Trivia

Hard

In Computer Programming Slang, A Software Bug That Changes When You Attempt To Observe It Is A?

Stealth Bomber
Quantum Bug
Code Chameleon
Heisenbug

Answer: Heisenbug

If familiar with quantum mechanics (even if you’re just an armchair dabbler), then you likely not only honed right in on today’s trivia answer, but appreciated the pun packed within. In physics, there is a concept known as the “observer effect” that states that simply observing or measuring a phenomenon changes that phenomenon in some way. While, on a macro level, most observations do not fundamentally change the nature of an experiment or measurement in any practical way, when we get down into the very micro landscape of quantum mechanics, there is a particularly vexing example of the observer effect wherein simply observing the state of a quantum phenomenon can change the state of the phenomenon.

This quantum-level observer effect was first asserted by famed physicist Werner Heisenberg (perhaps best known for the related but different Heisenberg uncertainty principle), and the term “heisenbug” is a tongue-in-cheek portmanteau of his name and “computer bug”. Such bugs seem to disappear or alter their behavior based on whether or not they are observed. They occur in programming because there are numerous variables at play (both literally in the actual code, and more broadly in terms of things like the load on the system during different points of debugging and testing) and the process of debugging often, unwittingly, alters said variables. There is a related term on the hardware/electronics side of things known as the “probe effect”, wherein using a probe to monitor the system creates a change that alters the outcome of the observation and troubleshooting session.

Trivia

Very Hard

The Opposite Of An Acronym Is A?

Trivia

Hard

Which Cartoon Character Was Recolored At The Urging Of Cartoon Censors?

Trivia

Easy

In The Original Usage, “Freelancers” Were?

Trivia

Hard

What Was the First Networked Computer Game?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Popular Manufactured Drink In The World Is?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Is Responsible For That Distinct Post-Rainfall Smell?

Trivia

Hard

Which Famous American Building Is More Radioactive Than A Nuclear Power Plant?

Trivia

Easy

What Modern Exercise Device Was Originally Used To Punish Prisoners?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Coffee Brewing Methods Was Invented To Speed Up Coffee Preparation?

Trivia

Easy

Which Cartoon Character Managed To Turn The Name Of A Mighty Hunter Into An Insult?