Amherst Bytes: the iPad Sucks
By Ricardo Bilton '10, Staff Writer
From the moment Steve Jobs sneaker-stepped out on stage and presented the iPad to the world, it was clear that Apple had taken what was left of their philosophical integrity and ground it into bits. But as the techies groaned at the coming apocalypse, their mothers swooned over the possibility. The iPad was the device for them. The readers of this column aren’t so naive. Here is a brief list of reasons why the iPad blows.

Dogs detect its inherit evil

Remember Lassie? Lassie knew stuff. Lassie always had her ears to the ground, listening for signs of danger. Dogs are good for those kinds of things. It’s a sense they have. We trust dogs. And dogs, apparently, don’t trust the iPad. recently gave their Welsh Corgi Chloe a go at the device, and the results could not have been clearer. Rather than become, like its human counterparts, completely enamored by the iPad, the bright animal instead senses its danger. It is repulsed by it, concerned. It backs away and begins to bark. Its owner inches the device towards it. It’s visibly frightened and barks some more. There is a danger present that only its canine senses can pick up. The owner jokingly calls it a “devil machine.” He isn’t far from the truth, and Chloe knows it.

Cats see its potential

The cat, on the other hand, spies the iPad with an initial hint of suspicion, followed by a rapidly developing sense of intrigue. In a popular video on YouTube, Iggy the cat is shown interacting with the iPad for the first time. Despite the grainy quality of the video, the glint of malice is still visible in his slitted eyes. It’s hypothesized that cats have evolved via a systematic manipulation of humans. I would go as far as to say that the iPad is the latest in a long line of tools used by cats to further their objectives. Lolcats, for instance, is very clearly a process by which the cat has attempted to soften its intelligence, to lower the human impression of the cat’s linguistic ability. Lolcats is a misinformation campaign created by cats themselves. The iPad, I’d wager, will become the next tool in their campaign.

It’s not edible

One problem that has long plagued devices like the iPad is their painful singularity of usage. You turn them on, tinker around with them for a while and turn them off. Their utility doesn’t reach too far beyond that. It came as a disappointment — though not so much of a surprise — to find that the iPad, much like its predecessor, isn’t edible. There is a massive, untapped market for edible technology. Rather than toss old and unwanted devices in the trash bin, consumers would instead be encouraged to eat them. Environmentally, it couldn’t be sounder. Think about what the advent of edible underwear did for both the lingerie and candy industries. We could be launched into another golden age. We could have our iPad and eat it, too.

It doesn’t have a camera

The popularity of the duck-lips as a pose form in self-portraiture rose with the rapid decline in digital camera prices. Girls, now gifted with the artist’s ability to replicate the world around them, naturally ignored that world and turned the camera on themselves. They were then instantly confronted with the dilemma of the artist. Do they lean towards the realistic, or do they take the plunge into the realm of the formative? Unsurprisingly, and with little deliberation, they let the formative tendency drive them, pursing their lips and squinting their eyes and squeezing their breasts together with all the intensity of the old masters. The tragedy of the iPad, then, is that it strips these artists of their ability to express themselves. They are relegated, instead, to simply viewing the photos of others. How far will Steve Jobs go to stymie artistic expression?

The director of the NSA thinks it’s wonderful

At a congressional hearing last week, National Security Agecy director Keith B. Alexander brought to light the irrelevent fact of his ownership of an Apple iPad. But that’s not the important part. Alexander described the device as “wonderful.” That should worry iPad owners quite a bit. See, when the director of the NSA describes a piece of technology as “wonderful” you have to suspect, for a minute, that Captain Wiretapping might have ulterior reasons for indulging in compliments.

It’s immortal

Texas-based shortwave radio celebrity Alex Jones calls his recorded destruction of the iPad a social experiment. He waterboards it, drills it, shoots it six times and, finally, destroys it with a hammer. It’s supposed to upset you, this experiment, because, in Jones’s logic, devices like the iPad have risen to the level of humans. If his hypothesis is correct, more people will get upset at the iPad’s destruction than will in response to the deaths of civilians in Iraq. It’s an interesting, if slightly misguided notion. But the kernel of truth in the whole matter is that though one iPad can be destroyed, the iPad will never die.

Issue 23, Submitted 2010-04-26 07:45:30