0810: "Constructive"

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0810: "Constructive"

Postby black_hat_guy » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:02 am UTC

Image
Title-Text: And what about all the people who won't be able to join the community because they're terrible at making helpful and constructive co-- ...oh.
F1RST P0ST!

Well, this is ironic.

I apologize: I really suck at copying down text really really fast in order to make my witty joke. Maybe I should have copied and pasted from the html...
Last edited by black_hat_guy on Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:18 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby joee » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:03 am UTC

I approve of this idea. Bonus points if they have to prove they can type/spell correctly

p.s. HI GLASNT

Edit: You screwed up the title text: "And what about all the people who won't be able to join the community because they're terrible at making helpful and constructive co-- ... oh."
Hi glasnt.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby akrolsmir » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:04 am UTC

I really like the idea of tapping into the power of spammers and using it for good. Two (or is it three?) birds with one stone!
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Me321 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:06 am UTC

Get out of my head:

The browser game Ikariam was hit by spammers this weekend, they made people think their accounts were hacked, and caused some to panic.
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0810: Constructive

Postby Paladin65536 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:08 am UTC

Image
Mouseover text - "And what about all the people who won't be able to join the community because they're terrible at making helpful and constructive co-- ... oh."

Heh, interesting idea. Doubt we'll be able to make AIs that good for a while yet, though. ^^

EDIT - Dangit, ninja'd! >.<
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby glasnt » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:10 am UTC

HI JOEE



Sample spam:

"Hi user1235, you might what to have a look at what company xyz are doing with relation to product abc to make it such and such.

While you're at it, you might want to buy some v1agra here: http://spamosaur.blah"
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:12 am UTC

I find this xkcd constructive.
[edit] The 'do not reply to spam posts' rule will be difficult to apply in this thread...
Last edited by Eternal Density on Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:13 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby lutzj » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:12 am UTC

glasnt wrote:HI JOEE



Sample spam:

"Hi user1235, you might what to have a look at what company xyz are doing with relation to product abc to make it such and such.

While you're at it, you might want to buy some v1agra here: http://spamosaur.blah"


Ad-supported analysis... I like it.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby ysth » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:13 am UTC

Venusians make horrible lovers. The wriggling hair and the tail are just too distracting.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby murgatroid99 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:16 am UTC

I really liked this comic, and I wanted to say that ReCAPTCHA actually does something very similar: ReCAPTCHA is the one with 2 words instead of a bunch of random letters. What they do is take two words from a book they are digitizing: one the computer can read and one it cannot, and they don't say which is which. They test whether the human got the readable one right, and if a bunch of people get the same answer for the other one they assume it is the right answer. That's why you sometimes get weird untypeable characters; the computer doesn't know what it says. That way people, including spammers, who answer CAPTCHAs are doing something useful.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby thoreaulylazy » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:18 am UTC

Unfortunately, all the spammers have to do is outnumber the humans and upvote themselves. And many spammers possess millions of IP addresses, thereby guaranteeing themselves positive votes. Any vote-based system is susceptible to this sort of manipulation.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:20 am UTC

But what about all the people who won't be able to join the community because they're terrible at making helpful and constructive comments?
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.

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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Have_A_SnApple » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:20 am UTC

Perhaps something like this was HAL's second lesson, after learning Daisy Bell.
Heuristics and algorithms are involved.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Radical Pi » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:21 am UTC

Hey gyse i dont no if dis is a gud idea cuz i hav gr8 ideas all da time but peeps dont find mi constructive

Not only that, but it also gets rid of people without the patience to wait for a second user to confirm that they are real.

Oh wait, time for a funny outcome of this situation. To catch the checks if a user is posting constructive comments, more spambots are created to confirm that other spambots are being constructive, with more spambots to confirm those spambots, creating a Ponzi scheme-like tower of spambots on every website until the entire blogosphere implodes under the DDoS of CAPTCHAs
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby black_hat_guy » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:23 am UTC

Re: 0810: Constructive
by skeptical scientist » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:20 pm UTC

But what about all the people who won't be able to join the community because they're terrible at making helpful and constructive comments?


At first I thought you were correcting me again. XD
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby badmartialarts » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:24 am UTC

Radical Pi wrote:Hey gyse i dont no if dis is a gud idea cuz i hav gr8 ideas all da time but peeps dont find mi constructive

Not only that, but it also gets rid of people without the patience to wait for a second user to confirm that they are real.

Oh wait, time for a funny outcome of this situation. To catch the checks if a user is posting constructive comments, more spambots are created to confirm that other spambots are being constructive, with more spambots to confirm those spambots, creating a Ponzi scheme-like tower of spambots on every website until the entire blogosphere implodes under the DDoS of CAPTCHAs


An interesting way to win the Turing Test, at least. The people who can't tell you are a machine ARE ALSO MACHINES....
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby pagaen » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:28 am UTC

My favorite XKCD of recent memory. The first one to make me literally lol in a while, too.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby DreadArchon » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:28 am UTC

Good comic! There have been a lot of meh comics lately IMHO, but this one definitely made me " :lol: "
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Have_A_SnApple » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:33 am UTC

Radical Pi wrote:Oh wait, time for a funny outcome of this situation. To catch the checks if a user is posting constructive comments, more spambots are created to confirm that other spambots are being constructive, with more spambots to confirm those spambots, creating a Ponzi scheme-like tower of spambots on every website until the entire blogosphere implodes under the DDoS of CAPTCHAs


Perhaps this will result in the creation of an emergent intelligence, a kind of hive-mind. Hopefully it will mutate and evolve into a more benign and intelligent form.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby elite4koga » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:34 am UTC

agreed, this one made me lol irl
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby LSN » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:39 am UTC

Starting to feel like classic XKCD (from what I gather since I wasn't here until relatively recently). I like it.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby jakelin » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:44 am UTC

I am supportive of this
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:03 am UTC

murgatroid99 wrote:I really liked this comic, and I wanted to say that ReCAPTCHA actually does something very similar: ReCAPTCHA is the one with 2 words instead of a bunch of random letters. What they do is take two words from a book they are digitizing: one the computer can read and one it cannot, and they don't say which is which. They test whether the human got the readable one right, and if a bunch of people get the same answer for the other one they assume it is the right answer. That's why you sometimes get weird untypeable characters; the computer doesn't know what it says. That way people, including spammers, who answer CAPTCHAs are doing something useful.

So, if one of the words can be read by computers and they don't check what the other one is, doesn't that make it completely useless for what captchas were designed to do?
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby rpgamer » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:08 am UTC

murgatroid99 wrote:I really liked this comic, and I wanted to say that ReCAPTCHA actually does something very similar: ReCAPTCHA is the one with 2 words instead of a bunch of random letters. What they do is take two words from a book they are digitizing: one the computer can read and one it cannot, and they don't say which is which. They test whether the human got the readable one right, and if a bunch of people get the same answer for the other one they assume it is the right answer. That's why you sometimes get weird untypeable characters; the computer doesn't know what it says. That way people, including spammers, who answer CAPTCHAs are doing something useful.

Is this the result of such a system?
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:09 am UTC

Have_A_SnApple wrote:
Radical Pi wrote:Oh wait, time for a funny outcome of this situation. To catch the checks if a user is posting constructive comments, more spambots are created to confirm that other spambots are being constructive, with more spambots to confirm those spambots, creating a Ponzi scheme-like tower of spambots on every website until the entire blogosphere implodes under the DDoS of CAPTCHAs


Perhaps this will result in the creation of an emergent intelligence, a kind of hive-mind. Hopefully it will mutate and evolve into a more benign and intelligent form.


Oh dear god! That's how the robots will takeover. Sentient spambots.

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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Relsqui » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:10 am UTC

LSN wrote:Starting to feel like classic XKCD (from what I gather since I wasn't here until relatively recently). I like it.


All the old ones are still online, you know. You can form your opinion about whether the old ones are better or whether this is like them. :P
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby bytbox » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:11 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
murgatroid99 wrote:I really liked this comic, and I wanted to say that ReCAPTCHA actually does something very similar: ReCAPTCHA is the one with 2 words instead of a bunch of random letters. What they do is take two words from a book they are digitizing: one the computer can read and one it cannot, and they don't say which is which. They test whether the human got the readable one right, and if a bunch of people get the same answer for the other one they assume it is the right answer. That's why you sometimes get weird untypeable characters; the computer doesn't know what it says. That way people, including spammers, who answer CAPTCHAs are doing something useful.

So, if one of the words can be read by computers and they don't check what the other one is, doesn't that make it completely useless for what captchas were designed to do?

In reality, the former is hard enough. We have algorithms that can break most CAPTCHAs out there - but at the point where you're spending several seconds per CAPTCHA to run an expensive algorithm (and only get it right 50% of the time), it doesn't become particularly profitable anymore. Much better to hunt for those that don't require a CAPTCHA.

Also, I think most (or all) implementations require your guess on the second CAPTCHA (the "unsolvable" one) to be at least /similar/ to some standard the computer has created from its own algorithm and previous guesses.

Awesome comic.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby meat.paste » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:19 am UTC

In addition to the drugs, penis enlargement, and occasional Nigerian prince, you must also go buy a fake watch. Perhaps it fits around the penis you've enlarged with drugs and the occasional Nigerian prince.

Funny comic and a brilliant idea.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby HonoreDB » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:20 am UTC

thoreaulylazy wrote:Unfortunately, all the spammers have to do is outnumber the humans and upvote themselves. And many spammers possess millions of IP addresses, thereby guaranteeing themselves positive votes. Any vote-based system is susceptible to this sort of manipulation.


I think the design actually prevents that, due to a bootstrapping problem. How do the first spammy comments get in?
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby RockoTDF » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:32 am UTC

Am I the only one that read this and thought "He is attacking the people on the fora who criticize his recent work constantly!" ?
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby DavidRoss » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:39 am UTC

murgatroid99 wrote:I really liked this comic, and I wanted to say that ReCAPTCHA actually does something very similar: ReCAPTCHA is the one with 2 words instead of a bunch of random letters. What they do is take two words from a book they are digitizing: one the computer can read and one it cannot, and they don't say which is which. They test whether the human got the readable one right, and if a bunch of people get the same answer for the other one they assume it is the right answer. That's why you sometimes get weird untypeable characters; the computer doesn't know what it says. That way people, including spammers, who answer CAPTCHAs are doing something useful.


Well, yes, when I type in a ReCAPTCHA I am helping digitize a book and that is useful. But TANSTAAFL. Just because the work is distributed in small unnoticeable chunks doesn't mean it is efficient or free work is obtained.

The ReCAPTCHA subjects are doing extra work, albeit a small amount of work. We're typing in two words, one of which is totally unnecessary for bot detection, because the bot detector has only one word (the one it knows) to work with to tell if you are human or a bot. Taking the unit of one "WHOO" (Word-Human OCR Operation, for lack of better term), each ReCAPTCHA test requires one WHOO more than the work of just one bot detection.

To complete the digitization of a text, say a classic manuscript or whatever, you run an automated scan and some computer determines that some words are not confidently OCR'ed. Let's say there are 200 words that go onto the list for human intervention. You'll need at least 200 WHOOs, but more likely some "confidence multiplier" on that, to ensure the text is correctly OCR'ed.

From what I understand how ReCAPTCHA works, they have a high confidence multiplier, i.e., they give one word to many different people and only accept the result when sufficient consensus exists over many, many people. If the words go to people (paid or volunteer) who are intentional human OCRs, let's say you reach confidence after five people WHOO each word (i.e., their confidence multiplier is 5 and the manuscript gets digitized for 1,000 WHOOs of effort). When using ReCAPTCHA subjects, you'll need a lot more people looking at the same word to get the same confidence, because ReCAPTCHA adds noise (which also makes each individual WHOO a little harder) and because ReCAPTCHA subjects are not as careful as intentional human OCRs (or they are lazy and know that there is a 50% chance they make it past the bot detector by always typing "x" for the second word). So, that is several thousand WHOOs to get that same manuscript digitized. Thus, ReCAPTCHA approach is less efficient, but somehow it is OK because it is thinly spread and somewhat unnoticeable to many people.

With that logic, we should allow airlines to save on the tedious work they do disposing of airplane sewage, so long as they disperse it at 35,000 feet in small enough drops that nobody would notice.

That said, I don't mind helping out the ReCAPTCHA folks now and then and doing a little extra free work.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby phlip » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:45 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:So, if one of the words can be read by computers and they don't check what the other one is, doesn't that make it completely useless for what captchas were designed to do?

In theory, I don't know if reCaptcha actually does this, but it would make sense... once a particular unreadable word has been used many times, and lots of people have given the same answer for it, so it's able to treat it as "known", and can use it to fill in the original OCR that it was trying to do (which is the whole point of reCaptcha) then it can theoretically start using that word as the "known" half... so people start being given a pair of words, both of which are unreadable to the best AI out there. But, for one of which, the correct answer has been crowdsourced and can be compared with the answer you give. And, meanwhile, you're giving an answer for the other half, expanding the options reCaptcha has for creating captchas.

And so, in reply to the ninja, each time you fill out a reCaptcha field, you're not just slightly assisting the OCR that they're trying to do, but you're also (potentially, if reCaptcha actually works this way) slightly increasing the security of all the sites that use reCaptcha, by working towards increasing the pool of unreadable-to-computers words they can use for the actual "security" half of the test.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Mr. Burke » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:22 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:But what about all the people who won't be able to join the community because they're terrible at making helpful and constructive comments?

They are subhuman and should not be allowed to communicate with people like Randall. Easy.
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thoreaulylazy wrote:Unfortunately, all the spammers have to do is outnumber the humans and upvote themselves. And many spammers possess millions of IP addresses, thereby guaranteeing themselves positive votes. Any vote-based system is susceptible to this sort of manipulation.


I think the design actually prevents that, due to a bootstrapping problem. How do the first spammy comments get in?

The same way the first non-spammy comments get in?
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby xhable » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:25 am UTC

Obvious flaw #1.
* Spam-bots approve spam-bots.
Obvious flaw #2
* Human (a) argues with human (b). human (a) declines genuine constructive comments of human (b) because they disagree with them/ out of spite.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Qaanol » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:30 am UTC

I smiled at the punchline. Then I sighed contentedly at the title text. Then I thought, just supposing the mission does accomplished, then just because the bots are capable of making automated constructive and helpful comments, doesn’t mean they’ll be used for that once they pass the entrance exam.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Mazuku » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:50 am UTC

Korea has a system in place in website with a lot of traffic that makes anyone who puts down a comment to confirm their identity with an ID number which they get from the Korea Communications Commission before the comment is allowed to be posted.

I am sure there are a number of issues that would be needed to be dealt with before western countries could adopt anything similar but that would certainly render spam bots obsolete.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby ijuin » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:03 am UTC

Such as, perhaps, the issue that under such a system those who control it invariably declare impermissible any content that would inconvenience said controlling people (e.g. criticism or whistle-blowing regarding misconduct of the people in power).

To quote Brother Lal, leader of the Peacekeeper faction in "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri":

"Beware he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby Vaskafdt » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:14 am UTC

While the system shown in the comic is not at all practical, the quality of the comic is great. superbly delivered punchline, followed by an even funnier title text.

Can't wait to see what the xkcdsw guys will do with it.
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby phillipsjk » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:15 am UTC

thoreaulylazy wrote:Unfortunately, all the spammers have to do is outnumber the humans and upvote themselves. And many spammers possess millions of IP addresses, thereby guaranteeing themselves positive votes. Any vote-based system is susceptible to this sort of manipulation.


ReCaptch is vulnerable to this as well. If the Spambots get the "unkown" word consistently wrong, but by some fluke are able to get the "known" word correct, the spambots can quickly upvote the computerized version of the spelling, poisoning the word list.

I lost all of my respect for ReCaptcha when they started severely distorting the words above and beyond smudges on the original. They now allow typing errors to compensate for the human error rate (and untypeable characters, I suppose).
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Re: 0810: Constructive

Postby PokerJoker811 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:40 am UTC

After reading this thread, I have determined that the best course of action to survive the robot takeover is to move to Nigeria.
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