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XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:05 am

So this morning I went to check today's XKCD... then (as I usually do) backed up one strip to make sure I hadn't missed the previous one. The mouseover text of Monday's strip seemed familiar... but the strip itself was *different*. WTF?!??

It turns out that as an April Fools stunt, Monday's strip serves up a different comic depending on your geographic location and/or the web browser and/or the device you are using to visit the site.

If I visit from work, or from home using Firefox, I get this:
Image

If I visit from home using Chrome, I get this (click for full-size version):
Image

If I tunnel my connection through a server in Seattle, I get this (click for full-size version):
Image

The third one is peculiar in that it adds/removes entire panels of the strip depending on the width of the browser window; on the XKCD site you need to make your browser window at least ~1700 pixels wide to be able to see the entire thing, since the last couple of panels just disappear if the browser window is too narrow (no scrollbars). Also a bit creepy that there's a tunnel in the strip... did XKCD detect my use of a SSH/SOCKS tunnel somehow? :o

The mouseover text actually gives a hint that something fishy is going on:
XKCD #1037 wrote:
Umwelt is the idea that because their senses pick up on different things, different animals in the same ecosystem actually live in very different worlds. Everything about you shapes the world you inhabit--from your ideology to your glasses prescription to your web browser.

If you visit from an AT&T mobile broadband connection, you supposedly get a page saying your bandwidth cap has been exceeded :lol:, and there are allegedly country-specific ones as well. Edit: It looks at referrer links as well; according to this article there's a different one for people who get there by clicking a link from reddit.

Post your version of XKCD #1037 (if different from the above)!
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:46 am

As a side note, as of 6:42 AM CDT if you Google "xkcd 1037" this forum thread shows up as the 6th result on the first page. I am impressed (and a bit puzzled... and maybe even a little creeped out) regarding how frequently Google crawls the TR forums. Maybe we need to do an experiment to see how long it takes (on average) for Google to index a TR forum thread! :lol:
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pedro
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:56 am

Hah, nice find. I wondered what that mouseover text was alluding too with the ecosystems.
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:56 am

The comic that comes up for me is the earthquake one above, and the first two panels are exactly the same. However, for North Carolina they decided to use a hurricane instead of snowfall.

"C'mon, this is only a Category 2..." :D
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:58 am

pedro wrote:
Hah, nice find. I wondered what that mouseover text was alluding too with the ecosystems.

Me too. It all makes sense now! :lol:
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:27 am

I knew something was going on but I was too lazy to investigate. I know better now.

This is what I get in Opera:
Image
 
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:37 am

In Chrome, I have the weather one, but with a tornado.
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In IE9, I have some scenery. I'm not sure what it' referencing.
Image
 
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:41 am

I cant copy the image but I get one about aurora being visible according to the CBC, but the girl is too busy watching hockey to go see it.

... pretty sure that has to do with the country I reside in.
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:49 am

Here's what I get from Firefox 11 in the Washington, DC area:

Image


In Chrome 18, I get:

Image


Here's a few from IE 8, it does vary with the size of the window, but I skipped the shorter ones since the panels are just plain snake:

Image
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:58 am

wibeasley wrote:
In IE9, I have some scenery. I'm not sure what it' referencing.

Just checked IE8, same thing.

Edit: Epiphany gives the same one as IE8. Firefox and Iceweasel (Debian's rebranded version of Firefox) from work give me the tornado one instead of the snow one; we get tornadoes here too, so it still works!
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:10 am

FireGryphon wrote:
Here's a few from IE 8, it does vary with the size of the window, but I skipped the shorter ones since the panels are just plain snake:

OK, so it doesn't depend on *just* the browser. Combination of browser + location, perhaps?
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:16 am

FireGryphon wrote:
Here's what I get from Firefox 11 in the Washington, DC area:
n Chrome 18, I get:

Image

That one is so terrifying I don't even know what to say. =P
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:16 am

just brew it! wrote:
If I tunnel my connection through a server in Seattle, I get this (click for full-size version):
Image

The third one is peculiar in that it adds/removes entire panels of the strip depending on the width of the browser window; on the XKCD site you need to make your browser window at least ~1700 pixels wide to be able to see the entire thing, since the last couple of panels just disappear if the browser window is too narrow (no scrollbars). Also a bit creepy that there's a tunnel in the strip... did XKCD detect my use of a SSH/SOCKS tunnel somehow? :o

Post your version of XKCD #1037 (if different from the above)!

Actually, the max size that strip can go up to is ~2133 pixels wide to show EVERYTHING, as my screenshot details (click for full-size version):

Image
 
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:17 am

Here's the tornado one:
Image
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:19 am

FF11 and Vermont:

Image

IE 8 returns the previously-mentioned landscape.

Clearly location-based due to the mention of Lake Champlain.
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:26 am

thegleek wrote:
Actually, the max size that strip can go up to is ~2133 pixels wide to show EVERYTHING, as my screenshot details (click for full-size version):
...

The behavior must also be dependent on screen resolution. I can get the whole thing at lower window width than that. Your screenshot appears to have the same content as mine (just at a higher resolution, apparently).

Edit: Never mind, brain fart. I thought it only added new panels at the end!

Edit edit: Oh, the third panel *changes*! :lol:
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:33 am

In Brazil + Chrome 18 I got Hat guy being questioned about a flipped tortoise.

Edit 1: In IE I get the same picture as Drfish.
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:36 am

I'm in the outskirts of Tornado Alley, so I get the tornado one with Chrome on Win7. In the Ubuntu 12.04 VM & Firefox, it's the northern-lights one, same if I switch the user-agent to Googlebot.

When I switch the UA string to Lynx, I get one like the aforementioned "plugin" one for Chrome, but it says "There does not exist - nor could there EVER exist - a plugin capable of displaying this content" :lol:

edit: same thing as Lynx when I have it pretend to be iOS 3.0.
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:40 am

I found a bug in XKCD's CLI interface -- if you try to navigate to Monday's comic with the CLI you get last Friday's instead! :lol:

(For those of you who missed it the first time around, the CLI interface was their April Fools joke from a few years back...)
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:10 am

I looked up all of these yesterday (Discrete Math is boring!). There's a great thread on Reddit that has links to all of the images, as well as a google doc that has most of them (some 403/404 errors). My favorites are for those who go through a .mil domain and for those in Alaska.

From what I've seen it's based off of location, ISP, browser width (glasses part of scroll-over text), web browser (the web browser part), and referring website. I'm pretty sure it's not dependent on OS though.

EDIT: Up to #3 on Google now.
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:42 am

Colorado here. On my Android phone, I get the tunnel thing if browsing via the company WiFi (which, I believe, is ultimately routed through Houston) but if I disable WiFi and browse over T-Mobile 3G, I get the 2Quiet2Furious cartoon.

On my desktop with FireFox 11.0, again through the company network, I get the snake.
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:55 am

This is pretty amazing. I thought I had seen a different comic before but I thought I was just imagining things haha
 
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:05 am

Verizon Android shows: "You have exceeded your Verizon monthly bandwidth cap. Mobile web browsing has been disabled".
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:23 pm

Georgia on Chrome I got hat guy talking about a flipped tortoise.
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:20 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
FF11 and Vermont:

Image

IE 8 returns the previously-mentioned landscape.

Clearly location-based due to the mention of Lake Champlain.


Bizarre. From work, IE8+tons of firewalls/filters/etc, I get that, but instead of Lake Champlain, it just says "the bay". What bay?

Tried my iPad with Wifi and got the standard Earthquake-Pennsylvania-Snow strip I got from Chrome at home. Switched to my AT&T 3G and got.... Black? With a white circle? Light at the end of the tunnel? With iPad I can't mouseover to get the alt text and read anything. I'll tether later and try that operation via my laptop.
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:43 pm

Forge wrote:
Bizarre. From work, IE8+tons of firewalls/filters/etc, I get that, but instead of Lake Champlain, it just says "the bay". What bay?

SE PA is pretty close to Chesapeake and Deleware bays...? Or maybe that's just a catch-all for "somewhere relatively near the ocean and we don't have anything else that fits".
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:37 pm

drfish wrote:
This is what I get in Opera:
Image
I got that with IE9 (Win7), IE7 (WinXP), and IE10 (Win8).
 
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:01 pm

I just got the standard moon, orb, etc.
 
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:59 pm

lonleyppl wrote:
There's a great thread on Reddit that has links to all of the images, as well as a google doc that has most of them (some 403/404 errors).

Not sure if you were referring to this thread - here's SomePostMan's analysis on Reddit (via explain xkcd).
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Re: XKCD craziness

Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:37 pm

I get this on IE9 in Virginia.
http://i.imgur.com/yJDSD.png

I get this on FF.

http://i.imgur.com/sfWzS.png

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