1251: Anti-Glass

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
'Why don't you just point it at their eye directly?' 'What is this, 2007?'
Title text: 'Why don't you just point it at their eye directly?' 'What is this, 2007?'

[edit] Explanation

Black Hat makes an attachment for eyeglasses which shines a laser light at people using Google Glass. The quote "The best defense is an indiscriminate offense" plays off the adage "The best defense is a good offense". Black Hat's goal seems to be to interfere with the Google Glass user potentially recording the person with the laser, and possibly blinding Google Glass users, undermining the project. By mailing one to the children of every Google executive who are likely to be Google Glass users, he's clearly aiming to disrupt the entire Google Glass project. Silicon Valley is a place where many technologically up-to-date people live who are more likely to use Google Glass.

The "viral marketing campaign" excuse seems to play off how battery-powered LED placards were mistaken for terrorism in the 2007 Boston bomb scare. He pretends that his terrorism is actually a viral marketing campaign, but seems to have not thought this excuse through. He then tries to get them to look into a laser light.

The title text shows the irony between Black Hat's needlessly complicated technical solution, and his apparent hate of Google Glass, a relatively new technology. In addition, he remarks that he wouldn't do something as old-fashioned as shining a laser in peoples' eyes, as this does not live up to his technical expertise.

However, he could shine a laser through the peephole, which would have the same effect on the police officers.

Later in 1304: Glass Trolling Randall explains that Black Hat isn't the only one who dislikes Google glasses.

[edit] Transcript

[Two police officers stand at an apartment door. The female officer is holding a pair of glasses with something attached to it. We will see later that Black Hat is in the apartment.]
Female officer: Police. Open up. Did you make this glasses attachment?
Black Hat (through door): Oh, yeah.
[Black Hat is sitting at his laptop.]
Police officer: What's it do?
Black Hat: It detects when someone near you is wearing Google Glass and shines a laser pointer at their eyepiece.
Police officer: Why??
Black Hat: The best defense is an indiscriminate offense.
[Cut back to officers outside the apartment.]
Male officer: It seems you've mailed these devices to people across Silicon Valley, including the children of every Google executive.
Black Hat: Yeah. It's a viral marketing campaign for an upcoming movie.
Male officer: What movie?
Black Hat: Haven't decided yet. Anything good coming out this fall?
Male officer: Sir, open the door.
Black Hat: First stare at the peephole for a sec.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Could someone explain the title text, please? I'm afraid I don't understand the irony mentioned. 11:37, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Yes. And also why 2007? Not like him to pick a random year. Was it something to do with the new laser classification and warning/labeling regulations that went into place that year? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_safety) -- Drjoe047 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It should be the iPhone, the first generation was released on June 29, 2007. It was a similar technical revolution as Google Glass will be.--Dgbrt (talk) 13:12, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

I don't think that the explanation needs to include the description of Black Hat. He has his own page. Regarding his desire not to blind people, he's about to shine a laser in the police officers' eyes. He has no problem blinding people. In addition, I don't think the title text is ironic. Black Hat is a hacker. He's always embraced technology. He just embraces it his way. -- Theo (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Wouldn't Google Glass be a nuisance for Black Hat? If everyone goes around always recording everything, it gets much harder to pull off nefarious plans in secret... 17:11, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

"The best defense is an discriminate offense." Might this be a play on the idiom "The best defense is a good offense"? The "indiscriminate" part strongly reminds me of NSA's justification that their massive surveillance program was not warrantless search & seizure because it's indiscriminate, i.e. no one person is targeted. Kind of like in this comic, where the device automatically targets any nearby Glass user but no one user(s) in particular. 08:46, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Dunno about the NSA reference, but it is an obvious play on that adage. I've added a one-sentence explanation of the reference and a link to the Wikipedia page. --V2Blast (talk) 06:08, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Could Black Hat's attachment be for Google Glasses? Somehow the attachment has to see the targets and process this information ... The Kids will be running around and shooting each other. Sebastian -- 10:12, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

The explanation should be changed in order to remove a number of errors, inaccuracies and grammatical faults.

1. The laser is aimed at the eyepiece of the device, not at the eye of the wearer

2. Therefore it could not blind the wearer

3. No explanation of why mailing them to the children of google executives would disrupt the project.

5. Clumsy double use of the nothing phrase "plays off".

6. Unsubstantiated and extremely unlikely link to a real news event.

7. Starting the final paragraph with the word 'However'.

8. No explanation of the reference to the year 2007.

9. Use of the word "hate" seems misplaced. Black Hat is unemotionally evil.

Go for it. 02:39, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

The reason I left that incomplete template there, with only "Incomplete?", is because it was there earlier, and I didn't know what was incomplete about it. 0100011101100001011011010110010101011010011011110110111001100101 (talk page) 23:24, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Regarding #3 above: Children likes toys. Glasses with a laser pointer attached looks like a toy. Children would run around using and playing with these glasses/toys. They would eventually meet their parents. Their parents being Google executives, there's a high probability they would be wearing Google Glasses. They would be aware of the annoyance created by Black Hat. Without being able to fight back this annoyance, they would feel best to shut down the Google Glass project. 04:25, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?