'd actually been kicking around the idea of using the Google Earth plugin to do some stuff, but I also know Google's tendency to do stuff like this. I'd also been looking into getting around some of the limitations in Google Earth by setting up a socket server that pretends to be a web server and shoveling KML into Google Earth via fast-refreshing network links. That kind of works, but it's awkward. My other alternative is to use OpenLayers, but then I have to write more of my GUI in JavaScript, which I kind of hate.

One of the things I do with Google Earth is install a GPS tracker on my cell phone and take it on a skydive. I use MyTracks to log my coordinates every second and use a little application I wrote to turn the MyTracks data into a KML file, detect where I deployed my canopy and drop a push-pin there and plot the jump on Google Earth so you can see the jump in 3D. MyTracks actually has an "Export to KML" option, but it doesn't handle altitude very well and just clamps your entire track to the ground. Apparently the developers didn't consider the "I'm 2.5 miles above the surface of the planet" use-case when they wrote the thing heh.

The cell phone isn't a great GPS tracker to use for this -- the GPS hardware in the Samsung Galaxy S5 I'm using now is actually almost usable. The S3 used to regularly lose 2/3rds of the points on my jump. There are custom skydiver GPS units available that have much higher accuracy, and they're used regularly in wingsuit competitions and stuff like that. It'd be really neat to plot an entire load of skydivers together on Google Earth and do a real-time replay of each one's position along their track during the jump. I could pull this off using the socket server method of putting KML into Google Earth and updating a new point for each wingsuit's location every second. It wouldn't even really be all that much work, but I don't really like how I'd have to do the design, and that's kept me from it.

Comment: Re:Don't foget (Score 3, Funny) 186

by Greyfox (#48564095) Attached to: NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written
And Dwarf Fortress! I still bust out Dwarf Fortress on a pretty regular basis. The last update has some bugs around dwarves getting stressed out and never de-stressing. So I'd end up with a few disgruntled dwarves wandering around my fortress randomly picking fights and crying on people. I guess they're going to address that, but I was starting to think I was going to have to build a fluffy puppy room into all my future fortresses. If a dwarf got too stressed out, I'd lock them in the fluffy puppy room with a lot of puppies, a lot of good food and a lot of good drink. They'd either come out de-stressed or I'd have a lot of dead puppies on my hands. I've never talked about any other game I've ever played quite like that.

Comment: There's A Lot of C Out There (Score 1) 641

by Greyfox (#48554899) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?
I'm currently maintaining some that was written back in the 90's. Some of the files are so old they're still using K&R-style declarations. Personally I'd rather use a recent C++, but I still have more luck finding jobs for C than C++. Even though C++ is a direct descendant of C, the idioms for using it effectively are significantly different.

I started digging around in the Gnu flex source code for fun recently. Even though it's pretty moldy and old and uses global variables all over the place while it's generating your scanner, I'd still rather use flex than anything else if I'm going to be parsing a complex file format. I'm looking at sprucing up its C++ classes a little bit. I know there are projects out there to do that already, but this is really more of an excuse to go digging around in its guts than anything else.

Chemist who falls in acid is absorbed in work.