Talk:1678: Recent Searches

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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You can convert jpg to Excel (, so converting gif to Excel is not really absurd... (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Or maybe Randall(?) has a screenshot of a spreadsheet (or more realistically, an over-the-shoulder video of someone's spreadsheet), and he wants to OCR it back into a spreadsheet. -- 19:19, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Interestingly enough "CPU temperature sensor limits" might be a serious consideration for extreme overclockers, who use things like liquid nitrogen to cool their PC. SG 01 (talk) 15:45, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Not really, the limit of the CPU temp sensors would only necessary if you are planing to get the cpu to really high temperatures. That is, if you are using liquid nitrogen to cool the cpu, you should never reach the limit of the sensors. 18:38, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
Hey, our IP addresses differ only in 8 bits! Does this mean we are in the same part of campus? -- 19:38, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
What... that one is not not my ip! And the guy that mentioned "OCR" up there also has a very similar ip to ours. Is some kind of proxy explainxkcd has? (btw, I wonder if I'll get the same ip on this comment. I haven't disconnected my router or anything) 21:58, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
It appears that is using Cloudflare, so all the wiki edits are probably logged as coming from Cloudflare's proxies. A WHOIS search confirms that the IPs to are part of Cloudflare's network -- 22:22, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
I had thought explainxkcd was anonymizing IP addresses to some carefully chosen ranges. Apparently that's just a helpful side effect. Does Cloudflare always assign the same proxy to a particular source address? .42 (talk) 23:34, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
Note that it says "limits" in plural, i.e. both upper and lower. -- 19:28, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Safe mode

This is my first time trying to help out with an explanation, please let me know if I did something wrong ^_^; Undergroundmonorail (talk) 15:48, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

I like where you went with safe/dangerous. Of the "unsafe" synonyms I found my favorite is "menacing mode". Elvenivle (talk)
My first impression here though was that he's so often dropping to safe mode he forgot what's regular system like or how to get there – so he searches for reference how to get there. 20:29, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Is it possible the first one is an attempt to misuse google translate to translate programming code (to another programming language or even between linguistic languages)? TheHYPO (talk) 15:59, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

GIF to XLS could be a reference to 16:16, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Nice find. I was thinking like that + a macro to flip sheets. Elvenivle (talk)

Doesn't "recursive" mean that it repeats (recurs)? Cardboardmech (talk) 16:44, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Sort of. In computing, it's a little more specific, though, referring to functions that call themselves as part of their normal running. This in turn has led to the idea of recursive definitions, that of course refer to the original word. Example: "recursion: see recursion."
I take issue with the explanation for another reason, though. True, regexes probably can't be used to check the validity of EBNFs. It's a little bit more complicated than that, though. If one has ever used a compiler-compiler like yacc (which, supposedly uses EBNF grammars or EBNF-like grammars), another tool in the Unix world comes to mind, awk. Awk is similar enough in design to a cc that it can do the job of one, and people have apparently made compilers in awk. And what does awk use for its pattern matching? Regexes. Exercise for the reader: Write an EBNF for EBNFs. :D. Tibfulv (talk) 17:49, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
If you allow recursive regexes, it *is* possible to match EBNF with a regex: 19:38, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Silly comment because: can't...stop...laughing. Elvenivle (talk)

Hey... what does this line refer to? "A complication in attempting to solve computer problems this way would be presented by Google's search term autocorrection, which for several years has replaced technical terms with unrelated language from recent popular culture." I can't see how it's relevant to the comic, is it implying that these arent actually the questions he searched for, they're one autocorrection away from what he was trying to find? 00:14, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

For example, Google suggests "fsck" should be "fleck" and automatically alters the results accordingly. "Fleck Chrome extension" is a reasonable search query (Fleck is a web annotation service) but "fleck" is implausible as a typo. .42 (talk) 00:28, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
That seems like a stretch to me... if that was the intention then there would be no joke. 00:03, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
autoexec joke

isn't this related to autoexec.bat? Blydro (talk) 16:00, 9 May 2016 (UTC)blydro

Or...autoexec.ncf (Netware), autoexec.nt (Windows), autoexec.cfg (Source/Valve/Counterstrike) and an adult reference at Urban Dictionary. Elvenivle (talk)

This isn't farfetched. In need of a server, I was recently considering using obfuscated strings in a public blog to temporarily control my own apps...and malware's been doing stuff like this for ages. Elvenivle (talk)

I don't think a reference to "autoexec.bat" makes sense in the context of the comic... it's just a word that sounds similar (not being cheeky) 00:03, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

I originally interpreted "clean reinstall keybinding" as meaning that his keybindings were so entirely screwed that he wanted to do a clean reinstall of the keybinding system, but the other interpretation is funnier. 16:24, 9 May 2016 (UTC)


I've only ever seen "fsck" as a way of saying "fuck" that bypasses content filters, such as in global chat in games like World of Warcraft. 16:25, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure it's file system consistency check. It's a program for checking your Linux filesystem. I think the Joke is that he needs to check his filesystem for corruption so often that he needs the convenience of a chrome extension. I have not edited the page because I neither use chrome extensions nor have I ever run fsck. Can anyone back me up on this? 16:43, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Yes, that's what fsck refers to here. I've run it many a time on my old Red Hat installation that somehow kept corrupting itself. --PsyMar (talk) 16:54, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
Predictable touchpad

A predictable touchpad would actually be a major blow to internet security -- mouse events are being used to seed randomness generators for cryptography. I don't think this piece of information is suited for the explanation, but just in case someone's interested: You're welcome! 16:26, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Just came across this: Pre-Touch Sensing for Mobile Interaction 12:38, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Title text

After the npm burndown, someone actually made it possible to require from twitter: ( 18:25, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Syntax highlighting a natlang

Syntax highlighting a natural language might color the subject, verb, object, adverbs, and prepositional phrases. --Tepples (talk) 18:27, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Google Translate is not limited to natlangs (e.g. it has Esperanto). And I heard of some syntax highlighters for conlangs (namely Lojban). -- 19:13, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

"syntax highlighting Google translate" gives wildly different results from "Google translate syntax highlighting". The explainxkcd article has been climbing in the results; can it displace Wikipedia or CPAN for these queries? Might there be a hidden joke related to some query in the list? .42 (talk) 00:54, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

(Update: for both queries, we have displaced Wikipedia, StackOverflow, and CPAN in some Google servers.) .42 (talk) 02:49, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
The first result was Google's own documentation. No more! .42 (talk) 04:00, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Is it really suitable to use the word leopard instead of keyboard? Even though it's linked to the relevant comic explanation it seems likely to add unnecessary confusion and doesn't really add to this explanation. 10:30, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Isn't the clean reinstall keybinding pointless for saving time since he'd have to redo it every time he did a clean reinstall? Figvh (talk) 11:34, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

maybe it's just me, but does google actually do this anymore? it certainly used to. now all i get is nothing until i start typing, when i get a list of the most popular results for other people's searches. if you have to turn javascript (or something else) off to see this, maybe it should be mentioned. -- 12:36, 10 May 2016 (UTC)