1085: ContextBot

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ContextBot
If you read all vaguebooking/vaguetweeting with the assumption that they're saying everything they can without revealing classified military information, the internet gets way more exciting.
Title text: If you read all vaguebooking/vaguetweeting with the assumption that they're saying everything they can without revealing classified military information, the internet gets way more exciting.

[edit] Explanation

This comic is a commentary on the practice of "vaguebooking" or "vaguetweeting", which is posting a vague message of sadness or frustration in a status update on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter, hoping someone will respond with sympathetic messages like "Is everything OK?" or "Call Me?". The worst is when someone puts a vague status like that and someone responds asking them what happened and the initial poster responds with "I don't want to talk about it." Well, if you didn't want to talk about it, why are you putting up this vague status fishing for responses? Just keep it to yourself if you don't want to talk about it!

In the comic, ContextBot is a fictitious Google invention which puts context for these statuses, presumably based on the personal data which Google has collected:

  • The first response is pretty self-explanatory: the original poster wants to use the Internet while on the toilet, but can't get a wi-fi signal there.
  • The second response is about a bad torrent file the original poster downloaded. A torrent is a way to download files from a lot of different sources at the same time, thereby speeding up the process; it is typically used for large downloads such as movies, games, or Linux software distributions. Fake torrents exist, which usually contain an encrypted .rar file which requires a password to open. To get the password, you usually need to go through a survey through the link supplied in the torrent; in some situations, you even need to pay in order to get the password. Even after that, it's quite likely that the .rar file just contains trash files, instead of the download you wanted.
  • The third response is about an xkcd favorite, Minecraft, which has been referenced multiple times in xkcd comics. Diamond is the most valuable resource in the game, and lava destroys any item dropped into it. A "stack" of diamond could be up to 64 pieces, and likely represents the fruit of several hours mining.
  • The fourth response is about how the original poster mistook the grapes as being seedless. Grape seeds taste really bitter and are uncomfortable when swallowed; this is even more annoying when the seeds are unexpected.

In the ContextBot's avatar image, three people can be seen together hanging out. But the image is about to be cropped, leaving out the third person and therefore giving the impression that the two people in the cropped image are there without that person. This demonstrates how context is important to understanding a situation.

[edit] Transcript

[A social network feed with four status updates from four different people. Each one has a reply from the same account, which is called 'ContextBot', underneath.]
Close-up face with glasses: The things I put up with...
ContextBot: (His building's WiFi doesn't reach the bathroom.)
Male female couple: You'd think by now I'd have learned never to trust anyone.
ContextBot: (She downloaded a torrent that turned out to be an encrypted .rar and a link to a survey.)
Blonde girl with bangs: I officially give up.
ContextBot: (She hit alt-tab to hide Minecraft at work and accidentally dropped a stack of diamond into lava.)
Spiky hair guy: Sighhhh
ContextBot: (He thought these grapes were seedless.)
Everyone stopped complaining about Google's data-gathering when they launched ContextBot, a system which replies to vague, enigmatic social network posts with context from the poster's life.
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Discussion

Just so you know it would be fairly easy to drop a stack of diamond while alt-tabbing because the default "drop" key is 'q'.

But the Q key just drops one item, not the whole stack. To drop the whole stack you have to open your inventory, click on the stack then click outside the inventory dialog. (yeah I'm a Minecraft addict :D) -- 41.196.193.193
If you were 'holding' the stack with your cursor and left the inventory, it would also drop. Same if it was in the crafting slots. 130.160.145.224 21:17, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
If you press ctrl + q you can drop the contents of the currently selected slot 141.101.64.125 10:25, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Possible explanation for the bot's choice of avatar. Two girls holding hands in the small image, but the "context" is that it's a group of friends just hanging out. 76.106.251.87 03:50, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
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