Weekend Update 01.30.10–The Padophile Edition

Okay, so maybe that headline was a bad joke, but plenty have been made at the expense of the name of Apple’s newest wunder-device. Maybe people are jealous. Maybe it’s too sexy. Maybe it’s too useful. And maybe they needed more women on the branding team.

What’s not to love? By weight the iPad should be exactly five times as awesome as the iPhone.

What Weekend Update is certain about, though, is that the most amazing feature of the new iPad has not even been covered by the media. Based on careful study, Weekend Update’s scientists have concluded that the iPad has nearly infinite “media mass.” When tech journalists and bloggers reached the Apple (AAPL) “event horizon,” which was mysteriously located at the doors of Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, their blogs and media outlets were unable to escape the iPad’s gravity, and the Internet seemed doomed to receive post after post from inside the Apple singularity forever. I mean, this post is no exception. So today’s Weekend Update will be filed from inside the Apple black hole. It’s soft, dark and welcoming here—like living inside a fresh new turtleneck. At least we’ve got Wi-Fi.

Kara was the woman to watch at the iPadapalooza this week, as she was testing the waters at her first Apple unveiling. Oh, and one more thing…she brought the Flip cam. Kara conveniently cut together all the highlights of the exchange between Steve Jobs and our very own magical Mr. Mossberg. prior to releasing the full, “just hot enough for BoomTown” version of her video, she filed a post warning Dell (DELL), HP (HP) and Lenovo that at $499, the iPad is coming for them. Kara also used her awesome editor power to issue a cautionary memo to Apple execs by dispatching yours truly, the trusty AllThingsD intern, to take the pulse of the academic heart of Silicon Valley–Stanford U. You get to watch me bounce from disappointment to existential dilemma to ultimate triumph when we finally locate some future iPad owners. There’s a moral in there for Mr. Jobs, though. See if you can tease it out.

Walt was in his element, and took his position as high priest of the geek-hood at the iPad launch. Always fastidious, Walt uncrated a Mossblog post so all could download his first impressions. While Walt was generally upbeat on the sleek new device, he drove home an important point: Jobs is out on a limb here. For the first time, he is trying to find success in popularizing a totally new type of device, not just raising the bar on an existing one. Walt’s question will definitely be one that the media discussion forward.

Every team needs a clutch player, the go-to guy when news is happening fast and it all has to get out there. John was our man, and he brought his A-game to the Apple event, dutifully liveblogging while our mediamaster, Adam, beamed back live pictures. From there, John wrote special posts about how Apple stuck with AT&T (T) as its carrier of choice, and how the company upped the ante on gestures for the multitouch interface. John rounded out his furious week of posts with a showcase slideshow of AllThingsD’s very own event photos. You’ll see Jobs, the iPad and even some exclusive shots from inside the experience area, where the media minds got to fondle the iPad first-hand.

Peter made the trip out west too, and his perspective couldn’t have been more important. If there was a takeaway from the event, it was that this device is all about the content that will run on it…even if all of that hasn’t been ironed out yet. Peter was the voice of reason, or rather, channeled the voice of Wall Street, which seemed to reserve judgment on the device until we all know more, like what it can actually do. Peter rounded out his iPad coverage with an interesting little nugget about AT&T’s win-win-win situation. The oft-scorned wireless carrier already provides the data connections for Sony (SNE) and Amazon’s (AMZN) e-readers, so win or lose for Apple, good ’ol AT&T is sitting pretty.

This whole iPad thing is a new phenomenon to physics, so there’s really no telling if we will ever get out of the iPad media black hole. Weekend Update is hoping that if all the techie journalists band together, we will find our way back into the light. Who knows? Maybe if we wait long enough, there will be an app for that too.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus