What does it mean for a cone’s point of origin to be included or excluded in the cone’s area of effect?

As part of the definition of a cone spell in the handbook:

A cone’s point of origin is not included in the cone’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.

As an example, what would either case be for a casting of Burning Hands?

Could the caster include themselves? or does this mean that they can exclude the first square of the cone?

What does a strength check of 24 actually mean?

In the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, barbarians receive this ability;

Indomitable Might

Beginning at 18th level, if your total for a Strength check is less than your Strength score, you can use that score in place of the total.

As a level 20 goliath barbarian, with a strength score of 24 (base 18, +2 from race, +4 from barbarian final level ability), Indomitable Might means that without fail I can always apply the outcome of a 24 or higher on any strength check. What does that translate to, in real world physics?

With a strength of 24, and the powerful build racial ability, I can use rules within the system to determine the maximum amount of weight I can lift. (24 str x 30 max lift x 2 for large size = 1,040 lbs). Knowing that I can lift half a ton of weight, I am able to understand how strong my character is, and what his strength actually enables me to do in a role-playing sense.

I can not find rules that translate in this way what a 24 strength check result actually allows. Normally, it would not be a problem, as it’s simply a case-by-case basis. I could not get that result consistently, so it would be very unlikely I’d be able to do anything that relies on me doing it consistently. However, Indomitable Might changes that.

As an example of what I’m looking for; In another game system I use, objects have a ‘break DC,’ which represents the amount of strength needed to just break them. By comparing what a check of 24 allows me to break in this system, I could translate that into real-world numbers to determine what kind of feats of strength I’d actually be capable of. Are there any lists of strength-checks in 5e D&D that I could us like this? If not, are there any strength check DCs predetermined by the book that could be used for comparison?

What does {a,b}* for DFA’s mean?

For instance when the question contains {a,b}* does this mean that the DFA must have at least 1 a and 1 b on top of whatever conditions it has? For example a DFA that accepts {w E {a,b}* : w contains bbb} should it reject the actual string bbb because it does not contain an a?

What does an Aquatic Half-Elf Variant mean?

Though I know this has been addressed somewhat here, here, and here, I am still getting a little confused on what a half-elf variant is, and how to consider this.

I understand that the main source of confusion comes from DnDBeyond:

Some half-elves in Faerûn have a racial trait in place of the Skill Versatility trait. If your DM allows it, your half-elf character can forgo Skill Versatility and instead take the elf trait Keen Senses or a trait-based on your elf parentage:

where the subsection ends with a colon pulled out of Swords of the Coast (p. 116):

HALF-ELF VARIANTS
Some half-elves in Faerûn have a racial trait in place of the Skill Versatility trait. If your DM allows it, your half-elf character can forgo Skill Versatility and instead take the elf trait Keen Senses or a trait based on your elf parentage:

  • A half-elf of wood elf descent can choose the wood elf’s Elf Weapon Training, Fleet of Foot, or Mask of the Wild.
  • A half-elf of moon elf or sun elf descent can choose the high elf’s Elf Weapon Training or Cantrip.
  • A half-elf of drow descent can choose the drow’s Drow Magic.
  • A half-elf of aquatic heritage can choose a swimming speed of 30 feet.

But, for me, that raised the question of what an Aquatic Elf is in the first place (thanks again to DnD Beyond linking to the same place or to the Elf page). So with a bit of research, I found Unearthed Arcana (2004) that talks about Sea Elfs and Aquatic Half-Elf, but there, it said that it was a union of an Aquatic-Elf and Aquatic-Human and gave much more attributes (such as dim vision, Bonus Language and Amphibian Trait).

So now I am completely confused about what’s going on and would like a little clarity on:

  • Do Aquatic Half-Elves need two aquatic parents?
  • What do Aquatic Half-Elves look like?
    • Does it change if one or both parents are aquatic?
  • Can a Land-Human Sea-Elf child have the amphibian trait?
  • If a Half-Elf foregoes Skill Versatility, do they also forgo the chance to Feat Prodige?

Error caching static js files in my htaccess file. What does this error mean? [duplicate]

I have this in my .htaccess file:

<IfModule mod_expires.c>   ExpiresActive on  # Perhaps better to whitelist expires rules? Perhaps.   ExpiresDefault                          "access plus 1 month"  # cache.appcache needs re-requests in FF 3.6 (thx Remy ~Introducing HTML5)   ExpiresByType text/cache-manifest       "access plus 0 seconds"  # Your document html   ExpiresByType text/html                 "access plus 0 seconds"  # Data   ExpiresByType text/xml                  "access plus 0 seconds"   ExpiresByType application/xml           "access plus 0 seconds"   ExpiresByType application/json          "access plus 0 seconds"  # RSS feed   ExpiresByType application/rss+xml       "access plus 1 hour"  # Favicon (cannot be renamed)   ExpiresByType image/x-icon              "access plus 1 week"  # Media: images, video, audio   ExpiresByType image/gif                 "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType image/png                 "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType image/jpg                 "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType image/jpeg                "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType video/ogg                 "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType audio/ogg                 "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType video/mp4                 "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType video/webm                "access plus 1 month"  # HTC files  (css3pie)   ExpiresByType text/x-component          "access plus 1 month"  # Webfonts   ExpiresByType font/truetype             "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType font/opentype             "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType application/x-font-woff   "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType image/svg+xml             "access plus 1 month"   ExpiresByType application/vnd.ms-fontobject "access plus 1 month"  # CSS and JavaScript   ExpiresByType text/css                  "access plus 1 year"   ExpiresByType application/javascript    "access plus 1 year"   ExpiresByType text/javascript           "access plus 1 year"    <IfModule mod_headers.c>     Header append Cache-Control "public"   </IfModule>  </IfModule> 

When I do a speed test, I get a C in “cache static content”, because of this:

Leverage browser caching of static assets: 79/100 Learn More

FAILED – (No max-age or expires) – https://static.cloudflareinsights.com/beacon.min.js

FAILED – (5.0 minutes) – https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js

FAILED – (15.0 minutes) – https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtm.js?id=GTM-P55kj6J

WARNING – (1.8 hours) – https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js

WARNING – (24.0 hours) – https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Chewy|Open+Sans:300,400|Merriweather:400,700

WARNING – (2.0 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/cdn-cgi/scripts/5c54i28/cloudflare-static/email-decode.min.js

WARNING – (2.0 days) – https://ajax.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/scripts/708564e/cloudflare-static/rocket-loader.min.js

WARNING – (2.5 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/includes/lazyload.min.js

WARNING – (2.5 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/includes/tinymce.min.js

WARNING – (2.5 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/includes/listo.min.js

WARNING – (2.5 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/includes/jquery.validate.min.js

WARNING – (2.5 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/includes/js/popper.min.js

WARNING – (2.5 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/includes/js/jquery-ui.min.js

WARNING – (2.5 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/includes/js/jquery-3.3.1.min.js

WARNING – (6.9 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/style.min.css

WARNING – (6.9 days) – https://learningeveryday.org/includes/bootstrap.min.css

Why I’m getting these errors? I thought that I’ve already cached js files…

What does these errors mean for Azure SQL Database?

Yesterday my app could connect to my Azure SQL Database. Today, it is having problems. The app logs this error whenever it tries to connect:

A connection was successfully established with the server, but then an error occurred during the login process. (provider: SSL Provider, error: 0 – The received certificate has expired.) The received certificate has expired.

I tried to connect through SQL Server Management Studio (which usually works) and got a different error:

Database ‘master’ on server ‘myserver’ is not currently available. Please retry the connection later. If the problem persists. Contact customer support, and provide them the session tracing ID of ‘{}’. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 40613)

I followed the instructions and contacted Microsoft Support (currently waiting for a response).

I found others having the same problem. This PowerBI user got the same error and solved the problem by modifying their reports to not require encryption. I tried unchecking the “encrypt connection” option in SSMS but the error remained.

enter image description here

This ConfigMgr user solved the error by generating a new certificate in SQL Server Configuration Manager. I’m using Azure SQL Database, so I don’t have that tool available.

What am I doing wrong?

Algorithm for finding “mean center” of unweighted graph

I have a large sparse unweighted undirected graph (20M vertices, 60M edges) and would like to find what I’m calling the “mean center” (the vertex w/ shortest mean distance to all other vertices. Does this already have a name?). I know of an $ O(N^2)$ solution: Starting at every vertex: BFS to calculate the mean distance to all other vertices, choose the minimum. But $ N^2$ is too slow for a graph this size, is there any way to calculate the “mean center” in faster than $ N^2$ time? Are there any good approximation algorithms? Or more efficient algorithms which find some similar “center” of a graph?

What do people mean when they talk about “hackers gaining access to our network” (at home)?

Have I fundamentally missed something between the time when I sat with my 486 IBM PC in the house, fully offline, and today? Do normal people actually set up complex local networks in their homes where they have some kind of “trust anyone with an internal IP address” security scheme going on?

What exactly do they mean by this? I get the feeling that either I am extremely ignorant and somehow have not understood basic concepts of networking in spite of dealing with this (and hating it) for 25 years, or they have no idea what they are talking about and have learned everything they know about computers from Hollywood blockbuster movies and crappy TV series…

What does “gaining access” to a home network mean? Is that, like, exploiting the NAT router (if such a thing is used, which has not always been the case for me)? Even if they exploit the router, that doesn’t magically give them any “access” to the “network” (meaning PCs connected to the router)? At best, they can maybe read plaintext traffic, but how much such is there these days? I shall hope 0% of all traffic.

And again, for a long time, I didn’t even have any device “in between” the ISP and my single PC. It was a very “stupid” cable modem or ADSL modem which had no control panel or any NAT features etc. Right now, I’m using a Mikrotik NAT router which I update maybe once a year at best, because it has the most user-hostile, idiotic mechanism for enabling “auto updates”, which you’d think would be not only dead-simply, but enabled by default. Nope. You have to follow their cryptic news and decide when to manually SSH into it (or use the extremely confusing and messy web interface) to apply updates. I guarantee that 99.99% of all people (including “geeks”) have no idea that they even need to do this, let alone actually bother to.

So what do people mean when they talk about “gaining access”? No updated version of Windows has ever just allowed somebody to randomly connect remotely to “gain access”, regardless of the presence/absence of a router/switch/whatever in between. Or, if it has, that’s some kind of “0-day” exploit or unknown-to-the-public exploit. The so-called “hackers” that people talk about more than likely never “gain access” like that at all; I bet it’s 100% social engineering and tricking them into running coolgame.exe as sent to them in an e-mail attachment and things like that.

Since apparently I always sound rude, I should point out that my intention with this question is to understand people and the world, and not an attempt to somehow sound “superior”. I’m genuinely wondering about this since not a day goes by without me feeling extremely paranoid about security and privacy, especially knowing how incredibly naive and stupid I used to be, and how naive and stupid people in general seem to perpetually be about these things.