1573: Cyberintelligence

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 06:46, 4 September 2015 by (talk) (title text: more probable references Explanation)
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We had gathered that raw information, but had yet to put it all together.
Title text: We had gathered that raw information, but had yet to put it all together.


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This comic plays on the fact that some organization appears to be spending obscene amounts of money on their "cyber intelligence" budget, yet all that research appears not to have informed then that the prefix "cyber-" fell out of fashion years ago.

The title text continues the joke by implying the organization learned about the demise of "cyber-" yet failed to process or analyze that data. It may also be a reference to the previous comic, which was a link to a survey for xkcd readers.


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No one has used the prefix "cyber-" in over a decade? I guess the Cybermen are pretty disappointed to hear that. 06:22, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

You could argue it's a "historical" term. It's have been almost 50 years since the term was formed. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 07:08, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
And, at least in Germany, broadcasting of CSI Cyber starts these days. -- 07:45, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

See also https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/whats-cyber-cyber-security/ [Comet] 21:41, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

CSI Cyber -- is an other example of a government organization named by senior exec who probably are old men Spongebog (talk) 13:35, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
The Dr Who Cybermen originated in the 1960s. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Cybermen have evolved beyond the need for most crude human emotions, such as disappointment. The only emotion we have left is the one you unmodified humans express by saying "excellent" while rubbing your hands together, although we of course express it by saying "excellent" while rubbing our silvery gloves together. 11:42, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Control Data Corporation produced the "Cyber" line of mainframes in the 70's and 80's. [Comet] 21:36, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

I think "cyber intelligence" is referring to computer spying and security, not artificial intelligence. As in "our cyber intelligence operatives have located the suspect." If you google "cyber intelligence," the results are definitely more geared towards security than AI. 07:42, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

I see and agree. I (as a German) always tend to forget that "intelligence" can be used as a term for other things, esp. espionage stuff (or "gaining information" or similar). The German word "Intelligenz" is only related cognitive abilities, as in AI, IQ etc... Or - rarely - as a synonym for Intelligentsia or intellectuals Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 12:17, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
As a computer security researcher, I agree with this idea. The term "cybersecurity" is commonly used to refer to computer security even today. On the other hand, in many other subfields of computer science, the "cyber-" prefix has fallen into disuse. 16:44, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Ironically, in Greece, the Cybercrime unit has never used the Greek word "Cyber" in its local name - possibly because it would be misunderstood to mean "Government Crime" Sysin (talk) 19:37, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Munroe himself uses the prefix "cyber" in the title text to xkcd 1084. 23:00, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Yes, but even there he uses it ironically, in an attempt to annoy others.

I changed "coined by Gibson" to "popularized by Gibson" because Google finds sporadic use going back to 1969, then a huge jump starting in the early 1980's. Matchups (talk) 12:03, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

Is it possible that the title text is referencing the Cosmic AC from Isaac Asimov's The Last Question? Porso9 (talk) 14:01, 7 September 2015 (UTC)Porso9

I don't know if this belongs in the explanation, but the title text pretty clearly is a paraphrase of, if not a quote from, the 9/11 report findings. Miamiclay (talk) 05:59, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

4 years after this comic, Tesla anounces their Cybertruck. --Lupo (talk) 12:00, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

And as of January 2022, it still isn't in production, and Tesla recently removed all projected dates when it will actually be available from their web site. Nitpicking (talk) 13:16, 11 January 2022 (UTC)