Three things come together to prompt this post, two of which are economic:
The looting and wreckage of the worldwide economy is something I first started tracking in 2008 (and I was late to it!).
The bottom line — pardon the expression — is this: there’s no more money, period.
I don’t give a damn what the Fed and Treasury have been doing or what Mister Obama says. It’s all over. Those turkeys have created the term pretend and extend. It’s all like putting a tooth (a failed asset) under the pillow and really believing a Tooth Fairy exists and will swap it out for cold hard cash.
The machinations that are going on behind the scenes would make your hair stand on end. Right now, the Fed and Treasury and IMF are conspiring to pass the hyperinflation buck onto all of Europe, using the the immediate worse condition of the “PIIGS” (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain) as sleight of hand to disguise our own situation. We’re also using our Weapons of Monetary Destruction — such as the H-bomb of Goldman Sachs — to manipulate every single market to our temporary advantage. It’s all a sick shell game to keep things as they are. Or, rather, to subjugate everyone else to our advantage.
Meanwhile, as the two opening links explain, real people are losing their jobs, their homes, and their hope.
Now put yourself in their situation. You can see the street looming. Yet we live in an age where Internet access is absolutely vital. It’s needed to keep up on news, for mail, for researching and applying to jobs. Try finding a fax number in most Internet jobs listings — they don’t exist. Resumes are wanted via email because there are specialized algorithms that are run on them to ascertain which are worthy of someone’s time in Human Resources.
Knowing all that, and knowing you will need an on-the-go computer that will be as reliable and trouble-free as possible, wouldn’t you be most likely to buy an iPad if you’re not a technical person?
I think so.
And I think that’s part of what’s driving iPad sales. It’s not just the appeal of the iPad itself. It’s the lifeboat appeal of it too.
If you haven’t had to rely on a public library for Internet access, consider yourself lucky. It’s a mad scramble for time on a machine. You often have to make an appointment first thing in the morning to get a 20-30 minute slot before closing time. And remember, you’re not a techie, so you’ve got to also learn how that particular library — or branch of a system — has its machines set up. For example, if you don’t already have your resume socked away online somewhere, good luck trying to upload it directly from a public machine!
Aside from all that, library budgets are being devastated nationwide. Here in New York City, the NYPL is facing the largest cuts in its history at a time when library use — as it always is during a bad economy — is at an all-time high. Libraries here could be cut back to just three days a week. Could you afford to hunt for work online just three days a week? Could you even guarantee that you would get a library computer appointment every one of those three days? What if the library has to ration use and you can get only one day a week?
Having an iPad would alleviate most of that stress because of its WiFi and even 3G connectivity.
But an iPad is not a computer in and of itself.
This is where the not being a lifeboat part comes in.
There’s nothing in that post that’s news or wrong. In fact, people openly wondered the same thing about the woman who wanted to pay cash for an iPad. People wondered if she knew she needed a computer to use it.
If you’ve been looking at an iPad as a possible lifeboat, you’d better understand its limitations. It will likely require the use of a full computer at some point. Whether it’s to update the OS or even to restore data after a possible catastrophic crash (which, while slim, can happen).
The iPad is more of a flotation device than a lifeboat.
It has better battery life than any netbook, its touch interface is designed for sleek efficiency, and it’s not prone to the malware of a Windows-based netbook. In all those respects, it’s superior to other solutions out there.
It’s just not — yet? — the ultimate solution.