Strong opinions, weakly held

The iPad commeth

People are going to start receiving their iPads tomorrow, and to mark the occasion we’re seeing one more spasm of iPad punditry. Tomorrow the hypothetical iPad dies and the real life iPad arrives, probably dashing the hopes of dozens of media companies who think that the iPad is their one way ticket to massive subscription revenue. (Danny O’Brien has a good post on that.)

Cory Doctorow took one more shot at the iPad today, making some good points in an argument that didn’t hold together particularly well. His strongest arguments are those meant to deter people from building native iPhone applications. And I do think that if you care about ubiquity and openness, you should avoid the iPhone platform and stick with building Web applications. Everything seems to indicate that they’ll run beautifully on the iPad, just as they run beautifully on your Netbook, or your Mac, or your Windows PC.

The piece I really wanted to link to, though, is Greg Knauss writing about the iPad future. Or, more generally, a future that involves simpler devices that require less expertise and maintenance than today’s personal computer. Greg argues that this future is inevitable, and that furthermore, it’s a pretty great future. I think that’s probably the best way to look at it.

As I write in my earlier piece on the iPad, we’re going to have to look somewhere other than our desktop for open platforms in the future.


  1. When I read Gregs’ post I thought to myself “someone should had to write this piece”.

    Like Greg, I am in this computer business for 25 years now and this shit still doesn’t work.

    Bonus link : Lorem iPad – http://kottke.org/10/04/lorem-ipad

  2. Sorry, but I just can’t be locked in like the iPad locks me in. Having a corporation control what OS I can run, what apps I can run, and what I can do to property I own is just something that sounds completely terrible to me.

    I think it’s a terrible future, and one that will harm society more than most now realize. The DRMization and infantilization of the population can’t not be a bad thing.

  3. Thinking about it more, I guess I’ll just be one of those losers in 20 years huddling in my basement with my now-illegal non-DRMed computer, waiting for the inevitable copyright raid.

    And I’m only half-joking.

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