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Field testing the iPad

Long time, no see, guys.  My work life has gotten interesting lately and I find myself back in the lab after 20 years.  And I just have to say that all in all, this has been a very good move for me.  I recommend it to any former lab rat who has found themselves behind a monitor for too long.  Technology has changed a great deal in two decades and learning and relearning new things makes work challenging and fun.  It’s the best of both worlds, really.  I still get to park my fat ass behind the computer for part of the day to play with models but my ass is getting smaller from running around the bench.  So, two thumbs up for the lab.

Now, I have a company lab notebook that’s all legal and stuff that I write things down in but when I was in the lab recently, I found that I wanted a notebook for jotting things down of a more general nature.  It’s mostly reminders, calculations and procedural stuff that could apply to any particular experiment, nothing proprietary.  I recently bought an iPad to semi replace my macbook that’s on it’s last legs so I thought I’d give it a try.  There have been other reviews of the iPad, most recently Anglachel’s.  But I think that the mistake that many people make about the iPad is that they concentrate too much on the hardware.  (If you find the device “too heavy”, you need to hit the gym)  To really understand how the iPad fits into the device spectrum, you have to think out of the box and focus on the apps.  And even though the apps developed for the iPad are still few in number compared to the iPhone, it’s in this area where motivated developers are going to make the iPad a truly revolutionary device.

For my purposes in the lab, the iPad is off to a good start but it could be amazing.  I prop it up using the apple cover in type mode (see pic above) and leave it on the bench, coming back to it now and then to make notations using the Notes app that comes with the iPad.   I can type through my nitrile gloves and my lab is mercifully free from most solvents so I’m not worried about corrosion.  The screen cleans up nicely with a kimwipe.  Nevertheless, a waterproof cover or thin film screen protectent is probably a good idea for people who want to take their iPad into the lab.   There’s an app for making stock solution dilutions and molarity calculations called LabCal.  It’s an iPhone app that runs on the iPad.  Although the iPad doesn’t come with a calculator, there are plenty of cheap calculator apps in the apps store.  I found a nice scientific calculator called Calc XT that has a nifty little scratch pad.  For reading general procedures, I mail the published documents to my email account and access the pdfs using GoodReader.  And for planning my work, I use Todo by Appigo.  These are the main tools I need everyday. I don’t have access to wifi or the 3G network in my area so my scribbles stay on the ipad.  Essentially, what I have is the equivalent of a little steno pad, folder and calculator but the notes are stored by date and everything I need is in one slim device.

But there are a couple of additional apps that I’ve found lurking in the apps store that point the way to the future.  For example, the American Chemical Society has an app that allows the user to select a number of journals to browse.  Highlights and abstracts are delivered to the app and the full journal article can be accessed directly, provided the user has a subscription.  This would be a great way to deliver literature electronically.  Ordinarily, I print papers out from the pdfs because I don’t like reading them on a computer screen.  But on an iPad, literature has the feel of reading a printed document with all of the digital benefits.

Another app, iKinasePro, is a bit pricier but at $9.99 is still a steal.  It gives the user access to a curated database of kinases, along with published inhibitors, links to literature and patents, and a multitouch kinome tree.  But what really drew me to this app is that it features a molecular editor from Chemene that is similar to a ChemDraw widget.  The user can quickly draw a structure and do a

The Chemene Molecular Editor

substructure search of the database to find hits.  The app does require access to a wifi or 3G network, as does the ACS app.  The kinome diagram also doesn’t allow for the finer resolution multitouch, the user can only select certain groups of kinases.  But motivated developers {{hint, hint}} should be paying close attention to that editor because that’s the way we need to go with the electronic notebook app that I’m sure someone is going to make a killing on.

The mobile electronic notebook could be a godsend for labrats.  Imagine one app that does it all: records your steps, has a built in calculator, can calculate dilutions from stock solutions, can calculate the MW from the structure you draw, can fetch the synthetic pathway from the literature, can register your compound, and allow you to search for similar structures and their related activity and ADME data in the database.  Well, that’s just off the top of my head.  And if the lab pages are uploaded to a cloud server, there’s no reason to store anything on the iPad, making loss of proprietary data less likely.

Companies interested in protecting their proprietary information can get an enterprise version of the SDK.  Security of the local wifi and cloud server are out of my scope but where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Ahhhh, there’s the rub.  In many of the companies that I’m familiar with, there is a ginormous bureacracy of Microsoft borgs who will tell you that resistance is useless and that you will be assimilated to the same stupid image that the accountants use.  Mobility, without a mouse or a keyboard?  In. Your. Dreams.  In Microsoft’s holey products, there is a lifetime of employment security for hives full of corporate drones hired to test and patch the version of IE that is already several years out of date and to stamp out proliferating viruses.  Apple products are verboten.  They’re too sleek and simple.  The macbooks run on linux (One helpdesk borg asked me how to spell linux when I needed help with my HP linux workstation.  Yep, it’s that bad.)  The iPad uses an iPhone OS but still, Apple make the borgs antsy.  Which is why we may never get iPads for the labs. I don’t think this is going to change unless the borgs are given ultimatums employment incentives to experiment with other platforms.

Too bad, because I think there is a lot of potential on both the development and the efficiency side of the mobility equation.  It would be a shame to see the modern lab, stripped down and uber frugal, hobbled by a Microsoft mentality.  But whatever the fate of iPad in the lab, it’s a handy device to have around.  Still, if you can’t use it in the lab,  you can go home and use it to rent a movie from Netflix and forget all about work.

Ahhhh….

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86 Responses

  1. Test post

  2. I have posts in moderation on the BP Atlantis thread.

  3. Thanks for this – I am determined to get an IPad but decided to wait a bit untill the bugs are worked out.
    Of course, not having an IPhone, all this apps talk is a bit gibberish to me – I’ll have a lot to catch up with.
    @ Ivory Bill – there is the possibility that wordpress is acting up – it delayed posts yesterday too for no reason.

    • what bugs?

      • Right after launching I read about some apps that were not accessible or compatible because of a bug – and it was being fixed. So it got me thinking that I should wait until it’s actually ready.

        • No, those apps were not working because of their own issues. The iPad came out with a new version of the iPhone OS, so some apps were not compatible. It’s the apps that have to upgrade. And many have now.

      • My iPad is perfect! I’ve been using it since the first week it was introduced. Decided not to get the 3G because I have an iPhone and have wireless at home and free access at various coffeehouses I frequent.

        The iPad is the future of education (see The Elements app on the iPad).

        My Apple wireless keyboard works with it, too. I bought the Pages app to have more writing capability than the Notes app.

        • Yep, pages has a lot of nifty features. If I were writing up a monthly summary, I’d dock the sucker and use pages and a keyboard. But for jotting down stuff on the fly, notes is pretty good.

    • Usually not a bad idea to wait for a version two of a product, but so far I haven’t seen any issues with the first generation of iPads. Of course with any technology, the longer you wait, the better the technology because things move fast.

  4. Great post and great suggestions for app developers. Taking the hints and taking notes. :-)

  5. They need to have Walt use the iPad on Breaking Bad :)

    • Never seen it. How would Walt interact with it?

      • He’s a chemist.

        • Sounds intriguing.

          • he’d interact with it in the lab (albeit to cook meth)

          • I’m pretty sure you can’t use it as a hot plate. It doesn’t generate enough heat. Maybe it would make a good gel reader but then it would get all slippery and stuff.
            What he could potentially do with it is design more potent analogs, not that that’s something I would recommend of course.

          • Lol, I didn’t even think of it that way.
            The last episode he was running around his fancy schmancy meth lab with a clipboard doing some kind of calculations trying to figure out why .14% of the output is missing. I was thinking while reading your review that it would be a neat comment on the times to see an iPad there in one of the episodes before this season ends.

  6. Interesting RD. Glad to hear about the lab work. Curious about one thing on security, if you can say. Are you able to take the Macbook back and forth to work. I assume you wouldn’t be able to access secure servers from home. My mobile hard drive activity is always monitored.

    • I never take my macbook to work. There’s no wifi in my building. Not that there can’t be. It’s just that the borgs shut it off some time ago because they didn’t try hard enough to secure it. So, to use my macbook, I’d have to use the company intranet and really, what’s the point? It’s my personal computer so I just leave it at home. At work, I use a corporate issue HP PC for regular office stuff and an HP Linux workstation for scientific apps. The IT borgs make it as difficult as it can possibly be for scientific computing. I’ve had the helpdesk tell me that I can’t use my HP linux workstation because linux isn’t a supported corporate platform. Nevermind that our vendors develop primarily on linux.
      My iPad is sort of analogous to my iphone. But there’s no camera on my iPad which makes it more corporate friendly. Also, I’m just using it for general notes, nothing that needs to go in my lab notebook.
      In the ideal situation, the electronic notebook would be on my iPad, I would use it to upload all data to a cloud server at the end of the day and start with a fresh page the next day. I can lock up the ipad with a four digit code but this might need to be expanded for corporate purposes. And for storage, I could just stick it in the fire proof bag at the end of the day but if there’s nothing stored on it, it’s not a big loss if it melts.

  7. I am reading all this and commenting on my new iPad. Gift from my son. Luv it. No bugs yet. Simple and elegant. No wonder they are selling like crazy. I have the 3G but have not hooked that up yet. Will mess around using my wifi. Or wee fee as the French say it.

    • My mom got one recently. My sister says she is totally addicted to it. She uses it primarily for books and games. The kindle app is incredibly fast. It’s so fast it’s a bit dangerous. You rack up quite a bill before you knew you’d done it.
      Last time I talked to her, she had just discovered YouTube and wanted to know if I had seen the laughing baby video.
      There are thousands of laughing babies. Which one? I fear we have lost her to youtube.

      • I have been a big PC user. Have not used an Apple product except an iPod. I can see the allure of Apple. Maybe too easy. I am used to messing around the PC, trying to speed it up, taking apart laptop and fixing this and that. Replacing screen and fan and hard drive and adding memory, etc. This will be what it is, other than adding apps and an occasional update perhaps. But it is amazing. The keyboard works better than I expected. I don’t have a case for it yet. Not sure of what type to get. It just amazes me! How can this thin piece of magic do all the stuff it does?

  8. No IPhone nor IPad here. I see the danger of leaving the control of apps to one organization, especially one run by Steve Jobs…and I read about poor Chinese IPad workers who were committing suicide all so that elite computer users can have their over-priced hardware. 800 bucks for 64 gigs? I can get a netbook with 250 gigs and better functionality for about half that. Whoop-tee-doo.

    I’ll stick to hardware that can run any operating system (except Mac, which in my opinion, who cares). Of course, I’m sure overworked kids are committing suicide in China over much of our imported hardware…but I digress.

    • I’ve seen a lot of complaints about Steve Jobs and the control of the apps. To me, his business strategy makes a lot of sense. You don’t want malicious software running on your device, fucking up the experience for everyone. And he doesn’t support porn apps. You’d think feminists would be lauding that move. But nary a peep of support have I detected. But even if you can’t get a porn app, you can still get porn through safari, er, if you really want it. And Jobs doesn’t have a lock on the market (yet). Other device makers can open their stuff up and take anyone and anything. I’m sure that it will happen.
      All Jobs is doing is giving users a pretty clean, fuss free, simple to use device that is infinitely configurable. What’s not to love?
      Call me an elitist if you want. I don’t care. I’ve used every platform out there. Apple stuff is number one, followed by any flavor linux. We have one PC in my house. It’s Brook’s. I hate it. Never use it.
      As I mentioned, my mom just got an iPad. She’s as far from an elite computer user as a person can get. But for the first time in her life, she is finally understanding what all the fuss is about when it comes to the internet. For bringing the generations a little closer together and rejuvenating a senior’s interest in technology, Steve Jobs should be commended.

    • Ah the old tried and true elite meme. Liberals are elite, Apple products are elite, etc. When you compare feature for feature, the prices are about the same. With a two or three generation old processor and really lame graphics on a netbook, of course the price is going to be low. But when you build a model that’s comparable, the prices get very close. It’s an amazingly successful marketing/propaganda campaign that has worked for years and years.

      The Chinese work suicides are of course a horrible tragedy. I would like to see all companies deal with this and deal with China. Same goes for other countries. Of course what you’re not saying is the fact that the suicide rate for those factories are exactly the national average for such factories. Which is of course horrible and no excuses, but notice how the campaign is about putting down a particular company. You know the one that doesn’t own part of MSNBC and the one that isn’t a large investor in GE/NBC as well.

  9. Completely off-topic (but then I’m a luddite when it comes to computers):

    The Confluence and Corrente etc. etc. etc. do great work, but it strikes me we badly need a book on how Obama managed to con so many “progressives” (or how they conned themselves), and where actual liberals go from here.

    I have neither the time nor the talent, but in any case I’m talking about a book from someone already “known”. * Who will have the guts to take up that responsbility? After all, it is one thing for a liberal to point out the naked emperor when he is on a GOP throne, quite another to do so when he is not only a Democrat, but our historically historic first black President.

    We need a new Paul Krugman (since the old one apparently will always ultimately pull his punches on Obama). But where(who) is he/she? Any ideas on who we might approach?

    *I’m also not talking about a book from the far Left; for them Obama-Clinton-Gore-and FDR- are all one. That may be a reasonble pov, but it isn’t mine, and not the book I think we need.

    • I’ve been contemplating a book for some time now. Maybe the other frontpagers would want to conspire on one. I don’t know if it would be a direct criticism of Obama. For one thing, he is symptomatic of a much bigger problem. For another, I don’t really like personal attacks. I mean, the guy is an unprincipled, unscrupulous, opportunistic schmoozer who hasn’t got a clue about what the hell he’s doing. But the reason progressives were conned says much more about their own psychological makeup than Obama’s talent as a political Svengali. Such a book would be too narrow in focus.
      What I have in mind is completely different.

      • Actually, I was thinking about that too. I think that book would have to be more of an examination of the “Progressive Movement” in general. I’d like to write that book someday, but at this point in time I don’t think anyone would take it or me seriously.
        In my humble opinion, “Progressives” of today are a throwback to the extreme radicals of the sixties. I’m not talking about flower children or Vietnam War opposition activists but the really extreme radicals. In the eighties they became “Neo-Liberals” which in turn became VRWC that started the Conservative grassroots, elected Reagan and formed today’s right wing that controls the Republican Party. But since they respond to power, they also formed “The Progressive Movement.” It’s not a coincidence that some of the biggest “Progressive” voices today were some of the strongest “Conservative” voices in the eighties and nineties.
        These people are elitists. They are privileged and come from wealthy families. Think Ariana Huffington and her rich Greek family. Their support of Obama and formerly Bush is a response to power, an attraction to his lack of principles, since they themselves have all changed parties and ideologies several times to make a profit, and an admiration of his denunciation of Boomers and the sixties.
        Again, just my two cents. But a book about that wouldn’t primarily have to be about Obama. Personal attacks are counterproductive, but we would havew to examine why “progressives” supported him and to do that we would have to examine the “progressive movement” in general.

    • It’s the old problem of lack of analytical thinking ability.

      Our educational system rarely teaches students how to evaluate anything, whether it’s advertisements or politicians.

      Those of us who saw through Obama listened to his words, and compared them with his past actions. Hmm, he’s got lots of discrepancies between his (brief) record and what he says. Whereas candidate Hillary has far fewer discrepancies, and a much longer record of actions which we can study.

      Personally, I’m can’t understand why everyone doesn’t consider the evidence for for themselves, but then I was born an analytical type.

  10. I can picture it now – It’s a dark and stormy night, and Kim is hunched over her iPad, laughing manically while she types “It’s alive!”

  11. Hope okay to post this here, and RD you did just bring up feminism. ;-) Jessica Valenti in WaPo today, The fake feminism of Sarah Palin. Hard to argue with the article, and I generally respect Jessica for her writing, thinking and leadership. But there’s always that sense of a movement weakened by its divisions.

    Of course, deciding who gets to call themselves feminists is a tricky business. Even some people who seem to generally disagree with Palin have found it difficult to bar her from the feminist ranks. Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz wrote that she won’t “quibble with her” over the label, and Meghan Daum said in the Los Angeles Times that if Palin “has the guts to call herself a feminist, then she’s entitled to be accepted as one.”

    Now, there’s no grand arbiter of the label, and the tremendous range of thought in the movement means there isn’t a singular platform one can look to as a reference point. And the sad reality is that there are plenty of self-identified liberal feminists who exhibit not-so-egalitarian ideals, such as racism or homophobia. So is it possible to exclude women such as Palin from feminism if we don’t have a conclusive definition?

    Absolutely. If anyone — even someone who actively fights against women’s rights — can call herself a feminist, the word and the movement lose all meaning. And while part of the power of feminism is its intellectual diversity, certain things are inarguable. Feminism is a social justice movement with values and goals that benefit women. It’s a structural analysis of a world that oppresses women, an ideology based on the notion that patriarchy exists and that it needs to end.

    What Palin is peddling isn’t feminism — it’s a manipulated buzzword being used to garner support for a party that time and time again votes against women’s rights. Palin isn’t trying to further a movement for justice or equality; she’s shilling for women’s votes — a “stampede of pink elephants,” she says — for the midterm elections.

    • If anyone — even someone who actively fights against women’s rights — can call herself a feminist, the word and the movement lose all meaning.
      As long as that includes every women who fought for Obama over Hillary. Or was on Obama’s side as he proceeded to decimate women’s rights.

    • Whatever. It seems to me that progressive women are trying to expiate any guilt they feel about stabbing Hillary in the back by going after Palin on feminist issues.
      As far as I can see and hear, Palin is a feminist. She’s just a Republican politician. Republicans are anti-abortion. If your feminism is all about abortion, then she’s not a feminist to you.
      I think you can be a prolife feminist IFF you do not seek to impose your beliefs on everyone else. In fact, most of the progressive women I know are not pro abortion. Who the hell would argue that abortions are good and that everyone should get one? The idea is nonsensical. We just don’t think it’s any of our business what other people decide. We are non-judgemental because we can’t be in everyone else’s heads and know their situations.
      But Jessica has to sort this demon out herself. I’m not interested in what she thinks of Palin. I don’t like Palin’s politics. I don’t particularly like Jessica’s either these days.
      As for women being divisive, we’ll only come together as a powerful political unit when we stop caring about what the men will say about us. I already don’t give a flying fig. I’m just waiting for the rest of my gender to catch up to me.

    • As long as women refuse to find common ground on feminist issues outside of abortion, they are playing the game the oligarchy WANTS them to play. When will the career feminists on the liberal side get it?

      • What Palin is peddling isn’t feminism — it’s a manipulated buzzword being used to garner support for a party that time and time again votes against women’s rights. Palin isn’t trying to further a movement for justice or equality; she’s shilling for women’s votes — a “stampede of pink elephants,” she says — for the midterm elections.

        But feminists — or anyone who cares about women’s progress — need to stop Palin from turning feminism into yet another empty slogan. Because “sisterhood” and meaningless rallying cries aside, American women need real feminism in their lives, not just the f-bomb.

        The problem I have is that reproductive rights aren’t the sum total of feminism. Their are other considerations, too. Nobody’s saying Jessica should support Palin politically, but, Maybe she truly is a manipulating, opportunistic schemer who hates women’s rights and wants to work against them while cynically gathering votes for her masters. Problem is, the exact same thing could be said of Jessica. So why we’re supposed to assume that Jessica et all, despite their clear antagonism/indifference to women’s rights in terms of sacrificing them to every other issue and shilling for a misogynist party, are somehow well intentioned, while conservative women who support certain feminist precepts and issues but not others in support of a misogynist party are evil calculating shrews instead of sincere in what they believe but misguided, is an open question. These conservatives don’t claim to be the world’s biggest feminists, while the Jessicas do, and it’s sort of arguable as to which group has done the most damage in different ways–but ultimately, everybody voted with Stupak, yanno?

        • (Well, not voted exactly, but pretended they’d vote no while happily agreeing to a deal to give it the force of law so they wouldn’t have to vote yes–same difference, IMO)

        • I think the career feminists on the liberal side who refuse to take on the game that Ds and Rs both play when it comes to abortion (neither party is pro-choice) are doing more harm to women’s issues at this point.

          • Yes. And like I said, there are other considerations, too. Nobody wants feminism to devolve to empty you go girl style vheerleading in the absense of legal rights (although god knows when it comes to dumbed down empty fluff in lieu of feminism, read Jessica’s book is all I’ve got to say. Hypocritical much?) But–since no one supports legal rights in any substantive way, “you go girl!” starts to look a lot better than “murk that c—.” Jess quotes that great repository of true Jessica approved, substantive, woman friendly feminism, Jezebel, where Kate Harding asks “what’s next, ‘He-Man Woman Hater feminism.’?” Uh–next?

          • The bulk of the feminist left focus all their anger at the Hillary Clintons for not being the Perect Woman and then transfers a lot of that anger toward the Sarah Palins for not being Hillary Clinton. Often attacking their womanhood to take both down. They also focus their anger on the Bart Stupaks (and the Rand Pauls, etc. on the right) while going too easy on the Barack Obamas and the Nancy Pelosis. Feminist pundits don’t look straight at the rigged system where both parties function to keep women’s rights in perpetual limbo. They look at it sideways, attack it only from one side, and keep wondering why women stay fighting for the same rights forever. The reason they are stuck fighting for those rights is because they are stuck working against each other along the cultural/tribal lines of being “left” or “right,” pro-choice or pro-life. Instead of working together on issues where they can and do agree and could make headway.

            Even the Stupaks are just lightening rods for the women’s orgs to get angry at as cathartic relief and as a rallying point to squeeze out money from their donor lists. Of course Stupak is an asshat who richly deserves all the criticism that comes along with the moniker Stupakistan, but the problem is that “Obama feminism” is all about focusing the bult of the anger at people down the political food chain while avoiding saying anything too strongly against the people at the top of the chain who are enabling Stupakistan in the first place. It allows them to keep believing the lie that Oprecius and the other Ds they voted for would fulfill all their feminist wishes if only they didn’t have put up with those mysoginist conservaduds.

            I’m all for taking on and pushing back on the Stupaks. It’s just that in the absence of even greater pushback on the Obamas and Pelosis who are in leadership positions and who put up the pretense of being pro-choice and pro-women in the first place– going after Stupak, Palin, or whoever else really doesn’t solve anything.

            As for Sarah Palin, she uses the “pro-abortion” crap talking point, playing up her hard right appeal to the conservative base. So she’s not some wonderful pro-choice alternative on the Republican side who is going to stand up for women’s reproductive rights. It’s just that the Dem side has no moral high ground to claim over Sarah Palin when they are the ones pretending to be for women’s reproductive rights and then selling them out. Both the Ds and the Rs are part of that rigged system that keep our rights in limbo, keep women fighting each other, keep them from voting multiple issues and making Washington deliver on any of them. Meanwhile Democratic women keep bashing both Hillary’s feminism for failing to be 100% perfect and Palin’s feminism again for not being Hillary’s feminism, all while jumping to annoint Oprecious as some kind of Postfeminist-SuperFeminist.

            I want liberal pols who are willing to put up a real fight to move our politics to the point where the asterisk by women’s reproductive rights* is a moot asterisk in public policy debates altogether. And, while I don’t think Palin’s politics are worth rooting for on the whole, I think more power to Sarah Baracuda for turning the bashing from the Obama fauxgressives and the GOP establishment on its head. It’s always hilarious to watch self-professed feminists keep trying to visciously take her down by tearing down her womanhood–all while simultaneously denying her any entry into the feminist club because, by their standards, she doesn’t know what real feminism is. They don’t catch the hypocrisy in that. They don’t understand that being for women means that Palin’s womanhood is worth defending against sexist and classist attacks even though her politics aren’t.

          • Exactly. All this is doing is carrying Obama’s water for him while he and the entire party sell out women. As I said before, Jessica is in the same position as Palin, she’s selling out women’s interests based on this tribal loyalty to one half of the political establishment who are antagonistic and indifferent, as opposed to the other half who are antagonistic and indifferent, only in a “bad” way. And all of us are getting nowhere fast.

          • Nowhere fast–that’s precisely it. Somewhere in my typo-laden rant I said something like that, Lol.

          • What! Your comment is brilliant and amazing and beautifully sums up all the complicated angles involved here. Let’s just say it’s pretty much the definitive statement. :)

        • It’s also extremely ironic that Jessica tries to use the fact that Palin is a republican as proof that she isn’t a feminist.
          Kind of ironic considering the Dems are currently led by Pro-life Tim Kaine and many prominent Republicans have recently come out in favor of a woman’s right to choose.

          • Let’s just hope Lowell Weicker stays retired or Jessica’s head might explode. Probably while she’s defending rape gurney Joe. ;)

            All I have to say to the Third Wave is get your own house in order. These are the people who self-describe as feminists but put anything relating to women at like # 456,349 on the to-do list because everything else is more important and we have to look at the big picture and a rising tide lifts all boats. Then they get upset because women who make it clear feminism isn’t their top priority, don’t make feminism their top priority and believe in the big picture, a rising tide will lift all boats. I mean, I guess it makes as much sense as anything else that’s going on.

    • So a woman who believes in an active employment and political life for women, and embodies that herself, and states she is for contraception, and who as governor appoints a pro-choice judge to the state’s supreme court, is peddling a “manipulated buzzword?”

      Whereas women wearing “Sarah Palin is a c*nt” T-shirts are feminists, no doubt.

      And which party is it that “time and time again votes against women’s rights?”

      Does not pass the BS detector.

  12. You’ve officially out geeked yourself yourself, RD. *applause*
    I laughed when you said that if you think the I-Pad is too heavy you need to go to the gym. My bestie is a ninety year old in a nineteen year old’s body and she was making fun of my excitement over the Ipad, but earlier this week we went to a Best Buy in Parma to see an Indie Band and get her album signed and before they came we were playing with their Ipads and she said, “oh… okay, maybe this is kind of awesome.”
    So I said, “Did you know that some reviewers are saying this is too heavy?”
    My girl has never gone to a gym in her entire life and even she thought that was ridiculous.

    • Did you read Anglachel’s review? It’s the most neurotic thing I’ve read all year. She get’s all freaked out about fingerprint smudges on the screen but she’s totally cool touching a keyboard every day? Ewww. I eat lunch at my desk and have to clean my keyboard on a regular basis. The damn thing should be swabbed for new forms of life.

      And heavy? It’s too heavy??? Give me a break. She must be the most sedentary person on earth if she thinks it’s too heavy. It’s no heavier than a small three ring binder with 100 sheets of paper.

      Her whole article just screamed IT drone to me. Conformist, conventional, and evolutionary dead end who wouldn’t know a new idea if it hit her in the head.

      • Um, yeah keyboards are probably as disgusting as toilet handles, depending on how many people use them.
        Some people just don’t like change. The Ipad is a revolutionary device and it wouldn’t surprise me if five years from now Apple and maybe even the rest of the world stopped making notebooks and desktops all together. My bestie, who is technologically impaired, even thought one of the Imacs in the library at school was a touch screen. That could be because she is an extremely silly person, but it could also be because Apple is onto something.
        Technology is going to be around forever and it is always changing, folks. Get used to it.

        • Yeah, well, I have completely adapted to being mouseless on the ipad. It feels very natural. I don’t miss it at all. That being said, I haven’t had to write massive reports on it that require a lot of insertions.
          One thing I can complain about is the virtual keyboard. I’d rather not have to look through multiple keyboards to use numbers or symbols. It seems like Apple could accommodate those of us who just want to use the shift key. That would make it almost perfect.

  13. Feel like playing some mindless summer songs..

  14. I love my Ipad. I especially enjoy how Apple encourages you to figure it out and you soon get the hang of it even tho’ I sometimes think that will not happen for me. It is not heavy and for someone like me the iphone is clumsy because of its small size while the ipad is efficient for me because it has more size.

  15. Cool. That looks like it should be verry useful for you at work. I wish I had had it when I took organic chemistry and biochemistry.

  16. People are dying to make iPads.

    Concern over human cost overshadows iPad launch

    By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/concern-over-human-cost-overshadows-ipad-launch-1983888.html

    Evidently most consumers couldn’t give a damn.

    • I don’t own any Apple products and I’m not defending them, but:

      At the 1.2-square mile Foxconn facility, which also makes products for Dell, Hewlett Packard and Acer, nine workers have died and two have been gravely injured in roof jumps in the first five months of 2010.

      Maybe there are some computers made and assembled in the US, idk, but it seems like most of us who buy and/or use computers are probably just as guilty as the Apple consumers.

    • Also:

      Concerns were expressed about the factory three years ago by China Labour Watch, a US organisation which claims dire conditions involved “serious labour violations including excessive working hours, unpaid wages for up to 30 minutes of work each day, compulsory overtime and extremely poor dormitory conditions.”
      Last July, it revealed the suicide of a young worker, Sun Danyong. According to its report, only workers producing for Apple were given a stool to sit while working, while all others had to stand.
      Workers also complained of violence, including beatings with iron bars and whips.
      The allegations have not surprised campaigners, who say that while Western shoppers often hear of problems at Asian clothes factories, conditions for workers in cleaner, bigger consumer electronics plants are just as grim. “When you look at large-scale export-driven trade, it doesn’t really matter whether the workers are making clothes or electronics,” said Simon MacRae, senior campaigns officer at War on Want. “There’s a similar pattern: long working hours, very poor pay and suppression of labour rights. The sector provides jobs but without decent wages you are not going to lift people out of poverty.”

      I’m not going to throw a parade for Apple for providing exploited workers a chair, and I’m not going to cry if Apple’s singled out for unfair blame, but everything under the sun is made at this one horrible plant, from Intel components, to Nokia components, to Microsoft components, to parts for the Kindle, Sony Playstation parts, Dell, Hewlitt Packard. Singling out Apple’s consumers is unfair without equally implicating just about anyone who uses any electronic component as well.

    • I’m sure most Americans would be outraged over the abuse of workers anywhere. And we should insist on fair labor standards both here and around the world.

      But I’m not going to stop using my iPad because of it. If Apple can’t sell them, those workers might be out of a job and I’m betting they’d rather work than not.

      Maybe you should direct your ire at US companies who want to bring Chinese working conditions here.

    • Part of the problem is that the 135 million workers All China Federation of Trade Unions, the largest trade union in the world, is too close to the Chinese Communist Party. China should spend more of their global trade surplus on their workers instead of financing 3 trillions dollars in US and Euro debt, about the size of our social security debt.

    • Evidently most consumers couldn’t give a damn.

      They should give a damn. Because US, UK and Euro consumers are effectively paying for their retired at the expense of Chinese workers. Though China is trying to cut back on their foreign reserves, and working conditions have improved dramatically in the past decade as they’ve become richer.

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