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Also, note that the article makes no mention of any potential benefit to the world. They're just considering this a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of reviving the wolly mammoth. Not kidding. This is purely "because we can" and "so we can make money!" $cience. The potential fallout of this kind of reckless scientific exploitation is something we should have written off many, many years ago. The tone of the quotes in the article remind me of the race for an atomic bomb.
Am I missing some major potential social or environmental benefit to doing this?
I am CURRENTLY attending classes and there are professors who specifically state - both during the first lecture and in their syllabus - that any recording, copying, video taping, etc. is strictly forbidden. I know you may think it is odd (I agree), and I should ignore those rules or this and that, but why would I want to piss off the person who submits my grade?
Plus, there is a significant enhancement in the amount of information you remember when you involve more senses - seeing and hearing is great, but when you add the process of recreating what you see it engages a lot more of your brain and gives you a better chance to remember and process information. That is particularly useful when you're in the process of learning (your brain is highly receptive to the intake of information) and you have the ability to get answers to questions or clarification before you cement information in your brain (after you leave).
Bottom line, taking notes is a valuable part of learning. Using computers to enhance note quality, as well as accessibility and retention is a brilliant idea that warrants far more attention (IMO) than it has received.
I concur with what you're saying, and I have a couple of points to add:
- Manufacturer support for a given form factor is a huge decision-making factor! Nobody wants to buy into a platform and see it dropped the next month. I would argue that Netbooks were the fad, NOT tablets. I never felt like Netbooks were here to stay, but I get the impression that the current generation of tablets are.
- I believe that one reason people jump on any given bandwagon the moment that Apple gets on is related to my first point. Apple doesn't commit to designing and selling one-off products for short runs. They don't "test" the waters, they jump in head first. If they hit the bottom (MacBook Air) then they cut their losses and move on (iPad), but I think people feel something along the lines of: "OK, Apple is investing in this [form factor/technology/concept], so if I buy one too - whether or not it's Apple's - it won't be obsolete next week." Look at the iPod. Not the first MP3 player by a long shot. But since the iPod, almost every MP3 player has attempted to replicate the form factor and functionality. I know people with 5+ year old iPods. They still work, they still use them, and they still LOOK relevant in today's world. They are to the '00s and '10s what Sony was to the '80s and '90s.
- If the iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Motorola Xoom, etc. are apples [no pun intended], then things like the HP Elitebook, Acer Iconica, etc. are oranges. For that matter, Netbooks are bananas. There is NO appropriate, fair, or accurate comparison.
- Is an iPad wonderful for running the numbers on your latest contract and conducting a cost/benefit analysis? No, it's horrible. Is a Kindle Fire the best place to code your latest FPS? God awful is what it is (for that). What a more wonderful place to relax and enjoy some casual computing than in an environment where it's completely impractical (if not impossible) to be distracted by work? I think people are trying to tell computer manufacturers: we get it, computers can do a lot, but I don't want every device I own to be capable of doing any computing task! I want work-life separation.
I feel like I've made my point, though I could go on. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't own a tablet (by any definition, or a Netbook). I have used them, I have talked to people who live with them every day. They don't work for me and what I do.
I agree, which is the purpose for the following statement:
Or are you trying to argue that anything that benefits people (social security, healthcare...) contributes to "paying people to stay home and watch TV"?
In his own post, he refers to social programs as things which "[pay] people to stay home and watch TV." By his own definition, and my interpretation of its meaning, he is completely wrong. He made a very ambiguous (not to mention loaded) statement and I called him out on it.
I'm not attempting to impregnate my own opinion here (or maybe I am, but not on purpose), but you can't defend his statement by saying things like education are covered under his definition of "social programs."
Also, that chart is about the nicest way anyone could possibly portray the "defense" budget. As mentioned in a later comment, the defense budget is actually sourced much differently than the alleged "social programs."
In other words, the "defense" budget in the United States is greater than the next 20 countries (ranked by their defense budget) combined. And just FYI, only 11.5% of that budget goes into that R&D you praised. But hey, I guess that's doing pretty well since we only seem to think 4% of our federal budget belongs in education! (now my opinions are showing)
Or, here's about 50 more: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=ipod&rh=n%3A377110011%2Ck%3Aipod&page=1
Seriously, I'm a huge Android fan but... I'd take an iPod Nano wristwatch over these any day: cheaper, better battery life, and easy to use