In the coming days or weeks, your friends, or neighbors, and/or loved ones may send you links and articles from Engadget.com, Wired.com, or even from noted child-pornography trading hub Gizmodo.com, articles that suggest that there is some sort of reception problem with the iPhone 4. Not that we would ever suggest that our loyal customers side with Apple over their own (often unreliable) family members, but we would like to take a moment to correct many of these ignorant, misinformed and outright evil statements repeated in the media and by your family members.
New York magazine has a great piece up detailing the final days of the Conan O’Brien regime at “The Tonight Show” that includes this insightful passage:
By the time O’Brien signs off tonight, with a $33 million buyout and a green light to jump to a rival network as early as September, it will be on a wave of populist support. A younger, tech-savvier constituency—one that was more likely to watch TheTonight Show on DVR or Hulu and was now tweeting its allegiance to Team Conan over Team Jay more than 50 to 1—had remade him, with viral swiftness, into something he had not sought to be and, as a fantastically wealthy Harvard-educated showman, did not exactly match: a folk hero for the downsized age.
The phrase “folk hero for the downsized age” made me think, is there even more going on here than that? I think it’s a generational thing: Conan O’Brien represents the collective angst of Generation-X’ers and Y’zers who have had to sit patiently while a generation of Baby Boomers stubbornly refused to pass the torch. And Jay Leno’s continued willingness to stick around long, long past his cultural sell-by date could just be the perfect metaphor for the self-involved, decreasingly-effective generation of Boomers that continue to hog up the top slots in our nation’s workforce.
The sole bright spot likely to emerge from this entire embarrassing affair may turn out to be the uncharacteristically optimistic, final words from O’Brien’s final “Tonight Show” broadcast:
All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.
Slick, right? I’ve watched this video twice, because I love reading and I love magazines and I love software demos and I love hardware demos. Full disclosure: I don’t completely love sports, so maybe there’s something I’m missing here. But all this tablet hype is reminding me of something I am almost hesitant to bring up:
Remember CD-ROMs? I do. For about a year or so, you couldn’t buy a magazine without a CD-ROM falling out the side. Then it was DVD-ROMs, full of music videos and shareware demos and to tell the truth, I don’t think I ever even put one in the computer, because by that time there was something else out there:
The above video obviously represents a richer experience than can be experienced on the web right now (barring those fancy-lad, full-screen Flash sites that everyone in reality hates) but I maintain that the above product, once you finally iDownloaded all 860 MB off the iTime iMagazine iStore would be very boring, mainly because all those fancy photos and videos and stuff whizzing around on that tablet? They would be so old by the time they put all that together for you that you would have watched it or read about it already.
On television, and on the Internet.
Never mind that a multimedia presentation and layout as complex as the above demo is going to require an entire new generation of digital producers skilled enough to tightly integrate video, audio, print, web, fixed layout and dynamic, non-linear page layout. There are not many of those producers out there right now; the above product represents a pretty rare intersection of skills, most parts more akin to software designer than graphic designer.
So anyway. I tend to pooh-pooh ideas at first, before I eventually embrace them and via revisionist history pretend I felt positive about them the entire time. But, seriously, ‘mythical Apple tablet computer’ as white knight, print magazine savior?