Search found 333 matches

by jc
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1897: "Self Driving"
Replies: 57
Views: 3400

Re: 1897: "Self Driving"

Reminded me of a serious (?) paper I read some time ago about "democratic self-driving buses" where the all passengers would have keypads for entering their desired destination. The bus then processes that data and computes the optimal route for its current riders. Wasn't so much "AI...
by jc
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"
Replies: 63
Views: 3964

Re: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"

For a modern MS-DOS replacement there is http://www.freedos.org/ which is regularly updated and maintained. It looks like it is mostly intended for perpetuating the playing of classic DOS games and enabling the use of other DOS software now that MS no longer supports MS-DOS. In one of the projects ...
by jc
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1891: "Obsolete Technology"
Replies: 63
Views: 3964

Re: 1891: "New Technology"

I think we're overcoming the stigma/stereotype of the command line being obsolete. The general public now associates that black window with text in it mostly with "hacking" due to the media portrayals. I guess this is fine as long as they don't think of it as old and I don't get kicked of...
by jc
Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:35 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1888: "Still in Use"
Replies: 34
Views: 3542

Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Huh, I still have that first problem from time to time on a Mac. It's not often, but often enough that I keep the command to force-empty the trash in a text file, which I can copy-paste into the Terminal whenever I need it. I'll leave it here in case someone finds it useful: rm -rf ~/.Trash/* You m...
by jc
Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1886: Typing Notifications
Replies: 18
Views: 2000

Re: 1886: Typing Notifications

Off and on, I check in with my facebook or quora account to see if any friends or acquaintances have said anything interesting, fun, or even relevant to me. When I decide it's time to move on, and try to close the window, it often tells me that I have an incomplete reply, and do I want to delete it?...
by jc
Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1884: "Ringer Volume/Media Volume"
Replies: 38
Views: 3759

Re: 1884: "Ringer Volume/Media Volume"

... That brings be me neatly to the insane amount of bloatware on my phone, that I cannot get rid of without jailbreaking. Because I can't have an root user on a computer that I own . The simple explanation of this is that, while you may own the phone, you don't own the software. The actual owners ...
by jc
Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1883: Supervillain Plan
Replies: 60
Views: 4278

Re: 1883: Supervillain Plan

Actually, as a long-time network programmer, I'd say that the experienced ones don't consider it a big deal. You just make sure that the "internal" date/time format is always the POSIX seconds-since-19700101000000Z. There are open-source libraries available just about everywhere that can c...
by jc
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1876: Eclipse Searches
Replies: 35
Views: 3318

Re: 1876: Eclipse Searches

You mean to tell me the "eclipse" searches have eclipsed the election searches? *badum-tiss* It's obviously because most Americans are such model citizens that they knew and understood everything they needed to know well before the election. Huh? What's that laughter I hear in the backgro...
by jc
Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1871: "Bun Alert"
Replies: 86
Views: 6339

Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

Soupspoon wrote:But not Rabs?

:P

People might think you're talking about rabbis. ;-)
by jc
Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1871: "Bun Alert"
Replies: 86
Views: 6339

Re: 1871: "Bun Alert"

He also shoots "buns" that mess with his garden. Not for protein, just for eradication. Seems a waste, but that's the reality of hunting in the US. I wouldn't say "the reality of hunting." ... If I knew your BIL I'd call him out straight to his face for not fully utilizing the r...
by jc
Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 11384

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

... I'm a biology undergrad in Germany (and yes, I would prefer to think I am "competent" in biology) and during my undergrad educationI have never encountered this semantic issue with so badly wanting to avoid phrasings that could even potentially imply intent. So I'm wondering if it has...
by jc
Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 11384

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

Taking the argument to its conclusion, the desk is also a product of evolution. Genes chosen by natural selection built the person who built the desk. You're going to have to define sentience if you want trees on one side and desks on the other. It truly is a multi-faceted topic. I just found mysel...
by jc
Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1865: "Wifi vs Cellular"
Replies: 35
Views: 4526

Re: 1865: "Wifi vs Cellular"

Contracts like that just force me to switch providers all the time. Totally annoying. Of course, for a large part of the US population, "switch providers" is another way of saying "move somewhere else, where a different provider has the local monopoly". And in most of the US, th...
by jc
Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1860: "Communicating"
Replies: 60
Views: 5193

Re: 1860: "Communicating"

Well, at least he pays the words to mean whatever he wants them to. But what does he pay them? Well, if he's consistent, he'd pay in money that he printed himself, and would insist that it was worth whatever he says it's worth. That'd probably work with money about as well as it works with language...
by jc
Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:46 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1856: "Existence Proof"
Replies: 38
Views: 3509

Re: 1856: "Existence Proof"

Is she suffering from existential angst? You'd expect that to be an occupational hazard of mathematicians. After all, their work deals mostly with things that have no actual physical existence, in this universe or any other. OTOH, there are a number of common jokes among mathematicians about a coll...
by jc
Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1846: "Drone Problems"
Replies: 14
Views: 2472

Re: 1846: "Drone Problems"

rmsgrey wrote:So we should expect to see ARAD drones?


Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance?
Association Rwandaise pour les Actions de Developpement?
Adana Radyo Amatörleri Derneði?
Agriculture and Rural Affairs Department (UK)?
Abnormal Right Axis Deviation?

There are others, but they're more obscure. ;-)
by jc
Fri May 26, 2017 1:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1842: "Anti-Drone Eagles"
Replies: 13
Views: 2434

Re: 1842: "Anti-Drone Eagles"

The old pattern of ever-escalating countermeasures continues... Yeah, that's a fun story. But it mostly illustrates why, in reality, that sort of escalation is marketed differently. Rather than personally presenting the various escalations to the government leaders directly, the "ingenious pat...
by jc
Tue May 23, 2017 6:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"
Replies: 37
Views: 3215

Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Billions of years? His ancestors are dinosaurs? Omnis cellula e cellula. By definition, we did not come from anything that went extinct. How so? All of my ancestral species except modern humans appear to be extinct. This includes at least a few thousand species, all of them utterly gone by the time...
by jc
Mon May 22, 2017 5:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"
Replies: 37
Views: 3215

Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Billions of years? His ancestors are dinosaurs? Um, there were no dinosaurs around even one billion years ago. They were late developments on the Tree of Life. We're an even later twig. I think the doctor was talking about our single-cell ancestors, who have a much longer history than the small bra...
by jc
Fri May 12, 2017 8:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1836: "Okeanos"
Replies: 27
Views: 3935

Re: 1836: "Okeanos"

10 Live Chats You Don't Want To Miss.. Thanks, thank you. I was a fool, and you fooled me. Thank you for reminding me that I'm just another fool. Sir, well played. Though I should check it out -- and I LOL'd, of course. That's gotta be one of the longest-lasting of the InterWeb's memes. I also noti...
by jc
Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:31 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1830: "ISS Solar Transit 2"
Replies: 25
Views: 3624

Re: 1830: "ISS Solar Transit 2"

If a space station crashes in space, and there's no air in which sound can propagate , does it make a comic-book "Fwoosh"? If it's crashing into the sun, there's a LOT of atmosphere to carry sounds. But it's mostly hydrogen and helium, so the "Fwoosh" would be much higher pitche...
by jc
Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1829: "Geochronology"
Replies: 26
Views: 3873

Re: 1829: "Geochronology"

I thought I could tell whether an era is real or not, but this comic proved me wrong. The "Upper Pomeranian" era sounds legit to me.. The fun part of this is that there is a (linguistic) connection. The names in the comic (and most of the comments) are derived from place names. Dalmatia i...
by jc
Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1824: "Identification Chart"
Replies: 27
Views: 4651

Re: 1824: Identification Chart

In other related weirdness, ... After all that "training", we still could always read faster/better if the strip showed an entire line at a time. No idea if they tried training the next class with the "line at a time" method or just gave up. I haven't heard of many people gettin...
by jc
Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"
Replies: 99
Views: 13994

Re: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"

I thought leaves are green because they're chock full of chlorophyll, which is green. Why is chlorophyll green? Doesn't matter; what matters is that chlorophyll can drive photosynthesis, and when you've found a chemical with such an awesome superpower, you're not going to gripe about its color. Goo...
by jc
Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1815: "Flag"
Replies: 49
Views: 5646

Re: 1815: "Flag"

Title text: "There's a compromise bill to keep the notification bar but at least charge the battery." Maybe the "batter charge" value should be the percent of the population that voted for the current Fearless/Glorious/Whatever Leader in the last election. But does the notificat...
by jc
Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1814: "Color Pattern"
Replies: 61
Views: 7543

Re: 1814: "Color Pattern"

When you swim in a creek and an eel bites your cheek it's a moray... Nah probably not. Morays are salt-water fish, and only make brief forays into brackish or fresh water looking for prey. Actually, I was curious, and decided to look this up. I did find references to "fresh-water morays" ...
by jc
Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1810: "Chat Systems"
Replies: 38
Views: 5782

Re: 1810: "Chat Systems"

This is an exaggeration, but not by a huge amount. On my phone I've got and use to talk with people: Skype Line WeChat Slack Messenger SMS WhatsApp It is kinda ridiculous. So you don't use the old "phone" system interface at all? (Actually, neither do I, muchly. I've made only one "p...
by jc
Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1792: "Bird/Plane/Superman"
Replies: 76
Views: 9195

Re: 1792: "Bird/Plane/Superman"

In India, they created a fine for planes which intentionally dump their waste, which I doubt they would have bothered to do if it weren't possible and didn't happen regularly. In the US, they blocked entry from a bunch of countries because "terrorism", despite the fact that no one from th...
by jc
Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1787: "Voice Commands"
Replies: 54
Views: 8668

Re: 1787: "Voice Commands"

(because someone has to say it) It's all Greek to me... And it's all Chinese to the Greeks. ;-) Anyway, I've been disappointed that nobody has tried to divert the discussion to the question of whether the claims for the Dvorak layout have any statistical validity. I've read a number of comments fro...
by jc
Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:31 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1784: "Bad Map Projection: Liquid Resize"
Replies: 58
Views: 7235

Re: 1784: "Bad Map Projection: Liquid Resize"

well, it's better than Mercator Better at what? We all love to mock the Mercator projection, of course, but fact is that it had a very practical use in the days before computerized navigation systems. A straight line on the map was based on "lines of constant course", which was a good too...
by jc
Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1774: "Adjective Foods"
Replies: 64
Views: 7381

Re: 1774: "Adjective Foods"

Anyone have some examples of real products that are close to being adjective foods? One historical example is the "hamburger", which originated as a (German) adjective to describe a kind of "sandwich" (whose history is also interesting and well documented). Supposedly the restau...
by jc
Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1773: "Negativity"
Replies: 25
Views: 5022

Re: 1773: "Negativity"

SerialTroll wrote:Better alt: "Crab Grass"

Hey, if people kept lopping off your top,and stomping on you with their hard shoes, you'd be crabby, too.
by jc
Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:08 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1769: "Never seen Star Wars"
Replies: 85
Views: 10871

Re: 1769: "Never seen Star Wars"

I remember we had issues with the translation, but I don't remember the particulars other than the subtitles totally failed to get the point of the "He's my brother " scene.) Das Boot had a problem with translation too. German version: "Wieso? GIBRALTAR! Es ist wie eine Jungfrau! Wir...
by jc
Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1766: "Apple Spectrum"
Replies: 92
Views: 11420

Re: 1766: "Apple Spectrum"

Mrs. Drazen gets Fuji apples. Are they considered "regular apples" for the purposes of this exercise, or, as a hybrid, are they half way down the line to red delicious? Or is it a Schröedinger's Apple situation? I've seen Fuji apples described as "average in all measurable properties...
by jc
Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1766: "Apple Spectrum"
Replies: 92
Views: 11420

Re: 1766: "Apple Spectrum"

I've always wondered: why do people still grow red delicious apples? Is there anyone in this universe who likes them? Well, stores keep stocking them, and they wouldn't do that if nobody bought them. So there must be a good number of people in your vicinity who like them. They just aren't the sort ...
by jc
Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:37 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1755: "Old Days"
Replies: 37
Views: 4790

Re: 1755: "Old Days"

Eternal Density wrote:That's not how any of this worked.

Shhh!! Don't tell them. We want the younger generation to think this really was what it was like.
by jc
Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:24 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1749: "Mushrooms"
Replies: 47
Views: 6463

Re: 1749: "Mushrooms"

"Evolutionarily"??  Is that even a word? I guess it is now.... It's a perfectly cromulent word. Yup; it's just a case of a well-known English word with added suffixes that turn it into an adverb. First you take the Latin word "evolutio(n)", which has a complex structure that mad...
by jc
Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1744: "Metabolism"
Replies: 28
Views: 4820

Re: 1744: "Metabolism"

I have one of those metabolisms where I get a strong reaction from eating anything containing rat poison, nuclear fuel rods, molten rock or mussels. Who ever came up with the idea that mussels are edible? Actually, as omnivores, pretty much anything organic material is "edible". Whether i...
by jc
Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1737: "Datacenter Scale"
Replies: 57
Views: 10544

Re: 1737: "Datacenter Scale"

I'm assuming that this is hyperbole taking off from some kind of actual practice, but I'm a bit stumped to imagine what that actual practice might be. ... There's a lot of precedent for this sort of approach. A simpler example: As an undergrad, one of the "temp" jobs I had was with the fa...
by jc
Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1734: "Reductionism"
Replies: 27
Views: 4821

Re: 1734: "Reductionism"

You know you've been doing too much programming when you get annoyed seeing double quotes around a single letter... Unless you're programming in C, where 'x' is a constant of type char (or unsigned char ), and "x" is a pointer of type char* . If you don't understand the difference without...

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