iPad Reviews…

It appears that Apple handed out scads of iPads to reviewers weeks ago with the understanding that the reviews could not appear until today.

Eric Savitz at Barrons rounds up the critics so I don’t have to.

He missed the one I find the most interesting so far: English actor and writer Stephen Fry writing in Time about his visit to Apple and his interviews with Schiller, Ive and Jobs.

photo by Marco Grob for Time

The iPad as a learning machine?

Inside Higher Ed reports that Seton Hill University will be the first to give Apple iPads to all its students.

A small Catholic liberal arts college in Greensburg, PA, Seton Hill’s Mac-centric Griffin Technology Advantage Program, will also give a 13-inch MacBook to each of its incoming freshmen.

I’ve been wondering which university would be first with the iPad – and how long it will take the text book publishers to figure out the economics of the iPad for the college student market.

The first question’s answered and the second will be soon.

Daring Fireball: Generals’ War

John Gruber, with good sources at Google as well as Apple, revisits his earlier article on “the escalating contention” between the companies and finds that the engineers at both find it “weird.” But he doesn’t doubt, in either article, that the bad blood is real – and the rivalry will only increase as the two firms both focus on the post-PC markets and revenues of mobile computing.

Daring Fireball: Generals’ War

Wired: How the Tablet Will Change the World

Steven Levy’s cover essay on the iPad hedges his admiration of the curated environment of the app store vs the potential of Google’s open cloud approach. 

Somewhat more interesting are the short pieces by 13 writers, mostly with tech or futurist cred (Martha Stewart?), most of whm see a dramatic shift in the computing world as tablet computing (not necessarily the iPad) develops.

Rude comments by tablet and iPad skeptics abound below each article.

The iPad will sell well; it will be especially popular with children and older people. What I’m eager to see and can’t predict is what it will lead to – the ecosystem it creates. Some of these essays hint at that; none really seems to capture it, which is hardly surprising.

Wired: How the Tablet Will Change the World

CJR: The Education of Herb And Marion Sandler

Jeff Horwitz, writing in the latest Columbia Journalism Review, examines the way The New York Times and CBS covered the mortgage lending practices of Golden West Financial Corporation in the years just before it was purchased by Wachovia. This is an important story to get right in all the details, in part because Mr. and Mrs. Sandler, who led Golden West for more than 40 years, have a foundation that is the principal financial backer of the investigative journalism web site ProPublica and other liberal causes.

CJR: The Education of Herb And Marion Sandler

NPR Amps Up

CJR profiles Vivian Schiller and the changes in tone and substance she has brought to NPR after her first year as president. Jill Drew reports in depth how NPR is emerging from financial troubles and dealing with all the challenges of new media, competition and collaboration with its affiliate stations and PRI, and finding new resources to cover its declining deficits and ambitious plans.

Expanding on that Atlantic web site headline just below…

I’ve always been impressed by The Atlantic. Smart writers, an editorial mix full of frequent surprises – over the years, the magazine has always been consistently worth reading.

More recently, Andrew Sullivan’s prodigious blog led me to the online work of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Megan McArdle and back to Jim Fallows, whom I’ve read in print for almost as long as he’s been writing.

I thought The Atlantic’s purchase by David Bradley and its move from Boston to Washington a few years back could signal a decline, that its combination with The National Journal and his other publications might give it a more limited inside-the-beltway perspective. Instead it just keeps getting better.

The Web site redesign’s use of “channels” looks promising, but the truncation of the blogs to two- and three-line snippets, each of which requires further investigation, feels like a mistake. Further poking around reveals that Fallows has similar concerns. Sullivan is the only one who escaped this change. All the other personal pages are now much harder to read through in a consistent way. That’s a loss.