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Frothing at the mouth

Maybe you live in a cave or something and didn’t hear about the iPad announcement yesterday. The reaction of the press has mostly been what I could charitably call slavering adulation, but the nerds on the internets tell a much more vitriolic story when it comes to the iTampon. Because a lot of them are calling it that. Observe:


To be fair to nerds (important goal to me), Apple is talking about this thing like it’s Jesus*. This is what they’re actually saying on their main product page (linked above):

Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.

They call it both magic and revolutionary. That takes balls.

iPad Nano

Nerds gotta hate on new name-brand technology, I guess, but a lot of them really don’t get it. As is their wont, they tend to evaluate this kind of proposition with their brains instead of their guts. Their technical arguments, especially about the limits of such a “walled garden” approach to software that it’s now clear Apple is embracing, are basically sound. But they lack all perspective. We’re going to look back in 10 years and talk about how revolutionary this device really was.

stone: not as good

What makes me so sure about this? For one thing, there’s the popularity of the iPhone. Everyone who loves their iPhone immediately gets the iPad on a visceral level, because it’s basically just a huge one that can’t make phone calls.

kind of accurateA lot of them will buy it, and then their friends will see it and wonder why they’re sitting on their couches making awkward little swipes at a mouse surface just so they can manipulate a little image of an arrow slowly, slowly up to a link — when all they’re trying to do is read webcomics. The truth is, one application at a time with a focus on the web is more than enough for a lot of people, and those people are being handed an interface that, although limited, is much easier to use and understand than a keyboard and mouse, for about the cost of a cheap (non-netbook) laptop.

Seriously, no perspective. This is what nerds were saying about the iPod when it was released in 2001:

No F-ing Way

All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distiortion Fieldâ„¢ is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.

What else happened? Oh yeah, John Stewart interviewed the author of a new book about how America exports its cultural and medical attitudes about mental illness, especially depression. It sounds pretty fascinating, and also kind of sad.

*If Jesus were software, He would probably make your computer much nicer for a while, then quit working abruptly for 3 days, then suddenly return to operation and give all your other software a chance to install itself permanently. Then, about 2000 years later, He would make it impossible to reform American health care.

Posted in Technology.

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