1363: xkcd Phone

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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*'''Price includes 2-year Knicks contract.''' Mobile phones are often sold by phone companies in combination with a cell phone contract. The {{w|New York Knicks|Knicks}}, a team with a history of questionable personal decisions, might in fact be willing to offer 2-year contracts (worth at least $1,100,000) to cellular phone purchasers regardless of their skill at basketball, though the vast majority of customers wouldn't be interested.
 
*'''Price includes 2-year Knicks contract.''' Mobile phones are often sold by phone companies in combination with a cell phone contract. The {{w|New York Knicks|Knicks}}, a team with a history of questionable personal decisions, might in fact be willing to offer 2-year contracts (worth at least $1,100,000) to cellular phone purchasers regardless of their skill at basketball, though the vast majority of customers wouldn't be interested.
 
*'''Phone may extinguish nearby birthday candles.''' A rather oddly specific capability, which might also be annoying for anyone attempting to host a birthday party. As to how it would do this, a very powerful directional speaker would be able to blow out a nearby candle, but the speakers in mobile phones aren't going to be that big. It is also difficult to work out how the phone would detect and identify birthday candles.  Perhaps when the phone senses light from candles, it says "hi" (see above) so loudly that they blow out.
 
*'''Phone may extinguish nearby birthday candles.''' A rather oddly specific capability, which might also be annoying for anyone attempting to host a birthday party. As to how it would do this, a very powerful directional speaker would be able to blow out a nearby candle, but the speakers in mobile phones aren't going to be that big. It is also difficult to work out how the phone would detect and identify birthday candles.  Perhaps when the phone senses light from candles, it says "hi" (see above) so loudly that they blow out.
*'''If phone ships with {{w|Siri}}, return immediately; do not speak to her and ignore any instructions she gives.''' {{w|Siri}} is a virtual personal assistant application for Apple devices. Not speaking to it and not following its instructions would defeat its purpose. It may suggest that a malevolent "Siri AI" has sneaked itself onto some devices, at the manufacturing stage, for some diabolical purpose. May be a reference to the Companion Cube in the game Portal, in which the player is instructed to disregard its advice if the cube appears to be animate. Or, it may be a reference to the [[1450: AI-Box Experiment|AI-Box Experiment]], in which allowing the AI to engage you in conversation will almost certainly result in it successfully convincing you to let it out of the box (here, probably connecting the phone to a data network).
+
*'''If phone ships with {{w|Siri}}, return immediately; do not speak to her and ignore any instructions she gives.''' {{w|Siri}} is a virtual personal assistant application for Apple devices. Not speaking to it and not following its instructions would defeat its purpose. It may suggest that a malevolent "Siri AI" has sneaked itself onto some devices, at the manufacturing stage, for some diabolical purpose. May be a reference to the Companion Cube in the game Portal, in which the player is instructed by GLaDOS to disregard its advice if the cube appears to be animate. Or, it may be a reference to the [[1450: AI-Box Experiment|AI-Box Experiment]], in which allowing the AI to engage you in conversation will almost certainly result in it successfully convincing you to let it out of the box (here, probably connecting the phone to a data network).
 
*'''Do not remove lead casing.''' A mobile phone encased in lead would not function because it could not transmit or receive data. Devices that emit high levels of ionizing radiation are often encased in lead, but a phone that would emit that level of radiation would be unhealthy to carry around. If encased in sufficient lead to mitigate the danger, it would be uncomfortably heavy. This might be reference to [[925: Cell Phones]] where Randall makes fun of the WHO claiming that cell phones might cause cancer despite huge studies showing the opposite. This could also mean the device is an actual bananaphone as regular phones emit no ionizing radiation ([http://xkcd.com/radiation xkcd Radiation Dose Chart]). Regrettably, the lead casing would render the phone inedible, although this somewhat mitigates the issues with having been manufactured on equipment that also processes peanuts.
 
*'''Do not remove lead casing.''' A mobile phone encased in lead would not function because it could not transmit or receive data. Devices that emit high levels of ionizing radiation are often encased in lead, but a phone that would emit that level of radiation would be unhealthy to carry around. If encased in sufficient lead to mitigate the danger, it would be uncomfortably heavy. This might be reference to [[925: Cell Phones]] where Randall makes fun of the WHO claiming that cell phones might cause cancer despite huge studies showing the opposite. This could also mean the device is an actual bananaphone as regular phones emit no ionizing radiation ([http://xkcd.com/radiation xkcd Radiation Dose Chart]). Regrettably, the lead casing would render the phone inedible, although this somewhat mitigates the issues with having been manufactured on equipment that also processes peanuts.
 
*'''Phone may attract/trap insects; this is normal.''' Some plants, like the {{w|Venus flytrap}}, attract and trap insects, but mobile phones are not known to exhibit this behavior{{Citation needed}}. Possibly a play on software ''bugs'' being introduced to the phone more easily than usual, depending on the specifics of its operating system (made much more likely by its apparent custom-made blended OS). Also may be a reference to {{w|Rasberry crazy ant}}s which are attracted to electronics.
 
*'''Phone may attract/trap insects; this is normal.''' Some plants, like the {{w|Venus flytrap}}, attract and trap insects, but mobile phones are not known to exhibit this behavior{{Citation needed}}. Possibly a play on software ''bugs'' being introduced to the phone more easily than usual, depending on the specifics of its operating system (made much more likely by its apparent custom-made blended OS). Also may be a reference to {{w|Rasberry crazy ant}}s which are attracted to electronics.

Latest revision as of 17:06, 16 October 2017

xkcd Phone
Presented in partnership with Qualcomm, Craigslist, Whirlpool, Hostess, LifeStyles, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Manufactured on equipment which also processes peanuts. Price includes 2-year Knicks contract. Phone may extinguish nearby birthday candles. If phone ships with Siri, return immediately; do not speak to her and ignore any instructions she gives. Do not remove lead casing. Phone may attract/trap insects; this is normal. Volume adjustable (requires root). If you experience sudden tingling, nausea, or vomiting, perform a factory reset immediately. Do not submerge in water; phone will drown. Exterior may be frictionless. Prolonged use can cause mood swings, short-term memory loss, and seizures. Avert eyes while replacing battery. Under certain circumstances, wireless transmitter may control God.
Title text: Presented in partnership with Qualcomm, Craigslist, Whirlpool, Hostess, LifeStyles, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Manufactured on equipment which also processes peanuts. Price includes 2-year Knicks contract. Phone may extinguish nearby birthday candles. If phone ships with Siri, return immediately; do not speak to her and ignore any instructions she gives. Do not remove lead casing. Phone may attract/trap insects; this is normal. Volume adjustable (requires root). If you experience sudden tingling, nausea, or vomiting, perform a factory reset immediately. Do not submerge in water; phone will drown. Exterior may be frictionless. Prolonged use can cause mood swings, short-term memory loss, and seizures. Avert eyes while replacing battery. Under certain circumstances, wireless transmitter may control God.

[edit] Explanation

This comic is a parody of a multitude of mobile-technology related issues that, when brought together, create a general satire of smartphone advertising. It was the first entry in the ongoing xkcd Phone series with the next 1465: xkcd Phone 2 released about nine months later.

The advertised features here either make previously useful capabilities useless or add features nobody wants. Except for "your mobile world (going) digital", which is old news. To market something as "going digital" implies that the corporation has found a way to integrate computers and/or the internet into a market that previously existed without them; the market for mobile phones has always involved computers, making the xkcd phone's marketing feel dated and clueless.

From the top, going clockwise:

  • Custom blend OS: iOS and Android are offered by different conglomerates and run on different kernels. A "custom blend" would probably be a nightmare to work with.
  • Simulates alternative speed of light: This renders the clock useless as a means of telling time. The speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second; relativistic effects, such as time dilation, are only noticeable at significant fractions of the speed of light. Since the phone is simulating a much slower speed of light, driving at even highway speeds will cause a significant amount of time dilation. For example, driving at 90 mph (90% of the default simulated speed of light) will give a time dilation factor of about 2.29, causing the clock to advance only 26 minutes for each hour; driving at exactly 100 mph makes the dilation factor infinite and will stop the clock entirely. Driving beyond 100 mph would make the clock start advancing through imaginary/complex time rather than real time, somehow, or maybe makes it impossible to drive beyond 100 mph.
  • Wireless: as in cordless phone. This is the bare minimum a phone has to have in order to be a mobile phone, so advertising it as a feature feels dated by decades. The alternative explanation, as in the phone has no wires at all, even inside, would render the phone either useless or extremely advanced technologically.
  • Accelerometer screams in free fall: A humorous function. Rather than having some sort of feature to prevent breakage or cracking when a drop is detected, the phone just makes you more aware of its potential imminent doom.
  • When exposed to light, phone says "hi": Bait and switch, and also a build from the previous joke. The implied feature is that the screen or camera will automatically adjust, but instead the phone is weirdly anthropomorphized.
  • FlightAware partnership: This is a reference to the FlightAware flight tracking service. This FlightAware partnership results in the phone playing airplane engine noise whenever a flight passes over the phone's current location, an annoying and arbitrary feature. It may also be superfluous, as such noise may be heard from the plane itself, depending on altitude.
  • Realistic case: possibly a joke on various audiovisual devices like gaming consoles that advertise realistic sound, graphics, etc. Of course, applying "realistic" to an actual physical case is ridiculous. Either the case is actually real, or it doesn't actually function as a case. Possible reference to 331: Photoshops, where Cueball finds a physical object to not look realistic.
  • Clear screen: This is a pointless descriptor from the perspective of the consumer. Of course the screen is clear. This joke works in tandem with the previous joke, as a play on "clear case, realistic screen," which are both hypothetically viable selling points.
  • Side Facing Camera: There was a recent controversy surrounding an Indiegogo for a surreptitious, side-mounted camera device for smartphones due to the advertisement of the device as a good way to take creep shots, which are illegal in many places. Widespread dissemination of these devices as a built-in feature would likely result in a sharp increase in delinquency of this nature. May also be an ad absurdum extension of devices with both forward and backward facing cameras.

The ominous warnings and disclaimers in the title text are probably a reference to the Saturday Night Live parody ad for Happy Fun Ball (original video hosted on rollingstone.com).

  • Presented in partnership with Qualcomm, Craigslist, Whirlpool, Hostess, LifeStyles, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Qualcomm is a semiconductor company that designs and produces chips for mobile phones. Whirlpool Corporation is a large American multinational manufacturer and marketer of home appliances, while Whirlpool is a prominent Australian tech forum website, originally created for discussion of Australian broadband providers but now extending to cover general tech topics, including mobile phones. The other companies and lobbying organizations mentioned here have no association with mobile phones, though there is a long history of unrelated companies attempting to leverage their respective brands to help promote each other. The US Chamber of Commerce is a lobbyist group known for sponsoring political campaign ads, their partnership with a phone manufacturer would imply some sort of political motive to its design.
  • Manufactured on equipment which also processes peanuts. A warning often seen on candy and other foods for people with a peanut allergy. It is highly unlikely that equipment used to produce mobile phones would also process food.
  • Price includes 2-year Knicks contract. Mobile phones are often sold by phone companies in combination with a cell phone contract. The Knicks, a team with a history of questionable personal decisions, might in fact be willing to offer 2-year contracts (worth at least $1,100,000) to cellular phone purchasers regardless of their skill at basketball, though the vast majority of customers wouldn't be interested.
  • Phone may extinguish nearby birthday candles. A rather oddly specific capability, which might also be annoying for anyone attempting to host a birthday party. As to how it would do this, a very powerful directional speaker would be able to blow out a nearby candle, but the speakers in mobile phones aren't going to be that big. It is also difficult to work out how the phone would detect and identify birthday candles. Perhaps when the phone senses light from candles, it says "hi" (see above) so loudly that they blow out.
  • If phone ships with Siri, return immediately; do not speak to her and ignore any instructions she gives. Siri is a virtual personal assistant application for Apple devices. Not speaking to it and not following its instructions would defeat its purpose. It may suggest that a malevolent "Siri AI" has sneaked itself onto some devices, at the manufacturing stage, for some diabolical purpose. May be a reference to the Companion Cube in the game Portal, in which the player is instructed by GLaDOS to disregard its advice if the cube appears to be animate. Or, it may be a reference to the AI-Box Experiment, in which allowing the AI to engage you in conversation will almost certainly result in it successfully convincing you to let it out of the box (here, probably connecting the phone to a data network).
  • Do not remove lead casing. A mobile phone encased in lead would not function because it could not transmit or receive data. Devices that emit high levels of ionizing radiation are often encased in lead, but a phone that would emit that level of radiation would be unhealthy to carry around. If encased in sufficient lead to mitigate the danger, it would be uncomfortably heavy. This might be reference to 925: Cell Phones where Randall makes fun of the WHO claiming that cell phones might cause cancer despite huge studies showing the opposite. This could also mean the device is an actual bananaphone as regular phones emit no ionizing radiation (xkcd Radiation Dose Chart). Regrettably, the lead casing would render the phone inedible, although this somewhat mitigates the issues with having been manufactured on equipment that also processes peanuts.
  • Phone may attract/trap insects; this is normal. Some plants, like the Venus flytrap, attract and trap insects, but mobile phones are not known to exhibit this behavior[citation needed]. Possibly a play on software bugs being introduced to the phone more easily than usual, depending on the specifics of its operating system (made much more likely by its apparent custom-made blended OS). Also may be a reference to Rasberry crazy ants which are attracted to electronics.
  • Volume adjustable (requires root). Rooting is the method to gain privileged access on Android phones, allowing one to access features that normal users would not and should not normally modify. Adjusting the volume should be available to any user and should not be restricted to root access only.
  • If you experience sudden tingling, nausea, or vomiting, perform a factory reset immediately. These symptoms are usually associated with chemical or radiation poisoning. It is unclear why these would be cured by a factory reset, though software apps could plausibly be used to display nauseating visual effects. Radiation poisoning as a possible cause may also relate to the lead casing mentioned above. It is unclear how a (software-only) factory reset would repair a damaged lead casing. This may also be a reference to the series of similar disclaimers at the end of many medical advertisements.
  • Do not submerge in water; phone will drown. Most phones are not waterproof and will probably short-circuit when submerged. The specific term of drowning would however imply that the phone breathes air (which actually would be possible if it had a Lithium–air battery).
  • Exterior may be frictionless. The front of a smartphone is usually made of glass and should have a surface with very low friction. The back of a phone is usually made from a material that has higher friction to make it pleasant to hold and to make sure it doesn't slide off objects it is placed on. A completely frictionless surface would make it almost impossible to hold and would make it very susceptible to drops (at which point the phone will scream).
  • Prolonged use can cause mood swings, short-term memory loss, and seizures. These are all side effects that are associated with certain kinds of medication or radiation treatment of the brain and would not be acceptable for mobile phones.
  • Avert eyes while replacing battery. Actions that would warrant averting your eyes are usually associated with high-intensity light capable of causing eye damage. Depending on the specific energy source, this may be accompanied by high levels of other types of radiation (e.g. making an X-ray photo). This may hint that the phone might be powered by a radionuclide battery which would explain the lead casing and the possible radiation side effects. A phone that emits X-ray radiation would not be healthy to be around. Alternately, this may be a reference to the Ark Of The Covenant, implying that gazing upon the battery or the compartment wall behind it is forbidden on pain of severe punishment. Or merely that with its back removed the phone would be naked, and the user should avert their eyes to preserve the phone's modesty.
  • Under certain circumstances, wireless transmitter may control God. In the monotheistic religions, God is the omnipotent creator of the universe; the very notion that He could be controlled is both heretical and, under the definition of omnipotent, impossible.

[edit] Transcript

[An image of a smartphone standing up with a small dot on the side and a single button at the bottom. Many labels are pointing to different parts of it. Clockwise from the top left they read:]
Runs custom blend on Android and iOS
Simulates alternate speeds of light (default: 100 miles per hour) and adjusts clock as phone accelerates
Wireless
Accelerometer detects when phone is in free fall and makes it scream
When exposed to light, phone says "Hi!"
Flightaware partnership: Makes airplane noise when flights pass overhead
Realistic case
Clear screen
Side-facing camera
Introducing
The xkcd Phone
Your mobile world just went digital®


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Discussion

108.162.249.216 14:14, 4 August 2014 (UTC) Mobile phones haven't always been electronic. Remember the old 'bricks' from the '80s and '90s? More machine than computer.

This seems like an SCP artifact 108.162.249.220 10:09, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

^someone get on this, please Whiskey07 (talk) 16:28, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

I really dislike the tone of the explanation. I mean it's so negative about the features! Not that they are all useful, but isn't this a wiki and should be neutral? It takes also the fun out of it. I would like a screaming while falling phone and the relativity thing would be great for teaching relativity! RecentlyChanged (talk)

Where can i get one of these? :D UniTrader (talk) 04:11, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the "scream when falling" thing and the "flightaware" stuff can be done somehow with Tasker. 141.101.103.206 04:23, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Designer?

I suspect it was either Black Hat or Beret Guy, but I'm not sure which. A collaboration? 173.245.54.45 04:47, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

This sounds like something straight out of aperture. 108.162.221.55 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Simulates alternate speeds of light

Yes, useless as a feature on all the time; but it would be a cool app. Mark Hurd (talk) 05:57, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Absolutely. Where can I get an app like that?108.162.225.157 06:22, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Here: XKCD Clock 173.245.53.114 16:11, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Travelling at above the simulated speed of light should give an imaginary time dilation, not a negative time dilation. gamma = 1/sqrt{1-v^2/c^2} Thus, after such travel, the value of the clock would be a complex number. 108.162.219.35 15:42, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Changed the speed of light to 2.99x10^8

You guys should probably clarify that the relativisic affects actually depend on how long your trip is or how long you wait to sync your phone. For relativity to be observable on a 12 hour trip, Minimum speed for a phone would have to be 300 m/s or 3000 m/s for the clock to measure even a microsecond/millisecond difference in time. This is well known thanks to the certain time dilation experiments with planes. Your GPS chip helps account for an error of 7 to 47 microseconds per day. My point is in terms of time dilation, relativity mattering depends on how long a trip or waiting for synchronization is. By synching, I literally mean with the atomic time clock or with a GPS satellite. The synchronization of your phone with satellites is actually a couple of hundred microseconds, so normally even a light changing clock might not have as noticable changes as you might think. 108.162.238.225 13:49, 2 May 2014 (UTC) --108.162.238.225 13:49, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Yeah sorry forgot to login. does anyone know how to do the indices formatting other than eg 2.99x10(littlex) rather then 2.99x10^x? Jonv4n (talk) 06:29, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Whassup? 141.101.89.220 07:43, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
relativistic effect

Forgive me if I'm wrong, I'm not a physicist but the above explanation says that relativistic time dilation affects only occur at a significant fraction of the speed of light. It is my understanding that time dilation occurs at any speed, but is only perceptible/noticeable/measurable at very large fraction of the speed of light. Unless I'm mistaken the above it should reflect this. 173.245.56.91 22:24, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

putting "Relative" back into relativity

First time poster, please forgive my transgressions :) My understanding regarding relativistic effects is that, for a given frame of reference (e.g. phone operator travelling at 0.9c) would be absolutely none. Relativistic effects (as I understand them) would only apply between two different frames of reference. The only effect I can see in this case is if you are moving towards, or away from the phone while operating, and red/blue shift of the radio frequencies. In general, wifi and bluetooth are used locally so wouldn't apply; only the phone network would be affected.

Also, perhaps the adjustable speed of light is a reference to the the game "A slower speed of light" by MIT Game Lab http://gamelab.mit.edu/games/a-slower-speed-of-light/ (in which you walk around collecting objects; each object slows light down, and increases relativistic effects). Jaybee (talk)

Phone may attract/trap insects; this is normal. Funnier if you take it as a reference to the spider problems Mazda keeps on having... 108.162.215.64 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

About the attracting insects ... I would expect this to be normal feature in night. Trapping, however ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:08, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

There are other indications that the phone is at least partly biological, this being the strongest evidence of that. Insects could be the power source for the biological part(s). 173.245.54.45 14:07, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

This could also be a reference to computer bugs and the Harvard Mark II. 199.27.128.249 08:31, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Siri

Could the Siri bit be a reference to Portal? When I first read it, I remembered this GLaDOS quote: "Your Aperture Science Weighted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you, and in fact cannot speak. If your Weighted Companion Cube does speak, please disregard its advice." Could be completely wrong; just a thought. 173.245.54.51 10:09, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps Siri is beling likened to the "ATMOS" device in the Doctor Who episode "The Sontaran Stratagem" Esp666 (talk) 11:20, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Lamest. Comic. Ever. And I'm not just saying that because he doesn't mention the Ubuntu Touch OS. tbc (talk) 12:22, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Realistic case

Car telephones and the first cellphones were rather expensive, at least in Germany fake "realistic cases" were sold without any working electronics in it. Usage was to impress silly friends. 173.245.52.204 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I thought this was aimed at the iPhone. Apparently these have an elegant case, but I have never actually seen one. Everyone I know covers their iPhone with some hideous plastic monstrosity, since the design is not practical.--108.162.218.59 14:10, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Could possibly be a reference to the "Realistic" brand, which was used on various products sold by Radio Shack (U.S. electronics retail chain) from 1954 to some time in the '90s.108.162.219.76 16:14, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I am not a native speaker of English. I thought the joke was on the double meaning of "case", meaning both "something that happened or might happen" (like "realistic scenario") and "something that covers something else". Does that make sense to you guys? 108.162.219.17 10:06, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Screaming when in free fall: my first Android app!

I love the bit about screaming when in free fall: that was the first Android app I hacked together back in 2009 (based on the tricorder app). Nealmcb (talk) 13:49, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I actually made this app that simulates that freeFall app108.162.212.32 19:03, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Title Text

Hover-over title text was truncated; love it. 14:43, 2 May 2014 (UTC)Pocono Chuck (talk)

you must have an really old firefox browser -- you should update !!! 199.27.130.210 16:23, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Happened to me. Using whatever the latest IE is at the moment. It cut off at nause-. 173.245.54.54 17:13, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Price includes 2-year Knicks contract. ... but a contract with the Knicks would only appeal to pro basketball players.

Nonsense. Lots of "regular" folks would buy this phone it it meant they got to play in the NBA. 199.27.128.84 16:26, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I agree with this. A whole lot of people who think they have "skillz" would buy the phone if they got into the NBA. 173.245.54.54 17:14, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

This may also be an indirect way of stating that it is incredibly expensive, seeing as those sort of contracts usually involve you getting compensated. --108.162.216.33 13:41, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

"Your mobile world just went digital" is an inversion of the marketing-speak that was common when what we'd now regard as smartphones first began to be adopted by the mainstream (iPhone/G1 era, since Symbians, Blackberries, and early WinMo tended to be business or enthusiast devices). People already ubiquitously e-mailed, browsed the Web, etc...what was presented as 'new' was that you could now do it from your phone. 173.245.54.58 19:09, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I think the "Under certain circumstances, wireless transmitter may control God" statement might be a reference to how transmitting devices have to comply with FCC regulation and not interfere with aircraft or government communications. Perhaps this phone is intended to be noncompliant so as to control high-level electronics, even at supernatural levels. 173.245.56.66 21:11, 2 May 2014 (UTC)Dbrak

Frictionless

You could hold a frictionless phone just by hooking your little finger under the bottom edge, regardless of friction gravity will hold it into your hand. Just like you could leave it in a bowl without it jumping out. 108.162.229.72 19:12, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Unless you held your pinky perfectly balanced, horizontal and motionless, a frictionless object would slide right off it, as it would off any flat surface that is not perfectly horizontal. 14:13, 3 May 2014 (UTC) 108.162.242.4 13:15, 3 May 2014 (UTC)DCollins

Wouldn't you be able to hold it somewhat like a normal phone, if you hold a finger under the bottom of it? 173.245.54.54 17:08, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Saying a frictionless phone can't be held is like saying prisoners would slide out of prisons if they had frictionless surfaces. 108.162.237.218 14:50, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

If it was frictionless, it would be only slightly harder to hold than a wet bar of soap. --108.162.219.186 22:56, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Why the hell this funny phone isn't available at the xkcd store?

I would buy if the price would be in the range of other articles there. Just for fun...--Dgbrt (talk) 19:30, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, having a phone that causes symptoms of radiation poisoning would be very funny indeed. 172.68.10.44 11:03, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Root needed

I think that needing root for ajust the volume may be a allusion people needing to root Android to change fonts or to take screenshots (untill version 4.x). FlavianusEP (talk) 23:04, 2 May 2014 (UTC)


Alternative meaning: The spirit of xkcd

I think there's a secondary possible interpretation for this comic -- that the various features of the phone represent the overall "spirit" or "attitude" of xkcd, in a way reminiscent of an early strip -- http://xkcd.com/207/ -- about "what xkcd means." More specifically, a common theme in xkcd is taking advanced concepts in science and technology, and applying them to whimsical, humorous, impractical, or outright impossible uses. Several of phone's features -- such as the simulated speed of light -- touch on the same theme. Wordplay, another common xkcd theme, is present as well; and the anthropomorphism of technology, along with making devices appear 'cute', is also present, and also is something that has come up in xkcd many times in the past.

The comic is called "xkcd Phone", after all -- I think simultaneously with being a parody of phone advertisements, the comic is also meant to show us what a phone that fits into the xkcd world would be like. 108.162.241.114 17:52, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

I agree; it seems like a basic comic at first glance, but I'm wondering if there's a meta-meaning if you put all of the pieces together. Each feature, and warning, is a clue to the overarching purpose of the phone, or to the true joke that this phone embodies. imtrbl (talk) 19:11, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Blowing out candles....

For the birthday candles thing: I do remember seeing a video ad for an app back when the iphone was first opened up to outside developers that would turn the phone into a fan, and it demonstrated that it was strong enough to blow out a birthday candle. Seemed quite useless at the time. Still does today for that matter 108.162.215.47 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Side-facing camera

I thought the joke here was that the camera only contained a side-facing camera rather than a side camera in addition to a front and back camera. While you can see the camera on the side, you don't see a camera on the front and they don't talk about a rear camera. It'd be pretty annoying to use a side-facing camera for anything but the surreptitious case you described. S (talk) 16:58, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Do not submerge in water

I assumed this was also referencing the 4chan, etc pranks with the waterproof iPhone 173.245.55.79 18:41, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Wireless

A completely wireless phone would not be unuseable. The only wire phones need nowadays is for recharging their battery, but this can be done by induction, like with the Qi system with which some Nokia and Google (Nexus) phones are compatible. Zoyd (talk) 12:25, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

FoxTrot reference? I think this one could be a reference to th J-Pad in the foxtrot webcomic http://www.foxtrot.com/2012/03/03042012/ . Foxtrot's author has already published a guest comic for XKCD a few years ago, so Randall should know about it. 108.162.212.203 16:31, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Cell Phones Cure Cancer?

I know, I know, the editor who added "makes fun of the WHO claiming that cell phones might cause cancer despite huge studies showing the opposite" probably didn't mean that, but it's kind of amusing to interpret it that way. Nyperold (talk) 19:42, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

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