1523: Microdrones

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 13:09, 11 May 2015 by (talk) (Fixing an awkward wording)
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Oh, weird, Amazon is out of butterfly nets.
Title text: Oh, weird, Amazon is out of butterfly nets.


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Amazon Prime Air is a conceptual drone-based delivery system currently in development by Amazon.com. Later on, Cueball worries about living in an sci-fi dystopia, with those drones flying all around him. In the second panel, Megan suggests to send a message to Congress, stating a law for making the stealing of drones (supposedly with butterfly nets) legal.

The title text suggests that Amazon doesn't sell butterfly nets anymore, because people can take minidrones out of the air with them.


[Cueball is standing behind Megan who sits at a desk typing on her laptop.]
Cueball: So how do we regulate all these micro drones?
Cueball: I mean, Amazon delivery bots sound cool...
[Cueball stands alone surrounded by three micro drones.]
Cueball: But I worry that overnight we'll realize we're surrounded by these things, no one will know who's controlling them, and then bam, sci-fi dystopia.
[Megan turns in her chair towards Cueball.]
Megan: If you wanna slow it down, why not just remove all regulations, but then make drone theft legal?
[Cueball takes his hand to his chin and Megan turns back to type on the laptop.]
Cueball: ...I like that.
Megan: You write to congress.
Megan: I'll stock up on butterfly nets.

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Did someone tried? I mean, can you really catch drone with butterfly net without damaging the drone or the net? -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:32, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

I know people shoot them out of the air with guns and considering the height at which they're flying, it's possible. The Twenty-second. The Not So Only. The Nathan/Nk22 (talk) 12:47, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the Amazon bit is implying that Amazon is artificially making drone nets unavailable because of its own drone based delivery service. Feel free to rephrase it. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

does this reference P.K,Dick's "Vulcan's Hammer"? -- Docski (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Hmm... I don't think hammers are equal to drones, but interesting. The Twenty-second. The Not So Only. The Nathan/Nk22 (talk) 16:56, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I think there are far too many sci-fi dystopias that this could be referencing to list them all. The Matrix immediately comes to mind, but a simple google search suggests more. 05:08, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

If you removed all regulations, drone theft would be legal. If it's on your property, it belongs to you. 18:42, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

But if there's no regulations, who cares about what's on your property and what isn't? I'd be sending out my drones to catch more drones rather than try running around waving a net. Not to mention that while drones might be unregulated, drone nets might still be. Pixali (talk|contribs) 23:25, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

You mean we AREN'T living in a sci-fi dystopia right now? There are skies that are patrolled by robots with missiles. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Unless they're your skies, you don't live in a sci-fi dystopia. You just share a planet with one. 23:19, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm attaching a butterfly net to my drone right now. Catching high flying drones is so easy, I will attach nets to my 20 drones tomorrow. 22:02, 11 May 2015 (UTC)BLuDgeons

How easy is it to take over the remote controller once you have the drone in your net? Is there a fairly generic way to pair a drone to another controller? (In current designs) Taibhse (talk) 22:20, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Shouldn't be too hard, so far all technology is hackable, only thing that stops us from hacking most hardware (drm) are the laws blocking the technology required to do so. As long as no only drone theft, but also drone hacking is legal, this might actually be more effective than expected at keeping drones out of our every-day life. Then again, a wild west for drones might make most practical uses for drones impossible, but hugely favour for example spy-drones, that cant be stolen because they aren't found. Dorus (talk) 11:28, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Does this have anything to do with 1243 ? I mean it suggest largely the same thing just on a different scale 09:23, 12 May 2015 (UTC)Thijser

That might be it. Especially that title text: 'It's going in A collection of satellites skewered with pins and mounted in display boxes.' The Twenty-second. The Not So Only. The Nathan/Nk22 (talk) 16:59, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

I deleted this explanation.

Alternatively, the title text could be interpreted to mean that the drones have already become self aware, and are incorrectly listing the nets as out of stock to prevent their capture.

Maybe we should create 1523: Microdrones/Funny explanations for 12 year olds. 14:43, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

It is also my interpretation that the Amazon drones have altered the Amazon database to list the nets as out of stock. Your comments regarding "12 year olds" are... needless. -452 (talk) 15:06, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Moreover, this is, if not a humor site per se, at least a site with a habit of deadpan humor building upon the essential humor of the comics. Furthermore, the anonymous use of unfounded ad hominem attacks to subtract such humor makes one sound like a meanyhead spoilsport. Despairbear (talk)

France has started trying to catch drones with a drone dragging a net recently. I thought this might be a reference to the Malou Tech drone Interceptor 16:27, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

The problem: Unidentified drones. The solution: No regulations, legal to steal. The outcome: Drone manufactures will incorporate DRM inside each drone making it their interest to be identified. Problem solved. 06:20, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

What is the present legal situation with trespassing drones? Can property owners just take them? Do they need to hand them into the police? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Picture removed

I removed this picture link from the explain because we don't have a valid copyright for this picture:


It should be removed from this wiki. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:52, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Forget theft of microdrones; what about natural predators? https://youtu.be/Hr-xBtVU4lg?t=15s (Not unique to copters, either, see https://youtu.be/vdgvlHH3JSA ) 09:54, 14 August 2015 (UTC)