Cory’s admonition on Boing Boing echoes and expands on many of my own points. I have since calmed down thanks to Danny O’Brien painting a wider perspective. I still think Cory makes a valid point at the core, that what Apple is doing with the iPad is not unique, nor is its closed nature necessarily a requirement for its simpler experience. As he says in the comments, that is a false dichotomy.
Speaking of Danny, he posted a fresh consideration of the hopes many traditional media outlets are pinning on the iPad. Whether you like it or not, the iPad may prove to be a truly disruptive innovation. Its potential, however, lies in doing something truly new, not just allowing for the economically unfeasible repurposing of the same-old-same-old.
In considering the free versus closed argument, Marc Hedlund at O’Reilly Radar provides a bit of balance. He makes a solid case that in its own way, Google is just as controlling. Granted, his arguments are much more applicable to Chrome OS rather than Android, but they are still valid. I don’t think the existence of Google’s Data Liberation Front really weakens his argument since the gravity well of using cloud storage is so deep.
My friend Quinn furnishes probably the most startling take. She’s one of a couple of friends I have who are essentially homeless. It shouldn’t take a personal relationship to give more than passing attention to how developments in the world of technology may reverberate through all corners of society, not just those privileged enough to snag one of the latest generation of must have gadgets. I took it as a good reminder that occasional simplification and restraint are worth exercising, regardless of the differently weighty skeins woven through debates like free versus closed.