Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Is "Black Mirror" Predictive Programming?

Within 12 months of an episode appearing on "Black Mirror" (a particularly grim dystopian series on Netflix) you see the commercial reality appear. If you didn't know better you'd think they were trying to desensitize people to these horrible futures in advance and normalize the tech involved.

A really terrible apocalypse in "Hated In the Nation" in the new season.

The "Robobee" is announced.

The "electronic bee" that means nowhere would be safe. The State could push a button and kill you anywhere, anytime with facial recognition. Breeding fear of such a weapon in advance could be a powerful tool in bludgeoning the population into acceptance. A lot of television seems engineered to make you slump your shoulders, roll over and die. Resistance is futile, we learn. Any resistance. The people who voted for Trump proved them wrong.

I can assure you this has nothing to do with pollination of flowers and everything to do with a guided swarm of death armies of electronic insects. Previous tyrants could only dream of such things at their fingertips.

After this one I was so scared I actually enjoyed the eternal lesbian affair in cyberspace episode. It seems like a lighthearted comic romp in comparison. It was only a brief respite before the brain chip soldier robot killers show came on. If this stuff is what the future looks like don't bother looking for me I will be with the lesbians in cyberspace.

Real Shelter Conditions

Been having a problem with water leaking through my meter thick concrete ceiling. I have had to keep tarps over the equipment. Getting my continuous integration process and automated builds going for the 27 devices hooked to my network. This is a complete build on Windows 2000 Adv Server w/Firefox 20, a very old web browser. Fully compliant to HTML5 with all the polyfills.

The terrible conditions, damp and rust in my lab are perfect because they simulate the kind of environments you expect in imperfect settings. If all my boxes work in this dump they will work anywhere. Guarantee you Batman never has these problems. Another overfunded mediocre superhero, that smug bastard. :)

This build produced some errors in my code for backward compatibility with Windows. I am considering rolling back to functionality only found in MSVCRT.DLL for Windows NT 4 to make sure that it will compile and run on any Windows machine made since 1992. Another reason to use Open Watcom for the compiler because it almost hits any machine you would ever want to compile to : DOS-16, DOS-32, Win-16, Win-32, Win-64, Linux, OS2, Netware, RTOS and ARM (with plugin) for nearly anything.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Socialism Keeps Winning Forever

The same cyclic horsecrap for nearly a hundred years.

Socialist country is formed from the catastrophic ruins of the previous socialist regime in South America.

The mass media worldwide proudly trumpets the merits of the new socialist paradise and the cult of personality that forms around the latest communist idiot in charge.

Endless news stories are released telling us about how wonderful the free everything utopia is and how much better it is doing than anybody else in South America.

Suddenly they are starving to death again and the entire country has collapsed catastrophically. Tales of people eating cats and dogs and selling children on the highway emerge. Sounds like a zombie apocalypse except worse with even the smallest and simplest economic exchanges between people apparently impossible. Even growing home gardens for sustenance is somehow forbidden.

Guess what we hear next.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

China Gears Up To Win WW3

Read the sub-caption. Our ancestors knew where we were going
if we did not keep the martial virtues.
The defense money is flowing like Niagara Falls into the hardcore global hardware that would only be used in worldwide thermonuclear war.

I told you about this on Vault-Co 16 years ago! I knew it was gonna get like this. As usual, I predicted things would move quicker than they actually have. Nevertheless, they moved. China is simply following the most logical course of action to insure it's own national survival by the most rational means possible - a strong deterrent to the current hegemon. Once called a sleeping dragon ... they ain't sleepin' no more. Funny how the United States had a forty year lead anticipating these developments and still blew it. China is roaring ahead in every category except maybe space-based weaponry but even then some think the U.S. is exaggerating their lead in order to give the impression they got more hardware up there ready to fly than they really have. Given that they lie about everything else that would be no cause for surprise.

One thing leads to another. Then that leads somewhere else altogether. I got the chain of causality right and I am not a crank. I was just an early bounder.

I heard it recently described very accurately in another article on World News Daily.

China is building nothing but clones of technology originally produced by Russia and America. Where they are not building clones they are building theoretical hardware proposed by the U.S. but never successfully produced - only talked about.

The problem is revealed when their implementation is examined closely.

Their clones are better versions than the original hardware. They have benefited from modifications made in response to years of data that America has gotten and not responded to.

Their clones are far superior versions of the originals. Think about that for a moment and what it reveals about the leadership of the United States. Somebody steals your tech and reproduces it with all the improvements you should have made yourself if your country wasn't disintegrating at every level culturally and economically. Sounds like several previous historical cycles with identical ends for empires.

America dreamed of the hypersonic carbon hulled long range unmanned bomber. They dreamed about it for decades. The Chinese built it and have demonstrated it. If these drones are carrying what I am almost certain they are carrying (low yield nuclear cluster bombs) then they are your worst nightmare when they appear in your skies. They will raze your cities in ways our ancestors only postulated in science fiction. I told you to over-engineer that shelter. This isn't your grandpa's thermonuclear war. This is the new sh*t.

Because it is so relevant ...

(P.S. Biggest flaw in the design of this aircraft was no remote admin facility like CD-OS)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Full Admin Through Remote Browser From Anywhere

Since the web server can run on a computer that has no keyboard, no console, no operating system to speak of and no display, the admin functions must be pretty comprehensive. I need a complete file manager, the capacity to line edit configuration data and scripts and full support for diagnostics and monitoring all through the web browser front end. I am not quite there yet but you can see most of it coming together. I am integrating the CRUD forms manager for data that formerly ran purely in HTML 1.01 a few years ago. That was taking backward compatible a little too far.

Ideally you should be able to actually repurpose and even redesign the web server application logic altogether if need be purely through the HTML interface.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lowered Bandwidth on Map Server By 80% !!!

You can download ready-to-go map data for CD-OS from in MBTiles format. I use Melbourne but you can use and attach anything you want. You put it into the GEO directory and include your path to it in the configuration file, it will be attached at startup to the main database.

This is a vector tile, very low bandwidth! I was drawing those tiles myself and sending them downwind as PNG files with Cache-Control and ETag set to never expire in the browser cache.

Then I discovered this! A plug-in for Leaflet that takes delivery of the tiles in their original vector format and draws them using canvas. Incredibly, I tested this with excanvas (Explorer Canvas polyfill for older IE browsers) and it worked!!!

My map server may be cheating and it may also be doing some optimizations for smaller regions but the CD-OS map server blows Google away in speed! No lag and no delays after I cleared my browser cache and started from scratch. I compared scrolling around Melbourne in Google to scrolling around in my server and no contest. A complete vector tiles file for the entire planet will run you around 50 gigabytes at present. I would host that one except I don't think that CD-OS would fit on a floppy anymore.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Prepper Mission Omnipresence That Fits On A Floppy

Enterprise geolocation in an embedded server that fits on a floppy. My export data from OpenStreetMaps covers most of the Melbourne area with zoom level tiles. I have a dynamic DNS that allows me to browse to my test server from anywhere on Earth from any browser. Headed home I just brought the page up on my IPad and turned on series geolocation. Since I have a cookie stored with my Oauth token I was instantly authorized to send geolocation updates while driving. When I got home I was able to clean up the series with the built-in editor tools.

Since "navigator.geolocation" is not available on older browsers, I have a polyfill that statically sets a server configuration variable with the latitude and longitude of the server when the geolocation is turned on. I do this in quite a few places for IE6 and ancient browsers so that the user still gets useful data even when the browser does not support advanced features.

The map editor has a long ways to go. I am adding custom colors, custom icons and custom geomarkers with notations so your "away" team can specifically feed you data from the field on their status, observations and map markers to show when they have discovered food, water, resources, hostiles, contaminated zones and dangerous terrain (mines, military camp, etc.) plus edit the map geometry from their own device if they are authorized to do so. All this is just built-in, it just works, you run it and assuming you can reach your network somehow (implementation, "separation of concerns") you get all these features for your crew who have been approved by the administrator. The root user executive password is stored on the server in the configuration file and cannot be loaded by anybody without access to that machine drive at the keyboard locally. In every instance I have tried to add security but make it so simple it is idiot proof for the most part. Oauth is the single best way I have found to issue keys with variable control on when they expire and where they can be stored. All of my Oauth code on both server and browser would fit into three paragraphs counting the support tables in the database.

I know many people are second-guessing me with "what if GPS and all your cell towers are destroyed?" Don't worry, I have been thinking about this subject for twenty years. I will get to it. It is all just going to work. All you have to do is save your empty Pringle's cans and rustle up a little gear including solar panels. You may also need an $18 optical ethernet isolator to make sure EMP doesn't fry your network when they drop the bomb. This will be a future episode of Vault-Co dedicated to building a network that survives a nuclear war. Many of your newer and more advanced portable devices have access to GLONASS and other networks that are specifically designed to survive EMP from nuclear bursts and continue sending data even when the entire system has collapsed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

CD-OS Standalone Integrated Map Server (IE6 Compatible!)

You can't have a batcave-in-a-box without a fully integrated map server. Executable is at 1.45 MB, the entire web application still fits onto a floppy disk compressed with UPX.

The map server file is a direct export in SQLite R-Tree format of tiles from OpenStreetMap. I am hosting a database sample of tiles from just around Melbourne that is 5 megabytes resolving down to zoom factor of 18 which is enough to make out potholes. You could support the entire planet from OpenStreetMap but it may involve some path assignment to some remote folder if the map is huge and the local storage is not big enough to hold it. I was already planning to do this with UPC barcode lookups - access the reference data in a remote file path where specified. Still working out the nitty gritty details of this kind of expansion.

The drawing and notation tools all work and they were painstakingly ported from an abandoned Raphael layer editor. They are essentially a subset of Google maps at the moment but in time I will support all vector custom icons in addition to the map marker. At present you can draw a complex layer of regions, polygons and markers but it is not quite saved to GeoJson correctly, I have to add some more conversions. This is in VML fallback when SVG is not supported and looks identical on IE6, I tested it about one hour before I posted this blog.

I need a rich ability to select filter layers to turn off custom overlays of radioactive zones, contaminated areas, explored regions, looted blocks, etc. that does not exist yet. I may start with a few hardcoded ones and after some testing find a good way to add a flexible layer system the prepper can customize to his needs.

Obviously this is a terrific tool for planning journeys and designing scavenging runs to known locations. When it is all working it will support complete trip planning including supply lists and checkpoints. At some stage if I get real-time messaging working from remote clients for websockets I could send realtime tracking geolocation messages to find all your people wherever they are at present. I have been gathering information on how to receive Soviet hardened GPS and other alternatives that might survive nuclear war and this will probably be a package in it's own right.

Finally got this working. Believe it or not the REST tile server AJAX call is only about 40 lines of C code. The real intelligence is in the data in R-Tree tables that rapidly look up the correct tiles for given viewport and GPS coordinates.

I have a polyfill for Geolocation coordinates that uses the real-time ones in the device you are carrying or falls back to hardcoded data for the server station to show you where the server is running or you are browsing from.

This map server is separate from "DIAGRAMS" which is a whole batch of additional functionality supporting arbitrary floorplans and layouts with real-time markers on them. These diagrams are intended for internal use inside the shelter or layouts of the prepper retreat buildings, etc. to assist in all kinds of planning including security. Will be demoing those pretty soon.

Once I got the basic architecture sorted out, the rest of the code is falling together really quickly, almost all of it having been working at one point or another in the past.

Friday, February 3, 2017

CD-OS : First New Look Screenshot 2017

This is not just a cosmetic shot. This is a sample after finishing off all the substructure of a grand windowing desktop. Believe it or not, this doesn't just run in a browser full-screen. It runs in Internet Explorer 6 with few differences with intelligent polyfills. Not visible in this shot is full real-time voice synthesizer which can annunciate all kinds of information that has been customized for this station. There are still gray areas and I have abandoned certain kinds of memory cleanup to the browser implementation. The problem with Javascript is that once loaded dynamically it remains in memory if any references remain to it in code. Hopefully my structure is seeing to it that the window contents are completely isolated from the wrapper around it to release it if the window is closed and the original script and div are erased. Otherwise this is amazing stuff to see running all asynchronously at once. What you see on screen isn't 1% of the functionality that is available. CD-OS really is a batcave in a box. A lot of the work was spent replacing all bitmaps with vectors either from a webfont file (compatible with IE 5.5) or a Raphael (VML/SVG back to IE5) image. This makes it pixel perfect no matter what device the browser is running on. I gradually realized over the last year that a lot of people would want to walk around with their mobile device managing their entire retreat/shelter/homestead and only vector drawn pictures and icons are truly portable.

The Dashboard is still underway, I have taken two stabs at it and have not decided where the user's custom data to lay it out should come from. I have a Flexbox layout that is intended to permit the user to simply decide what he wants to see from the shelter in a single window. It is supposed to have custom controls for all kinds of displays but I just have two kinds at the moment. There will be the facility for full vector SCADA controls in the dashboard but I have not gotten around to organizing them beyond the demo level yet.

Compare with this sad story from 2010 when I was still working on the whole architecture of everything. Looks like a special needs kid threw this together for his school report :