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The iPad is potentially one of the most important, culture-changing products in history!

Jan 27, 2010, 20:22 (23 Talkback[s])

Datamation's Mike Elgan reports:
"In a nutshell, the iPad is potentially one of the most important, culture-changing products in history, because it can replace all media. Or, more accurately, it changes how people use all media. One device can replace videogame consoles, TV, radio, DVRs, cable, books, magazines, newspapers and more. It also replaces eBook readers, DVD players, laptops and netbooks."
The Complete Apple iPad in 60 Seconds

EnterpriseMobileToday's Andy Patrizio says:
"Apple had one more surprise for the audience. The iPod Touch and iPhone use an ARM processor, but the iPad uses what Jobs called the Apple A4 processor, a 1GHz chip "that just screams," he said.

"Making its own processor marks a sea change for the way that the Mac maker has long done business, though it's been dropping hints on the move for some time. In 2007, Apple acquired chipmaker PA Semi, a move seen widely as a precursor to the company rolling out its own mobile-friendly processors."
Apple's 'Truly Magical' iPad Debuts

The New York Times' Brad Stone and Jenna Wortham note a number of feature omissions:
"However, the device lacks a camera, the ability to make phone calls and does not work with the ubiquitous Flash software that runs many Web sites. Apple is selling accessories such as a stand and a keyboard."
Apple Reveals the iPad Tablet

The Free Software Foundation is unimpressed:
"*With new tablet device, Apple's Steve Jobs pushes unprecedented extension of DRM to a new class of general purpose computers*

"SAN FRANCISCO, California, USA -- Wednesday, January 27, 2010 -- As Steve Jobs and Apple prepared to announce their new tablet device, activists opposed to Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) from the group Defective by Design were on hand to draw the media's attention to the increasing restrictions that Apple is placing on general purpose computers. The group set up "Apple Restriction Zones" along the approaches to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, informing journalists of the rights they would have to give up to Apple before proceeding inside.

DRM is used by Apple to restrict users' freedom in a variety of ways, including blocking installation of software that comes from anywhere except the official Application Store, and regulating every use of movies downloaded from iTunes. Apple furthermore claims that circumventing these restrictions is a criminal offense, even for purposes that are permitted by copyright law.

Organizing the protest, Free Software Foundation (FSF) operations manager John Sullivan said, "Our Defective by Design campaign has a successful history of targeting Apple over its DRM policies. We organized actions and protests targeting iTunes music DRM outside Apple stores, and under the pressure Steve Jobs dropped DRM on music. We're here today to send the same message about the other restrictions Apple is imposing on software, ebooks, and movies. If Jobs and Apple are actually committed to creativity, freedom, and individuality, they should prove it by eliminating the restrictions that make creativity and freedom illegal."

The group is asking citizens to sign a petition calling on Steve Jobs to remove DRM from Apple devices. The petition can be found at: http://www.defectivebydesign.org/ipad

"Attention needs to be paid to the computing infrastructure our society is becoming dependent upon. This past year, we have seen how human rights and democracy protesters can have the technology they use turned against them by the corporations who supply the products and services they rely on. Your computer should be yours to control. By imposing such restrictions on users, Steve Jobs is building a legacy that endangers our freedom for his profits," said FSF executive director Peter Brown.

Other critics of DRM have asserted that Apple is not responsible, and it is the publishers insisting on the restrictions. However, on the iPhone and its new tablet, Apple does not provide publishers any way to opt out of the restrictions -- even free software and free culture authors who want to give legal permission for users to share their works.

"This is a huge step backward in the history of computing," said FSF's Holmes Wilson, "If the first personal computers required permission from the manufacturer for each new program or new feature, the history of computing would be as dismally totalitarian as the milieu in Apple's famous Super Bowl ad."

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