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The Valley Wag is all a stir lately over Apple's claim that the iPad is revolutionary and magical. This is has been only the latest skirmish of a battle that has been going on ever since Steve Jobs announced and introduced the iPad in January.  Immediately after the announcement, technologists and financial analysts began to pan and attack. The attacks continue to this day.

After having the iPad for little over month and experiencing it first hand, I have gone back to the reviews and pontificating concerning the iPad to see if they were right and provided any insight.  My conclusion is that most were not. The summary of what I found is the title above. Though most provided very little insight, some had profound and thoughtful contributions with startling implications beyond the gadget that is the iPad.  The supporting evidence with some surprising twists, I provide below the fold.

UPDATE: Verdict added to the end. Thanks for the inputs.

You may have heard of the brouhaha that kicked up when Ryan Tate of the Valley Wag, the gossip blog for Silicon Valley, decided to share his thoughts about the iPad in an email to the CEO of Apple - Steve Jobs.  The gist of the email was that Ryan didn't think the iPad was all that revolutionary or that magical.  Steve, who happens to keep his iPad always handy, responds back a few hours latter.  Well, words were traded, and soon other valley technocrati come to Ryan's defense.  Robert X. Cringely of InfoWorld gives the blow-by-blow and summation for the valley nerds in Sorry Steve, the iPad is not 'Revolutionary'with the tag line:

The uber CEO is at it again, engaging in flame email wars with bloggers over the iPad, Flash, and Apple's quest for total control.

The real story here is not that Apple is seeking total control but that she is practically in total control. (Companies are persons now, right?) How did that happen?  Fifteen years ago when Steve Jobs returned from exile to take control back at Apple, there was doubt that the company would even survive.  Now this week Apple has passed Microsoft in market cap becoming the largest technology company in the world. It has eclipsed the Valley darling, Google, by almost double.  So how did they get to where they are now?

First Impression - Work In Progress with Glimpses of Nirvana

Here are some of my initial impressions on having an iPad in my hands almost continuously for a month.  Yes it is addictive -- I must be autistic cause I cannot put it down. Is a good thing actually caused its forced me to figure out how to do things on it. But my wife claims to be an iWidow and has me on a curfew.

My practical assessment is that the iPad is like relocating a business to a new location. It has a really great game room and theater but not everything is up yet for returning to business.  However the developers are working feverishly to get systems up and each day new capabilities are brought online so there is excitement that this is going to be much better than the cramped space where we were before.

I suppose you have to be through a couple of start-ups to really appreciate that feeling but it captures my experience with one month using the iPad 3G.  I waited for the 3G version because I felt I needed the potential to roam free (as long as I pay the access fees of course).  I am trying to work out my budget (currently I am at 1 gig per month) and get habits integrated with the reality of budgets.

But this does not capture the real reason for my addiction nor the cause of my amazement.

Technologist Going Berserk

Besides being addictive (and distracting, sorry Mr. President) it is also a wonderful puzzle and look into the future.  I have been here before when I had an ugly Trash-80 and later an Apple II and had to continually answer "What can you do with that?" When I un-boxed my first Mac on a camping trip and all I could do was move icons around and scribble pictures with a mouse.  My camping buddies asked "Why did you bring that?".

Again I am asked "What can you do with it?" when I have my iPad in public. However the question has a more earnest tone with an unsettling feeling that everything has changed - just can't figure out what exactly or how its going to change.

I am told that the natives could not "see" Columbus' ships - only the row boats that brought the sailors to shore. A similar effect is happening now.  The techies, the nerds I hang out with and consider myself to be one, can't see the iPad but instead see an over-sized iPhone; less than an iPhone,  a big iTouch, netbook without a keyboard and wrong operating system; a crippled laptop; media device that can't take pictures or show HD or Flash, or it just plain sucks. One predicted no more than a couple of million units the first year.  How could they all be so clueless?

This venom is puzzling and seemed actually obnoxious until I came across an article by Fraser Spiers that argues that this has all the symptoms of Future Shock. Shock concerning the future! Withdraw from the future by those who should be the vanguard of that future!  This alone, the fact that it has blindsided the vanguards of our technological culture should be sufficient proof that the iPad is truly revolutionary if not magical.

But it goes beyond bringing confusion to the intelligentsia of technology, the first task of any revolution. Right? There are a couple of voices in the wilderness that seem to comprehend and capture the moment we are experiencing and from working with the iPad I would concur. Basically their message is: change or be left behind. Actually the word used by one commenter was collapse.

It's the Experience, Stupid!

Can you believe that some have argued that Ugly is Beauty? It is actually a well established innovative design principle.   Revolutionary advances require technology that is ugly!  Primarily this is because the metaphors for the new technology have not been established and rely on a meshing of old forms. Like a pendulum on a digital clock. Or initial cars looking like horse carriages without horses. Look at Sputnik, Soyuz, heck look at the first micro-computers, all ugly but all true game changers.

Revolutionary innovations, especially disruptive and radical ones, are  by necessity ugly, because of the heavy constraints placed by the  primitive first-generation engineering on the user experience. Apple  doesn’t do ugly, which is why they don’t venture into the radical half.

-- Venkatesh Rao,Why Apple’s design approach may not work with the iPad

I suppose we need to wait for the cheap ugly versions from Dell to truly have a revolution.  So given Apple's success with the iPod (incremental disruptive) and the iPhone (incremental sustaining) as categorized by their looks, why will the iPad fail?

In innovation theory, [Apple's typical strategy is] called the fast-follower strategy. But it may  not work for Apple this time, because there is nobody to follow. Nobody  has gotten tablets – a radical-disruptive problem – even roughly right  yet.

-- Venkatesh Rao

This may have been true in the past. However in this case the revolution is about beauty. Actually it's about experience and removing technology from that experience so that the task at hand - reading, taking notes, drawing, connecting with friends and sharing stuff - is brought to the fore front.  It takes a lot of computation and organizing to do this.

One of my delightful experiences was working with Idea Sketch (free) which at first I thought was an under featured mind map app.  It even spent some time in my penalty screen of bad mistakes waiting to be deleted. My surprise after working through this first impressions was that I quickly - without thinking much how to do things (after all I did not have many choices) - was laying out concepts and relations, moving around boxes and circles with lines attached, forming connoddle diagrams until I captured the idea I was working on.

I had just the freedom and features I needed to layout the concepts the way I wanted.  Then surprise surprise! I click a button (one hidden up in a corner) and the diagram flips to reveal the outline for the diagram with all my notes nicely organized. This mind you, is not even available in similar that I paid for. The developer for Idea Sketch has taken considerable thought and planning to provide just the right features for working with the iPad.

So where are the ugly radical disruptive tablets that Apple is following? Well just before Apple announcement, Microsoft did announce Windows for a variety of tablets. There was that picture of MS CEO Steve Ballmer holding several. Now that was ugly. Does that count?  Does the Newton count?  Most likely the ugly versions that attempted to mesh together available technologies were prototypes that Jobs refused to release until the "metaphor" had advanced, then first applied it to the iPhone and then the iPad.

It's not that tablets are a foreign idea, they have been expected for some time and predicted to change computing. What is unknown is how will the tablet experience on a massive scale change things. What are the essential elements besides the tablet needed to be revolutionary and magical. Tablets are a big deal but until they get in peoples hands, its hard to tell what can happen. In the end, it's not the hardware, but the experience that is unknown and unproven.

Usability Ain't Everything

Jacob Nielsen has decried that the gesture interface violates all of the rules for good UI design and has published usability results that have the iPad failing. But more likely all of these guidelines will have to be thrown out and new ones considered.  As pointed out by Fred Beecher, Useability Ain't Everything.  

The UI guidelines have to take into consideration the concept of experience and how one meets new situations with experimentation. Not everything in the real world comes with pop up windows giving instructions or hides all options leaving but one OK button to press.  We seem to have survived thousands of years without these assists, the iPad interface now permits exploration similar to the real world.

This not to say everything is perfect. Much is still being worked out. The gestures are not without ambiguity - am I trying to move a cursor or select a word? - or lack of consistency - when do I swipe and when do I tap? Sometimes I have become all Obi Won trying to find the right touch to accomplish a task. I am sure that I will either adapt or become an accomplished Jeti Master.

As this works itself out with better enforcement and expansion of gestures across applications, the power of swiping, tapping and pinching is much more natural than shoving a mouse around.  It takes considerable technology and excellent OS support to allow exploration. Imagine thumping keys and clicking anywhere on a screen in the old days. Most likely you crashed the computer or worst wiped out all the work you did.

As far as the keyboard, one does have to adapt since the fingers cannot rest on the keyboard but hover above.  This means keeping the fingers and keyboard in the periphery of the eye at all times while "speed" typing.  It can be learned.  If Data can do it and even Ferengi can enter commands on glass, then we should be able to do it. Otherwise our future is doomed if we are always tied to physical keys.

I imagine that in the future there will be better layouts for entering text and formulas. Smule's Magic Piano is an example of an app experimenting with input layouts for music. The traditional piano keyboard is even more difficult to use. Not as difficult as attempting to play music with qwerty keyboards but difficult to get accuracy and musicality in playing music.  Yet with the app, hundreds in the US and shortly in the world will be practicing their piano playing with different forms.  This I know because I can within the app go hear people play all around the world and even join in duets with them. This brings me to the cloud.

Cloud Surfing

The iPad does not initiate a new paradigm, but is a device that perpetuates the latest paradigm shift - cloud computing. It is the surf board of the Cloud. Essentially Marc Benioff - CEO of - got this one right in Hello, iPad, Hello, Cloud 2.    The cloud represents the internet where all the resources are distributed and functions are performed somewhere in this cloud.  In Cloud 1 - we used Google and Yahoo! to search and seek information on our computers and laptops using keyboards and mouse. In Cloud 2 - its Facebook and Twitter where we give information and collaborate using mobile phones.

With the iPad we can now move through this cloud with gestures and input devices that adapt to the task at hand.   With a device that can morph and mutate to the contingencies of the  cloud, the number of services and work that can be done in that cloud  is set free and able to expand at light speed.

How is cloud surfing different from web surfing?  With the web we went from static content to static content linked by hyperlinks in the text.  The enjoining of all these links forms a web.  With the cloud we move from service to service. With services that the apps can access computation is moved off the device. The resources required to perform these tasks expands and moves according to the contingencies and demand of the effort. Hence the resources - computers, operating systems, cables, hubs, etc. - disappear into the background as if in a cloud.

So I can tweet and face, of course, but also Digg and as well as ToodleDo and doodle to Pandora. I can play piano duets across the world while I have photos auto tagged by Evernote.  I can dictate text and recognize songs played on air.  All this from the cloud and not my computer.  This is just the play stuff, imagine what else could be enabled.

Personally this all starts to make sense with the iPad. I have now activated and keep active on Tweeter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and my blog.  I become irritated when an app does not allow me to share.  So expect sharing to the max and not just social networks.

More and more the apps are  beginning to work together sharing documents of different formats.  I can organize my 500 PDF papers with Papers, high-light and annotate them with iAnnotate, and use Good Reader to read the documents broken down into a format of my choosing.

This is something that will expand for any form of documents on the iPad.    After all do I really  need to have a "file system"? It is much better to have an operating system that works this all out for me and knows how to move documents among applications including into the cloud. The technology should be able to work this all out. So expect mash-ups of services in ways not imagined.

Convergence with a Vengeance

Now it does not take a technology guru to connect the dots and see the trend line of Apple over the last ten years.  It started with iLife with iPhotos, iMovies, iWeb and iTunes that turned PC's from drudgery devices for work to fun machines at home. At the time I thought iTunes was just a web site, but Apple had figured out how to sell music on the internet when most could pirate it for free. So instead of a web site, iTunes becomes the basis of a new economy! That was the start of the revolution.

It has changed how music is sold and artist are compensated and with the iPod how movies and TV programs are valued and marketed.  The record and movie industries have been hollowing ever since.  When long-established business models such as music, film, TV, newspapers, and telephones converge with Internet, where everything is expected to be free and open, something has got to give. For there to be an economy there clearly has to be an exchange of something of value between parties, but not the types of exchanges that the old business models allowed.

No where is this more true than what Apple is doing to the telecomm industry. Before the iPhone, the Blackberry was able to get global email, but telecomms built gilded gardens with walls that kept phones off the Internet with broken browsers, slow connections, and company stores where nothing was free and everything had a price. Remember $4 for a 20 second ring tone snippet?  As a result nothing worked with anything and any pictures you wanted to share cost 5 cents a pop via a message, little lone $1000 text message bills when Yahoo and AOL provided messaging for free.  This all changed with the iPhone.

Though manufactures can attempt to duplicate the features of the iPhone, they appear to be clueless as to why these features are important and where things go from here. Oh you want a keyboard - we will put one on for you.  You like a touch screen, we will add one that has the resolution of an Oscar Meyer Wiener. You want multi-tasking, no problem as long as you don't mind recharging every hour or carrying a battery as big as a brick around.  Clearly manufactures and Google know what to put into smart phones, but have no idea why the smart phone, otherwise these changes would have been implemented years ago.

That is not to say that Apple is working with a clear vision all this time. At first they thought that all applications could be implemented as browser applications. After all iTunes was mostly implemented in the cloud.  But then it was also an application and had access to features not available from the browser.  It was not until they opened up their API to the operating system that the next phase of the revolution was put into place and a new economy started - the AppStore.  This set the stage for the tablet.

Now the iPad continues this path of convergence by taking on Book,  Newspaper and Magazine Publishers and those pesky little things loved by techies - netbooks.  The newspapers and magazines have already felt the dislocation caused by the internet.  With the iPad and its iBookstore, this maybe the only way that these sectors can have a chance of surviving in the new economy.  But they are still in for a rude awakening.  Unlike iTunes that had to set the price per song to get off the ground. The newspapers and magazines are free to set their price.  But the online economy is growing participants at 250,000 a week and competition and capitalism will start to take over with a vengeance. There will be pressures to change the pricing model and in turn the back-end business model to something different.

The magazine apps for Popular Science, Wired, and soon Popular Mechanics (taking on the grunge ugly Mech title) are ground breaking in what mags can become with users interacting with the content. For these and newspapers what is the proper price point? There customers are able to let their feeling be heard in this new economy.

Now this is convergence - the bringing together of separate economic sectors with their own proven and well honed business models into a new joined business model that is simpler, more direct, and infinitely distributable.  It is convergence with a vengeance.

As it turns out: it is near impossible for a business that has developed  a complex business model - meaning highly differentiated roles and  integrated work flows - to simplify their processes in the face of new  technology. This is well explained by Clay Shirky in his article - The Collapse of Complex Business Models.  I strongly  recommend reading it. If the premise is true, then there is going to be a lot more  collapsing taking place and replaced by alternative business models that will be Cloud X enabled. This also means there will be a lot of  denial and hollowing as well as epidemics of Future Shock.

So What's It Good For?

Now that President Obama has lamented that these new gadgets have resulted in distractions and not enabling new capabilities, I have felt compelled to find ways that the iPad enables me rather than distract.  It is not easy not to be mesmerized by the dazzling graphics and heart thumping games, and focus on how to incorporate the iPad into my workflow.  But then why can't scanning my tweets, reading my feeds, searching the web, and researching my papers be pleasant, if not an uplifting experience.

The device is an excellent research platform that will only get better over time.  I am still working out the workflow, but as I am pulling materials in I can move them quickly to or Tweet and Facebook notes.  The services that Evernote provides for storing and tagging notes and pictures is now becoming valuable for coordinating research notes.

Not everything works out smoothly.  WordPress, which host my blog, has a decent initial offering for writing and editing blogs on the iPad, but is not complete and is turning me into a Jeti Knight in trying to cut and paste things together. Some have cautioned that WordPress should not put an app on the iPad because of its "limitations" but the limitations are the app's. I have a couple of drawing apps that provide simple ways to get diagrams and illustrations together, and with some photo editing apps, can put together most of the content I need for posting.

For taking notes and diagrams, it is an interesting and evolving sector in the app store. The primary problem is that thick fingers lead to big writing so it is one area that the device has not quite disappeared into the background. But for typing notes and drawing simple diagrams, it's doable.  I like that you can record while taking notes, a nice touch. But hand notes is one area where a stylus may be necessary.

As far as the "office" apps - documents, spreadsheets, and presentations - I have not needed them so far, but if I ever get back to an office, I have a whole set identified for down loading.

Will it ever do multi-tasking? Actually the iPad (and iPhone) have always had multi-tasking and very  efficient.  While an app is downloading from the app store, I can continue  browsing the app store for the next one to buy. Very efficient indeed.

I have not missed Flash (I have it disabled on my Macs) because the sites that use flash like YouTube have apps on the iPad that are orders of magnitude better experience than on the site. The movement to HTML 5 will allow more latitude for the device to mesh the content rather than depend upon a browser to render the content exactly as designed with its strange and ever changing controls.  After all it is about the experience.  I expect that there will be a whole lot more demanding customers wanting better experiences from their providers. I don't believe that Flash will be able to meet that demand.

Where will I use it, given I have a laptop and iPhone? (What can I say I am a gadget geek.)  Many of the apps on the iPhone that don't directly relate to mobile productivity - email, calendar, messaging, quick searches - are moving to the iPad - reading documents, email, blogs, tweets, as well as the notes and graphics.  Though the iPhone is able to do these things, after working with the iPad, the iPhone feels like a pebble and I wonder how I used it to read on it.  The iPad will go where ever I would take a book or a note pad. I could consider using a phone as a phone if I needed to cut cost, but the phone as the Best Camera, Handi Cam, and debate closer are things I am not ready to give up just yet.

"Revolution is About Freedom"

The one point that is a prevalent theme in most of the articles concerns Steve Jobs insistence on control of the user experience.  Of course, there is the control Apple has on convergence at the moment that is likely the real angst, but that is what revolutions do, create angst in the old ruling guard.  But what has the technocrati in a twit is the fact that they are not in charge or that Apple does not allow them to do whatever they want to do on its platform. "Revolution is about freedom."

Revolutions are also about bringing in a new order with its own set of rules and specifications. In the exchange with Ryan Tate of the Valley Wag Steve Jobs responded:

Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin’, and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is.

-- Steve Jobs

This is similar to Henry Ford's response on freedom to choose colors. "Yep, you can choose any color you want as long as its black."  What Ryan and others have confused is the difference between political and technology revolutions.  Just as Ford's revolution was not about cars but assembly lines, Jobs' revolution is not about computers or tablets but user experience.

Rao would even challenge this - insisting that it is more about design and aesthetics.

Many would say that Apple’s core competency is usability. This is  actually not true. If Apple’s core competency were usability, they’d do  chunky and knobby when necessary. But no, when platonic classicism  collides with usability, in the world of Apple, usability loses.

-- Venkatesh Rao, Why Apple’s design approach may not work with the iPad

But except for the porn, all of Job's decisions have been grounded technically in his vision of the user experience necessary to succeed.  It is necessary because the liassez faire approach has not been able to make the leap across the evolutionary chasm.  The old technologies such as Flash that are unwilling to adapt to what is necessary to elevate the user experience to the next level have to be exiled along with the old business models that were push aside by the revolution.

Of course, the detractors will have their day with Google - ironically taking on the role of Microsoft in this case - providing the "open" platform where anything can go - including porn.  Will they succeed? It is hard to say.  Venkatesh believes they can since Google has taken an anti-Apple design approach and produced something that is ugly and hard-edged with Android. God knows there are enough phone manufactures that are willing to do ugly. I am not as confident since the techies that have been harping the most on the iPad do not seem to comprehend what the iPad really is.

Closing Arguments

Quick review why the iPad is revolutionary:

  1. The guardians of technology and the fools of finance have been clueless and blindsided to the extent they cannot comprehend what they should, above all others, be able to appreciate and show every symptom of Future Shock.

  2. Propels an already growing movement of computational services from our computers to the cloud which advances a paradigm that will threaten businesses such as Microsoft, Dell, HP that depend upon operating systems and local computing.

  3. It is the next stage of convergence that Apple has deftly and relentlessly put in place that has brought  Music, Movie, TV, Newspaper, Magazine, and Book industries online with the internet and within a new business model and economy.

  4. It is at the forefront of a battle with Telecommunications that since the 19th century have had a strangle hold on consumers but now are losing control and fighting against net neutrality.

  5. It presents a new computational paradigm that uses the increased computational power available to submerge most of the aspects of computer operating system that gets in the way of doing things and focuses on the experience and facilitating application to daily tasks.

Now the technologists that brought you Linux, Google, and CVSDude and financial  analysts that brought you sub-prime derivatives, credit default swaps, and AIG believe that the revolution will come from tiny screens attached to tiny keyboards running big antiquated operating systems with many teeny tiny windows from hundreds of apps running at the same time for under 200 bucks.

Most large enterprises that exist now will likely not be able to adjust and will collapse to be replaced by smaller and more agile business models with simplified work flows enabled by the Cloud.  Though the technology has been moving relentlessly in this direction even before Apple's 10 year march from computer company to convergence facilitator, it was Apple that figured out how to make the cloud an economy no offense to eBay or Amazon. The iPad is the much-anticipated facilitator of that economy.  That to me seems  revolutionary and the fact that it is not ugly - magical!  

It is a great time to be an entrepreneur!

UPDATE: Verdict

Why should dKos care? The reason for publishing this as my first post is that technology is an important aspect of the real world we live in and hence should be an aspect of discussions here at dKos - a reality based community.

I got nicks and a pootie for being a Apple fanboy. Fair enough. But technology that enables amazing capabilities can also destroy businesses and communities, trample lives even kill us, and leave us in shock if not distracted.  It doesn't have to be the latter. An informed community can take strides to harness the technology for their benefit, but they have to be informed.

Here we are at a point where things are changing. The idea of moving computation off the devices and onto the internet - named Cloud Computing - has been rippling through our society for several years. Its affects currently amuse use with twitter and facebook and youtube. But we will need to understand as a community how this will effect us if we are to harness its capabilities for our benefit.

My opinion: if it was left to the techies there would not be much problem normally except they occasionally organize and come up with something new that changes everything. This is one of those times - I thought you would like to know.

One more thing - as mentioned by MD Patriot: Apple and Steve Jobs have been also in the news for the marked increase of suicides at Foxconn in Shenzhen China. It is clear that Apple is attempting to address the issue at the highest level and may establish is different "outsourcing" model to reduce exploitation for this heinous practice. Not cheering here but clearly the fair and equitable compensation for labor under safe conditions is an issue that has to be addressed on a world wide scale. As long as we can be separated we can be exploited.  

Thank you all for your comments even the snarky ones. I enjoyed sharing with you all.

Originally posted to What Who Me on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:49 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  longest fact-free diary ever? (12+ / 0-)

      And no mention of the iPad workers jumping out of their buildings- what price is paid for the iGadgets?

      "Drill Baby Drill": Stupid in 2008, criminally stupid now.

      by MD patriot on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:55:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Make A Good Point (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MarkInSanFran, MD patriot, HiBob

        Actually never really considered DailyKOS that strong on facts but the assumption of common understanding of the facts. However the suicides are a fact and I will add an UPDATE to deal with that fact.

        The question I have: Is Jobs' response sufficient to change the trajectory of exploitation or is this a symptom of the dislocation in world economy in general.

        Can you help me with this?

        •  Why would Jobs be against exploitation (0+ / 0-)

          when the iPhone/iPad/iWhatever business model is essentially feudal?

          Developers are the serfs, Jobs own the land they work on. His land, his rules.

          He keeps 30% of everything everyone earns. Which is an excellent deal when he's the king, because it means he has 100,000 people working for him without unionisation or benefits.

          In reality, Apple keeps more 30%. Most apps make very little money, and Apple has a $150 minimum payment limit per territory.

          Multiply that by the number of territories, and for most developers the practical tax paid to Apple for the privilege of working in Jobsville is way, way more than 30%.

          If Jobs were honest, and not a shifty-eyed salesman, he'd publish real world stats of app sales and income distributions.

          He will never do this, because he knows what they'd reveal.

          "Be kind" - is that a religion?

          by ThatBritGuy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:46:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Jobs has 420,000 serfs in China (0+ / 0-)

            Sure, he doesn't directly control them, but just squeezes the costs so they pay starvation wages.

            Then the chinese workers start jumping out of the dormitory windows, but hey, Jobs has his multi-millions, he sleeps just fine!

            "Drill Baby Drill": Stupid in 2008, criminally stupid now.

            by MD patriot on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:45:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting point. (0+ / 0-)

            I haven't ever seen the issue framed that way before. How did I miss that?

            Typically as an entrepreneur I have to develop a business plan and then convince an investor to finance the capital for computers, software and developers to implement my plan. Even if I am the developer I will need to hire others to market and distribute my product. The investor wants at least 40% and will try to get more. I am lucky if I beat him down to 30% AND keep my hosting costing cost at 30%. What do you call the investor in your world?

            •  Another would-be slave owner (0+ / 0-)

              The investor does nothing for you, except give you a bizarre mediated form of social permission to do what you already want to do.

              If you could find other people to do what you want to do, they'd likely do it anyway for free, if it's fun enough - if they didn't have to pay tax to the ownership caste in the form of extortion for basic necessities.

              Money isn't a motivator for growth, it's a form of top-down social control that drastically limits growth.

              Without money and with basics either provided for free, or in return for a nominal tithe of a small number of mandatory social chore workdays a month, there would be a lot of goofing off - and there would also be a huge explosion of innovation, experimentation, and creative work.

              It would also eliminate the sclerotic managerial cultures that are in charge of most corporates, most of whom are actively threatened by real innovation.

              "Be kind" - is that a religion?

              by ThatBritGuy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:52:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That is a monthly limit, on like 8 territories (0+ / 0-)

            After a year, even the balance under 150 is paid out. Commercial software distributors get 50-60% of the retail price, is you can even get them to carry your product.  Jobs lies for his stockholders, what's your excuse?

    •  It's a laptop without the top. (0+ / 0-)

      'nuff said.

      p.s. Your little scribe re natives and row boats should be a cautionary tale. Just ask any native. Or even Shifty Jelly.

      The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

      by two roads on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:20:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  dude, you missed the most obvious comparison. (10+ / 0-)

      It's the Newspad from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

      --- quote ---

      When he tired of official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world's major electronic papers; he knew the codes of the more important ones by heart, and had no need to consult the list on the back of his pad. Switching to the display unit's short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him.

      Each had its own two-digit reference; when he punched that, the postage-stamp-sized rectangle would expand until it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort. When he had finished, he would flash back to the complete page and select a new subject for detailed examination.

      Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications. Here he was, far out in space, speeding away from Earth at thousands of miles an hour, yet in a few milliseconds he could see the headlines of any newspaper he pleased. (That very word "newspaper," of course, was an anachronistic hangover into the age of electronics.) The text was updated automatically on every hour; even if one read only the English versions, one could spend an entire lifetime doing nothing but absorbing the ever-changing flow of information from the news satellites.

      It was hard to imagine how the system could be improved or made more convenient. But sooner or later, Floyd guessed, it would pass away, to be replaced by something as unimaginable as the Newspad itself would have been to Caxton or Gutenberg.

      From 2001: A Space Odyssey , by Arthur C. Clarke.
      Published by Del Rey in 1968

      --- end quote ---

      Apparently I'm not the first one to figure this out:

      ...includes the quote above, plus a picture of one of the astronauts looking at something on his Newspad while eating.  

      •  Yes but was it Ugly? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I am thinking more like the film screens used in the movie, Mars, the Red Planet. Whats the evolutionary path to that.

        •  ugly is in the mind of the beholder. (4+ / 0-)

          Personally I find a lot of today's hyped gadgets ugly because they have no clue about ergonomics.  Cellphones with tiny dial keys and earpieces that don't fit the human ear: yech, nasty, not to mention sound quality that's somewhere between 1919 and 1927.  

          I haven't seen Mars, the Red Planet, so I don't know the film screens of which you speak.

          BTW, something you ought to think about re. "cloud computing."  When your work is stored on someone else's machines, and the applications you need to access it are stored on someone else's machines, they not only have total surveillance capability over you, they can also hold you hostage for a monthly fee.  And you can be darn sure that's exactly what's coming.  

          The ability to store your stuff locally is freedom, privacy, and empowerment.  

          •  Yep - thats why my dad doesn't have a phone. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Other people can listen.

            What is interesting from the privacy point of view is how many of us love to walk "naked" so to speak in public. I am trying to understand Facebook. Even DailyKOS reveals something about us.

            Seriously privacy is a big issue, that is a concern of my day job (which is currently at night).

            This is the movie - Red Planet - rent it sometime. There are some cool uses of the device that I mentioned.

            •  no cellphone here either. (3+ / 0-)

              I'm a PBX engineer so everywhere I go there's dialtone with my name on it.   And when I want that 1920s sound quality, I have real 1920s phones   I can plug in.  

              When I move to rural, I'll have one for road emergencies.  

              And I can't understand either, how it is that people can just blab on the cellphone about the most intimate personal details, while they are within earshot of others.   Sex life, bowel movements, medical test results, gossip about fights with spouses, you name it.

              Facebook is just plain evil.  I spotted that one as a SIGINT collector (surveillance machine) from the day one, and it turns out I was right and then some.   Someone ought to offer a prize for a videotape of Zuckerberg and his wife going at it like weasels.  That would be justice.  His wife's not an innocent victim either, since she's sticking with him.    

              •  Hey, I need one of those. (0+ / 0-)

                My wife is almost deaf and use to be able to use the phone when quality was a big deal. With all the wireless phones and internet and stuff. She buzzes like a cage of crickets. Does anyone do analog anymore?

                Dido on Zuckerberg.

                •  re. your wife and the phone: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  What Who Me

                  Here's what to do.

                  Have a landline installed, and look online for amplified telephones to use with it.  

                  Walker W1000 is a common example, with extra amplification of higher frequencies.   Any new Panasonic phone will have a built-in amplifier.   Cortelco 2500 is the oldschool indestructible American phone with an amplifier control in the receiver.  Prices for various types will range from $25 - $55 depending on where you get them.

                  If shopping on Ebay, note that "type 2500" telephones that are older, may not have the receiver amplifier.  The amplifier control is located in the inside of the handgrip of the receiver and is marked HI and LO.  Write to sellers first to ask.  Original Bell System type 2500 sets are collectors' items today, and many dealers sell those but they probably don't have amplified receivers.   Any dealer selling new Cortelco 2500 sets probably has them with amplified receivers, but be sure to ask.  

                  If your wife is almost deaf she may need more of a boost than any of those phones can provide.   Try Walker C2210, or look for phones with bone conduction receivers or something similar.  "Bone conduction" means you hold the phone receiver in contact with the side of your face near the ear, where the skull bone is near the surface, and the sound vibrations are conducted through the bone to the inner ear.  You and she can ask your audiologist about this for more information.  

                  When using any amplified phone, it will tend to pick up background noises such as fans and air conditioners and other things in the room (whirring appliances, radios & TVs, etc), and those sounds may interfere with hearing the other person, so it's best to use the phone in a quiet room, the quieter the better.  

                  It is also very helpful if people who she talks to are on landlines.  The difference in the sound quality between landlines and cellphones is a major factor in how well someone speaking can be heard by the other person.  

                  Note also, individual hearing varies very widely, so people will have very different results with different phones.  It may take a while to find one that meets your wife's needs.  But if you keep at it, you should be able to find something.

                  If her hearing loss is such that nothing available works for her, then look into TTYD services, audio relay services, and so on.   In these cases, she'll have a terminal for typing text, and an operator will read her text to the person she calls, and type their words in as text to your wife.   You should consult with the audiologist about these services as well.  

                  Hearing loss changes over time, so it is also highly likely that your wife may need different technologies over the years.  

                  •  Thanks, buddy, (0+ / 0-)

                    for coming back and responding.  I like the idea of going old school so i will followup on that suggestion.

                    We do have amplified phones as well as a phone the converts speech into text more or less reliably.  The problem is it requires quite a bit of set up and effort on the callers side to be practical.  I would go through the effort to make it simpler by adding a second line, but the amplified sound quality is terrible so my wife seldom uses it.

                    Now my wife loves Skype with video so she can lip read and pick up visual clues she uses naturally in normal conversations.  So the future of more "face time" holds promise. But sometimes old school analog with old school magnetic coils may do the trick.

                    Thanks again for your thorough  and considerate response.

                    Your friend always,

      •  yep, from the moment I first saw 2001 (0+ / 0-)

        I wanted what is now a tablet computer and RSS news feeds.
        But I'm holding out for Notion Ink's Adam, at least for a while. After waiting 30 years, waiting til Q3 doesn't seem that bad.

    •  Thanks. Ignore the comments from (0+ / 0-)

      those who aspire to reach cognoscenti status. :-)

  •  It Truly Is The Coolest Looking (12+ / 0-)

    Keyboard-free laptop phone that can't make calls that I've ever seen.  :Þ

  •  it's truly great (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, nextstep, SteveP, Larsstephens

    for people who read a lot, travel a lot, and can't carry all their books with them. other than that, lots of bells and whistles.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:57:48 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad to see Steve Jobs is now on dKos (12+ / 0-)

    but I played with your toy last week, and was underwhelmed.

    Though the technology has been moving relentlessly in this direction even before Apple's 10 year march from computer company to convergence facilitator, it was Apple that figured out how to make the cloud an economy no offense to eBay or Amazon. The iPad is the much-anticipated facilitator of that economy.'s a gadget.  

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:59:19 AM PDT

    •  A high-priced proprietary gadget at that. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gmb, cris0000, HiBob, darthstar, koNko, Stwriley

      The only positive thing I can say about it is that Apple will stick with it, and keep improving it, so that it may become the first touch tablet to actually make it.

      But give me an open platform, please.

      "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
      "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
      - Joni Mitchell

      by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:03:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the cloud is the open platform (3+ / 0-)

        Only the interface is proprietary. And honestly, there are solid arguments for closed systems like Apple's products, as well as open systems, and I don't think it's so much "right" or "wrong" as a question of what problems you're trying to solve.

        I expect we'll see a long-standing competition in this future world between Apple's closed system and a Google/Android open world.

        Things are often more difficult in practice than they seem when you're writing about them on the Internet.

        by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:10:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't buy it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko, Stwriley

          The software for the "i" devices is tightly controlled by the Apple. Therefore it is proprietary. Putting a browser on it doesn't change that.

          Personally, I won't buy one for that reason. I've been using open platforms since the original Pilot PDAs and I'm not going backwards now.

          "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
          "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
          - Joni Mitchell

          by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:16:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  data, not interface (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I need my data on the cloud to be accessible from my iPad, but also my Windows PC, my Blackberry phone, etc (note - I do not own ANY of these devices). And much of the data isn't controlled in any manner by Apple. I want my google docs, my evernote, my Facebook, etc. Apple can't lock me in on those.

            I recently platform-switched my desktop from Windows to Mac without a great deal of pain. I could switch back just about as easily, and leave the door open to do so. Almost all the software I find critical for my photography, music recording, etc is cross-platform, and the cloud-based stuff is completely independent.

            Things are often more difficult in practice than they seem when you're writing about them on the Internet.

            by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:21:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure they can. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cris0000, Stwriley, Pizzapotamus

              The "i" devices are different from your Mac. If Apple wants to, they can lock ANY of those technologies out of the iPad in the blink of any eye. I'm not saying they will, it would be stupid...but they certainly could. They did lock out Flash. Doesn't matter if your favorite site is completely flash based. It doesn't matter if you need flash to run some corporate app necessary to your work. Apple decided you can't have it. They control the software, which means they control EVERYTHING.

              You can argue that you like their choices, but you can't argue that they aren't making the choices.

              "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
              "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
              - Joni Mitchell

              by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:27:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  and? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                If someone comes out with sufficiently compelling technology, Apple will be forced to adopt it. They don't have a monopoly! Honestly, Flash isn't sufficiently compelling. It doesn't do anything substantial that can't be done in html 5. Flash is used because it's easy and popular, not because it's awesome.

                I agree that Apple's motives for blocking it from the iPhone/iPad are totally mercenary, but the fact that Adobe hasn't been able to put Apple in a position where they MUST support Flash in order to be competitive demonstrates its weakness.

                Things are often more difficult in practice than they seem when you're writing about them on the Internet.

                by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:32:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Forced? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Hardly. Apple is big enough and has enough customers that they can make a LOT of questionable decisions stick, or even kill whole technologies. Anyway, I'm fine with Apple doing what they are doing. I just won't buy it...

                  Which is all I ever said.

                  "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
                  "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
                  - Joni Mitchell

                  by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:37:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm actually not fine with it (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I think Apple is working hard toward establishing a monopoly (or multiple monopolies) in key technologies. And I can understand why - hardware is a lousy, unprofitable market. But I don't think they'll succeed, because they're a closed hardware company and don't have the vendor sway that Microsoft did back in the 1990s.

                    More than monopoly, though, Apple is after quality control. Apple's biggest selling point is consistent quality. They don't make bad products, generally, when most IT companies have a hard time making even ONE good product. I buy Apple for quality, not technology, and I think I'm representative of Apple buyers.

                    Things are often more difficult in practice than they seem when you're writing about them on the Internet.

                    by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:34:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You cannot be serious. (0+ / 0-)

                      When was the last time Apple released a 1.0 product with no significant faults?

                      Hardware or software - I'll take either.

                      The quality is a fiction. My 1.0 MBP is an overpriced POS. It runs hot, it crashes regularly, and it's way more trouble than my PC ever was.

                      Finder in OS X regularly runs at 100% of processor cycles. It's a known bug, it's been around since forever, and Apple still hasn't fixed it.

                      And so on.

                      No - what Apple sells is marketing. M$ used to sell business marketing packaged in software.

                      Apple sells some weird culty Californian kool-aid version of shiny capitalist lifestyle marketing.

                      Buy the toy. Buy a life.

                      Only not.

                      "Be kind" - is that a religion?

                      by ThatBritGuy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:52:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  coolbook, smcfancontrol, and easyfind (0+ / 0-)

                        they never did fix the problems with the core duo macbook (pros), so other people had to fill in the gaps.
                        adding a kernel extension (coolbook) to undervolt the cpu, smcfancontrol to balance noise/heat, and disabling spotlight made my 1.83 much happier.
                        Still runs great after four years of almost daily use.

                    •  I don't get that one... (0+ / 0-)

                      You think they are acting like a budding monopolist, but since they are incompetent at it, you will buy their products?

                      That one went right past me...zshooooom!!

                      "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
                      "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
                      - Joni Mitchell

                      by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:59:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Show Me (0+ / 0-)

            a case where an open system has pushed the envelope in innovation.

            •  The Mac is an open system. (0+ / 0-)

              The Palm devices, which pretty much invented the PDA are an open system. Hell, even Windows and Windows mobile are open systems.

              "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
              "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
              - Joni Mitchell

              by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:30:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes - they are open systems. (0+ / 0-)

                But did they evolve to anything greater than what they started out as?

                Also Windows is not really open but runs on many different machines. Their development contract claims anything developed into the OS to be owned by Microsoft.

                •  Yes, in fact HELL yes. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Are actually suggesting that the current crop of Macs are no greater than the original 128k black and white Mac? Along the way, Macintosh improvements were responsible for much of:

                  Desktop Publishing
                  Computer-based audio
                  Desktop Video
                  Computer based art of all kinds

                  Most of those techs were brought to the Mac by third parties.

                  That's off the top of my head. And I'm not a Mac person AT ALL.

                  "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
                  "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
                  - Joni Mitchell

                  by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:47:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, and baloney on the Windows thing. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I can write open sourced software for Windows (and yes, Windows mobile) and never sign a single piece of paper from Microsoft.

                  "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
                  "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
                  - Joni Mitchell

                  by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:53:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Open systems pushing innovation? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HiBob, Malumaureus

              The Internet
              The S100 bus

              Oh - and the PC, which created an entire wave of innovative start-ups.

              I suspect:

              a. You're not very old
              b. Computer history isn't your strong suit.

              (Either that or you really are Steve Jobs.)

              "Be kind" - is that a religion?

              by ThatBritGuy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:57:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What Who Me? Steve Jobs? (0+ / 0-)

                1 - UNIX has been Unix forever, an has codes that are older than me. However the Unix community that maintains Unix has not made it into anything other that what it is an operating system. It has been adapted to different computing environments but has usually followed rather the lead mostly Windows.

                If you say Windows is open - its not.

                2 - The Internet - is open standard, which is different since its purpose to make things work together. It has in place the RFC process to allow expanding standard, but the standard expansion is primarily driven by industries that have a vested interest in getting their stuff on the internet.

                3 - HTML apparently the browser wars between Mosaic and Netscape, and Netscape and Microsoft was before your time. HTML was a standard in name only, and was not able to catchup until MS IE was able to just state the standard.  To we have Flash is neither open or a standard and actually argues against your point, since today it the primary way of getting media into a web page - a totally closed solution.

                4 - S100 Bus - again a standard the innovation came from stuff put on the bus.

                5 - PCs are manufactured by companies of which Microsoft and Intell had a duopoply - sorry - not really an open system.

                Keep trying and maybe drop the snark.

      •  Er...I believe that question is settled. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, nextstep, Larsstephens

        it may become the first touch tablet to actually make it.

        Sales topped two million in two months and aren't slowing.

        "It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I'm here to stop it ever happening." Eloi Cole

        by perro amarillo on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:11:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're probably right... (0+ / 0-)

          If you tickle my feet, I'll probably even admit it. I sort of did above. But there have been a LOT of failures over the years, and two million sold during the release hype isn't enough by itself to assure it's a long-term success.

          "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
          "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
          - Joni Mitchell

          by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:20:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And a real keyboard. /eom (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "Life immitates art, but takes license." - ko

        by koNko on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:25:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's only a matter of time before someone (0+ / 0-)

        "breaks" the iPad OS and turns it into a Linux iPad...then it will be a cool tool.

        Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

        by darthstar on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:49:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Channel Steve (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Steve Jobs Email Reply Generator

      Fun for the whole familly.

      "Life immitates art, but takes license." - ko

      by koNko on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:25:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So was the Cotton Gin (0+ / 0-)

      just a gadget and look at where that got us.

      Technology has lateral consequences.

  •  Yawn! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HRs Kevin

    I'm sorry. Did you say something?

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:02:08 AM PDT

  •  cough 'He's i Pad shill' cough n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, Kingsmeg, SteveP
  •  Just one question (0+ / 0-)

    Aside from it's size and weight, what functionality does the Ipad have that a tablet PC doesn't have? Or is that the gist of it? It has computing power in a lightweight small package.

    "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

    by Phil In Denver on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:05:34 AM PDT

  •  Brought to you by Apple Computers, Motto: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, koNko

    half the computer, twice the money.

    I love the refrain though "It's not he iPad that's the problem, it's the Apps...." wash, rinse, repeat 4000 times.  And iTunes created a whole new economy?  Who knew?

    "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by SteveP on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:06:38 AM PDT

    •  half the computer, twice the money? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And how, exactly, did they grow to be larger than Microsoft?

      One interesting thing about the modern Apple era... they rarely deliver losers. Most of their products are very, very successful.

      Things are often more difficult in practice than they seem when you're writing about them on the Internet.

      by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:11:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mass Hysteria. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Next question?

        "Life immitates art, but takes license." - ko

        by koNko on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:29:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  aahh, they are profitable! (0+ / 0-)

        well, that makes all the difference when I am buying half the computer for twice the money.  I feel better knowing they are making a lot of money off of it.

        "Modern Apple Era?"  Really, REALLY?

        What Apple does better than anyone else (and I do not care for Microsoft either FWIW), is marketing. They have millions of adherents spending twice as much as they need for intrusive and limited products and will, free of charge to Steve Jobs, go around spouting "The Modern Apple Era" What does that even mean? I mean, other than Apple has convinced you that there is some kind archetypal/paradigmatic/sea-change /{insert buzzword here} moment going on with the apple products rather than the existing platforms that did it better before and still do it now but are "branded" less well?

        Style over substance may not be a phrase from "the Modern Apple Era" but it is a common phenomena and phenomena that will be a round long after you send your just-off-warranty Apple Product back to the shop to get the battery replaced if it can even be done.

        "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by SteveP on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:38:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  be serious (7+ / 0-)

          I'm not a Kool-Aid drinker here. The first time I used a Mac was a 128k back in 1984, but I haven't actually OWNED a Mac from the mid-1990s until very recently. I didn't buy an iPhone until second generation, when I was convinced that it was stable and viable. I don't own an iPad and don't have any plans to buy one, or see a role for one in my life. I've been working in enterprise computing on Unix servers for most of two decades now, and have very high standards for workable computers.

          And there's the word... WORK. I don't buy tech to be cool. I buy it to do specific jobs. I take thousands of photos a year and need to manage them. I produce records. I do a LOT with my computers. So what I do NOT want to do is spend a lot of time worrying about whether a weird performance behavior means I got a virus/worm, or if the driver from whatever bit of hardware I just got is going to wreck my whole system, or whatever. I want my computer to stay out of my way as much as possible.

          That's why I recently switched from Windows back to Macs (my last Mac was an LC II - that's a long time ago!). I'm paying for the quality of a computer that is basically well-configured and stable from the get-go. If that means a lot of proprietary, closed stuff, well that comes with the stability. I don't want to be constantly stumbling a half-step ahead of the viruses on Windows, or reinstalling from scratch every other week in Linux (yeah, Linux. My first install was SDS with kernel .94 or so, and Slackware seemed like genius).

          By "modern Apple era", I mean since Jobs returned. That's a very bright line - I can tell you that as someone that experience the MacOS 6 to 7 transition, who owned Scully-era Macs, who remembers watching a great company nearly die from crap management. Like Jobs or not, he's a brilliant marketer and brilliant manager in one.

          I own a Mac and an iPhone not because they're hip or earthshaking, but because they WORK and don't give me grief. You can live in a little conspiracy-theory bubble where Apple succeeds only by putting implants in people's brains, but the real-world fact is that they sell consistently good products, and I can't think of anyone else in the computer industry as consistently good.

          Things are often more difficult in practice than they seem when you're writing about them on the Internet.

          by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:30:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Except for the bit with mid 90's apples (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            (I never owned macs although I used them quite a bit in the late 80's/early 90's) your experiences and reasons are mine.

          •  Apple's long-term success was clear to me (3+ / 0-)

            as soon as they made a consumer-friendly OS based on unix. NextStep on unix combined real stability and security, with a relatively pretty user experience. This is still the secret behind the iPhone/iPad. They are unix computers with an extremely mature OS and a prolific developer community. Apple has powerfully democratized software development by creating a nearly perfect 'free market' in the Adam Smith sense. Of course flash-kidz and linux-gnomes will whine that it is not free because Apple decides what goes into the app store, but they are victims of a century of corporatist propaganda that has perverted the free market into a concept that means 'free of regulation', rather than a market free of rents, or other costs not associated directly with production.   To the extent that the appstore is the sole venue for app shopping, the market has tremendous transparency of price and product, and has put individual developers on a nearly equal footing with large companies.  This was possible at least partially because a robust, comprehensive development environment was available from day one, and it leveraged a large pool of existing OSX development experience.  If you are looking for the revolution, look at the app store.  You could even call it ugly.

          •  I have no doubt you get very good results (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            What Who Me

            but again, what you are doing is trading your money and quite a lot of horsepower for stability and, currently, no particular need for virus protection.

            Apple is a far more robust firm under Jobs, but make no mistake the media advantage that Mac had, pretty much has disappeared under Jobs.  What you experience is the limitation of what you can do, for convenience and stability.

            I blame microsoft for being utterly unresponsive to some of the very real issues that Windows presents.  But none of those issues can't be resolved without free and easy maintenance of your system. Linux is such an amorphous world of partially or completely unfinished implementations that there's no poijt talking about it for most users.

            I'm not saying you are a noobie or that the choice you make is invalid. But realize it is a choice between horsepower and convenience. Ability to do anything, vs. Stability. Apple's are good products, but they are expensive, under-powered and their stability comes with a significant price as to what you can do.

            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

            by SteveP on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:50:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  price points (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BeninSC, Larsstephens, What Who Me

              Yeah, I can buy more sheer horsepower for the dollar with a PC. But honestly, I don't NEED it. Any modern computer has plenty of power for my needs. My new Macbook Pro outperforms my old Athlon XP PC substantially, but I see almost no real-world difference.

              Stability and reliability, on the other hand, are HUGE time wins for me, and for most people. Time I don't spend trying to debug stupid Windows crap, bad security design, viruses and worms (and don't give me that line of "Nobody writes Mac viruses because there isn't a market" lest I get ten-way technical on your ass), cheap hardware, etc is time I don't spend WORKING.

              So for my purposes, which reflect those of many/most computer end users, Macs seriously outperform PCs.

              Things are often more difficult in practice than they seem when you're writing about them on the Internet.

              by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:09:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  most people don't need the power (0+ / 0-)

                and that is a fact.  I don't have the slightest argument with what you say re" security issues. As I say, Microsoft gets no support from me on those issues.

                It takes remarkably little time to keep your PC safe and fast once you find where the slowdowns occur. And again, I blame Microsoft for not addressing those and being totally unresponsive to it's customer base.  

                But nonetheless it is neither hard, nor time consuming to do the three or four things that need to be done to keep the machine humming. And if you do the things you say you do, you would notice the difference immediately in the performance between, for instance, complicated Sound Forge tools on Mac vs. IBM, there's just no comparison even before you take into account the limitations of the mac mastering for end users. You may as well forget about how your end product sounds on 3/4's of the things people listen too.  Although, of course many people don;t *need the sound quality to be that good.

                "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                by SteveP on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:55:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  audio isn't a problem (0+ / 0-)

                  Macs are seriously overrepresented in the professional audio world. I was able to move two albums' worth of work from PC to Mac with almost no loss in functionality (of course, I'd been planning to switch platforms for a while), and I mastered just fine on the Mac, using Wave Editor. More capable than the PC equivalent (CD Architect), really.

                  And again, Macs do well in this world because they work. They don't force you to spend lots of time mucking with drivers and what not. My audio interface took two weeks and two separate hardware purchases to get going on XP. It was plug and play on the Mac. Two weeks of my time not wasted. That's valuable.

                  Things are often more difficult in practice than they seem when you're writing about them on the Internet.

                  by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:02:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Oh come on, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davechen, Sandino, Larsstephens

          It's not just marketing - far from it.

          Although they are the best at that, too.

          The original Mac was a total game changer.

          The original OS was a total game changer, even if they did steal the concept from Zerox, Nobody believes Zerox would ever have done anything with it.

          OSX was a game changer.

          The iPhone - come one, what kind of sad boxes would we be talking to each other on today if not for the iPhone?

          They are one of the very few truly innovative companies around today. You pay twice as much and in my opinion get way more than twice as much back (actually, when you actually go  shopping and compare well, Apples to Apples, you don't pay anything like twice as much, but that's another discussion).

          Check out the iPhone 4, details just released today. Even if you can't justify paying money for one/just plain don't want one, at least give them this much - whatever phone you will be using in 2 years time will be that much better because Apple have again forced the bar a great deal higher.They are the ones, maybe the only ones, motivating serious innovation in this market. Others play catch up , maybe do it cheaper, maybe even do it better eventually (Droid looks cool) but without Apple I doubt they would have done half of it, ever.

          p.s. I don't get the iPad - tried it 3 times in stores. can't see what it could do for me. But another thing that Jobs does well is he has an incredible grasp of what people are about to want, and what they no longer truly need. Some people regard that as dictatorial - others regard it as visionary.. Anyway, that's why I'll keep checking it out as it develops.

          Oh, and one last thing (as Jobs is fond of saying) .

          Phenomena is plural, phenomenon is singular.

          Sorry, totally petty peeve . .

          "We have the habeas corpus act, and we respect it." Dwight D. Eisenhower - November 23, 1953

          by malcolm on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:38:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Game changers only in the MAC sense (0+ / 0-)

            And you need to get out more if you think the iPhone had anything new to it.

            re: Phenomena...yes, sad to say my poor usage there is not a phenomenon ;-)

            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

            by SteveP on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:55:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Apple. Does. Not. Innovate. (0+ / 0-)

            Apple buys, or sometimes steals, repackages, and then markets.

            The only real innovations you can blame Apple for are in industrial design - and anyone who knows their design can name drop a few people from a few decades ago that Apple's design team loves to 'homage.'

            This is what's so tragic about computing. Both M$ and Apple were at least ten years behind the edge in the 80s, when you could buy a box with real multitasking and fast graphics - fast enough for video editing - for much less than the cost of an Apple.

            Then M$ and Apple strangled further innovation between them with their pincer marketing blitzkreig - and here we are today getting excited about a crappy little phone like it's the second coming of Jesus.

            The only real deep innovations in the last couple of decades have been the public Internet, the web browser, them mobile phone networks, and blog technology like Wordpress, which is unsexy but well on its way to killing the trad media.

            Everything else is either reheated 60s and 70s ideas, or marketing.

            Observant readers may pause to wonder what the Internet would look like now if Apple owned it.

            "Be kind" - is that a religion?

            by ThatBritGuy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:10:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  alternately, Apple makes things feasible (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BeninSC, Larsstephens

              Yeah, they steal ideas like crazy. On the other hand, they've been the first to EFFECTIVELY market many of these ideas.

              GUIs weren't new, but Apple was the first to make them viable.

              Portable music players weren't new, but Apple made them viable.

              Smart phones weren't new, but Apple made them viable.

              Tablet computing? If Apple is putting this much force behind them, I expect this will be viable as well.

              Things are often more difficult in practice than they seem when you're writing about them on the Internet.

              by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:15:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes. It. Does. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HiBob, BeninSC, Larsstephens

              Your first sentence is 100% correct. But I believe your idea of what constitutes innovation may be deficient. Their innovation is in how they repackage - they do it in ways that people want or need, or have not even figured out that they want or need yet. It is IMO short-changing Apple to claim that, just because Steve Jobs didn't personally invent multi-touch technology or the Desktop, that he and his company don't deserve enormous credit for utilizing these technologies in ways that normal people respond to in such creative ways. They greatest ideas and inventions in the world are all too often destined to languish unused due to corporate sclerosis - it's the American (and British :) corporate way. Sorry to be a cliche, but Jobs IS a visionary. His vision is of what comes next, and  more and more people have been responding to it.

              "We have the habeas corpus act, and we respect it." Dwight D. Eisenhower - November 23, 1953

              by malcolm on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:27:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Does anyone click on links here? (0+ / 0-)

              The Roa article actually provides a good analysis of how Apple works in the marketplace. It makes sense, just don't agree with his assessment of the iPad based on his own logic. That allowed right?

  •  I'll try to be short on zeal, heavier on facts (7+ / 0-)

    1- I do fine art B&W photography. My database transferred all my print records to the iPad, complete with images that expand to full size. Result: my portfolio with me at all times.
    2- All my Nook books transferred over. After reading 6 on the Nook and 2 on the iPad, I sold my Nook on eBay.
    3- No longer have to haul a laptop around with me everywhere, and still have videos, pictures, etc. A great relief.
    4- My bookmarks ported over, along with my password application, eBay app and all that goes onto the iPhone.
    5- Puzzles and Scrabble for waiting in doctors' offices.
    6- Internet and email seem to work in a way that is great for my wife who hates the computer and is a whiz at this thing.
    7- Renewed our ability to take charges on sales after giving up the expensive bank setup.
    8- Only have to plug it in to charge a couple of times a week.
    9- Trufone Skype type calling.
    10- So much more to come… I'm definitely hyped!

  •  This diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, boran2

    is certainly going to help get Dems elected. Good work.


    •  The Dems I would want to elect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Larsstephens

      should have an understanding of the real world we are living in and not the fantasy world created on the right.

      The real world includes technology that on the one hand enables amazing new capabilities but on the other hand is a destroyer of businesses, the killer of people, and distractor of the masses.

      Problem - people want to live in the fantasy provided by the right because of the future shock that is sometimes perpetuated by technology (abortion) and other times amplified by it (accepting diversity).

      So I would want my Dems to figure out how to work through this and bring us to a better place.

      Besides - President Obama made it a political issue when challenging graduates to not be distracted by gadgets (technology) but find ways to be empowered.

      /no sarcasm

  •  With A Camera, I Could Understand It (0+ / 0-)

    As a potentially very powerful business device. Without a camera, the Apple Newton comes to mind.

    <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

    by superscalar on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:25:04 AM PDT

  •  I do not recommend it (4+ / 0-)

    I have had an iPad for a few months, I have quite a few issues with it.  It drops many of the best features of the iphone - camera, phone  - and has NONE of the features of a true operating system.  I consider it a toy.  It does now have the ability to run simple programs, wil not print, will not save, won't word process, does not have a USB connection, will not run Flash, won't help you setup Airport, and DOES NOT WORK without a laptop or computer to sync it to (the initial startup requires this, wonder how many people were burned with that one?)

    •  Arg that should be "does NOT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      have the ability to run simple programs (such as Word, Final Draft, etc)

      To be fair it does run simple programs but you have to buy them and they may not work.

    •  I thought you could do the setup at the retailer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      reef the dog

      if you didn't want to or couldn't do it at home? Not that many iPad owners won't also be computer owners.

      "They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot."
      "...Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
      - Joni Mitchell

      by davewill on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:42:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll add a few (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, Sarah Ann

      I managed to borrow an iPad from work (our IT folks got it for evaluation and let me be an evaluator) for a couple of weeks, both at home and on the road. It's really fun and spiffy as a toy, but it still has serious drawbacks as well that make it unsuitable for the kind of work I need to do with a portable device. I do not like to do what the diarist does; carry several devices for different functions. If they want to get me to buy an iPad, it needs to be the kind of unified mobile device that a laptop is, at least, and the iPad isn't there yet. Here's some major problems:

      1. It cannot multi-task. The same app downloading and browsing at the same time is hardly multi-tasking; call me back when I can run more than one app at a time, which is something I constantly would need to do, just as I do on my laptop.
      1. It lacks a native file structure. I may "download" something to the thing through an app, but it will remain inherently tied to that app and not be available for me to do something else with it. This is a far more serious limitation than most people are aware of, but my librarian wife (who also has a systems degree) finds this a real killer for people who want to actually be able to control their own information.
      1. It is inherently proprietary. If I can't write apps for it myself or our company's IT folks can't do likewise without signing away rights to Apple, it's useless to us. Specialized programs are already very important to my work and without them the iPad falls short.

      Conservito delenda est pro is deleo orbis terrarum!

      by Stwriley on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:13:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Multitasking on the way (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Like most modern tech gizmos, the iPad launched before ready for prime time. August will see the firmware update that makes it do what the nay-sayers are looking for. In the meantime, what there is is quite handy.

  •  useful within reason. (4+ / 0-)

    The most realistic assessment is:  the iPad is a useful device for certain purposes but not for others.

    As a portable reading device it probably can't be beat.  For people who have portfolios of drawings, paintings, photographs, videos, etc., ditto.  

    As a device for writing it suffers from the lack of a real keyboard.  When writing at length, you want the tactile feedback of physical keys, and you want to look straight ahead rather than bend your head down to read what you're writing.  That's just basic ergonomics.  

    Let's not let this turn into a digital monkey trap, with all the polarization that goes along with.  All the purple prose, both for and against, is only that: emotionalism and propaganda.  

    Use it if it works for you, don't if it doesn't.  Most of what I do is text, so it's not particularly useful for me.  But if I was a photographer I'd probably have one by now.  

  •  AND that's not all, (4+ / 0-)

    if you order NOW, you'll find out rather quickly that the God-damned thing doesn't even multi-task.

    That's right!!  Welcome back to 1981!!!

    Something the Apple sales person isn't going to tell you.

    That's right, folks.  For Apple computing, backwards is the new forwards!!!!

    No Multitasking

    This is a backbreaker. If this is supposed to be a replacement for netbooks, how can it possibly not have multitasking? Are you saying I can't listen to Pandora while writing a document? I can't have my Twitter app open at the same time as my browser? I can't have AIM open at the same time as my email? Are you kidding me? This alone guarantees that I will not buy this product.

    'The great religions are the ships. The poets are the lifeboats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.' - Hafiz

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:40:30 AM PDT

  •  About 10 minutes of fiddling around with a demo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at Best Buy sufficiently convinced me that the iPad isn't anything I personally need or want. If I'm in need of anything with an OS, it's a netbook with a good wireless connection that is fully compatible with Skype. Not an iPhone Skype app, but Skype. If I'm looking for something to amuse me, I have a new set of buckyballs. They were only $25. So I'm good, Apple. Thanks anyways.

    -8.50, -7.64 "We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress." - Will Rogers

    by croyal on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:46:33 AM PDT

    •  a couple of suggestions: (0+ / 0-)
      1. Get a netbook with a full keyboard.  Your fingers (and wrists) will thank you.
      1. DON'T get one without a hard drive.
      1. Make sure you can read what's on the screen.  Some of the video on these are less than fantastic.
      1. Go to a store that has about 30 of them to try out.  Back to step #1, and repeat.

      'The great religions are the ships. The poets are the lifeboats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.' - Hafiz

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:48:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pootie Jones gives a review of the iPad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric K, Carbunkle Rugburn

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:56:07 AM PDT

  •  the iPad is the replacement for paper (0+ / 0-)

    to wipe my ass with!!

    just kidding.

  •  Gawd! how I hate that "cloud" metaphor. (3+ / 0-)

    It's not a fluffy airy thing that floats along in the sky, it's a network composed of hard physical machines with traceable physical connections.  

    "Cloud" is what someone thought up to say to iddyotes who don't know the difference between a server and a router.    

    That or it's somewhere between the smoke and the mirrors.  


    •  Most successful tech marketing (0+ / 0-)

      relies on the ignorance of tech that most people have. Apple's success exemplifies this. It's not necessarily bad that people are ignorant of IT, either. Most are ignorant if cars, too, yet this doesn't impede their ability to drive them.

      •  that occurs in the transition from.... (0+ / 0-)

        ... any technology being cutting edge to going mainstream.  

        But in order to gain the widest civic benefit from the internet (e.g. freedom of speech, press, and association for the masses) the technology has to be simple and approachable.  Apple succeeded wildly at that, and the evolutionary competition between Apple & Microsoft made it available to 100% of users.  

        The "cloud" metaphor and the "surf" metaphor were both unfortunate consequences due to a lack of thought about their implications.  "Browsers" were originally called "browser/editors," and the "browse" metaphor was also an unfortunate result of a lack of thought.

        Basically what happened ("I was there") was that people with very specialized training had to go outside their expertise to talk to the public, and used slang or subcultural dialect language because no one had thought to do otherwise.  

        Contrast to the telephone under the Bell Telephone System where all of the information that was provided to the public, was crafted very carefully to address national, cultural, regional, and other issues and implications, including disabled access long before that issue got on the national radar.  "It just worked."  And the public had at least a general idea of how it worked, that was accurate and didn't involve misleading metaphors.

  •  Desperately needs arrow keys on virtual keyboard (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, What Who Me

    Yes, I know there's an external keyboard available, but still . . . If I type enough text into this comment window the top scrolls into oblivion and I can't get back to it to even read it - let alone edit it. C'mon Apple!

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:46:19 PM PDT

  •  Thanks,... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I'll keep my small (under 3 pounds) conventional laptop.  And I don't need to send it back to the manufacturer to change the battery!  

    Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

    by boran2 on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:58:49 PM PDT

  •  Best post ever! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As a guy still in the tech business 30 years after getting my trash-80, I am totally impressed with the thought and insight in this post. If I could, I'd recommend it ten times!

    It makes me think (for the thousandth time) that everything we ever imagined these gadgets could do back in 1980 have come true and more . . .

    Thanks for bringing the excitement back. I have held off buying an iPad to get the version with a camera (since I do lots of video role playing business applications). But, after reading this I've got my shoes on to go to the apple store.

    •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

      My next project is to get my camera connected. Right now with a simple app - I can "tether" my I 3G iphone. Hoping the faster one just announced will work better on video.

      Also when I get the money, I my eye on a set of head monitors - Caprica like glasses for augmented reality.

      It's not all there yet, but its like when we had to break open the trash-80 to cut a wire so we could get lower case letters. Somehow we can get it done.

      Hope things work out for you. A thanks for the rave. I need that.


  •  This gadget can't get me what I need.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which is a job and a place to live.

    Enough with filling landfills with the last generation of 18 month old electronic crap.

    The pursuit of maximizing corporate quarterly profits while filling a gadget pipeline with more crap is not sustainable. How much more computing power do people need to organize notes, read bank statements and post nonsense on FaceBook?

    If Apple came up with a solar photovoltaic electric system for the home that cost under a grand, then I'd applaud Jobs' efforts.

    •  Hear you, (0+ / 0-)

      Actually I am trying to keep my home and find a job.

      When I do work it has something to do with gadgets, so I have to keep up and keep learning, but most of all keep open.

      Open including to the situation of others - praying you find a job and place soon.

      Best wishes,

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