I don’t have an iPad yet, because I have better things to do than throw my money away on a smartphone under a magnifying glass, but I was reading about it — because the cool kids in the media have decided that it will be a success, no matter what actual consumers may have to say, such that it’s basically impossible not to read about it if you’ve got your eyes open — and Gizmodo has an interesting bit about the actual usage experience of using the on-screen keyboard on the thing.
The gist is that the keyboard is a failure of design and execution, and the recommendation to do some of the things the device is supposedly designed to do is to purchase an expensive accessory. Actually, the suggestion is to buy one more than even Apple suggests, which is pretty ridiculous. Read the rest of this entry »
Cult of Mac has a write-up of a Scientific American article by the visionaries at Xerox PARC, source of basically the entire way we use computers today, about the future of computing, and how prescient PARC was for anticipating mobile computing on differing levels, from the iPhone, to the iPad, to — presumably — an iTable.
The most impressive part of this report, according to the Cult of Mac, is that the PARC people, from whom Steve Jobs took all of their computing metaphors and then cried from under his lawyers’ skirts when Microsoft did the same, wrote this report 20 years ago. It’s like when you find a science fiction novel in which the author accurately predicts something; it’s rare, and pretty fantastic:
“Ubiquitous computers will also come in different sizes, each suited to a particular task. My colleagues and I have built what we call tabs, pads and boards: inch-scale machines that approximate active Post-It notes, foot-scale ones that behave something like a sheet of paper (or a book or a magazine), and yard-scale displays that are the equivalent of a blackboard or bulletin board.”
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Word came today that NPR and the WSJ are going to be releasing iPad-specific versions of their site. Many are pointing to this and other similar moves as a sign that the iPad will be a colossal hit (despite lackluster public reception, a lack of understanding what the device actually is, and surprisingly low preorder numbers. And nobody actually needing the thing). A lot of pundits are lookng at this as good news, as something something something about how Apple has definitely struck gold this time, despite the fact that most consumers don’t care about the iPad.
Companies seem to be making a push to iPad not because it’s great, but because they don’t want to risk being left behind. Nobody wants to be late to the party, and these fast-moving businesses think that they can jump on the iPad wagon as a way to make up for and erase the mistakes of their past, ie doing their best to ignore the online space for the better part of a decade. It reeks of desperation, rather than the genuine support they’re trying to paint it as.
Companies are so terrified of making the wrong choice that they’re making the hipster cool kid choice. And that’s just stupid. Read the rest of this entry »
A lot of the cool kids have been frothing at the mouth about the sales figures for the iPad, which became available for pre-orders the other day. Ordinarily this kind of clamor from Apple fanboys reflects their usual obsessive love of products from der Steve, but this time it feels … I don’t know, sad. Pathetic. It’s like they’re worried that people are right, that the iPad will actually be a failure, and they’re grasping at any data point to make themselves feel like they’re justified in their continued screaming about how super-amazing and uber-hawt the iPad is.
Case in point for this wonderful delusion is the “50,000 sales in two hours” figure, which was later reduced to 30,000 in 2 hours, which was later reduced (or extended, really), to 90,000 in 6 hours, which was reduced to 120,000 in 24 hours. If you look at these numbers for more than a second, you might notice something shocking: pre-order rates are going down!
A lot of people are making a lot of noise about how Flash isn’t as good as HTML5, about how much slower Flash is than the new browser spec, how everything will be better once we shake ourselves free of the shackles of tyranny of Adobe’s Flash and run into the safe harbor of HTML5.
When people make noise like this, it tells me that they don’t know what they’re talking about. Sorry, cool kids: if you hold these views then you lack the technical knowledge to put your opinion in the public sphere.
All the cool kids are gaga over the iPad, even moreso now since Apple shocked the world by announcing a release date for something it already announced a release window for. Because “accepting preorders next week” is news these day, apparently. What the heck, hipsters? You think you’re too cool to walk into a store and buy something like common people?
Cult of Mac just reported on a news story reported by Billboard magazine about how Apple, increasingly the scourge of the cool and the privileged everywhere, is basically extorting music companies into ignoring the Amazon MP3 store in exchange for a continuation of promotional support in the iTunes music store:
Sources say that iTunes representatives have been urging labels to rethink their participation in the Amazon promotion and that they have backed up those warnings by withdrawing marketing support for certain releases featured as Daily Deals,” writes Billboard.
So says AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, according to Engadget:
We all know by now that AT&T has secured the rights to furnish US iPad owners with 3G connectivity, but apparently the market desire for that service won’t be quite as big as we might have expected. That comes straight from Randall Stephenson himself, AT&T CEO and eternal believer in the power of i-branded devices, so it may have some legitimacy to it.