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"I think that the press has been all over the iPad because Apple puts on a good show, and because everyone in journalism-land is looking for a daddy figure who'll promise them that their audience will go back to paying for their stuff."
Actual headline from the RedEye I saw over someone's shoulder today:
"Sight unseen, $500 or more is a small price to pay to own newest iGadget"
Everybody just chill. In fairness to Apple, I suspect Doctorow is overstating his case somewhat. A few awesome apps, closed-source or not, could make the iPad (which I haven't played with yet) an appealing gadget beyond the consumer market he condescends to—not everyone who's okay with a closed system is too ignorant for an open one, because lots of people have, um, other things to do. I have extremely computer-literate friends who love their unhacked iPhones because they're happy with what they do out of the box and have other devices to muck around inside. I haven't rooted my G1 because I haven't found the need yet, and would rather root around in my second-generation Asus netbook or networked hard drive.
And its closed nature is no guarantee that it will remain unappealing to the indie power user - the even more limited iPod can be Rockboxed, making it less intuitive but more full-featured.
As usual, I just don't see the percentage in judging the device before it's out in the wild. The complex ecology of the marketplace makes it too interesting to bother.