The Other Big Story

April 3rd, 2010 by Kyle

So the other thing going on today besides WonderCon was happening only two blocks away at the Apple Store on Market Street in San Francisco. Taking a few minutes away from the action at the con, I decided to scope out some of the action surrounding the iPad launch.

Here’s the line to get in, which by 2PM only stretched half a block up Powell Street.

Here’s the line looking down Powell. Fortunately, there was no line to get in to the store if you weren’t going to buy an iPad.

I hold one in my hot little hands. Note WonderCon badge.

Easily small and light enough to hold in one hand. Very comfortable. Note size compared to my can of Coke.

It seemed just slightly smaller than I imagined it. It’s light, but a bit heavier than a Kindle.

Here’s a pic with a couple of dollar bills for size comparison.

And sitting on top of a standard 8 1/2 x 11″ (letter size) piece of paper.

Sitting on the same paper, from the back.

The screen looked beautiful, and if there’s any criticism I have of it at all it’s only perhaps that it’s a little glossy for my preference – though a screen protector (which you should definitely invest in) will certainly take care of that. In short, I can say that both from what I’ve experienced in real life, and what I’ve seen on the internet, the doubters and haters are all people who’ve never held one in their hands. Now that I have, I cannot be a doubter. I can’t emphasize enough just how good it feels to hold, how natural typing is on it – even (especially) when it’s laid flat on a table, and how good it looks, both screen-wise, and in industrial design.

Hate all you like – then go hold one. I think this thing’s a winner.

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Categories: Tech

Flynn Lives… and I couldn’t care less

April 2nd, 2010 by Dave

Dave here,

I just got back from day 1 of WonderCon 2010, and overall, it’s been awesome. Like Kyle posted earlier, we got some great interviews today and more for us to do tomorrow.

So, I went to the special Tron Legacy event at the Embarcadero Center/Justin Herman plaza. I’m sure by now, a lot of you have encountered the ‘Flynn Lives’ marketing campaign online and maybe in other venues. And the one I went to tonight did the exact opposite of what a marketing campaign is supposed to do: it actually made me less interested in the product.

The whole event was basically staged as an ‘underground’ meeting for a flash mob to disrupt an Encom press conference and demand investigation into Flynn’s disappearance. I won’t go into details about it, mainly because I’m not totally sure the extent of the NDA on the piece of paper I signed that allowed the marketing company to photograph me and use it. I have a sneaking suspicion that the flash mob scene might make it into the actual movie, but I really don’t care; I left before the scene started.

Basically think of a LARP turned into a marketing stunt/PR event/movie scene shoot, and that’s what it was. It was like some unholy offspring of high school geeks and the most shallow aspect of cheerleaders having to put on a pep rally. It was overblown, overthought, and trying to capitalize on the ‘flash mob’ gestalt while still being a tool for corporate propaganda. So, it was pretty much everything that justifies my cynicism and contempt for most modern media endeavors.

More importantly, the whole thing had a ‘been there, done that’ feel for me, since I’m a big fan of Cyberpunk RPG’s. Getting a mob of people to provide a distraction to corporate security while you actually do the op and get/subvert the data? Yeah, done that way too many times. And when my friends and I RP’ed such scenarios out (and let’s face it, this Tron event was basically one big LARP), we actually had things like corporate security armed with automatic weapons and explosives firing at us, Black IC (Intrusion Countermeasures) protecting the data, and cybernetically-altered security animals trying to kill us. In short, it wasn’t just stuff I’d played through dozens of times before, it didn’t even rank on the ‘intensity’ meter for make-believe.

There is such a thing as gilding the lily a bit too much, and the event tonight did that to the extent that the lily looked as cheep and tawdry as as a ‘date’ picked up in the Tenderloin.

Categories: Announcements, Movies

Geek Tragedy Liveblogs WonderCon!

April 2nd, 2010 by Kyle

Kyle here – live from WonderCon 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco

So far, it’s been an exciting con. Interviews with the Pinis, Phil Foglio, and Randy Millholland in the can. Dave is off to a special Tron event, and we’ll get a full report from him on the show.

I got to shake hands with Peter Mayhew. mmRrrearrgh!!

More updates soon.

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Categories: Announcements