Monday, May 10, 2010

Wait — did Obama just diss the iPad?

President Obama at Hampton University @ Yahoo! Video

President Obama's commencement speech Sunday at Hampton University caused a little stir in tech circles after he took a swipe at some of our favorite toys — "iPods and iPads and PlayStations and Xboxes" — for turning "information" into a "distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment." Oh, and he admitted that he doesn't know how to make any of them "work," either. Shocking!
Here's the passage of Obama's 2,000-word speech, delivered at the historically black college in Hampton, Va., that got the blogosphere all a-twitter (sorry, couldn't resist):
"And meanwhile, you're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter. And with iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it's putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy."
So is the president saying that iPods, iPads and PlayStations are bad (as the Inquirer puts it, "on his axis of evil list")? Or is he simply saying we should switch off our Xboxes once in a while and, I dunno, read a book or something?



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