Things That Have Kept Me From Picking Up My iPad So Far This Week

The death of my father-in-law, a hard-working and devoted family man who dreamed of retiring near a Civil War battlefield. The leak in the roof. (The roof is still under warranty, but the roofer will have to climb into the crawlspace while it is raining in order to see what he needs to do.) Submitting final grades. (A second family death within the week meant that it was very tight,…

Things That Made Me Put Down My iPad This Weekend

Attending a memorial service for my wife’s aunt, Julia Young, whose backyard and swimming pool were the heart of my wife’s extended family. Visiting Bushy Run Battlefield with the family. My daughter falling in love with the Drawing Pad app, which costs about as much as a package of cheap markers. Waking up Sunday morning to find the screen completely black, with no buttons working. I had left it plugged…

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First day with an iPad

I’m still learning the quirks of the iPad, which has turned out to be mostly fascinating, and a little frustrating. Mike Arnzen sent me a link to Jakob Nielsen’s recent column on iPad usability. Yes, the iPad works intuitively, but each designer’s intuition is just a little different. With my brand new gadget, I don’t mind experimenting to see what happens when I type, swipe, tap, double-tap, or tap and…

How to Save the News

Burdened as they are with these “legacy” print costs, newspapers typically spend about 15 percent of their revenue on what, to the Internet world, are their only valuable assets: the people who report, analyze, and edit the news. Varian cited a study by the industry analyst Harold Vogel showing that the figure might reach 35 percent if you included all administrative, promotional, and other “brand”-related expenses. But most of the…

They Don't Report. You Don't Have to Decide.

Frank Rich takes TV journalism to task for fumbling its coverage of the Times Square bombing attempt. It seems the Big Media bigwigs were too busy at the White House Correspondents Dinner… so the media stars were covering their own schmoozefest, rather than real news. That MSNBC couldn’t be bothered to interrupt its two-hour coverage of these festivities to report on the attempted bombing was particularly embarrassing, given that the…

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One year without Facebook

I don’t proclaim to be “holier than thou” by leaving Facebook. And I’m not a Luddite–I blog and make Flash videos and stay informed about the latest and greatest with my favorite gadgets. But I was there when Facebook fell apart in the face of its greed. I didn’t like what I saw and took it upon myself to exit, stage right. Since leaving, I’ve seen so much more that…