Talk:1683: Digital Data

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Ewww, Verizon? **** them International Space Station (talk) 04:58, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Ironically, the title text on explainxkcd is different from the one on, demonstrating the reinterpretation of text encoded in UTF-8 as if it were encoded in ISO 8859-1. 05:45, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

-Exactly; this nicely proves Randall's point. On my computer, different characters appear in different browsers, but of course in one browser the characters are reproducible.--Jkrstrt (talk) 07:26, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Here is the decoded title text:

   “If you can read this, congratulations–the archive youʼre you're using still knows about the mouseover text”! 07:51, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Grungy details:
Odysseus654 (talk) 17:31, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
The convert to hex step is really encode with Windows-1252. Also, in the last sequence, the "!" is not part of the encoded quotation mark. The third byte of the quotation mark comes from an unprintable U-009D between the "â€" and the "!". U-009D isn't a valid Windows-1252 character, so either the encoding is actually a superset of Windows-1252 that includes U-009D, or the encoding process just allowed it. 17:26, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

He's written you're twice, but one is with a curly apostrophe, often favoured by americans (and maybe brits?), possible because of their keyboard. The simple apostrophe is “just” html-formatted, whereas the curly one has been molested by a UTF-8 / ISO-8859-1 misreading. -- 07:51, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm British, and I don't have the curly apostrophe anywhere on my keyboard. Enchantedsleeper (talk) 11:01, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm American, and I also don't have the curly apostrophe anywhere on my keyboard, but word processing programs (like MS-Word) are configured by default to automatically replace an ASCII apostrophe in a conjunction with the fancy right-single-quote mark. Also when using quotation marks around text those programs automatically replace the repeated single ASCII quotation marks with the fancy left and right quotation marks (single if using single quotes, double if using double quotes). Most people don't care enough to disable that "feature"... 15:13, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Ok. I've never experienced that from any text processor (incl. MS Word), so maybe it's dependant on the system locale or another mysterious factor. I've just noticed a prevalence in english language texts online, but an absence in other european languages. Not even french, which has as many or more contractions. 08:11 21 May 2016 (UTC)

This is a phenomenon that has always both fascinated me and frustrated me. I find it fascinating how, even today, data degrades as more and more people copy it (remember the old days when people used to copy VHS tapes, and the further you were from the original tape the more copying artefacts your copy had in it?). It also frustrates me, though, when I'm trying to find an original, undegraded image or video and it seems impossible to find. It's also annoying because it's actually pretty easy to copy something without causing any quality loss, yet practically every copied image on the internet has been degraded in some way or another. 07:08, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

If you haven't yet, you should check out this guy who ripped and reuploaded his own Youtube video 1000 times: 08:28, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
...and after 100 iterations ...and the summary of all of them Odysseus654 (talk) 16:50, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
It can be frustrating to try to convince new people drawing schematics on the computer to not use 4-way junctions because they don't expect digital images to degrade over multiple generations of copying. This xkcd demonstrates the way multiple generations can degrade even digital images, potentially making it difficult to differentiate two crossing (but electrically separate) signal lines from a 4-way junction on a schematic. Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now. ;-) 15:13, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

It's also funny because just a few moments ago I was trying to compress some video to send to someone. 07:12, 20 May 2016 (UTC) this page highlights the encoding blocks so that the degration of quality can be seen better. 09:42, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

The phenomenon that Randall is making fun of in this comic is actually called a "shitpic" The explanation should probably make reference to that. Enchantedsleeper (talk) 10:57, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

I think the watermarks on the last frame are from an unregistered screenshot tool, not "9gag" or similar. The references to shit pics are interesting, but aren't you over interpreting the whole thing? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

There's a 9gag thing in the image, clean your glasses and look again. -- 12:15, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Both screenshots from iOS definitely. Safari browser and… anybody knows? Some kind of other web browser? Maybe Chrome or Opera? <Need to finally create account> 15:32, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Apparently Russians have been getting this a lot, as they (up to the point of the existence of UNICODE) have had to deal a lot with people using bad codepages. Example of their post office dealing with a physical package addressed with a bad codepage: Odysseus654 (talk) 16:54, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Here is the progression as I see it:

  • Frame 1 - The original PNG
  • Frame 2 - The PNG converted to a JPEG
  • Frame 3 - The JPEG as viewed on a mobile browser (Safari on iOS in this case)
  • Frame 4 - A screen-shot of the mobile browser uploaded to Tumblr and then stolen by 9GAG 19:37, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Note that while the term "digital" is new, first digital format of information appeared long ago, with the development of standard alphabet. Images hand-drawn on paper can't be copied without loss, but if you write letters in fixed alphabet, it can be copied without errors forever (not counting errors caused by some letters getting out of use through history). Egyptian literature is probably lost due to us not knowing the (very big) full set of hieroglyphs, but Odyssey could (and hopefully even was) be stored exactly how it was written. Wouldn't help read it, of course, language changed since then and it would need to be translated which, again, can lose some meaning ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 16:16, 21 May 2016 (UTC)