Posts Tagged ‘xkcd’

xkcd’s 13-Gigapixel Webcomic

September 19th, 2012 09:28 admin View Comments

It's funny. Laugh.

New submitter Nomen writes “Today’s xkcd: Click and Drag (Google Maps version) is probably the world’s biggest web comic at an RSI-inducing resolution of 165,888×79,872 pixels. It’s made up of 225 different images that take up 5.52MB of space. Now, if only the mines were powered by nethack…”

Source: xkcd’s 13-Gigapixel Webcomic

Geohashing Conquers the South Pole

February 28th, 2012 02:46 admin View Comments


New submitter Kjellander writes “Randall, of xkcd fame, and inventor of Geohashing, has commented on the recent successful expedition of a Globalhash less than 1 km from the Amundsen-Scott research station by 5 brave scientists staying there over winter. The last continent has been conquered and many records broken.”

Source: Geohashing Conquers the South Pole

Weekly Wrap-up: Facebook Frictionless Sharing and More

November 25th, 2011 11:00 admin View Comments

weekly_wrapup-1.pngMarshall Kirkpatrick explains Why Facebook’s Seamless Sharing is Wrong. All of this and more in the ReadWriteWeb Weekly Wrap-up.

After the jump you’ll find more of this week’s top news stories on some of the key topics that are shaping the Web – Location, App Stores and Real-Time Web – plus highlights from some of our six channels. Read on for more.

Top Stories of the Week

Why Facebook’s Seamless Sharing is Wrong

Our coverage of Facebook’s frictionless sharing was of great interest to the ReadWriteWeb community. Several of this week’s top stories were focused on Facebook’s oft overwhelming auto-sharing of banal minutiae.

Marshall looked at why the sharing was wrong, and even compares Facebook to malware.

From Marshall:

I think Facebook ought to put a greater emphasis on acting in good faith and helping its users make informed decisions, in line with their reasonable expectations, as the company seeks to experiment with building the future of media.

ReadWriteWeb commenter JLishere summed it up:

Comment from Why Facebook's Seamless Sharing is Wrong

Infographic: xkcd Shows You the Money

Another popular post this week was our coverage of xkcd’s infographic, “Money“: A well-done visualization of money, from the cost of a single restaurant meal at McDonalds to the net worth of Jeff Bezos. It’s really a must-see infographic. I ordered a copy of the poster because it’s difficult to appreciate on a computer monitor.

Google+ Was Never a Facebook Competitor

Guest blogger, Brad Jordan, makes the case that Google+ was never intended to compete with Facebook, but to expand their advertising reach further.

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Source: Weekly Wrap-up: Facebook Frictionless Sharing and More

Infographic: xkcd Shows You the Money

November 24th, 2011 11:00 admin View Comments

xkcd150x150.jpgIf there’s a prize for best infographic, ever, then Randall Munroe has won. Hands down. The winner? His Money infographic posted Monday. This monster infographic comes with full sources in CSV format and covers everything from Barenaked Ladies to 2012 presidential fundraising.

If you ever wanted to see money put into very detailed perspective, this will do it for you. Munroe starts with visualizations based on the dollar, like a Starbucks Coffee ($2.00) to a comparison of hourly worker and CEO pay between 1965 and 2007.

From there, Munroe goes on to compare box office revenue from Snow White to Avatar, and annual profits of AT&T, Verizon, and JP Morgan Chase. The U.S. Household Income visualization alone is worth the time downloading the 6.7MB image. See also the section on billionaires.


Want to know the cost to buy the world a Coke? That’d be $2,240,000,000. The folks at Coke could do it, given the marketing budget of $2,980,000,000. Teaching the world to sing? That’s trickier, given four half-hour singing lessons that run $30 a pop ($840,000,000,000). The Coke info is right next to U.S. foreign military aid ($11,010,000,000) and all the tea in China (a steal at $4,210,000,000).


The entire chart is 12,528 by 8,352 pixels. That would take five Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Displays to render full-size, side to side. It would take 30 Apple 27″ displays to show in its entirety at full size. Or you could buy your very own copy to hang on the wall and admire without having to purchase a phalanx of $1,000 monitors.


Marketers, the xkcd Money infographic is now the standard by which all of your infographics will be measured by.

Source: Infographic: xkcd Shows You the Money

Protecting a Laptop From Sophisticated Attacks

August 26th, 2011 08:04 admin View Comments


mike_cardwell sends in a detailed writeup of how he went about protecting a Ubuntu laptop from attacks of varying levels of sophistication, covering disk encryption, defense against cold boot attacks, and even simple smash-and-grabs. (He also acknowledges that no defense is perfect, and the xkcd password extraction tool would still work.) Quoting: “An attacker with access to the online machine could simply hard reboot the machine from a USB stick or CD containing msramdmp to grab a copy of the RAM. You could password protect the BIOS and disable booting from anything other than the hard drive, but that still doesn’t protect you. An attacker could cool the RAM, remove it from the running machine, place it in a second machine and boot from that instead. The first defense I used against this attack is procedure based. I shut down the machine when it’s not in use. My old Macbook was hardly ever shut down, and lived in suspend to RAM mode when not in use. The second defense I used is far more interesting. I use something called TRESOR. TRESOR is an implementation of AES as a cipher kernel module which stores the keys in the CPU debug registers, and which handles all of the crypto operations directly on the CPU, in a way which prevents the key from ever entering RAM. The laptop I purchased works perfectly with TRESOR as it contains a Core i5 processor which has the AES-NI instruction set.”

Source: Protecting a Laptop From Sophisticated Attacks

We No Longer Live In Actual Countries But Digital Ones

October 9th, 2010 10:47 admin View Comments

A lot has changed since illustrator Randall Monroe drew up the original XKCD “Map Of Online Communities” in 2007. In testament to how far we as Internet denizens have come, earlier this week XKCD updated its beloved classic to more accurately reflect the rapidly changing online world of 2010.

From Monroe in 2007:

“I’m waiting for the day when, if you tell someone ‘I’m from the internet’ instead of laughing they just ask, ‘Oh what part?’

Until that day is here (and it’s coming VERY soon, like tomorrow) here’s a quick state of the Internet union; In 2007 the most prominent digital countries were Myspace, Friendster, AOL, Live Journal and Xanga … In 2010? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, QQ, Happy Farm and Farmville. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose?

Um, appy Farm? Yeah that’s right, Chinese MMOPG Happy Farm has 228 million active users, making Farmville at 62 million active users the “second biggest browser based social networking centered farming game in the world.”

Zoom in for  hidden gems like “Social Media Consultant Channel” and “Bieber Bay.” Double zoom in for the island of TechCrunch/Crunch Gear, off the nothern tip of the Tech Blog peninsula.

Original 2007 map for comparison, below.

Source: We No Longer Live In Actual Countries But Digital Ones

Software Evolution Storylines, Inspired By XKCD

October 8th, 2010 10:28 admin View Comments

jamie tips this mind-blowing data visualization concept from (naturally) data visualization researcher Michael Ogawa, who explains that it was inspired by “this XKCD comic. It represents characters as lines that converge in time as they share scenes. Could this technique be adapted for software developers who work on the same code?”

Source: Software Evolution Storylines, Inspired By XKCD

Minecraft Enterprise and 16-Bit ALU

September 28th, 2010 09:25 admin View Comments

tekgoblin writes “Joshua Walker spent the last few months creating a masterpiece. He created the Starship Enterprise 1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation in Minecraft using just blocks. He recorded a short video of him explaining how he did it and even gave us a sneak peek at the partially completed ship.” He also posted on the Penny-Arcade forums about how he did it. If you aren’t impressed by that, perhaps you should check out a 16-Bit ALU also implemented in Minecraft which totally reminded me of one of my favorite XKCD comics.

Source: Minecraft Enterprise and 16-Bit ALU

Mars Rover Spirit May Never Wake From Deep Sleep

July 31st, 2010 07:29 admin View Comments

astroengine writes “After repeated calls from NASA to wake up Mars Exploration Rover Spirit from its low-energy hibernation mode, mission control is beginning to realize the ill-fated robot may never wake up again. After getting stuck in a sand trap in Gusev Crater and then switching into hibernation in March, rover operators were hopeful that the beached Spirit might yet be saved. Alas, this is looking more and more unlikely. In a statement, NASA said: ‘Based on models of Mars’ weather and its effect on available power, mission managers believe that if Spirit responds, it most likely will be in the next few months. However, there is a very distinct possibility Spirit may never respond.’”
Related xkcd strip, in case the headline wasn’t anthropomorphic enough for you.

Source: Mars Rover Spirit May Never Wake From Deep Sleep

Wikipedia Is Not Amused by Entry For xkcd-Coined Word

May 13th, 2010 05:05 admin View Comments

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes “Today’s xkcd comic introduced an unusual word — malamanteau — by giving its supposed definition on Wikipedia. The only trouble is that the word (as well as its supposed wiki page) did not in fact exist. Naturally, much ado ensued at the supposed wiki page, which was swiftly created in response to the comic. BBC America has more on how the comic and the confusion it caused have put the Net in a tizzy. It turns out that a malamanteau is a portmanteau of portmanteau and malapropism, but also a malapropism of portmanteau. All this puts Wikipedia in the confusing position of not allowing a page for an undefined word whose meaning is defined via the Wikipedia page for that word — and now I have to lie down for a moment.”

Source: Wikipedia Is Not Amused by Entry For xkcd-Coined Word