Ask Not For Whom The Ring Tones

HijiNKS ENSUE At Dallas Animefest

This weekend (STARTING TODAY!) I’ll be at Dallas Animefest with Rob from Explosm. We’ll be in the dealer room, terrified of glomping cat-girls and Sailor Bubbas alike. I’ll have both HE Books, Prints, sketch cards, “Grammar Dalek” Shirts and “The Doctor Is In” shirts.

Podcast Episode 86 “Oh No! Promotheus!” is live.

The site seems to be having RSS feed problems again. Working on it, but for now the Fancy Full Feed for donors seems to be good and rightly borked.

My phone “rings” so infrequently, that when it does I am completely unprepared and incapable of dealing with it. Sometimes I get confused and angry all at once and start yelling, “WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING AT ME ROBOT!? I DON’T HAVE ANY FUEL FOR YOUR INTAKE PORT! BAD ROBOT! BAD!” Other times I get suspicious. The only people I like (my wife and my daughter) are IN THE HOUSE with me. Who the hell else could possibly be trying to talk to me unless they are an enemy agent of THE MOST UNCLEAN trying to trick me into a fiddle contest or a game of Words With Friends with their cloven-hoofed master? Oh Christicles! Is the call coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!?!?!? Did someone sign my 5 year old daughter up for a 2 year commitment calling plan!? WHAT KIND OF DATA PACKAGE DID SHE GET!? EVEN IF THEY SAID IT WAS UNLIMITED, THEY ARE RARELY ACTUALLY UNLIMITED! WHAT DID YOU DO MY DAUGHTER!?

I also have weird hangup about voicemails. I get all of 1, maybe 2 voicemails a month and I NEVER want to check them. I can see the name of the caller, and the time they called, and I can see the length of the voicemail they left. Somehow that seems like it should be enough information to discern their unheard message. What could they have possibly said in 14 seconds that was all that important? “HELP! FIRE! FACE FIRE! FIRE ON FACE!!!” That only took 8 seconds. Something seems fishy. What were they trying to convince me to do with those last 6 seconds? I’d better change my number and never talk to them again. WAIT! How long does it take to invite me to a super fun birthday party with bouncy castles!? FUCK. Only 11 seconds.

COMMENTERS: How has the changing telecommunications landscape altered your phone using habits? Are you annoyed by people that ONLY text or are you one of them? Does anyone use IM services anymore? Do you get frustrated that all of your friends aren’t on Skype video ALL OF THE TIME like you are?

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.

The Code

HOLY CRAPBASTARDS! ME AND WIL MADE “THE CODE” INTO A SHIRT!!!
Get it now @ Sharksplode! People will be scanning your chest like freaking crazy! 

Wil Wheaton QR Code T-Shirt, The Code, @wilw, WilW, WWDN, Scannable Wil Wheaton Shirt

Seattle Fancy Bastards! I am probably getting rained on by your clouds right now! ECCC starts Friday! Read more HERE

Can you decipher the ancient wisdom of THE CODE? Can you unlock the secrets of this relic that predates humanity by 100 millennia, and was likely left for us by ancient aliens or somebody important like Hammurabi? I don’t know. Does your phone have one of those QR code scanner apps? Well then, sure. You probably can.

So go ahead and attempt to unlock the secrets hewn from a fragment of the shin bone of a 900 foot tall robot, scribed by a laser a billion light years away in ink made of dark matter. I bet you’ll be delighted when you do.

COMMENTERS: Did you know if you look at the Shroud Of Turin under a black light there’s a great recipe for garlic hummus? If you take every other letter in the Codex Gigas and the Louisiana purchase, give them numerical value and arrange them in a 9 x 9 grid you can play Sudoku with the ghost of Abraham Lincoln? You can! It’s weird, because Sudoku isn’t a competitive game, so you never know if it’s your turn or what. Please add your document/monument based Nic Cage-esque conspiracies to the comments. 

CHECK IT OUT: My daughter drew another Tiny Titan and it’s up on my TumblrThis time it was Wonder Girl. Super cute stuff.

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.