Particle Debris (week ending 2/5) Regrets and Delights

The week started off with a lot of iPad-related speculation. Like this one from TechCrunch on Monday. Some say its utter nonsense. Some say it's just the beginning of of a whole new line of tablets from Apple. (I fall into the latter camp.) Judge for yourself.

Also, some sharp eyed people at Cult of Mac think they saw an iSight video port at the top of the iPad that Steve Jobs demoed -- and have a photo to prove it. Whether it's active or not, no one knows, but Leander Kahney noted, "...references to a camera have been found in both the iPad’s Address Book software and the iPad firmware." Some rumors suggest that AT&T asked for it to be disabled. Others suggest it's an item for iPad 2.0. No one knows right now.

How many iPads will Apple sell in 2010? That's a good question. Fortune Magazine collected the estimates of 14 Wall Street analysts, and the number ranges from a paltry 1.1 million (Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer) to 7.0 million (Brian Marshall, Broadpoint AmTech). Interestingly, Gene Munster, one of the most positive of the Apple analysts, was not leading the pack on this one. Also of interest, the estimate picks up wildly for 2011, perhaps because they suspect supplies will be limited in 2010? Here at TMO we don't think supplied will be constrained as they have been with the iPhone. My own estimate is 6 million for 2010.

The Apple Collection has published five pages of Apple prototypes from the past. Some made it into production and some look eerily familiar. Check it out.

Midweek, I was directed to this charming perspective by Sir Patrick Stewart -- his thoughts on Twitter and his "beautiful" iPhone. Even if you're not a fan of Mr. Stewart, this short video provides some food for thought, even if, as a non hard-core technologist, he does lack some insight into the benefits of following the right kinds of other technologists on Twitter. Highly recommended.

How do developers feel about the iPad? David Dixon, over at Macworld, provided his thoughts on the potential of Apple's new smartbook and the opportunities it will offer developers.

Here's an interesting short essay at the Edible Apple by a fellow who's been at work for Google for just a month. He already has some keen insights: "...the corporate culture is based on hiring really smart people, giving them responsibilities, letting them know what problems the company thinks it should focus on, then letting them figure out how to tackle it." A short but good read.

Finally, in the context of Apple TV, the iPad, and all the technical possibilities these days for home video, (plus the so-called "Hulu Household,") Dan Frommer explains why he had to reverse course and go back to Cable TV in: "Why I Caved, Bought Cable TV, And Gave Up On My 'Hulu Household" And he's delighted with the decision.

Personally, I've never understood those who seek the Holy Grail of one perfect, all inclusive video delivery system -- that also costs the least. It's just not possible, nor even desirable. Mr. Frommer's essay demonstrates that practicality is still a better approach than a frustrating search for video nirvana. But it will cost a little more too. "So while the 'Hulu household' experiment was fine, I'm actually pretty glad it's over -- especially now that I'm spending more weeknights at home, and fewer nights out on the town. Maybe I'm just getting older and more willing to pay a little extra for high quality home entertainment."

As they say, and especially with regard to our current state of the art in video entertainment, Perfect is the enemy of Good Enough. Be relaxed and be flexible is my mantra.