May 14, 2010

What iPads Will Do To Your Family

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awesome... masturbation just got a little easier


Chuck Hollis, a VP at EMC Corporation, writes about what buying the iPad did to his family.  It's short, go ahead and read it.

And then I brought home the iPad.

...The members of my family immediately gravitated to the new shiny thing -- no prompting, no encouragement, no migration, etc.  They are drawn to it like a moth to flame.

I now have this strange love/hate relationship with Apple.  And I think it won't be long before I'm forced to make another trip back to the Apple store.


I'm not trying to ignite an iPad war, nor am I saying that the iPad is not an inventive piece of technology.  The iPad has a market, but that market is plagued with a number of troubling appetites. But he'll never buy a desktop again?  BS. Let's say you take video or a photo with a camera.  There is currently no way to get that to an ipad except through a traditional computer.

The problem isn't the iPad itself, but what he plans to do with it.  What he describes in this article is totally unproductive activity.  Sending photos, facebook, and smiling, always smiling.

My wife asserted her rightful place in the hierarchy later that evening, and took it upstairs to the bedroom to relax while watching TV.  Tap, tap, tap.  Occasionally, she showed me something interesting she found online.  And smiling.

Let me guess, she was watching HGTV and browsing GOOP.com, right?  Consume, consume, consume.

He's describing a consumption device, not a production device.  These aren't devices you use to create anything.   They are media consumption devices. Can you write anything of substance on an ipad?   Do actual work on an ipad?  I understand that it is certainly fun to use, and that it's neat.  Does that justify $500 + $20/month? 

And that's fine if that's what they are.  They'll be successful for the same reason all kinds of things are successful.  It makes people smile.  Great.  So do Vente Moccachinos, which I assume comes in red as well as standard black.   People buy gourmet cookware to scramble eggs.  They buy high performance cars to sit in traffic.   Just because I think it's stupid doesn't mean I don't also think it won't be hugely profitable, nor does it mean I don't understand the product.  I understand it perfectly.  These devices are for people who approach computers and the web the same way they approach TV. 

Can I rip 1080p blu-ray discs to it?  Can I edit HD video?  Can I write a document on it longer than 100 words?  Can I prepare a presentation, work on a spreadsheet, etc.? Will it run MAME?  Will it do all these things at the same time?

And to his main point: "I don't think I'll be buying desktops anymore."  Yes you will, because judging from the article you buy every stupid piece of crap that any of these tech companies ever make. "As I think about it now, we've got a fleet of 6 PC desktops of various vintages and three Windows laptops -- two of them that actually work well.  On the Apple side, we've got an iMac and two MacBook Airs of different vintages.  We just updated the family NAS server to the most recent Iomega device."  So yeah, there are a few more desktops in your future.

The criticism here isn't about the tech. I just bought a MacBook with edges so sharp I can slit my wrists on it while I'm looking for the right click button.  But it's a slick ride, and boots up fast enough for me not to punch the CPU.  Is it "better" than a PC?  Sure, I'll grant that.

My criticism is about the mindset.  Not everyone-- settle down-- but many look at Apple from the "if I only had the right equipment, I could--" perspective.  It's a false idol.  None of these products will improve the quality of your production if you are not already producing.  And there's a very good chance that it will suck the time and energy out of your life, exactly like porn.

Forget the All-Clads and the Whole Foods.  Go buy some Acme non-organic eggs and mass produced waxy tomatoes, and figure it all out.

---

Stock tip: the fact that I finally bought an Apple can be taken as some sort of top.

----

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych
 





Comments

"He's describing a consumpt... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 12:37 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"He's describing a consumption device, not a production device. These aren't devices you use to create anything. They are media consumption devices. Can you write anything of substance on an ipad? Do actual work on an ipad? I understand that it is certainly fun to use, and that it's neat. Does that justify $500 + $20/month?"

What about his artist daughter? I mean, she would almost definitely be better off with a tablet and Photoshop on a traditional desktop, but adding an iPad to that process might be useful for sketching, particularly if she does gesture drawing out of the house.

But that's just the old argument for Macs- they're good for visual design, and not much else. And you're totally right that as long as Mac was a company for producers, it had that tiny niche of photographers and editors and artists and writers at coffee shops but wasn't mainstream- and then as soon as the iPod came out, which was for consumers not producers, Apple exploded.

I wonder if they'll ever 'go back,' or if that even exists anymore. The underlying architecture difference between Macs and PCs are gone, and now the question is whether or not you're willing to pay double for a sleeker box and UI, and more portability. I enjoy my iPod Touch, but it's not lifechanging- either because I haven't pursued whatever apps I would need to rewrite my life, or because my life won't be rewritten by minor improvements in my ability to manipulate pixels on a screen to obtain information.

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This is exactly right.... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 12:53 PM | Posted by Harman: | Reply

This is exactly right.

Ipad is a consumption device, not an interaction device, except maybe if pokes and tweets count as interaction.

Tim Berners Lee wanted to make web pages interactive, editable by the reader, and wikipedia is a great, perhaps the greatest, tribute to that vision.

But of course, it is easier to consume. Writing is hard, reading or rather, surfing/clicking/watching-video (all less than 10min, as the current youtube limitation goes) is easier, much easier.

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Oooh, Alone, you touched a ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 12:57 PM | Posted by Alex-5: | Reply

Oooh, Alone, you touched a nerve there :) Lots of people blindly love their gadgets. This will cause a serious 'comments war' :)

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<a href="http://bash.org/?9... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 1:01 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Alex-5: | Reply

http://bash.org/?918519

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Along with 21st century tec... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 1:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Along with 21st century technology cones 21st century consumption. The Internet has perfected what the 24 hour news cycle started.

Posted from my iPhone; spelling errors left intentionally.

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Let's say you take... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Posted by Jim: | Reply

Let's say you take video or a photo with a camera. There is currently no way to get that to an ipad except through a traditional computer.
While you're correct that the iPad can't currently replace a computer, this is erroneous. Apple sells a 'camera connection kit' which allows photos and videos to be transferred to the iPad either by USB connection to the camera or from an SD card. Presumably, strong editing apps will emerge.

As an aside, Apple's Pages app let's video be imbedded in word-processing documents, which is a bizarre feature.

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That's not the point :) you... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 1:30 PM | Posted, in reply to Jim's comment, by Alex-5: | Reply

That's not the point :) you can hack/fine tune your iPad or iPhone to do litteraly anything. But there is no need for that there are tools that will make that a lot simplier and faster.
The main purpose of the iPad was to make you consume more. Which is kinda scarry. The device with the only purpose to rob you )

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We use iPads in our medical... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 1:41 PM | Posted by Andrew Yates: | Reply

We use iPads in our medical office to replace single page paper forms on clipboards. You can make your own web forms which enter into online spreadsheets using Google Enterprise (pay the $10 per month per account for HIPAA/HITECH compliance and no advertising.)

So, that's some off-topic shop talk, but iPads have been useful for us, and not everything good is bad all the time.

This has worked really well for patient intake because suddenly people feel like they're geniuses for entering their name, credit card, and social security number for our medical billing... because it's on an iPAD ooooo (but seriously, they are great tools)

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Well it's not strictly the ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 1:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Andrew Yates's comment, by Alex-5: | Reply

Well it's not strictly the iPad's advantage. The technology behind (Tablet PCs) was availible years ago. And you're using iPads against Apple's intentions for it :))

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Actually, productivity apps... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 1:58 PM | Posted by chickadee: | Reply

Actually, productivity apps seem to be very popular for the device:

http://www.macrumors.com/2010/05/11/ipad-users-interested-in-productivity-apps-iphone-and-ipod-users-in-games/

Unscientific, but make of it what you will.

Personally, I chose a (non-3G) iPad over a Kindle specifically because of the word processing -- for a small person, being able to do this on a purse-sized device is a godsend. It's certainly no replacement for a full computer, that's just silly, but I can kick out a basic document nearly as fast on it, and consider that worth the extra cost.

I'm not really interested in loading music or video, although I have added a couple of books, Scrabble, and of course Moxie, the greatest game ever devised.

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When there are no more bear... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 2:02 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

When there are no more bears to worry about eating you, we all have time for masturbation. The Mexican illegal will do all the work for 50 cents an hour.

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Love your site, great post ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 2:35 PM | Posted by John R: | Reply

Love your site, great post as usual. One slight correction: Apple makes an adapter to connect the iPad to cameras and/or camera memory cards. (For what it's worth, I don't have an iPad for exactly the reason you mention here: Too little production capacity. Though I could easily read your site on one -- would that could as production or consumption?)

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And yet I still want one...... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 2:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

And yet I still want one...

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I'm waiting for the iPads t... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 3:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Andrew Yates's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm waiting for the iPads that our company ordered to come in. Being in the only other profession where one can tell another that they are fat and not get punched in the face, personal training, using it as a sales tool to demonstrate the website's nutrition tracking, scheduling capabilities, and professional refference tools is going to be a godsend. In this way I'm using the drive for consumption for good. People are retarded and if a little razzle dazzle gets people more involved in their personal health I'm all for it. That's probably why I keep coming back to this site.

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The iPad is the first usefu... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 3:54 PM | Posted by tehag: | Reply

The iPad is the first useful tablet computer. It is a general purpose computing device. Complaining that it isn't a video editor, photo editor, screen play editor and so forth is like complaining the original 1984 IBM PC can't run Windows 7. Patience.

Even if it were only a consumption device... so what? That makes it like a TV, radio, book, CD, and probably a dozen other items I can't think of right now. Except you only need one. Like a Kindle, it's a library in tablet form.

When you're not using your desktop media creation machine, you can relax in a comfortable chair instead of an office chair to, yes, read: something that once was thought the province of the educated, at least until books and web pages appeared on the iPad. Now reading is 'just consumption.'

I read that article, too. I'm not going to re-read it to respond here. But: "But he'll never buy a desktop again?" Sounds like me. I bought a laptop in 2006 that was more powerful than my desktop from 2003. I watch Corey Barker at Layers TV do full-motion video editing in Photoshop on a laptop. Will I buy another desktop? Probably not. Will the author of that article? Sure he will--I agree with you.

Can I do useful work on my iPad? Yes. I have begun short stories and started sketching cartoons. I finish them at my desk on my non-desktop. I'm glad I can use my smartphone and iPad as useful tools when I can't sit another minute in that office chair, or when I'm away from my office. Damn that iPad. Chains me to the tasks that enrich my life. Why can't I just forgo opportunity and forget ideas that occur to me when I'm not at my computer, as a normal person does?

Do I spend $20 extra a month on it? No. I bought the wi-fi version, which, given the ubiquity of wi-fi where I am meets my needs. The iPad is easier to hold than a hardback book (and weighs less than books intended for children, to wit: the last five Harry Potter books) and than a paperback. (I find the paperback grip painful at my age and ceased buying paperbacks years ago.)

For wasteful spending my normal comparison is to textbooks: last May I bought a book which costs nearly $100 for a class that lasted three weeks. At the end of class the book was of so little value, I trashed it in preference to selling it. $100 in rice would have been more useful and heavier to carry (about 300lbs, gauging from the price at the local Indian market).

Do I wish the iPad were lighter and more powerful? Sure I do. I once wished an Apple II, Atari 800, IBM PC and so on were lighter and more powerful too. I got my wish.

"The iPad has a market, but that market is plagued with a number of troubling appetites."

Buys too many books? Buys Blu-Ray when DVDs will do? Buys LPs when CDs will do? Well, I'm with you there: most people's lives would be better if they gave up reading for a year, watching movies for year, and web surfing for year. It's not as if books, movies, and the web were this thing called "culture." Oh, wait.

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Anonymous: "People are reta... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 4:59 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Andrew Yates: | Reply

Anonymous: "People are retarded and if a little razzle dazzle gets people more involved in their personal health I'm all for it."

Oh no, there's no bad faith or cleverness here for us: before we had to fill out a paper form, and that sucked, but now we fill out an iPad form, which solves our real problems, but it also makes us feel like better people. _I_ feel like a better person for using the iPad. Did I invent the iPad? Did I help build it or design it in anyway?

No.

I just bought an iPad and used it in the most obvious way ---just like how anybody else could. But I still can't help feeling like using it positively reflects part of my identity _personally_ ---which is the same effect I noted with patients--- even though the iPad serves a very real function of making routine medical data entry easier, faster, and less error prone.

My ire derives from that this technotronic bamboozling continues be abused to con vulnerable _doctors_ (and by proxy, their patients) into poor decisions with dire future ethical hazards. For example: http://www.practicefusion.com.

Practice Fusions's "business plan" is to provide a "free EMR" which will store all your patient's billing and medical information and then sell that information to marketers for advertising. In exchange, the doctor gets "$45,000 free money" from Medicare, plus "free EMR software service."

Now, if you had to fill out a grubby paper forms in a dingy office as advertised on TV so that your doctor could sell your demographics to some aggressive "outside agency" to "pay his bills," that would be outrageous.

And yet, that is exactly what is happening here with Practice Fusion and ---I promise you--- other "social media" web 2.0 applications which are coming. Because they use a flashy website and not paper forms, and because they advertise online rather on television, we don't make the ethical connection.

It's funny: people think it's the patients who need to be protected. Oh no. No no no. I can assure you, it's the _doctors_ who need protecting, because patients don't make decisions ---doctors do--- and doctors are going broke because many medical insurers are bankrupt and continue to simply miss minimum payments with a barrage of lame excuses and evasion.

No no, I don't think "other" people entrusted to me are "retarded." I think that the human condition _universally_ is "retarded," and I include both myself, doctors, and patients as humans. That's what tortures me.

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No no, I don't think "o... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 6:11 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

No no, I don't think "other" people entrusted to me are "retarded." I think that the human condition _universally_ is "retarded," and I include both myself, doctors, and patients as humans. That's what tortures me.

That's what I meant, basically.

My ire derives from that this technotronic bamboozling continues be abused to con vulnerable _doctors_ (and by proxy, their patients) into poor decisions with dire future ethical hazards. For example: http://www.practicefusion.com.

Practice Fusions's "business plan" is to provide a "free EMR" which will store all your patient's billing and medical information and then sell that information to marketers for advertising. In exchange, the doctor gets "$45,000 free money" from Medicare, plus "free EMR software service."

You've got to be fucking kidding me. That makes me want to punch babies, puppies, and kittens. But mostly kittens. Like the company you mention, kittens will be the only ones eating me after I die alone. Is the Internet still a series of tubes.

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I am absolutely not kidding... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 6:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I am absolutely not kidding you.

See: http://www.thinkgene.com/practice-fusion-class-d-felony/

As for this "free $44k":

http://www.thinkgene.com/practice-fusion-do-the-math-44000-is-a-lie/

Please do not punch innocent kittens. Babies... maybe.

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[contents of bash.org link]... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2010 7:10 PM | Posted, in reply to Alex-5's comment, by Andrew Yates: | Reply

[contents of bash.org link]
"Apple dumped the geek/hobbyist market to go after the highly profitable moron/trendy market."

All the great tools that Apple has sold and continues to sell have not changed because Apple now also sells iPads and iPhones. That iPads and iPhones may appeal to a more general "market" than desktop computers does not necessarily restrict the appeal of iPhones and iPads to "morons."

"Dumped?" You mean like "dumped" like a girlfriend? "Apple" is not your girlfriend, Apple is a company that makes and sells computers and software, and Apple still sells MacBook Pros that run bash. I don't understand how that is "dumping."

I do understand that if Apple measures its success in dollars, then Apple will consider itself more successful if it can appeal to people who expect to exchange what Apple sells for dollars as opposed to people who expect Apple to "love" them unconditionally like an unhappy girlfriend or a cat.

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My Yates,I was ver... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2010 1:48 AM | Posted by Sam Riley: | Reply

My Yates,

I was very surprised when reading your comments, particularly at your hostile tone, as I am a Practice Fusion user and have been for some time now. From my experience the product and it's functionality have been top notch, and the support from their team has been a class act. The e-prescribing feature and lab integration features are excellent - and every time I log into the product there seems to be more functionality available to me. In the past I used to use eclinicalworks at a hospital I worked at and it was a terribly unfriendly application. The screens were hostile and non-intuitive and the application was always freezing and slowing down our interaction with patients.

I was concerned about data sales when registering for Practice Fusion and discussed this with my account manager, as well as actually read the user agreement when registering - and made sure that they do not sell physician or patient information. I even received a letter from the CEO stating this.

After reading your other blog posts, I was disappointing to see that you are not even a doctor, nor are you qualified to make a recommendation on an Electronic Health Record. Your endorsement to use google docs as an EHR in not only illegal but almost blasphemous, as this product is not even HIPAA compliant. Your juvenile youtube video about 23andme was particularly telling about your professionalism, or lack there of. Other readers can see what I am referring to here: http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=euO3-h9_jdQ&feature=related

When you graduate school, finish your residence, start practicing medicine, or even reach puberty, you might be a reliable source to recommend how to practice medicine and what tools to use, but until then, you're just a little social medial weasel attempting to get his 15 minutes of fame.

PS - why did you reject my comment on your blog? Are you afraid of a little debate?

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Can I rip 1080p blu-ray ... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2010 3:33 AM | Posted by Aron: | Reply

Can I rip 1080p blu-ray discs to it? Can I edit HD video? Can I write a document on it longer than 100 words? Can I prepare a presentation, work on a spreadsheet, etc.? Will it run MAME? Will it do all these things at the same time?

I knew I read this blog for a reason.
Though I'm not sure I ever actually "produced" anything because of MAME. In fact, it's probably a strong contender for time wasted...

It's kind of interesting how the more abstract posts are usually followed my more concrete and accessible ones. I wonder if that's on purpose or if Alone just tends to write in fluctuations naturally?

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So how do you like your iPa... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2010 7:54 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

So how do you like your iPad?

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I think the "camera connect... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2010 12:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Jim's comment, by David: | Reply

I think the "camera connection kit" is like an electronic IQ test- if mentioned as if it were a reasonable solution-well, don't bother with higher function thought.

These sorts of "additions" are called revenue streams by apple, kludges by people who know better and future lost items by the folks who fail the IQ test.

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Another cost-effective solu... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2010 12:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Andrew Yates's comment, by David: | Reply

Another cost-effective solution brought to you by members of the medical profession

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I think masturbation would ... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2010 4:25 PM | Posted by Sean: | Reply

I think masturbation would actually be easier on a desktop.

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"Stock tip: the fact that I... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2010 4:49 PM | Posted by Mae: | Reply

"Stock tip: the fact that I finally bought an Apple can be taken as some sort of top."

Shit, dude, I was gonna sell my (3. Yes, 3. Don't look at me like that.) Apple stock anyway, but now THIS....

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