190: IPoD

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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IPoD
For smaller numbers he has to SAVE lives.  The birthrate channel is even more of a mixed bag.
Title text: For smaller numbers he has to SAVE lives. The birthrate channel is even more of a mixed bag.

Explanation

IP is one of the two main protocols of the Internet - the other being TCP.

Black Hat (and other statisticians) are using demographics as IP packets to send data. In order to adjust the death rate to encode the header, Black Hat plans to travel to New Jersey and go on a killing spree with a crossbow, instead of merely hacking the census bureau's computers. Such antics could only be used to 'increase' the death rate, decreasing it would require saving lives instead as mentioned in the title text. Also as mentioned, birth rates would be trickier to maanipulate.

Crossbows were first mentioned in 564: Crossbows.

Transcript

[Character 1 - wearing a black hat - sits at a computer. Character 2 stands behind Character 1]
Character 1: You see, statisticians communicate using IPoD -- IP over Demographics. For example, the header of the next packet I send will be encoded into the New Jersey death rate.
Character 2: So you're going to hack the census bureau and change the number of reported deaths?
Character 1: Guess again.
Character 1: Hey, have you seen my crossbow?


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Discussion

The joke "IPoD -- IP over Demographics" is referring to the media player from Apple.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:49, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps, but I doubt it. 184.66.160.91 02:35, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Of course it is, but as just a secondary joke. It doesn't relate to the main point of the comic. But it should be mentioned anyway. 108.162.219.223 19:07, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I find it boggling how many people are so weak-minded as to feel certain about something based on evidence instead of proof. It is absolutely impossible to rationally state "of course it is" if you lack proof. You are going by the circumstantial evidence of the letters coinciding, and nothing more. It cannot be better than "probably is". Not only is this a logical problem a-la Karl Popper, but this failing also seems to involve a weakly developed theory of mind. The belief that one can know with certainty the thoughts of another in a case like this shows that while they may understand the basic premise of "that person can't always see what I'm seeing", they don't fully grok "I don't necessarily know his thoughts, based on my external observations and speculation". —Kazvorpal (talk) 16:02, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Harsh, but true. Beanie talk 13:45, 9 July 2021 (UTC)