Search found 309 matches

by xtifr
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:44 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1945:"Scientific Paper Graph Quality"
Replies: 21
Views: 2036

Re: 1945:"Scientific Paper Graph Quality"

One thing I noticed is that at just about the same time that TeX came along and made the fonts and layouts of papers look much nicer, gnuplot came along and made the fonts and labels on graphs look much worse.
by xtifr
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1940: "The Food Size Cycle"
Replies: 52
Views: 3035

Re: 1940: "The Food Size Cycle"

For some reason, I'm reminded of the Shepard scale, an auditory illusion where a sequence of chords appears to rise (or fall) indefinitely. It uses a similar mechanism.
by xtifr
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:58 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1935: "2018"
Replies: 66
Views: 4140

Re: 1935: "2018"

Why do we assume that it's easy to determine if it's divisible by 4 if it's odd? People have been using supercomputers to go through all the odd numbers to test the conjecture that none of them are divisible by four. After *mumble* computation time, we now know that if there's an odd number divisib...
by xtifr
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1902: "State Borders"
Replies: 61
Views: 6522

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

A very interesting plot is state of the US by area by senators. Each new state had substantially less per-capita or per-area power than the last. It was and is a pyramid scheme giving greatest power to the original 13 colonies. Montana has a smaller population than Rhode Island! (1.04M vs. 1.05M.) ...
by xtifr
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1925: "Self-Driving Car Milestones"
Replies: 22
Views: 2103

Re: 1925: "Self-Driving Car Milestones"

It seems odd to me to see "self driving car" and "fuel" in the same sentence. Electric cars are already sufficiently mature for widespread use, fully autonomous driving is not So, to your mind, "fuel" requires hadrons? (Even if you're correct, I think people will conti...
by xtifr
Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1923: "Felsius"
Replies: 78
Views: 4884

Re: 1923: "Felsius"

I don't know what the reference for 100 °F is supposed to be, though. I believe it was supposed to be body temperature, originally. But if that's true, I'm not entirely sure how it ended up being off, slightly. (Checking Wikipedia: oh, it's much worse than that. Apparently he was was basing it on b...
by xtifr
Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1917: "How to Make Friends"
Replies: 35
Views: 3586

Re: 1917: "How to Make Friends"

When it comes to making friends, I think Pygmalion beat Victor Von Frankenstein by many centuries.

(Although I am a bit surprised to discover that Victor beat Geppetto by about 60 years. For some reason, I thought it was the other way around.)
by xtifr
Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1921: "The Moon and the Great Wall"
Replies: 8
Views: 1598

Re: 1921: "The Moon and the Great Wall"

Did you know that if you're standing on the Great Wall of China, you can see the Great Wall of China?

Which is a man-made structure located on the third celestial body orbiting the star known as Sol. :)
by xtifr
Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1905: "Cast Iron Pan"
Replies: 108
Views: 8925

Re: 1905: "Cast Iron Pan"

If it's well-seasoned, the inside surface should be just fine. You might get some rust on the outside, but that's really not a big deal. A quick scrub, then use the pan , and things should be fine. The heat from using the pan will drive out any remaining moisture. So rust really isn't a major proble...
by xtifr
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1917: "How to Make Friends"
Replies: 35
Views: 3586

Re: 1917: "How to Make Friends"

Of course, advances in AI should soon give us a whole new set of answers to the question "how do I make friends?" :)
by xtifr
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1905: "Cast Iron Pan"
Replies: 108
Views: 8925

Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

I'm saying it takes seconds for me to clean other pans. Yup, and that's how long it takes to clean cast iron. If your sources are telling you something else, then your sources are insane. Cast iron is as easy and quick to clean as teflon. And noticeably easier and quicker than stainless or copper. ...
by xtifr
Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:43 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1905: "Cast Iron Pan"
Replies: 108
Views: 8925

Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

The big problem with teflon is that it doesn't stick to the metal very well (not sticking to things is rather its selling point), and it's not very strong, so once you scratch or chip it, it tends to continue to disintegrate and add teflon chips to the things you cook in it. And it can't easily be ...
by xtifr
Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:25 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1917: "How to Make Friends"
Replies: 35
Views: 3586

Re: 1917: "How to Make Friends"

Face it: all of us are introverts and borderline Aspberger's or worse, so of course we're rotten at making friends. Speak for yourself. While a lot of geeks are introverts or borderline aspie, a lot of us are definitely not . To assume we all are is to buy into ridiculous media stereotypes. Some ge...
by xtifr
Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1905: "Cast Iron Pan"
Replies: 108
Views: 8925

Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Best not. Plastic bubbles can kill you. :mrgreen:
by xtifr
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:55 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1905: "Cast Iron Pan"
Replies: 108
Views: 8925

Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

The big problem with teflon is that it doesn't stick to the metal very well (not sticking to things is rather its selling point), and it's not very strong, so once you scratch or chip it, it tends to continue to disintegrate and add teflon chips to the things you cook in it. And it can't easily be r...
by xtifr
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:41 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1905: "Cast Iron Pan"
Replies: 108
Views: 8925

Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Describing cast iron as "high maintenance" is a bit ridiculous as well. You do sort of have to know what you're doing to get the best out of it, but since you maintain it by adding oil and heating, and since you generally use it by...adding oil and heating... Compare to: * Stainless or cop...
by xtifr
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1896: "Active Ingredients Only"
Replies: 40
Views: 3883

Re: 1896: "Active Ingredients Only"

Nope, it does work in any case. Well, let's be precise. There were a couple of small-scale studies which suggested that placebos were more effective against irritable bowel syndrome and migraines than no treatment, even when people knew they were just taking sugar pills with no medicinal effect. Th...
by xtifr
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1904: Research Risks
Replies: 62
Views: 4398

Re: 1904: Research Risks

I think anyone who has read 1984 would argue that linguistics should be higher on the chart. But that was speculative fiction . Humans don't work this way. You know that and I know that, but, as has frequently been observed, a whole lot of people in power seem to treat 1984 as more of an guide book...
by xtifr
Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1905: "Cast Iron Pan"
Replies: 108
Views: 8925

Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Herein lies the rift between the soap and no-soap cast iron users. Cast iron in its natural state is porous, and will trap soap and flavor your food with soap similar to those unsealed ceramic baking stones that were a fad a while back. People who take their cast iron camping and clean it by turnin...
by xtifr
Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1904: Research Risks
Replies: 62
Views: 4398

Re: 1904: Research Risks

I think anyone who has read 1984 would argue that linguistics should be higher on the chart. Possibly up near pharmacology (which we learned about from Brave New World).
by xtifr
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"
Replies: 64
Views: 5181

Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Ship-to-ship combat in space is probably much trickier than the way it's usually portrayed in SF, but yeah, it's not inherently illogical or anything. In any case, fiction allows for artistic license, and SF has a set of what are often referred to as "acceptable breaks from reality". Thing...
by xtifr
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1899: "Ears"
Replies: 31
Views: 2995

Re: 1899: "Ears"

The solution is to have normal ears! :D Seriously, I've never had a problem with earbuds, and didn't even realize this was a problem for some people. On the other hand, I did once own a pair which came with hooks that wrap around behind the ear. I suppose I could have deduced the existence of a prob...
by xtifr
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"
Replies: 64
Views: 5181

Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

This. It always amuses me how many hipsters have taken the ludicrously contrary view that alien contact could only ever be a good thing. My theory is that it is connected to the weird liberal tic whereby, in understandable moral rejection of cruel conservative racism, every single immigrant is asse...
by xtifr
Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"
Replies: 64
Views: 5181

Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

If you think that diseases are the only thing we'd have to worry about from an alien invasion, well, I hope you're not in charge if it happens. I'm not sure what sequence of events would lead to exobiologists being the first scientists to be interviewed in relation to a potential alien invasion. If...
by xtifr
Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:16 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1893: "Thread"
Replies: 34
Views: 4825

Re: 1893: "Thread"

You say that as if fantasy is somehow inferior to science fiction. At the time , there was a definite stigma to fantasy in fandom. This is the reason that (for example), the World Fantasy Awards were created: even though the rules for the Hugos and Nebulas and other genre awards allowed fantasy, no...
by xtifr
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"
Replies: 63
Views: 5674

Re: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"

Please note that there's a difference between text-based and command-line . Vi and Emacs are (usually) text-based, but aren't command-line unless you press colon (for vi) or M-X (for Emacs). A TUI can offer most of the same advantages that are often claimed for GUIs: easily discoverable menu-based i...
by xtifr
Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"
Replies: 64
Views: 5181

Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Living in a University town, I wouldn't consider any of these particularly worrying, since I'd assume the local angle was the scientist, not the discovery. A lot of these are likely to vary depending on where you live. For example, local breaking news coverage of a vulcanologist is probably routine ...
by xtifr
Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1886: Typing Notifications
Replies: 18
Views: 2405

Re: 1886: Typing Notifications

The typing notification could be worse. Remember that collective document editing thing Google did for a while where you saw every keystroke other users made? They were talking about using that technology as a messaging app: you could see what people were typing as a reply as they typed it . Those ...
by xtifr
Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:06 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0936: "Password Strength"
Replies: 893
Views: 268583

Re: 0936: "Password Strength"

I will say that if there is a pattern in the password, I can attack the hash. This is incorrect. At least, with a cryptographically strong hashing algorithm. I don't need to beat the hash, I need to beat the password. This is correct. But if you think the hash is going to provide any partial inform...
by xtifr
Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0936: "Password Strength"
Replies: 893
Views: 268583

Re: 0936: "Password Strength"

I really have to ask at this point: morriswalters, do you believe that doubled letters in a password somehow means that there are doubled characters in the final hash which actually gets stored? Or even that the length of the final hash is in any way related to the length of the password?
by xtifr
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1875: Computers vs Humans
Replies: 24
Views: 3059

Re: 1875: Computers vs Humans

I don't see how "not caring" would be something that humans surpass computers at. There's a difference between simply not caring and being too cool to care. Computers, as you rightly point out, are excellent at the former, but have a long way to go to master the latter. (There may be comp...
by xtifr
Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1869: "Positive and Negative Reviews"
Replies: 23
Views: 3006

Re: 1869: "Positive and Negative Reviews"

I had to post this one:

"Don't fret about your Amazon reviews. I just got a three-star review because my novel isn't a 36-count package of Jimmy Dean sausages."

(On the bright side, three stars isn't bad for something that isn't sausages. I guess. If sausages is what you wanted.)
by xtifr
Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:52 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1825: "7 Eleven"
Replies: 85
Views: 15316

Re: 1825: "7 Eleven"

So you don't think I should refer to my local filling station as "that place which sells organic produce"?

(Petroleum being inarguably organic, and primarily derived from ancient plant material.)
by xtifr
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1860: "Communicating"
Replies: 60
Views: 6469

Re: 1860: "Communicating"

Effectively, in order to have a meaningful exchange, there must be a commonly (between both parties) accepted source of meaning, which implies a third party source. For conversation to work words must mean neither what the speaker wants nor what the listener wants, but what the dictionary says. So ...
by xtifr
Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:35 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1859: "Sports Knowledge"
Replies: 44
Views: 4798

Re: 1859: "Sports Knowledge"

Thesh wrote:
You mean the "New York Giants of San Francisco?"

No, the New York Giants of San Francisco play cricket. The New York Giants of New Jersey play ultimate frisbee.

(Or something like that. I know they're different teams playing different sports.)
by xtifr
Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:16 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1851: "Magnetohydrodynamics"
Replies: 30
Views: 4625

Re: 1851: Magnetohydrodynamics

rmsgrey wrote:Nah, for "economics" I always hear "voodoo"...


A bit offensive to the people of Haiti, innit?
by xtifr
Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1849: "Decades"
Replies: 89
Views: 9516

Re: 1849: "Decades"

Before the 1990s, it was fairly common to see references to the 1890s as "the Nineties" or, frequently, "the Naughty Nineties". The latter is, in fact, the name of the movie in which Abbott & Costello's famous "Who's On First" skit appears. I'm not aware of any simi...
by xtifr
Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1845: "State Word Map"
Replies: 53
Views: 7726

Re: 1845: "State Word Map"

Making fun of bad infographics is not the same thing as making fun of infographics.

In any case, the impressive part here is that he managed to express his sentiment using exactly fifty words. :)
by xtifr
Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1844: "Voting Systems"
Replies: 83
Views: 8803

Re: 1844: "Voting Systems"

"The perfect is the enemy of the good". As far as I'm concerned, first-past-the-post is the equivalent of a bubble-sort--simple, obvious, and almost always the worst option (aside from deliberately bad options like bogo-sort). So I'll support pretty much any alternatives. IRV and Condorcet...
by xtifr
Wed May 10, 2017 9:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 10020

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

I think Randall is greatly overestimating the legs on this one. My guess is that it's more likely to last about as long as "what color is this dress?"

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