491: Twitter

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Twitter
If long tooltips / cut off for you / then upgrade from / Firefox 2 / Burma Shave
Title text: If long tooltips / cut off for you / then upgrade from / Firefox 2 / Burma Shave

[edit] Explanation

This comic plays off of an old shaving cream product's Burma-Shave advertising campaign employed on American highways from 1925 to 1963. These ads used short poems, each line arranged sequentially on a sign along a highway, the last line always being "Burma Shave", the name of the shaving cream. Originally these ads only described the product, but others included driving safety messages.

Twitter is a messaging service where your messages are restricted in length, so to get a longer easay sent you will need to break it up in smaller fragments — like the Burma-Shave messages.

Cueball gets five messages from Twitter on his device that gives the following message: On Twitter feeds - An odd regression: - Ancient memes - Find new expression - Burma-shave.

This relates that this old way (ancient-memes) of getting a message through when only having a limited space now again (an odd regression) flourishes on Twitter feeds - Burma-shave...

The title text is self referential as it is about title texts. xkcd comics always uses a title texct i.e. the image html-title-attribute text (sometime confused with Alt-text) as a major part of the joke-telling — on most browsers the title-text shows as a "tool-tip" when the cursor is left hovering over the image.

Firefox 2 had the longest standing annoying bug where only the initial part of the title text were shown as a tool-tip, creating a "Burma-Shave" effect of only being able to see some of the text. Unlike Burma-Shave where you would see the rest of the text as you were driving down the highway, Firefox didn't actually show you the rest of the text unless you right-clicked-show-property and you would be able to see a sideways scrollable field of the title-text in the properties for the image.

The joke in this title text is composed of five broken tool-tips from Firefox and the message is that you should upgrade your browser from Firefox to (2) Burma-Shave (which is not a browser). Any other browser would do in order to improve your reading experience when browsing through xkcd!

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball with a handheld device sits on an office chair.]
Device: Beep beep
Device: On Twitter feeds
Device: Beep beep
Device: An odd regression:
Device: Beep beep
Device: Ancient memes
Device: Beep beep
Device: Find new expression
Device: Beep beep
Device: Burma-shave
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Discussion

Just end every sentence in Burma Shave Spongebog (talk)

Are we sure that Cueball is typing? It seems to me that he is getting a series of texts (or a series of tweets), because of the "Beep Beep" sound: cell phones typically don't beep when typing. --Troy0 (talk) 09:25, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

I have to agree, add in that the zig-zag is used for external text usually, like the other end of a call. 173.245.56.154 20:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The transcript was accordingly edited. --Troy0 (talk) 04:05, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
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