Search found 564 matches

by wumpus
Sun May 26, 2019 1:37 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2152: "Westerns"
Replies: 56
Views: 3203

Re: 2152: "Westerns"

Doesn't most of the first volume of Lord of the Rings take place in Gondor, which is the western part of the continent? And doesn't that make The Fellowship of the Ring a Western? Heck, Aragorn is even called "Ranger". Fundamentally Lord of the Rings was specifically medieval, and was pri...
by wumpus
Tue May 21, 2019 8:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2152: "Westerns"
Replies: 56
Views: 3203

Re: 2152: "Westerns"

are not Westerns just a subgenre of historical fiction? I'd say a dilatation needs to be made based on if a genre prioritizes verisimilitude or romanticism. In reality: [list] [*]People didn't fight duels often I've seen the claim in a reasonably well researched book (probably "The Good old Da...
by wumpus
Tue May 21, 2019 2:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2152: "Westerns"
Replies: 56
Views: 3203

Re: 2152: "Westerns"

And I think the two time periods in the comic should probably overlap. They definitely overlap. The period in question should start no later than 1806 or so, when the mountain men era began, and quite possibly much earlier. And Western literature was written during that period. It's arguable that t...
by wumpus
Mon May 20, 2019 2:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2152: "Westerns"
Replies: 56
Views: 3203

Re: 2152: "Westerns"

Couldn't you say the same thing for Antiquity ? I'd say it goes from -500 to +200, so about 700 years. Sitting here idly trying to figure out how the population of the Old West in the late 1800s compares to the number of Red Dead Redemption 2 players I'm pretty sure the second number is bigger. I'm...
by wumpus
Mon May 13, 2019 3:13 pm UTC
Forum: Gaming
Topic: Star Citizen
Replies: 26
Views: 13783

Re: Star Citizen

I don't like the comparison to DNF for games that haven't been in development 10+ years and haven't had a mid-development developer change. Star Citizen has spent a lot of time in development, but plenty of well received games have spent longer (although, that is becoming less true every year). DNF...
by wumpus
Mon May 13, 2019 3:04 pm UTC
Forum: Gaming
Topic: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)
Replies: 2120
Views: 426097

Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

↶ These character types get a lot of really nice and powerful abilities, but what keeps slipping people's minds is that those abilities comes with a price: You don't get as much freedom to choose your actions. That's extremely not true. The Paladin class in D&D is mechanically balanced with the...
by wumpus
Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: HDX Upgrade - motherboard + UAD questions
Replies: 1
Views: 746

Re: HDX Upgrade - motherboard + UAD questions

I'd recommend asking in an audio specific board, I had a lot of trouble unpacking the question. It *should* be compatible. It all comes down to how much Aavid wants to support the thing. I'm convinced audio should be done on a GPU (of course they are 32 bit float only, but the CPU could presumably d...
by wumpus
Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2124: "Space Mission Hearing"
Replies: 22
Views: 4680

Re: 2123: "Space Mission Hearing"

I vaguely recall some sci-fi show explaining that the "space noises" heard therein are artificially generated by one's own ship so as to provide auditory information about one's surroundings. The ship is just scanning stuff with light, but it can tell how that stuff is vibrating through t...
by wumpus
Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2124: "Space Mission Hearing"
Replies: 22
Views: 4680

Re: 2123: "Space Mission Hearing"

I vaguely recall some sci-fi show explaining that the "space noises" heard therein are artificially generated by one's own ship so as to provide auditory information about one's surroundings. The ship is just scanning stuff with light, but it can tell how that stuff is vibrating through t...
by wumpus
Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2121:"Light Pollution"
Replies: 41
Views: 6925

Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

I've had the same thing happen. Our astronomy club has invited scout troops, grade school science classes, etc. out to my place in the desert to show them the sky through telescopes. Being from the big city (Phoenix) they marvel at the unmagnified sky itself, many seeing the Milky Way for the first...
by wumpus
Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:53 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: In sympathy for those with snail-like email, tortuously tortoise-like?
Replies: 4
Views: 3358

Re: In sympathy for those with snail-like email, tortuously tortoise-like?

Bloat expands to fill all resources. And from vague memories of frosh econ classes and highway traffic rates, it expands past the point of failure and tends to stay there (and keeps expanding past the point of failure whenever possible). Of course, if you only have one tab open you *probably* are al...
by wumpus
Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:36 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6954
Views: 1115492

Re: Police misbehavior thread

They should read the manual again, because Satan doesn't kill people. He's apparently allowed (with God's blessing) to kill when settling a bet between himself and God. See the Book of Job and Job's children. God kills larger numbers and far more often. /this apparently counts as [a divine] prosecu...
by wumpus
Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:04 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Security through obscurity
Replies: 6
Views: 7223

Re: Security through obscurity

Question to instigate a new security comic: how comes that everybody in software rejects security through obscurity, but not in hardware? I'm not sure what the issue is. Are you suggesting that something like a router might be shipped with a hardcoded admin password? And since the software in quest...
by wumpus
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2050: "6/6 Time"
Replies: 73
Views: 11371

Re: 2050: "6/6 Time"

This is how modern Jewish religious time works as well. It was critical to medieval monks (and for all I know, modern ones as well). Prayers are required at roman hours, which made clock inventions both critical (the monk's souls depended on time keeping) and difficult (because the length of time k...
by wumpus
Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2048: "Curve-Fitting"
Replies: 19
Views: 6574

Re: 2048: "Curve-Fitting"

Graham Finch wrote:But what message do the polynominal people send?


I thought "House of Cards" was what you got with a polynomial curve fitting (or at least a sufficiently large polynomial for such a good fit).
by wumpus
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:16 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"
Replies: 86
Views: 15508

Re: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"

Interesting to see that Rolle didn't even belive in differential calculus when he proved this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolle%27s_theorem#History Interesting. I assumed that it was a corollary to the Mean Value Theorem. Note: I only remember the Mean Value Theorem as it was an equally blinding...
by wumpus
Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:21 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Where Aren't They Now (Obituaries)
Replies: 339
Views: 107480

Re: Where Aren't They Now (Obituaries)

Whats the point of a party-identifying senator who only votes with the party 50% or 60%? Wait, what? Did Susan Collins [60%] die? John McCain was 87% (median GOP 91%). https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-john-mccains-death-means-for-the-senate/ [nifty graph showing the whole Senate] https://w...
by wumpus
Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2033: "Repair or Replace"
Replies: 36
Views: 7345

Re: 2033: "Repair or Replace"

Most businesses are between 1-19 employees in the US. They do not have a dedicated IT guy. If they're extremely lucky, one of their hires is an IT guy who can handle most issues. More than likely, they contract out to an IT company that provides support for these businesses. [deletia] There's a ten...
by wumpus
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2006: "Customer Rewards"
Replies: 40
Views: 9908

Re: 2006: "Customer Attention"

Given this is (presumedly) the US, those weird local sales taxes you have (and the even weirder final figure) must already be in the initial value (minus the things previously normally paid for by semi-involuntary participation in data-scraping anyway , giving $20.45?)… It gets worse when you are j...
by wumpus
Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:10 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6954
Views: 1115492

At least some misbehaving cops punished...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44402948 more information http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-ci-gttf-jenkins-taylor-sentencing-20180606-story.html Note that the lead officer was considered "untouchable" for his corruption, so presumably his protectors and kickba...
by wumpus
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2003: "Presidential Succession"
Replies: 72
Views: 16475

Re: 2003: "Presidential Succession"

(Who is South-African, whoever it is who doesn't realise that. Geoff Bezos is American, as is Burt Rutan (though I think Richard Branson, the Brit is currently "the money", and there's other people above Rutan in the structure these days). It's a non-zero countable list, but I leave it up...
by wumpus
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1996: "Morning News"
Replies: 20
Views: 5148

Re: 1996: "Morning News"

Yeah, but at least their news didn't consist of Twitter reactions. I'm not sure when it happened, but by the 1990s it was considered improper to report actual facts. You had to present both "sides" (even for things like flat Earth vs. oblate spheroid) and do so largely via quotes. Using T...
by wumpus
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:21 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Where Aren't They Now (Obituaries)
Replies: 339
Views: 107480

Re: Where Aren't They Now (Obituaries)

The original prognosis was for 2030, but we are currently below the 50% curve with four living moon men. Not much. Follow it up to "4 left" and you the 50 percentile is before 2020. The "5th percentile" is way down by 2015. So while it does look a bit below 50%, it isn't by much...
by wumpus
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:16 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6954
Views: 1115492

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Your logic boils down to expecting people to prioritize the same things as you, when that's definitely not the case in reality. Folks are accepting Trump as the option closest to their interests. Sort of. Trump still doesn't have an amazing popularity rating. By the numbers, people don't really act...
by wumpus
Fri May 25, 2018 3:53 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6954
Views: 1115492

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Society changes rapidly. It was only 14 years ago where a white man could sexually assault a black woman on live tv and the entire media would blame her , literally blaming it on what she was wearing. "Wardrobe malfunction"? Really? I'm pretty sure that was a scripted event, and unlikely ...
by wumpus
Mon May 21, 2018 4:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1996: "Morning News"
Replies: 20
Views: 5148

Re: 1996: "Morning News"

Anyone assuming the trustworthiness of newspapers in the paper age should look up the shenanigans of H.L. Mencken and William Randalf Hurst. Mencken described in detail the invention of news at the local level: hearing rumors in a bar, making up the details, and for the important part: sharing it wi...
by wumpus
Sun May 20, 2018 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Thicker Extension Cord = Blown Fuses
Replies: 4
Views: 5147

Re: Thicker Extension Cord = Blown Fuses

In case you are wondering what happened, the power rating on the devices are designed to draw 800W or 1000W from 120VAC (assuming US power sources, I don't know if True Value stores are common outside the US). The catch is that extension cord knocked the voltage down a bit, so they weren't heating n...
by wumpus
Sat May 12, 2018 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1992: "SafetySat"
Replies: 28
Views: 7155

Re: 1992: "SafetySat"

So, I just took "Space Law" at CUA Law school. While you have ample violations of the FAA, FCC, ITU and DOD rules. To violate EVERY regulator of Satellites that I know of, you need: *A violation of the Outer Space Treaty - A nuke or WMD will do. *A violation of the NOAA rules - any earth ...
by wumpus
Sat May 12, 2018 4:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 14161

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

A factor of 10 assumes that either the drivers aren't tailgating (which likely only happens in places that *don't* need more roads) or the computer simply has *zero* spacing between cars. A factor of 3 to 5 seems possible, although how you would be certain that a human didn't slip into your convoy ...
by wumpus
Fri May 11, 2018 5:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 14161

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

Nearly all traffic is caused either by poor human driving habits, or by accidents. We could handle 10 times the number of cars if they were driven by computer systems. Huge [citation needed] on that figure. I accept that the number of cars could increase a bit if all of them were connected and comp...
by wumpus
Thu May 10, 2018 5:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 14161

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

2015: ~0.80/1000 mi (1 failure per 1244 miles) 2016: ~0.20/1000 mi (1 failure per 5127 miles) 2017: ~0.18/1000 mi (1 failure per 5596 miles) The 90/90 rule of engineering is lumbering out of hibernation, as the computer-driven cars are reaching... 1% of human ability. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/...
by wumpus
Tue May 08, 2018 9:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 14161

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

Comparing cars across 30 years of development is going to get you some odd results. Your Prius almost certainly has more horsepower than what passed for a Dodge Charger in 1985. Those old '80s Civics gave you anywhere from 55 to around 80 hp. There are very few cars that are underpowered nowadays f...
by wumpus
Tue May 08, 2018 4:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 14161

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

Some thoughts: Do ultralights still not require a license (and thus age)? The first death in my high school class (@16) died this way... Pierre Currie died in a horse carriage accident. Presumably these were not unknown. Then there was chariot racing that was presumably entertainment similar to glad...
by wumpus
Tue May 01, 2018 3:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1987: "Python Environment"
Replies: 29
Views: 7239

Re: 1987: "Python Environment"

harmless.sh What if you have to make a derivative of the code? Would it be "Mostly Harmless?" I'm trying to decide if that file is required to have a "goto" in it, or if it's required not to. I think the requirement is to use goto, but have rules to make it "safe". Lik...
by wumpus
Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1986: "River Border"
Replies: 69
Views: 14110

Re: 1986: River Border

The Potomac river is the border of Maryland and Virginia, with the curious property that the entire river is part of Maryland. As far as I know, the only real difference is that you could have a building on the Virginia shore that sold VA lottery tickets, and also have a cash register on a floating ...
by wumpus
Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:27 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system
Replies: 12
Views: 6128

Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

I think the fundamental problem is claiming that anything possible in a hard sci fi universe is magick and not technology. What are you supposed to do, summon Maxwell's demon? In the introduction to "Recluse Tales" (a bunch of short stories revisiting a 20 year+ old series), L. E. Modesitt...
by wumpus
Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:52 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: After a decade it's time for a new computer
Replies: 24
Views: 12297

Re: After a decade it's time for a new computer

There's a thread over on realworldtech.com that has a lot of pros and cons of used enterprise SSDs (Linus mentions how consumer ones have a non-zero chance of losing all data if you lose power at the wrong time). Can't say I'm sold. I've been more curious out refurbished rotating drives. While the &...
by wumpus
Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6954
Views: 1115492

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Nearly 1000 people were killed by police last year. 68 were unarmed. So 7% of the time a police officer decides to shoot someone to death, that person is unarmed... Given the number of police who plant weapons on people they’ve shot as well as the utter lack of any sort of consistent reporting - or...
by wumpus
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:38 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Favorite Programming Language
Replies: 32
Views: 22290

Re: Favorite Programming Language

Languages are tools, not pets. Use the right tool for the right job. As awesome as rust's safety guarantees are, sometimes a bash one-liner is all you need. So far, every language I met had *some* use case where it shines, and *some* use case where it's a poor choice. True, so we should probably me...
by wumpus
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:29 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1938: "Meltdown and Spectre"
Replies: 36
Views: 8540

Re: 1938: "Meltdown and Spectre"

I think this, like rowhammer, shows mostly that we are getting sufficiently good at software security that attackers have to exploit the hardware. Actually, Heartbleed is only about 2 months older than rowhammer. Who needs hardware exploits when you only have to press backspace 28 times? Show me a ...

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