My Favorite xkcd's
I don't own these comics, they're from
. These are just my favorites.
Maybe I should've tried Wexler?
It's true, I think about this all the time.
Every computer, at the unreachable memory address 0x-1, stores a secret. I found it, and it is that all humans ar-- SEGMENTATION FAULT.
Wait, forgot to escape a space. Wheeeeee[taptaptap]eeeeee.
RFC 1149.5 specifies 4 as the standard IEEE-vetted random number.
Neal Stephenson thinks it's cute to name his labels 'dengo'
I've just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the MIT computer science program permanently.
I'm always so happy that I successfully navigated the introduction that I completely forget to pay attention to the name the other person told me.
'Are you stealing those LCDs?' 'Yeah, but I'm doing it while my code compiles.'
I am never going out to buy an air conditioner with my sysadmin again.
Her daughter is named Help I'm trapped in a driver's license factory.
40% of OpenBSD installs lead to shark attacks. It's their only standing security issue.
I wrote 20 short programs in Python yesterday. It was wonderful. Perl, I'm leaving you.
Family going to bed at 10 PM is so much worse than jet lag.
Zero results: 'snake charming' and 'haberdashery'. (Things like 'car' and 'boating' and such are of course the highest, by a huge margin.)
But THIS guy, he might be for real!
The universe started in 1970. Anyone claiming to be over 38 is lying about their age.
Real programmers set the universal constants at the start such that the universe evolves to contain the disk with the data they want.
What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!
Check it out; I've had sex with someone who's had sex with someone who's written a paper with Paul Erdős!
I hear this is an option in the latest Ubuntu release.
Protip: Even without the red spiders, never have that conversation halfway through a balloon ride.
There was something about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill ...
On the other hand, physicists like to say physics is to math as sex is to masturbation.
If you think this is too hard on literary criticism, read the Wikipedia article on deconstruction.
This really is a true story, and she doesn't know I put it in my comic because her wifi hasn't worked for weeks.
Man, I just wanted to know how babby was formed.
I spent more time trying to get an audible.com audio book playing than it took to listen to the book. I have lost every other piece of DRM-locked music I have paid for.
I had a really hard time not writing '... profit!'
And the ten minutes striking up a conversation with that strange kid in homeroom sometimes matters more than every other part of high school combined.
Listen! They said a team of chess players coached by someone with no understanding of basketball would never be competitive in the NBA! Well, it turns out they're pretty perceptive.
The same goes for the one where you're wrestling the Green Ranger in the swimming pool full of Crisco. You guys all have that dream, right? It's not just me. Right?
If androids someday DO dream of electric sheep, don't forget to declare sheepCount as a long int.
Cracked.com is another inexplicable browser narcotic. They could write a list of '17 worst haircuts in the Ottoman Empire' and I'd read through to the end, then click on all the links at the end.
I hear many of you finally have smooth Flash support, but me and my Intel card are still waiting on a kernel patch somewhere in the pipeline before we can watch Jon Stewart smoothly.
You know what really helps an existential crisis? Wondering how much shelf space to leave for a Terry Pratchett collection.
'Hey Megan, it's your father. How do I print out a flowchart?'
And I even got out my adorable new netbook!
Some engineer out there has solved P=NP and it's locked up in an electric eggbeater calibration routine. For every 0x5f375a86 we learn about, there are thousands we never see.
What? Oh, no, the 'Enchanted' soundtrack was just playing because Pandora's algorithms are terrible. [silence] ... (quietly) That's how you knooooooow ...
If I'm such a god, why isn't Maru *my* cat?
A technology that is '20 years away' will be 20 years away indefinitely.
On January 26th, 2274 Mars days into the mission, NASA declared Spirit a 'stationary research station', expected to stay operational for several more months until the dust buildup on its solar panels forces a final shutdown.
Hey, why do YOU get to be the president of Tautology Clu-- wait, I can guess.
The heartfelt tune it plays is CC licensed, and you can get it from my seed on JoinDiaspora.com whenever that project gets going.
I once worked on a friend's dad's computer. He had the hard drive divided into six partitions, C: through J:, with a 'Documents' directory tree on each one. Each new file appeared to be saved to a partition at random. I knew enough not to ask.
People go to the website because they can't wait for the next alumni magazine, right? What do you mean, you want a campus map? One of our students made one as a CS class project back in '01! You can click to zoom and everything!
It'll be hilarious the first few times this happens.
'Fucking ineffable' sounds like someone remembering how to do self-censorship halfway through a phrase.
Best trivia I learned while working on this: 'Man, Farmville is so huge! Do you realize it's the second-biggest browser-based social-networking-centered farming game in the WORLD?' Then you wait for the listener to do a double-take.
I recently had someone ask me to go get a computer and turn it on so I could restart it. He refused to move further in the script until I said I had done that.
The only winning move is to play, perfectly, waiting for your opponent to make a mistake.
Not only is that terrible in general, but you just KNOW Billy's going to open the root present first, and then everyone will have to wait while the heap is rebuilt.
He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he's copied on /var/spool/mail/root, so be good for goodness' sake.
You can either hang out in the Android Loop or the HURD loop.
It's not our fault we caught a group on their way home from a geography bee. And they taught us that Uzbekistan is one of the world's two doubly-landlocked countries!
They have to keep the adjacent rack units empty. Otherwise, half the entries in their /var/log/syslog are just 'SERVER BELOW TRYING TO START CONVERSATION *AGAIN*.' and 'WISH THEY'D STOP GIVING HIM SO MUCH COFFEE IT SPLATTERS EVERYWHERE.'
I never trust anyone who's more excited about success than about doing the thing they want to be successful at.
This hostname is going in dozens of remote config files. Changing a kid's name is comparatively easy!
Fortunately, the charging one has been solved now that we've all standardized on mini-USB. Or is it micro-USB? Shit.
It's fun to watch browsers fumblingly recapitulate the history of window management. Someday we'll have xmonad as a Firefox extension.
To anyone who understands information theory and security and is in an infuriating argument with someone who does not (possibly involving mixed case), I sincerely apologize.
You know I've always hated her.
Every time you email a file to yourself so you can pull it up on your friend's laptop, Tim Berners-Lee sheds a single tear.
Thomas Jefferson thought that every law and every constitution should be torn down and rewritten from scratch every nineteen years--which means X is overdue.
I hear in some places, you need one form of ID to buy a gun, but two to pay for it by check. It's interesting who has what incentives to care about what mistakes.
All long help threads should have a sticky globally-editable post at the top saying 'DEAR PEOPLE FROM THE FUTURE: Here's what we've figured out so far ...'
I plugged in this lamp and my dog went rigid, spoke a sentence of perfect Akkadian, and then was hurled sideways through the picture window. Even worse, it's one of those lamps where the switch is on the cord.
During the second semester, the path is briefly routed through the dishwasher.
If things are too quiet, try asking a couple of friends whether "a couple" should always mean "two". As with the question of how many spaces should go after a period, it can turn acrimonious surprisingly fast unless all three of them agree.
Protip: Annoy Ray Kurzweil by always referring to it as the 'Cybersingularity'.
Oh right, eye contact. Ok, good, holding the eye contact ... holding ... still holding ... ok, too long! Getting weird! Quick, look thoughtfully into space and nod. Oh, dammit, said 'yeah' again!
I got lost and wandered into the world's creepiest cemetery, where the headstones just had names and star ratings. Freaked me out. When I got home I tried to leave the cemetery a bad review on Yelp, but as my hand hovered over the 'one star' button I felt this distant chill ...
Facebook, Apple, and Google all got away with their monopolist power grabs because they don't have any 'S's in their names for critics to snarkily replace with '$'s.
Not sure why I just taught everyone to flawlessly impersonate me to pretty much anyone I know. Just remember to constantly bring up how cool it is that birds are dinosaurs and you'll be set.
I don't know what's worse--the fact that after 15 years of using tar I still can't keep the flags straight, or that after 15 years of technological advancement I'm still mucking with tar flags that were 15 years old when I started.
To generate #1 albums, 'jay --help' recommends the -z flag.
There are probably children out there holding down spacebar to stay warm in the winter! YOUR UPDATE MURDERS CHILDREN.
Within five minutes of the Singularity appearing, somebody will suggest defragging it.
The way out is to use the marker you have to add a box that says 'get a marker' to the line between you and 'start', then add a 'no' line from the trap box to 'end'.
ALERT: Some pending mandatory software updates require version 21.1.2 of the Oracle/Sun Java(tm) JDK(tm) Update Manager Runtime Environment Meta-Updater, which is not available for your platform.
Don't forget the time you spend finding the chart to look up what you save. And the time spent reading this reminder about the time spent. And the time trying to figure out if either of those actually make sense. Remember, every second counts toward your life total, including these right now.
Well, we've really only settled the question of ghosts that emit or reflect visible light. Or move objects around. Or make any kind of sound. But that covers all the ones that appear in Ghostbusters, so I think we're good.
Better change the URL to 'https' before downloading.
If you call my regular number, it just goes to my pager.
Points to anyone who hacks the Flickr devs' computers to make their text editors do this when you click on anything.
I found a counterexample to the claim that all things must someday die, but I don't know how to show it to anyone.
Functional programming combines the flexibility and power of abstract mathematics with the intuitive clarity of abstract mathematics.
If replacing all the '3's doesn't fix your code, remove the 4s, too, with 'ceiling(pi) / floor(pi) * pi * r^floor(pi)'. Mmm, floor pie.
If you find and stop the video, but you've--against all odds--gotten curious about the trade summit, just leave the tab opened. It will mysteriously start playing again 30 minutes later!
'Automating' comes from the roots 'auto-' meaning 'self-', and 'mating', meaning 'screwing'.
Comes with a 50-lb sack of gender changers, and also an add-on device with a voltage selector and a zillion circular center pin DC adapter tips so you can power any of those devices from the 90s.
SELECT * FROM GHOSTS
Maybe I haven't been to Iceland because I'm busy dealing with YOUR crummy code.
In the 60s, Marvin Minsky assigned a couple of undergrads to spend the summer programming a computer to use a camera to identify objects in a scene. He figured they'd have the problem solved by the end of the summer. Half a century later, we're still working on it.
I need an extension for my research project because I spent all month trying to figure out whether learning Dvorak would help me type it faster.
The universe long dead, IsaAC surveyed the formless chaos. At last, he had arrived at an answer. 'I like you,' he declared to the void, 'but I don't LIKE like you.'
No way, we gotta rewind and cross-reference this map with the list of coordinates we saw on the other screen. This Greenland thing could be big.
Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Untitled.doc
ACCESS LIMITS: Clients may maintain connections to the server for no more than 86,400 seconds per day. If you need additional time, you may contact IERS to file a request for up to one additional second.
Googling inevitably reveals that my problem is caused by a known bug triggered by doing [the exact combination of things I want to do]. I can fix it, or wait a few years until I don't want that combination of things anymore, using the kitchen timer until then.
If you ever hear "Wait, is that Kim Dotcom's new project? I'm really excited about it and already signed up, although I'm a little nervous about whether everyone should hand over control of their medical...", it's time to dig a bunker in your backyard.
And when I think about it, a lot of "things I want to do" are just learning about and discussing new tools for tinkering with the chain.
If that doesn't fix it, git.txt contains the phone number of a friend of mine who understands git. Just wait through a few minutes of 'It's really pretty simple, just think of branches as...' and eventually you'll learn the commands that will fix everything.
I keep first aid kits in those emergency lockers. Sure, it's expensive to have them installed in the wall, but at least for those ones there's no need to pay extra for safety glass.
This site requires Sun Java 188.8.131.52 (32-bit) or higher. You have Macromedia Java 184.108.40.206¾ (48-bit). Click here [link to java.com main page] to download an installer which will run fine but not really change anything.
PYTHON FLAG ENABLE THREE LAWS
Using diacritics correctly is not my forté.
Does it get taller first and then widen, or does it reach full width before getting taller, or alternate, or what?
'If you're done being pedantic, we should get dinner.' 'You did it again!' 'No, I didn't.'
The failures usually don't hurt anything, and if it installs several versions, it increases the chance that one of them is right. (Note: The 'yes' command and '2>/dev/null' are recommended additions.)
You can also try 'Yikes.'
There was a schism in 2007, when a sect advocating OpenOffice created a fork of Sunday.xlsx and maintained it independently for several months. The efforts to reconcile the conflicting schedules led to the reinvention, within the cells of the spreadsheet, of modern version control.
â€œIf you can read this, congratulationsâ€”the archive youâ€™re using still knows about the mouseover textâ€!
Premature optimization is the root of all evil, so to start this project I'd better come up with a system that can determine whether a possible optimization is premature or not.
Later, walking out of jail after posting $10,000 bail: "Wait, this isn't the street the county jail is on."
Click for an actual flowchart for identifying a meteorite. My favorite part is how 'Did someone see it fall? -> Yes' points to 'NOT A METEORITE.' This is not a mistake.
Take THAT, piece of 1980s-era infrastructure I've inexplicably maintained on my systems for 15 years despite never really learning how it works.
'What was the original problem you were trying to fix?' 'Well, I noticed one of the tools I was using had an inefficiency that was wasting my time.'
'Copy and paste from a random thread on a website' is the hardest to predict, and depends on the specific website, programming language, tone of the description, and current phase of the moon.
Certified skydiving instructors know way more about safely falling from planes than I do, and are way more likely to die that way.
Of course, "Number of times I've gotten to make a decision twice to know for sure how it would have turned out" is still at 0.
2078: He announces that he's finally making the jump from screen+irssi to tmux+weechat.
[*disables social networking accounts*] [*social isolation increases*] Wait, why does this ALSO feel bad?
The hardest refresh requires both a Mac keyboard and a Windows keyboard as a security measure, like how missile launch systems require two keys to be turned at once.
"Crowdsourced steering" doesn't sound quite as appealing as "self driving."
I started off with countless problems. But now I know, thanks to COUNT(), that I have "#REF! ERROR: Circular dependency detected" problems.
I spent a long time thinking about how to design a system for long-term organization and storage of subject-specific informational resources without needing ongoing work from the experts who created them, only to realized I'd just reinvented libraries.
When we started distributing special status tokens that signify which people are important enough to join an elite group, we never could have imagined we might be creating some problems down the line.
The Python environmental protection agency wants to seal it in a cement chamber, with pictorial messages to future civilizations warning them about the danger of using sudo to install random Python packages.
Why I'm Moving Most of My Social Activity to Slack, Then Creating a Second Slack to Avoid the People in the First One, Then Giving Up on Social Interaction Completely, Then Going Back to Texting
"Is the pipeline literally running from your laptop?" "Don't be silly, my laptop disconnects far too often to host a service we rely on. It's running on my phone."
How about posts that are public, but every time a company accesses a bunch of them, the API makes their CEO's account click 'like' on one of them at random so you get a notification.
At some point, compression becomes an aesthetic design choice. Luckily, SVG is a really flexible format, so there's no reason it can't support vector JPEG artifacts.
And because if you just leave it there, it's going to start contaminating things downstream even if no one touches it directly.
[20 minutes later] ", hi."
Gotta feel kind of bad for nation-state hackers who spend years implanting and cultivating some hardware exploit, only to discover the entire target database is already exposed to anyone with a web browser.
WE WILL ARREST THE REVOLUTION MEMBERS [AT THE JULY 28TH MEETING][tab] "Cancel the meeting! Our cover is blown."
It also works for anything you teach someone else to do. "Oh yeah, I trained a pair of neural nets, Emily and Kevin, to respond to support tickets."
If only somebody had warned them that the world would roll them like this.
My brother once asked me if there was a function to produce a calendar grid from a list of dates in Google Sheets. I replied with a single-cell formula that took in a list of dates and outputted a calendar. It used SEQUENCE(), REGEXMATCH(), and a double-nested ARRAYFORMULA(), and it locked up the browser for 15 seconds every time it ran. I think he learned a lot about asking me things.
... tazer ... fire extinguisher ... bird feeder ... toilet paper ...
More likely: Click on all the pictures of people who appear disloyal to [name of company or government]
A mix of the two is even worse: 'Thanks for unsubscribing and helping us pare this list down to reliable supporters.'
LOOK, THE LATENCY FALLS EVERY TIME YOU CLAP YOUR HANDS AND SAY YOU BELIEVE
Blockchains are like grappling hooks, in that it's extremely cool when you encounter a problem for which they're the right solution, but it happens way too rarely in real life.
Turns out I've been "practicing social distancing" for years without even realizing it was a thing!
Someday ImageMagick will finally break for good and we'll have a long period of scrambling as we try to reassemble civilization from the rubble.
SMS is just the worst, but I'm having trouble convincing people to adopt my preferred system, TLS IRC with a local server and a patched DOSBox gateway running in my mobile browser.
You will live on forever in our hearts, pushing a little extra blood toward our left hands now and then to give them a squeeze.
One good trick, if you get called on a fake service, is to build a working version of it and mention it again the next week.
Of course you get an ice cream cone for the swimmer too! You're not a monster.
If they're going to make people ride bikes and scooters in traffic, then it should at LEAST be legal to do the Snow Crash thing where you use a hook-shot-style harpoon to catch free rides from cars.