Tag Archives: New York Times

2010 Was Not ‘The Year of the Tablet’

Craig Morgan Teicher -- December 23rd, 2010

Nick Bilton of the New York Times points out in a post on the Bits blog today that 2010 was not the year of the tablet, as he’d predicted at the end of last year, but the year of the iPad.  While there were many tablets slated for 2010 release, only Apple brought theirs to market in a big way, making 2010 the year of one product, not a product category.

Here’s more from the post:

So what happened to the year of the tablet? The answer is simple: The iPad. Apple offered a slate-like computer that incorporated its perfected iTunes app experience, at the right price point, and with an intuitive interface that helped the company quickly sell millions of its newfangled device.

As we move into 2011, the murmurs coming out of the next Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas all have to do with tablets again. There will be Microsoft tabletsHewlett-Packard slates and a number of devices running the Google Android platform. All hope to take on Apple. And so we’re looking at another Year of the Tablet.

Bilton is betting on Google–or on other companies’ devices running Google’s Android OS–as the most likely threat to Apple. But, he says, “[c]ompanies that hope to compete with Apple will most likely fail — as many have done before — if they try to entice consumers by offering devices with extra peripherals, larger screens and other technical upgrades.”

We’ll see.  There are likely to be a lot of iPads under Christmas trees this Saturday, leaving less room in people’s homes for as-yet-unreleased competitors.

The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2010

Craig Morgan Teicher -- December 3rd, 2010

The paper of record has just released its “100 Notable Books of 2010.” It includes Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom (surprise!); Chang-Rae Lee’s The Surrendered (an incredible book that was a bit overlooked); Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies (which is currently buzzing like crazy); and Something Red by Jennifer Gilmore, among many others.

How many have you read?  Do you agree with most of their picks?  Did they leave off some of your favorites?  Did the include some books you think are clunkers?  Which ?  We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Two Apps You’ll Want to Put on Your iPad This Weekend

Craig Morgan Teicher -- October 15th, 2010

It’s Friday again, which means it’s time for some fun, slightly off-topic posts.  Surfing around the Web today we noticed two pieces of iPad news that will help you pass the long Weekend hours ahead of you, assuming, of course, that you have an iPad. Here are two new apps you should install ASAP.

The first is the updated New York Times app, which features the full contents of the Web site.  Until now, the NYT iPad app was a funny thing called “Editor’s Choice,” which featured selected contents from the paper. They couldn’t offer the whole paper due to some agreement with Amazon over the Kindle edition. They seem to have got around that by requiring users to register before reading. But you should get the app now, while it’s free.  In 2011, lots of NYT content is going behind a paywall. Here’s more info from TUAW.

The second, and perhaps cooler, app is the TED app.  TED is a nonprofit that’s been hosting talks by important thinkers from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design (hence T.E.D.) for two decades. Many of those talks (such as this inspiring one from Elizabeth Gilbert) are available as free online videos. Now, all those videos are easily accessible through the TED app. Spend a weekend watching these things and you’ll return to work a better person. Here’s more info at Boing Boing.

Jodi Picoult Does Not Like Kakutani Liking Franzen

Jonathan Segura -- August 19th, 2010

The NYTPicker has some context on Jodi Picoult’s Twitter flip-out about the rave review the New York Times gave to Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, The Most Important Novel Ever in the History of Novels Ever. Basically, Picoult took a swipe at the NYT & Michiko Kakutani for praising the book, which was written by a “white male literary darling.” Picoult, you’ll note, is none of those things, and, says NYTPicker, laments “her own feelings of mistreatment by the NYT,” which has panned her books.

Picoult’s feelings aside, the “white male” argument is, in this case, a sieve. Go ahead. Have a quick look-see at the stuff the NYT’s reviewed lately. See? Lot of stuff in there getting nice reviews, much of it not written by white dudes.

But, as for this particular white male literary darling’s relationship with the NYT, and, specifically, Kakutani, I think it might be worth stepping back just a touch. Like, back to 2006, when Kakutani shredded Franzen’s The Discomfort Zone, calling it an “odious self-portrait of the artist as a young jackass: petulant, pompous, obsessive, selfish and overwhelmingly self-absorbed.” A couple years later, Franzen struck back, calling Kakutani “The stupidest person in New York City.”

Can’t you feel the chumminess? The warmth? The mutual admiration?

But, let’s open this up a bit. One of my favorite Kakutani pans of a white, male literary darling is her take-down of Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones, which contains this gem of a graf:

The novel’s gushing fans, however, seem to have mistaken perversity for daring, pretension for ambition, an odious stunt for contrarian cleverness. Willfully sensationalistic and deliberately repellent, “The Kindly Ones” — the title is a reference to the Furies, otherwise known in Greek mythology as the Eumenides — is an overstuffed suitcase of a book, consisting of an endless succession of scenes in which Jews are tortured, mutilated, shot, gassed or stuffed in ovens, intercut with an equally endless succession of scenes chronicling the narrator’s incestuous and sadomasochistic fantasies.

There are plenty of others out there. What’s your favorite?