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March 14th, 2003


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02:46 pm - And I though my pool game was rusty...
...but it was nothing to my total lack of python code. It took me 2 minutes to write the python script to verify my hypothesis about this. Ridiculous.

We've got another radio show for the #null of you who care. This afternoon, 6-7pm on wrct. Featured elements will (as far as I can tell) include mind and lung prosthesis, the new Beastie Boys anti-war mp3, screen-scrapers, and more! Any Bug of the Week suggestions?

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:combinator
Date:March 14th, 2003 01:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Was it really worth verifying at all?

This seems like a variation on Pickover's experiment which jcreed pointed me to a while back.
[User Picture]
From:daemonv
Date:March 14th, 2003 02:37 pm (UTC)
(Link)
No, except that it was fun and easy.

It is a pretty extreme variation. At least with my two trials with your link, the mechanism works in that it does a complete card cycle (pick one of { K+ J* K& Q$ Q* J$ }, we removed your card, presto: your card has been removed!, leaving { K$ Q& J+ K* Q+ }. The link I gave exploited a basic mathematical oddity that I did not have the math in mind to reason about and had forgotten ( 1 <= x <= 9; 0 <= y <= 9; x*10+y - x+y = 9^x). Of course, spelling it out like that, it becomes clear how it works.
[User Picture]
From:combinator
Date:March 17th, 2003 01:51 am (UTC)
(Link)
The basic mechanism is identical: Distract the user enough so that he doesn't notice that all valid choices lead to the same outcome. Flash animation cheats by repeating the symbol for the entire range of the function specified, and Pickover cheats by deleting all possible cards to pick. The flash applet you pointed to is undoubtedly flashier, but actually I like the "removal" mechanism of Pickover a little more since it doesn't require you to do a stupid math trick.
[User Picture]
From:daemonv
Date:March 17th, 2003 07:08 am (UTC)
(Link)
Fair enough. Basically these games are just another form of "magic" (in the performing magician/trick sense). They are just far easier to analysize. I like your link better, however, because of the user testimonial explanations. How easily and many are fooled -- and it becomes clear that education is not the barrier.

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