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I'm a big fan of Apple products, I have an iMac, a MacBook, and an iPod Touch. I'm a sucker for their products and for good reason they're good, but after checking out the iPad I recognize undeserved hype. It's nothing more than an iPod Touch that is too big and offers too little to fork out real money for it. I wouldn't turn one down as a gift, but that has more to do with a severe case of gadgetitis than the merits of the product.

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Norm, If you were a student who wanted to use electronic textbooks to drastically cut your textbook costs, you'd never have bought the Kindle you have. For students who resell their textbooks, the iPad and a bundle of e-books makes a lot of sense - they can recover the cost within a year just in textbook price decreases. (Though one can certainly do all of this with a laptop.) The publishers win too, since they don't have to compete with their own used books in the 2nd and 3rd year of a revion cycle. (Finally, maybe we can get rid of the ridiculously short revision cycle in introductory texts.)

I have to disagree with you Tim, speaking from experience.

A year ago I finished a two year program for diagnostic radiography. The publisher of our textbooks gave us DVDs of our texts as a pilot program. We were able to do so many things with the texts, it is inconceivable the usefulness of the suite could have been duplicated on such a limited device as the Ipad.

The most advantageous point to the suite was our ability to use the electronic format in many convenient ways, incorporating them so much I was able to do the entire two years with very little hard copy. The paperwork I actually needed, for the entire program, fit into one paper folder. I carried this and my laptop. The suite wasn't the only contributing factor, I also had the latest Gateway convertible tablet. The combination allowed me to forgo hard copy textbooks entirely.

The Ipad wouldn't have come close. Devices like the Entourage Edge are going to be the gizmos to have for the serious student in the coming years. Apple is still appealing to the media consumer crowd with the Ipad.

(1) The e-books are on-line. They have all the graphics of the paper copy and have the same appearance as the paper copy (like a pdf file). With technical textbooks, that alone blows the Kindle out of the water - without color and zoomable graphics and tables, the Kindle is dead.

(2) Authors, publishers, and course instructors can add active links to anything on the web. If there's anything I think the book does poorly, it can add whole blocks of text (including lining out wrong stuff the author put in the text). I can add links to Youtube chemical demonstrations,an anatomy professor can add video residing on his/her university's servers.

(3) All the homework is managed on-line - Students using e-books (and two-thirds of them already do - just like you) have NO paper to deal with at all. Access to the material is for the semester or the year and most of the introductory students are OK with that since most of them sold there hard-copy books at the end of the term anyway. No trees cut-down, students at the end of a revision cycle don't get screwed becasuse the book stores won't buy back their obsolete editions.

All of this can be done on a laptop, as I said, but though I don't have an iPad, I don't see that any of this can't be done on the iPad as well. It was never implemented on the Kindle and the display on an iPhone is just not big enough.

The iPad doesn't seem any better suited for textbooks than the Kindle, though the larger Kindle is better than the smaller one I have. They both suffer from a serious flaw, the lack of page numbers for use by academics. The iPad is definitely a gadget collecting consumer product. It does a lot of things but none of them particularly well when compared with other options.

It does a lot of things but none of them particularly well when compared with other options.

I think you have described the Apple MO perfectly there. I like my iPod, but only because of the incredible amount of cool accessories it has (usually non-Apple).

Re: Kindle and iPad, the problem I think is DRM. Get rid of that crap and e-paper should be unbeatable for ebooks. I can't conceive how an LCD could be better. I haven't bought a Kindle because of that and especially that bullshit about Amazon being able to delete your stuff remotely (like the Orwell thing not so long ago).

Why in a story about Apple breaking down doors in the latest version of pinkerton detective company are we discussing how much we love apple products?

Hehe, Apple breaking down doors? Please. Next you'll have us believe Steve Jobs was there with the police directing them.

Did I miss something? I thought I heard him say that the cops searched the first guys apt and that apple showed up at the second guys house.

Apple goons showed up at the guy who took the phone's place and tried to trick him (or his roommate) into letting them go through it, at best, or intimidate him at worst, but they didn't break the door.

Also, it's not like the police broke down Chen's door while he was having a nice home dinner with the family, like Jon's commentary suggests. He and his girlfriend were out to dinner, and when they came back popo was there already looking through his stuff.

Which doesn't make much better, of course, but this also wasn't the super outrageous raid it seems to be. One thing though the "task force" that went into Chen's home seems to have some connection with Steve Jobs, but I didn't look into it that much, just read it from one of the first reports.

Ok, so one door was knocked down and company "Goons?" or "secureity?" showed up at a private citizens home and intimidated him.

The latter still sounds like pinkertons to me. I don't think they should feel the right to dispatch their staff to question or intimidate citizens. That's what we pay cops for.

Well the police didn't "knock down" the door, just forced it open. Which is the same, but doesn't sound as bad. They probably shouldn't have, but I don't know what the law states in cases where one has stolen property. The fact that they're going with the "I'm a journalist, so it's illegal" angle makes me think that it's legal if you're not a journalist (which can be argued both ways about Chen).

About the Apple guys at the other guy's place, nobody knows for sure exactly what kind of exchange occurred, that's why I said "trick at best and "intimidate at worst" (or maybe they just asked nicely). The fact is that the roommate didn't let them in and they didn't pursue the matter further at his place. And after all this, the guy who took the phone doesn't come out very well either.

I also think Apple has overreacted, but I don't have much sympathy for the other party. Through and through you can see all the greed and unethical behavior: received an e-mail March 28 — not from Hogan — offering access to the iPhone, but did not follow up on the exchange after the tipster made a thinly veiled request for money. Gizmodo then paid $5,000 in cash for it.

Other tech blogs and sites were also contacted this way, but they passed it on cause they didn't want to do "checkbook journalism" (at least I learned a new phrase during this fiasco). I agree with the guy on Olbermann here.

I've kinda followed this story for days though I couldn't really care less one way or the other about the iPhone. I read Gizmodo and really both parties are dicks. The way they treated the "leak" was very unprofessional and when called out on it they just offered excuses and rationalizations. I don't think they've admitted yet they did anything wrong, though probably they can't comment right now, they should have done it way before this crap happened.

I don't know if Gizmodo has dumbed down or what, but lately I've found it lacking. [skeptic geek rant] For instance, their articles on photography (there is no evidence that more megapixels = more noise in the picture! -- they are just measuring wrong!) and audio (catering to audiophools) are misguided at best. They used to mock those audiophiles when I started reading. And the commenters seemed smarter and funnier. Maybe since it got more popular all the idiot 14-year-old kids that were flooding Engadget transferred, now Engadget seems like a saner place.[/rant]

To clarify a few of things: 1) iPad's iBooks actually do have page numbers, unlike kindle's % complete.

2) I would say that the iPad isn't really "just a big iPod Touch," but rather that it has more in common with a laptop than the Touch. The method of interaction being the similarity touch of course. But apps written specifically to take advantage of the iPad's size and user interaction methods could easily prove invaluable for any number of applications in the future, even if right now those apps do not exist.

and 3) Counter to what Jon said in the piece, I'm pretty sure Apple didn't officially respond saying the prototype wasn't theirs. They simply said nothing publicly until after Gizmodo ran their series of stories. Perhaps saying nothing and denying outright seem like a minor point, but I think there's a legitimate difference.

Also, more to the larger issue addressed in the Daily Show segment, rather than how "sold" any of us are on the iPad's utility or lack thereof, I simply question Wired's story about "people claiming to be from Apple" coming to the guy's door and talking to his roommate. That just doesn't sound believable to me. Not because I'm an Apple fanboy, but because it just doesn't sound like something any company would do (other than perhaps Fox News, based on things Bill O'Reilly has said). Particularly if we're to believe the theory that Apple "forced the hand of the police" to raid the Gizmodo guy's house. If they have that kind of power (which I doubt as well) then why would they bother sending "people" to the finder's house? None of it adds up to me. I don't question Wired's reporting, but I do question their source.

1) iPad's iBooks actually do have page numbers, unlike kindle's % complete.

Well the Kindle also has location numbers, but that's not the same.

Are you saying that if I pick up the glue and paper copy of a book the iPad will have exactly the same page numbers?

A technical online textbook (chemistry, physics, etc) looks exactly like the paper copy, unless more material is added as clickable links to external material. As I said above, it has all the figures and tables too – perfectly rendered, zoomable, etc. (like a pdf file). The Kindle doesn't let you access that book, but - like a laptop computer - the iPad does. On-line textbooks are basically being leased for a significantly lower price than permanent ownership. For most introductory texts (a huge part of the market), this is what students want because they almost all sell the books at the end of the course anyway. The only significant downside to on-line textbooks using this model now is the still clumsy navigation - and the hope is that Apple much nicer touchscreen navigation will be implemented.

For more advanced texts that students will want to keep in their personal libraries, someone will have to work out a model that more like iTunes operates with music, I think.

Norm, like many before you, you completely misunderstand what the iPad is. It isn't an oversized iPod Touch. A better way of looking at it is that the iPod Touch is miniaturised iPad. The iPad is the main event.

You only need to take a look at the iWork suite (Pages, Keynote and Numbers) to realise that the iPad (or more specifically the iPhone OS) is nothing short of the new face of computing.

The desktop metaphor and mechanical clicker is old school (at long last!), multitouch is the new school. This is why the iPad deserves the hype and more.

"You only need to take a look at the iWork suite (Pages, Keynote and Numbers) to realise that the iPad (or more specifically the iPhone OS) is nothing short of the new face of computing." I disagree wholeheartedly. An office suite for a device without a keyboard doesn't really strike me as reason to believe that the iPad is the "new face of computing."

Computers are in no danger of being displaced by the iPad, because often "old school" power and functionality are more important than simplicity. The iPad falls in the same price range as much more powerful laptops and netbooks. And no matter how you spin it, a keyboard will almost always be more useful than a multitouch screen. The difference in portability between a netbook and an iPad is miniscule.

The hype is still hype. It may be a cool little device, but it's not going to change the world.

Noted Calatar, and bookmarked for future date.

I don't think you have any idea just how wrong you are on this one.

A desktop is certainly better for serious work, and so far, I find the iPad Pages app lacking in some important areas. But that said, the iPad is far easier, and more fun to use, than the Acer netbook I carried around for the last two years. No question, the iPad is a gizmo, but I've found it an incredibly useful, enjoyable gizmo, and for now, there is nothing else like it on the market. (Have you read the reviews for Joo Joo?) I have apps that let make multi-track recordings, play vintage synthesizers, read comics in the sexiest way imaginable, play board games, and dash out first drafts. I'm thrilled with it.

That said, I'm not always thrilled with the behavior of Apple/ Jobs, and the hardcore cultists can certainly be creepy. But I'm inclined to say that yes, the tablet has a future, and the iPad sets a bar that I am anxious to see others meet and exceed.

Of perhaps even more ominous note is the purchase and shutting down (this month) of Lala, the music buying/sharing software. This is a classic case of corporate invade-and-occupy. When I worked for AIG, they did this constantly: bought up companies and products and then eliminated them, merely to suppress competition. Apple's doing the same with its defense of its iTunes turf. Another note to this oppressive theme is buried in Steve's recent polemic against Adobe and Flash, which he spins as a battle between Adobe's proprietary and obsolescent garbage and Apple's walled garden. Meanwhile, in the background, Steve joins hands with Ballmer in going legal to shut down open source video codecs (Ogg Theora and the like). In other words, competition is good as long as it's Apple vs. MS. Otherwise, there can be no choice, no options, no alternatives to the twin borgs of consumer tech.

Rubbish. He pitches it as a battle between Adobe's proprietary obsolescent garbage and the open web (i.e. HTML, CSS and Javascript).

I was all keen on getting the ipad, figured it would be cool and very portable, could maybe use it for my new job where I basically do psychiatric home visits using a very cool EMR that i can access even from my iphone. I figured i could tether the 3g from iphone to my ipad as i already have a lot of data I am paying for, but of course that is NOT possible unless you jailbreak your iphone.... maybe then i could just switch the SIM card?? no they use a micro sim card that no one else uses.

so you must get the 3 g ipad and pay for another data plan?? if you want 3 G....

I have had apple/macs since 1986.... but why are they becoming the evil empire???


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