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iPad: When Will An eBook Let You Write In the Margins?

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If you've got the iPad but you're still reading Ted Kennedy's book, have you really won?

On the principle that overhyped techological events are in most cases still more important than overhyped political events, let's note that the Apple iPad has been unveiled just to whet your appetite for the State of the Union address.

I have never been quite clear on what the new "tablet" is supposed to be and had assumed iPad was positioned as a competitor to Amazon's Kindle and other book-reading devices.

This didn't sound like a very interesting idea. The Kindle's faithful reproduction of a book-like page takes the chaff of literacy—the paper filled with words—while leaving out the wheat, hops and barley of post-literacy—clickability and the freedom to mix two-dimenional media. And there are already online publishers trying to make paper-like pages that reproduce well on smart phones, for example this zine started by some people from my hometown. Within a short time, I believe the invention of a new class of devices to reproduce the book experience will be widely seen as an interesting dead end.

So, good news that the iPad seems to be more of an evolutionary step toward merging the phone and the laptop. Apple users (I cannot join you, but I wish you well) may enjoy the motion sensitivity of the screen. I still prefer not to feel like a puppeteer when I'm trying to do stuff. But we can all agree that there's demand for portable devices that give you more access to the totality of the interwebs than you currently get from a phone, and if Steve Jobs has taken another step in that direction, huzzah for him.

Now ponder the future of the book. Nicholas Carr regrets the passing of the bound volume in his response to a Tim Bray post about the glory of getting rid of all your books and other printed clutter:

Whatever its charms, the online world is a world of clutter. It's designed to be a world of clutter—of distractions and interruptions, of attention doled out by the thimbleful, of little loosely connected bits whirling in and out of consciousness. The irony in Bray's vision of a bookless monastic cell is that it was the printed book itself that brought the ethic of the monastery—the ethic of deep attentiveness, of contemplativeness, of singlemindedness—to the general public. When the printed book began arriving in people's homes in the late fifteenth century, it brought with it, as Elizabeth Eisenstein describes in her magisterial history The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, "the same silence, solitude, and contemplative attitudes associated formerly with pure spiritual devotion."

When Tim Bray throws out his books, he may well have a neater, less dusty home. But he will not have reduced the clutter in his life, at least not in the life of his mind. He will have simply exchanged the physical clutter of books for the mental clutter of the web. He may discover, when he's carried that last armload of books to the dumpster, that he's emptied more than his walls.

You probably shouldn't trust anybody who goes on about the virtues of a monastic life, but Carr gets at a truth that may give the paper book a few more decades of relevance. Unlike telegraphs, celluloid, vinyl records, typewriters and the many other charming media that have been displaced in living memory, books come with thousands of years of reverence behind them. I have neighbors who have to call the Rabbi for help if they accidentally let the Torah touch the floor. The United States endured a major diplomatic crisis when Newsweek wrongly reported that a copy of the Quran had been put in a toilet. Every yard sale features vast boxes of paperbacks that don't stand a chance of being bought, all because there's something exquisitely depressing about just throwing away a book.

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  1. I’m getting the one with all the options. The Maxi-Ipad.

    1. You beat me to that joke. I-Pad is about the dumbest name for a product ever.

      1. Dumbest name for a product ever? Obama.

        1. Well, in fairness it does sound better by its full name “The Obama of the United States” or “TOOTUS” for short.

          1. I prefer Shah Hussein Obama of the United States.

            Or SHOOTUS.

            1. Or the formal version of that “His Emminent Merciful Shah Hussein Obama of the United States”

              Or HEMSHOOTUS

              I hear that is how Joel Klein and Chris Matthews address the Obama when in his presence and always of course while ritually prostrating themselves and kissing the soles of his emminence’s shoes.

      2. Click that first link. Many people seem to agree.

        1. Curses. Outted meself again for not fully reading the article.

          Speaking of bad product names.

          ProCaulk has to be near the top of the list.

      3. I like my Maxi-Ipad with with the flight option.

      4. I take it you don’t own any recent Nintendo consoles…

        1. I take it you are not female. Nintendo? Is that a new mascara? 😉

    2. I was watching TV with my buddy Stevie
      when we saw the strangest thing:
      It was so compelling;
      A woman was selling
      Maxi Pads that had wings.

      I turned to channel three,
      And what did I see?
      A woman who looked real rich.
      She was living on the hill,
      And pitching Vagisil
      for the “special feminine itch.”

      I tried once more,
      And turned to channel four,
      And I was shocked, I must confess;
      A gal who was chunky
      Said when she’s smelling funky,
      She just squirts it with FDS.

      Well, it’s on every station,
      It’s plugging up the nation
      With feminine hygiene ads.
      Douches, and ointments,
      And OBG appointments,
      And don’t forget your Maxi Pads,

      ‘Cause they have wings–to fly!
      Let’s give it a try,
      Feminine hygiene.

      Well! A mama and a daughter
      Walking by the water;
      Somebody don’t feel fresh…!
      Monistat 7
      Put her back in heaven,
      ‘Cause the yeast really makes a mess. (Eeewww!)

      Middle age debutante
      Looking for a lubricant;
      I still can hear her voice.
      Her mama done told her
      When a woman gets older,
      The muffin downstairs don’t stay moist.

      Well, it’s on every station,
      An over-saturation
      Of feminine hygiene dames;
      Creams, and lotions,
      And all her emotions,
      And all the water she retains.

      Its so insane, this game;
      There’s too many names
      For feminine hygiene.

      Why do we have to view
      All that stuff girls go through?
      It’s really got my stomach ruh-eeling.
      Let’s give those ads we see
      A hysterectomy!
      Or at least… make them more appealing.

      ‘Cause they’re on every station,
      An over-saturation
      Of feminine hygiene ads.
      Douches, and ointments,
      And OBG appointments,
      Creams, and lotions,
      And all her emotions,
      Summers Eve, and Massengill,
      And if you itch, use Vagisil,
      Kotex, Tampax,
      Gynacort, and Yeast-ex.
      Norforms, Pamprin,
      Feminique and Pequin,
      Motrin, and Mydol
      For when you’re suicidal,
      MoniStat, FemiStat,
      A plug for this, a pad for that–
      The list goes on and on.

      It’s so insane to me;
      It’s on my TV;
      It’s feminine hygiene

      Guh-oh Guh-oh Guh-oh…
      It’s on my TV;
      It’s feminine hygiene.

  2. Too big to be a phone. Too small to be a laptop. To me this product looks like a compromise that gives the worst of both worlds. Other than people like Megan McCardle and other Cosmos looking to keep their hipster doofus street creed, I don’t see why anyone would buy it.

    1. Agreed. People are gonna love it till they realize what a giant pain in the ass it is to carry the damn thing around. A holster maybe? Like all the math nerds had for their TI back in high school?

      1. Hang it on a big fat gold chain around yo neck.

        1. Only if it has a big clock as a screensaver.

      2. Only faggot posers use TIs. HP, yo.

      3. I think your supposed to set it next to your couch. Or carry in a monster purse.

        Unless the on screen keyboard forms actual indentations for fingers they are a tad to limiting for extended use.

    2. Well, as it is, it’s a cute toy, and maybe I’ll pick one up if the taxman doesn’t leave me wearing a barrel this year.

      But I’m really interested in seeing how the platform evolves. At this point it wouldn’t cut it for me as a laptop replacement – I doubt the apps I’d need to do that will be available for some time yet. Also, it doesn’t multi-task, and I really can’t live without a terminal app.

      I’m curious about the Apple A4 processor. What kind of core is it based on? PPC? ARM? Perhaps some proprietary Apple core? I’d guess ARM, since it’s designed to be compatible with iPhone apps, but who knows?

      Guess I’ll just have to wander over to the Apple store and play with one, see if it does anything besides cute.

      1. Apple bought PA Semiconductor a while back.

  3. … all because there’s something exquisitely depressing about just throwing away a book..

    Thats precisely why I see potential in e-readers and the like. I have so many damn books that its ugly and impractical for me to keep them, let alone find them when I need them.

    1. What is ugly about a full bookshelf?

      1. The fact that I can’t fit it all in a bookshelf. I would need to line my Garage with bookshelves (or 1/2 of it).

    2. Well, I know at least two suggestions for how one might more happily dispose of useless old books such as anything by Al Gore…

      1. More evidence that socialism inevitably leads to book burning and the like.

  4. I’M A BIG FUCKING BLACKBERRY!

  5. The book is dead, long live the book!

  6. It’s a big iPod with a shit OS. It’s a turd.

    Gizmodo’s verdict:

    My god, am I underwhelmed by the iPad. This is as inessential a product as I’ve ever seen, but beyond that, it has some absolutely backbreaking failures that will make me judge anyone who buys one.

  7. I can’t wait to get one!

  8. Ah, but the Apple Cult? will demand that we worship the product and anoint Jobs with sexy oils.

  9. I agree: how the fuck do you carry it around?

    I want a Kindle or the like; I think it’s a great idea. But until I can underline/highlite passages and write notes in the margins I won’t.

    WHy won’t they just design this? It really wouldn’t be hard to program.

    1. Presumably because they haven’t figured out how to make the e-ink work with a touchpad. Would be nice, though.

      I use my kindle to read stuff from Project Gutenberg. It’s been worth every penny.

      1. “Presumably because they haven’t figured out how to make the e-ink work with a touchpad. Would be nice, though.”

        We have no trouble signing our names on the ePad at the Target checkout.

        1. Notice that that thing emits light. Not e-ink.

    2. You CAN highlight and make notes on a Kindle. You can then see the notes and highlights every time you read the book and you can download the file of your highlights and notations to your computer in case you want to do more with it beyond just a note to yourself.

      1. Yeah, but it’s much clunkier than it should be – you have to push a bunch of buttons and then fumble with a usb cable and shit. Future kindles should allow you to write notes with a stylus, and it should wirelessly sync its data with your computer.

        1. I agree that wireless syncing would be nice, but I disagree that a stylus would be superior to buttons. Probably just personal preferences, but I honestly like the typing. I’ve never been much for styluses.

          1. I hate styluses too. But moving the cursor around with the little stick thingy is a pain in the ass.

          2. Agreed. The Kindle is a book. The iPad is an APP platform.

            Perhaps because I don’t make many highlights or notes in my paper books, I find the Kindle actually more user friendly to do so. But the point is that it’s an appliance for reading content, not creating content. I think the market will support both.

            1. I never make notes either, but I think I would want to if I were reading textbooks or scientific papers on it. Which I will be doing, as soon as I muster up the courage to do the non-Amazon firmware upgrade that supposedly makes the kindle display equations nicely.

  10. He may discover, when he’s carried that last armload of books to the dumpster, that he’s emptied more than his walls.

    And besides doing the nasty, what else is there to do but read a book during a blackout?

    1. You have a great first line for a story there

    2. You have a great first line for a story there

  11. I have neighbors who have to call the Rabbi for help if they accidentally let the Torah touch the floor.

    It’s a Jewish Ned Flanders!

    1. “I have neighbors who have to call the Rabbi for help if they accidentally let the Torah touch the floor.”

      I was visiting my sister in Atlanta during Rosh Hashanah. She was living in a predominately Jewish neighborhood (caps & hats). Anyway, at dusk, two strange guys came to her house saying that they had inadvertently left their bedroom lights on and would she be so kind as to come to their house and turn them off, since they could not. To my amazement, my lesbian feminist sister said yes.

      They were legit, but I thought they were effectively saying, “G-d would be really pissed of if we flipped the light switch, so how about you do it?

      1. That’s exactly what they were saying–it’s perfectly normal behavior for an ultra-orthodox Jew to ask a non-Jew to turn on the light, especially if it’s off because somebody forgot to leave it on. Or vice versa. ‘Kindling fire’ is forbidden on the Sabbath and messing with electricity counts. But your neighbor can do it if necessary.
        I’m not Orthodox myself but certainly grew up around folks who think that way, and still hang out with a few who do.

      2. In that situation, I would be highly tempted to tell them “electricity is not a fire, you moron.”

        -jcr

  12. Within a short time, I believe the invention of a new class of devices to reproduce the book experience will be widely seen as an interesting dead end.

    Kudos for making a prediction, but I think you are dead wrong. For anyone who likes to read, e-readers make a lot of sense without having to be tied down by, well, the weight of books. Also, said e-books are cheaper than the hard-bound versions and easier to trade.

    The e-reader, he boldly predicted, will trigger a newfound interest in reading.

    1. I see no point in them as anything other than an expensive replacement for a trash paperbak to take on a plane or a trip. And even then you run the risk of losing the damned thing. The great thing about a book is you have it forever. It never gets erased or unreadable by the next generation of technology.

      1. I just bought a Kindle because I will be spending a few months in Korea this summer (if they stop shooting at each other).

        I love reading and in the past, I have used most of my luggage space going to Korea to bring lots of paperbacks to keep me going. When I finished them, I would just leave them behind.

        Now with the Kindle, I hope that I can use the extra space in my suitcase to bring extra grundies along. I’m sure that my traveling companions will be happy.

        1. I think your example is a good one. If I ever deployed overseas or had a job where I traveled a lot, I would buy a Kindle. But absent that, I don’t see the point.

      2. Grossly wrong on every point.

        1. Why? You can’t read stuff stored on an old floppy disk today. What makes you think you will be able to get to your kindle in ten years when it is four generation old technology? If you are just reading at home on your couch, how is a Kindle any better than a book?

          Sometimes, the simpler technology is the better one.

          1. Are you trolling or just stupid.
            You can copy your floppy disks and put them on your thumb drive. When something makes the Kindle obsolete you’ll be able to copy it onto that.

            What are you gonna do with your paper books? Type them into your PC? Rip off their spines and scan them?

            The Kindle is a bizzillion times better than paper, in a hundred obvious ways.

            1. No Warren, I am not trolling. You are just a hipster idiot who wants to show how up to date you are. And no I can’t copy my old floppy disks because no computer made today has such a drive. And even if it did, the material on the disks are going to be written in such outdated code that no program will read them. I have an old MP3 player at home that is unreachable now because the drivers don’t work on Windows XP much less Windows 7. The computer won’t read it. And the same thing is going to happen to all of the material you have stored on your kindle.

              What am going to do with my books? Put them on a shelf. They sell specialized shelves for books. They sit against the wall and have room for hundreds of books and don’t take up hardly any floor space. You should look into them sometime.

              1. I have to interject a couple of things here:

                The books don’t live on your Kindle. They live on Amazon’s server. So that makes them vulnerable to the collapse of Amazon [like games that need the game company’s server to be up for validation] but not really vulnerable to technological obsolescence. The books are HTML and/or XML; as long as those technologies exist, you won’t have any problem with successive generations of devices.

                And as I interact with people in the Kindle community, I see that storage more and more is a huge issue. You may think that it’s just the hipsters buying Kindles, John, but in my experience the Kindle customer is by and large a hyperliterate book hoarder who has discovered that they no longer have to limit themselves to the 3000 book library you can feasibly fit into a single family home. These motherfuckers are buying EVERYTHING in their areas of interest that’s under 3 bucks and downloading every free bit of content they can.

                When music made the transition from CD to MP3, it vastly increased the size of the music library it was feasible for the average person to own. To have the amount and range of music I now have on my computer would previously have required me to literally convert my home into a storage facility for CD’s. People own and keep more music now that they can store it on an item the size of a credit card. The Kindle users appear to be making the same transition. Project Gutenberg has almost a million free titles that are Kindle-compatible. Amazon has 400,000 Kindle titles, a huge percentage of which are either free or dirt cheap. You just can’t store that many books in your house. Let alone all the shit you can download for free from Google Books and send through the Amazon converter.

                I personally vastly prefer physical books to any ebook format. But the high-volume book customer has already switched or will have switched by this time next year. I see it happening every day in real-time.

                1. That is an interesting point. I could definetly see where if you just comulsive, a Kindle would be great. At the same time, most people are not that compulsive. I am not saying the Kindle doesn’t have its uses. I am just saying that it is not going to replace paper books.

                  1. Another thing to consider, John, is that ebooks are at generation 1. Remember how crappy laptops were at gen 1. Now at gen whatever they are ubiquitous. Ebook readers will get a lot better in the next few years and a lot more people will buy them.

                    1. They already can store a ton of books and the pages are very readable. I suppose they could get cheaper and lighter. But unless it gets to the point that you can buy them for $5 as an impulse buy at that grocery store, I am not sure how they improve in ways that will increase their core audience.

                    2. The screens will get a lot better. They will become useful for a lot of things besides replicating the paperback format. They will also become cheaper. It isn’t hard to imagine how they will become standard gadgets for students and the middle class.

                    3. I don’t understand why you can’t just buy and application for your laptop that will do the same thing as a Kindle. Why the fuck do I have to buy a special gadget when I already have a laptop?

                    4. Have you ever used a kindle or other eInk reader? The screens are reflective rather than light emitting – no glare, no strain on the eye. They are getting close to replicating (and then surpassing) the quality of printed books or magazines. They will eventually be able to do video etc too. These devices will be extremely appealing for long-form reading.

                    5. Maybe someday I will be converted.

                    6. That’s what I’m getting at dude. When laptops first game out they were clunky, had shitty screens, and were slow as f*ck etc. Ebook readers are are at that relative stage. In 5 to 10 years they will be massively improved – think book/magazine quality display of all the content in the world in a nice, light, US letter sized device. Auto-syncing with your computer/network/cloud storage. And then there will be all the innovations that will come in that period …

                    7. Give me that device (and forget about it being a phone. I can carry a phone) and have it be connected wirelessly to my personal cache of music and books and have it also surf the web and function as an effective computer either via a notepad or plugging it into a docking station, and let it multi task so I can listen to music, read, surf the web or do whatever, and then let it be light (under 2 lbs) and I would buy it.

                    8. Contrast on e-ink is generally 7:1.

                      If you are anywhere but a dim room / cave that 7:1 can tend to beat out a monitors appearance.

            2. Warren,

              You can’t view full motion and sound BDSM porn on your Kindle and the stills leave something to be desired too.

    2. I bought a Kindle, downloaded a torrent of 18000 public domain books and now I don’t have to spend any money on books for the next 20 years..all I read is greek and roman literature and some classic fiction, and history…I always wanted to read Gibbon but the books must be over 1000 pages, enormous, and cost around 80 bucks total in the store, for something years out of copyright. Also I travel – a lot – and live in Australia so 50 hour round trips to NYC or Europe are not unusual. Imagine how useful a light little device is in these circumstances if it holds five hundred long books!

      1. And while I know the limitations of the Kindle, even this greyish somewhat clunky device plays mp3s while you read – how does Amazon hardware beat Apple hardware? Something weird about that.

      2. You can get the everyman’s library of Gibbon for around $40. And they are very nice little green volumes that are great for travel.

  13. Even the Apple fanboys aren’t too thrilled with this. Gizmodo.com – usually a hot spot for fanboism – isn’t gushing as much as I would have thought.

    I’ve looked at the reviews and I can’t grasp why everyone was so excited about this. Nothing looks revolutionary.

    I’m not sure that e-book reading is something that is supposed to be the core of the iPad. The store iBook seems a lot pricier than Amazon’s Kindle store ($15 vs. $10).

    The good news for Jobs is that the hipsters aren’t buying this for the functionality of the iPad, but more for their own self image as a creative individual.

    Don’t bash on me for hating either. I have a Macbook Pro and love it. I’m just not willing to drink the whole glass of Apple Kool-Aid.

    1. Gizmodo.com – usually a hot spot for fanboism

      Not hardly. Gizmodo is all about trolling for page hits. They’re like a pack of low-budget Dvoraks.

      -jcr

  14. Um, you /can/ write in the margins on a kindle or a kindle app book.

  15. They’ll be an app for that.

    Probably going to get three, the dog will just have to share mine.

  16. Wake we up when the dump DRM on ebooks like they finally did with music.

    Until then I have zero interest in a device like this, or the Kindle for that matter.

  17. I love my Kindle. I think the iPad will be great for the Kindle as it will force Amazon to open the thing up and get more content available.

    I predict the iPad will be to future personal computers what the iPhone is to cell phones. The tablet and it’s touch screen are here to stay.

    The printed book is on the way out. All that millennia of reverence will endure. But books will become luxury items. Medieval objects, hand bound in tooled leather, possibly hand scribed with a feather, given as gifts.

    But reading paper has been on the way out for decades. The birth of the iPad isn’t the death of the book. But the book is long in the tooth, and now it’s on it’s deathbed, you can hear it coughing.

    1. How can the i-pad be the future of PCs. Last I looked you still needed to be able to type to use a PC effectively. You can’t type on one of those very effectively. The future is not this. The future is smaller and more powerful PCs that can be plugged into docking stations with full keyboards and monitors. To replace the PC, those will have to be smaller than the I-pad. They will need to be more like an I-phone but as powerful as a desktop. Build me an I-phone that I can plug into a docking station and use as my work computer and then take it home and use it as my blackberry when I am away from my desk, and then you have something.

      As far as the “death of books”, unless I am on a train or plane, I see no reason or advantage in owning a kindle versus a book.

      1. Bullshit. The future is in implantable computers with neural inputs and screens implanted into your corneas.

        1. Fair enough.

          1. I’m waiting until they come out with the headcannon to upgrade myself, personally.

    2. *Cough, cough*

      I’m getting better!

  18. No multitasking whatsoever, which means no listening to music while reading or whatever. Nothing much more thahn an expensive paperweight. Apple finally bites the REALLY big one with this thing….

    1. If you can’t multitask with it, what is the point? Can’t I just buy an i-phone and a kindle? It is not like an i-phone and a kindle is that much to carry around.

    2. Wait what????
      I can’t believe “no multitasking”. I’ll google, but maybe you can supply a link.

    3. What a waste of a beautiful processor. Maybe subsequent generations will have multitasking. By the third generation or so it might be worth having.

  19. Warren:

    http://i.gizmodo.com/5458382/8…..t-the-ipad

    That’s why I called it a turd

  20. As someone mentioned before. Giant iphone. Yippee. I wonder if this thing has external water sensors that are practically outside and will change colors voiding your warranty in just humidity. (I’m not pissed about that or anything)

  21. Kindle has become its own little cult in much the same way Apple did. A few people like Pope Jimbo above just buy them for a specific purpose and as a tool. Others like Warren seem to buy them as part of some larger jihad against the printed page.

  22. I write in the margins of documents on my Tablet PC (I bought it in 2003 when I went back to school full-time) all the time. The ability to fill out forms and sign my name to electronic documents has totally killed Fax technology for me.

    1. One more thing – the latest iterations of the Tablet PC Netbooks actually cost far less than the iPad and do far more.

  23. Product comparison with a stone:

    http://i46.tinypic.com/6rohz7.jpg

  24. You are just a hipster idiot who wants to show how up to date you are.

    And what are you, a cantankerous “anti-elitist elitist” who is proud of how out-of-date and disconnected from the outside world he is?

    you’re like the “fashionable non-conformist”, you know that?

    1. I am not out of date at all. I own a laptop, a blackberry, an I-pod nano and a very powerful PC I built myself. I just don’t see the point of buying an expensive piece of electronics to serve a function that is already being done just fine by older technology.

      The kindle does have its uses. If I traveled a lot, I would probably buy one. But, the idea that it is going to or should replace the paper book is ludacris. It sounds nice in theory to have your entire library at your fingertips. That is until you realize that you rarely use more than a few books at a time. And it sucks really bad to lose every book you own after you leave the thing on the train one day or the hard drive crashes. Kindle is classic over engineering.

      1. >I am not out of date at all. I own a laptop, a blackberry, an I-pod nano and a very powerful PC I built myself.

        You’re out of date, all right. Building your PC yourself is so late-90s.

        -jcr

      2. Amazon knows what books you bought. If you have to replace your Kindle, you get to keep your books. Plus, it delivers newspapers or magazines right to your fingertips.

  25. I can’t believe “no multitasking”.

    I can’t either. I’m guessing (hoping, really) it means it multitasks in the shitty fake way old Macs did. That’s fine for background music, but not for anything else.

    I like the thing (I think). Not for reading books. That’d give me a headache. But I think it’d make a good around-the-house almost-portable music player (for files on a network drive), quick reference, emergency porno theater, and notepad.

    It is cheap.

    1. What’s on Emergency Porno Theater tonight? Should I check my local listings?

  26. It’s not even a big iPhone. It’s a big iPod Touch. The iPad has no phone, folks. None. The AT&T plan is data only.

    1. Again, what is the point of owning it? It appears to be just a have assed laptop.

  27. It won’t fit in my pocket, so the only (dis)advantage it has over a smartphone is a big screen — and if I have to carry something bigger around with me I’ll just carry a netbook with a keyboard and multitasking capability that can do everything this can and more. No sale.

  28. A big minus for Kindle and all of the readers that I have seen is that they don’t fit in a pocket!

    My PDA is always in my pocket and available to quick reading in waiting rooms or whatever. I download free content from gutenberg.org and always have a book on hand.

    … Hobbit

  29. Personally, it looks like a pretty dope device. And by dope, I mean I can’t wait to line up my dope and snort will scrolling through Hit & Run on the web browser. It really is innovating.

    1. Coke mirror app, coming soon.

    2. Coke mirror app, coming soon.

  30. iPad: When Will An eBook Let You Write In the Margins?

    They already do. Not the kindle but many other devices have touchscreen features. See http://wiki.mobileread.com/wik…..der_Matrix

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  32. Looks like another pretty machine that will sit around with greasy smudges on it. I have a home library, yeah, that’s right, an actual old-school library with a fucking ladder on wheels. Until a device can replace the joy I take from looking at book spines, reaching up to pull down a rare edition of an outdated dictionary, or the sense of solace one gets from reading at a mahogany table under luminescent bulbs in a well of books, it’s all just a bunch of Merlin devices, but without the cool red brick design.

    If this is about utilitarian consumption, these little device thingies win hands down. If it’s about the inscription on the inside of a gift book, or the memories that flood back when you see and smell a specific edition of a book you first read when you were a teenager, the devices fail.

    Material books will eventually become like horses…they’ll always be there and serve a function for a small segment of society, even though the soulless car ends up reigning supreme.

  33. I have never been quite clear on what the new “tablet” is supposed to be

    I like the idea of a portable computing device but i hate laptops. They suck.

    Ipad may suck also….but at least it is an attempt to put a portable computing device that does not suck into he market.

    I am pretty sure that is the market they are going after.

    And i am pretty sure that is the same reason and market they went after for the ipod and iphone.

    You know take something that already exists but sucks and make it not suck.

    Pretty elementary stuff there Tim. I am unclear why you are not clear on this.

  34. The best thing about the iPad and its e-book capability will be that it will force Kindle to improve.

    Specifically, I think that Kindle will be dropping its DRM format within a year or so. I know that that was a huge sticking point for me before I bought a Kindle.

    The only thing that overcame my reservations was the fact that I got a bunch of free money from Amazon for some outside work I did.

    I don’t think that I would have went with the iPad if it were available, but others will. That will make Amazon drop DRM. Just like Apple had to drop DRM from iTunes when viable alternatives started cropping up.

  35. So . . . the iPad is basically a really expensive netbook with crappy functionality, then?

    My solution to the problem of “portable devices that give you more access to the totality of the interwebs than you currently get from a phone” is a netbook running Linux Mint. It’s not powerful enough to replace my primary laptop, but for limited computing stuff (e.g., word processing, multimedia viewing), vast improvements on smartphone stuff (e.g., emailing, SMS texting, web browsing), and not having to deal with the ergonomic issues of a tiny keyboard and a 2-inch screen, it works beautifully.

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