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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Don't get an iPad, wait for RIM's PlayBook

  When Apple's iPad debuted to consumers this April, there was a ton of hype, as there is for any launch of a brand new Apple product.

  A photo of Apple's iPad, courtesy of Wikipedia:

  It was hailed as an exciting new minicomputer, capable of reading e-books, playing games, surfing the web, and handling office productivity apps.  

  But Steve Jobs is a big fan of giving customers restrictive access to content.  So the iPad lacks USB ports.  The iPad doesn't even have Apple's equivalent FireWire ports.  So, transferring files from your PC or Mac to your iPad is a challenge, and that was deliberate in design.  

  Xah Lee's blog chronicles the censorship issues with Apple's iTunes store, App Store, and iBookstore.  Playboy soft porn is okay for them, but the Kama Sutra is not, for instance.  Steve Jobs knows better than you what you, as an adult, should be looking at or reading on your iPad.  This counters the Internet's spirit of freedom of information.

  The iPad costs more than most smartphones, and yet they didn't even bother to add a camera.  

  No camera, no ports, no way!

  And there is no technical reason why the iPad couldn't run Adobe Flash for surfing the web.  Flash was a deliberate omission, Mr. Jobs doesn't want you playing games you don't have to buy from the App Store, after all.  It makes web developers like myself wary of implementing Flash, because we wonder, how many visitors will be using the iPad to surf our websites?

  Waterloo, Ontario's Research In Motion (the maker of BlackBerry smartphones) has come to the rescue.  On September 27th, RIM announced that their BlackBerry PlayBook would be available to consumers by early to mid-2011.  

  The web browser will support HTML5 AND Flash, and according to this article on, the device will have HDMI output and microUSB connectors, making it possible to transfer data with PCs and home entertainment equipment.

  This photo of the PlayBook comes courtesy of

 RIM also promises there won't be the kind of content censorship that Apple practices.

 Ladies and gentlemen, don't buy into Steve Jobs' big brother mentality.  Instead, support devices from Apple's competitors that facilitate free exchange of information and trust that you're an adult.

  Why would you want an iPad with no USB or FireWire?  And so many webpages these days utilize Flash, browser games and Youtube are a no go on the iPad.

If you want a tablet PC, do yourself a favour and invest your money on the BlackBerry PlayBook or another device that competes with the iPad.


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