Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Comic 927: The Alternative Title Was "Things Randy Doesn't Have"

standards

[Comic title: Standards; alt text: Fortunately, the charging one has been solved now that we've all standardized on mini-USB. Or is it micro-USB? Shit.]

I'm not really sure what kind of fantasy world Randy is living in, but apparently he thinks that the reason there are multiple instant messenger clients is because every company that's ever made one has been trying to unite the world under a single banner, to forever get rid of the confusion and conflict that multiple standards causes. Or, put slightly more succinctly, Randy thinks that people are well-meaning but stupid, and that's why there's no inter-compatibility.

There are many causes for this problem, of course. But by and large the reason there's so many standards out there is primarily because nobody is interested in inter-compatibility. Maybe it's a desire to make sure that customers have to buy your product, maybe it's just laziness, maybe it's because you don't like the other standards. The point is, standard proliferation has nothing to do with people trying to solve the problem of standard proliferation. It has to do with competing market forces that don't cooperate with one another.

The alt text is misleading--cell phone companies have standardized on micro-USB, and some media outlets misreported that it was mini-USB. I learned this with about thirty seconds on Wikipedia. Randy, why can't you use the thing that you are in love with so much? Were you really that unwilling to navigate away from the lactation article?

It's not like this is a field in which good jokes can't be told. Randy has just chosen the worst joke of them all, as is traditional.

116 comments:

  1. This is beating down a joke that really isn't all that bad.

    All i'd have done is removed the "Soon:".

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  2. thanks, anonymous internet commenter! i care about your opinion most of all.

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  3. Randy has set a new low for his creativity in conveying information to the audience.

    From now on, each frame of each comic should consist of "SITUATION:" followed by a text summary of the panel.

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  4. SITUATION: MEGAN IS PREPARING TO LACTATE FURIOUSLY

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  5. SITUATION:
    i am so alone :(

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  6. More of Randall's observational humor about stuff that has never actually happened.

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  7. http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/5493/xckd.png

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  8. A standard wouldn't describe an IM client, it would describe an IM protocol...
    All of the examples he chose are terrible. I don't feel that any of those things are a significant problem.

    Complaining about too many IM protocols? Get a client that can handle all of them, like Pidgin or one of those other ones I never use.
    Or is he complaining about too many clients? Because that would be downright retarded.
    Complaining about too many A/C chargers? Why?
    Complaining about too many character encodings? why? It's just numbers for a computer to interpret. That's what computers do best.

    To quote a guy I looked up on wikipedia,
    "The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from."

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  9. I never downloaded Humor Sans. http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/9073/dkcx.png

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  10. You misinterpret the comic. The first 14 standards are from randoms trying to establish a proprietary standard, and trying to unify them doesn't help, thus creating the fifteenth.

    On a related note, this blog has sunk so low that I only look at it after being sick and spending all day on the internet for days, and having exhausted every other source of lulz I could find.

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  11. Also this comic has WAY too many colons. I count five for a three panel comic. It's less a comic and more a string of captions.

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  12. "You misinterpret the comic. The first 14 standards are from randoms trying to establish a proprietary standard, and trying to unify them doesn't help, thus creating the fifteenth."

    i guess that's why it's captioned "how standards proliferate." adding 1/14 to something is definitely explaining proliferation!

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  13. Maybe the next comic will be about colon cancer?

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  14. Maybe my next bout of colon cancer will be about xkcd?

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  15. Colon cancer is probably funnier than xkcd. At least usually. I suppose colon cancer can also be pretty bad sometimes and xkcd can be only somewhat bad. I don't know. It's really a toss-up I guess.

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  16. The Devil and the deep blue sea.

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  17. Mun row row row your boatJuly 21, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    I think the worst joke about standardization is some lady going "well at least there's a universal standard for my basic needs" and she winks while reaching to pull out somebody's penis but then it turns out that the bulge in the guy's jeans is actually a deformed boob with a fully erect nipple!

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  18. That's only because the fully erect nipple needs to be dripping milk.

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  19. Your mother, being fatter than my mother,July 21, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Randy's observation is about as fresh as airplane food jokes. And, like Rob points out, he hasn't even made it properly. It is true that occasionally people try to make a unifying standard which ends up just being a competing standard, but "how standards proliferate" is mostly that each entity wants to make its own competing standard.

    Ironically[tm], there is a single outstanding standard for bad geek comics: xkcd. No matter how many new strips are created, none of them would be a competing standard.

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  20. Randall knows that most of his traffic comes from cuddlefish pasting the comics into fora all over the internet. Therefore, he wants to ensure that he has a comic covering every possible topic of nerd discussion.

    This will get posted whenever anyone vaguely mentions standards for years to come.

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  21. This is why we need more fascism. The weak sort who follow idiots like Randall would quickly be dealt with.

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  22. When they came for fans of xkcd I said nothing, because I was not a fan of xkcd.

    When they came for fans of two and a half men I said nothing, because I was not a fan of two and a half men.

    And when they came for me, I reminded them that I was only a fan of good things, so they let me go.

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  23. Just when the last thread was starting to get good, with all those ALTF slashfics, Rob just had to ruin it with his new review.

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  24. Blogger needs a thing which allows you to delay new posts until the previous thread has died down by some configurable metric.

    HEY HEAR THAT GOOGLE? MY SUGGESTION IS A LOT LESS SHIT THAN THAT STUPID YOUTUBE "READ OUT MY COMMENT" THING AND A LOT LESS DISINGENUOUS THAN THE GOOGLE+ "MAKE YOUR GENDER PRIVATE" THING BUT IT HASN'T BEEN SUGGESTED BY RANDALL SO YOU'LL CERTAINLY IGNORE IT.

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  25. @Anon 5:21: I've often wondered whether people who work at Google really swallow the Google kool-aid or whether they're just in it for the money. I chatted with a friend who went through the interview process recently (and got accepted!) and it seems the process is designed as much to test your character as your technical ability.

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  26. "Google is a culture, not a job", but then again everyone says that =?

    captcha: phipoxic. Dangerously Phip level of oxygen.

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  27. From now on, every XKCD comic should be simple panel with written text in the form "SET UP: [description]" "PREMISE: [description]" "PUNCHLINE: [description]". Making comics has never been easier!

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  28. Setup: So lonely... Premise: So lonely... Punchline: I feel so alone!
    (funny because of ex. mark)
    alt text: This song makes Megan lactate even more than usual ;-)

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  29. Back when the 'net was good, someone would have set up alt.megan.lactation. Now everything's just a poor imitation of its former self over port 80, we have shit like this.

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  30. The internet was never good, don't be ridiculous.

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  31. Remember alt.games.nintendo.pokemon.hentai? Those were the days.

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  32. Excellent review!

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  33. What days were those, anon 6:46? In 1998 Pokemon was just a weird Japanese TV show that caused seizures. By the time Pokemon showed up in the US, Usenet was pretty much dead.

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  34. Despite the latest one being entirely not how animal identification charts work, I laughed.

    Two acceptable XKCD's in a row.

    Randall's losing, or perhaps regaining his touch.

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  35. ROB HAS EATEN RAVEN

    JUST LIKE HE ATE CAPN

    THEIR LIKE WILL NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN

    SPREAD THE NEWS

    Now excuse me, there is someone knocking at my door.

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  36. I like Rob a lot more when he is too busy riding his fixie to make forced criticisms of basically ok comics.

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  37. I thought 927 was alright really. It was short and to the point and had no PPD and frankly even if it doesn't happen in real life that's ok because jokes don't have to be realistic as long as they get their meaning across snappily enough to be kinda funny. It's rare that you'd find multidenominational drinking parties in a bar too, you know.

    But 928 what is the fucking point. Whoever was talking about Randy making up a new bestiary of shitty pretend stick-animals may have been right.

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  38. Well, 11:14, the intent of 927 was clearly a witty observation on the real world, so now we're going to have to debate whether the recipient's interpretation is more relevant to a message's content than the author's voice. GOOD ONE.

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  39. I'm willing to give Randy the benefit of the doubt on the alt-text. He was probably aware of the media misrepresentation and was attempting to make a reference to it in his "all references are funny" style.

    Disclaimer: This doesn't mean that I think that this style is funny or that this comic is funny.

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  40. So apparently in 928, Randy feels the need to point out to us that a creature called the mimic octopus exists, and that it is very cool. He does this by filling the panel with the word "mimic octopus", in case you didn't catch it the first thirteen times.

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  41. It's "octopodes", Randy, you dumb-ass!

    inb4 this thread descends into tentacle fetish stories

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  42. People like to make jokes about tentacle sex, but surprisingly few people actually try it. Once you've figured out how to get an octopus to reach deep into your rectum while you masturbate no other orgasm will ever be satisfactory.

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  43. I've heard squid is better.

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  44. The Cuddlefish ParadigmJuly 22, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    Obviously neither can compare to the cuttlefish. They are sent down by God for the sole purpose of anal stimulation, and anyone who says otherwise is a filthy, ungrateful heathen.

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  45. as soon as i read 'octopuses', i knew the alt-text would just be randall complaining about people saying octopi. you're too predictable randy

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  46. What happened to your neckbeard picture, Gamer?

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  47. I had set that up as my profile picture in Google+, and it propagated to all my other Google apps. Once I dropped Google+, I picked up an avatar from here instead.

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  48. "....It has to do with competing market forces that don't cooperate with one another....."

    And when they do? - They come up against the Sherman and Clayton Acts and other systems of competition regulation controlled by United States antitrust law and European Community competition law.

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  49. You mean by having a Google+ account, they change all your display images connected to Google without even asking you? What assholes.

    Alt-F, how did you like your short stories in the last thread?

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  50. ALTF, your original troll persona is bad enough but at least it's apolitical. Please don't add Internet Libertarianism to the mix. If you must go down that road, couldn't you slip in some quote from Ho Chi Minh or suggest that the Khmer Rouge had good intentions? It fits your outcast stereotype better.

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  51. @ Derp:

    From the last thread:

    "....ALT-F fidgeted with the pointed ears of her latex mask...."

    I'm allergic to latex.

    "Cunt Omnia Vincit, eh?"

    There is so much wrong with that mangled Latin that it is unworthy of rebuttal.

    All in all, not too bad.

    @ Anonymous 6:58 AM

    Libertarianism? How the fuck did you read that into my quip? I support Sherman and Clayton! Especially the former's march to the sea.

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  52. Oh, and the Red Khmer were a nasty bunch with NO redeeming qualities at all.

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  53. There was another short story about you in the previous thread. What did you think of that one?

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  54. I thought, and continue to think, abundantly about it.
    I am still contemplating a wry and spry riposte.

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  55. I'm certainly glad Randy told me he wasn't making up the alt-text in 928. Otherwise I would've thought he was making that shit up!

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  56. Not only did you split a Verb Phrase but, in doing so, you crafted a sentence that ends in a preposition.
    If you had a decent vocabulary you'd have chosen something akin to the following:

    "Otherwise I would've thought he was fabricating that shit."

    Avoid the use of Verb Pharses. Especially ones that include a word that is normally considered a preposition. And for fuck's sake, never split the feckers!

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  57. How the fuck is this worthy of a veritable rant? Perhaps it is misleading, and maybe the humor is slightly repetitive. Too bad! Do you know how much shit is misleading and repetitive? I don't see anybody railing against PressTV or the state DMV's, the career experience at the post office or The Sun!

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  58. Grammar Girl disagrees with you, ALT-F, and she is better than you in pretty much every way.

    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/top-ten-grammar-myths.aspx

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  59. lol, "Verb Pharses."

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  60. @ Anonymous 9:07 AM,

    Using the word 'veritable' as an intensifier qualifying the noun 'rant' is, in and of itself, worthy of a rant.

    Query?

    How much shit is misleading and repetitive?
    In your answer, please use MKS system if you could - I can't stand the CGS system.

    It is in the way that Grammar Girl is not better than me that is important - ie: 'She' has a penis.

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  61. ALTF probably just recalled the anecdote about Churchill's "up with which".

    Also, while Grammar Girl may the kind of woman whose skirt I would want to pull up behind the bookshelves in preparation for a fierce (but quiet) pounding, I am saddened that she did not raise in (3) the correct handshake protocol, being:

    Prima: How do you do?
    Secunda: How do you do?

    That is all.

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  62. English is a Germanic language. In the Germanic language family ending a sentence with a preposition is perfectly fine. The prohibition stems from Latin and the subsequent Romance Languages. Since 1066 And All That, the Queen's English has endeavoured to rid itself of the vile Celtic/Saxon/Autochthonic rubbish it inherited. Adopting the purity of the Romance Languages - hence the ending a sentence with a preposition prohibition.

    What of Tertia's response?

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  63. ALTF, you are the archetypal, "Browse for response to make my own." Except the final sentence, your own - a fragment.

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  64. You tell us, ALTF.

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  65. Archetypal?
    I think not.
    Epitome at best.

    Research the true meaning of the word 'epitome' to get my joke.

    Innit?

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  66. Damn straight Anonymous @ 10:06 AM. Damn straight!

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  67. ALTF, perhaps you need a dictionary sat alongside your thesaurus so you don't jump from a more meaningful word to one with less impact? You're no slender, towering spire, merely a crumbling foundation stone.

    You'll have to explain the joke - I know my classical tongues and I'm not getting any funny from it. Then recall what it isn't if you have to explain it.

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  68. "....jump from a more meaningful word to one with less impact...."

    Less impact for you.

    I'm not even a foundation stone. I am lucky to qualify as a sump conduit.

    The 'joke' is meaningful to those for whom it was intended.

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  69. The 'joke' is meaningful to those for whom it was intended.

    That needs to be xkcd's catchphrase. It perfectly sums the strip up.

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  70. I think what 10:18 is trying to say Alt-F is that you are the oldest lolcow.

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  71. "...It perfectly sums the strip up...."

    Oh dear.
    See my nonsense @ 9:06 AM

    "lolcow"
    I like that! Though 'lawlscow' would be more groovier. And I am indeed much more antediluvian than you can imagine - perhaps Sabre-toothed lolcow then?

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  72. "....there's a really satisfying climactic scene in the Orson Squire Fowler phrenological novel, 'Eight Lost Walls' which hinges on it being an incorrect pluralisation...."

    The plural of 'clitoris' is 'clitorides'.
    Ain't that cute?

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  73. I happen to know the origin of today's comic. The mimic octopus was on animal planet yesterday afternoon:
    See http://animal.discovery.com/tv-schedules/daily.html?date=20110721.202
    (at 5PM is "The Most Extreme: Transformers", which, if you really feel dedicated, you can look up on wikipedia and see that it talked about the mimic octopus.)

    So, he saw it on TV and thought it was funny that it existed, and wanted to relate with everyone else that it exists so they too will laugh that such a creature exists! Hahah, octopus. Just saying it makes me laugh (assuming I am shitfaced).

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  74. "...Just saying it makes me laugh (assuming I am shitfaced)...."

    I realise English is a highly idiomatic language, but I fail to see how adorning one's face with excrement would elicit laughter - from the one being so adorned that is.

    Pleasure, maybe, if one is a copraphile.

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  75. If you realise that English is highly idiomatic then why do you take its meaning literally?

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  76. SITUATION:

    Rob is so alone.

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  77. @ Anonymous 2:41 PM

    On account of my poor up-bringin' I reckon. That and I never know if what I am reading is an idiom or if it is meant to be taken literally. Are you native English speakers born with that knowledge?
    Also, having a weakness for 'Malibu' brand based drinks, I am a copraphile and later I become facially coprophilic.

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  78. ALTF how much did BP pay for you?

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  79. Of course, you can use any almost word in the English language to say you're drunk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xewe4mlX2tc

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  80. Anon 1:59, you've identified the source of Randy's inspiration. Good job. For your next challenge, identify the clip art he used for all those silhouettes, because there is no way in hell he drew anything that good himself.

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  81. ALTF I know I am only a lowly peasent, but I must profess my love for you.
    I will write in fancy rhyme or just plain prose, my love, to convince thee to court me.

    I've sold all my copies of razzle, I'm ready for monogomy.

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  82. She's like 50, 7:43. But she does have some cute fluffy slippers which I guess might do the Freudian thing for you.

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  83. @ Anonymous 7:43

    Peasant or not, you must court me. Monogamy is not a requirement by the way. In fact, I've known it to be an impediment.

    @ Anonymous 8:08:

    I was born within an hour or so of the ToD of Sid Vicious. It is BP who is elderly - a fecking sexagenarian.

    I do believe in reincarnation.

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  84. 7:43 here again.

    I am going to plow you like Farmer Pritchard, you filthy old spunker, you.
    Bring the fluffy slippers and prepare to redefine 'fecking sexagenarian'.

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  85. Agricultural similes are rather too bucolic if one desires carnal knowledge of yours truly. May I suggest a post-industrial urban allegory instead?

    You're right about the filthy spunker bit, but I am not old - I'm barely a tricenarian! And I do not own slippers - fluffy or otherwise.

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  86. Poor Amy.
    Shall I shed a tear?
    Nah!
    She was a right cunt.

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  87. She will be truly back to black when the necrotic putrefaction sets in!
    Let's be frank about it.

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  88. ALTF, tricenarian? Sid'd make you just a little older than I am. You've declared yourself to be much more advanced in years before this. Did you choose BP for his wisdom, his money, the likelihood that he wouldn't present you too often with his conjugalities... or simply for the visa?

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  89. Visa?
    Through The BP?
    A fucking Canadian visa?
    I'm quite content with my South American citizenship. Besides, I carry a UN Passport now - as does the The BP.
    The BP and I are partners in crime - business associates I reckon.

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  90. Are you triffling with the affections of young men again Fucking Aquarians?

    Click my Avatar, ye who would hazard to enthrall the self-anointed one. View the penultimate post, 'Dr. M. Part I' first. Then proceed to 'Dr. M. Part II'

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  91. Yins is a cunt SR.

    I'm the one in the red by the way. Photographed in December 2007, I think.

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  92. And there is only one 'F' in 'trifling'!

    Canadian Cunt!

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  93. My only regret is that I am unable to join the 27 Club.

    SR?
    There is still time for you to join the 'Twice 27 And Then Some Club'
    Any chance of that?

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  94. SR, you keep saying that the girl in red is ALT-F. I keep thinking you're wrong.

    Got anything besides your word to support that claim?

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  95. I thought the mimic octopus comic was pretty well done. A bit behind the times since those were in the news a fair bit back in 2008, but it's not like octopuses lose relevance. My only complaint is that I can't mention this octopus as an obscure-but-awesome animal anymore. I'll have to resort to the Humboldt squid - speaking of which, if he ever hears of it, I expect a poorly done comic comparing them to velociraptors.

    (The alt text was dumb, of course.)

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  96. SR, what happened to taking down the pictures of your ladyboy friend down in 12 hours? It's been up for months if not years.

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  97. @ALTF if it's any consolation, a government type in my extended family also did the marry-an-ethnic thing to keep up appearances while negotiating in South Africa. Poor black girl wasn't very bright but she tried awfully hard to demonstrate otherwise. I'd have felt sorry for her were the life of a whore of diplomacy even modestly taxing. We all need a pet.

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  98. I fucked a few nigger chicks in my time. Black bitches were sure made for fucking, holy shit.

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  99. GUYS GUYS FIONA APPLE JUST DIED OMG GUYS GET SOME PERSPECTIVE

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  100. Did she commit suicide because of that British popstar, or was it over something trivial like that Norway bullshit?

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  101. Megan's Milk ButtonJuly 24, 2011 at 4:48 AM

    Randall said to himself, "I just learned that the proper plural of octopus isn't octopi. How can I pretend I knew that all along? How about if I rehash my 'weather balloon' strip and throw in some alt-text saying how annoying the word 'octopi' is!"

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  102. holy shit

    randall betrayed by one of his favourie websites

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  103. I pledge $10 to Randall's nominated registered charity if he never produces another xkcd strip.

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  104. Normally I appreciate your take on his comics, but this one really had no point. Randall in no way implied that he thought every standard for instant messaging was created to unify them--just that there were protocols created on top of competing ones to do so. None of which ever caught on to the degree of becoming the clear leader.

    In fact, he wasn't even implying in the middle panel that the standards were created to be compatible--just to cover typical cases. I.E., AIM has formatting while MSN does not, but MSN has custom emoticons. XMPP offers both.

    Of course, the comic only mentioned instant messaging once, in tiny print. I didn't even notice it before you picked on it.

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  105. 10:30: Randall in no way implied that he thought every standard for instant messaging was created to unify them

    Read the three ALL CAPS words comprising the title right at the top of the comic.

    It might not be what he meant to say, but it is what he said. At least what he actually said is original (if stupid and wrong), because the observations that
    (i) many competing standards exist; and
    (ii) often a unifying attempt just becomes another competing standard
    have been pointed out for decades.

    Of course, the comic only mentioned instant messaging once, in tiny print. I didn't even notice it before you picked on it.
    What is it with cuddlefish and lack of attention to detail? "This comic is shit and nonsense but only if you actually read the words."

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  106. 10:31 and 10:03 = samefags.

    'lololol mommy look i can winded the argument with the bad guy!!!'
    'that's nice dear, go play with your legos'
    in short, you are gay. ALTF, send me naked pics, I am your humble love rag from 7:43 yesterday, and my penile man servant's hunger hath not been sated.
    Captcha, scrad


    Scrad was the big time, he was dealing mkat out of a dark back alley near London's Vondol district.
    Was the big time. The police pulled him in two days ago for questioning about the murder of Jean. He had no alibi.

    See? I can do gritty modern dystopias too! It's not all farmers and cows.
    (Although I do still want to plow thee sideways)


    Call me!

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  107. 11:58, are you trying to out-white-knight Randy? It's embarrassing :/.

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  108. How is "send me naked pics" anything CLOSE to white knighting?

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  109. See the rest. All white knights really just want naked pics.

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  110. homosexuality lol

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  111. I'm not going to white knight, but I would like some naked pics from ALTF.

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  112. Actually, this one is quite funny. But you have to be able to understand the meaning of the word "standard". But "understanding" has never been the strong point of the avid xkcdsucks reader/blogger. :(

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