Talk:1912: Thermostat

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Maybe the the last sentence is about moses parting the sea so he can walk through it. 05:55, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

I interpreted it that way. In computing, partitioning separates parts of a drive that are to be used for different purposes, so parallels might be drawn there. - Emmia (talk) 07:24, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Not so sure about that. It's possible, I guess, but it's not obviously funny. I think it's more related to the title text about the helpline operative being afraid to upset whatever god of technology has cursed him with this unfathomable tech problem, and suggesting to him that the situation is so dire he may as well just end it all. (Obviously overreacting, as the failure of an IoT-enabled thermostat is definitely a First World Problem and not the horrendous event the characters are considering it to be.) 09:57, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I also thought about the "parting the sea" idea...consider that in the Old Testament, the gods of other cultures were spoken of as alive, and the Israelite God as directly challenging and defeating them (see the challenge issued to the Egyptian deities in Exodus). Perhaps, rather than helping Cueball himself, Hairy thinks that by invoking the Most High, Cueball might be able to defeat whatever technology god he has angered. Hence, Hairy suggests that Cueball try to play the role of Moses. 16:11, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

I think there's additional humor to the extent of his boot problems. Monthly Energy Report (1).doc would be a normal document a smart thermostat may create. But if it became a boot volume it'd brick the device.

Maybe "Monthly Energy Report (1).doc" was meant to resemble a malware-laden email attachment. The "(1)" could indicate a name-collision-avoidance suffix of a downloaded file. Bob Stein - VisiBone (talk) 11:48, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

I believe Cueball has accidentally discovered that the thermostat—supposedly simple device—is actually doing surveillance on the house (and is poorly coded). Now the tech support guy is astounded by the fact that somebody has found out, but then promptly suggests suicide in a non-direct manner to clean up evidence, covering this is with religious explanation. 06:37, 6 November 2017 (UTC) I'm not sure about the surveillance. It seems to me that the .doc is somehow a record of power usage of the thermostat. However, it remains to be determined a. why it is running Android b. why it is mounting and booting a .doc c. how it got there 07:11, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

The .doc file is the trojan that was installed on the device. It was supposed to look innocent, but actually contains an encoded sysroot with the real spyware. It's just also terribly written. Very genuinely Russian. 21:46, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

I took it as a variation on this joke in HHG:

"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."

...Which in the BBC TV series was accompanied by visuals of Douglas Adams himself walking into the ocean. -- 07:27, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Might be a reference to the Nest Thermostat, which like Android is an Alphabet thing. While Nest doesn't run Android, its OS is Linux-based like Android. 08:07, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

While reading the title text my first thought was Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 08:16, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Not sure if "Android error screen" deserves emphasis in the explanation, as lately many very simple devices have Android, it shouldn't be surprising to find a thermostat running it. Fvalves (talk) 10:12, 6 November 2017 (UTC) also mentions tech issues and the sea. -- 10:36, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

As a (former) network engineer for the largest IoT deployment at a major ISP, I can say with complete certainty that this is nothing. A hard reset (typically, holding the power and some other button down for 5+ seconds) will skip the attempt at local boot and go directly to a BOOTP wipe from the mothership, which should have that thermostat up and running the Russian military/mob's firmware in ten minutes tops. Soon your thermostat will be mining bitcoin and staging attacks on your local vital infrastructure like all the other thermostats, don't you worry. 11:14, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Should we make a category for this? It's becoming a recurring theme on xkcd. RamenChef (talk) 15:49, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Sounds like this may be referrng to recent news where some Google Pixel 2 owners received phones without any operating system. Shamino (talk) 16:59, 6 November 2017 (UTC)