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Programming Software The Almighty Buck Technology Apple

Throwing Out Software That Works 622

theodp writes "Just as the iPhone rendered circa-2007 smartphones obsolete, points out Marco Arment, the iPad is on the verge of doing the same to circa-2010 netbooks. Should this succeed, cautions Dave Winer, we may be entering an era of deliberate degradation of the user experience and throwing overboard of software that works, for corporate reasons. Already, Winer finds himself having to go to a desktop machine if he wants to view web content that's inaccessible with his iPhone and iPad. 'There was no bottleneck for software in the pre-iPad netbooks,' he writes. 'It matters. What I want is the convenient form factor without the corporate filter. It's way too simplistic to believe that we'll get that, but we had it. That's what I don't like — deliberate devolution.'"
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Throwing Out Software That Works

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  • by Jarkov ( 1867240 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:42PM (#33325338)
    Yeah my 2006 Blackberry is really obselete now. Going online, checking my mail, instant messaging, and god forbid calling people has never been a worse experience. But I guess I don't have a fart button app, time to throw it out.
    • by object404 ( 1883774 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:56PM (#33325488) Homepage
      The article Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either) [] by Cory Doctorow is a good read.

      Steve Jobs is deliberately destroying the web and trying to remold it as he sees fit. He would rather that content creators only build native iOS apps that work only for iDevices rather than use already-existing channels & platforms that work perfectly fine.

      His war on interpreted code/runtimes and (WORA) Write-Once-Run-Anywhere is a big headache for content creators everywhere.
      • by Brummund ( 447393 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:57PM (#33326150)

        So what the heck is wrong with making a phone or pad that supports HTML, and not plugins?

        This is Slashdot, right, not the Flash Programmers Welfare Foundation?

        • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Saturday August 21, 2010 @02:05PM (#33326230)

          So what the heck is wrong with making a phone or pad that supports HTML, and not plugins?

          What's wrong with making a phone or pad that supports HTML *and* plugins? Because there's no technical reason in the world to do that. Such products already exist. Those are shackles Mr. Jobs is putting on your wrists, not iFreedom Bracelets.

          • by Captain Splendid ( 673276 ) * <> on Saturday August 21, 2010 @02:15PM (#33326326) Homepage Journal
            Because there's no technical reason in the world to do that.

            Right, because Flash is all pink ponies.

            Yes, Steve Jobs wants Adobe gone or under his control for a variety of reasons, but if Flash was less bloated, it would've been on the iPhone immediately.

            Heh. Even with four cores and 4 gigs of RAM, I still automatically Noscript Flash, for "technical" reasons.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by vcgodinich ( 1172985 )
              With 4 cores and 4 gigs of ram here as well, I haven't had a browser / webpage crash in about a year, and I allow flash.

              Just like cars, people remember bugs more than fixes. Flash was bad in the past, but all in all, iTunes (on windows) crashes around ten times more than flash. YMMV

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by BasilBrush ( 643681 )

            The one think you have to understand about Jobs is that he's primarily motivated by good design. Like all businessmen he wants to sell products and make money, but that's not an end in itself. He already has more money than he could ever spend. Sales are the way by which design decisions in his products are judged. They are like applause from an audience.

            Technical reasons? Would the fact that most Flash apps are unusable on a touch screen count as technical reasons? For the most obvious reason Flash apps

        • by DavidApi ( 136128 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @05:32PM (#33327742)

          Damn right. The web (Internet) was supposed to provide a platform that could be accessed by all devices, providing they adhere to the web standards. And that means HTML. Not Flash, or Silverlight, or even Java Applets.

          So bugger off and make your own proprietary network standard. Just don't go bitch about a company that's brought out a devive that DOES support just the standards. Hell, should I moan if I bring out a proprietary plug-in that isn't supported by device X? Or should I put my money and time into making something that works within the standard (or at least help stabilise the upcoming standard)?

          Next you'll be wanting to modify the TCP/IP protocol itself to suit your particular content - and then bitch at Apple for not supporting it in their products.

        • by hellop2 ( 1271166 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @06:02PM (#33327908)
          Hey, remember the good ole' days? ca. 2002 when all slashdotters hated Flash? Couldn't run on Linux and all.

          Oh hey, wait a minute, Flash won't run on my iPad. Flash sux!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by znu ( 31198 )

        Apple explicitly has two supported mechanisms for creating iOS apps: the Cocoa Touch APIs, and open web technologies. And Apple has done quite a lot to improve the experience with the latter, including supporting HTML5 local storage and HTML5 application caching, which together allow for apps based entirely on web tech and distributed outside of the app store to be saved to the iOS home screen and run without network access. They also let such apps choose to hide browser chrome. Additionally, they've added

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by russotto ( 537200 )

        His war on interpreted code/runtimes and (WORA) Write-Once-Run-Anywhere is a big headache for content creators everywhere.

        Since when have content creators had anything to do with WORA? For a long time, it was more like WORIE -- Write Once Run on Internet Explorer. Jobs is probably delighted now that HIS is the platform they have to right for.

      • He would rather that content creators only build native iOS apps that work only for iDevices rather than use already-existing channels

        Is that why the iPhone originally intended to have apps that were just "web clips" until people whined that they couldn't write native applications?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by teh kurisu ( 701097 )

        He would rather that content creators only build native iOS apps that work only for iDevices rather than use already-existing channels & platforms that work perfectly fine.

        When Jobs introduced the original iPhone, he declared, "The browser is the SDK". Or words to that effect. This made a lot of prospective developers unhappy and the lack of a native SDK was a significant issue of consternation right up until it was released with iPhone OS 2.0.

        Of course, at that time the browser wasn't in any way rea

    • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:07PM (#33325612) Journal

      Same is true for my 2006 Nokia E61. Impossible how i could stand having the choice between several web browsers. Totally irresponsible how Nokia does not enforce the use of the preinstalled (not so good) e-mail client but allows me to install unsigned (or signed) alternatives. Totally irresponsible that there are several instant messaging clients. This hampers with my user experience. i have to make choices what works best for me. Thinking hurts.

    • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:17PM (#33325734) Homepage

      Really? The iPhone has a fart button app?! Let me check iTunes. BRB...

      Gee, I dunno. That's kinda important to have (looks at my BB Curve). Oh at look, it's already at version 2.0. Great progress must be being made here. And the best part, it's free.

      Ya, I'm going to get a new phone. This is a game changer for sure.

    • by joocemann ( 1273720 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:38PM (#33325964)

      Yeah my 2006 Blackberry is really obselete now. Going online, checking my mail, instant messaging, and god forbid calling people has never been a worse experience. But I guess I don't have a fart button app, time to throw it out.

      The fact is you are right, but don't miss the humor in all this.
      I think its hilarious that the guy posting this article made the *choice* to move to the iPad, and now blames Apple for the change in the market. Hello! Wake up dummy! You voted to support this with your DOLLARS when you already knew it would be this way --- oh and now its 'blame apple' time. And as far as I know all the netbooks are still available. Will your trend-wad friends not hang with you if you whip out your Acer instead of an iPad? Go get some REAL friends.

      As far as I can tell this article is no more than a mask to cover the buyers remorse for being weak enough to fall for Apple's marketing/buzz/trend campaign. Boo hoo.


    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      True. Also I think the numbers of geek devices and the numbers of geeks buying them haven't changed. With the iPhone/iPad, the average consumer has a different choice and has the opportunity to buy a device designed for them. And average consumers far outnumber geeks. Percentage wise these devices are a smaller market share as time goes on.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rrohbeck ( 944847 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:48PM (#33325396)

    The iPad causes all netbooks to disappear all of a sudden?
    It's your own damn problem if you bought an iPad. Should have bought a netbook.
    Writing this on my EeePC. I like a real keyboard.

    • You have meaningful OS choice on a netbook. Some of us, self included, DEMAND that.

      Those who failed to consider the implications of buying very limited devices can always buy another, different device.

      Phones and pads are intended to be throwaways, so throw them away when you are done. What some purchasers want of them is not what they are for.

      • PDAs (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tepples ( 727027 )

        Those who failed to consider the implications of buying very limited devices can always buy another, different device.

        Until "another, different device" stops getting manufactured. Case in point: PDAs. Ideally, people like me who don't need Internet in a vehicle and don't need anywhere near the 450 voice minutes a month of the cheapest U.S. smartphone service plans would choose a PDA over a smartphone to save money. But now it seems the only major PDA that isn't a smartphone is iPod touch. Everything else, such as nearly every Android 2 device, is marketed as a cell phone and costs two to three times as much as an iPod touc

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      That was my question: I was at Best Buy a few days ago, they had plenty of netbooks.

      I'm baffled by the high sales of the iPad, but I suspect in time the device's popularity will go through the floor. I've yet to meet anyone with one, and I'm not seeing any evidence the majority people who have them are particularly glad they got one. Netbooks on the other hand... virtually everyone I know with one loves it. They actually fill the niche - a portable device capable of showing websites, running apps, etc, t

      • Well, my anecdotal experiences are different. I know a half dozen folks who have netbooks. Every one of them hates them. They bought them for the wrong reasons, mostly - price. They hate the tiny keyboard and weirdo screen. The couple of people I know that have iPads just love them. They all want (or at least are satisfied with) a small subset of the available computing experience.

        I bought my mother one - and of course had to check it out for a couple of weeks to make sure it worked OK - I won't buy
        • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @03:16PM (#33326856) Journal

          They bought them for the wrong reasons, mostly - price. They hate the tiny keyboard and weirdo screen. The couple of people I know that have iPads just love them

          That makes a lot of sense. The iPad is expensive, so the only people who buy them are people who can see a real use for them (or people with too much money). In contrast, netbooks are cheap, so lots of people buy them wanting something different because they can afford the netbook but not what they really want. I know a couple of people with netbooks - both bought them because they wanted a cheap second laptop that they could take to places where they wouldn't take their main one, and both are happy with them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jedrek ( 79264 )

      wait, so do you like a real keyboard or are you writing this on your eeepc?

  • when some one comes out with a new device.

    sure tablets have been out for a decade. but until someone put a tablet GUI on it they weren't worth very much. When apple annouced the iPad I was both happy and sad. Happy that the form factor that I have wanted for a decade would finally be available, sad that it would take 12-18 months before anyone else could ever come close to duplicating the software/hardware/price point.

    now I simply have to wait for andriod 3.0 to come out, along with some decently assemb

  • by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:49PM (#33325408)

    Technology marches ahead. I can't check those 5.25 floppies anymore. How about those Corvus 5MB hard drives or cassette tapes of Lemonade?

    That's how it is. If he doesn't like it, he can jailbreak his iPad, port Bochs, and install XP.

    • by GiveBenADollar ( 1722738 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:18PM (#33325738)
      Often technology takes a step back to take a step forward. Remember when CDs-DVDs replaced floppies? Suddenly you either had to burn a -rw or waste a -r to copy files. Then USB drives hit the market and you had the best of both worlds, the size and the usability. Look at the Ipad as a stepping stone, once users see its flaws they will be ready to accept something that lacks those flaws.
  • He has my sympathy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zill ( 1690130 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:50PM (#33325418)
    It must suck to have Steve Jobs break into your house, smash your netbook, and force you at gunpoint to buy an iPad.
    • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:58PM (#33325514)

      "It must suck to have Steve Jobs break into your house, smash your netbook, and force you at gunpoint to buy an iPad."

      I for one find the idea vaguely arousing.

    • by Suki I ( 1546431 )

      It must suck to have Steve Jobs break into your house, smash your netbook, and force you at gunpoint to buy an iPad.

      My thoughts exactly. I got a Toshiba Netbook shortly after trying out a friend's and I love it. I tend to use my computers a little longer than most people, so will see what is out there again in a few years. Really not seeing this "software threat" as an issue while everything I have loaded on my machines works and won't do "less" than it does today.

  • by line-bundle ( 235965 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:50PM (#33325422) Homepage Journal

    Which planet do you live on?

    Other smartphone are not obsolete by a long shot.

    I stopped reading after the first sentence.

  • It occurs to me that I had essentially the same conversation recently with a European acquaintance regarding the availability of a nice pate or decent wine at grocery stores here in the states.

  • Obsolete...No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Local ID10T ( 790134 ) <> on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:51PM (#33325438) Homepage

    I use a smartphone (non-iPhone) and a netbook pretty much every day. They are far from obsolete, as they do exactly what I need in a form factor that provides a good balance of size, weight and battery life.

    If your iPad doesn't meet your needs how can you claim it makes other devices that DO meet your needs obsolete?

    I still want an iPad, but more as a cool toy than to fill any need. Oh, and I do not want an iPhone.

  • Thats because the iPad is not meant as a netbook replacement. It is built with a "desktop dependency" in mind. Lack of flash, USB ports, iTunes dependency, etc...
    Sure it overlaps in many use cases of the netbook, plus the ipad is definitely cutting into netbook sales, but netbooks are definitely not the same thing and they will surely not be replaced by the ipad.

    If all he wants is a powerful, featureful and capable tablet in that form factor, then wait for others to do more capable tablets where you will be

  • by Thraxy ( 1782662 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:54PM (#33325470)
    The iPad totally wiped out my netbook. I don't really need a keyboard, non-shiny screen for outdoor viewing, webcam, 3 USB ports, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB harddrive space and a Windows+Linux dualboot. What I really wanted was a digital picture frame I could poke...
  • by Kohath ( 38547 )

    This article is so poorly written that I don't understand what the complaint is.

    He apparently wants software and devices that all work perfectly, provide an awesome user experience, but with no corporations involved in making the devices or the software or any of the content. Or something. like that.

    Is that it? If so, why is such a childish attitude considered worthy of anyone's time or attention?

  • word count (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:55PM (#33325476) Journal

    Was someone a bit short on the word count, and decided that "web content that's inaccessible with his iPhone and iPad" was a direct replacement for 'Flash'?

  • by AdmiralXyz ( 1378985 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:02PM (#33325550)
    I'm about ready to grab a sledgehammer and start forcibly tattooing this mantra into the heads of every internet commenter and Slashdot editor who has to complain about the evils of Apple's walled garden: If you don't like it, don't buy it. For Christ's sake, no one is holding a gun to your head and making you buy Apple products. There are, and always will be*, alternatives. Apple gives people a tradeoff: stability and easy of use at the cost of freedom and configurability. Just because you don't like that tradeoff, doesn't mean it's not useful and convenient for others, and when you whine about it, all you're really doing is revealing that you deeply desire an iPad. Put your money where your mouth is by shutting up and buying something is.

    * And yes, I've heard all the FUD about how Apple's practices are going to tempt other manufacturers into doing the same thing they are. Give me a break.
    • by yyxx ( 1812612 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @02:43PM (#33326558)

      There are, and always will be*, alternatives

      For 20 years, we have been stuck with a near-monopoly on desktop operating systems, because of marketing and network effects. We don't want to repeat that experience, blindly sliding into an iOS monopoly for portable devices.

      Apple spends hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing their devices every year, often lying and misrepresenting their products and their history. It is reasonable for geeks to present an opposing view so that buyers can make an informed decision, know what they are getting, and understand the consequences of their purchases.

      Put your money where your mouth is by shutting up and buying something is.

      Why then doesn't Apple "shut up" and stop marketing their products? Why do you think that all the information we should ever get about products should come from the PR and marketing departments of companies selling those products?

  • Most of the time, I argue in opposition of intentionally limited functionality. In most respects, I still do. For example, I don't want my ability to sync or transfer data hampered by any given interest. I don't want what is presently "basic functionality" (like copy and paste or saving attachments) to be held back either.

    But devices that do too much of everything will find itself less capable of the single or few tasks that users really want. In previous comments, I mentioned that I finally dropped my

  • it's his fault! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by josepha48 ( 13953 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:31PM (#33325900) Journal
    and people like him. If you go out and buy an iphone, ipad, itouch, or whatever and it does not support flash and you want flash and the full web experience, then by doing so you are supporting devolution.

    I'm not saying that they are not great devices or whatever if you buy one you know what you are getting or should. If you don't it is your own fault. It's called supply and demand. Apple is suppling what people are demanding and even if it falls short in an area or two most people are happy with what they get.

  • by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:56PM (#33326146)
    Things that tipped the decision into "spend":

    1. I'm going to Vegas. "Easy Vegas" app is good.
    2. I'm going to Vegas and I'm going to watch movies on the flight.
    3. Amplitube iPad Edition came out - and it's great.
    4. Instant on. No need to boot to check weatheror news, or to look up something I'm curious about.
    5. The Reuters app is awesome.
    6. Camera connection kit deals properly with Nikon raw format.
    7. The tools for photo management are really coming along beautifully. Photogene is a good tool for travel.

    Since then I've discovered some new things.

    1. The 10 hour battery life is both real, and awesome.
    2. I have gone to a site that required flash exactly twice, and I found the same content elswehere in a format I could view.
    3. I really like reading magazines on it (Maxim with Kaley Cuoco!)
    4. On the most difficult setting, the Scrabble app kicks my ass.
    5. I haven't turned my netbook on since I got it.
    6. The screen gets dirty when I eat cheezies and surf porn.
    7. There's a LOT of compatible porn.
    8. I've been expecting to have to buy a wireless keyboard, but so far I haven't "needed" to.

    Anybody want to buy a used netbook? It has crappy battery life and a screen that semi-sucks, but it has a keyboard.

    Do I give a crap that a bunch of nerds online think that it's underpowered compared to stuff that's 18 months away? Not even slightly.

    I'm as technical a guy as they come. My workdays are spent writing industrial scheduling and simulation software on Unix. But I'm past the age where I want to screw around with stuff when I get home. Give me something that works well and doesn't give me any grief.
  • by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @02:15PM (#33326330)

    The iPad clones will be out soon and some of them will have flash and will not have other restrictions. People will use the clones, Apple will make those other things available to compete or both.

  • by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @02:25PM (#33326414)

    "That's what I don't like -- deliberate devolution."

    That is what is going on with VOIP, wireless phones and texting replacing conversation over land lines.

    Instead of a human voice in real time, you have a typed message. A step backwards.

    With VOIP if your power or your computer goes out, you don't have phone service. Not so with a land line.

    With VOIP and wireless calling, call quality has gone way, way down. Problem free phone conversations used to be taken for granted.

    On the other hand

    It is easier to send written information.

    It is also easier to avoid "facing someone" by sending them a text or an email

    You have the ability to communicate by phone in a number of places, not just at home, work or wherever there is a pay phone ( remember those? )

    Making long distance calls in the US is now dirt cheap. Such calls used to be the subject of heated arguments after the bill came.

    If the iPads get flash, or if the flash enabled clones make it, someone will be typing "remember when you couldn't watch a laying down on your couch?", while pointing out some things that were lost with the vanishing of laptops.

  • by rivaldufus ( 634820 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @02:33PM (#33326480)
    That should be Apple's new motto. Most people do not like to have to decide on an item out of a large selection.
  • Good devolution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @03:01PM (#33326702) Homepage Journal
    If it is the factor to move the web out of flash. Sometimes evolution brings a feature that is in the end bad, but as it don't hurt a lot, keeps being there, till some big change makes it an obstacle.

    To go to an example more radical than the ipad, almost don't need to use my netbook since i have my N900. Have far smaller screen and keyboard, not as fast, and have less software available. But still, is not something to worry about carrying, is always just there, is good enough, and a desktop computer or a proper notebook fill most of the remaining needs. Is something wrong with the netbook? No, just appeared another option that gave some advantages, and could adjust the pattern of use that i was giving to it.
  • This is the same whiney argument I hear from gamers who think the Wii is the devil. The slate computers that are coming out now are focused on the non technical and a certain segment of the geek community feels slighted. Many seem to be offended that in the end the lack of usb, memory card slots, camera and whatever features geeks cried about didn't really matter, couple that with the lack of a "real OS" being seen as a plus by the majority of people actually buying the devices and suddenly the "geek" is out of the support loop. Many geeks talk about their utopian society where everyone is technically adept and support requirements are minimal but very few actually want it.

    There is no one to really blame but ourselves, just like hardcore gamers, our demands and expectations made us an unfavorable market, catering to the "casual" is less expensive, less demanding and far more profitable.

  • by cdrguru ( 88047 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @07:09PM (#33328324) Homepage

    Is the iPad. Too bad it came a long so late.

    The problem is that 99% of the world doesn't need and doesn't want something that requires administration. A computer needs an administrator - I don't care whether it is Linux, Windows or OS X. An administrator is required to install software (correctly and only that which should be there) and to fix problems that crop up.

    What the world really wants is an appliance that lets them use the Internet. Email, buying stuff, banking, searching for porn, whatever. Things that can easily be corrupted and taken over by malicious software should the user (uninformed, unknowing, etc.) can install thinking they are getting something nice. Like Weather Bug.

    What the iPad presents is an appliance that you cannot install Weather Bug on which then reports back on every web site you connect to. And you cannot install some trojan that will help someone steal your money. You also can't install some botnet rootkit which then uses your computer to send spam and make money for some Russian mob folks. Now Apple may be letting some stuff through that they should not be - but it is all fixable.

    It is not fixable with Linux, Windows or OS X. An administrator is required. With proper administration there is no virus problem with Windows and no problems with dependencies on Linux.

  • by alizard ( 107678 ) < minus city> on Saturday August 21, 2010 @07:29PM (#33328430) Homepage
    I have a Google Android tablet. I can go anywhere on the Web I please and install apps from any site I can download .APK files from. However, I bought it as a development platform for device control applications.

    For multimedia, I prefer a netbook (I have an S101) for around the house or a motel room. The keyboard keeps it in one place in an angle suitable for viewing without having to add a stand or a docking device, and netbooks have far better performance than this generation of tablets. If I'm on foot, I'd rather get my content off a small smartphone, hanging a 7" or larger tablet off my belt is a stupid thing to do.

    However, the real reason why "the netbook is not going away" is that not all of us are full-time passive consumers of content. Do you write papers for school? Do you create documents for an employer?

    Would you rather type a bunch of pages on a real keyboard that does not take up screen real estate or on a virtual keyboard that takes up a third of the screen better used for document? I'm working on a patent application, and I frequently edit it via remote control from my netbook to the desktop where the file is. Speaking as an Android Tablet owner, I regard the idea of editing a 40+ page document on that tablet as a non-starter and creating one on a tablet makes a typewriter sound good.

    The tablet will cut into netbook sales because the people who only want to websurf and run a few apps will buy it. But IMO, the "content-only" user is a lot less common than commonly believed.

    The fanboys only want to believe that the netbook is going away because Apple doesn't make one. They're irrelevant, Steve Jobs' vision of a userbase solely composed of consumers of content created by major corporations doesn't fit the real world.
  • by uvajed_ekil ( 914487 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @10:26PM (#33329120)
    "Just as the iPhone rendered circa-2007 smartphones obsolete, points out Marco Arment, the iPad is on the verge of doing the same to circa-2010 netbooks.

    Wait a minute, when did the iphone kill-off both RIM and Palm, and when did the ifad get a keyboard and the ability to run the diverse range of software that netbooks are capable of using? Did I miss something? The iphone and ipad are great for some people, I guess, but a LOT of us have no real interest in them. They're like using a platinum-plated pocket watch with a built-in cover - they look kind of cool but are not as convenient or functional as some other alternatives.

    In related "news," "Marco Arment tends to exaggerate and remember history in a way that is most flattering to his own point", points out one Slashdot user, adding "And he is a poopy pants." This is a direct quotation, so it must be true.
  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @04:10AM (#33330208)

    A lot of people have realized that they really don't need to haul around a desktop replacement laptop and that they really don't actually use all of the powerful apps on a laptop the majority of the time.

    If you really need to use a desktop app, you can connect back to your home desktop using either VNC (OS X) or Remote desktop (windows) or to a corporate citrix farm. There are VNC viewers, and a citrix receiver for the iPad and I understand that other services like Logmein Ignition also have iPad apps.

    Even with these remote connection apps readily available, most people will not use them often and are satisfied with native iPad apps and web apps like those from Google.

    Many people have compared the iPad with the PADD from Star Trek and there is a great deal of similarity between them. Both represent a way to access information from a central computer and be able to view and edit some of that information while on the go. Neither the fictional device or the iPad was meant to replace the larger computer terminals that you have at your disposal.

  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:54PM (#33332484)

    They are just smaller and "CHEAPER" laptops with screens so small and low res that the desktop OSes running on them feel cramped. Their keyboards are painful to use for people with larger hands and the CPU/GPU power limits them to little more than light web surfing and use of "web" apps like Google Office.

    I look at a netbook and I don't see them offering anything new to the table and feel like people are investing in them because of a false sense of economy when you are getting a device even less powerful than a 2006 MBP.

    The really crazy people are those who already had a laptop and bought a netbook in addition to having a desktop.

    If you really "need" a full OS on the go, get a desktop replacement and have that as your sole computer or if you really don't need desktop apps all of the time, get an iPad for apps and mobile gaming and connect back to your PC or mac desktop with Logmein or some similar service and you will have a tablet/slate with an OS designed specifically for touch from the ground up.

    iPads are popular because they are easy to start using whether you are a windows user or mac user or even a novice. If you search Youtube videos, you will find that they are so easy that even a toddler can use one.

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.