Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 1/21/11

by Jeff V. on January 21, 2011

Nine months ago, on a grey Spring morning, I got my iPad delivered to me by special Saturday FedEx.  I was one of countless geeks across the USA blowing an entire weekend waiting for — and then using maniacally — what many were calling ‘an oversized iPhone.’  The FedEx driver thought I was nuts.  She said, “So is this the new Apple fad?  ’Cause I’ve got a ton of them in my truck right now.”  She smiled weakly at me and left, no doubt thinking, dweeb.

After I first got it and explained it to people, they were all What’s the big deal?  Can it print?  Does it have a keyboard?  Can I load MS Office?  After saying no to each of those, they couldn’t believe I would be so stupid to buy such a useless device.

Fast forward to today.  Apple just announced they sold over 14 million iPads in 2010, destroying even the most optimistic analyst projection of 9 million units.  Many other so-called pros predicted anywhere from 1.1 to 7 million, with the mean falling around 5 million.

I’ve personally converted — unintentionally, because I don’t really care what tech someone uses — four people to iPads.  Even our venerable Gayla Burns, our Midwest Regional Director and openly vocal tech luddite, confessed to me in a moment of weakness yesterday that she was getting an iPad this weekend.  If you know Gayla, this is like the Unabomber saying he was going to jailbreak his iPhone and run experimental apps while driving to Best Buy his Prius.  It just doesn’t happen.

That’s the iPad for you. It’s by far my most-used device, and it has replaced my laptop for everything except heavy lifting (Photoshop, etc.) and longer-form writing.

It’s truly a phenomenon: people would wouldn’t touch an iPhone flock to iPads like they print money.

And they do — for Apple.  Have you seen their latest quarterly results?

Anyway, aside from personal anecdote that doesn’t have much of a point, I have some links for you.  These, mercifully, do have a point.

How mobile is affecting when we read.  Much good info here, and lots of excellent charts as well.

The 50 most loathsome Americans of 2010.

Five emotions invented by the Internet.  Smart juxtaposition: this would be a good time to cast a guilty glance at your copy of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows, a book you’d have read already if it weren’t for all those people on Facebook bugging you so much.

Andy Crouch’s smart, heartfelt essay about Steve Jobs and finding hope in today’s world.

Finally, here’s what happens when you shoot a Super Soaker at -45 degrees F.  You know you’ve always wondered.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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