Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
GeoIP is a service that converts IP addresses to their respective location on the earth. This is done by looking up the IP address in a database maintained by various Internet Service providers. Advertisers often take advantage of the Joneses effect by creating localized ads which misleadingly appear to be specific to your location, but are often simply stock photographs with the name of the nearest town superimposed on top.
The comic satirizes this phenomenon. The International Space Station has a data downlink, which presumably has some public-facing IP address on the (Earth-based) internet. In this comic, Cueball trolls the advertisers from onboard the ISS, by inserting his actual location (low Earth orbit) into the database under that IP address. Thus, the advertisements claim that there are "local girls" in low Earth orbit. Since all the crewmembers of the ISS know each other (and we can be reasonably certain that nobody else lives in low Earth orbit), Cueball underlines the obvious lie in GeoIP-based advertising.
The title text refers to how specific GeoIP can get. However, knowing that someone is in their mom's basement is hyperbole.
- [External view of a satellite orbiting Earth. Dialog comes from within.]
- Cueball: Yes!
- Ponytail: What?
- Cueball: I got our downlink into a GeoIP database.
- [Internal view of the satellite, Cueball and Ponytail are floating about, Cueball is at a computer mounted to the wall.]
- Ponytail: Why?
- Cueball: To mess with our advertisers. Check it out.
- [An ad reads "Meet local girls in Low Earth Orbit tonight!" and has two photos of girls in sexy poses, one captioned "Tanya, 18" and the other "Amber, 19". Below them is a button that reads "CHAT LIVE".]
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The title text is more than hyperbole: In the United States, if someone is "living in their mom's basement", it implies they can not or will not get a job allowing them to move out. i.e.: they are a loser. The resultant weak response "Screw you, GeoIP" seems to push that depiction even further. 22.214.171.124 23:11, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
- I don't get this. The title text goes "Meet hot young singles in your mom's basement today?" Not their. Isn't this another "yo' mama" joke, simply implying that your mama has hot young singles in her basement?Mumiemonstret (talk) 08:02, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
- I think it just means that you can do the same trick on *your* IP, just replacing the string "low earth orbit" with "your mom basement". MGitsfullofsheep (talk) 17:12, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
- I think this means that your mum is the hot young single in her basement... 126.96.36.199 12:27, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
- Yes nothing hyperbole here. It is just another of Randall's many your mom jokes and can be insulting in almost anyway you think about the sentence. Have tried to change the explanation of the title text according to this. --Kynde (talk) 21:28, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
- I don't think this is a "Your Mom" joke. I agree with the first comment. It is simply that GeoIP has gotten so accurate that it can now pinpoint the user's location to his Mom's basement. An adult living in his parent's house is termed shameful in US as it means that the adult does not have a job and cannot support himself/herself. That is why he's hiding in the basement in the first place, instead of it just being 'Mom's house'. The ad is usually like this -- "Meet hot young singles in <user's location>" where the <user's location> part is filled in from GeoIP. Clearly, there are no "hot young singles" in his Mom's basement and it feels like GeoIP is unknowingly shaming the user by reminding him that he is in his mom's basement, and hence the "Screw you" response. 188.8.131.52 00:54, 14 February 2016 (UTC)