0916: Unpickable

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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby kargoth » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:01 pm UTC

caf wrote:Wouldn't 5x5 be a Rubik's square?


Nah... by saying cube, the LxW is sufficient to describe the depth... but of course, so is just one dimension stated + cube.

Thus, I propose new Rubik's Cube naming conventions. 3RC, 5RC, 7RC, etc :)
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby sockpoppet » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:06 pm UTC

For a split second I thought that the lock was a rubber vagina and that it was going to involve some kind of "geeks don't have sex" joke.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby cgalant » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:09 pm UTC

I... actually do this. Almost exactly, except for the 'unpickable' bit. I have a large, heavy fireproof combination safe on the floor in my closet - I keep my valuables in a nondescript box on the top shelf.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby gnoitall » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:12 pm UTC

ysth wrote:
"The safe is empty except an unsolved 5X5 Rubik's cube."

Now that's just cruel.

It's even worse: The safe is empty except an unsolved 5X5 Rubik's cube.
Rendered unsolvable by a fused edge-to-center joint
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Various Varieties » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:17 pm UTC

Also, rice should be scattered in a circle around the safe and box as an extra precaution against vampire hackers.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:50 pm UTC

Various Varieties wrote:Also, rice should be scattered in a circle around the safe and box as an extra precaution against vampire hackers.


to non vampires though it could be assumed that everything within the circle has some level of importance, therefore encouraging them to investigate the shoebox
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Nyerguds » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:10 pm UTC

iChef wrote:This is like nerd sniping with an orbital kinetic energy weapon.

Like... dropping a safe from orbit? :P
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby BunsenH » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:46 pm UTC

What's this "5x5" stuff? It's a 5x5x5 cube.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Harry Voyager » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:19 pm UTC

project2051 wrote:Reminds me of a local robbery at a gas station a few years ago. The robbers cut an empty safe out of a concrete floor and ran off with it, while leaving a register containing a couple of thousand dollars just sitting on the counter.


Of course, the best one was the lady that stole the tip jar and dropped it on the way out.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Hirg » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:27 pm UTC

The safe is downstairs in the basement, embedded in the foundation of my house. The shoe boxes are upstairs, with at least one in every closet and a dozen in the attic. An encrypted document in my filing cabinet contains somewhat clear but not-too obvious clues to the first shoebox, in which another set of clues leads to another shoebox that contains the key to the encrypted document. Upon decoding the document, any intruder will know the locations of all the deeds, titles, and valuables scattered throughout my three dozen shoe boxes and basement-embedded safe.

It's all a ruse, though. All but two of the documents are fake or no longer valid since 1986, and the diamonds are in the refrigerator.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby dotancohen » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:36 pm UTC

ariana wrote:I keep my money inside my piano. And in the inserts in an old push-up bra.

of course, if I meet a particularly musical burglar there's a problem.

...or a horny one.


Where's your place?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby dotancohen » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:38 pm UTC

cgalant wrote:I... actually do this. Almost exactly, except for the 'unpickable' bit. I have a large, heavy fireproof combination safe on the floor in my closet - I keep my valuables in a nondescript box on the top shelf.


Where's your place?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby dotancohen » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:39 pm UTC

Hirg wrote:The safe is downstairs in the basement, embedded in the foundation of my house. The shoe boxes are upstairs, with at least one in every closet and a dozen in the attic. An encrypted document in my filing cabinet contains somewhat clear but not-too obvious clues to the first shoebox, in which another set of clues leads to another shoebox that contains the key to the encrypted document. Upon decoding the document, any intruder will know the locations of all the deeds, titles, and valuables scattered throughout my three dozen shoe boxes and basement-embedded safe.

It's all a ruse, though. All but two of the documents are fake or no longer valid since 1986, and the diamonds are in the refrigerator.


Where's your place?

And let this be the same lesson to anti-hacker thwarts as hackers themselves have yet to learn: You don't brag about your exploits, and you don't brag about your security.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby A_of_s_t » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

If you look closely, you can see a Wikipedia reference that doesn't actually exist.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby DillyD » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:14 pm UTC

Remember kids! Place all your sensitive e-mails and Facebook accounts inside a shoebox in your closet!
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby un1xl0ser » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:25 pm UTC

bugstomper wrote:Shouldn't the 5x5 Rubik's Cube have two of the colored squares peeled off and swapped for extra security?

Rubik's cubes were one of the trinkets given out for donating blood at work, and at one point there were 5-10 around the office. They would get solved by various people, but there ones one cow-orker that couldn't ever resist an unsolved one. So one afternoon I "opened" mine up and swapped two pieces, then mixed it up to look like a challenge.

It sat there for about two hours, after which he picked it up. It was fun to watch him puzzled as to why it couldn't be solved, and then mention that these two pieces must be swapped before putting it down.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby drwho » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

Funny, "HackerShield" is the name of a security scanner (now long dead) that I worked on ten years ago.

Some people are not paying attention to the comic. If a keyed lock, not a combination one, and that makes the fiddling so much more time consuming. Further, it's not shoes that are in the box, it's "ÿour valuables". The idea being, it's not new shoes, but a nondescript container of low security.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby dfjdejulio » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:24 pm UTC

I was going to say "do you have any idea how much time I'd waste trying to pick that?", but it's clear that yes, yes, you know exactly how much time I'd waste that way.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby dfjdejulio » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

BunsenH wrote:What's this "5x5" stuff? It's a 5x5x5 cube.

Nope! The "5x5" has nothing at all to do with the cube's dimensions, obviously! (Otherwise: either it would be "5x5x5", or it would be just "5", or Randall would have made an error, and none of those can be the case.)

In this case, we must remember the idiomatic meaning of "5x5" taken originally from old radio slang. For radio it meant "loud and clear", but idiomatically today it means "everything is cool".

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... ve+by+five

So what I infer from this is, the cube in question has not had any sticker swaps or corner rotations that render it unsolvable -- it's a completely okay cube. We have no information at all about its size.

I mean, really! Just apply Occam's razor. Isn't this the simplest, most logical, and most obvious explanation?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby WizenedEE » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:50 pm UTC

Worse: a 5x5x6 cube in the safe.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby RevengencerAlf » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:19 pm UTC

dfjdejulio wrote:
BunsenH wrote:What's this "5x5" stuff? It's a 5x5x5 cube.

Nope! The "5x5" has nothing at all to do with the cube's dimensions, obviously! (Otherwise: either it would be "5x5x5", or it would be just "5", or Randall would have made an error, and none of those can be the case.)

In this case, we must remember the idiomatic meaning of "5x5" taken originally from old radio slang. For radio it meant "loud and clear", but idiomatically today it means "everything is cool".

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... ve+by+five

So what I infer from this is, the cube in question has not had any sticker swaps or corner rotations that render it unsolvable -- it's a completely okay cube. We have no information at all about its size.

I mean, really! Just apply Occam's razor. Isn't this the simplest, most logical, and most obvious explanation?


I think the real Occam's Razor explanation is that Randal just likes to troll his readers and is not too bad at it.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Brilliant. All this time, I've been using that same model of safe to secure my sandwiches in the breakroom fridge at work. (At the DHS.)
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby cream wobbly » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:01 pm UTC

Randall wrote:Alt text: "The safe is empty except an unsolved 5X5 Rubik's cube."

Yup. The dish of rice outside the door to keep the devil out. The grains of sand sprinkled around the threshold.

My Dad's car was broken into once. The thief carefully removed the rear quarter-light, opened the back door, and got in. They'd set about trying to remove the radio, but the glovebox contained a nest of small cardboard boxes I'd collected. By the 12th one, they must have been convinced there was something really valuable in the middle of this. After all, it rattled convincingly when you shook it.

Sorry jerks -- just a piece of crumpled wax paper around a ball bearing...

They didn't have time to steal the radio after that. I went with my Dad up to a car place, they replaced the window in two minutes flat, and on the way back, I put the boxes back; this time with an elastic band around each one.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby cream wobbly » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:05 pm UTC

dfjdejulio wrote:In this case, we must remember the idiomatic meaning of "5x5" taken originally from old radio slang. For radio it meant "loud and clear", but idiomatically today it means "everything is cool".

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... ve+by+five


No, five by five means readable but a medium-strength signal. The first number is readability on a scale 1..5, the second is signal strength on a scale 1..9. http://www.radioing.com/hamstart/rst.html
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Sweeney_Todd » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:07 pm UTC

But how can we know that the cube is unsolved if we have not yet observed it? The cube is both solved and unsolved until we open the box.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby cream wobbly » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:08 pm UTC

dotancohen wrote:Where's your place?


dotancohen wrote:Where's your place?


dotancohen wrote:Where's your place?

And let this be the same lesson to anti-hacker thwarts as hackers themselves have yet to learn: You don't brag about your exploits, and you don't brag about your security.


I have a toddler; ergo, I don't have anything worth stealing.

Where's your place?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Story » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:29 pm UTC

dotancohen wrote:Where's your place?


For extra protection against XKCD reading geeks, I make posts bragging about fake decoy systems. You don't think I'd post where the actual decoys are do you?
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby A_of_s_t » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:48 pm UTC

cream wobbly wrote:
Randall wrote:Alt text: "The safe is empty except an unsolved 5X5 Rubik's cube."

Yup. The dish of rice outside the door to keep the devil out. The grains of sand sprinkled around the threshold.

My Dad's car was broken into once. The thief carefully removed the rear quarter-light, opened the back door, and got in. They'd set about trying to remove the radio, but the glovebox contained a nest of small cardboard boxes I'd collected. By the 12th one, they must have been convinced there was something really valuable in the middle of this. After all, it rattled convincingly when you shook it.

Sorry jerks -- just a piece of crumpled wax paper around a ball bearing...

They didn't have time to steal the radio after that. I went with my Dad up to a car place, they replaced the window in two minutes flat, and on the way back, I put the boxes back; this time with an elastic band around each one.

Brilliant!
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby bmonk » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:51 pm UTC

adho wrote:
capncanuck wrote:
bugstomper wrote:Shouldn't the 5x5 Rubik's Cube have two of the colored squares peeled off and swapped for extra security?


I thought any combination of mixed colours is possible with Rubix cubes.
Am I wrong?


Yes, if you swapped a middle square with a corner square it would be unsolvable.
I had this problem. Trying to get my grandfather's safe open using the number sequence, which was written in code, and we had no idea how the tumbler worked. Turned out the deeds were in the cupboard next to the safe. I learnt a lot about safes, and basic searching technique.


Actually, not true. If you swap, for example, two sides of one cublet, you get parity problems: if you swapped an edge cublet, one edge on the solved cube will be reversed, and so on.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Hirg » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:53 pm UTC

dotancohen wrote:
Hirg wrote:The safe is downstairs in the basement, embedded in the foundation of my house. The shoe boxes are upstairs, with at least one in every closet and a dozen in the attic. An encrypted document in my filing cabinet contains somewhat clear but not-too obvious clues to the first shoebox, in which another set of clues leads to another shoebox that contains the key to the encrypted document. Upon decoding the document, any intruder will know the locations of all the deeds, titles, and valuables scattered throughout my three dozen shoe boxes and basement-embedded safe.

It's all a ruse, though. All but two of the documents are fake or no longer valid since 1986, and the diamonds are in the refrigerator.


Where's your place?

And let this be the same lesson to anti-hacker thwarts as hackers themselves have yet to learn: You don't brag about your exploits, and you don't brag about your security.


...Whereas believing everything people say is to be encouraged, especially when it's said on the internets. Yay!
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby rpgamer » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:29 pm UTC

drwho wrote:Some people are not paying attention to the comic. If a keyed lock, not a combination one, and that makes the fiddling so much more time consuming.
I thought it was both, actually. Like, the combination is for aligning the pins so the key can be used.

What people aren't paying attention to is that this is the "Geek-proof" system. Non-geeks will still get away with the valuables.
All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby project2051 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:48 pm UTC

rpgamer wrote:
drwho wrote:Some people are not paying attention to the comic. If a keyed lock, not a combination one, and that makes the fiddling so much more time consuming.
I thought it was both, actually. Like, the combination is for aligning the pins so the key can be used.


I thought that is was both too, but that is probably because the safe I have has both. The key locks the combination dial in place so you can't turn it without the key.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby feyayeruka » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:54 pm UTC

oh man, I don't even lock my front door.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby WontonSoup » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:33 am UTC

Well, it was bound to happen eventually...

I solved a 5x5 Rubik's Cube yesterday for the first time. O_o
Randall, get out of my head!!!
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby scalziand » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:34 am UTC

Sony must have a lot of shoeboxes.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby serrath » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:15 am UTC

Oooh, but there is a weakness. A skillful hacker might take a peek in the shoebox to see if you wrote down the combination to the safe or anything else useful.

But obviously, they'd just dig through your valuables, find nothing of use, and get back to cracking that safe.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby JWSmythe » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:12 am UTC

This is easy. Take everything that looks like it might hold the valuables you're looking for. Come on, even if you drive a little car, you can fit a safe that size, and a shoebox in it. :)

You'll find the shoebox contents first, of course. But there must be something in a locked safe, right?

Then it's time to open the safe.

Method 1: Kinetic unlocking. Drop it from a window or roof a few stories high, onto a hard surface. Safe pops open. This risks damaging fragile contents. It's kind of obvious for anyone in the area though, and the odds are good a police officer will show up between the time you toss it, and the time it hits the ground.

Method 2: Kinetic unlocking(2) - Slide hammer. If it's a good safe, it won't work, but it'll get you in most consumer grade safes.

Method 3: Kinetic unlocking(2) - Homebrew PETN. Not very quiet, risks fragile contents, and you may lose a finger or ten.

Method 4: Thermal unlocking. Homebrew thermite. Quiet, but bright. 3rd degree burns are a possibility, and any contents that are not heat tolerant may not be in a usable form afterwards. (i.e., the Rubik's Blob, previously known as the Rubik's Cube).

Which brings us back to the classic...

Method 5: $5 wrench and a roll of duct tape. (Commonly referred to as #538). With that, they'll tell you exactly where the valuables are, their ATM PIN, their secret stash of porno, and their daughters virginity. People think they're tough. After an day with Guido, and enough broken bones to keep an orthopedic surgeon busy for months, there is nothing that they won't offer you.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby adho » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:54 am UTC

bmonk wrote:
adho wrote:
capncanuck wrote:
bugstomper wrote:Shouldn't the 5x5 Rubik's Cube have two of the colored squares peeled off and swapped for extra security?

I thought any combination of mixed colours is possible with Rubix cubes.
Am I wrong?

Yes, if you swapped a middle square with a corner square it would be unsolvable.

Actually, not true. If you swap, for example, two sides of one cublet, you get parity problems: if you swapped an edge cublet, one edge on the solved cube will be reversed, and so on.

You mean it would still be solvable? If, say, I swapped the middle red sticker with a corner blue sticker. The middle cube of each side can rotate but cannot be moved relative to the other five middle cubes, making it impossible to have one side an entire colour. I think. Anyone with half a brain would work it out, but let's face it, they just cracked a safe instead of a shoebox and now they're fiddling with the toy inside.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Randomizer » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:58 am UTC

I think you all are missing the fact that both the safe and the shoebox are equally effective means of protection from geeks: Neither one is connected to the internet.
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Re: 0916: Unpickable

Postby Blaisorblade » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:04 pm UTC

Randomizer wrote:I think you all are missing the fact that both the safe and the shoebox are equally effective means of protection from geeks: Neither one is connected to the internet.

I like how this comic is the first actually funny one I see, and how it opened up a long thread of geek-funny stuff to literally (->figuratively, http://xkcd.com/725/) LOL about. Then I turned to #0915, which was funny, too! Thanks XKCD.
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