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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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== Latest comic ==
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Revision as of 17:59, 4 March 2014

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 2 xkcd comics, and only 20 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Update Notes
v3.0.2: Hey, if anyone still using this app is headed to the beach, can you stop at 4th and River St and grab the sunscreen from my car? Trunk should be unlocked. Thanks!
Title text: v3.0.2: Hey, if anyone still using this app is headed to the beach, can you stop at 4th and River St and grab the sunscreen from my car? Trunk should be unlocked. Thanks!

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an APP - Please change the changelog when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Update notes or release notes are notes (or documents) released when software has been updated, to inform the user of any important changes to the software.

In this comic, Randall and his friend are using release notes of their apps as a form of chat service, instead of actual software change information. He says this is possible because the two apps are no longer being maintained, so theoretically, there are not many people using the app who would read the update / change notes.

This "chat service" would not be in real time, so presumably, Randall and his friend would have to be constantly checking each other's apps to see if there are updates.

On the "stars" app, the last "actual" notes says "Introduced bugs and degraded performance". This is a typical change, but not a change that a software developer would want to inform a user.

The comic also refers to a meteor shower occurring in August, most likely the Perseid meteor shower.

The title text says that Randall, who is at the beach, has left his sunscreen in his car, but that the trunk is unlocked, for whoever is still reading the updates for this app. This may invite the attention of thieves, who are now informed that Randall's trunk is unlocked. However they may not know what city Randall lives in, and conversely readers of the release notes could be anywhere in the world so most are probably not in a position to physically make contact with Randall's car.

This comic could be seen as a subtle reference to how plain sight communication such as gang codes and steganography are used by people, possibly out of coerced necessity, to communicate information both deniably and publicly. It is likely that this often happens in real app update messages in real life. This kind of communication would more realistically allow a criminal worker to communicate with a contact point without endangering their anonymity by associating with them directly.

This comic could also be poking fun at the non-descriptive updates many popular apps post in the "What's new" or change log. One example of this would be the Uber app stating "We update the app as often as possible" as a "new" feature every update. Apple recently changed AppStore guidelines[1] to require clear descriptions of new features and product changes, effectively putting an end to the problem Randall is highlighting.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[There are two panels that show smartphone-esque screens with two different apps with different update notes, showing a conversation between two people. New updates are added to the top, so to follow the conversation flow one would start from the bottom and alternate between the second app and the first one.]
[The first app's icon is an "A" symbol.]
Updates
Version 3.0.1
June 22, 2018
Update Notes:
v3.0.1
I'm actually off work Monday so that's perfect.
v3.0
Oh, that sounds fun! What night?
v2.8.31
Are you around this weekend? We're heading to the beach.
v2.8.3
Hey Mike, you there?
[The second app's icon consists of three stars.]
Updates
Version 7.0
June 22, 2018
Update Notes:
v7.0
It peaks August 12-13th.
v6.8.16
Sorry, no, going to a wedding. But do you want to camp out for the meteor shower in August?
v6.8.15
Yeah, what's up?
v6.8.14
Introduced bugs and degraded performance[.]
[Caption below the panels:]
My friend and I both have apps we've stopped maintaining, so we just use the updates to chat.

For convenience, here are the update notes in order of release [note that the first comment is not part of the conversation]:

"A" app (v6.8.14): Introduced bugs and degraded performance[.]

3-star app (v2.8.3): Hey Mike, you there?

A (v6.8.15): Yeah, what's up?

3-star (v.2.8.31): Are you around this weekend? We're heading to the beach.

A (v6.8.16): Sorry, no, going to a wedding. But do you want to camp out for the meteor shower in August?

3-star (v3.0): Oh, that sounds fun! What night?

A (v7.0): It peaks August 12-13th.

3-star (v3.0.1) I'm actually off work Monday so that's perfect.



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