Triangulate Shooter Location with Mobile App – Possible?

Text exchange with a friend about how to defend crowds from threats like the shooter in Las Vegas.

[redacted section]

Yup, saving the world, or trying to, one bear at a time.

Triangulating on a sound with data from thousands of willing opt-in smart phones is possible. Pitch, yaw, acceleration, relative volume compared to those in proximity to normalize. Calculate position from last known good if towers go out.

Mesh grid relative to each other if no service. Share UDP 5353 and change multicast DNS into a “people finder”.

The app, when turned on, would send a cascade of data flowing in with lots of noise. The analysis is the same thing anyone who has done log analysis with an ELK stack is familiar with. Have a buffer of say 10 seconds backwards until triggered.

With a few datasets from simulations (like having 30 people in a room and see if the app can figure out who blew the dog whistle.

Sensor based smart phone triangulation is one way we could defend ourselves in an attack on any soft target.

Note: the concept is somewhat related to what we are building at However I’m putting it out there because I’d love to see someone build a system to automatically respond and help.

4 days untethered – and it was kinda nice

If you sent me a text or called me on the cell since last Monday, I didn’t get it. It seems I’ll never get it either. The cause? I’m an idiot and left my cell phone on the roof of my car. It is now, I suspect, being slowly ground into the feeder road of I-10. mobile-phoneI lost a month of photos but that’s about it, and of course it was locked and, well if you know me, it was locked down. Not that it matters if it is in parts and pieces being massaged by Pirellis.

First – How was it for me? Well, I spent four days without a cell phone. And it was refreshing.

Second – While I was seriously tempted to continue the lifestyle of what was once called “being a normal human being with freedom” I came to the conclusion that my responsibilities said otherwise.. I am now tethered, monitored by PRISM again, consuming Soylent Green again like everyone else and accessible at all times via a small rectangle when it skitters across the desk vibrating. A compliant-monitored-geolocated-citizen here to serve you.

Still, four days of knowing I couldn’t reach the tribe for help, nor they me, was actually relaxing. They are quite capable. I’m the air-head. Yet I’m also pretty fault tolerant so I wasn’t too worried about me. It was the “I’ve committed to these people” factor, the DUTY factor, that made me pay the egregious cost of a cell phone without the contract benefit given it was a replacement.

Bottom line. I love freedom. I also understand that it comes with responsibilities. And as much as I wanted to opt out, that isn’t fair to everyone else in my current role. We all have a role. And those roles change over time. I get that. So I have my mobile back.

Oh, and if you sent me a text in the last week I did not receive it. Check the feeder road or resend it.