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Quickie Twister 143

Start this one off with a creative hack: tim.kerby sent in just that: using a tortilla as a bread board when your local radio shack is out. Future creative hacks may involve i4u's link to camborg which tracks wearable cameras. Ant found cats and robots. You can practice by playing Kitty Lick 3, an FPS you play as a feline (thanks bjorky) But If cats aren't your pet of choice, how about pigs? Rookie sent in linkage to a story about a one in first class that you'll swear is fiction (but it isn't). radiator sent in a hilarious parody: first aid for a dying dot com. Some auctions worth noting: drDugan sent a picture autographed by Linus being sold on eBay (and donated to charity). Dirty Yanni noted that Metallica/Napster parody t-shirts are for sale on eBay. And the last auction (but not on eBay) is Spock's original ears from the original trek. Oh, and how about t-shirts mocking the MS breakin & source code theft? CArnesen noted that Anime Expo 2001 has been scheduled for this summer. I'm seriously considering going. Mothy notes that famed Rubber Chicken vendor Archie McPhee is now selling the Linux Voodoo Penguin (however the ad features a "Sysadmin" wearing a tie! Have to much free time? Ant does! He sent us a reflex tester (I've managed a .24) but thats nothing compared to Am I Hot or Not which is fun for hours on end if you're the type that amuses easily. And finally, tshell noted that that now that there is a complete O'Reily ate my balls site, the Internet is now complete. You can all go home now.
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  • I've never been more proud to live in seattle :)

    Now, time to track down all of those promised millions once pigs have flown...

  • Enjoy Anime Expo, Taco -- and if you feel like a trip to Colorado, next year's Nan Desu Kan [] is scheduled for September 21-23, 2001. Registration info is here [].


  • by Coward, Anonymous ( 55185 ) on Thursday November 02, 2000 @03:15PM (#654220)
    A lot of people are bidding on the Linus autograph linked in the article, but the seller has 4 other photos which as of right now have significantly lower bids ($31 to $60 vs. $255), you can see the list here [].
  • WOOHOO! I got a .11 but all it said was nice....did anyone get higher than a .11? This reminds me of a reflex tester we had at this farming expo when you had to release a simulated cornstalk before you got pulled into a harvester...we all went in thinking we could let go in plenty of time, but lo and behold, it would actually pull you in long before I could let go....gotta love those snap rolls. (i guess this is a hick thing)

  • I thought mine were fast, but I just can't seem to go faster than .22 seconds. I thought I was faster than that. I've tried it for about 15 minutes (it IS addictive) and I consistently get .22 seconds. Apparently that is the maximum speed of data transfer between my brain and my finger, round trip, including time to decide to click. Interesting thing to know about oneself =P

  • I got .17 seconds and this response "Nice!" My life is now complete.
  • Predrilled PCB != Breadboard.

    And his clock thing was not about 'resonant frequency of tortilla' but about induced capacitance form the tortilla; i'm sure it conducts somewhat.
  • If you don't believe me just visit here:

    The secret? Don't actually try to react. Just try to judge a typical time for the delay, and play the odds. Sooner or later you'll hit really close. I would be surprised if we didn't see a 0.1 within the hour.

  • Try 'pre-pressing' the stop button, then you only have to release your finger.... should cut some time down.......

    0.13 is my best so far.......
  • ...but some of the flight attendents I've seen lately haven't been too hot.

    *insert comedy drum noise here*

    Thank you, drive safely, tip your waitresses, good night!
  • I meant I would be surprised if we didn't see 0.01 within the hour, assuming the resolution of their timer is sufficient.

  • Call me a liar, I won't mind but I got a got a 0.0 on the second try, for some unknown reason.
    Just got a thought in my head, why haven't I pushed the button yet, so I clicked, and it changed right as I clicked. You'd think it would do something special, but nooooooooo.... Very weird though, I'm now having delusions of being psychic.
    It is easy to control all that you see,
  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Thursday November 02, 2000 @03:23PM (#654230) Homepage
    Infrared LEDs & gutted quickcams can be great for night shots of critters (like the robot/cat thing).

    I had raccoons coming in through my cat door, and wreaking havoc with the cat food and water. SO... I took the IR filter off the webcam, hooked it up to some motion detection software, and got some cool pics [].

    Of course, that didn't solve the problem... but first, you have to know your enemy! :)


  • After pressing start, hold the end button down and release as the background changes. Cheating, I know... but you can impress your friends with super low scores!
  • who wants to bet that the "ate my balls" guy will be the next .com lawsuit??

  • I love the reference to on the First Aid poster.

    I nearly laughed my ass off.

  • I used the keyboard and got a .10. I pressed Start, hit tab to select the Stop key, then hit enter when the screen changed colors. Easy.
  • I can't find the URL for Kitty Lick 3! I've been waiting for months for this game to come out, and now that it is, I can't figure out how to get it!

    Oh, and the MP3 propoganda [] at Modern Humorist is pretty sweet too...
  • I would doubt very much that tortillas conduct electricity. Induced capacitance, yes, of course; but not conduct electricity. To conduct electricity, you need either free-flowing electrons or ions - the base constituents of a tortilla has neither.

    My worries here would be heat retention and environmental conditions. Quick, what is the ignition temperature of an tortilla? (European or American? hahahaha). Will prolonged exposure to 5 volts ignite the tortilla? How long would a tortilla last in a very moist environment before failure? Since he is using the tortilla for outdoor usage, what precautions did he take to keep the tortilla safe from rain and from hungry creatures?
  • it seems that what people have been saying before is true, everyone ive linked to the site can only get a 0.22 when they click with the mouse, ive gotten 0.17 by selecting the stop button and pressing spacebar when it changed, but clicking it with the mouse, correctly (down then up), seems to always get 0.22 or higher, so use spacebar or just hold the stop button down and release it when it changes
  • OK, that played through way too quickly. I got nothing flat:

    In a reflex test like this, where the consequences of failure are zero, there is nothing to discouraging people from gambling using my statistical cheat.

    Now, if this were NHRA drag racing, I would be disqualified on almost every race, so my cheat wouldn't work. If you really want to measure someone's reflexes, you need to take a lot of samples and run some statistics. There must be a fairly good body of research on this, and I bet the math to account for guess-based cheating is non-trivial. Anybody out there experienced in the field of reaction time measurements?

  • Excellent!

    These are the best racoon pictures I have seen on slashdot today.
  • by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Thursday November 02, 2000 @03:35PM (#654240) Homepage Journal
    You wanna have fun? Don't just hook up a camera, hook up a hose, too!

    (And that will probably solve the problem.)
  • Also, crank your resolution down to 640x480. On my system I was able to get it down to .10 but at 1024x768 the best I could manage was a .22

    My theory is it was taking longer to fill the screen.
  • Did you happen to notice the date on that page? (April '98... possibly the 1st of April 1998?)
  • here at RadioShack, we really liked the idea of Tortilla-Board(TM) so much that i think we may just have to recemend it next time, 2 geeks^H^H^H^H^Hhardware hackers, come in and start fighting over the last, breadboard. not that we stock much of it these days, need all that room for cellphones and TV's.


    The law is that which it boldly asserted and plausibly maintained..
  • by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Thursday November 02, 2000 @03:38PM (#654244) Homepage Journal
    Hey, that site's so old it has already been parodied [].
  • My best score is .06, using a special method I've developed.

    Click start and then click-and-hold the stop button, release when the colour changes. This will shave full microseconds off your times!!

  • Bummer. And here I was all excited about my 0.03 second time!
  • I got higher. I got a .88 (Have you been drinking?)

    -Peter Hessler
  • No url but I got a .16 w/o cheating. At the beginning I was doing .24 everytime like 5 times then a bunch of .17s before finally getting a .16 and closing the browser.

    Here is a hint, try clicking and holding stop and then just letting it go when the color changes. Maybe that is cheating. =)
  • by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Thursday November 02, 2000 @03:49PM (#654250) Homepage Journal

    The reflex testing page is written in JavaScript. Gimme a break. JavaScript is a slow, interpreted language found inside slow, bloated Web browsers. The measurements this program offers are highly suspect.

    Let's work it out:

    • JavaScript thunks out to OS to get current time, converts to internal format and stores it,
    • JavaScript thunks out to Web browser (which thunks out to the OS) to repaint the current page with a new background color (this takes a long time),
    • User clicks mouse, mouse driver generates a signal,
    • OS captures signal and builds an event packet,
    • Windowing system further interprets event packet, assigns target window/pane/button, sends to application,
    • Web browser receives event, where it rattles around for a while figuring out what to do with it,
    • Web browser calls back into the OS to render the button in the depressed state,
    • Web browser invokes JavaScript function handling that button,
    • JavaScript thunks back out to the OS again to get the current time,
    • Calculates the "delay" and presents the results.

    Question: Which bit of this sequence involves high-performance, low-latency software components? If you said the mouse driver, and OS and windowing system event dispatchers, you're right. Everything else is dog-slow.

    I wouldn't trust this thing to be accurate to finer than 80 milliseconds or so.


  • by mwalker ( 66677 ) on Thursday November 02, 2000 @03:52PM (#654251) Homepage
    For a computer engineer it did not take long to think of a solution involving a robot.

    For a computer scientist, it did not take long to figure out that you trap cats by putting a big pile of catnip on the floor, watching them eat it, and then carrying them outside, stoned out of their mind.

    the robot is cool too, i guess. (:
  • Don't forget:
    • Eye detects change
    • Impulse travels to brain
    • brain decodes change
    • brain rattles around for awhile deciding what to do with impulses
    • brain tells finger to move
    • signal travels to finger
    • finger twitches
    Obviously the human component of this system is highly suspect as well.
  • Don't forget =) -- Dr. Eldairon --
  • It's faster if you press and hold the stop button, and release when the color changes....
  • What a great idea! A website where you submit your photo and let other people on the internet rate if you are hot or not. What a great way to break someone's ego or make someone's head too big to fit through the door. If only I could submit some small tidbit of advice too, like "Your nose is too big, get plastic surgery immediately". Coming up with comments would make this site that much more entertaining. Will the wonders of the internet never end?

    On a more serious note... How many of these photos do you think are real? I've seen one or two that look like they are probably ripped off of a website.
  • I've been using amihotornot a lot in the past 2 weeks, it seems lots are real... and easy way to check is simply, if the person is ugly, its real, if shes super hot, in a bakini, or nude, its fake

    .. about the breaking someones ego.. i submitted my pic, it got a 1.2, then it got banned.. the rules for banning are "gross, nude, fake, etc"... i wasnt nude, it wasnt fake, aww damn im gross? ..... ok well it wasnt an exact pic, i was making a face, and wearing some weird clothes, but it wasnt fake, anyway, IM CRUSHED! (not really, i posted it to try to get the lowest score ever! :)
  • you forgot:

    Get lucky.
    obtain response time of 0.016 seconds
    "you have the reflexes of a snake"
  • I could consistently get about .203-.205.
    Has anyone been able to get less than their blood alcohol level?
  • 0.01 is for wusses... Real cheaters get 0.00 [].

    (Only took me one try, too!)
  • by xant ( 99438 )
    0.04. "You have the reflexes of a snake."
  • This seems a lot like real have to wade through a lot of junk to find the good stuff.

  • I used to try to start and stop my digital watch's stopwatch in minimum time.. 0.11 was my record.


  • The reflex testing page is written in JavaScript. Gimme a break. JavaScript is a slow, interpreted language found inside slow, bloated Web browsers. The measurements this program offers are highly suspect.

    I think a bit of lightening up is in order.

    I would doubt that the author of the page was going for high performance, nanosecond accuracy. It was just in fun.
    Complaining as you have is kind of like people who pester me for occasionally playing around with QBasic. OF COURSE it's not a totally portable, high speed, low-level language, OF COURSE it's interpreted, but that doesn't mean that it's not a good language for some things (some great games have been hacked out with QBasic) or that it isn't good for learning some principles of programming.

    For what I think this person was trying to accomplish (ie, let everyone have fun), javascript is a great choice. Why? Because most browesr that the average user uses support it, and it can be written right in with the HTML. Use Java? I doubt it. There is little advantage, and it can be slow. Java takes considerable time to load on any browser over my 56k connection. Javascript, here, is the optimal choice.

    The Reflex Tester is not a device for intensive research. It needn't be chock full of high-performance, low-latency software components.

    i hope this isn't taken as a flame. a vehement disagreement, perhaps. alternatively, if your tone is not the one which I interpreted from your post, I apologize.
  • I got a .08, which is 3 times faster than a certain other individual >:P. Want proof?

    The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all, is the person who argues with him.

  • Or do even better []!
  • That "Kitty Lick 3" ad has been up on The Corporation for at least 3 or 4 years. I remember writing on my webpage about 2 years ago that the site (The Corporation) hadn't been updated in several years...

    They have some great "humor product", so it's too bad the creators cannot update it more frequently.

  • True, but at least in most Brain distributions it's easy to get a compatible finger driver. And the Brains kernel may be quite sluggish and large by most standards, but it generally acheives uptimes of 74 years!

    However, the 'English' communication protocol it uses to network with other Brains is rather ambigous, and does not manage very high bit rates, but is nonetheless quite flexible and powerful, like an inferior version of Perl.

    Another problem with the brain is the great many IRQS it uses, known as 'hormones'. They can wreak havoc, and are appalingly slow. The 'testosterone' & 'oestrogen' IRQs are among the worst offenders, sometimes rendering different Brains incompatible!

    For the Brain to become a mainstream hardware platform it will have to overcome these problems, IMHO.

    KTB:Lover, Poet, Artiste, Aesthete, Programmer.

  • If it is a Windows 98 box, the clock granularity is 50 milliseconds. If it is a Windows NT box, the clock granularity is 10 milliseconds. Regardless of the programming language, you can't do better than that without using really spiffy tricks.

    Doesn't really matter, though, because anyone who gets better than about 150 milliseconds is either lucky or cheating. The nervous system doesn't get faster than that.

  • Well since my blood alcohol level is always around .02 I'd say I can consistenly get less. :P

    The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all, is the person who argues with him.

  • Easy: After you hit 'Start' hit 'MouseDown' on 'Stop'. Just hold it until the screen changes. It's looking for 'MouseUp'; this puts you halfway through your reaction.

    -When I said 'we', officer, I was referring to myself, the four young ladies, and, of course, the goat
  • After you press the Start button, hold the Stop button down but don't release it until you see the background change. I was able to score a .199 on the test by this method.
  • You've gone too far. Please turn around and return the way you came.

    The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all, is the person who argues with him.

  • I got 30ms (Not 300). If anyone wants to contend with that just send me an email and I will respond with a picture :)
  • > Oh, and the MP3 propoganda at Modern Humorist
    > is pretty sweet too...

    Aaagh! Why'd they change it? The original graphic said "A reminder from the Recording Industry Association of America" at the bottom. The poster says "A reminder from <ugly-script>Your</ugly-script> Recording Industry".

    Had they not wimped out^W^Wchanged it like that, I would have bought a bunch of them.

  • I thought I was the only geek who found this amusing . . . but I think I beat you with 0.10. Must be all those years of piano lessons.

    Of course, I think we've got think is a case of *far* too much time on our hands if you pardon the appalling pun :)

  • Or you hit "View Source", then "Save", and then add "responseTime=0;" to the appropriate place.
  • No wonder I suck in games :).

  • Surfing for pleasure while working? Tsk tsk. But I too was suddenly hitting ALT-leftarrow hoping to god my screen didn't freeze at that precise moment in time. I was nearly about to hit the power switch on the monitor, but that would've drawn attention from coworkers.

    The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all, is the person who argues with him.

  • I managed to get 0.05 seconds =). With some luck and my lightning quick Kung Fu reflexes ;) (yes I do train a form of Kung Fu). You must either be very quick or very lucky =).
  • Alright! Who the hell ate my project for Digital Logic!?! I want answers and I want them now! I spent hours putting that together! I hate college roommates! How did I get stuck with you two? I should've never left food out where you guys could get to it, even if it did have logic chips and solder in it. I swear you two are hopeless!
  • I've gotten the best reaction time so far - 0.007 seconds!

    Click here to check it out! []
  • Hit start then hit stop but hold the mouse button, release the mouse button when the color changes. I had my best time with tomato as the color.
  • People, people get creative :)

    Since it's all done in javascript, just start the timer on the page, then change the time on your computer back a minute! Instant negative score!


  • Also, don't forget Otakon [], which will recur next August, probably at the Baltimore Convention Center.

    --Phil (Who was it that observed anime cons were better than trek cons because anime girls look better than female Klingons?)
  • Found a way to trace the pics. Click "Page Info". The link to the pic is the second or third-last one listed. Open it in a new window. Usually, chopping off the last bit of the link's URL will get you to the page hosting the pic.

    My point? After following a few of the ones that looked.... professionally hot, shall we say, it seems that a large number of them are indeed links to professional pages. Not all of them, mind you. Just a large majority of them.

    All I know is, even if I wanted to risk my self-esteem, I'd never post anywhere where someone might be able to find my website.


  • For real, or did you pull out MSPaint and do a little font fiddling?

  • He didn't say it talked to the server. He said it talked to the OS. I'd be mighty surprised if Javascript gets by without one of those!
  • Cheater. If you even were took a look at the JavaScript (I don't even know Java!) you would realize that it is imposible to get that response. As far as I can tell, if you were to get under 0, you would have an empty string and thus an empty response. Heck, there is no response of "You are a living god!" at all. Next time you try to make a lie, work a little harder.
  • Hah! I have you all beat. I got a .08 once playing with those stupid stopwatches, and I was 23! I think the real reaction time should be halved, since you were both starting AND stopping the watch.

    Of course, I could only get to a .09 on this page. I only dinked with it a few minutes.
  • I just got a .08, without cheeting. No need to time (it's random, anyways, 1-30 seconds). Just hold down the spacebar on the stop button, and let up when it changes.
  • You can easily cut your response time down by holding the second button half way down until the color changes and then letting the button up. I got .16 in just a couple tries. The button event is registered on mouseup.
  • I hacked in an "average" output, and sent it to the author. If his mailbox doesn't get slashdotted, maybe he'll put out a 1.01 version.

    Having the average there doesn't totally resolve the issue of cheating, but it makes it a bit more fair to compare results. So far, my average is about 0.34 out of 6 or 7 tries. Hmmm... I guess if he wanted to, he could make it add a 1 second penalty every time you cheated.

  • It is so easy to score in this game! I didn't need more than 5 minutes to achieve a response of 0.135 (the script says "Nice!") and, after a lot of other tries, believe me, I got 0.05 seconds! (the script says "Well done!"). The tip is:
    Click Start
    As fast as you can, move the mouse over to Stop and click it, but do not release the button
    Just as soon as the color changes, release the button. Having already pressed the button, you'll have a time that is much lower than the ones of people that click instead of releasing...

    Cool, eh? :)

    Q: How does a Unix guru have sex?
    A: unzip;strip;touch;finger;mount;fsck;more;yes;umoun t;sleep
  • I had the same idea you had... And got .05... :) I hope somebody gets 0.001 or something almost zero... :)

    Q: How does a Unix guru have sex?
    A: unzip;strip;touch;finger;mount;fsck;more;yes;umoun t;sleep
  • Users who recently... what?????
  • i hope this isn't taken as a flame.

    Oh, heavens no.

    I have nothing against interpreted languages per se. I cut my teeth on BASIC about 25 years ago, and I think they're great for lots of stuff.

    But the accuracy of the result is massively dependent on the implementation and performance of the JavaScript interpreter, the Web browser, the OS, and the machine itself. As an example, I'm writing this message on my 166MHz Pentium laptop, in Netscape 4.73 running Debian Linux 2.2 (potato). Realistically, it'll take a couple hundred milliseconds for the browser/JavaScript to react at all to my mouse clicks, just because the software layers through which the measurements are being performed are so darned thick. So the scores people are posting are highly dependent on their system configuration.


  • I found that the brighter colors made me flinch somewhat, which doubled my reaction times. Using dark slate gray, I got a .11 time, and the best I ever got with crimson was .22.

    I did the test by hitting start, then clicking and holding stop so my mouse-click speed wasn't factored into my reaction time.

    I wonder if a test could be made using a drag racing light setup, but with different colored lights, seeing if different colors could affect reaction times.
  • You must be a swine of the profiteering type, a - *Ahem!* - Capitalist Pig. Just like the rest of them in first class.


  • This is to advise you of my clients rights of your use of a tortilla for a breadboard that was designed by Radio Shack. ;)
  • Great!!! I think I'm already becoming an 'Am I Hot or Not' addict.
    Damn You Slashdot!!!! Damn you to hell!!!!

    Time for Betty Ford again
  • If you don't believe, check this picture []. Yes, my score is now 0.001. Yes, call me king.
    BTW, no hardware/software cheat used, I just had a lot of luck to release the button so fast. The kind of thing that happens once in a billion times. Yet, I am the king.
    If anyone gets a higher score (if there is one) and has a screenshot, send me the link!

    Q: How does a Unix guru have sex?
    A: unzip;strip;touch;finger;mount;fsck;more;yes;umoun t;sleep
  • by pure luck I assure you.
  • I actualy got *zero* seconds on that reflex thing! Don't ask me how... I must just be the man!
  • The easiest way to find the image linked in "am i hot or not"'s site(in ie5) is to rt click on the page(its framed), view the source, and do a search for "you can share", and just before that is the image tag.

    That's whats great about angelfire pages. the directories are left open, and often people just stick pics in the /images/ directory, and many of them are ones you weren't supposed to see.

    OF course, on amihotornot, I'm getting a lot of mostly empty geocities directories or empty websites.
  • Windows 9x uses a timer with a resolution of 55 ms when using WM_TIMER messages. Windows NT uses a timer with a resolution of 10 ms as you correctly noted.

    It should be noted that all 32 bit versions of Windows can access a high-resolution performance timer if one is available in hardware through the use of QueryPerformanceCounter and QueryPerformanceFrequency which will vary in resolution depending on the hardware.
  • "Piano lessons"

    So is that what the kids are calling it these days?
  • Did you happen to notice the date on that page?

    Indeed I did, and I laughed all the way through the article. I also couldn't help notice the resemblance to the "potato-powered web server" from a few months ago. It got me wondering, though, of the possibilities for a rice and beans-powered circuit. What's got a higher energy density - rice and beans or a potato? My first vote would go to rice and beans, but if you throw a little cabbage in with the potato - look out! It must act like a catalyst, causing the potato to release more energy than by itself.

  • But I too was suddenly hitting ALT-leftarrow hoping to god my screen didn't freeze at that precise moment in time.

    Ah, so you found the *other* reflex test site ;-)

  • I just got 0 seconds.

    I don't know how... it was sort of an accident.

    Click here for a pic of it. It didn't congratulate me though... damn.
    0 seconds??? []
  • Well, in case that last one was a fluke, I just got 0.03. I have the reflexes of a snake. YAY!
  • by atrowe ( 209484 ) on Thursday November 02, 2000 @07:34PM (#654314)
    I've found that my score on the reflex test is directly proportional to the number of beers I've had.
  • > I've never been more proud to live in seattle :)

    Why? Because a pig flew first class to your city?

    Hmmf! Let's drop the pig into the d00m parody, & fly a cat first class. Yeah! Not only will the players get k-rad k3wl special effects, a high score means you get BACON!!!

    (On an unrelated note, I only drank 3 Full Sail Stouts tonight before posting this. I guess my campaign to become the Homer Simpson of /. is d00med to failure.)

  • Uh....if I hadn't looked at the Javascript (and more), I wouldn't have been able to get that result....

    Jesus, I said I fucking cheated, what'd you expect?
  • Define "for real"... I edited the Javascript and ran it off of my hard drive, pasting the original URL into the address bar to make it look like I was hitting the original site.

    MSPaint would have been too damn much work!
  • I'm not sure if this would be called cheating, but you can get significantly better scores on the Reflex Texter by holding down the Stop button and then letting go when the color changes. This way, you have to make only one motion, which takes less time. This may not work with some browsers though.

    Can you even play MP3s on that thing?

  • The problem with stuff like the hot/not poll is that the majority of people on the net only know how to offer polarized opinions. Give people a rating system of 1-10 and the majority will vote either 1,2,3 or 8,9,10. Unlike the expected bell curve, you instead get a U. Sure enough, any chick in a bikini rates a 9.8 while face shots of nice average girls usually rack up a 1.3.

    There's evidence of this in Amazon and IMDB ratings, which is probably one of the reasons Amazon has started rating the raters so that you get to have some idea of whose opinion is actually worth listening to. I'm sure it's also part of the reason that you only get a 1-5 rating on Amazon, so that the effect is not as noticeable.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."