Robots are everywhere, and they eat old people’s medicine for fuel


Remember back when the Simpsons was funny? If you weren’t around in 1996, then you don’t. Supposing you were, remember the episode where Smithers goes on a gay cruise and Homer takes over as Mr. Burns’ assistant, then he punches Mr. Burns and Burns decides to take care of business for himself? Remember how funny it was to see someone so blinded by their own wealth and status that they had completely missed the world changing around them? He was disconnected and irrelevant, almost incapable of functioning in the modern world. Remember how that wasn’t funny at all because it was totally true and just happened for real?

(DAH DAH DAHHHHNNNNNN!)

Doug Morris is the Chairmen and CEO of Universal Music Group, the largest record company in the world. It’s safe to say that he has more than a persuasive voice when it comes to how music is distributed, and how artists are treated. According to an article in December’s WIRED magazine, Morris doesn’t know shit from shinola when it comes to the interborgz, and iPodz, and digical musics and such.

He seems to view the internet and digital distribution as something to be feared with ones eyes averted, much like a 17th century farmer faced with some sort of vengeful hoofed Goat-God. The interview reminds me of Ted Stevens when he told a room full of the most powerful people in the nation that the internet was a series of tubes. At first you’re all, “Awwwww, Grampa doesn’t understand the internet.” Then you’re all, “Holy Shit! “Grampa Tubes” is IN CHARGE of the internet!? OMGWTFINTERNET!?”

Joco had some thoughts about the story from a troubadour’s perspective. He also posted some choice quotes from the article which I will now repost (but you should still go read them on his site and buy some of his songs.)

“There’s no one in the record industry that’s a technologist,” Morris explains. “That’s a misconception writers make all the time, that the record industry missed this. They didn’t. They just didn’t know what to do. It’s like if you were suddenly asked to operate on your dog to remove his kidney. What would you do?”

Personally, I would hire a vet. But to Morris, even that wasn’t an option. “We didn’t know who to hire,” he says, becoming more agitated. “I wouldn’t be able to recognize a good technology person — anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me.”

It’s not really fair to poke fun I suppose. Our kids will laugh when we’re 60 and we don’t know which button turns on the garbage disposal and which one vents plasma from the starboard nacelles.

When you can see the giraffe’s eyes, it’s already too late

They’ve been talking up this OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) for over a year now. What was originally a sub $1oo computer designed specifically for the 3rd world, is now a $200 geek project box. As a toy these things are incredibly cool. Low power consumption, Linux OS, solid state drive, and mesh networking are all neat ideas but I can’t help wonder if this initiative is misplaced.

I get where the are coming from. If each child in a developing nation had a laptop, they could reach out to the world and find out just how terrible their lives really are by comparison. Maybe they could blog about unimaginable poverty and starvation. Or AIDS! They could blog about a 50% AIDS infection rate. I’m not trying to poopoo on the OLPC parade but I think its all a little idealistic. The fact that nerds are buying these to play with shows how great the separation is between “us” and “them.” We have so much money that we buy EXTRA computers that we don’t need just to play with. I bet most of the OLPCs bought by American’s this month will either end up as iTunes servers or under the NES and GENESIS in the closet. I bet the ones that make it to impoverished nations will be captured by drug lords and/or sold for food.

The hierarchy of human needs doesn’t allow for actualization during a struggle for survival. Only when survival is a relative given can we worry about bettering ourselves. I really do support what they are doing but it sounds a lot like “give all the sick children new designer sweaters! Like Bill Cosby wore!” It’s just not what they need. Potable water might be a better place to start.

On a side note, the sickliness of my clan over the holiday weekend left me with two options. No comic, or cannibalize a previous one. So there you go. Don’t look at me like that. Your eyes are like shame-daggers.

DJ Jonathan Feinstein, hit me with the remix!

Here’s the remix blank for today’s comic. Have fun with it, get creative and email the result to comics at hijinksensue.com. You can change anything you want, not just the text. Go crazy. Surprise me. Have them in before Thursday.

2007-11-26-olpc-remix.jpg

Hoboes are basically worthless

They don’t even have Edge data.

Josh has been trying to sneak my iPhone away at every available opportunity in an attempt to navigate it’s browser over to jailbreakme.com. He’s like my mom in that he knows what’s best for me despite my own wishes. And apparently, what’s best for me is to Jailbreak my virgin iPhone.

Hardware hacking just isn’t my thing. I’m squeamish. I used to have to get Josh to come over and update my hacked Xbox dashboard. There was IRC involved. Not for the faint of heart.

I gave him the chance to sway me to his side but all he could produce as evidence of reasons to hack were various games, and… games. A sophisticated gaming platform, the iPhone is not. This certainly wasn’t enough to make me want to turn over root access to my device.

If you’ve seen the current round of iPhone ads (one if which is parodied above) you are no doubt familiar with the “Pilot” one. He’s sitting in a plane and the flight is delayed due to an approaching storm. His iPhone saves the day because he is able to check weather.com and see that the storm has moved on.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

Air F-ing traffic control is going to ground a flight based on information from instruments that is NOT as sophisticated as weather.com? Worse yet, do they not have the internet?

What if the pilot had just looked up Hurricane” on Urban Dictionary? Could he have convinced them to clear him for takeoff based on the fact that, according to UD, a hurricane is either a particular type of bong that will “roast you so quick”, a doubly potent 40 oz of malt liquor, a Bob Dylan song, or an ejaculatory endzone dance referenced in a Souljah Boy lyric. Nothing to worry about there, right?

Those with a keen eye will recognize Boxcar Pete in the wash tub up there in panel 4. He’s the stabby kind of hobo, so watch out.