Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Harry Potter Is the New iPhone

With the mania around the iPhone subsiding a bit (and just a bit, until the memory of this David Pogue–let’s just say it plain, shall we?–Broadway music video, called “iPhone: The Musical,” for the New York Times about the Apple device also subsides), BoomTown has almost no shame in picking up on the Harry Potter phenom that is about to grip the world when books are officially for sale just after the stroke of midnight Saturday morning.


The Web has played an increasingly big role in the hubbub, as the books have been released over the last decade, with all sorts of online sites related to the young wizard’s exploits getting massive traffic.

On the downside, of course, has been the release of what look to be actual pages from JK Rowling’s seventh and last in her series: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” which is quite a naughty thing to do.

I still read all the spoilers, of course, and am dying to tell Walt, a big fan of the Potter oeuvre (don’t hate me, but me, not so much). I will not, of course, as he can wait until the book is out to enjoy it.

It seems he will, given the review published today by the enterprising New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani, who managed to buy a copy from a bookstore and post here.

She liked the book overall, writing that: “It is Ms. Rowling’s achievement in this series that she manages to make Harry both a familiar adolescent–coping with the banal frustrations of school and dating–and an epic hero, kin to everyone from the young King Arthur to Spider-Man and Luke Skywalker.”

But where would we be without videos about it all? Here are two on YouTube, of course.

One is a strangely satisfying puppet show (who knew Voldemort’s name could be sung to the Chordettes’ catchy “Lollipop” tune?).

The other a perfect takeoff of the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” called, of course, “Welcome Back, Potter” and complete with a dumb laugh track–I never knew I could miss Arnold Horshack’s bray so much.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik