Wow — stackoverflow.com was cited by "Wait, Wait" as a reference this weekend. NY Times picked it up, too:

It was a big week in science. Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider say they may have found the “God particle,” and one computer scientist came up with a new way of finding:

A. Waldo
B. The meaning of life
C. Someone to kiss on New Year’s Eve
D. His one missing sock


(A) In a write-up on stackoverflow.com, a computer scientist used the imaging software Mathematica to come up with an algorithm that can find Waldo in any image. This development will have serious implications for United States surveillance operations if terrorists ever start wearing stripy sweaters and red stocking caps.

  • 39
    And the SO post: How do I find Waldo with Mathematica?
    – Arjan
    Dec 18, 2011 at 14:08
  • 2
    It appears that it wasn't actually used in the show, just on the blog. Dec 18, 2011 at 17:03
  • 11
    uh oh... Not sure if that's a serious article or not, but it exemplifies the classic disconnect between science and news reporting. As my comment there says, it works for that image, not any image, as is claimed in the article. Nevertheless, that is a good answer. Dec 18, 2011 at 17:15
  • 26
    If you know the show, it's not serious. The point is that Stackoverflow is mentioned, not the rigor of the citation or the generality of the answer.
    – duffymo
    Dec 18, 2011 at 17:59
  • 2
    If you'd stopped right after "D. His one missing sock" you could have let someone answer it. Then it would have fit into the format, right? Dec 19, 2011 at 3:37
  • Actually, I didn't include the question or the answer. Someone else added it for me.
    – duffymo
    Dec 19, 2011 at 10:15
  • 2
    Actually, you didn't include a lot of detail at all! ;-)
    – Arjan
    Feb 3, 2012 at 20:27
  • 1
    TIL we have a spoiler tag which only reveals text on hover. How odd.
    – user229044
    Aug 29, 2012 at 19:27
  • 1
    lol this post reminded me of the time I felt like an idiot for asking what "NPR" meant in Programmers.SE beta days because all I could think of was "National Public Radio"
    – Rachel
    Aug 29, 2012 at 20:02
  • 3
    Interesting...SO is mentioned in the big public and the only thing I really care about is "Please stop calling Mathematica an 'imaging software'". Feb 5, 2013 at 10:07


Browse other questions tagged .