Search found 53 matches

by Jerf
Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:59 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0412: "Startled"
Replies: 127
Views: 32667

Re: "Startled" Discussion

It's a TARDIS! He's a Time Lord! It all makes sense!

Clearly, "scooch scooch scooch" is Randall's transliteration of the distinctive TARDIS sound. Not my first choice, but hey, I'm not a famous comic strip author, so I'll give him a pass on this.
by Jerf
Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:51 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0389: "Keeping Time"
Replies: 213
Views: 53939

Re: "Keeping Time" Discussion

To the people wondering "Hey, how do marching bands handle non-even time signitures?", the answer is, mostly they don't. Most stuff I've ever played, or heard played, is generally metrically simple. After that, how it is handled is up to the choreographer, of course. The easiest solution, ...
by Jerf
Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:30 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0332: "Gyroscopes"
Replies: 107
Views: 25978

Re: "Gyroscopes" Discussion

GREETINGS, HUMAN.

IT IS A FINE DAY, HUMAN.

HUMAN WILL PLEASE WIND ME UP MORE.

HumAN WilL WIND MORE pleaSE.

Please, human, prepare to wind more.

Wobbling...

Wind...

wobbling...

human...

wind...

plz...

...

...

klunk
by Jerf
Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0316: "Loud Sex"
Replies: 139
Views: 178492

but from the right, only the waves that are traveling in the general direction toward the left will be amplified. If the sound is already directional, then all the waves are already headed for the reflector, hence my airhorn example. Sound only radiates uniformly from a point source in Physics I pr...
by Jerf
Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:19 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0316: "Loud Sex"
Replies: 139
Views: 178492

There's a major problem with this plan... the situation is symmetric. Any noise the neighbor makes at that point will be equally inserted into the sexcapades. However, I will concede that with the state of science education in the world, odds are extremely good that the neighbor won't realize this a...
by Jerf
Tue May 22, 2007 5:00 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0265: "Choices: Part 2"
Replies: 54
Views: 16012

Funky-blue-space could have a much lower speed of light, which could make that exchange plausible. Terry Pratchett's Discworld has a speed of light in the low hundreds of miles per hour (although it's due to the ambient magic causing an effect like index of refraction, not full time slowing), and th...
by Jerf
Fri May 04, 2007 6:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0257: "Code Talkers"
Replies: 71
Views: 11135

If you want to play "what character is that", since the first byte's first bit is one, that takes it out of 7-bit ASCII. Therefore, if you insist on treating it as an ASCII (since "the" ASCII is only 7-bit), you have a number of choices, although they are pretty much all symbols....
by Jerf
Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0247: "Factoring the Time"
Replies: 137
Views: 53708

If you have a UNIX system like Linux, it's likely that you already have the "factor" program installed, which takes a number and displays its factors. I don't know exactly what the limits are (don't know if it's limited to 64-bit ints or if it uses BigInt-type support), but it's pretty fas...
by Jerf
Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0240: "Dream Girl"
Replies: 207
Views: 114385

Just last week, a variant on this comic happened to me. Sometimes I have dreams that insist they are real and actually give some concrete indication of their reality. Or, as in the comic strip, try and fail to. The dream I had has mostly faded, but it involved proof that I was the reincarnation of s...
by Jerf
Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:27 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Dvorak
Replies: 69
Views: 21476

Update: I've kept my backspace -> caps lock key switch, and my backspace key remains completely unmapped. It's now as useless as "pause" to me. (I just haven't found anything to put there.) Doing the switch in Linux was a bit of a pain due to the fact that no matter what repeat settings yo...
by Jerf
Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0237: "Keyboards are Disgusting"
Replies: 73
Views: 25497

I once heard that an average keyboard is home to more bacteria than a toilet seat. I'm not sure if that's true, but it makes sense and it's quite a disturbing comparison. It's only superficially disturbing. As long as you haven't got any "stickies" on the toilet seat, about which I will n...
by Jerf
Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:40 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0230: "Hamiltonian"
Replies: 103
Views: 47334

Is there anything more useless than a slightly more optimal network routing algorithm? Surely not. Then again, is saving several million people two or three seconds a month useless? (Just to make up some numbers.) It's true that perspective is important, but it's tricky. Anybody who thinks it's so s...
by Jerf
Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0214: "The Problem with Wikipedia"
Replies: 139
Views: 59586

There's probably a good psychology test waiting for a thesis in what you visit in a Wikipedia. Since Wikipedia is presumably a loosely confederated set of chunks of highly related pages (since that's how these things often evolve and that seems pretty likely), you could probably categorize people pr...
by Jerf
Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:25 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0209: "Kayak"
Replies: 53
Views: 23350

Locally, you always proceed "forward" at one second per second. The only exception is at a black hole where you eventually run out of seconds at the singularity.

But otherwise, one second per second is the law.
by Jerf
Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0209: "Kayak"
Replies: 53
Views: 23350

One second per second - it's not just a good idea, it's the law!
by Jerf
Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:47 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0208: "Regular Expressions"
Replies: 60
Views: 21424

"I know regular expressions."

"... Show me."

...

"Stop trying to match me and match me!"

"I can't... you're too context-sensitive."
by Jerf
Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0206: "Reno Rhymes"
Replies: 217
Views: 74593

Well, I've never shot a man in Reno. New Reno, now, that's a different story. I once killed a man in New Reno, with a targeted shot to the eye. Once? Heck, lots of times. Also, woman. Also, rad scorpions. But those don't fit the rhyme. Oh crap, now I want to play that again... good-bye sweet, sweet ...
by Jerf
Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0205: "Candy Button Paper"
Replies: 20
Views: 8136

Oh, yeah, no question there. A totally finite candy strip can't be a Turing Machine. It's not even an interesting question. :) In fact a finite candy strip isn't anything, not even an FSM. If my credibility on this topic isn't entirely shot... *ahem* it can't be an FSM because it can clearly only al...
by Jerf
Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:33 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0205: "Candy Button Paper"
Replies: 20
Views: 8136

Well, phooey.
by Jerf
Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0205: "Candy Button Paper"
Replies: 20
Views: 8136

Just taking away an integral number of candies is definitely inadequate, if you mean something like the ability to write to a cell exactly once, because you end up needing an infinite number of states in order to "count" how many are currently missing from the tape to determine the "r...
by Jerf
Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0205: "Candy Button Paper"
Replies: 20
Views: 8136

"Pretending" to be a Turing Machine? As for whether you could be a Turing Machine with a candy tape like that where you can only remove buttons, it would depend on the details. If the candy is infinite in both directions (infinite tape, infinite column of candy per symbol), than I'm pretty...
by Jerf
Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:31 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0203: "Hallucinations"
Replies: 30
Views: 12230

My #1 Fun Stupid Pet AI Theory is that some form of dreaming is actually a prerequisite for human-class intelligence.

I've got no particular evidence for this, really, it's just a really fun theory.

"Do androids dream of electric sheep?"
by Jerf
Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0196: "Command Line Fu"
Replies: 68
Views: 28270

The alt text reminded me of: ...Your "use case" should be, there's a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid? (There's some context I've stripped for brevity; this is not advocated as a Golden Standard for software, just a standard for a particu...
by Jerf
Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:59 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0191: "Lojban"
Replies: 85
Views: 37864

I've actually thought about the ambiguity thing somewhat in an odd context: Communication with aliens. Suppose the aliens swoop down, beam you on their ship, and start trying to build a language to communicate with you. Sure, you might try to start with simple arithmetic, but that doesn't get you ve...
by Jerf
Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0123: "Centrifugal Force"
Replies: 91
Views: 43449

A "paradox" is, by definition, an apparent contradiction. Since we don't call it a "contradiction", there is at least one point of view where it isn't. If you've attained the necessary understanding, a paradox will no longer be a contradiction to you. So it's still a paradox, jus...
by Jerf
Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:52 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Future is not the past
Replies: 11
Views: 3896

"Would a pure antimatter object un-age?" No; the entropy arrow points the same direction for both matter and anti-matter. The particles themselves may be seen as going "backwards in time", but all the interactions still occur normally, and it is the interactions that are actually...
by Jerf
Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:41 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: 3D Modelling
Replies: 15
Views: 5992

This is a great place to talk about 3D modelling. xkcd is such a rich source of highly 3D-able content.

I can't wait to see a 3D model of the hat dude. Wow! Blows my mind just thinking about it.
by Jerf
Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:42 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Dvorak
Replies: 69
Views: 21476

This thread has inspired me to retry something I'd been meaning to do for a while, which is turn my capslock into a backspace. I know some people like to make it "Control", because in some keyboards that key was a Control key, but it's Backspace that sends my hands flying, not Control. Las...
by Jerf
Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:36 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Dvorak
Replies: 69
Views: 21476

The problem with the ergonomic theory (and remember I say this as someone who has totally switched) is that it hasn't been proven scientifically. I like things scientifically proven. Since the other position isn't proven either (QWERTY being better than Dvorak), you're on your own. It probably helps...
by Jerf
Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:02 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: I'm so nerdy that I ...
Replies: 1377
Views: 203573

I learned Dvorak. I did it because I was worried about my wrists because they started to hurt. I later figured out that it was something else entirely, but by then I'd pretty much learned Dvorak. I'm not sure I can recommend it because it takes a while to come up to speed. But it definitely does inv...
by Jerf
Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:33 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: When I Was Your Age...
Replies: 93
Views: 17997

If people get lazy, so what? If I can take a pill that truly gave me all the benefits of exercise without exercising, so what? If I interact solely through a rich virtual environment that is such a completely perfect simulation that you there is no practical way to tell the difference, so what? &quo...
by Jerf
Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0174: "That's What SHE Said"
Replies: 140
Views: 68180

"F--- You."


That's what she said!

(Clearly this comic is not going to be promoting insightful discussion in its thread...) :wink: )
by Jerf
Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:45 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Conversational singing.
Replies: 11
Views: 4372

Now, do you mean that you will only communicate by quoting "real" songs (for some definition of real that I don't really want to argue about), or that you will sing everything you communicate with? Every once in a long while I'll hit upon a certain phrase that just sounds like it ought to ...
by Jerf
Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:44 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Global warming
Replies: 82
Views: 24793

The *cost* of fighting it? Yes. The cost of global warming isn't infinite, and the value of prevention is subject to a standard cost/benefit comparision. If you deny that, it's not science to you, it's religion. You probably wouldn't believe me if I quoted the optimistic Kyoto numbers by way of exa...
by Jerf
Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0163: "Donald Knuth"
Replies: 36
Views: 22388

Switching indexing? You didn't just let the 0'th element of the Java array sit empty and ignore it? It's only one reference's worth of memory, well worth it to keep the indices in sync, and you pretty much only have to worry it on import and export. (And either write your loops to start at 1 in Java...
by Jerf
Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:15 am UTC
Forum: Music
Topic: Weird Al - White & Nerdy Video
Replies: 30
Views: 14183

To get that close, and mess it up that way, I gotta think it was deliberate. (Or an accident by the effects guy.) Maybe it's meant as the Ultimate Nerd Test. (After all, how many posers have you seen on TV try to pass themselves off as math gods and write absolute syntactically-incorrect gibberish a...
by Jerf
Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:40 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Not far ago
Replies: 5
Views: 3095

Spammers have standard packages for spamming standard forum software. Moreover, I've seen blogs with custom posting systems get hit at surprisingly small readership levels/Google ranking. At least one person's got a bot that when it encounters a site it can't spam alerts a human to program it for th...
by Jerf
Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:10 pm UTC
Forum: Music
Topic: Weird Al - White & Nerdy Video
Replies: 30
Views: 14183

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy his " It's all about the Pentiums ", which also, for instance, contains a Usenet joke. The new video is much better; I'm not sure which song is better. To a lesser nerd-in-joke extent, "eBay" is also funny, but it's definitely tuned for eBa...
by Jerf
Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0157: "Filler Art"
Replies: 24
Views: 16375

<voice type="snooty wine taster">I like the direction this new character is taking. The art is redolent of the finer Rembrants, with the voluptuous character exuding character and excitement. The pose of striving reminds us that we must go on, on, ever onward to overcome this challenge tha...
by Jerf
Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:30 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: xkcd is hard to type
Replies: 70
Views: 16874

Hmm, zpxs.com seems to be taken.

Theirs is bigger.

Go to advanced search