Liveblog: iTablet Press Event

Erin BarkleyWednesday, January 27, 2010
This post is part of Push the Third Button Twice, a ~2 month adventure where I would write parody articles based on the news as it happened — in 15 minutes or less. The posts are credited to my a fictional "staff", but they're actually all me. I apologize in advance.

9:30AM — Hello and welcome to 1889's coverage of the Apple iTablet press event! We've still got half an hour before things get underway, so in the meantime, go find your popcorn and/or vodka, and get ready for the fun. I'm PTTBT's Erin Barkley, ready to help make sense of the insanity we're about to see.

9:31AM — In line outside the auditorium with the rest of the "press". Michael Arrington is throwing eggs at the crowd, calling us all "sell outs". I've never seen a man cry at that high pitch before.

9:31AM — Wait, David Pogue got hit in the face, and he's a full octave higher.

9:32AM — We're being strip searched on the sidewalk. A guy behind me had a Droid phone, and was tossed in front of a bus. Awesome!

9:35AM — Gizmodo is reporting the tablet rumours are false, and Steve Jobs is actually releasing a special aluminum paintbrush today.

9:36AM — Paintbrush DOES explain the invite design, and also the fact they're taking all sharp objects away from us. Just got my shiny white jumpsuit. I'm #5133, if anyone wants to chat!

9:39AM —Wait, no, Gizmodo's been drinking again. They're talking about magic fairies that deliver iWork updates in your sleep.

9:41 — We're heading into the auditorium! Lots of people pushing for good seats. Robert Scoble is trying to reserve the entire front row, but I don't think that's gonna fly.

9:42 — Didn't fly. But Scoble did! Paramedics please!

9:44 — As with other Apple events, they are packages taped beneath the chairs in the auditorium. We've been told not to touch them, so you know everybody is going to try.

9:46 — Ooo! Poisonous snakes! That'll teach ya!

9:47 — As with everything Apple, the early adopters get bitten. And possibly die. Wow, that got real swollen, real fast.

9:48 — Music selection for this morning: Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds by the Be... OH MY GOD! BEATLES ON iTUNES! OH MY GOD!

9:49 — Ha ha, just kidding. Going for nostalgia. How ya likin' it?

NOTE: Today's liveblogging is brought to you by The Man With the Improbable Leg, also about tablets.

9:51 — We have it on good authority that Jason Calacanis is a doofus. Insider information. Can't disclose.

9:52 — Bill Gates in the audience, posting to Twitter.

9:53 — OMG, that's totally the McGraw-Hill CEO hanging from the rafters! LOL!

9:55 — Final information from anonymous sources: Tablet will come in 10" and 15" versions, recognize your face through the camera, play movies in HD, and synchronize to SkyNet so the iTerminators know where you are at all times.

9:56 — Lights are dimming!

9:57 — Being asked to silence our cellphones, or be silenced ourselves.

9:58 — Special gas being piped through the air ducts. Feeliong really happy right now! Wheee! RDF enhancement! Yay!

9:59 — Apple store is updated! There it is!

9:59 — Ha ha, just kidding.

10:00 — The big moment! Cheering! Roaring! Insanity! Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria!

10:01 — Tim Cook is taking the stage! People booing! Where did they get cabbage?

10:02 — Steve Jobs onstage. Cheering and some strange chanting going on. He has some kind of shiny white halo over his head. It's pulsing very slowly. Mesmerizing...

10:03 — "Want to unveil some truly magical products today..."

10:03 — "Harry Potter-branded iPhones!"

10:04 — Apple has sold 250 million iPhones. Since January 1. "Unacceptable. Has been punished."

10:05 — 3 billion apps downloaded from the App store. 2 billion of them complete and utter crap. Also being punished.

10:06 — Get their money from 3 product lines. Phones, Music, and Computers. Adding fourth line today: paintbrushes!

10:07 — Steve is laughing at us all for blogging that.

10:08 — Just read on Twitter that Twitter is down.

10:09 — Someone just yelled "GET F*KING ON WITH IT, YOU SHT FOR BRAINS!" from the back of the room. $5 says it's Mike Cane.

10:10 — Introducing the iPad.

10:10 — The fourth Apple product line is feminine hygiene products? Wow!

10:11 — Big, thin, shiny, and with a nice thick border around it so it appears more useful than it is when off!

10:13 — You can read books as if they're paper books! Yes! A blending of antiquated technology with modern touchscreen goodness!

10:14 — A full keyboard! Except for the missing keys! And the lack of tactile feedback! And... wait, this can't be a feature, can it?

10:15 — Navigating the web via Safari. No Flash. Crowd cheers!

10:16 — Going to Time.com to see live coverage of the iPad release. The recursion, it burns!

10:17 — Cool feature of iPad: you can fold it into a paper airplane and throw it!

10:18 — Wait, no, he just plain threw it. Poor Engadget writers. Sounds like broken teeth.

**10:19 — "**Writing email has never been easier. Except on a real computer."

10:20 — Can take photos with THREE CAMERAS INLINE. Front and back I can see, but where's the third?

10:21 — Ah, special x-ray camera to detect uncoolness. Linux geeks in the crowd are getting restless. Bill Gates is openly weeping.

10:2****3 — "Listening to music is easier than ever." I never found it hard myself. My ears do not require a software update. OH MY GOD, STEVE JOBS IS A CYBORG!

10:25 — Demoing calendars. Steve has a busier schedule than 1889.ca! Crazy!

NOTE: Today’s liveblogging is brought to you by The Man With the Improbable Leg, also about tablets.

10:26 — You can watch HD movies full-screen! And by full-screen, he means inside that tiny window with the big black border around it!

10:27 — He's watching clips of Star Trek. "I love that new Uhura, don't you? She'd look good in shiny white plastic..." Is he drooling? Oh dear.

10:28 — .5 inches thin. 1.5 pounds. 9.7 inch capacitive multitouch screen with 3D simulation built in and the ability to create portals to other dimensions.

10:30 — Steve hard heard that Gizmodo, Engadget, Ars and Twitter have gone down under the strain of his announcement. He is laughing maniacally.

10:31 — You can fly from San Fran to Tokyo on it.

10:31 — On a single battery charge, I mean.

10:32 — Still, this beats the hell out of my old magic carpet.

10:33 — Can stop bullets fired at close range. Tim Cook onstage to demonstrate.

10:34 — Ooo! First bug of the presentation! Paramedics!

10:35 — Has 32GB of space built-in, expandable to 100GB with AHAHAHAHAHAHA just kidding. Expandable Apple products? As if!

10:37 — Can run all existing iPhone apps by expanding the images so they fill the screen. And by fill the screen, I mean ignoring that big honkin' black border all around the outside.

10:38 — Inviting people onstage to speak about the iPad. First up is a guy in a funny mask....


10:40 — Mike Cane is being escorted from the building.

10:41 — Gizmodo is reporting the iPad can throw grenades. I haven't seen that functionality myself.

10:42 — Someone in the audience just made a joke about iPadThai. Got a few chuckles until the snipers went to work.

10:43 — Next up is someone from the NYT to talk about the iPad. Making custom portal like they did for the iPhone. "With this, we can delay the inevitable for a few more months."

10:44 — Reading the NYT on the iPad is just like reading the paper version. Emits special chemicals from the screen to stain your fingers and have the room smell if you leave it open too long. Also, comes with free earwigs, to complete the paper effect.

10:45 — "The iPad will revolutionize the print industry!"

10:45 — Sorry, I misspelled "obliterate".

10:46 — Showing off a painting app, which lets you pretend to be an artist! The iPad will revolutionize the art world! Or not.

10:47 — Now the Electronic Arts CEO is onstage to talk about OH MY GOD, CABBAGE AGAIN?! Not ALL their games, suck, people!

10:48 — Demoing racing game. "Just like the real thing!" The iPad will revolutionize the car industry! Look out, Toyota!

10:50 — Last up is MLB.com, which will undoubtedly signal that baseball is about to be revolutionized or something. And about time, too!

10:51 — There are a bunch of Apple fanboys in the back singing Kumbaya and holding hands. I think they're attending a different press conference than the rest of us.

10:53 — Some people are criticizing the pixel doubling feature, but I think it's great! Sharp graphics give me a headache! I LIKE feeling like I need new glasses all the time!

10:54 — iBooks! Wait, I owned one of those already. What the hell, Steve?

10:55 — Sure, sure. It'll revolutionize the book industry. Blah blah blah.

10:56 — App looks like you're staring down at a book. And a dog-eared book, too. Can't they take better care of these things? I mean, just because you keep it on the back of the toilet doesn't mean you can't, I dunno, treat it with a little respect.

10:57 — Download right into the app. read right away. "Just like the Kindle, only not sucky."

10:58 — Turn the page by touching anywhere on the right. Special double-tap feature lets you skip a page "by accident" so you can be confused about why the hero is suddenly off the pirate ship and back in the tavern.

10:59 — It uses the ePub format, so you can read things like The Vector or The Man With the Improbable Leg or Typhoon very easily!

11:00 — New version of iWork to run on the iPad. "Will continue to rock its own little world!"

11:01 — New versions of Keynote, Pages and Numbers built specifically for the iPad, so you can really experience the torture of trying to type on a virtual keyboard while doing serious work.

11:02 — Demoing Keynote. You can drag and drop slides around, just like with old slide projectors! It's retro, people, retro!

11:05 — There's something very Star Trek:TNG about this whole thing. I keep expecting him to demo how to eject the warp core via Keynote.

11:06 — New Pages is really cool. Phil Schiller is demoing it, and keeps making typos, and Pages doesn't try and correct them for him. It's making his face turn red.

11:08 — Now demoing Numbers. File already open... "aapl_backdating.numbers". Hey cool!

11:10 — "The perfect tool for businesspeople who want to be able to leave their computers at home and still make their PC friends look like Neanderthals."

11:11 — iWork apps are $9.99 each, or $30 if you want themmmmm waitasecond, that's the same price. Aren't bundles supposed to be cheaper?

11:12 — Steve is back onstage. His halo is glowing something fierce now.

11:13 — "Isn't it great?" Cheers. "Well you can't have one for another 6 months. HA HA SUCKERS!"

11:15 — Wireless plans: $15/month for 250MB, and $30/month for unlimited. All traffic routed through the Death Star, so no more poor reception like AT&T.

11:16 — All iPads are unlocked, so you can use them with any carrier you like, unless you like your life, in which case you'll do what Apple recommends.

11:18 — Recapping features. Fast processor, big storage, big screen, huge border, battery life, magic carpet...

11:19 — $80.

11:20 — Whoa, sorry, missed a zero there.

11:20 — $499 for 16GB without 3G or touchscreen capability.

11:21 — $629 for 3G, up to $829 for 64GB of storage and a partridge in a pear tree.

11:22 — Worldwide availability in 60 days. 90 days for WiFi-only version. If you own a PC, you have to wait another 15 days for the stench of Dell to wear off before the iPad will activate.

11:23 — Gizmodo is reporting there is no camera on the device at all. I think someone had big money on it having a camera, because there's a lot of cursing going on.

11:25 — Phil: "There's not right or wrong way to hold it." But based on Steve's glare, I think there IS a wrong way to hold it...

11:26 — "It's going to change the way we do the things we do." Wasn't that a Tom Hanks movie?

11:27 — Cool accessory: leather case that opens like a book. Costs as much as an iPod Touch, but it's SO SEXY!

11:28 — RDF in full force. iPad video is playing, and it sounds like half the audience is having an orgasm.

11:29 — "This will be a whole new goldrush for app developers." Palm CEO, chained to seat in front row, is trying to scream through his gag.

11:30 — People are waving lighters in the air, chanting "Praise be to Steve, Saver of Worlds!" I did NOT sign up for this.

11:31 — Steve: "Do we have what it takes to sell the iPad? Yes. iPhones have been sending out mind control waves for months now, preparing the herd... I mean the customer base... for this moment."

11:33 — We are all being asked for our credit cards before we're able to leave the room. Well, at least we get to decide if we want 5 or 10 iPads to start.

11:34 — More paint splatter artwork. I don't know what they think that implies, but to me, it says someone's kid got into the wrong cupboard and made a mess.

11:35 — That's it! A puff of smoke, and Steve disappeared! Angels singing, all that stuff.

11:36 — It's been a fun time, peeps. Thanks for playing along. Be sure to check out the rest of 1889.ca, and buy some of our iBooks (cough) so you're ready when your iPad arrives!

The Event is now concluded. Thank you for your patronage. Tip your waitress. Good evening.

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