Oh, hey. New iPhone and iPods. Also, apparently last week there were some new Kindles Fire. I got some angry e-mails from Slog readers last week, when I was in Charlotte covering the DNC, that I didn't put up a Slog post about Amazon's new gadgets. Here's the thing: This shit is getting old. I'm not saying that smartphones and tablets aren't amazing things. I have an Android phone and I own a pre-used first-gen iPad that I use every morning to get my news and read comics and e-books. I love my touchscreen devices a whole lot.
But this isn't news, anymore. An incremental increase in thinness or lightness or computing power is not a breaking news event that should turn everyone's attentions away from what's happening in Libya. Those first few days of the iPhone were a big damned deal. Touchscreens had existed for decades, but their mass-market acceptance was something that changed society in a small but profound way. Our graphic design, our feelings toward our computers, and even our shared language changed very quickly to incorporate these devices into our lives. That's news. But this kind of breathless reporting on annual PowerPoint presentations from wealthy CEOs is kind of driving me crazy. It's not news.
People will learn about these new devices. That's what advertising is for. But Apple didn't change anything major today. They added to their bottom line. And good for them! I'm not resentful of successful businesses. But a thinner, faster, larger rectangle with a beautiful screen and a slightly improved battery device? It's just not news. This sure sounds more like news to me:
Apple claims that it’s ending forced illegal overtime [in Chinese Foxconn plants], but workers are simply required to meet the same quotas within a regular shift — meaning many have to work extra hours without any pay at all. Apple claims wages are rising, but deductions for room and board have risen even more, so take-home pay has actually declined. Meanwhile bosses are still abusive, unions are still overwhelmingly populated by management, students are still forced to work in factories as part of phony “internship” programs, and workers still lack any collective bargaining rights.
But what do I know? I didn't even break the exciting news about the larger screen on Amazon's new Kindles last Thursday.That sure is a bigger screen, all right.