Security breach

This blag has been hacked.  Sorry.

As those reading by RSS may have noticed, there are ads being inserted periodically into the bottom of xkcd blag posts.  They’re hidden from the web view.  This is due to a security hole in WordPress 2.7.x and 2.8 (and possibly others).  davean is watching packet flow and trying to figure out exactly how it happens, but in the meantime, sorry for the annoyance.  One way or another, it should be solved soon.

I just had extremely minor surgery this morning (removing a lipoma from my right arm).  I’m fine; it’s just a paranoid better-safe-than-sorry thing. But I’m writing this under the influence of the lingering anesthetics and my first-ever Vicodin.  No interesting side effects so far other than dizziness, a higher rate of typing errors, and the tendency to zoom images all the way in and stare at them for several minutes at a time.  Why *is* that cat in the ceiling, anyway?  Hello, internet.

178 thoughts on “Security breach

  1. xkcd: thank you (from a speaker of hungarian) for spelling “erd?s” correctly. 🙂


  2. Oh, wow. Sucks that the blog got hacked, but thanks for the warning. I’m spreading the word to everyone I know for them to do a security audit on their WordPress installation.

    As far as the hack goes, is it just the ads on here? Because on that WordPress topic, there’s people saying they’ve got PHP injects as well.


  3. Woo, Lipoma support group! o/

    Funny, I have 2-3 lipomas which I’ve had for as long as I can remember. Never really bothered me though, except for aesthetic reasons (not cool having one on your cheek, neither when it comes to girls, nor when it comes to shaving). My grandfather had a huge one on his chin, basically expanding his skin quite a bit. He also died of cancer.



  4. Did you keep the Lipoma? You could have kept in a Jar. It’d be a shame to throw away a part of you.


  5. I don’t have an Erdos number, but last week, before the comic was published, we went to a concert by Lucy Kaplansky, whose father Irving, it turns out, had an Erdos number of 1… she did a song he wrote about pi (no joke, but a very amusing song) and which they had performed together while he was alive, which sort of gives her an Erdos number of 2. Then she signed our CD… but I can’t claim a 3 for myself, as much as I’d like to. Still, it’s a small world, isn’t it?


  6. I had a Lipoma on the side of my torso. It was about the size of a slightly smushed golf ball, and felt like a boob. I named it Andrew. Whenever any of my college buddies got horny, and there were no real boobs around, they would give Andrew a squeeze. Unfortunately I had to let him go :-[


  7. My husband has lipomas! Like, a lot. They keep showing up. He probably has about 50 of them on his body right now – he hasn’t had any removed for a few years, since the health insurance company doesn’t want to pay to remove them unless they cause him pain. Just thought I’d share. Get better soon!


  8. vicodin is so house md. you should do a house md comic on vicodin. seriously. o.O


  9. It’s never lupus! Until the magician showed up…

    Lipomas are normally benign; for those that don’t know they’re tiny tumours of fat cells, and skin has lots of lipocytes (fat cells) so it makes sense for them to show up there… probably best to get rid of them though…

    Wow, finally something biology-related comes up! I don’t always get the physics references 😦


  10. So does comic #601, Game Theory remind anyone else of War Games (the 80’s cold war movie)?


  11. Hope you’re feeling better by now… and at least you had a nice party gift from the doctors! If anything, at least lolcats are actually amusing now.


  12. Sorry about your problems, I’m glad you’re feeling OK. Just wanna say I
    m new to your comic and so far I think it’s amazing!

    Peace and Love!


  13. Pingback: What is the Best Do it Yourself, All in one, Home Security System? | Security Cameras Systems

  14. That vikodin is good shit 😛

    I feel bad your website got hacked. I think you are one of the people who deserves that the least.


  15. I am extremely displeased with today’s comic. XKCD, which I normally agree with and enjoy, has made several errors in one comic, from my point of view. Global warming is a lie so get over that one already. Why the scientific community hasn’t stood up and testified against it is a sign of the times we’re in. And though I don’t believe in reproduction limitations by any means (what a vain violation of human rights!?), saying everything’s going to be alright just doesn’t cut it. People aren’t changing, no. But they are making stupider decisions and it is affecting us. Technology can’t fix everything, and it’s not always even helpful. Sometimes technology causes the problems in the first place. Though we do love it so. In fact, I might even dare to say, despite all the wonderful things technology does for us, all the ways it has “improved” (changed) life around the globe, despite the immense increase in opportunity and factual knowledge, technology might only be helping the human race become lazier, stupider, dependent yet opinionated beings.


  16. Lol, today’s tag kinda reminds me of my big brother. He’s gonna be one of the fathers of the Rise of the Machine after he gets out of college, kinda like the scientist that died in I, Robot.

    Incidentally, I love the warning at the bottom of the page. As a teenager, I fit in between on the age warnings, but the liberal arts major one applied. I don’t get any of your math. <:(


  17. Furthermore, every time you say stupider your overbearing five year old of a deity kills a kitten.


  18. “Global warming is a lie”? Really? The scientific community hasn’t testified against global warming because it’s been too busy trying to tell people like you and Michael Crichton (sorry, but State of Fear was a terrible book, probably his worst) that just because you feel like you should be too smart to believe in something doesn’t mean that the science doesn’t support it. Science DOES support it. You can contradict me on that as much as you want, but after about two decades of examination, that is the consensus of the scientific community.
    Although our evolving, chaotic, yet somehow balanced climate and weather system is perhaps too complex a machine to be understood by scientists, they have managed to figure out that chucking a massive carbon wrench in it isn’t doing anything good. No, global warming isn’t nearly as simple as the name suggests, or as straightforward of a textbook picture showing the greenhouse effect, but climate change is happening, and it is fucking stuff up. It isn’t the end of the world, and things won’t be too fucked up if we decrease our CO2 output (we have the technology, and if we put a fraction of the money going into fighting environmental regulations into R&D, it could overcome all of the drawbacks very fast. Clean Coal is bullshit though, it should be used strictly as a transitional measure) and manage the environment scientifically. Cause hey, it’s not THAT bad. Scrabble?


  19. Whoa, I just saw how long that post was. Whatever, I can justify it like this:

    –Summer Glau


  20. Rather like today’s xkcd on Idiocracy. Sidestepping the “your Bible is a lie” argument (where Bible=Global warming and where me=so over arguing that a widespread and growing scientific consensus is a freaking widespread and growing scientific consensus), I disagree somewhat that people are never going to change for better or worse. That all depends on what one means for better or worse of course. On the one hand, Jon Stewart pointed out to Bernard Goldberg that it’s simply *not ok* to be openly racist in today’s society. The global slave trade is barely a shadow of what it once was (though greater than zero of course is too much), and part of the reason population growth is predicted to slow down and then *stop* in the next 100 years is because of increasing rights of women. One can argue this doesn’t constitute a fundamental change in human nature, but that’s ahistorical — people argued that the status quo of race and sex would dominate the world forever, as it was how it was, and it is no longer; that’s a change for the better. On the other extreme, we have nuclear weapons, which allow us to do that which our forebears might have given the chance, but it remains that our forebears *didn’t*. We did, for what many think are justified reasons, but nevertheless we have and have deployed WMDs, something never done before. I think on the whole, though, the retreat of racism & sexism means people have changed for the better. We may never be the weird slightly scary zero-conflict Star Trek world, nor the dystopic Blade Runner or Mad Max world. But I think it’s definite that we have lurched towards one or the other at times, but right now, the curve points to an overall bettering. (Sex and violence and rudeness and all have always been around, true, but their being on TV doesn’t make them inherently worse and arguably many of the most negative forms have retreated, like marital rape and abuse in many countries. Is there any reason that such equality and rights won’t continue to spread, and wouldn’t that constitute the *world*/people changing for the better?)


  21. i don’t care about the climate: we will all die on 13 April 2036 anyway…
    captcha: naughty grandmother… aww


  22. Your comic today may slightly miss the point, unless the point is just that guy in the movie store and not the film Idiocracy. It’s not a warning about social collapse, it’s taking the argument to its logical conclusion. A society that values intelligence, questioning, and civics, we hope, will get to the flying cars and the abundance economy that it represents. A society that wants relatable leaders, guaranteed degrees, social stratification, is striving to reach this point. But we don’t have any flying cars, or soylent green, or idiocracy, or… talking apes? They all act as a mirror, not saying where we’re going, as all these are utterly fantastical, but rather, where we want to go.

    This is fiction, not an economic forecast for the year 2505. You want that, ask Paul Krugman. His response will be: probably about 8-32 times richer than we are right now, depending on a number of social and political factors.


  23. Sean Tisdall:

    The way I read it, comic 603 *was* making fun of the person in the video store. I know people like him, who firmly believe that civilization faces a unique and unrecoverable decline, and it’s all because of [television / video games / moral decay / moral crusaders / Republicrats / pesticides / Harry Potter]. They lack historical perspective, since they judge people of the past based solely on those whose accomplishments merited recording. Thus, the doomsayers assume that everybody back in the day was smarter, better read, better mannered, and harder-working; evidence for this is presented in the form of romanticized memories or apocryphal documents from some bygone year, like these:

    Likewise, some people like to believe that April 20, 1999 marked the first school shooting ever; George Carlin (b. 1937), in one of his HBO specials, referred to students being shot at his high school. The biggest difference, he said, was that nobody gave a damn back then, while today a fleet of reporters and psychologists swarm the school. Some people want to believe that divorce rates continue to climb as the above influences continue to destroy families; at least in the States, divorce rates peaked in 1981, having increased for pretty much all of the 1970’s as states gave women the right to file for reasons other than infidelity and abuse.
    (On a similar note, the “half of all marriages” figure is also based on bad analysis: )

    Anyway, to make a long story short (too late), /Idiocracy/ is simply a prop; it’s a means of starting the conversation, so we can see the glaring flaws in our video store prophet’s logic.


  24. Did you send today’s comic to I hope you did. It would be quite the travesty if you did not. It was rather brilliant. And…giraffes.


  25. I just wanted to drive by and say “thanks” for the Idiocracy comic. Shortly after it came out, the incredible commentary on one of the clips spurred me into an extended and unheeded argument against eugenics, starting with the underlying biological assumptions and moving onto ethics. This taught me a valuable lesson in never reading the comments on youtube.

    I wish it had just been limited to the armpit of the internet, but I’ve come across a disturbing number of people in my age group (the undergrad/early grad range) who are disturbingly comfortable with eugenics*, unabashedly classist, and ignorant of the US’s history of forced sterilization, all at once. That’s a terrifying trifecta. So, thanks a lot. Maybe someone who reads it will at least examine the assumptions they’re using to come to their insupportable conclusions.

    *A female friend once told me I needed to have biokids (we were discussing adoption) to balance out “all the idiots having like, eight kids.” Uh, thanks? I’ve never felt my uterus cringe before?


  26. @Where?What?When?:

    >> The scientific community hasn’t testified against global warming

    That is not true. Quite a few have. And those that decided not to join in IPCC reports are listed as authors anyway, one of a number of indications of the IPCC’s dishonesty. Julia’s points aren’t quite well-posed, I’ll admit: the argument is over *anthropogenic* (man-made) global warming, or, more recently, “climate change”, since they’ve had to change the terminology in light of the globe cooling since 1998. “Climate change” is, incidentally, a non-falsifiable hypothesis (the record shows temperatures have changed a lot, particularly if you recognize that Mann, et al’s hockeystick is bad science), taking it OUT of the realm of science, and into religion.

    >> that is the consensus of the scientific community.

    Science IS. Science is not what people think. Consensus has no bearing, even if there is one. That said, the vast majority of the people listed in these “percentage agree” numbers know nothing about computer modeling, but stand to benefit from the appearance of a “concensus”. The scientific method is based on doubt: if someone authors a theory, his contemporaries (and maybe the author, too, if he can get over his pride) should try to disprove it, not prove it, because the latter is experimentally impossible for any theory. Simulations can be thought of as experiments, but with many more systematic errors, in the form of unstated/forgotten assumptions, all other things being equal. You can include or omit whichever factors you wish, and there is great incentive to do so: grant money tends to flow when there’s a problem to study, not when everything’s all right.

    >> climate and weather system

    Geez. Something your side always points out is not to conflate weather and climate, and yet you do. Weather is modeled as an initial value problem, and the Navier-Stokes equations are extraordinarily ill-conditioned. Climate models attempt to bypass that on a longer scale by attacking the problem differently.

    >> somehow balanced climate

    Really? So you admit there is negative feedback? This is an important point: the scientific (among those who are treating this scientifically) debate is between positive and negative feedback in climate. No one on either side claims that CO2 can DIRECTLY cause any significant amount of warming; the appeal is to a much stronger greenhouse gas: water vapor. The argument goes that slightly increased temperatures vaporize water, which then cause further temperature increase, in a runaway positive feedback cycle. The notion that this hadn’t happened already is fairly absurd, so it is necessary to postulate some sort of (natural) negative feedback that stabilizes the climate. Again, the climate is not even remotely static; it can be easily argued that we’re still seeing the end of the “little ice age” (only a few centuries ago), after the “medieval warm period”.

    >> too complex a machine to be understood by scientists

    Then how can they expect us to trust any predictions? Their predictions are consistently wrong, and they have to keep going back and rewriting their models, to this very day. For something that’s going to screw up the world economy this badly, shouldn’t they demonstrate a non-negative track record for once? If flight simulations/predictions were a tenth this inaccurate, they’d probably throw the whole model&code out and start over.

    >> chucking a massive carbon wrench in it isn’t doing anything good

    See above. They really don’t know. And it’s not massive, either. CO2 levels have always LAGGED temperature by something on the order of 1k years, meaning there has not been causation in the past (conveniently glossed over in zoomed-out plots). IF there is any causation (IF), higher temperatures have caused rising CO2 levels (and there is a very plausable mechanism for this). I suppose the argument now is that there’s supposedly “enough” CO2 that changes, but the problem with that argument is that CO2 levels have been ten times higher in the past than now.

    >> is ******* stuff up

    Please don’t try to compensate for lack of evidence by demonstrating a small vocabulary.

    >> things won’t be too ****** up if we decrease our CO2 output

    Even the IPCC models I’ve seen claim that Kyoto would hardly do anything to change temperature in a hundred years (maybe a degree, which isn’t even comparable to natural fluctuations over history, and certainly not comparable to seasonal variation). But that’s okay, with current economic policies, western civilization will probably be gone by then anyway.

    >> put a fraction of the money

    Doesn’t the usurpation of freedom (which is government’s interest in this, BTW) bother you? I’m getting sick and tired of people telling others how to spend their money or live their lives. It’s not your money, and it’s not Obama’s (not yet anyway, but the little egomaniac dictator will probably own it all soon enough). How’s that hope and change working out for you?


  27. Yep, they are.
    I loved this captcha, just had to post to use it (lol)
    captch: 28 honeys


  28. @Michael

    Your claims have been refuted so many times over the course of the last decade, it’s sad to see you repeating them.

    Quit reading pseudo-scientific blogs and read some put up by actual, ya know, *climatologists*.

    By the way, there’s an interesting comparison of the absorption spectra of water vapor and carbon dioxide (along with other greenhouse gases) that you should look at.


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