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View Full Version : Hacks? Maybe it's just me...



Howe
07-26-2005, 06:01 AM
Given that 95% of the content of googleearthhacks.com is just describing a cool lat/long to look at, why is that content here?

And even the things that add functionality, say weather or traffic data via network links, aren't hacks. They're KML/KMZ files. It would be like saying opening a HTM file with your browser is "hacking your browser". I don't get it.

Why the word hack?

Steeefan
07-26-2005, 04:27 PM
let's see what wiktionary says about the word 'hack'

8. An interesting technical achievement, particularly in computer programming

grav8e
07-26-2005, 04:40 PM
I never understood why people are more prone to referencing a wiki instead of an actual authoritative source.


hack
1. Informal. To alter (a computer program): hacked her text editor to read HTML.
2. To gain access to (a computer file or network) illegally or without authorization: hacked the firm's personnel database.

I wouldn't really agree with that last post about "an interesting technical achievement", since most of the post are just pointing to locations on the globe. Where's the technical achievement?

I tend to agree that "hack" doesn't really seem appropriate...but I also really don't care enough to object to it.

Mickey
07-26-2005, 05:32 PM
I had intended it to focus more on the cool technical aspects of Google Earth (network links and such), but it's sort of become more of a sightseeing repository, which is fine.

If you want to get technical with the word "hack", you could say that a lot of the 3D structures on here are hacked, because the KML code that Google Earth produced had to be edited by hand to make the structures fancier.

I went with "hack" from the angle of vBulletin. If you go to www.vbulletin.com, you get their software. If you go to www.vbulletin.org, you get their hacking community. Granted, that example involves more physical alteration of the code, but the result is still the same as us - taking a commercial product and improving it with the items available on the site.

Anyhow, if I could go back and do it again I'd probably pick a different URL. At this point, though, this address is all over the place and I have no intention of changing it. :)

tmodtom
07-26-2005, 05:59 PM
Hacks, schmacks.... It is still an interesting and useful site.

Mickey
07-27-2005, 01:57 AM
A few more from dictionary.com (mostly the entires from the "Free On-line Dictionary of Computing") that seem to be more along the lines of what I was thinking:


2. An incredibly good, and perhaps very time-consuming, piece of work that produces exactly what is needed.

4. To work on something (typically a program).

In an immediate sense: "What are you doing?" "I'm hacking TECO."

In a general (time-extended) sense: "What do you do around here?" "I hack TECO."

More generally, "I hack "foo"" is roughly equivalent to ""foo" is my major interest (or project)". "I hack solid-state physics."

6. To interact with a computer in a playful and exploratory rather than goal-directed way. "Whatcha up to?" "Oh, just hacking."

Just to be clear, this site is not intended to hack into the software in a malicious manner, but rather to assemble a collection of files you allow you to get more out of Google Earth.

fishbne2
07-27-2005, 02:40 AM
Given that 95% of the content of googleearthhacks.com is just describing a cool lat/long to look at, why is that content here?

And even the things that add functionality, say weather or traffic data via network links, aren't hacks. They're KML/KMZ files. It would be like saying opening a HTM file with your browser is "hacking your browser". I don't get it.

Why the word hack?

Eventhough I don't disagree with your point, I think that you'll truly be hard pressed to find any real "hacks" of GE yet, especially not until the source code is uleashed. However you can alter the functions of GE with kml files which can be considered low level hacking.

Second, why not help by introducing some hacks yourself instead of knocking the name?

Howe
07-27-2005, 10:01 PM
why not help by introducing some hacks yourself instead of knocking the name?A challenge re...

gpsr = "garmin"
port = "com1"
dest = """%userprofile%\Desktop\gps.kml"""
cmdline = "c:\progra~1\google\google~1\gpsbabel "
cmdline = cmdline & "-r -w -t -i "
cmdline = cmdline & gpsr & " -o kml " & port & " " & dest
With WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
.Run [SNIP]
.Run dest
End With

1. Complete the snipped line
2. Save it as a file. What file extension would you give it?

P.S. Thanks for the reply, Mickey. Makes sense to me.