Posted by Dave Mark on Jan 28, 2010 in Apple
Yesterday was a huge day. Tons of activity, conversations with friends and colleagues about the iPad. SO much discussion. There are definitely flaws in the design. This post captures the biggest of them, I think:
But though this post does point out a number of things that Apple could improve on (and I suspect they will, over time), bottom line, I think the post misses the bigger picture. Apple has created something new and incredibly useful. Right out of the gate, I can see two markets where the iPad can really shine.
The most obvious of these is the eBook market. Great for me, the avid reader, great for me, the writer, great for Apple’s shareholders. Though I am a big fan of the Kindle (do almost all my reading on one), the iPad definitely makes my Kindle look old and dingy. There has been an explosion of eBook readers over the past year, and the iPad just leaps over all of them, much as the iPhone did over its smartphone competitors. And books are typically more expensive than CDs (those round shiny things from the old days), so more revenue for Apple, less dead trees. And as an author, Apple gives me a much more efficient path to the marketplace. Win, Win, Win.
The less obvious, but no less important marketplace for the iPad is in health care. The iPad has an important role to play, putting the latest patient data in the hands of their doctors and nurses, ensuring that a patient’s history and current drug regimen is front and center. The iPad can add intelligence and rigor to that process, ensuring that a doctor doesn’t forget about a particularly subtle condition noted several years ago, or about a newly released drug interaction warning. This market is particularly underserved right now, and the iPad is stepping in at the perfect moment. The fact that it shares an OS with the iPhone and iPod touch means a wide range of choices for health care professionals.
There are many markets where the iPad will change the status quo. To me, focusing on perceived shortcomings of a device that has not even arrived is incredibly short-sighted. The iPad is a leap forward, no doubt in my mind. And I can’t wait to get my hands on one.
Posted by Dave Mark on Oct 2, 2009 in Kindle
Interesting. Amazon remotely deleted copies of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from all of its customer’s Kindles. This action stirred angry debate about the ownership rights of Amazon, Apple, and other electronic media purveyors. Who owns the material on your Kindle and iPod/iPhone?
A Michigan high school student, Justin Gawronski, sued Amazon, claiming that not only did Amazon delete his copy of 1984, but they also took his “copious notes” as well. In effect, his Kindle ate his homework.
Bottom line, Amazon avoided a costly class action lawsuit by settling this case for $150,000. You can read the details of the settlement on Eric Engleman’s Amazon blog.
Posted by Dave Mark on Jun 16, 2009 in Kindle
Cool. Amazon opened up the Kindle source. No warrantees, but no restrictions. Use at your own risk.
Here’s the link…
Posted by Dave Mark on Jun 2, 2009 in Kindle
This first Kindle stand is another home made beauty:
This one was made from a 45¢ bookend. What could be simpler?
This next one is being sold on Amazon for $19.95.
This is nice enough, I suppose, But I’d be just as happy spending 45¢ or putting in the time with a wire hanger and creating the Kindle stand I talked about in my last post…
Posted by Dave Mark on Jun 2, 2009 in Kindle
This homemade Kindle stand is just too clever:
First off, the stand was designed by Randall Munroe, one of the cleverest folks on the planet and author of XKCD (here’s one of my favorite XKCD posts and one of the shirts I will be wearing to next week’s WWDC).
But the design of the stand itself is outstanding. Made from a wire hanger, so it is free. But see that little knobly bit at the bottom center? That bit lines up with the next page button for folks who lie in bed on their side reading their Kindle.
I just love elegant design. Well done, Randall!
Posted by Dave Mark on May 2, 2009 in Kindle
The Novel Devices Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati is doing some very interesting work on electrowetting, the technology behind electrofluidic displays (EFDs).
In a nutshell, an EFD stores liquid pigment in a tiny reservoir, perhaps 10% or less the size of a single pixel. Apply voltage, the pigment is pulled out of the reservoir and spread over the pixel surface, thus becoming visible. Remove voltage, liquid goes back in the reservoir. You get the idea.
For you engineers, here’s a primer on the math and mechanics. Enjoy! Thanks for the tip, Stu.