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04 June 2004 @ 10:53 am
Things I've learned lately  
I learned yesterday that gravity is not constant at every point on Earth, which puts that whole -9.8m/s constant thing to rest. Now there's something inside me twitching at dangerous speeds.

I also had my first class on export control yesterday, seeing as how work is related to that whole inertial navigation thing (which becomes that whole "guiding a missile" thing, at the federal level). I can't talk about anything to a foreign national (even with an export license), without sheets in triplicate and mounds of records (and  so forth). I'm not really surprised, but it makes me wonder how scientific information in the avionics field ever gets through to the international community.

I also learned that there are actually good movies out in theaters now - the new Harry Potter, Chronicles of Riddick, etc. I may actually have a reason to go to the theater - I still haven't seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and I'm sure that there are others people would recommend. I haven't seen a movie since Hellboy.

People go on about lists of books they should read - I think you can count on some more book reviews in the near future.
 
 
 
Yud: slantyud on June 4th, 2004 09:04 am (UTC)
We had to read a couple packets on Export Control during orientation at my new job, since not only does my company work on stuff for government contracts, but the company has an office in England and we do a lot of collaborative work with them. But that means that even though the people in England work for the same company, every shred of information we give them has to be documented and registered etc.

Coincidentally, my company also does inertial guidance systems, but for ships instead of missiles. And our inertial guidance things (and other products) are used in civilian ships as well as military, which complicates some things and makes others easier.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on June 4th, 2004 09:21 am (UTC)
Well, I don't do inertial navigation for missiles (I have moral qualms) - I do inertial navigation for commercial aircraft. Export restrictions don't differentiate based on purpose - if it can guide a Cessna, there's some idiot who would sit down and figure out how to use it to guide a missile (probably poorly, but that's another story).

And the whole civilian/military thing is rough - my former roommate builds test equipment for laser ring gyroscopes, and has to jump through military hoops even when civilian hoops would do.

The main thing is that we're outsourcing most of our software verification to both foreign and domestic sites, and so the line between whether confidentiality or export control takes precedence is exceedingly hazy, depending on who you're talking to.
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on June 4th, 2004 09:23 am (UTC)
So what are these "actually good movies out in theaters now" of which you speak?
Hoc Est Qui Sumus: Devourdiscoflamingo on June 4th, 2004 09:33 am (UTC)
Movies that "people who aren't you" like to watch, smart-ass.
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on June 4th, 2004 09:41 am (UTC)
I would like to point out that the (probably) worst movie you listed isn't actually out yet, Mr. Jump-The-Gun.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on June 4th, 2004 09:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, but I can be excited about it - and it's not like I'm going to get a chance to see a movie before July, anyway.
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on June 4th, 2004 10:12 am (UTC)
Ah... so by "out in theaters now," you mean "out in theaters in July"...
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on June 4th, 2004 10:17 am (UTC)
Really, I mean both.
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on June 4th, 2004 10:21 am (UTC)
In which case throw in Zatoichi, Fahrenheit 9/11, The Passion of the Reefer, Spider-Man 2, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, and, uh... oh, wait. That's all that doesn't look like crap.

Sniff. Hero doesn't come out til August. I could explode from anticipation.
(Deleted comment)
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on June 4th, 2004 01:28 pm (UTC)
Well, at least someone was smart enough to make a movie about it in the first place... although it should really be "How They Kept Sucking."
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on June 4th, 2004 02:02 pm (UTC)
Hey... this could be a whole documentary franchise.

Metallica: How they Kept Sucking
Star Wars: Episode I: How It Started Sucking
Pitch Black: How It Started Sucking... Five Minutes In
The list could go on...
lio on June 4th, 2004 11:20 am (UTC)
*sigh* Still 348 days, 13 hours, and 52 minutes until Star Wars Episode III opens. *twiddles thumbs impatiently*
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on June 4th, 2004 11:34 am (UTC)
How much longer until anyone cares?
Oυτιςerragal on June 4th, 2004 10:41 pm (UTC)
Gravity Kills
One of the neat things is that you can use the variation of gravity to determine what is under the ground. Say a large sulfide deposit that may or may not contain platinum.