Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Do Want?

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  • Lucy Stewart,

    Well, I guess the blueprints are out there already:

    http://images.pcworld.com/news/graphics/187962-ipants_original.jpg</quote>

    Clearly designed for men, doesn't count.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2087 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    One option is to only upgrade when your hardware fails. You need good backups, though.

    Good backups are easy. It still bothers me that I'm about the upgrade the inner bits of my three-year old desktop, and it costs just about as much as a full new machine. Not to mention the printer I just had to replace because replacing the broken bit would have cost as much as a new printer.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    I'm not fanboi, believe me... I have Issues with the Jobsempire.

    BUT...

    this is a device I will buy.

    I want to watch movies on it.
    I want to read books on it.
    Most importantly, I want to read newspapers on it.

    Newspapers are very important to me. I worked for newspapers for many years and edited one for not quite as long as I would have liked.

    There's something about newspapers that really shouts to me and I can happily say I have bought my last one.

    Newspapers are great, but by the time I get The Times, The Guardian, New York Times and all the others posted out to me, they're old. I want them right now.

    So I use their websites, but again, they suck. They take each story and republish it but I don't get to see how each story works in the context of the newspaper. Placing stories on a page is an artform and I want to see the paper laid out as the editors intended.

    With the iPad I can. I won't be going to the Herald's website again - I'll be looking at the Herald itself. I'll zoom in on a story and read it on the go (and no more black ink on my hands! ha!).

    Better still, when the papers get orgainsed and put video up, I'll watch a video embedded in the paper. There will be ads. I will read it like I read the papers today.

    I believe the iPad will revolutionise the way newspapers live and breath and given the rubbish they're going through at the moment, this is no bad thing.

    I'm no fanboi - but I will be buying one of these the day they come out.

    YMMV of course.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 170 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Price you say?

    We don't pay the true price of production or recycling. That is all extenalised onto the poor and the environment.

    My point was just to ask why you've saved up your outrage for this device and not any other.

    FWIW, Earth2Tech has already run the rule over the iPad and declared: "All things considered, and given the laundry list of things it can do, the iPad is a pretty green little machine."

    It's not unreasonable to see it as a marked improvement on existing devices.

    But of course smoking doesn't cause cancer, does it Russell?

    If you're going to insist on depicting studies cited by other people in the cannabis thread as my own personal invention, I can't stop you. But it seems a bit rude, frankly. Perhaps you could let this one go.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17976 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    What IS it with this site. The second post in a row that managed to include menstrual cycle accessories.

    It's a liberal failing, allowing the womenfolk to talk about their disgusting biological deviance. On real men's blogs (i.e. anything to the right of Michael Lhaws) only penises may be displayed with pride, in true heterosexual fashion.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    But seriously, Bust has a good take on the default sexism of the marketing presentation so far.

    Although the dude does seem to have The Lovely Bones on his ibookshelf. Maybe it's his wife's ...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 638 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    No flash support is surprising. What good's a device that can't display the Onion News Network ?

    It's frustrating, but I'm not unsympathetic. Flash is a vampire and Adobe needs to fix it.

    Not that I'm bothered. As a .Net developer, I'm happy to stick with Microsoft, and I kind of need a real keyboard with which to code.

    You can use any Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad. But not, for some reason, a generic Bluetooth mouse.

    And Windows 7 really is an improvement, and very nice to use.

    It is!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17976 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    I want to read books on it.

    This is the part I'm interested in. Why read books on this and not actual books? The newspaper part I understand. iPods, ditto. I'm not trolling or trying to start an argument, just curious. Sorry if it seems unenlightened.

    Can you loan a book you download? Can you resell it?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 638 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    And Windows 7 really is an improvement, and very nice to use.

    It is!

    Last time I said something like this, Russell responded with 'burn the witch!', but... I upgraded and I can't tell the difference. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3583 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That's not strictly true - the OS is multitasking all the time - it's just that Apple won't approve any 3rd-party apps that try to make use of it.

    It's coming, apparently, in iPhone OS 4.0, which some people expected to be announced today.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17976 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    But not in here. (my current crush.)

    Nice, and purple too!

    However Saben is NZ designed and their head office (where they have their annual sale) happens to be just around the corner from our home.

    As for pockets my wife frequently points out the lack of pockets in women's clothing. She has also trained me to assess handbags based not just on their looks but also on the number and variety of compartments, a critical feature.

    as vanity laptop

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3115 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    A pretty good PC World summary of what's wrong with the iPad.

    My word. I think I have a pair of old cargo pants that would make perfect iPants. Perhaps it's a sign?

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    She has also trained me to assess handbags based not just on their looks but also on the number and variety of compartments, a critical feature

    But why why why are they invariably black inside?? The chance of finding the ringing cellphone in the right compartment is inversely proportional to the 4th power of the number of compartments!

    AhhhhHHhhhhHHHH!!!!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1459 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    This is the part I'm interested in. Why read books on this and not actual books? The newspaper part I understand. iPods, ditto. I'm not trolling or trying to start an argument, just curious. Sorry if it seems unenlightened.

    A couple of reasons. First-you can carry around a virtual library in one device. Second-you don't have to physically visit a store to buy the books you want. You might be at a cafe somewhere and decide you want to start reading a new book you just saw reviewed in your morning newspaper before you finish your flat white.

    Those might seem like fairly trivial reasons to spend a chunk of money on a new piece of hardware, but remember back when mobile phones were unnecessary because everyone could use landlines and payphones?

    Also, I'm told by some folks that the ability to magnify text on screen is a boon to their failing eyesight.

    Can you loan a book you download? Can you resell it?

    No, and no. And of course there really are serious questions about who exactly owns the book in your device which haven't been properly settled. (The way Amazon dealt with the improper licensing of 1984 and other books is a spooky hint of where this whole thing could go.) But this isn't a one-way conversation, and as we've seen often enough over the last fifteen years, content publishers understand now that they either make some allowances for their customers' concerns or they lose them altogether.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    We can agree that Just Thinking is right in general, though, yes? And not just seeking to harsh the iPad mellow in particular.

    It is possible to drool over our toys and yet still seek to know how they're made and what the collateral costs might be. In fact, isn't that liberal-eco-cringe-consciousness-responsibility-action nexus a crucial part of the Mac demographic? Just, ah, think of it as your monthly hassle and take it like a man, boys!

    I appreciated the nudge, since it caused me to re-discover this alarming article from 2001, and this more recent one that suggests little has changed. No upgrades to speak of for those in Congo, while we quibble over the latest refinements to our desirable coltan-fuelled machines, on our coltan-fuelled machines.

    (Typed on my shimmering silvery MacBook, for shame, but I did walk to the shops today and recycled three bins full this week... iFlagellate).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    iFlagellate

    IPoped you mean.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1459 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    what's wrong with the iPad.

    The complaints about flash are probably overdone. Flash is quite likely to be replaced this year even U-tube is shifting away so my guess is this isn't the issue folks are thinking it is.

    Of the other issues the only one that seems real is the multitasking. My guess is they decided to release the new hardware with a pretty much tried and true software - iTouch. If the hardware captures the imagination then I'm sure the software with get upgraded.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3115 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    iPoped

    Dang you've got to be quick around here. Lower case 'i' though Ross. You still have 11 minutes to edit.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • JR,

    This is the part I'm interested in. Why read books on this and not actual books? The newspaper part I understand. iPods, ditto. I'm not trolling or trying to start an argument, just curious. Sorry if it seems unenlightened.

    The public domain contents of Google books alone would be my biggest incentive to buy any device in this category one day.

    Since Jan 2007 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    A couple of reasons. First-you can carry around a virtual library in one device. Second-you don't have to physically visit a store to buy the books you want. You might be at a cafe somewhere and decide you want to start reading a new book you just saw reviewed in your morning newspaper before you finish your flat white.

    Those might seem like fairly trivial reasons to spend a chunk of money on a new piece of hardware, but remember back when mobile phones were unnecessary because everyone could use landlines and payphones?

    Also, I'm told by some folks that the ability to magnify text on screen is a boon to their failing eyesight.

    All of these reasons, yes. I often think this about my mother, she has a house full of books that she adores, but can no longer read them now that she has the time. If she could just make them all large print at the touch of a button, why, it would be a new lease on life right there.

    I think there are other reasons too, annotation and searchability would be big ups for me. I ended up scanning and OCRing a few of the key books in my dissertation because I just needed that feature. Also some books simply need to be made open access, and the electronic medium would facilitate that.

    You dematerialise the book, a lot of things will happen to it, not all of them good, so of course I'm not suggesting wholesale replacement of paper with bits. But if you told me when I came over to New Zealand that I could take my whole library with me, just like that, oh I would have been a very happy man.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    We can agree that Just Thinking is right in general, though, yes? And not just seeking to harsh the iPad mellow in particular.

    It is possible to drool over our toys and yet still seek to know how they're made and what the collateral costs might be. In fact, isn't that liberal-eco-cringe-consciousness-responsibility-action nexus a crucial part of the Mac demographic?

    Which is precisely why Greenpeace -- somewhat selectively, even unfairly -- targeted Apple with its green list. The shaming worked: the green pitch is part of nearly every Apple hardware launch now, and the sustainability of the products has improved markedly. The iPad appears to be the greenest screen Apple has produced.

    Intriguingly, Apple board has been in a battle with the company's shareholders over sustainability -- the shareholders want an independent sustainability board to scrutinise the company's operations, even at the expense of maximising their own returns.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17976 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    Why read books on this and not actual books?

    Project Gutenberg. Probably 50% my contact time on my Touch (ie. not just listening to music) is spent reading Public Domain works with Stanza.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    All of these reasons, yes. I often think this about my mother, she has a house full of books that she adores, but can no longer read them now that she has the time. If she could just make them all large print at the touch of a button, why, it would be a new lease on life right there.

    Me too. I've only need reading glasses in the past couple of years or so, but I'm sometimes puzzled by claims for the readability of paper books. I find some paperbacks in particular impossible to read comfortably.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17976 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Don't want. Already have e-book reader, have since 2002. PDA - iPAQ. It had its place for a while, but ultimately a handheld screen and tiny keyboard is not something you want to do any serious work or research on. OK for games, OK for reading/watching downloads, OK for limited web surfing (was good for the news when abroad). In answer to Gio's earlier question, yes it is extremely easy to fall asleep reading one, particularly as you don't have to turn pages, and if you turn the light off when you read it. Then your partner can sleep too.

    Kind of nice to have for those rare moments when I know I'm going to be stuck somewhere and really bored, like at the hospital or during air travel.

    A device like what I use is currently about $80. Something up to date more like $500. But I don't need computational power in a book reader, so I'm pretty happy with it.

    But it's used even less now because of the netbook. That little bit of extra screen space makes a huge difference for web browsing and writing. But the killer is a proper keyboard and massive battery life. I went for solid state everything so the battery lasts forever, and it's extremely robust. About $500 for that.

    If I want to work, seriously, I'm always going to use a workstation. I find I need the Hz, the 3 screens, the fact I'm next to the router, my servers, beside the phone, on a desk, with all my notes, in a quiet office, using an ergonomic keyboard and a quality mouse, and a robust wired network, printer, decent speakers, a really good headset all quite hard to beat with any kind of portable device. The laptop I formerly had has become my wife's PC.

    It's interesting to think of the trends of these devices and how they might drive or be driven by consumers, but I've noticed that basically there are machines of every type now. So much choice is available that it's impossible to pick what the 'next big thing' will be. Some people like having a really powerful phone that can do untold things. I don't much, because I just want the phone to be a phone, preferably small, simple, and reliable. Text messages is about the only extra I wouldn't want to be without, and some games are handy if I forgot the PDA. I prefer to have multiple devices, possibly because I carry a man-bag around. I don't need an all-in-one, and find that such things limit me by their size. That size is not something that can be improved by technology - ultimately a capable device needs a big screen and keyboard to be productive and that just won't fit in a pocket (on the occasions when I don't carry the bag).

    And yet, other people have very different work to me, and can and do find use in devices that combine features. So the market is not so much segmented as 'segmented in every dimension'. Not only are there devices that do everything, at every size, but there are also devices that do a large selection of the subsets of everything. Which means so much choice in picking your configuration.

    Which is part of the reason Apple products tend to bemuse me. Or rather, the fans of them do. It's like they want to be limited to the small range that is Apple products, so that those choices can be configured for them. Is this some kind of uniform? Is there a secret handshake and inside privileges I'm missing out on by not getting paying the Apple-tax? If an Apple device fitted my needs well, and there wasn't a comparable device at half the price, then perhaps I'd get one, but this simply hasn't happened to me. Ever.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8039 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    A pretty good PC World summary of what's wrong with the iPad.

    Including my number one reason for not ever giving Jobs any of my money: openness. For me, it's an absolute deal-breaker. I object strongly to anyone telling me what I can and cannot do with things that I have bought. The concept of "There is only one true way - the way of the iJobs - and no other way shall be made in the least bit convenient" is anathema to how I view tech. For as long as Apple is run by a control freak, producing control-freak products, no matter how beautiful (I fully heart the top-end Apple displays, and am quite happy to admit it), they're not the products for me.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3733 posts Report Reply

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