GeekNights Monday - GPS

Tonight on GeekNights, returning from our hiatus for-real this time, we consider the wonder that is the Global Positioning System. In the news, the corrupt and treasonous president of the United States is being impeached, Richard Stallman has rightfully, finally, been pushed out of the open source movement, and you shouldn't vape any of that vape juice until it's properly regulated.

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Things of the Day

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GPSes are not geostationary >_>

Pretty good only getting one thing wrong on a topic I am far from expert on.

Also it’s mostly their speed rather than gravity that brings relativity into play.

Rym, I think the gravity map you’re thinking of is the geoid.

That’s it!

From what I gather, modern nuclear warheads use some combination of star charts, that data, their own local sensor data, and potentially other un-named sources to be able to navigate wholly independently.

It’s not navigation per se, but this is a really interesting article that talks about the new “super-fuze” on nuclear missiles.

In a nutshell, it can calculate on the fly if the missile is going to overshoot. If it is, it can detonate the warhead in the air above the target, increasing the chance whatever hardened target is destroyed.

Of course, it’s light on details of how the thing actually works. Seems like there’s hints radar is involved.

Most of those consumer dash units from 10ish years ago ran Windows CE and used stand alone GPS receiver modules that automatically do all the hard work and spit out standard sentences over a serial interface. This was great because I got the cheapest no name unit and had it booting to a menu that let you choose between stock maps, Garmin, Tomtom, or a Win CE desktop.

I’m stumped on what Rym’s song at the end is. Best guess is it’s from a old Disney cartoon/movie.

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I’ll be impressed if anyone recognizes it and actually says what it’s from.

We have talked about the thing it’s from on GeekNights.

Scott def needs to see Blade Runner 2049. As a sequel it can’t exist without the first film, but it’s examination of the original film’s themes, while also creating a great narrative own its own and posing questions that feel appropriate for our own era now honestly make it the better film of the two. Also the cinematography and score are just tops.

Also Blade Runner takes place in 2019, so everybody needs to step up their noir future clothing game to get with the times.

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Please tell me which store sells reasonably priced, comfortable, and quality cyberpunk clothes and I’ll change my wardrobe tomorrow. I’m in NYC, so I have access to every store.

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Scott, should we both dress like shadowrunners? Is this where this is going?

Because I am 100% on board.

Granted, I’m basically a “Company Man” archtype in the current cyber dystopia…

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I work in/hear fucking SoHo. I’ve been looking in windows for years. If you can find it, then we can wear it.

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Unfortunately price is the main issue with “Techwear” which seems to be the closest approximation of cyberpunk clothes thats readily available on the market without any DIY. Honestly though some combo of milspec with artistic affectation would probably nail it.

Related to air navigation over the ocean, the battle of Midway was won technically on a navigation error. Torpedo bombers from the Enterprise had flown to a previously known location of the Japanese fleet, but when they didn’t find any ships they had the choice of continuing to search or go back to base. As luck would have it, there was a Japanese destroyer conducting an anti-submarine search and was now steaming to link back up with the main fleet. The American planes followed the destroyer.

This was significant because the Japanese knew from which direction American carrier planes were going to approach from, and so had their AA trained and zeroed in that direction. Previous squadrons to attack from that angle had been wiped out by AA and air cover. A squadron of planes coming from practically behind the fleet threw off Japanese defenses, and wrecked havoc as they actually caused damage to the fleet. Ultimately all four of the Japanese carriers involved in the battle were sunk, and Pearl Harbor was avenged as those carriers were four of the six that conducted the air attack.

More RMS related info, plus lots of other great stuff from James Gosling.

I never realized how much Mr. Java is a Unix Santa.

He’s in the dictionary next to the UNIX Santa entry.

It’s a bit more complex than that. Have you read a recent analysis of the battle?

The Japanese fleet didn’t have (contemporarily) modern fire control or RADAR like the US fleet had, nor did they have adequate radio communication with their CAP (Combat Air Patrol). The destroyers and other ships would literally fire their guns in the direction of perceived air threats and the CAP would (hopefully) see this and direct their presence accordingly.

Couple this with the Japanese fleet’s highly effective maneuvering strategies to avoid attacks from a single direction, and the fatal flaw becomes immediately evident. If multiple attacks come from different directions in a relatively short span of time, the fleet is SOL.

But when things were operating normally, the AA could very quickly be trained on any single threat, along with the usual evasive maneuvers. Bombers coming from the “wrong” direction wasn’t a problem; bombers coming from multiple directions was.

The above is a gross oversimplification of what happened. The book covers it in great detail, and is one of the first works to fully utilize primary Japanese sources that were (stupidly) ignored in the west for decades.

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I will have to add this to my reading list. My information was coming from Battle 360, back when history channel actually cares about history.

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