548: Kindle

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 19:47, 10 January 2014 by Dgbrt (talk | contribs) (Explanation: Please explain this, some words in parentheses are not helpful.)
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I'm happy with my Kindle 2 so far, but if they cut off the free Wikipedia browsing, I plan to show up drunk on Jeff Bezos's lawn and refuse to leave.
Title text: I'm happy with my Kindle 2 so far, but if they cut off the free Wikipedia browsing, I plan to show up drunk on Jeff Bezos's lawn and refuse to leave.


The Amazon Kindle is a device that allows people to read books via ebook format. The comic was published three weeks after Amazon released the Kindle 2, which included the ability to read Wikipedia articles via the 3G connection that was included with the device.

Cueball remarks that "ebooks are for chumps", but goes on to explain the real reason for purchasing a Kindle. Since it has free cellular web access, he could navigate through any city (presumably with 3G access), assisted by Wikipedia and Wikitravel.

Megan scratches off the Amazon Kindle logo to reveal that the device is actually The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This fictional electronic encyclopedia is described in the real-life franchise of the same name. Those works recount the tale of a travel editor who works for and owns a copy of the Guide, which provides travel tips throughout the galaxy, including an entry for Earth. The comic suggests that Amazon simply re-brands copies of the Guide as Kindles.

The title text refers to the great utility of having the ability to access Wikipedia for free on an easy-to-carry device. The speaker states that should this utility ever become disabled, he would stage a drunk protest on the lawn of Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com.


[Cueball is looking at a kindle.]
Megan: A kindle? Ebooks, huh?
Cueball: Ebooks are for chumps.
Megan: Why get a kindle, then?
Cueball: One reason:
Cueball: FREE cellular web access. Even if I spend months broke and drunk in a strange city, I'll still be able to use wikipedia and wikitravel to learn about anything I need.
Megan: Why does that sound familiar?
Megan: Gimme that.
[Megan takes the kindle.]
[The top of the kindle says "Amazon Kindle".]
[Megan scratches at the top.] scrape, scrape, scrape
Top of "kindle": Hitchhiker's Guid...

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I changed the explanation so that it refers to the device actually being the fictional, encyclopedic Guide, not the novel. For one thing, the novel describes the Guide as essentially an e-book (despite being published in 1979). Mainly, having the novel on hand while traveling would not be of much use in the ways described, while access to the fictional encyclopedia would match the description exactly, just as it is used in the fictional franchise. - jerodast (talk) 23:53, 3 December 2012 (UTC) Where is the transcript? 04:09, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

this was before. Wikipedia offline for android. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

There's no transcript. Someone fix please? 04:50, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

The transcript is done. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:45, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Alternative explanation: Cueball hid his copy of the Guide in a Kindle shell. 13:20, 12 November 2016 (UTC)