Search found 29 matches

by Shamino
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:57 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2030: "Voting Software"
Replies: 45
Views: 13783

Re: 2030: "Voting Software"

And the best-paid civil engineers have been designing nuclear reactors and skyscrapers for the possibility of "accidental" small- or medium plane crashes for a while now. Ever since the 1940's, I think. The Twin Towers could have been a lot worse, really. Definitely. When I look at 9/11 I...
by Shamino
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:41 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2030: "Voting Software"
Replies: 45
Views: 13783

Re: 2030: "Voting Software"

There aren't many fields of engineering where you have to assume that there are skilled, well funded state actors determined to break what you build. And those fields tend to be for military and related systems. Not systems where you are going to mass-market it to municipal governments nationwide, ...
by Shamino
Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2006: "Customer Rewards"
Replies: 40
Views: 10423

Re: 2006: "Customer Attention"

No idea how long this has been going on, but during the recent NBA playoffs I noticed that every team had a Nike swoosh on the right side of their jerseys, and some other corporate logo on the right side (Coca Cola, United Airlines, IBM, etc.). ... The difference, of course, is that the team is get...
by Shamino
Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:52 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2030: "Voting Software"
Replies: 45
Views: 13783

Re: 2030: "Voting Software"

There are plenty of very secure algorithms to make sure that each registered account only votes once. That part is easy. The hard part is making sure that the person casting the vote is the the actual owner of the registered account. There's no way to prove that electronically. And it's massively po...
by Shamino
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2006: "Customer Rewards"
Replies: 40
Views: 10423

Re: 2006: "Customer Attention"

The funny thing is that this is better than the "fashion" community where you're expected to give them free advertising for nothing. Every time I'm at the beach and I see someone with a Nike "swoosh" on their swim trunks, I think "how would you react if I asked you to pay me...
by Shamino
Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1974: "Conversational Dynamics"
Replies: 18
Views: 4778

Re: 1974: "Conversational Dynamics"

I think the interconnectedness of the web, for all the good it can do, has enabled the memetic equivalent of that. Craziness that normally could only spread from one nutjob at the bar to an unfortunate gullible sucker sitting next to him at the bar, can now spread like wildfire far and wide to ever...
by Shamino
Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:14 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1974: "Conversational Dynamics"
Replies: 18
Views: 4778

Re: 1974: "Conversational Dynamics"

I'm actually surprised that other forms of mass communication haven't been similarly abused. Like using the Emergency Broadcast service to spam political statements over all our favorite TV shows. All modern phones have emergency alerts for weather, Amber alerts and "presidential" alerts. ...
by Shamino
Wed May 10, 2017 1:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15715

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

When I saw today's strip, the first thing that came to mind (before reading any of the text) was "he's doing something about biorhythms".
by Shamino
Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1741: "Work"
Replies: 53
Views: 12714

Re: 1741: "Work"

I really like those lamps that turn on and off just by touching them. It is like magic. They're nice, but the electronics don't survive as long as the rest of the lamp. I bought a touch-control module and attached it to a desk lamp. It worked great for a few years. Then it started switching on and ...
by Shamino
Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:33 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1590: "The Source"
Replies: 70
Views: 14063

Re: 1590: "The Source"

Arrrgh, its early in the morning, still a little dark outside, and a florescent tube above my desk is doing that 'plink plink' noise with a bit of humming in between. Throw in the disco strobe effect and I'm about to crack. Aaarrrrggghhhhh. If it wasn't behind a plastic sheet I'd take the bloody th...
by Shamino
Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1590: "The Source"
Replies: 70
Views: 14063

Re: 1590: "The Source"

Rather annoying is the fact that I can hear a high-pitched whine from low voltage power supplies (phone chargers, USB hub, etc.) when the rest of the room is quiet (like from the chargers on my nightstand when I'm trying to sleep.) The interesting thing is that the whine changes at various times (e....
by Shamino
Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1586: "Keyboard Problems"
Replies: 61
Views: 11697

Re: 1586: "Keyboard Problems"

With great irony, Windows decided to turn on "filter keys" on both of my computers today. One is Win8.1, one is Win10. I've already disabled the "turn on filter keys when right shift is pressed for 8 seconds" option. It just magically enabled this feature by itself. Both my keyb...
by Shamino
Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1586: "Keyboard Problems"
Replies: 61
Views: 11697

Re: 1586: "Keyboard Problems"

There was talk of being able to write a virus that spreads via USB devices, including keyboards and mice. They demonstrated it by turning a standard USB memory drive into executing code (inserting keystrokes after a timeout for example) by overwriting the firmware on the device and explained that i...
by Shamino
Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1508: “Operating Systems”
Replies: 83
Views: 19967

hahahaha. Noticed that there's a distinct lack of *BSD. :twisted: Is the GNU/HURD joke along the lines that it's the OS equivalent of Half Life 3? GNU Hurd has supposedly been the goal of the Free Software Foundation, since its inception. The idea was to ship a complete operating system along with ...
by Shamino
Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1508: “Operating Systems”
Replies: 83
Views: 19967

Re: 1508: “Operating Systems”

He apparently does not have an internet modem/router/switch/accespoint/fileserver/kitchen sink combo device. It's never noted on the box but those things usually run a modified version of *BSD. The *BSD licenses apparently allow that. Nothing "apparently" about it. Quite a lot of open sou...
by Shamino
Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1508: “Operating Systems”
Replies: 83
Views: 19967

Re: 1508: “beehives”

are we the only one with AppleSOS in the house, 1981-1985? ... XyWrite was a great word processor that let you easily write drivers, so we convinced the daisy wheel printer to backspace and roll back to print foreign accents. ... As we write thith, the XKCD Forums site is being hacked with whimsica...
by Shamino
Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1508: “Operating Systems”
Replies: 83
Views: 19967

Re: 1508: “beehives”

we'd have to add: AppleDos: 1980-1998 VMS: 1988-1990 (yes, at home) AmigaOS: 1985-1999 Any other graybeards out there? The 80's is hardly graybeard. And my beard is salt-and-pepper, thank you. For what's been in my home... Timex-Sinclair ROM BASIC (October 1982, then it broke and I returned it to t...
by Shamino
Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1504: "Opportunity"
Replies: 49
Views: 12181

Re: 1504: "Opportunity"

Title Text: "We all remember those famous first words spoken by an astronaut on the surface of Mars: "That's one small step fo- HOLY SHIT LOOK OUT IT'S GOT SOME KIND OF DRILL! Get back to the ... [unintelligible] ... [signal lost]". It's a good think Neil Armstrong doesn't have m...
by Shamino
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1450: "AI-Box Experiment"
Replies: 200
Views: 66857

Re: 1450: "AI-Box Experiment"

Wow. A discussion thread where everybody is loudly debating the background material of the tooltip joke. But I guess this is important if you're one of the people who wants to be replaced by an AI simulation of himself. And now an obligatory Hitchhiker's quote (http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/tomsnyder...
by Shamino
Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1448: "Question"
Replies: 44
Views: 16392

Re: 1448: "Question"

After you have read "The Last Question", you can read Fredric Brown's even shorter story "Answer", http://www.roma1.infn.it/~anzel/answer.html . But read Asimov first. Thanks much for that link. I've heard this as a joke ("Is there a god?" "There is now"), bu...
by Shamino
Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1445: "Efficiency"
Replies: 40
Views: 12953

Re: 1445: "Efficiency"

Reminds me of my job. Working for a bureaucratic mega-corp means, among other things, that you can't start developing any piece of software without first writing up an report that collects requirements, describes a proposed solution (with multiple possibilities, if possible), along with cost estimat...
by Shamino
Wed May 21, 2014 3:45 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0097:" Burning Pollen"
Replies: 39
Views: 13569

Re: What-If 0097: Burning Pollen

The mention of powder explosions reminds me of the MythBusters episode involving a "creamer canon", where they burn a cloud of non-dairy creamer powder:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRw4ZRqmxOc
by Shamino
Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:09 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"
Replies: 45
Views: 13538

Re: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"

I don't know how long nuclear centrifuges have been operating, but we can probably estimate something. According to Wikipedia , the Zippe-type centrifuge (used for separating uranium) appears to have been invented in the 1950's, although they don't state an exact date. This would place an absolute u...
by Shamino
Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1292: Pi vs. Tau
Replies: 124
Views: 32199

Re: 1292: Pi vs. Tau

So would a compromise between Pau and Tau (1.75 Pi) be the Vulcan constant T'Pau? :D

(Ducking and running away now...)
by Shamino
Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1056: "Felidae"
Replies: 170
Views: 45767

Re: 1056: "Felidae"

How about "Serval" : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serval

They're really good looking, fast and smart.
by Shamino
Fri May 18, 2012 7:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1056: "Felidae"
Replies: 170
Views: 45767

Re: 1056: Felidae

Why all the emphasis on making some kind of unnoticeable segue from cat names to something else? They've switched from colors (Blue = System 7, Pink = never released aka Taligent, Red = System 8) to music... I agree completely about music. The colors, however, have a very interesting story. Not so ...
by Shamino
Fri May 18, 2012 7:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1056: "Felidae"
Replies: 170
Views: 45767

Re: 1056: Felidae

serutan wrote:Given the nerd/geek concentration in this forum, I am astonished that 'Schroedinger cat' hasn't been brought up yet...
Schroedinger would be more appropriate for Android. There are many times when you can't tell if it's dead or alive.
by Shamino
Wed May 16, 2012 2:41 pm UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Connection problems with new laptop
Replies: 5
Views: 7127

Re: Connection problems with new laptop

Is it just this laptop or other devices as well? If it's other devices, you may want to reboot, diagnose or replace your Wi-Fi base station/router. At my home, I've found that many (but not all) of my devices occasionally stop communicating until I toggle their Wi-Fi off and on again. It appears to ...
by Shamino
Wed May 16, 2012 2:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1056: "Felidae"
Replies: 170
Views: 45767

Re: 1056: Felidae

I think Apple should use names of small cats for iOS. Back when they introduced tabbed browsing (I think in OS X 10.2), I said they should've named it "tabby". They didn't use my suggestion. :D I think the next release should be Clouded Leopard - especially if they're going to thoroughly i...

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