GeoGuessr (website)

If you’re into maps and getting lost, here’s the site for you! GeoGuessr drops you down (via Google Streetview) at some random location somewhere and then hand’s you the map and the keys to the virtual Streetview car. Your job is to figure out where you were dropped by driving around in said virtual Streetview car.

Needless to say, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • there’s no little blue dot (or anything else) on the map to tell you where you are (there is a white flag on the left side of the Streetview window that you can click to get back to where you were originally dropped off)
  • you get to select which region you want to get dropped into. Being pretty familiar with a tiny part of London, I tend to play the London map. If you want a real challenge then follow in the footsteps of over 40,000,000 previous attempts and ask to be dropped onto the “World” map (it can be VERY difficult but it is also a lot of fun (even if you end up getting dropped down in the middle of nowhere))
  • once you think you know where you were dropped down, put a pin down in the little map in the lower right-hand corner
  • you are scored on how far your claim of where you were dropped down is from where you were actually dropped down (my record on the “World” map for distance from the correct location is something like 8,000 km; generally speaking, if you do figure out where you were dropped down then it isn’t all that hard to get to within a handful of meters of the exactly correct location)
  • the GeoGuessr user interface can be a bit clunky at times. This is particularly true of the way that you drop the pin to indicate where you think you were dropped down at the start of the game. You might want to deliberately lose quickly a few times until you get the hang of exactly how you specify where you think you started the game.
  • if you end up enjoying the game, be advised that it is possible to spend a LOT of time playing GeoGuessr

That’s it. Off you go. I’ll be standing by to organize a search party should things not go according to plan.

https://geoguessr.com/netherlands/play

The link takes you to the GeoGuessr map of the Netherlands. That’s not a very big place so, with a bit of luck and skill, you probably won’t get too lost.

Once you are on the map, just click on the GeoGuessr link on the top left corner if you’d rather play a different map.

“‘We’re moving to higher ground’: America’s era of climate mass migration is here”

An article that demonstrates that climate change is not some vague far off possibility. The reality of climate change is disturbingly simple: climate change is happening right now and is getting worse as time goes by.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/24/americas-era-of-climate-mass-migration-is-here

“SI TV Presents: The Logan Effect”

The Sports Illustrated video that tells my nephew Logan’s story within the context of “The Logan Effect” or, sometimes, “The Logan Boulet Effect”.

I want to be able to find this video in the future. Putting a link to it here seems like a good way to make that easier to do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRWnGxmqaEs

“Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names”

A 2010 blog article that lists 40 false assumptions that many software developers make about the names of people. It’s quite the list.

I have for your enjoyment and/or edification, two articles that deal with this list. The first is the original blog post which is, as of April of 2019, located at https://www.kalzumeus.com/2010/06/17/falsehoods-programmers-believe-about-names/

The second is the same list with counterexamples and/or explanations why each assumption is wrong. https://shinesolutions.com/2018/01/08/falsehoods-programmers-believe-about-names-with-examples/

“Microsoft admits expiring-password rules are useless”

Computer security professionals have argued against password expiration rules for a very long time. The problem with such rules is that they result in users picking weak passwords, or writing down their passwords, or having a list of say five passwords that they cycle through over time.

https://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-admits-expiring-password-rules-are-useless/

“CDC Blames Anti-Vaxxers for Worst Measles Outbreak in Decades”

As measles continues to spread in the US, the CDC has confirmed that the anti-vax movement is a significant part of the problem:

“A significant factor contributing to the outbreaks in New York is misinformation in the communities about the safety of the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine. Some organizations are deliberately targeting these communities with inaccurate and misleading information about vaccines.

CDC continues to encourage parents to speak to their family’s healthcare provider about the importance of vaccination. CDC also encourages local leaders to provide accurate, scientific-based information to counter misinformation.”

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/withoutacrystalball/2019/04/cdc-blames-anti-vaxxers-for-worst-measles-outbreak-in-decades/

“Lockdown – The coming war on general-purpose computing”

Way way back in December of 2011, science fiction author Cory Doctorow gave a speech at the Chaos Computer Conference in Berlin. He later turned the speech into the article referenced below. That article contains the following amazing paragraph:

“As a member of the Walkman generation, I have made peace with the fact that I will require a hearing aid long before I die. It won’t be a hearing aid, though; it will really be a computer. So when I get into a car—a computer that I put my body into—with my hearing aid—a computer I put inside my body—I want to know that these technologies are not designed to keep secrets from me, or to prevent me from terminating processes on them that work against my interests.”

Sadly, we seem to be well on our way to living in a world where technologies, wearable and otherwise, are being deployed which are designed to keep secrets from us, which are designed to prevent us from being able to control them, and which are even designed to prevent us from turning them off.

https://boingboing.net/2012/01/10/lockdown.html