JSON: How to Read Your Google Location Data

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A few days ago, I was actively avoiding my life plans (and scrolling through WordPress) when I stumbled upon a GIF from Vincze Istvan showing where Google had plotted his locations over the last few years.

And my brain exploded. I mean, I knew in the back of my mind that anytime I checked my email or looked for directions or asked Lyft for a ride, my information at that particular time and place was probably being stored somewhere. That storage place had always felt far too abstract to make me paranoid.

Until I saw it projected in a GIF in a supremely tangible way.

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Blender: How to Scale Down Coordinates for a Map Scene

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Getting coordinates to scale properly to Blender units has been extremely frustrating for me since I started attempting more 3D maps. So, finally, in a fit of rage this weekend, I wrote a function to do it for me.

It scales the latitude and longitude down along the Z (height) and X (width) axes, taking into account the size of a base map oriented along those axes. In my version, it places a sphere at each coordinate set, but that can be easily changed to other objects.

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VBA: What Exactly is a FileSystemObject?

I really wish Hyperbole and a Half was still posting.

It’s friggin’ magic. FileSystemObject is how you run scripts on your files and folders in VBA. You want to create 100 files on your desktop automatically? It’ll let you do that. You want to delete files with specific names in a directory? It’ll let you do that too. It’s also pretty crucial to viruses like Anna Kournikova and the Love Bug, which I’ve been looking at recently. So here’s how to make a FileSystemObject.

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Malware Anatomy: The Anna Kournikova Worm

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I don’t advocate the use of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, or anything else that can screw up someone’s system or violate their privacy.

It’s oddly satisfying to peak inside them though. Like disassembling a clock.

Kournikova was my first pick because she’s written in Visual Basic, which isn’t too painful to read. She’s also so old it’s unlikely anyone would be able to use this walk-through to create something malicious. Old in malware years anyway. In human years, she’ll be seventeen next month.

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VBA: How to Customize Font to Specific Text in Word

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Short one today.

I’m getting ready to write a post on worms and realized it’d be really nice if Word could mimic the font formatting that happens in the Visual Basic editor. Color coding helps me see relationships a lot easier when I’m trying to get my head around another person’s script.

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How to Install GAP for Gifs

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GAP stands for Gimp Animation Package. It’s the way that I make gifs out of MP4 files. Here’s a breakdown of how you can install it into your version of Gimp in six steps.

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Python: How to Write a Web Scraper

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Back from vacation! I did a version of this in AutoHotkey a while back, but this one’s in Python. It does require importing modules—check out this post for that. You’ll want both requests and beautifulsoup (I’m using beautifulsoup4) before getting started.

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