1295: New Study

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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This is probably inspired by the July 2011 hoax study which correlated {{w|Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage}}, specifically that Microsoft Internet Explorer users had a significantly lower I.Q. than other users.  The study was reported by over 30 news outlets including NPR, ''Forbes'', CBS News, ''San Francisco Chronicle'', ''The Inquirer'', and ''CNN''.  The perpetrator made little effort to conceal the deception by publishing it on a freshly created domain name with a parking lot as the corporate address, and was surprised that so many reputable outlets did no fact checking.
 
This is probably inspired by the July 2011 hoax study which correlated {{w|Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage}}, specifically that Microsoft Internet Explorer users had a significantly lower I.Q. than other users.  The study was reported by over 30 news outlets including NPR, ''Forbes'', CBS News, ''San Francisco Chronicle'', ''The Inquirer'', and ''CNN''.  The perpetrator made little effort to conceal the deception by publishing it on a freshly created domain name with a parking lot as the corporate address, and was surprised that so many reputable outlets did no fact checking.
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More recently, [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131003-bohannon-science-spoof-open-access-peer-review-cancer/ Fake Cancer Study Spotlights Bogus Science Journals].
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==
 
:Reporter: ...And in science news, according to a new study, 85% of news organizations repeat "new study" press releases without checking whether they're real.
 
:Reporter: ...And in science news, according to a new study, 85% of news organizations repeat "new study" press releases without checking whether they're real.
 
{{comic discussion}}
 
{{comic discussion}}

Revision as of 11:04, 25 November 2013

New Study
When the results are published, no one will be sure whether to report on them again.
Title text: When the results are published, no one will be sure whether to report on them again.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect:
Please include the reason why this explanation is incomplete, like this: {{incomplete|reason}}

If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Another of Randall's jabs at modern news networks. Also a play on the joke that "87% of statistics are made up on the spot" (which is itself completely fictitious).

This is probably inspired by the July 2011 hoax study which correlated Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage, specifically that Microsoft Internet Explorer users had a significantly lower I.Q. than other users. The study was reported by over 30 news outlets including NPR, Forbes, CBS News, San Francisco Chronicle, The Inquirer, and CNN. The perpetrator made little effort to conceal the deception by publishing it on a freshly created domain name with a parking lot as the corporate address, and was surprised that so many reputable outlets did no fact checking.

More recently, Fake Cancer Study Spotlights Bogus Science Journals.

Transcript

Reporter: ...And in science news, according to a new study, 85% of news organizations repeat "new study" press releases without checking whether they're real.
comment.png add a comment!

Discussion

There was a joke in Czech Republic a few years ago: American scientists discovered, that 80% Europeans believe in everything that starts with: "American scientists discovered". ‎Jiří Dobrý (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The main reason why the Browser Usage hoax was so successful is that it's very plausible. Especially regarding the old versions of Internet Explorer. How can people still be using crap like IE 6.0?

Because 86% of people just use computers as a tool that comes as-is, without wanting to understand how it works and/or could be modified.Ralfoide (talk) 15:11, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
"How can people still be using crap like IE 6.0?" That's like asking how people could still be using crap like a single-flux nonwidget carburetor. Don't they realize that's so out of date? Answer, of course not. To the VAST majority of people aren't, and don't need to be, aware of what version of a browser they use any more than teh vast majority of people don't know (or need to) what components are under the hood of their car. 199.27.128.89 17:37, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
But when the mechanic has a single-flux non-widget carburetor, there's a problem somewhere. I can personally vouch that all of Radioshack's POS computers run on Windows XP and use IE 6 for all operations except ringing up purchases and taking credit card payments. 108.162.215.52 01:20, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
IE6 or IE8? IE8, I could understand, being the highest level of IE normally installable upon XP (and, apart from the looming 'desupporting' date for XP, a solid enough platform for things that already work well on it). Although I could also understand IE6 if it involves some legacy proprietry scripting code that doesn't run well on IE>6, etc. 141.101.99.229 03:59, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
This is the epitome of "if it ain't broke". The last stable release of IE6 was five years ago. For applications like POS computers, any large business would be foolish to the point of actual irresponsibility if they went round changing their hardware and software on a five year cycle. Doing that is hard, complicated, expensive and time-consuming. If your POS (or any other) computer works, and does everything you need it to, you don't change it. There are process control computers running the chemical plant I work on that have been in more or less continuous operation since the 1970s. They'll be replaced when they fail. 141.101.99.237 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I specifically mentioned PEOPLE. For applications like POS computers, IE6 might still suffice (they ARE on closed network, I hope). But live people browsing internet should NOTICE that sites are looking weird or don't work. Lot of services are already complaining if you use obsolete browser to access them (with links to download newer one). Also, every car needs technical inspection every few years (at least in EU it's law requirement). One would expect it's not so hard to understand that computers, too, need some inspection regularly - and that person who will do it would check at least security updates and browser. Five years without updates, in hand of person knowing nothing about computers? It must have half of disc filled with malware! And third, didn't Microsoft done even some ads in TVs for the browser update? Really, hard to understand. -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:39, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Note that I find hard to believe this was created due to something happening in 2011. While related, I would assume there was some other, more recent study this reacts to. [1] ? -- Hkmaly (talk) 11:01, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

New to editing. Trying to add this line and it isn't showing up. I believe this is the event he's referring to. * [http://eldeforma.com/2012/08/27/samsung-paga-multa-de-1-billon-de-dolares-a-apple-en-monedas-de-5-centavos/#axzz2lfjwKjjt Samsung pays $1bn USD fine to Apple with 20 billion 5 cent coins]: widely reported on news networks in November 2013 108.162.216.54 15:47, 25 November 2013 (UTC)Eastwood

But that story has nothing to do with a "new study" (or any "study," for that matter). Elsbree (talk) 19:47, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Nevermind... figured it out. 108.162.216.54 15:49, 25 November 2013 (UTC)Eastwood

I think the title text of this comic is particularly clever...in that it infers that that the news being reported in the comic IS the study itself, creating an infinite loop. This should absolutely be reflected in the explanation!!! Can someone add it? Rmyere (talk) 04:27, 26 November 2013 (UTC)


The TV reporter seems to have an impressive head of hair. Is it supposed to be a toupee? Wwoods (talk) 21:32, 25 November 2013 (UTC)


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