Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad Madness

Apple Inc. announced their newest mobile device, the iPad on Wednesday in the midst of hype and hysteria that this would be Apple's best device to date.

One problem. This device should have came first in the line of the iPhone devices. The latest iPhone and the iPad share the same OS, with the iPad getting a few updgrades to it's iTunes, and an iBook, Apple's version of the Kindle store. The iPad does everything the iPhone does, just with a bit more exaggeration, such as running Apps developed for the iPhone in full screen, thanks to "double pixel", which sounds like an aspect-ratio preserving stretch. They haven't improved one single point from the iPhone's lacking, yet downgraded most of the iPhone's key features such as:

  • Making a phone call
  • Taking a picture
The iPhone's early marketing appeal was to only require people to carry one device for everything - phone calls, emails, media player, PDA, etc. With the iPad, you still have to have an iPhone, which was suppose to eliminate the need to carry another device. Granted, most civilized people do not carry a netbook around with them as often as a phone, but Mr. Jobs, I am sure, had the intention for this device to be more prevalent than netbooks and e-readers.

Here is my beef with the idea. I understand the need to "simplify" the device to make it more acceptable for the masses to consume, not just people like myself or Mr. Jobs - geeks. However, somewhere down the line of Apple's philosophy of mobile devices, it included siphoning the money of the non-geeks. iPhone's require two-year agreements, $30/month data plans, and now the iPad comes along, gives out options, but you know that there will be more demand for a WiFi/3G model than the 3G-less model. At $529 - $829 for the totally wireless version, plus a $30 a month data usage charge (would anyone really buy the $15/month package with 250MB of usage?), you are looking at spending $1000 - $1500 over the next two years (according to Engadget calculation) for the iPad and anywhere between $1800 and $3200 for the iPhone.

Again, what was the iPad missing again?

Oh yes, phone functionality. And a camera. Not to mention the shortfalls the iPhone had in the first place:
  • No Flash support (HTML5 to the rescue?)
  • No true multi-tasking (shame since AT&T lets you "talk and surf the web at the same time")
And what I find lacking in this "magical" device:
  • No peripheral ports - everything is "adapter"-ed, ranging from your trusty USB adapter, to the SD reader.
  • No HD video out
  • Not a true e-book reader - reflective touchscreen, back-lit LCD screen, you will be staying inside to read a book or newspaper.
  • Added 3G support is $120 - like I said, siphoning the masses.
Point is, iPhone users are again left with blank stares. What good would this do a current iPhone user, whose population is "expanding, faster than the universe". iPad, with ALL the iPhones capabilities to date would have not been a good enough product, in my opinion, to lure me into wanting one.

Revolutionary? Magical?


Monday, January 18, 2010

NFL's Final Four

With another weekend of blowouts, this year's playoffs have been extremely one-sided. Take away the Chargers-Jets and Cardinals-Packers games, and its a pathetic post-season. However, I am not one to complain about football, especially playoff football. In fact, the ones who do the lashing of "this is terrible football" and "where are the dominate teams like the Steelers of the 70s, the Bears of the 80s and Niners of the 80s and 90s" are radiating bad vibes to what the game has become. Most times, the offense prevails heavily, as in the Saints over the Cardinals in the Divisional Round, or lack thereof as with the Cowboys and Ravens (who amassed an amazing two field goals between them), which speaks praises to what most consider the key to championships - defense.

The Vikings defense is only so deep, and they are not the Monsters of the Midway style defense. The meat of the team is in the trenches. Outside of the linemen, there are a few good players, but no Mike Singletary or Dan Duerson on this team, although you can argue Jared Allen is as close to any defensive player from the Bears Super Bowl team.

The Colts, not a defensive powerhouse, but did very well in stalling a vastly improved Baltimore offense this season, and forced Flacco to throw more than Cam Cameron hoped for. The lack of a disciplined defense killed the Ravens chances, and the offense was forced into 4 turnovers. The Colts do not have the defense to carry them if the offense is stymied by the Gang Green in the AFC Championship Game. Peyton Manning has to make plays on behalf of the defense, who could get ripped up by the Jets ground game.

As for the Saints, don't expect what was seen against Arizona. This will be a game very similar to that of the Saints game against the Jets early in the season. Well, maybe a few more touchdowns between the two teams, especially since its Brett Favre and not Sanchez, but this will not be shoot-out by any means. I don't know how well the Saints defense can hold up against a very talented group of skill players in Peterson, Rice, and Harvin. Brett Favre has been here plenty of times, and this New Orleans team ... not so much.

NY Jets (+7.5) @ Colts, and I'll take the over at 40
Vikings (+4) @ Saints, and I'll take the under at 52.5