Toys for Grownups


Cabbage Patch dolls. Tickle Me Elmo. The X Box. And now … the iPhone.
David Pogue’s review in the Times almost makes it sound like magic. “You can enlarge a Web page √¢‚Ǩ‚Äù or an e-mail message, or a photo √¢‚Ǩ‚Äù by spreading your thumb and forefinger on the glass,” he writes. “The image grows as though it√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s on a sheet of latex.”
Wow. My heart speeds up as if I’m hearing a description of a David Copperfield magic show or a particularly neat trick in a Harry Potter book. It almost makes me want to plunk down $500 in order to participate in the mad collective thrill.

Isn’t that always the case with technology? Yet how quickly the sense of magic disappears.
Think about Thomas Edison, the techno-wizard of his time — introducing electricity, sound recording and motion pictures. Yet who now is impressed with the fact that they can light a room with the flick of a switch, or hear a message on a clunky old Samsung flip-phone? Not only are we unimpressed, we’re furious if the power goes out or we hit a dead spot in our cell network.

Watch old episodes of Seinfeld and you see George racing to a pay phone — a pay phone! — to call Jerry, and you realize how new the ubiquity of the cell phone really is.
We want to be amazed, to be dazzled. But how hard it is to impress us!

The fireworks were awful tonite. All that trouble to park for a brutal 20 minute show. Joe D. must be hitting it rough to have poor quality entertainment. It was much better last year. wonder if it was the same pyrotechs.

I wonder if this is human nature, or just American nature? Watching the fireworks at Brookdale Park last night, I thought how lucky we are that the pyrotechnics were not car bombs. And the true magic was watching the face of a visiting 10-month-old named Simon, who stared in wonder, not even flinching at the noise.

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  1. Did I hear David Brooks say that the only phone service available for the iPhone was AT&T? I wouldn’t want to pay $500 to become a Beta tester.

  2. It’s my understanding that they developed for AT&T only because they would have had to have had many many versions of the mobile browser and instead decided to concentrate on just one.

  3. The iPhone is, indeed, cool but I wouldn’t pay $700 for it nor camp out in front of the store for a week. Let’s wait 4 months to see if the bugs are worked out and if they go down in price.

  4. how bout the mayor of philly waiting since 3:30 am in line while his constituency is shooting up everybody like the a wild west?

  5. What I heard from associates in the Short Hills Malls store..Verizon turned down the iphone. They were first on the list. Too bad, AT&T is the ONE main reason I would not buy. My friend however, ordered one online..there is a 4 week delay before it will ship.
    I for one, think its a great toy and will buy one of the second generation ones.
    and yes, I am a MAC-aholic.

  6. It’s been real handy so far for me.
    This site works great on the iPhone, in case any administrators want to know. I’m using it now to post.

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