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Mark Injerd
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Just released multiplayer support for my Java port of Comet Busters!

This was originally planned to be implemented late in the project, once just about everything else was completed, but the idea of multiplayer was too exciting to wait and was a strong motivator for continuing work on the project.

It's still in very early development with a lot missing and there isn't much gameplay to be had, but it's playable and can be fun. If you can find a friend who would be interested in trying it out, give multiplayer a shot and let me know what you think and especially if you run into any major issues.

The host and connect options are in the Game menu. Be sure that whoever hosts has TCP 50001 open on their router/firewall.
Unfortunately, Chrome/Chromium no longer supports Java, so you'll need to use another browser such as Firefox (the only other one I've tested).

The jar is signed, which should allow the browser applet to use network connections, but Java may give a warning that the signature cannot be verified and you'll need to allow it to run with at least network connectivity. I'm rather new to Java security and signing, it's different from the way Android does it, so bear with me as I learn to make it work in the most user-friendly way possible (no dialogs or changes required to Java config).

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I have a trip to Yellowstone coming up and want to take advantage of the dark skies to do some sweet astrophotography. The problem is that the best camera I have for the job is my Nexus 5X, which won't really do the job, and DSLRs are a bit pricey for something I'm not sure I would use much.

Thankfully, a coworker (+Jason Odle) was kind enough to lend me his Nikon D40. While the resolution isn't all that high by today's standards, at 6.1MP, it's more than enough for me to learn the basics, take some decent shots, and decide if I want to invest in my own DSLR.

The photo below is my second of three attempts at a long exposure of the night sky last night. The first attempt wasn't focused or tilted upward, and was more just to make sure I knew how to work it. After that, I just grabbed the first thing I saw in the house to prop the camera up: A mostly used roll of paper towels. I would have spent more time trying things if it weren't two hours past my bedtime. As a newbie, I'm very happy with the result. Most of the stars visible in the image were not visible to my not-very-adjusted naked eye. Saturn and Mars are clearly visible in the center left and center, respectively.

Last week, I bought T-rings to adapt Nikon and Canon EOS (D)SLRs to my telescope. Next time there is a clear night (unfortunately not tonight), I plan to give the Nikon T-ring a try for shots of planets and/or deep sky objects.

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SpaceX has successfully landed the first stage of an orbit-bound spacecraft for the first time in history! Super exciting to watch!

T-10 is at 22:50 and landing video starts at 32:23.

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Tesla just began an experimental referral program. It allows owners to receive $1000 credit per referral on their Tesla account until October 31st, for up to 10 referrals. Not only that, but it also takes $1000 off the purchase price for the person being referred.

If you already own a Model S, just log into My Tesla for your referral link.


So, of course, it's worth a shot for a slight chance in saving some money on my Tesla purchases. Of particular interest is enabling Supercharging for a Yellowstone trip I have planned next year.

My referral link:

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Just over a year ago, I shared a video from +Robert Llewellyn debunking one of the top anti-EV myths. As long as people still believe the myth, it's good to be reminded every once in a while how the data proves it wrong.
"  ...Drum roll: It takes more electricity to drive the average gasoline car 100 miles than it does to drive an electric car 100 miles.
Gas cars & electricity use
A gas car that runs at the U.S. fleet average of 21 mpg will consume approximately five gallons of gasoline to travel 100 miles. Using our 8 kWh of electricity per gallon figure, this means that gasoline car uses approximately 40 kWh of electricity to drive 100 miles. An electric car will use approximately 30 kWh of electricity (3.3 miles per kWh) to drive the same 100 miles.  ...  "

H/T +Bonnie Norman 

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This effectively destroys any arguments against renewable subsidies. Renewables get $180 billion a year globally in subsidies, while fossil fuels get $5.3 TRILLION a year. If subsidies for both fossil fuels and renewables were eliminated, renewables would be a no-brainer from a cost standpoint and pretty much stop mass pollution in its tracks.
More privatized profit and socialized liabilities.

"  The vast sum is largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by the burning of coal, oil and gas. These include the harm caused to local populations by air pollution as well as to people across the globe affected by the floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change.  "

via +Tesla Motors 

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I somehow stumbled across +Walterrific's motovlog a few days ago and since then have spent hours each day watching his videos. It's 2am on a Monday, way past my bedtime (this is actually normal, sadly). That's the most addicted I've been to a channel in a long time. He's clean, funny, and tries to make it a better day for people.

Here's a good starter video to whet your appetite.
Sorry about the time that disappeared from your next few days. I just had to share my pain.

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So close! Hopefully third time's a charm, set for June 19.
High resolution and color corrected Falcon 9 first stage landing video 

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You probably knew this was coming after the "over 9000!" post. As of the commute home today, my car passed 10,000 miles! However, I haven't quite driven it all those miles, since I took delivery with 10 miles already on it (as indicated by trip B). So, I'll have personally passed 10k with it most likely on Sunday

Perhaps a frightening detail for those unfamiliar with EV ownership:
I've had my car for about 10 months now and it has not had any maintenance done on it aside from washing, tire pressure checks/reinflation, and one tire rotation, all done by myself. This is normal and does not cause harm to the vehicle.
I have my first annual service coming up in June, which I expect will be a very positive experience despite the nearest service center being over 200 miles away (thanks to stupid Michigan laws banning Tesla from opening a service center in the state).

By the way, 4 days from now will be the anniversary of placing my order.

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It's over 9000!

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
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