it’s got it all

One thing you have to say for the iPad: it sits right in the middle of three classic consumer hardware debates: fat/thin client; walled garden/libre; and information appliance/general purpose device.  I have no idea whether this position makes it a better device, but it sure does generate a lot of passionate (though fundamentally boring-and-cliched-as-hell) blog posts.

The libre/walled garden is the only one I find even remotely interesting, and that only because of the cultural considerations it embodies — see this post from Alex Payne for more on that.  Those making the assumption that the iPad represents some unitary future for computing* are being quite silly, I think — that’s not going to happen.  But it’s worth reading Alex’s post to understand why that admittedly-unlikely event would be a terrible thing for people like him and me.

* Incidentally: any time you read something that approvingly quotes an expert whose listed credential is “futurist”, you should immediately dismiss it outright, and possibly also phone in a bomb threat to the publishing organization.  Also: SixthSense is a neat tech demo, but assuming it works as well as the video is an astounding act of credulousness.  Besides, no one wants to look that dumb in public.

2 Responses to “it’s got it all”

  1. Kriston

    . . . whose listed credential is “futurist”†

    † Unless he is a dead Italian.

  2. UrbanOtter

    s/futurist/no-discernible-skill-set/g

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