Tuesday, November 30, 2010

David Pogue on

Talking Tech or 

What is the next iPad Killer?

I've been interested in the iPad and Kindle as possible electronic book readers, e.g. 

The iPad, the Kindle, or a manual typewriter... (Chronicle Brainstorm blog)

So David Pogue's recent observations about technology struck a B#. 

Things don’t replace things; they just splinter. I can’t tell you how exhausting it is to keep hearing pundits say that some product is the “iPhone killer” or the “Kindle killer.” Listen, dudes: the history of consumer tech is branching, not replacing.

TV was supposed to kill radio. The DVD was supposed to kill the Cineplex. Instant coffee was supposed to replace fresh-brewed. 

But here’s the thing: it never happens. You want to know what the future holds? O.K., here you go: there will be both iPhones and Android phones. There will be both satellite radio and AM/FM. There will be both printed books and e-books. Things don’t replace things; they just add on. 

 Sooner or later, everything goes on-demand.

Some people’s gadgets determine their self-esteem.

Everybody reads with a lens.

 But feelings run just as strongly in the tech realm. You can’t use the word “Apple,” “Microsoft” or “Google” in a sentence these days without stirring up emotion. 

It’s not that hard to tell the winners from the losers. 

Some concepts’ time may never come. 

Forget about forever — nothing lasts a year. Of the thousands of products I’ve reviewed in 10 years, only a handful are still on the market. 

Nobody can keep up. Everywhere I go, I meet people who express the same reaction to consumer tech today: there’s too much stuff coming too fast. It’s impossible to keep up with trends, to know what to buy, to avoid feeling left behind.  

Well, here’s a dirty little secret: It’s almost too much for me, too. Heck, it’s my job to stay on top of this stuff — and even for me, it’s like drinking from a fire hose. I do my best — I read all the blogs, devour the magazines, attend the conferences and listen to the PR pitches — but I sometimes feel as if I’m furiously paddling my surfboard on the top of a tsunami wave. 

In other words, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone, and it’s O.K. to let yourself off the hook. 

That makes me feel better. 


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