Title: Sharing; alt-text: In the new edition of The Giving Tree, the tree uses social tools to share with it's friend all the best places to buy things.
Hey guys did you know that there are these things called e-books with an established licensing plan and payment model, and if you don't pay for the e-book, you don't get to read it? This is news to Randall!
Look. I have no business condemning piracy. My personal justification for downloading the big stuff (Photoshop and the like) is that if I had to pay for it, I wouldn't buy it. Therefore, I'm not depriving the company of a sale. I do pay for smaller things like music, though. However, I DEFINITELY don't feel that I'm owed those things just for the sake of "sharing." The companies put work into their products, so they decide what to charge. If I don't want to pay that price, I risk not being able to get the product. It's simple.
But the thing is, this statement is so inane and obvious that I can't imagine Randall making a comic about it that takes it at face value. Either he's lazier than we thought, or he's trying to show how "ridiculous" the notion of e-book DRM is. It feels like he's saying, "You don't want to give me the book for free? Well TOO BAD; I never wanted your stupid book anyway!"
O...kay? THAT'S your comic strip, Randy? And you thought that this concept was so brilliant that you had to craft some retarded "tree with a USB port" context to tell us about it? Look. Maybe you didn't read the original story (and how could you? It has DRM!), but it's not called "The Sharing Tree." It's called "The GIVING Tree." The story isn't about how the world would be a better place if everyone shared everything. It's about a tree that gives pieces of itself for the sake of someone else. It's literally becoming less in order to provide the boy with more. Maybe you don't realize it, but file sharing isn't anything like that.
Some may say, "What about the art, Gamer? That's pretty good, right? For xkcd?" Well, yes, normally, I'd count that as the good that I try to find in every bad xkcd. But it's just so frustrating to see Randall whip out passable art at random! Is the joke aided buy having a textured and shaded tree? No? So WHY INCLUDE THAT? Or rather, why include it HERE when you refuse to put effort into strips that could actually benefit from more detailed art? If xkcd was never anything but stick figures, I could understand that. If Randall put some artistic effort into every strip, I could appreciate that. But instead of either of those, he takes a third route that shouldn't even exist and just ups his effort at random. Why?
Also, some of you are probably wondering where yesterday's "Sucks Less" update is. The truth is, only 953 could have been improved easily (which was the whole point of the feature). 954 was good (in my mind), and no one sent me any suggestions for 955. SinbadEV, my normal go-to guy, could only improve 953 with violence, so instead, I'll leave you with an improvement that someone spontaneously left on the other xkcd hate blog. I think. It was a long time ago, and I'm sure as heck not going to dig through THOSE comments. Yeesh.