"The Algorithm" on the front page of xkcd.com

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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michaelandjimi
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Re: the algorithm

What? Did I miss something?
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++\$_
Mo' Money
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Re: the algorithm

The algorithm:

Code: Select all

`#!/usr/bin/perl#Mark Jason Dominus@P=split//,".URRUU\c8R";@d=split//,"\nrekcah xinU / lreP rehtona tsuJ";sub p{@p{"r\$p","u\$p"}=(P,P);pipe"r\$p","u\$p";++\$p;(\$q*=2)+=\$f=!fork;map{\$P=\$P[\$f^ord(\$p{\$_})&6];\$p{\$_}=/ ^\$P/ix?\$P:close\$_}keys%p}p;p;p;p;p;map{\$p{\$_}=~/^[P.]/&&close\$_}%p;wait until\$?;map{/^r/&&<\$_>}%p;\$_=\$d[\$q];sleep rand(2)if/\S/;print`

mrbaggins
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Re: the algorithm

If I can read obfuscated perl (And I can't really read perl) then all that does is print some numbers slowly, and "Just another Perl / Unix Hacker". Not sure what the numbers are.

And I am also wondering what the hell we are talking about.
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Mat
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Re: the algorithm

Code: Select all

`if(confused)  read(http://blag.xkcd.com/2007/04/19/billboards/)`

mevlevi jaxom
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Re: the algorithm

if you read the small print, under the warning it reads "we did not invent the algorithm. the algorithm constantly finds jesus. the algorithm killed jeeves. the algorithm is banned in china. the algorithm is from jersey. the algorithm constantly finds jesus. this is not the algorithm. this is close."

i was just wondering if this was a reference to something. don't know, just curious.

Belial
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Re: the algorithm

Recently, ask.com attempted to start a new ad campaign about their search algorithm, which involved spreading little phrases like that around to pique peoples interest.

It was decided that it would be neat to create enough links to xkcd.com such that a google search for those phrases would return xkcd.com instead of ask.com. Essentially, Randy stole their advertising campaign. It worked for a while, no idea what the google results for those phrases look like now, but at the time, xkcd.com was at the top.
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They/them

mevlevi jaxom
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Re: the algorithm

fair enough. and awesome

++\$_
Mo' Money
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Re: the algorithm

Belial wrote:Recently, ask.com attempted to start a new ad campaign about their search algorithm, which involved spreading little phrases like that around to pique peoples interest.

It was decided that it would be neat to create enough links to xkcd.com such that a google search for those phrases would return xkcd.com instead of ask.com. Essentially, Randy stole their advertising campaign. It worked for a while, no idea what the google results for those phrases look like now, but at the time, xkcd.com was at the top.
XKCD is now 2 through 4 on the ones I tried. Some random blaggy stuff is first, mostly
mrbaggins wrote:If I can read obfuscated perl (And I can't really read perl) then all that does is print some numbers slowly, and "Just another Perl / Unix Hacker". Not sure what the numbers are.

And I am also wondering what the hell we are talking about.
No numbers. See http://perl.plover.com/obfuscated/ for an explanation; the algorithm is more complicated than you think (probably).

That would be a good line for the ads: "The algorithm is more complicated than you think. Probably."

ZeroSum
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Re: the algorithm

I think something dirty is going on with this because although "We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves. The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus. This is not the algorithm. This is close." phrases link to xkcd, "the algorithm" doesn't in the slightest.

The Hyphenator
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Re: the algorithm

ZeroSum wrote:I think something dirty is going on with this because although "We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves. The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus. This is not the algorithm. This is close." phrases link to xkcd, "the algorithm" doesn't in the slightest.

It... does? XKCD is the sixth result for me. I'm surprised, because "the algorithm" seems like a pretty common phrase.
The image link changes whenever I find a new cool website.
Spoiler:

Robin S
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Re: the algorithm

ZeroSum wrote:I think something dirty is going on with this because although "We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves. The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus. This is not the algorithm. This is close." phrases link to xkcd, "the algorithm" doesn't in the slightest.
Even if The Hyphenator's result is Google's response to frequent visits to xkcd on that computer, "the algorithm" was not the advertising slogan for ask.com. The phrases were. You need not search for the entire list of phrases in quotation marks, only individual ones.
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

benjhuey
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Re: the algorithm

How long have those phrases been at the bottom of the homepage? Has it been a while? I think I may have seen them before, but simply had forgotten that they were there. Awesome all the same.

ZeroSum
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Re: the algorithm

Robin S wrote:
ZeroSum wrote:I think something dirty is going on with this because although "We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves. The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus. This is not the algorithm. This is close." phrases link to xkcd, "the algorithm" doesn't in the slightest.
Even if The Hyphenator's result is Google's response to frequent visits to xkcd on that computer, "the algorithm" was not the advertising slogan for ask.com. The phrases were. You need not search for the entire list of phrases in quotation marks, only individual ones.

Right. I mis-spoke slightly. Those phrases, any of them, finds xkcd.com just fine. "the algorithm", however, finds AskJeeves. I call shenanigans.

Robin S
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Re: the algorithm

Could the fact that "thealgorithm" is actually part of the url make a difference?
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

OmenPigeon
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Re: the algorithm

ZeroSum wrote:Right. I mis-spoke slightly. Those phrases, any of them, finds xkcd.com just fine. "the algorithm", however, finds AskJeeves. I call shenanigans.

What do you mean you call shenanigans? This was always shenanigans. You can't call it, you aren't exposing anything.

Look, here's the original thread. This was just a cute game to co-opt some billboards, and in passing demonstrate that xkcd has roughly the same google weight as a second-tier search portal. Of course AskJeeves comes up higher for 'the algorithm.' It's theirs. We just borrowed it a little.
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The Hyphenator
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Re: the algorithm

Robin S wrote:
ZeroSum wrote:I think something dirty is going on with this because although "We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves. The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus. This is not the algorithm. This is close." phrases link to xkcd, "the algorithm" doesn't in the slightest.
Even if The Hyphenator's result is Google's response to frequent visits to xkcd on that computer, "the algorithm" was not the advertising slogan for ask.com. The phrases were. You need not search for the entire list of phrases in quotation marks, only individual ones.

Ah, right, forgot about that part of google. Interestingly, xkcd is now the 18th result for me.
Robin S wrote:Could the fact that "thealgorithm" is actually part of the url make a difference?

That's probably it. I'm pretty sure google first searches for the query as a url, then as a Wikipedia page, then as regular web results. Although sometimes regular web results are before the Wikipedia page. Hmm, maybe Wikipedia just has a much higher priority or something?
The image link changes whenever I find a new cool website.
Spoiler:

Robin S
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Re: the algorithm

Maybe Wikipedia is just linked to more, or contains the search term more times.
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

thecommabandit
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"The Algorithm"

Ok, I was just reading the little crap at the bottom of the xkcd comic page and came upon this chunk of text under the warning, in a very small size:

"We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves.
The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus.
This is not the algorithm. This is close."

Did... did anyone notice this? Does it mean anything? If it does, what is "the algorithm"? And where is it? When the hell did this message get there?

MoonBuggy
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Re: "The Algorithm"

Michael McClary, in alt.fusion, wrote:Irrigation of the land with sewater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called 'rain'.

thecommabandit
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Re: "The Algorithm"

Pah, I was expecting something more cryptic and interesting =(

sparkyb
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Re: "The Algorithm"

thecommabandit wrote:Pah, I was expecting something more cryptic and interesting =(

Yeah, well so were most of us who saw it on billboards. At least I know I was hoping for more when I saw it all around LA.

RealGrouchy
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Re: "The Algorithm"

Too lazy to find it.

etc., lock'd.

- RG>
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PinkFloyd
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THE ALGORITHM

I am not new to XKCD. I have been reading this comic for at least the past 2 years.

Today is the first time I have noticed EXTREMELY small print at the bottom of every page saying:

We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves.
The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus.
This is not the algorithm. This is close.

What the hell, Randall? When did you start this and what is the algorithm?

Paranoid now. An algorithm from Jersey that killed Jeeves and is banned in China because so?

What does that have to do with Jesus?

Lucy, you have some explaining to do.

Anyone?

TaintedDeity
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Re: THE ALGORITHM

That's been there for over 3 years, I think.
Here's a blog post about it: http://blog.xkcd.com/2007/04/19/billboards/
Ⓞⓞ◯

Josephine
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Re: THE ALGORITHM

It was a billboard riddle that pointed to job applications for ask.com (the algorithm killed jeeves).
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laserzt
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The small text about the algorithm

beneath the comics.
What's the deal with it?

The Black Hand
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Re: The small text about the algorithm

73, de KE8BSL loc EN26.

The Scyphozoa
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Re: The small text about the algorithm

If you
Don't know
Whose signs
Those are
You can't have
Driven very far
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Re: The small text about the algorithm

Sean Quixote
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Re: The small text about the algorithm

We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves.
The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus.
This is not the algorithm. This is close.

fireballs619
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What's with this fine print?

I tried searching the forum, and this wasn't posted, so here goes...

Did anyone else notice this small print at the bottom of the site?

It says:

WE DID NOT INVENT THE ALGORITHM. THE ALGORITHM CONSISTENTLY FINDS JESUS. THE ALGORITHM KILLED JEEVES.
THE ALGORITHM IS BANNED IN CHINA. THE ALGORITHM IS FROM JERSEY. THE ALGORITHM CONSTANTLY FINDS JESUS.
THIS IS NOT THE ALGORITHM. THIS IS CLOSE.

Anyone know what it means? It's pretty funny if you ask me!

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Re: What's with this fine print?

http://blog.xkcd.com/2007/04/19/billboards/

It was a viral marketing campaign by Ask.com that Randall decided to mess up.
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ConMan
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Re: What's with this fine print?

You ... searched the forums and couldn't find anything? Not even ...
This?
Or this?
Or this?
Or this?
Or this?
Or this?
Or this?
Or this?
Or this?
Or this, which appears to be where the idea came from?

Because I just searched General for "the algorithm" (the "the" didn't help much, truth be told) and out of the 9 pages of results about half the posts related to this. Including one topic from last week.

(I linked them all less to chide you, and more to help the poor mods who can never remember how many times they've already dealt with this. They're no spring chickens, you know.)
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Sean Quixote
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Re: What's with this fine print?

Heh, wow, that's been there for four years? And I thought it was fairly new, since I only recently learned about it myself, when I read the last thread about it. I guess I never read the date on the blag post. What's that logical fallacy called? Is it confirmation bias, or something?

Anyway...

HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY

and

removing this fucking annoying gif as I clean this shit up. ~~Felstaff

Felstaff
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Re: What's with this fine print?

Right. Thanks to ConMan's diligent linkery (above), I've merged all ten or so threads relating to 'The Algorithm' into one superthread. If anyone starts a new thread, you have the mods' permission to liberally roast that person for being an idiothole. (After you've reported the thread, of course).

fireballs619 wrote:I tried searching the forum, and this wasn't posted, so here goes...

You are clearly lying or inept.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

Sean Quixote
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Re: "The Algorithm" on the front page of xkcd.com

I'm not sure if it's just because I'm still pretty tired or what, but I think I may have detected some irony in the presence of the "citogenesis" comic in that screenshot.

Also, I can't even remember what .gif I posted, why was it annoying?