This article has absolutely nothing to do with iPhemeris software and is simply a side interest. The attached paper is a little thought experiment undertaken to test the Military Abduction (MILAB) assertion, which states that all people reporting having been abducted by aliens are actually being abducted by some government entity as part of some disinformation campaign purportedly to hide the fact that we have some kind of top secret technology. The people making this assertion refer to these as Military Abductions or MILAB. The reasons given for why any government would use the very technology it is trying to hide to conduct highly illegal operations and which are far more likely to have exactly the opposite effect and expose said technology, are never very clear. Personally, this writer has always found the MILAB assertion to be rather illogical not to mention insulting and disrespectful to the thousands of people worldwide who are reporting these extremely traumatic events. I believe the abductees and what they say and know several personally. Also, whilst I am not being abducted, I have encountered aliens personally and directly on two occasions and for me, their existence is not theoretical, it is a personally verified […]
iPhemeris has now been extended to cover a date range of 7700 years from 4700 AD to 2995 BC and also has gotten dramatically smaller in size on disk. We accomplished this by adopting the Swiss Ephemeris which has excellent data compression and which also makes it fairly easy to add additional asteroids and hypothetical bodies with minimal impact to the size of the App. iPhemeris formerly used our own version of the JPL Ephemeris (DE 431) but this was very large and additional asteroids only made it more so. We therefore considered that as the Swiss Ephemeris had the same underlying JPL DE 431 data quality but much, much better data compression we might as well switch. We decided we preferred to add features than to spend time working on data compression. By simply adopting Swiss Ephemeris we can now offer many more astronomical bodies and hypotheticals but with a substantial reduction in App sizes on device. This will have major benefits for the iOS versions of the App. Thank you Astrodienst for your work!
Geek alert! This is a technical article about some of the issues I ran into whilst extending iPhemeris’s Ephemeris to cover a 5000 year period from 2500 BC to 2500 AD. Initially I’d thought it would be a simple matter to add a few thousand more years to the database. Devices have a lot more storage these days and network and download speeds are faster than when iPhemeris was first created. So why not, easy peasy right?! I did the work to read the JPL Ephemeris files and the USNO asteroid ephemeris over 8 years ago (both use the same format to store data) and could easily create what iPhemeris uses in any format. So creating a database that covered a longer period of time was really only a matter of a few days work and given the relative frequency of requests for more data, I thought why not just add it as an In-App purchase. It took only a few hours work to create the new tables and pull in 4 more asteroids/planetoids from the USNO Ephemeris (the more frequently requested ones): Hygiea, Astraea, Eris and Sedna. Then set about updating the various places in the iOS and MacOS versions of the code that […]
As people migrate to iOS 9 from earlier versions of iOS, we’ve been getting an increased number of accusatory emails and feedback asserting things like: “your App lost all my Astrology charts in iCloud”. First, let me assure you, iPhemeris did not lose your chart data. It is most likely all still there in iCloud. In fact nothing has changed in our code relative to iCloud and the way Astrology Charts are stored in over a year! Here is what likely did happen and some solutions for fixing it. In both iOS 8 and iOS 9, Apple made changes to the way iCloud worked to improve stability and reliability. In both these versions of iOS, users have been required to upgrade all the data (not just iPhemeris data) in their iCloud accounts to newer formats. After you’ve upgraded to the new version of iOS and when signing into iCloud for the first time, a message about this pops up, unfortunately many don’t bother to read it and don’t realize what is about to happen. And during both of these conversions (to iOS 8 or iOS 9) when you convert one device, you must convert all devices else data on unconverted devices will no longer sync with data on newer devices and vice versa. […]