Popular Articles

Hint: You are looking at the most popular articles. If you are interested in popular topics instead, click here.

Wikipedia Has Cancer

Alternative Title: Just because you have some money, that doesn't mean that you have to spend it.

In biology, the hallmarks of an aggressive cancer include limitless multiplication of ordinarily beneficial cells, even when the body signals that further multiplication is no longer needed. The Wikipedia page on the wheat and chessboard problem explains that nothing can keep growing forever. In biology, the unwanted growth usually terminates with the death of the host. Ever-increasing spending can often lead to the same undesirable result in organizations.

Discussed on

Illegal prime

Computing Mathematics Crime Cryptography Cryptography/Computer science

An illegal prime is a prime number that represents information whose possession or distribution is forbidden in some legal jurisdictions. One of the first illegal primes was found in 2001. When interpreted in a particular way, it describes a computer program that bypasses the digital rights management scheme used on DVDs. Distribution of such a program in the United States is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. An illegal prime is a kind of illegal number.

Discussed on

Day of the Programmer

Computing Time

The Day of the Programmer is an international professional day that is celebrated on the 256th (hexadecimal 100th, or the 28th) day of each year (September 13 during common years and on September 12 in leap years). It is officially recognized in Russia.

The number 256 (28) was chosen because it is the number of distinct values that can be represented with a byte, a value well known to programmers. 256 is also the highest power of two that is less than 365, the number of days in a common year.

Discussed on

Timeline of the far future

Physics Lists Statistics Astronomy Time Futures studies Geology Extinction Solar System

While the future can never be predicted with absolute certainty, present understanding in various scientific fields allows for the prediction of some far-future events, if only in the broadest outline. These fields include astrophysics, which has revealed how planets and stars form, interact, and die; particle physics, which has revealed how matter behaves at the smallest scales; evolutionary biology, which predicts how life will evolve over time; and plate tectonics, which shows how continents shift over millennia.

All projections of the future of Earth, the Solar System, and the universe must account for the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy, or a loss of the energy available to do work, must rise over time. Stars will eventually exhaust their supply of hydrogen fuel and burn out. Close encounters between astronomical objects gravitationally fling planets from their star systems, and star systems from galaxies.

Physicists expect that matter itself will eventually come under the influence of radioactive decay, as even the most stable materials break apart into subatomic particles. Current data suggest that the universe has a flat geometry (or very close to flat), and thus will not collapse in on itself after a finite time, and the infinite future allows for the occurrence of a number of massively improbable events, such as the formation of Boltzmann brains.

The timelines displayed here cover events from the beginning of the 11th millennium to the furthest reaches of future time. A number of alternative future events are listed to account for questions still unresolved, such as whether humans will become extinct, whether protons decay, and whether the Earth survives when the Sun expands to become a red giant.

Discussed on

Inventors killed by their own inventions

Death Lists Invention

This is a list of inventors whose deaths were in some manner caused by or related to a product, process, procedure, or other innovation that they invented or designed.

Discussed on

List of Lists of Lists

Lists Libraries

This is a list of other articles that are lists of list articles on the English Wikipedia. In other words, each of the articles linked here is an index to multiple lists on a topic. Some of the linked articles are themselves lists of lists of lists. This article is also a list of lists, and also a list itself.

Discussed on

Room 641A

United States/U.S. Government United States Mass surveillance Espionage California California/San Francisco Bay Area Telecommunications

Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency, as part of its warrantless surveillance program as authorized by the Patriot Act. The facility commenced operations in 2003 and its purpose was publicly revealed in 2006.

Discussed on

Year 2038 Problem

Computing Computing/Software Computing/Computer science Time

The Year 2038 problem (also called Y2038 or Y2k38 or Unix Y2K) relates to representing time in many digital systems as the number of seconds passed since 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970 and storing it as a signed 32-bit integer. Such implementations cannot encode times after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038. Similar to the Y2K problem, the Year 2038 problem is caused by insufficient capacity used to represent time.

Discussed on

Non-English-based programming languages

Computing Computer science

Non-English-based programming languages are programming languages that do not use keywords taken from or inspired by English vocabulary.

Discussed on

The Thing

Espionage Military history Military history/Military science, technology, and theory Military history/Intelligence

The Thing, also known as the Great Seal bug, was one of the first covert listening devices (or "bugs") to use passive techniques to transmit an audio signal. It was concealed inside a gift given by the Soviet Union to W. Averell Harriman, the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union, on August 4, 1945. Because it was passive, needing electromagnetic energy from an outside source to become energized and activate, it is considered a predecessor of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

Discussed on