11 thoughts on “Quote of the Decade

  1. I read Doctorow’s piece and found it interesting. More interesting was the lady from Boing Boing on Maddow last night, who touted the things as the next tech revolution. Her support was based mainly on the ease with which one uses it (the technology, the point and click and type part, is almost invisible freeing that part of the user’s consciousness during the browsing experience) and watching her go through a couple of apps I could see her point. But in the final estimate I have to go with Doctorow’s position on ‘open’ technology and innovation.

  2. Charlie Rose was going bonkers, nearly ecstatic about the IPad — kept moving things around with his finger. Okaaay then.

    His two guests, tech reveiwers from the Wall St. Journal (Charlie’s home page) and the NYTimes. They had slightly differing takes on the unit, but both agreed it seemed to be aimed more at consuming content than in creating content.

    Compared to the Kindle, both said the IPad experience was more like reading a actualy book, but that it’s screen was not good for reading in sunlight — as on the beach or the deck, back yard.

  3. And you can’t read it in the bathtub, which is why books will never really disappear. Unless we run out of water, and then it’s a whole new ball game.

  4. Bathtub iPad bags are coming soon. I know of one company (Tom Bihn; all products made in the U.S.) that is working on one.

    Doctorow doesn’t understand the point of the iPad. It’s not for computer pros or hobbyists. For me, the attraction is a pound-and-a-half browser that slips into a bag and has a ten-hour battery charge. USB is available through the dock. Just yesterday I read about an app (http://gizmodo.com/5508756/ipad-app-review-marathon-live?skyline=true&s=i) that integrates the iPad with your “real” computer:

    “Air Sharing is one of our favorite iPhone apps, and it only gets better on the iPad’s roomier screen. It lets you wirelessly mount your iPad as a drive on your computer so you can load it up with files. You can then view, share or print everything from PDFs to Excel documents. For anyone complaining about the lack of a file system on the iPad, this gives you one.”

    Sounds like you could transfer your music and books. (I would download books from Project Gutenberg.)

    Further, Apple has been a driver of innovation in computers and related industries. They just got AT&T to break with the contract model of data plans. I think the comparison to politics is inapt.

    And, as Joel Johnson points out (http://gizmodo.com/5508286/cory-doctorow-you-are-a-consumer-too):

    “Computers becoming appliances. Is this so bad? Computers that do amazing, new things that also happen to be extremely reliable? Is it worth pushing all of that innovation and engineering excellence aside because it’s more comfortable to hold onto an idealized vision of a future that never came to pass? The market gave open source 15 years to do a proper consumer desktop operating system.”

    If I weren’t unemployed, I’d be getting one.

  5. No Flash. Can’t watch YouTubes, which is a big problem for me. That, and the price tag.

    And I think you’re wrong, I think Docotorow DOES understand the point: It’s for the AOL crowd, the people who find it too challenging to learn basic computer use. That’s why he says it’s so limited – you give up innovation for function.

  6. Flash wears the battery down fast. YouTube will adapt (HTML5; as I said above, Apple is an industry driver). The iPad’s price is pretty good, actually (http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/whats-the-big-deal/deals/11-000-first-apple-portable-computer-real-cost-apple-products.html); in my years of buying Apple laptops, I was amazed that the newest entry-level machine was always around $1,100 (now it’s around $1,200). Yeah, it would be nice if the iPad were free. Heck, $100.

    And so what if it’s for “people who find it too challenging to learn basic computer use”? Should they be barred from the Internet? I live with one of those people, and I’d be happy if I never had to deal with one of his stupid tech questions again; he won’t even check out preferences. My last boss literally put her hands over her ears as I explained how to use zoom instead of changing the type size: too much information.

    I think a lot of the techies are frustrated because the iPad is so beautiful, so nicely engineered, such a sensual experience, but they can’t bend it to their will. But it will be hacked; they should look on it as a challenge. And it’s a challenge to other manufacturers, too, just like the iPhone. Step up to the plate, guys!

  7. Well, it’s too expensive for me now. (I’m really glad I don’t have a car to take care of.) Maybe I’m making too much of it, but a lot of the current geek criticism reads like resentment toward a beautiful, elegant, inaccessible woman.

  8. Ha!

    Not to beat a dead horse, but: http://daringfawnyball.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/expertise/

    “. . . Nobody needs to program an iPad to enjoy using it, except those who have no capacity for enjoyment other than programming and complaining about same.

    “This was the weekend those of us with high standards lost their remaining residue of patience for ideologues who hyperbolize about open systems without actually creating something people *want* to use.”

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