OMFGGG

That’s right. Boxcar M-F’ing Pete. I need to see about getting him on the Podcast.

I toyed with the idea of unlocking my current iPhone and eBaying it to some far away land where they aren’t actually available so I could afford an iPhone 3G. Then I started seeing reviews and articles saying, “The 3G data is pretty cool, but what you really want is the 2.0 firmware! It’s like a robot with laser tits!” Since my iPhone can have said tit-bot firmware for free, I’ve opted to postpone any possible upgrade scenario for now.

I updated iTunes and downloaded the 2.0 firmware (a day early since I’m such a cheeky monkey), and got my App Store on. I grabbed some of the free apps that looked useful (Twitterific, AIM, a flashlight thing, and Remote). Remote is an app from Apple that let’s you control your iTunes through your phone. I don’t want to go into a long review, but it’s freaking awesome. You can browse your entire lib(r)ary, view album art, etc from your phone. The communication was almost instant. I have bluetooth turned off, so I assume it uses WiFi or dark wizardry.

My advice: hold on to your original iPhone for now (or, if you never bought one in the first place, pick one up used from a jumpy upgrader sans contract). Wait for a significant update, like 32 or 64 gb’s. The apps really do make this a new device with a lot more potential. I want to buy Band, but I’m waiting for Josh to be my guinea pig.

UPDATE: They’ve already cracked the new firmware. 

You thought you had seen the last of Auto-Tracking!

Afterward they develop brain parasites that just tell you the basic plot of a movie in a conversational manner.
Not to beat a dead digital video format horse, but this beating stick has a few more whacks left in it (and its got a nice weight… feels really good in your hand.. ya know?). Yesterday, Netflix announced a $100 set top box that (with at least a $9 monthly plan) will let you stream 10,000 movies and TV shows. I know other services exist with this same technology, but not at a $100 price point, Netflix’s catalog and Netflix’s installed user base. You see, if you are already a Netflix subscriber you are already paying for this service. You just need the box. That’s fuck-tastic. I’m going to eBay most of my DVD’s (the one’s I don’t care about at least) and get one of these.

I might have told this story before, but in 2001 or so my friend Farris G. said, “why can’t we just subscribe to a service that has every episode of every TV show ever on demand? You wouldn’t need cable or satellite of DVD’s or anything.” Now, he was making this argument almost solely based on a desire to watch “Quantum Leap” reruns at a moment’s notice, but his point was valid. 7 years later we are extremely close to that ideal.

As I get older and life gets busier and more complicated, I care less and less about owning a physical representation of my audio and video media. I find DVD’s expensive and cumbersome (how’s that for jaded?). I’m sick or storing them and sick of paying $20 for them when I typically watch them 0-1 times over their life span. I don’t care about special features or commentaries any more. I am a perfect fit for a service like this.

I think we all realize that Blu-Ray is a stop gap to all-digital distribution. I predict it will have the shortest overall lifespan of any major format before it. The Netflix service isn’t HD yet, but it will be. And the box they are selling today will be firmware upgraded to accept HD content.

Give me a box that can stream any movie or TV show, and a wireless internet iPod that can access any song instantly and I will most likely stop trying to “own” my files. Sure, I’ll but the LOTR trilogy in the highest definition possible, and certain albums I might want in lossless format, or buy just to support the artist, but for the most part I just want to be able to call up an episode of “Arrested Development” from any TV in the house without having to go the store or fumble with a disc.

Speaking of, I’ve been doing just that on Hulu lately as I draw and it’s pretty fantastic. I also watched “Dave Chapelle’s Block Party” this morning… instantly, and for free. I highly recommend both the service and the Chapelle. The movie was very fun and uplifting. He’s just a normal guy living an extraordinary life.

Update:

Several mostly positive reviews of the ROKU Netflix box.

I keep calling them “Pie Star”

I know this wasn’t a major news story (even within the realm of the internet), but I found it very funny that a whole company, Psystar,  sprung up to legitimately sell “hackintosh” computers, The Open Mac/Computer, when the act of doing so violates Apple’s terms of service and is basically illegal. (note: making your own hackintosh isn’t really illegal. Selling them mostly is.)

Engadget has been chronicling the sadness of Psystar (psadness?), even going as far as to call the owner of Psystar to personally understand the shadiness there in.

The reason Steve won’t let other companies develop hardware for OS X to run on, is he wants to control every aspect of the Mac experience. He wants to know that while you are looking at OS X, you are looking at it on a Steve-approved LCD, and typing on Steve-approved keys, etc etc. The existence of the Mac Mini would seem to negate this theory, but I know that’s how he thinks. He at least wants the box housing the motherboard to have Steve-approved prettiness.

What does any of this have to do with 4th grade super hero creations? Nothing. The name “Psystar” just sounds like something me and my best friend in 4th grade, John Kienhoff, would have come up with.

Here are a few other of our grade 4 creations:

  • Jack Thunder – Spectral detective with a trench coat, giant hat and a Colt .45. Pretty sure he was a ghost.
  • The Cyber Knights – Knights that were also cyborgs. We couldn’t figure of they were from the future or the past, but they were fun to draw.
  • Sage – He knew everything… and was also your basic super hero with strength and flight and such.
  • Stab – A guy that only used knives. I never got around to drawing him, but I always liked the idea. The villain has a huge gun and he takes him down with just knives. Kick ass.
  • I also made a parody comic called “The Z-Men.” The team included “Cry-Clops,” “Collopsided,” “Night Faller” and “Wormerine.” I’ll let your imagination do the legwork.

Any super hero that a 10 year old dreams up has basically unlimited power, no weaknesses and an impossible anatomy that would make Rob Liefeld look like Michelangelo. Oh, and a cape. Always a cape. I should dig up those drawings (I have them all) and put them in the back of the first HE book.

Any Fancy Bastards out there create equally shitty comic book super heroes as a child?

The Architect’s Dilemma

I’ve spent most of the last week rebuilding the site using the new design that my friend Mikey created. I think he did a fantastic job and the site looks 100 times better for it. I am still doing upgrades and tweaks here and there, so if you see anything weird let me know.

The comic pretty well illustrates what my week was like. I COMPLETELY finished the site before digging a Windows PC out of the closet so I could check it on IE 6 and 7. As soon as it came up in the browser window, it asplode. This might only be funny/sad to web designers and CSS junkies, but it’s a heart break that we all share. Cross browser compatibility is the bain of many an existence.

So…uhh… check out that banner… it doesn’t so much say “Update’s Monday and Thursday” as it says “Mon – Wed – Fri.” No, this is not new slang that I learned on the mean streets. This actually means that I’m going to be (attempting to) update the site with 3 comics a week.

How is this possible? Where did I get the sudden influx of free time? I lost my job! My day job, that is. Yes, I was laid off a week ago. So about all the big plans I’ve been hinting at?

Here’s the short version:

I am giving myself 4-6 months to try and make a living as a cartoonist through this website (or at least carve out a path towards that goal). I am going to put my all into this site and NOT look for another day job. At the end of 4-6 months I’m going to evaluate the progress and decide whether or not to proceed as a full time cartoonist, or quietly slink back into the workforce.

I say this is the short version because this is NOT the “Manifesto” I’ve been promising. That is coming this week. I want you to know why I am doing this and what this site, and you readers mean to me. I want to be very open and transparent about the whole situation and the “experiment” that I will be running.

I also need your help. Each and every one of you. If you are interested in helping… in making this lifelong dream a reality, then stay tuned. Instructions will follow. Expect something new on the site every day this week. Here’s a bit of what I have planned:

  • Continued site overhauling and graphic improvements
  • Rewriting the sections of the site to give more and better information about myself, the comic, the process etc
  • A video blog – I am going to document my progress through out the experiment on YouTube
  • 3 COMICS A WEEK! – Come back Wednesday for sure to see if I can do it!
  • More frequent blog posts
  • A ENTIRELY NEW STORE WITH NEW SHIRTS and such!

As always I want your feedback. You can either post your thoughts and feedback in the comments now or wait for the more detailed version of the announcement.

I want to add that the 11 months I’ve spent on HijiNKS Ensue have been the most fulfilling and meaningful work I’ve ever done. You readers are 100% responsible for that. Even if it all ended today I would be eternally grateful to you for this happiness.

Thank you,

Joel Watson

Friday Link-Fest

Podcast for this week is up in the air since Josh will be off gallivanting (literally) in another state and Eli will be at a couple of cons. Trying to figure out when we might be able to do one. Otherwise I’m going to edit the Lunchcast from February and use that.

Here are some things to have:

2008-03-07-steampunk-mac-mini.jpg

UPDATE!
I forgot to  link to the best thing I have ever seen on the internet. Seriously, it’s all been worth it because of this video: Will Arnett Sex Tape (from Human Giant Season 2)