Search found 529 matches

by wumpus
Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1986: "River Border"
Replies: 58
Views: 3524

Re: 1986: River Border

The Potomac river is the border of Maryland and Virginia, with the curious property that the entire river is part of Maryland. As far as I know, the only real difference is that you could have a building on the Virginia shore that sold VA lottery tickets, and also have a cash register on a floating ...
by wumpus
Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:27 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system
Replies: 2
Views: 614

Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

I think the fundamental problem is claiming that anything possible in a hard sci fi universe is magick and not technology. What are you supposed to do, summon Maxwell's demon? In the introduction to "Recluse Tales" (a bunch of short stories revisiting a 20 year+ old series), L. E. Modesitt...
by wumpus
Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:52 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: After a decade it's time for a new computer
Replies: 24
Views: 5337

Re: After a decade it's time for a new computer

There's a thread over on realworldtech.com that has a lot of pros and cons of used enterprise SSDs (Linus mentions how consumer ones have a non-zero chance of losing all data if you lose power at the wrong time). Can't say I'm sold. I've been more curious out refurbished rotating drives. While the &...
by wumpus
Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6083
Views: 845967

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Nearly 1000 people were killed by police last year. 68 were unarmed. So 7% of the time a police officer decides to shoot someone to death, that person is unarmed... Given the number of police who plant weapons on people they’ve shot as well as the utter lack of any sort of consistent reporting - or...
by wumpus
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:38 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Favorite Programming Language
Replies: 23
Views: 8147

Re: Favorite Programming Language

Languages are tools, not pets. Use the right tool for the right job. As awesome as rust's safety guarantees are, sometimes a bash one-liner is all you need. So far, every language I met had *some* use case where it shines, and *some* use case where it's a poor choice. True, so we should probably me...
by wumpus
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:29 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1938: "Meltdown and Spectre"
Replies: 36
Views: 4494

Re: 1938: "Meltdown and Spectre"

I think this, like rowhammer, shows mostly that we are getting sufficiently good at software security that attackers have to exploit the hardware. Actually, Heartbleed is only about 2 months older than rowhammer. Who needs hardware exploits when you only have to press backspace 28 times? Show me a ...
by wumpus
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:01 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: After a decade it's time for a new computer
Replies: 24
Views: 5337

Re: After a decade it's time for a new computer

get a good 100 or 200 amps extra than your total (power distribution unit) What? I think you mean milli amps. My entire house's electrical supply is protected by a 60amp fuse. I think he means Watts. Even so, power is [instantaneous] voltage * [instantaneous] current. So >100 Amps going into a <1.0...
by wumpus
Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:54 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: 1980s PCs
Replies: 5
Views: 1241

Re: 1980s PCs

I don't remember that editor at all (I wrote nearly all my BASIC on 8-bit Ataris, and mostly wrote Visual Basic much later on PCs). Presumably it was part of BASICA (or possibly QuickBasic, although I think QuickBasic had a "later DOSish" interface). I *did* use an editor presumably inspir...
by wumpus
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1928: "Seven Years"
Replies: 52
Views: 10968

Re: 1928: "Seven Years"

Regarding a strip from SMBC, "I don't care if curing cancer is like curing virus. It needs done".

- you might want to cure virus as well. And maybe deliver me a pony.
by wumpus
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:03 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: After a decade it's time for a new computer
Replies: 24
Views: 5337

Re: After a decade it's time for a new computer

You do know about https://pcpartpicker.com/ don't you, it makes finding a good build vastly easier. Video card: Titan V is only the answer if you really care about machine learning or double precision CUDA work. If you do it is a "great bargain" (compared to its meager/exhorbinant competit...
by wumpus
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:08 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Repairing a Digital Multimeter?
Replies: 5
Views: 2991

Re: Repairing a Digital Multimeter?

I'm not sure this is the right place to ask, but it's my best bet. Recently I made the mistake of measuring AC current with a multimeter only capable of measuring DC current (Voltcraft VC130-1). Since then the resistance measuements are all wrong and the diode tester beeps continuously even if I re...
by wumpus
Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1920: "Emoji Sports"
Replies: 23
Views: 4255

Re: 1920: "Emoji Sports"

The title text seems a bit odd. While plenty of breeders will immediately retire a horse to stud after winning a Kentucky Derby (the recent triple crown winner had already sold stud rights, so the owner had no reason to retire the horse early), you still should put Missouri Horse Hole before the Bel...
by wumpus
Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:14 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Encryption for the Lich Queen's spys?
Replies: 18
Views: 11266

Re: Encryption for the Lich Queen's spys?

DnD rules don't have any spells for it because Decipher Script is just a skill check. So basically it's unsupported by magic, beyond stacking Int bonuses. As a DM I'd probably have the creator take 20 on making it to set the DC, then give a cracker one check per workday or something, with reduction...
by wumpus
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:08 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: My Future Invention card game
Replies: 8
Views: 1994

Re: My Future Invention card game

jewish_scientist wrote:You realize that I have to read this now.


Lucky you. [shades of https://www.xkcd.com/1053/ and the experience of seeing coke&memtos for the first time]
by wumpus
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:21 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: My Future Invention card game
Replies: 8
Views: 1994

Re: My Future Invention card game

Could you limit this to just one thread and not do what "Maximum77" did on this site: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?62-Mad-Science-and-Grumpy-Technology To those who missed it, OOTS is the "other great stick figure comic" on the internet. It might not have any o...
by wumpus
Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:25 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Encryption for the Lich Queen's spys?
Replies: 18
Views: 11266

Re: Encryption for the Lich Queen's spys?

Say you are advising this evil lich queen one day and she requests an improved system of encryption as part of her overarching plan to stop all opposition. In what scenario would spies need better encryption rather than steganography? I thought spying was all about passing information unbeknownst t...
by wumpus
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1918: "NEXUS"
Replies: 25
Views: 3717

Re: 1918: "NEXUS"

The premise of #1918 is absurd except that the 15th anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom is coming up, when this really happened. The French were too stupide to join Bush 43's invasion of Iraq. By March 2003, there was a de facto boycott of products that sounded French but weren't: https://news.v...
by wumpus
Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1914: "Twitter Verification"
Replies: 61
Views: 7263

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

to let you know that you are looking at the real account of a famous person and not a parody account. Whether or not that was their intention at the time, the implementation doesn't reflect that. The badge system, in practice, would verify that the owner of the account was the same person as the ow...
by wumpus
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1909:"Digital Resource Lifespan"
Replies: 61
Views: 6074

Re: 1909:"Digital Resource Lifespan"

How long will it take to get a pdf variant that won't include javascript (or flash and EXE exploit holes)? I've been fond of the format since .ps were available on ftp, but can't recommend an Adobe format for "digital resource lifespan". PS: what does it take to replace microfilm lamps wit...
by wumpus
Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1904: Research Risks
Replies: 62
Views: 5606

Re: 1904: Research Risks

So does that mean Larry Ellison qualifies as a super villain? I wouldn't be surprised. No idea if that was what has been pushing Elon Musk into building a volcano lair. For those wondering about molasses storage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Molasses_Flood I assume it should be a higher threa...
by wumpus
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1903: "Bun Trend"
Replies: 24
Views: 3158

Re: 1903: "Bun Trend"

I think it is more a follow up of this comic: https://xkcd.com/1682/ I tend to despair of the last time the US had a government likely to be better than a lagomarchy. Maybe we should simply grab Canadian officials and put them in US office (hopefully Canada could endure the situation thanks to great...
by wumpus
Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is Wealth?
Replies: 10
Views: 2865

Re: What is Wealth?

I don't think you can ponder wealth and Native Americans (or should I say First Nations, I think this is more common in Canada) without considering the potlatch. Presumably the potlatch can be seen as a useful form of socialism (hopefully those in need get enough), extreme wealth signaling (much lik...
by wumpus
Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1897: "Self Driving"
Replies: 57
Views: 7986

Re: 1897: "Self Driving"

Come now, Goto is for noob-lords. On the contrary: the Linux kernel is full of gotos. They're used both by n00bs and by the 1337est of the 1337. It's just intermediate programmers who are advised to avoid them. (Like the way beginners and professional electricians will strip wire using a pair of pl...
by wumpus
Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:25 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EXPERIENCE TRUE LEVEL!
Replies: 21
Views: 5736

Re: EXPERIENCE TRUE LEVEL!

Apparently the new kilogram standard is a perfect sphere correct to 3 Angstroms, which, depending on the atom/bonding, is approx 1-3 atoms/bonds. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14229-roundest-objects-in-the-world-created/ That's just one proposed standard. The 2018 redefinition is likely to...
by wumpus
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"
Replies: 64
Views: 6417

Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Virologist in jeans and t-shirt: centre. Virologist in suit, holding a glass of champagne: left. Virologist in lab-coat, holding clicker for PowerPoint show: as shown. Virologist in last night's clothes, pale-faced and sweating: start drinking now. Champagne might indicate connections to Theranos. ...
by wumpus
Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"
Replies: 63
Views: 7008

Re: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"

In response to all the comments of MMUs being unsuitable to real time OSes, the big cause of variable memory latency is cache misses. So unless you want to disable all caching (which would be stupid since it would slow your CPU down to 10% normal speed or much worse - uncached memory accesses take ...
by wumpus
Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"
Replies: 63
Views: 7008

Re: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"

There's gotta be some managers still around who think that the world runs on MS/DOS ... My high school programming teacher swore up and down that Linux must be built on top of MS-DOS, and therefore must be violating Microsoft's copyrights. Up to that point, I'd thought that was a joke rumor nobody ...
by wumpus
Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"
Replies: 63
Views: 7008

Re: 1891: "New Technology"

Is there any scenario left for which MS DOS is an adequate OS? I use graphics-less linuxen all the time, but they're up to date and the kernel is still being maintained. Any case where "real time" means real time . That said, I don't think anyone has manufactured a CPU with the same realt...
by wumpus
Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1890: "What to Bring"
Replies: 70
Views: 9517

Re: 1890: "What to Bring"

What if the fight is over water? Not the Battle of Midway. I mean two villages / extended families fighting over access to a 1 l/min trickle of water. If your style of "bringing water to" a fight is to build a 10 l/s water main out to them, I could call that the ultimate weapon: both side...
by wumpus
Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1890: "What to Bring"
Replies: 70
Views: 9517

Re: 1890: "What to Bring"

Great comic, fodder for endless additional discussion. My random thoughts: Knife row: * bringing a knife to a knife fight might not even be optimal. I recall reading an old martial arts book years ago that suggested if you are proficient in hand to hand combat, have a knife available, and are facin...
by wumpus
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:16 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 4831
Views: 370318

Re: Trump presidency

I don't really see why it makes a difference to compare different types of dying while on a job. It depends why you are comparing mortality rates. In this case it's to assess the appropriateness of mitigation and compensation for hazards faced by government agents who are paid to use deadly force a...
by wumpus
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0936: "Password Strength"
Replies: 893
Views: 275809

Re: 0936: "Password Strength"

But if those hashes are all salted with different salts, you cannot simply keep hashing with a single algorithm until you collide with at least one of them. Rather, you have to keep hashing with a particular salt until you collide with the hash of the single unique account using that salt. That's s...
by wumpus
Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0936: "Password Strength"
Replies: 893
Views: 275809

Re: 0936: "Password Strength"

I'm sorry to have brought up the salt, it does nothing for birthday attacks. Presumably Soupspoon made things obvious, but I'll do my try. But the problem with your [KnightExemplar] description of a birthday attack is that even if you generate 2**128 gmail accounts, that doesn't get you any more acc...
by wumpus
Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0936: "Password Strength"
Replies: 893
Views: 275809

Re: 0936: "Password Strength"

You're wrong on multiple counts. Okay. All I've said is that there are 26 unique alphabetic characters. Your math is right. Your assumptions are wrong. Particularly this one: Here is what I think I'm reading when I read about this. The safest any string can be is limited by the number of unique ele...
by wumpus
Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Heat loss in a spaceship
Replies: 36
Views: 5923

Re: Heat loss in a spaceship

I don't remember quite how cold it gets About 2.7K in the shade. But you also are a vacuum thermos bottle in 2.7K. In practice, this means only radiated losses. There is no conduction to 2.7K (making that number pretty meaningless). If life support (and other critical functions) are still functioni...
by wumpus
Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0936: "Password Strength"
Replies: 893
Views: 275809

Re: 0936: "Password Strength"

You're wrong on multiple counts. Okay. All I've said is that there are 26 unique alphabetic characters. Your math is right. Your assumptions are wrong. Particularly this one: Here is what I think I'm reading when I read about this. The safest any string can be is limited by the number of unique ele...
by wumpus
Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1407: "Worst Hurricane"
Replies: 92
Views: 20276

Re: 1407: "Worst Hurricane"

I was surprised that most of Western NY is Hazel and not Agnes. Both were before my time, but I've never heard about Hazel before. I've heard a lot more about Agnes -- mainly because the floodwaters on the Genesee River reached within inches of the top of the Mt Morris Dam. Had the Dam not been the...
by wumpus
Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:22 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science-based what-if questions
Replies: 592
Views: 66581

Re: Science-based what-if questions

I assume that a black hole originally made from iron may or may not have a magnetic field, but any field propagating away from the iron core would not pass the Schwarzschild radius. It is presumably undefined, and no experimental means would determine the original matter.
by wumpus
Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:50 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Wave Questions
Replies: 12
Views: 2564

Re: Wave Questions

My f(t) is the sound received by some listener/microphone in a location. I assume f(t,x) would be the same for all audio passing through the x-axis. I'd expect the end result of any x for f(t,x) to be the same as my f(t), assuming random phases and ignoring distance losses. Obviously ignoring the di...
by wumpus
Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Wave Questions
Replies: 12
Views: 2564

Re: Wave Questions

Zamfir, I think you found my mistake. If you define the f(t) as a function of time that recieves all audio input in a single place, then I'd be fine claiming that f(t) is the amplitude (I won't call it the intensity). While I'm still sure that f(t) will *average* 1 (or the maximum output of any whit...

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