Accidentally Turing-Complete

Some things were not supposed to be Turing-complete. This is a collection of such accidents.

Pokemon Yellow: The interesting point about this speedrun is the bug it exploits. Turns out the game logic itself is Turing-complete in the sense that you can rewrite the assembly itself with game actions. For example, someone turned the game into a MIDI player.

MediaWiki Templates: In MediaWiki you can define templates. Since they provide recursion, you can apparently implement lambda calculus.

Previously, previously.

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"It's 640 x 480. That's what God said. VGA."

The 64-Bit Temple Operating System

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Anachronism Proxy

Web Rendering Proxy

WRP is a HTTP proxy service that renders web pages in to GIF images associated with a clickable imagemap of the original web links. It allows to use historical and obsolete web browsers on the modern web.

See also my http10proxy.

Previously, previously, previously.

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Dali Clock 2.41

Dali Clock 2.41 is out now, which only really contains some cosmetic and rotation-related changes for the iOS 7. It's in the app store now.

Except -- and this is really fun, thanks, Apple! -- I believe the current OSX build will no longer work as a screen saver on MacOS 10.6. It will work on 10.5, and 10.7+, though. That's because 10.6 was the one and only version of OSX in which ScreenSaverEngine required .saver bundles to use garbage collection, and the latest release of Xcode has dropped support for emitting GC-optional code entirely. So I can no longer compile a version that will run on 10.6.

Also apparently the new app-store submission process requires that you set the minimum iOS version to 5.1.1 or newer if you want to include a 64-bit executable at all, despite the fact that the 32-bit executable runs just fine on iOS 3. Thanks again, Apple!

Enforced obsolescence. Ain't it grand?

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Today in Ball Pit news:

Niklas Roy:

"Suck the Balls!" lets people escape the daily grind and immerse into an endless, ecstatic play with thousands of little yellow plastic balls.

The installation consists of a ball pit and an 80 meters long pneumatic tube transport, which fills up the entire historic staircase of the Potocki Palace in Kraków. When entering the ball pit, the cabin's lights switch on and the ball suction action starts! The visitor can operate the peculiar machinery with a suction spout. When sucking the balls which are surrounding his feet, the balls race through the transparent pipe system, creating a visually stunning scene. The journey of the little balls ends in a container above the ball pit, waiting for the climax of the operation: When the visitor pulls the release handle of the container, a fountain of balls splashes down onto his head in a joyful shower.

A helmet is provided to keep the hairstyle in excellent condition throughout the whole experience.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Today in robot stripper news

Jordon Wolfson's robot makes eye contact:

Giles Walker's robots got another gig, too:


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I am literally the last person in the world to ever try and convert from CVS to git.

There are three different tools that allege to do it. They all suck. I have been editing RCS files by hand, with a paper clip and a nine volt battery. Oh, the indignity.

<jwz:~/www/> git whatchanged index.html | tail -8

commit a18bb7a908d0dbe49d9fe383d4d2430199aa0880
Author: Jamie Zawinski <>
Date: Thu Oct 13 19:10:38 1994 -0700

    Initial revision

:000000 100644 0000000... c28db08... A index.html

"Look, Ben! All of man's past glory -- in one large SAND PIT!"


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8.6 of 2.5 MB

Well played, Apple. Well played.

I let it run for a while and it actually got up to "33 of 2.5 MB" before I gave up. It did the same thing after killing and restarting Mail.

The raw message was, in fact, 2.5 MB (for a 1.9 MB JPEG).

Previously, previously.

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Corona discharge

Power lines look like terrifying bursts of light to animals

Many animals see power lines as lines of bursting, popping lights. That's because they can see ultraviolet light that's outside the spectrum of human vision..

In a study published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists analyzed the eyeballs of 38 different mammalian species. What they found suggests that most mammals can, in fact, see UV light -- including dogs, cats, ferrets, and reindeer. Unlike humans, these mammals have lenses that allow UV light though. Even though they lack the specialized UV-sensitive type of cone, the other three kinds of cones can combine to make up for it. (In fact, when people have the lens in their eyeballs removed -- either through injury or surgery -- they're able to do the same trick, and report seeing UV light as something like a pale violet.)

One example is reindeer, whose habitat has become severely fragmented by growing infrastructure in the Arctic, including power lines. Up to now, though, exactly why reindeer avoided power lines was a mystery. But in the dark arctic winters, such light reflecting off the snow can be blinding.

Previously, previously, previously.

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