1207: AirAware

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It ships with a version of Google Now that alerts you when it's too late to leave for your appointments.
Title text: It ships with a version of Google Now that alerts you when it's too late to leave for your appointments.


Upon being asked by Cueball, Black Hat reveals his new 'business', AirAware. He explains it uses a Quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that flies and records a person's daily schedule. If that person either deviates, forgets an appointment, or tells somebody incorrect information, the drone alerts the 'client' with an annoying "WRONG!".

Cueball is skeptical of the 'business plan' and questions its potential. Black Hat expands, saying that his intention is not personal profit, and he is simply releasing them himself. Cueball starts to argue that it is not a business, since there is no monetary gain, before being abruptly interrupted by the AirAware drone, declaring that his previous sentence was incorrect. This implies that Black Hat's business is not for profit; it's just another one of his sadistic schemes to torture people, and Cueball is his latest victim.

Although the Wikipedia page for business states that a business "may also be not-for-profit", this isn't really relevant, as 'making money' and 'making a profit' are different things. It would be better classified as a different type of organization, or even as a hobby.

Google Now is software by Google, shipped with newer Android devices. It shows you important information when you need it, like traffic on your way to work or home and upcoming events from your calendar. It also reminds you when to leave in order to reach an appointment in time. In the title text, Black Hat has modified this to tell you when you're too late to get there, instead.

It can also refer to a bug in Google Now, which is that Google Now incorrectly calculates the time you have to leave, and it always calculates that what it calculated will be 1 minute too late, so it shows "The transportation mode you selected will not let you arrive on time" almost always, unless you refresh.

An alternate explanation for the pronouncement of "WRONG!" by the quadcopter in the last panel is that it is referring to the plethora of companies in the electronic era, and even today, that don't actually make much (or any) money, but are still considered successful businesses.


[Cueball and Black Hat looking at a remote-controlled flying object.]
Cueball: What's that?
Black Hat: It's a drone for my new business, AirAware.
Black Hat (narrating): Our UAVs follow you and learn your schedule. If you miss a turn, forget an appointment, or give someone inaccurate information, they alert you.
Megan (on phone): I'll be there in five.
Booming voice from the sky: WRONG!
Megan: Augh!
Cueball: That sounds annoying. Who would pay for that?
Black Hat: Huh? Nobody pays. I'm just making these and releasing them.
Cueball: That's not a business. You're just yelling at strangers from the sky.
Cueball: A business has to make money somehow.
Booming voice from the sky: WRONG!
Cueball: Augh!!

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I somehow has the feeling that the business-plan behind is that people will pay you that the drone LEAVES. --DaB. (talk) 08:39, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

That would certainly work, but I'm not sure Black Hat wants that money. -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:03, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Even if this is the revenue model, it would be an undertaking that still genera...err.. extorts revenue. So, the drone is still incorrect when it yells out in the last panel. On the other hand, we're back to square one (the definition of business) if it's not the blackmailing BlackHat you pay to get rid of his drones, but another business that shoots them down. 19:07, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

The "as it does not seem to generate money" bit seems a bit premature in the explanation. At the stage he's questioning whether it is a business, the question is "who would even pay?". Only in the last frame does the utter lack of generated money (above idea from DaB. aside) arise and make him assert that it is not one, which gets him shouted at. Not sure how to re-write it, though. 09:59, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, I was thinking that, but I didn't really know what to write and I was a bit rushed, I might fix it up now. 14:06, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

I think this could also be to do with how Google Now works - e.g. it will often tell you things that you are semi-aware of, but ignoring.-- 12:03, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Google will make money on Now the same as always. By renting our eyeballs. I used it for the first time last night. It located me and showed me nearby businesses. If they weren't paying for clickthrough then, they will over time. tbc (talk) 12:42, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

I have not seen those yet, maybe because I'm living in a rural area. But it always shows me the weather, upcoming appointments (and when to leave for them) and traffic on my way to work. At work (smaller city) it also shows me places nearby to visit, but no ads, only POIs. --SlashMe (talk) 15:17, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, and how do you think Google determines *which* POIs to show you? It's essentially an ad that's embedded so deeply into the user experience that you don't even realize it's an ad. Orazor (talk) 05:46, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

The bit about "must nake money" being WRONG is probably a reference to the scores of dotcoms who came to market with the idea that "We'll make something cool now, figure out how to make money from it later" Gardnertoo (talk) 13:30, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

IMHO, there is only one kind of organization that collect tons of dollars "just yelling at stranger from the sky": churches (in addition, churches are non profit organizations). Andcoz (talk) 14:45, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

LIKE! Orazor (talk) 05:46, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Big Brother 1984 (from 1948 by George Orwell) is just a Child's Birthday comparing to Goooogle. And I like Goooogle as everyone else here does.--Dgbrt (talk) 15:24, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Of course the Pakistani version of this drone shoots you (and/or your relatives) if you say something silly, unless you pay it enough money. ~~tbwtg~~

I think that this explanation is wrong. This strip is about giving too much privacy. Google or Facebook knows much more about us than anybody else, and information is money, so this IS a huge business even if you dont pay anything -- 23:43, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

so fix it Alpha (talk) 04:57, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I didn't really think of that whilst writing it, but that doesn't mean it was wrong, just that focus was on the wrong thing. 05:21, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Any good business makes decisions to please or entice it's paying customers. You are not google's customer, or facebook's. If you didn't pay, you're not the customer, you're the stock-in-trade. The hardware store owner doesn't ask the hammers where he should display them. The grocer doesn't ask the watermelon for advice on marketing policy. ~wrybred

So the Innocence Project, say, has wrongly convicted prisoners as its stock-in-trade (since they don't pay for the representation). So, following the money trail, it must be the *donors* to the Innocence Project who are the clients, since they are paying. So the IP attorneys should consult with the donors about the defense strategy, not the prisoners. In fact, attorney-client privilege in this case must cover communication between the IP attorney and the donor, not the prisoner represented. It's all so clear to me now! 18:04, 6 May 2013 (UTC)larK

I don't think your analogy quite holds up, and I'm not entirely sure about the point you are trying to make. (NOTE: sorry -- didn't mean to make that sound so deprecating. Please help me to understand your point.)
The relationship between a lawyer and the person/entity s/he represents is a little bit (and by little bit I mean a lot) different from that of a company and its share holders. I think the question in this case is to whom the fiduciary duty is owed. And for a lawyer, it is always his or her client. Sure, donors to IP keep the organization running, and *maybe* the lawyer might consult with the board of directors (or whatever steering comittee structure IP has set up) to determine whether to take a particular case. Once that case is selected and the prisoner agrees, however, the attorney/client privilege only exists between the lawyer and the prisoner in this case. As an aside, I'm sure IP does employ a staff attorney(s) whose sole job is to look out for IP's interests, and with whom an attorney/client privilege exists. But that's a different story. While corporations only care about money, that's not *always* true for lawyers. Orazor (talk) 05:46, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Do you think the similarity between AirAware and Airware is too obvious to mention? {{unsigned ip|]}