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XKCD Improving the Internet ... Yet Again

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the oh-oh-monroe dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 204

netbuzz writes "Comic creator Randall Monroe suggested in a recent xkcd strip that YouTube comments would be better — or, more precisely, less idiotic — if only those posting them were forced to hear their words read aloud first. Well, YouTube has gone and made this "audio preview" a reality, albeit an optional one. And, it's not the first time that xkcd has contributed to the betterment of the Internet, as those who are familiar with last year's "Internet census" and its use of a Hilbert curve may remember."

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Interesting concept... (5, Insightful)

Phydeaux314 (866996) | about 6 years ago | (#25315817)

Although I think that the people who need this feature most are the kind least likely to actually use it.

Re:Interesting concept... (5, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | about 6 years ago | (#25315985)

Correction. The people who need this feature are likely to use it to get the computer to say naughty things to them. Especially if there is an option to have the voice be the woman with a British accent used on some GPS systems.

Re:Interesting concept... (4, Insightful)

caluml (551744) | about 6 years ago | (#25316243)

I suspect you mean an English accent. Scottish or Welsh are very different. In fact, I'd go so far to say that you probably mean a "Posh" Received Pronunciation English accent.

Re:Interesting concept... (5, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | about 6 years ago | (#25316347)

Correction accepted. But, I'm more inclined to believe that it's actually an American actress (from Iowa or something) doing her imitation of what she thinks an English accent is--a grotesque hybrid of Received Pronunciation and Cockney.

Re:Interesting concept... (1)

operagost (62405) | about 6 years ago | (#25316467)

Ah, that world-renown font of creative thespians: Iowa.

Re:Interesting concept... (2, Informative)

Mr_Magick (996141) | about 6 years ago | (#25316897)

Hey, I am from Iowa you insensitive clod...

I really am from Iowa, and according to Wikipedia [] so are these people:
Tom Arnold
Lara Flynn Boyle
Terry Farrell
John Getz
David Anthony Higgins
Mary Beth Hurt
Ashton Kutcher
Cloris Leachman
Ron Livingston
Kate Mulgrew
Donna Reed
Brandon Routh
John Wayne
Elijah Wood

Re:Interesting concept... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25317067)

I really am from Iowa, and according to Wikipedia [] ...

I just added God and Steve Forbes, too.

Re:Interesting concept... (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | about 6 years ago | (#25317099)


Re:Interesting concept... (5, Funny)

Roxton (73137) | about 6 years ago | (#25317255)

It's encouraging to see that people can and do escape Iowa, but that probably doesn't help your point.

Re:Interesting concept... (5, Funny)

KevinKnSC (744603) | about 6 years ago | (#25317623)

Pro-tip: When listing famous people from your state, don't lead with Tom Arnold.

Re:Interesting concept... (3, Funny)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | about 6 years ago | (#25317703)

And James T. Kirk. He only works in outer space.

Wadda bout a strine option? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316737)

Stone the Fuckin crows...better pass me a tinnie love before I watch this sheila on ewe-tube flash her tits.

Re:Interesting concept... (5, Insightful)

Legion_SB (1300215) | about 6 years ago | (#25316591)

This American is becoming partial to the Welsh accent. Thanks mostly to the girl from Torchwood.

Re:Interesting concept... (1)

PotatoFiend (1330299) | about 6 years ago | (#25316835)

Amen, brother. Eve Myles is so irresistably yummy I'd let John Barrowman goatse me if it'd get me closer to her.

Re:Interesting concept... (1)

viridari (1138635) | about 6 years ago | (#25317339)

It's all the same thing on this side of the pond. ;-p

Re:Interesting concept... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | about 6 years ago | (#25317785)

Actually, I rather like the idea of it being a lower class Scottish accent. Especially if she sounds pissed to the gills and says "shite" a lot.

Re:Interesting concept... (4, Funny)

WDot (1286728) | about 6 years ago | (#25316329)

You are absolutely spot on. I just signed up for a youtube account JUST to have the computer read me some colorful comments. =p

It's done in a Microsoft Sam-like voice. Poking around the site doesn't seem to reveal any options for changing the voice, but on the bright side the system is really easy to use. When posting a comment you have the text field and three buttons under it: First "Audio preview," then "Post Comment," and "Discard." Hopefully they'll change "Post Comment" to "Post" so that Audio preview will be the largest button, causing the quick and the lazy to sometimes accidentally hear their comment. (=

Re:Interesting concept... (3, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 6 years ago | (#25317701)

I was going to say the mandatory voice would be a pre-pubescent boy, shrieking loudly. If you can stand what you're saying with that coming over the speakers, it's probably exceptionally intelligent and informed.

Re:Interesting concept... (3, Insightful)

PCMX (1029966) | about 6 years ago | (#25316015)

I would go further on your prediction by claiming that no one will use it altogether other than to just try it out. Albeit innovative for an online service, it is a feature that serves no real purpose when not imposed on the user.

I'm so torn... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25315845)

I love xkcd, but hate idle. Should I start loving idle or start hating xkcd???

Re:I'm so torn... (1)

Kagura (843695) | about 6 years ago | (#25315953)

XKCD is good to go, but this story has no business on the default home page.

Re:I'm so torn... (4, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 6 years ago | (#25316421)

I believe most of us would agree that nothing from idle belongs on the front page.

Re:I'm so torn... (4, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 6 years ago | (#25317041)

To be fair, I believe most of those would agree that nothing on Slashdot belongs on the front page.

Re:I'm so torn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25317277)

Possibly...though I disagree. Really, the worst part about idle is the fact that 50% of the comments are idle bitching about idle.

Re:I'm so torn... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | about 6 years ago | (#25317557)

It can be fixed. You just go into your preferences (you have a user account, so it's available to you) and untick "idle" from the sections. Not that frickin' hard. Hell, it's easier than posting a comment is.

Re:I'm so torn... (1)

Kagura (843695) | about 6 years ago | (#25317729)

I can't complain about idle being on the front page if I do that.

I hear ya... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25315971)

I'm about to go register the username Robert'); DROP TABLE users;--

Re:I hear ya... (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 6 years ago | (#25317031)

Don't you mean ' Robert'); SELECT * FROM idle WHERE LIKE 'xkcd' INSERT INTO technology; DROP TABLE idle;-- '

Re:I hear ya... (1)

flosofl (626809) | about 6 years ago | (#25317411)

I'm about to go register the username Robert'); DROP TABLE users;--

Ah, yes. We call him Little Bobby Tables...

Re:I'm so torn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316785)

You lose. Something/someone you hate, by making a statement in favor of something you like, can influence your opinion of that thing?

Hitler likes your favorite band. Time to get a new favorite band.

Re:I'm so torn... (1)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#25317129)

Hitler doesn't just love your favourite band - he loves all music, all forms of art, your mother and all computing technology apart from the iPhone. I discovered this while using a man in the middle attack on an email conversation between himself and Elvis.

I'm impressed! (5, Insightful)

Verdatum (1257828) | about 6 years ago | (#25315913)

First non-pants story I've seen on idle! Huzzah!

Re:I'm impressed! (0, Redundant)

owlnation (858981) | about 6 years ago | (#25316477)

Funny... I was looking for the tags box on this just so I could add an idleispants tag.

It seems that there is no tags box on idle. Doubtless this is a reaction to the fear that people will -- rightly -- tag everything as idelispants in (so far) vain protest.

Idle is, indeed, pants. And nothing but pants.

Re:I'm impressed! (0)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 6 years ago | (#25316579)

You used to be able to TAG idle postings.
It seems the taco didn't like to be criticized
so he just followed the example set by our leaders
and silenced his critics.

Re:I'm impressed! (2, Interesting)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 6 years ago | (#25316711)

I figured it out.

click the triangle and the front of the tags.

PS: I apologies for my previous post since it is not true since we can still tag this story: idleispants

Re:I'm impressed! (1)

WK2 (1072560) | about 6 years ago | (#25316929)

Completely on topic, since this is idle and we are talking about pants.

What does "idle is pants" mean? I laugh every time I see it, but have no clue to its meaning.

Re:I'm impressed! (4, Informative)

twistedsymphony (956982) | about 6 years ago | (#25317183)

"pants" is a British adjective synonymous with "rubbish".

Re:I'm impressed! (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 6 years ago | (#25317753)

Note to self: Never say "My junk is in my pants" to my British friends.

No good (5, Insightful)

kamikazearun (1282408) | about 6 years ago | (#25315923)

Will stupid people realise how stupid their posts are when they're read out aloud?

Re:No good (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316503)

"Will stupid people realise how stupid their posts are when they're read out aloud?"

That depends, did you read your post out loud before hitting submit? If so, then it's not very likely ...

Re:No good (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316789)

No, the same way tone deaf & annoying twats who go on X Factor/American Idol will think they are great even when everyone else thinks they're crap (including the Simon Cowell types who are making obscene amounts of money of these twats making asses of themselves) except the one idiot who never criticizes anyone because theyre so desperate for friends.

Most people on the planet are stupid mindless sheep who follow the head sheep no matter where they go. They think they're living happy lives with their facebook pages with 40 friends (38 of whom they never actually talk to) who all tell them they're so great and cool just so they get the same response back. They'll instantly attack someone the instant something negative is said about Apple/PS3/XBox/Google/Anything not because the comments are wrong but because they feel it attacks their chosen irrational faith in whatever pathetic ''thing' they mindlessly worship.

Re:No good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316991)

Most people on the planet are stupid mindless sheep who follow the head sheep no matter where they go.

Don't be upset, friend. Love is real, and one day, you'll find it. Everything will be okay.

Of course... (5, Funny)

evanbd (210358) | about 6 years ago | (#25315929)

The best example would have to be this strip [] and the resultant web site [] (NSWF).

Re:Of course... (2, Funny)

laejoh (648921) | about 6 years ago | (#25316017)


No ShockWaveFlash? Great!

So it's save to click from my workpla...@##!Ã"!!!@"ÃÃÃÃ


Re:Of course... (4, Informative)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#25316123)

That's a pretty bad example if you ask me, given that both sites were created by the same person.

Re:Of course... (3, Informative)

invisiblerhino (1224028) | about 6 years ago | (#25316139)

Don't forget 'died in a blogging accident' and 'x girls, y cups'.

Re:Of course... (2, Funny)

trippcook (529339) | about 6 years ago | (#25316355)

You guys are obviously forgetting to check the most useful site on the internet. [] The RSS feed is very, very handy.

Re:Of course... (4, Funny)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#25316465)

How pointless. It would be more accurate to simply have a text file which reads "no".

First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25315943)

Somehow it won't show how lame it is, when someone comments "first". (pardon me, I'm new to the internet and find it quite stupid).

Perhaps a custom recording for that one word may be of use.

Life imitates XKCD (5, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | about 6 years ago | (#25315961)

I think the greatest improvement of our lifes from xkcd was when Stallman got a katana [] . Now I can sleep better, knowing he will be protected from the he-who-cannot-be-named, aka Bill.

Re:Life imitates XKCD (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 years ago | (#25316175)

While the comic [] that inspired that is an excellent one, the idea of pulling that prank on Eric S. Raymond is seriously foolish [] .

Re:Life imitates XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25317433)

Obvious Hans Reiser Joke

Re:Life imitates XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25317549)

Yeah. Better try Linus Torvalds instead. I hear he sleeps with nunchucks.

ESR (1)

viridari (1138635) | about 6 years ago | (#25317627)

Any threat posed by ESR can be easily nullified by getting him to pontificate on just about any subject. Far more than the sound of racking a slide on a pistol, ESR loves the sound of his own voice. This should buy you the time you need to carry on with your op or E&E.

Re:Life imitates XKCD (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | about 6 years ago | (#25316225)

I forgot to mention the comic []

Now if they could just get the order right (2)

johanatan (1159309) | about 6 years ago | (#25315993)

It also be nice if they would order the comments oldest to newest from top to bottom for English readers (instead of bottom to top).

Re:Now if they could just get the order right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316229)

It is done bottom to top so that the newest posts are readable while watching the video.

Re:Now if they could just get the order right (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | about 6 years ago | (#25316385)

You're not much of a bloggin' person, are you?

Re:Now if they could just get the order right (1)

WK2 (1072560) | about 6 years ago | (#25317039)

And Youtube comments, as well as blog posts, are often discussions and people replying to each other. Because it breaks up the logical order of discussion. Why is top posting bad?

Re:Now if they could just get the order right (1)

evanbd (210358) | about 6 years ago | (#25316719)

You can configure that in your display preferences. The prefs link on the left (or top right on the awful idle display mode).

Robot9000 (0)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | about 6 years ago | (#25316041)

Though it didn't actually come from a comic, we shouldn't forget about r9k [] . Used with greatest effect on 4chan.

On a related note, the audio preview button doesn't work for me.

Re:Robot9000 (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | about 6 years ago | (#25317441)

are you kidding, 4channers would laugh their collective butts off. m00t is a douche sometimes so I could seem him doing something like this for the lulz for like 2 weeks.

I have to ask... (5, Insightful)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | about 6 years ago | (#25316117)

So when is /. getting this?

Re:I have to ask... (2, Interesting)

Instine (963303) | about 6 years ago | (#25317381)

If you want it we'll make it. I'm CTO at TEXTIC we make Talklets []

They're meeting him halfway (0)

Anti_Climax (447121) | about 6 years ago | (#25316197)

With the site building this feature in as an option, they make the virus writing part of it much easier.

Good job Google.

Maybe they also inspired Goggle (1)

shallow monkey (155686) | about 6 years ago | (#25316249)

Anyone at GMail want to confirm if this particular cartoon also inspired or contributed to the inspiration of GMail Goggles?

if only... (2, Funny)

kellyb9 (954229) | about 6 years ago | (#25316335)

Now, if only, we implemented this on slashdot, then we'd be in business!

Re:if only... (4, Funny)

WK2 (1072560) | about 6 years ago | (#25317103)

Yes, then people, would realize, how their comment wheezes, when it is full, of unnecessary commas.

It won't do much good (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 6 years ago | (#25316361)

The problem is, most of the people who need this won't realize how stupid and inarticulate they sound.

Re:It won't do much good (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | about 6 years ago | (#25316895)

Many people will. Many times I didn't click the submit button after reading what I just wrote.

Would my geek liscence be revoked... (0, Troll)

thereofone (1287878) | about 6 years ago | (#25316471)

...if I said XKCD jumped the shark? A while ago?

It's true and you know it.

Re:Would my geek liscence be revoked... (2, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | about 6 years ago | (#25316553)

Your licence will be banned when the other geeks realize you can't spell licence.

Re:Would my geek liscence be revoked... (2, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | about 6 years ago | (#25316657)

Damn, it appears my LICENSE will be banned as well.

Re:Would my geek liscence be revoked... (1)

thereofone (1287878) | about 6 years ago | (#25316997)

I'm going to need to see the sub clause regarding licentious spelling before I get too worried.

Re:Would my geek liscence be revoked... (1)

RobBebop (947356) | about 6 years ago | (#25316707)

Yeah, I liked it better when it was just the drawings of a guy flowing around the world in a barrel.

XKCD Jump the Shark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25317143)

More like the shark jumped xkcd [] .

For the love of god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316565)

Why does idle look so godawful? I tried it in three browsers (Konqueror, Arora, and Firefox), and it looks terrible in all of them. Is there any good reason that these stories look different than every other slashdot story? I really don't get it--every time I go to an idle story, I think my browser forgot how to render properly, until I remember that it's SUPPOSED to look like this.

Wait a minute... (5, Funny)

loocas (1345525) | about 6 years ago | (#25316569)

Those comments on YouTube come from people? I thought it was a virus or something.

Shades of Soylent Green (1)

quanticle (843097) | about 6 years ago | (#25316891)

YouTube comments come from people!

case and point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316587)

thee liekk persOn whO makes Air Force 1sz` shOuldd sO makee thesee shOesz` theey wOuld sell Out sO fastt !

2fknsxc !

In English, anyone?????

Thank god XKCD is trying to make people think before they act.

Re:case and point (1)

dj_tla (1048764) | about 6 years ago | (#25317589)

The phrase is "case in point" [] .

First Impressions (1)

nizcolas (597301) | about 6 years ago | (#25316623)

This is an interesting idea, although part of me really cringes at the notion that we're implementing a device that's designed to IMPEDE communication on a site whose stated goal is: "Broadcast Yourself" It will be interesting to follow usage patterns, but what I most fear is that this becomes a norm, and sites like slashdot receive less feedback due to the sheer amount of time required to listen to each commenter's post.

Re:First Impressions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316979)

The comments on youtube are not communication. They're unintelligible. So don't worry about your cognitive dissonance.

Re:First Impressions (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#25317045)

To call the comments we're talking about "communication" is an insult to everyone reading this. (I mean, at least you guys can read.)

pot kettle black (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 6 years ago | (#25316637)

We so need this on Slashdot...

creators rescuing planet/population...again (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316651)

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(talk about cowardlly race fixing/bad theater/fiction?)**http%3A//
(the teaching of hate as a way of 'life' synonymous with failed dictatorships);_ylt=A0wNcwWdfudITHkACAus0NUE
(some yoga & yogurt makes killing/getting killed less stressful);_ylt=A0wNcw9iXutIPkMBwzGs0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

'The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."
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"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Now I can tell my boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316661)

...that reading XKCD is work-related.

you F4i7 It. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25316683)

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Also (1)

nizcolas (597301) | about 6 years ago | (#25316701)

Am I the only one who doesn't really see this as a problem? I've never been in the situation where I'm watching something on youtube, and am suddenly interrupted by a stream of moronic comments. Frankly, I treat youtube as a novelty. An enormous narcissistic portrait of (primarily) white, middle class people. It's fun to watch, but if you're using it for any serious data, you're crazy.

Now to improve the elections... (1)

nemo11 (413920) | about 6 years ago | (#25316755)

Re:Now to improve the elections... (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 6 years ago | (#25317247)

Already done. []

Re:Now to improve the elections... (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 6 years ago | (#25317343)

(...And I shouldn't ignore PolitiFact [] ...)

He already did (1)

Catil (1063380) | about 6 years ago | (#25317293)

I don't know if it improved anything but at least from my German, politically uninterested, albeit perhaps uninformed but also unbiased point of view his blagentry regarding the elections [] seemed to switch the whole internet from supporting Ron Paul to supporting Barack Obama overnight. No, really. I went to bed and the frontpages of all major social networks were Paul! Paul! Paul! and when I woke up Obamania broke loose. Fine with me though. I like "that guy." :)

Yeah.. (1)

bytethese (1372715) | about 6 years ago | (#25317021)

I love when "Stephan Hawking" reads my YouTube comments to me...

Did anybody answer? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | about 6 years ago | (#25317029)

Did anybody ever explain to the O.P. how babby is formed?

Hey! (1)

FishAdmin (1288708) | about 6 years ago | (#25317643)

Obligatory xk...oh, wait.

In moderation (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | about 6 years ago | (#25317767)

Hey, cool. I've got mod points on Slashdot, too!

Everybody takes after xkcd! []

- RG>

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