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Vernal Equinox 2015

Vernal equinox 2015 in Catfood Earth

Spring starts right now, unless you're south of the equator in which case welcome to Autumn. Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(Previously)

Devil's Slide Trail

Devil's Slide Trail

Devil's Slide Trail

Devil's Slide Trail used to be one of the most scenic stretches of Highway 1. It was hard to enjoy though while you were trying not to crash and die. Now it's a leisurely stroll with magnificent views and well worth a visit.

Hike starts at 37.5852899, -122.5098668 (Google Earth).

News: Frozen sequel announced by Disney

Not to be anal but (any number of dogs...)

Not to be anal but (any number of dogs...)

Google is going to start ranking pages based on facts. I'm game. This MUNI sign has always bothered me.

The highest capacity vehicle in the MUNI fleet has to be a two-car light rail vehicle. Capacity 436 people. The average weight of a person is 185 pounds. So we're looking at 80,660 pounds per rush hour train.

The lightest dog is a 1.4 pound Chihuahua named Ducky.

So at the absolute outside with no other passengers the limit is 57,614 dogs. I'm going to have to make some stickers...

Volcanoes Back (Catfood Earth 3.30)

Volcanoes Back (Catfood Earth 3.30)

Catfood Earth fans will want to download Catfood Earth 3.30. This update fixes a problem where volcanoes were all plotted in the middle of the screen.

Book reviews for February 2015

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes by Svante Pääbo

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes by Svante Pääbo

4/5

Fascinating story about sequencing the Neanderthal genome with a lot of frank insights into the scientific process - both highs of clever breakthroughs and lows of petty rivalries. Excellent.

 

ITHCWY WebCam

ITHCWY WebCam

I Thought He Came With You now has a WebCam looking out towards the Pacific Ocean from West Portal, San Francisco.

Capture DropCam frames to Google Drive

Capture DropCam frames to Google Drive

Here's an easy way to capture frames from a DropCam to Google Drive. This only works if you have a public feed for your DropCam.

Go to the public page for your DropCam (Settings -> Public -> Short URL Link) and then view source for that page. Near the top you can find the still image URL for your DropCam:

<meta property="og:image" content="https://nexusapi.dropcam.com/get_image?uuid=12345&height=200" />

In Google Drive create a new Apps Script (If you don't already have Apps Script you can find it via Connect more apps...). Paste in the following code:

function downloadFrame() {
  var timestamp = Date.now().toString();
  
  var url = 'https://nexusapi.dropcam.com/get_image?uuid=12345&height=1280&cb=' + timestamp;
  var response = UrlFetchApp.fetch(url);
  var blob = response.getBlob();
  blob.setName(timestamp + '.jpg');
  
  var folders = DriveApp.getFoldersByName('DCFrames');
  while (folders.hasNext()) {
    var folder = folders.next();
    folder.createFile(blob);
    break;
  }
}

Replace the uuid parameter in the URL with the uuid from the still image URL for your DropCam. Note that the height parameter in the script has been changed to 1280 to get the largest possible image. A timestamp is being used to add a random cache busting parameter to the still image URL and is also used as the filename for the image.

The script will save the images to a folder called DCFrames - either create this folder in your drive or change this parameter to the desired folder.

Run the script and check that it's working. If everything looks good go to Resources -> Current project's triggers in the Apps Script editor. You can now set up a timer to save a frame as frequently as every minute (which I'm using to collect frames to make a daily time lapse movie). You can also ask Apps Script to send you an email when the script fails.

Book reviews for January 2015

Odyssey One (Odyssey One, #1) by Evan C. Currie

Odyssey One (Odyssey One, #1) by Evan C. Currie

1/5

Stopped reading after a couple of chapters. It's excruciable. Cliched, lazy, boring and self-contradictory. The most charitable thing I can say is that it might get better after I gave up (but I doubt it).

 

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

3/5

Depressing novel about a dead girl. It's very well written but left me a bit cold. Unhappy families may be unhappy in their own way but that doesn't necessarily make them interesting.

 

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

4/5

Not particularly into zombie fiction but this is great - different perspective, interesting plot and a stunning ending.

 

News: AI will not kill us, says Microsoft

AI will not kill us, says Microsoft

Almost certainly true of Microsoft AI.

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