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Business Update
Our customers keep sending us their personal information, even though we've repeatedly asked them to stop. The EU told me I'm the heir to some ancient European throne that makes me exempt from the GDPR, but we should probably still try to fix that.
Title text: Our customers keep sending us their personal information, even though we've repeatedly asked them to stop. The EU told me I'm the heir to some ancient European throne that makes me exempt from the GDPR, but we should probably still try to fix that.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a MAGIC CEO - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

This comic shows a meeting at Beret Guy's business (as seen in these other comics). As usual, those in the business demonstrate a misuse of business terminology and take strange happenings within the business in stride.

Though maintaining a semblance of business-savviness through the use of many corporate buzzwords, it becomes clear that what is normally metaphorical in a usually boardroom meeting is actually quite likely what is actually in development. The Quarterly Reports are probably physically attractive, though the business dealings they are reporting may be disastrous. There is likely a bunch of dollar bills in one of the office rooms. Stocks (pillory?) are being manufactured. At least one of their customers (a child?) is experiencing physical growth. Assets liquidated in a thermostat glitch may have been ice or some other material that melted; the kitchen sink producing original content may have been back flooding from the sewer or a leaky faucet. The largest source of revenue is likely not producing much if any revenue at all; it can still be the biggest if there are no others.

Transmuting lead into gold was a goal of alchemists for many centuries. It is actually now possible to accomplish transmutation of lead into gold, and gold into lead, via nuclear transmutation, though the expense far exceeds the value of the gold produced. Via modern nuclear methods, it is actually far easier to turn gold into lead than the reverse. However, this does necessarily not contradict the statement in the dialog ("Our biggest expense is to transmute it back") as it is unlikely that the business is actually transmuting any elements whether by alchemical or modern methods. It is quite possible to generate expense, and even revenue, without actually producing a product--especially if the revenue and expense is small or zero. Alternately, the company may be sucessfully and cheaply transmuting large quantities of lead into gold and back again. This is currently believed to be impossible, but neither Beret Guy nor the objects he comes into contact with always obey conventional physics. As the weighted value of gold is far higher than that of lead, transmuting a substantial mass of lead into an equal mass of gold could result in a net profit, while the reverse would likely result in major losses.

In the last panel, "the girl from The Ring" refers to Sadako Yamamura, the antagonist of the Ring series by Koji Suzuki, who has been referenced several times in xkcd in the past. Beret Guy claims she has made several appearances in their video conferences, which may be possible if someone has hacked their video feed to play footage from the 2002 movie. However, some of Beret Guy's employees then proceed to remark that she has made contributions to the meetings in question, implying that the image of Yamamura is not only alive but sentient and communicating with the employees. Rather than ponder how this is possible, they simply suggest hiring her, showing that Beret Guy's sheer eccentricity has affected his employees to the point that a digital spectre would not be an abnormal employee.

The title text refers to the May 25 deadline to implement the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation; this comic focuses on a business meeting about what the company is doing to prepare for it. The regulation is about the handling of personal information, so customers sending them theirs might be a problem. For some inexplicable reason Beret Guy is exempt because he is royalty of some kind (even though such exemption is not part of GDPR); on the other hand if customers are willingly sending him information without his requesting it he may be exempt because it is freedom of expression and information by his customers and is not his responsibility as such.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Beret Guy, Ponytail, Hairy, Hairbun and Megan sit around a table, left to right. Beret Guy and Megan are sitting on chairs at the ends. All others are behind the table with no visible chairs. All characters face Beret Guy]
Beret Guy: Quarterly reports are looking good.
Beret Guy: Our office is full of cash, we're producing stocks faster than ever before, and our customers are experiencing rapid growth.
Beret Guy: Any Updates?
[Closeup on Ponytail, facing left]
Ponytail: Bad news: many of our assets were liquidated this morning due to a thermostat glitch.
Ponytail: Good news: the sink in the kitchen has stopped producing original content.
[Same as panel one, but characters are facing Megan]
Beret Guy: How are our finances?
Megan: Our biggest source of revenue is our ongoing project to transmute lead into gold.
Megan: Our biggest expense is our project to transmute it back.
[Closeup on Beret Guy, facing right, offset to the left of the panel. Two characters speak from off-panel right]
Beret Guy: Lastly, any luck getting the girl from The Ring to stop showing up in our video conferences?
From Right 1: No, but honestly, she's made some good contributions.
From Right 2: Yeah, I think we should hire her.


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