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.
My brother, Stu, put together this video for one of the tracks off his band’s first release (cousin Mark is part of the band, too). If you would so indulge me, put on some headphones and watch the vid. I find the music great to program by and the video kind of trippy. An excellent effort by Stu and Mark, together known as Autostar. If you like the track, you can find it on iTunes by clicking this link…
When I was a kid, there was this video called “Powers of Ten” that showed a progressive series of images zooming out by powers of ten, from a picnic on Earth, out into space and out past our galaxy, then zooming back in by powers of ten, back to Earth, into a man’s skin and into a carbon atom. The video was made by someone at IBM. I remember being deeply affected by this video at the time. Here’s a link to the original video. See for yourself.
Though there is no reference to “Powers of Ten”, seems to me the video below is an homage of sorts, updated with much newer technology and, some would say, better music. I love them both.
This is absolutely worth knowing about. Please pass the link along to folks you know. This is a new, much simpler form of CPR advocated by the Mayo Clinic. Much simpler to learn than the original. I taught this to my kids last night, they got it instantly. Take a look. You might save someone’s life!
Friend of the blog Leisa O’Malley turned me on to Fret Killer, a regular YouTube poster who posts a series of wonderful guitar and vocal takes on some old classics. They are perfectly arranged and executed. The only complaint I have is that he has embedding disabled so I can’t include the actual videos on my blog. Usually, I’d just pass them by, but these were worth sharing, so here’s a few links to get you started.
I am a big fan of stop motion video, mostly because it is relatively easy to do with home video equipment and fun to do with kids. This video feels like virtual stop motion, achieved with compositing software (software that places virtual objects on top of a real digitized scene). Check out the blur of focus and the lighting/glare. Lovely stuff…
A few days ago, I posted a video showing the group hunting behavior of some bottlenose dolphins. Blog reader Dave Head posted a comment, mentioning a dolphin named Moko. Turns out that Moko, and Dave Head himself, are celebrities in New Zealand.
Here’s a pic of Dave and Moko together:
Moko is a solitary dolphin, a dolphin that survives without friends and family, rare for any species of dolphin and, perhaps, peculiar to the bottlenose species. Moko became a celebrity in New Zealand when he saved two pygmy sperm whales from almost certain death. Moko gained notoriety when, as he grew older and much larger, he started exhibiting aggressive behavior toward local swimmers.
All in all a fascinating story, one told in countless newspaper and web articles. Here’s a good place to start. This story was printed in the March 12, 2008 issue of the New Zealand Herald. It tells of Moko’s whale-saving heroics.
Then came trouble for Moko. He got a bit over-eager when playing in the water with a swimmer and towed her out to sea. A boat came to the rescue, but the fact that Moko had a bit of a wild side became apparent. You can read more about Moko in this more recent story.
I am happy to welcome Dave Head, dolphin lover and New Zealand environmentalist, to my blog. If you read about Moko, you’ll find references to Dave sprinkled in most of the stories. Glad to have you aboard, mate. If I visit New Zealand, perhaps you can introduce me to Moko in person…