There was no technical reason why the iPad couldn't have just zoomed iPhone apps to near-fullscreen automatically. The reason it doesn't is that Apple wanted to encourage people to think about how to use the extra resolution rather than just expand the screen. The result is that you get a lot of iPad apps that take advantage of the extra room on a tablet vs. a phone, compared to many Android "tablet" apps that are just blown up versions of the phone interface.
I'm sorry, I must have missed the DNC budget passed in the Senate that included NOAA funding increases. Whats that? The truth is no budget has even been proposed by the Senate controled by the DNC in the last 5 years? None of Obama's proposed budgets have received a SINGLE vote from the DNC or the GOP? As I recall the GOP controlled House is the ONLY part of government that has proposed and passed a budget, but none of them have been brought up for a vote in the Senate. Perhaps you could enlighten us on how the GOP defunds NOAA when they haven't actually done anything.
And that couldn't possibly be because the GOP has systematically filibustered any piece of legislation from the democrats in the senate that they have the slightest issue with, basically making it impossible for anything to come up for a vote.
The iPod Touch isn't an MP3 player, it's a non-cellular iPhone equivalent for using iPhone apps on that also happens to play mp3s. If you JUST wanted an mp3 player, you'd get an iPod Nano.
Your figures are still way off. 180,000 cubic feet / 5,097 cubic meters is the spec for how much helium they're using, the 850,000 cubic meters is the volume at full altitude and minimal atmospheric pressure.
Obligatory XKCD link: http://xkcd.com/627/
The iPad will happily associate with your existing iTunes account and use all the same content.
As for the speaker, it's a stereo speaker, but both sides are in the same place (so you don't lose any sound to mono conversion, but you're not getting the "stereo" experience either). Of course you can always plug in external stereo speakers or headphones as usual.
In my first reply to this I missed some of what you wrote:
- The cost of the program guides information
- The cost of the TiVo backend infrastructure to support the remote updates of appliance (software and program guide information)
- The cost of them integrating all the above pieces into one "appliance"
This is the part I don't want to pay for, because as far as I am concerned it adds no value.
As far as MythTV goes, I am unaware of any store I can walk into, buy one, take it home, connect it to my TV and I'm ready to go. I could do all of that with a VCR.
Then you're missing the major draw of what the TiVo can do. The draw of the TiVo isn't that it's a fancy VCR that you don't have to put tapes in, it is that you tell the TiVo what kind of programming you like and it GOES OUT AND FINDS IT FOR YOU. That means that it'll chase down your favorite program when the network decides to go hide it in another time slot. It'll look at the programming you like and find similar programs to record in the free space you've got left over (if you don't disable the feature). All these things require a constant source of program data, something that doesn't come free.
They could be even lighter if they only had the on-board storage to hold the maps you need, as opposed to topographical maps of the entire western US, as well as road data and a bunch of other 'white pages' type junk.
When a microSD card can hold all the map data you could possibly need, I really doubt that weight considerations are a reason to strip down the size of a mapping dataset anymore.