Surface Tension

As an unapologetic Apple fanboy, I am probably not the most expected source for seemingly anti-Apple sentiment. But a fact is a fact, and chief among Apple’s key strategies is waiting for years after a new service, feature or function is adopted and implemented by EVERY other competitive platform before putting their own spin on it and taking all the credit as if it were their own invention. They are almost always the last to the party, but they are always the best dressed, the most interesting, the sexiest and the only one everyone remembers the next day.

I don’t fault Apple for this type of behavior because all they are really doing is letting the other guys take the risks and make the mistakes and gauging public response based on other products before taking all of that knowledge and refining the hell out of their own product before launching it (2 or 3 years after the first one came out). Then WE, not Apple, create the notion that Apple did something new, different and spectacular. Apple is the only tech company not frothing at the mouth to be the first to a milestone. They have the foresight to know that in 5 -10 years, no one will remember who did it first. They will only remember who did it best. No one will ever say, “Did you see Apple’s new Diamond Rio Mp3 Player? It’s called an iPod.”

It’s the same with the upcoming inclusion of turn by turn GPS in iOS 6. Android has had this feature for free since 2009 or so. Apple has outright neglected this feature (like they did video recording, 3G and apps on the early iPhones), but I guarantee you that as soon as people are asking their iPhones, ” Siri, tell me how to get to the nearest Thai place,” they are going to think Apple not only invented GPS, but also the orbits that hold the satellites in place and probably The Moon too just for good measure.

So when Apple finally puts a keyboard in a Smart Cover, don’t be surprised. I feel like that’s the only real standout feature of The MS Surface. I’m sure it will be a perfectly fine tablet, but I promise you the full Windows 8 version will be at least $1000, which makes it more of a competitor to the Macbook Air than the iPad. I also think it’s foolish to release two identical products with the same name when one is essentially a full computer and the other is a tablet running an mobile version of Windows 8. Leave it to MS to create confusion within their own brand. They just don’t have that singular vision that Apple has (or perhaps had… time will tell). I do not think poorly of Windows users or MS fans, but I firmly believe they are children of a lesser Steve. Everything they release seems very “design by committee.” Actually it seems like an outside committee was hired to consult the committee that advised the design by committee committee who worked on the design for four years before being reassigned to a different project, at which point a new committee as brought in to rush the design to completion despite having no idea what it was for in the first place.

COMMENTERS: Is the MS Surface finally going to put Redmond on the hardware map? Are their any standout features of the Surface that have you excited? No? Is that because they really didn’t announce any features, like at all? Weird, huh? Is it just me or is the whole “every device must have a Metro OS” thing a horrible idea? I find the current Xbox dash nearly unusable and it’s as Metro as all get out.

Any other examples of a company or service that was “late to the party” but gets all the credit? 

The Harsh Light Of Day

The Lil’ Wil Wheaton Plushie Pre-Sale IS NOW HERE in the HE Store. The ONLY way to make sure you get one by the holidays is to order during the pre-sale. They’re $19.95 + shipping. Buy one for you, one for a friend and one to customize with a little fez or horrible spacesuit sweater!

Wil Wheaton Plushie from HijiNKS ENSUE, Wil Wheaton Plush toy doll

Check out the Serenity/Star Wars themed art I did for the Edmonton, Alberta “Can’t Stop The Serenity” charity Auction. If you’re going to the event, it could be yours.

I don’t even know what to believe any more. No one seems the like Prometheus. The warmest review I’ve heard from a trusted geek source is “I enjoyed it well enough, but there were some MAJOR problems.” I’ve so been looking forward to this movie for months, and now I don’t even know if I want to see it in theaters or wait for home video. It seemed like it had everything the perfect ME movie should have. Spaceships, robots, space, creepy robots, a lady, aliens, space murder, convulsing, space suits, cryo-sleep, a thing trying to kill everyone, space accents… quite literally EVERYTHING I look for in a movie. Now I’m hearing about character problems and a story that doesn’t quite come together. I really hope this is another Avatar situation, where I LOVE it and all the haters can go suck on a plasma exhaust port.

COMMENTERS: Feel free to give you TOTALLY SPOILER FREE thoughts on Prometheus in the comments. Rest assured that, despite my warning, I will probably read none of them until after I see the movie. I’m still holding out hope.

Consecration

NEW SHIRT!!! There are a lot of misconceptions about THE PENTAPPLEGRAM. Did you know ancient druids used it to ward off kernel panics as well as for human sacrifice?

Pentapplegram Shirt - Apple Logo Pentagram T-Shirt, Funny Apple Parody, Mac iMac macbook steve jobs ipad iPhone

Josh has his new “The New iPad” for mere moments before he discovered that it was capable of wireless upload speeds faster than the download speed of his fiber optic home internet. That shit is, in a word, bananas. Of course super fast, go-anywhere data doesn’t matter much when a couple of hours of video streaming eats all of your allotted bandwidth for the entire month. I’ll never get used to the constant “two steps forward, three steps back” mentality of the big telco companies. Everything is always unlimited and nearly free until it A) gets good and B) a lot of people start using it.

Of course I see the correlation between higher quality service and more users to need for more infrastructure, employees, etc, but early adopters like me get to sick back and watch our bills go up as our services get whittled away. Remember when long distance phone service used to be a thing? At least that was an antiquated telecommunication concept we were able to move past and stay past. Now nearly every service provider for any kind of data (wired, wireless or otherwise) is reverting to the ancient AOL days of metered bandwidth, and it’s bastard offspring – throttling. In a few years, we aren’t going to have wired anything (and that includes Satellite TV). We’re going to have a home broadband antenna that brings in our TV, Internet and mobile data through one fat wireless pipe. And a few years after that we aren’t going to have an Internet, or cable or phone lines. It’s just going to be The Network. It’s all just data. At least that’s what NEEDS to happen. At the rate the telecoms are backpedaling, we’re going to be asking our moms if they can get off the fax line so we can dial up our iPhones to log into Prodigy. We promise it’s for school and we aren’t looking at any bad BBS’s or anything.

Obviously this comic was envisioned at the same time as the Pentapplegram shirt. They were intended to be companions, released on the same day. As soon as I finished, and launched the shirt I had the idea for the “Where’s Carl?!”  comic and shirt and this one had to take a back seat for a few days. Just clearing that up in case the time line confused anyone. No? No one? No one would ever care about that? Just me? Cool.

COMMENTERS: What’s the pre-info age service that you used to not be able to live without that you barely even remember now? Did you have a prepaid long distance card? What about a prepaid wireless phone with a 30 minute monthly plan for something like $50? Both my parents had carphones for a number of years and we used them CONSTANTLY. It’s so foreign to think of a time when a phone was locked to a location. “Is she at home? No answer. Try her car. No luck there either? Did you page her? She doesn’t have one? Ok, then THERE IS NO WAY TO CONTACT HER AT ALL PERIOD.” Barely makes sense, right? From at 15 to age 18 I pretty much lived and died by my pager. I can hardly imagine a dumber device now.

What’s In The Box?!

UPDATE! Check out this new shirt I made: THE PENTAPPLEGRAM! There will probably be stickers as well in the future.

Pentapplegram Shirt - Apple Logo Pentagram T-Shirt, Funny Apple Parody, Mac iMac macbook steve jobs ipad iPhone

Many of us more technologically inclined individuals have certain habbitual behaviors concerning the delivery, unboxing, first use and subsequent treatment of new toys. Josh has apparently found a way to monetize his. If you do good work, the audience will find you. If you do unspeakable things with brushed aluminum and glossy touch screens, Klaus und Deter und all der friends vil gladly pay $40 Euros per minute to vitness it.

Despite being quite the technophile, and always purchasing the newest Apple toy/game console/erotic defribulator/ etc on launch day, Josh is actually quite hard on his gadgets (NDJI – No Dick Joke Intended… oh wait… HARD! I get it. Yeah, dick joke definitely intended – YDJDI). He’s a no case, no screen protector, shit’s gonna get scratches, just freeball the phone in my pocket with my keys kind of guy. The only thing he’s treats worse than phones is cameras. He once tried to gift me his point and shoot digital camera which was barely recognizable as anything but a lump of plastic scar tissue with a couple of LEDs. It might have been a tumor removed from a robot. Robot cancer is a serious problem. Educate yourself, people.

COMMENTERS: Are you a ginger gadget grabber? Do you wear the kiddest of kid gloves with your phone/iPod/tablet/whatever or do you toss it around all caseless and willy nilly and let fate determine its… fate? Any particularly interesting stories about being too careful or not careful enough with expensive toys?

I’m a “put that shit in a case the moment it comes out of the box” kinda dude. When I got my 30gb iPod as a gift from my boss around 2003, I actually held a microfiber cloth in my hand when I used it as not to get finger prints on it. As soon as I got home with the new Ipod, mere hours after unboxing it, I pulled out my giant sheets of gadget screen protector that custom cut yourself to fit any device. I did my measurements, got one the right size, peeled back one edge and began to apply. I didn’t have a credit card handy, so I grabbed a sample of linoleum counter top left over from remodeling our kitchen and used it to squeegie on the screen protector. There must have been a chip in the sample because it gouged a trench across the entire face of that iPod deep enough to fill with enough “first world problem” tears to then drown yourself with. I hadn’t even loaded any music on it yet.

My daughter has been drawing characters from the Tiny Titans comics and I have been posting them on my Tumblr. They are, in a word, cutedorable.

A website called ComicMix is doing a webcomics March Madness with over 100 comics. I am on the list of competitors. I only know of about 10 comics on the list, and I don’t care about the outcome, but it’s neat to see your friends win stuff, even if it’s silly. Go vote or whatever.

Indistinguishable From Magic

“George Hurt You” shirts are in the store!!!

Show Us On The Trilogy Where George Hurt You - funny star wars t-shirt, george lucas shirt, star wars parody

All I know is that if you say, “Siri, call me Butt Commander,” it will reply thusly, “From now on, I’ll call you Butt Commander. Ok?” That alone is worth the price of entry.

COMMENTERS: Those of you with the iPhone 4s, are you actually using Siri? Is it a novelty or the beginning of our transition into a Star Trek reality. What would you like to see Siri evolve into (what functionality would you like to see added to the platform?) Have you gotten any surprising answers to your Siri-queries? When we were in New York this weekend, my friend Rob told Siri, “I want to see some boobs,” to which she replied, “Ok, there are 17 strip clubs in your area.”