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November 14, 2012

Daily [Intermittent] Open-Ended Puzzle: Camera shutters

Why do digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras have shutters?

In analog days, the shutter let light in for some determinant time. That caused the film to be exposed for that duration. But in the digital age, why doesn’t “setting the shutter speed” just tell the internal computer how long it should record data from the sensor? What good does it do to actually open and close a physical shutter?

Just curious. And probably misinformed.


March 6, 2011

[doep] Daily (Intermittent) Open-Ended Puzzle: Dig a hole…

The following is an Order of Magnitude puzzle: Guess within an order of magnitude of the answer and you win! You win nothing!

If you were to start any spot on land on Earth and dig a hole through the center of the Earth, what percent of the time would you come out on another spot on land, as opposed to having water spray out, comically spinning the Earth out of orbit to its death? (To be precise, the question isn’t about water spraying or not spraying out of the hole. It’s about the percentage of times you’d hit land.)

The answer is in the comments. But, wait, to help you, this fabulous mashup using the Google Maps API will let you sink your own knitting needles through the Earth’s nougaty core!

(All of this came from a mailing list I’m not supposed to acknowledge. Answers authenticated by the good folks at Wikipedia.)


February 4, 2009

Daily [intermittent] Open-Ended Puzzle (DOEP): Fill in the filesharer

In a conversation with Gene Koo, a mishearing turned into a pun minus one term. I twittered a request for people to fill in the following blank:

Turning _____ into filesharers.

Unfortunately, I added that the blank should rhyme with “plows” instead of “swords” because I made a mistake. Here are some of the tweets I received:

fanf: the copyright lobby want to shove swords into filesharers

cfigallo: Beating hoarders into filesharers

digiphile: “Beating Boards into filesharers”?

davidgammel: How about ‘Beating Cabinet Appointees into Tax Filers’?

winemad: hordes?

dhmspector: “Lawyers” … obviously.

You are encouraged to best the Twitterers.

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November 20, 2008

Daily (Intermittent) Open-Ended Puzzle: Monty Python headlines

Monty Python has announced that it’s making all many of its works available for free on YouTube. Yay!

What is the best Python-referencing headline for a post announcing this? “A hovercraft full of reels”? “Not pining for the fee(ords)”? “Wring out your dead”?

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February 4, 2008

DOEP (Daily (intermittent) Open-Ended Puzzle: Web clichés

I’m about to post a new issue of my (free) newsletter, which has the following Bogus Contest:

These days, instead of saying “If you look up ‘miserable failure’ in the dictionary, there’s a picture of George Bush there,” you’d more likely say, “If you google ‘miserable failure,’ George Bush is the first return.”

Can we come up with more clichés transposed to the world of tech? For example:

The more things are upgraded, the more they stay the

A watched IPO never boils

It takes two to flame

A woman needs a man the way a fish needs a C compiler

There’s more than one way to skin a Firefox

When the net nanny’s away, the mice will play

Your turn! (To enter — which is, remember, functionally the same as not entering — post your updated clichés as a comment. 

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