Hard News by Russell Brown


Touched by the hand

I touched an iPad, and I liked it.

It's smaller than you think -- although I was somewhat prepared for that after seeing it side-by-side with a Kindle in the brilliantly comprehensive Ars Technica review – and every bit as smooth and quick to use as the promotional videos say. It scrolls up and down Public Address pages faster than the browser in my iMac does.

The Marvel Comics app is simply brilliant. Even with .cbr files, reading comics on a computer has never been a very satisfactory experience – suddenly, it's beautiful. The YouTube application is also a delight. I can see my family fighting over turns at the IMDB and Wikipedia apps while watching TV.

The cost of making consuming media such a delight has, to some extent, been the surrender of certain computer-y features – like moving files around. Syncing files to your computer means going through iTunes and looks, frankly, like a bit of a pain in the ass. Roll on a better solution for that.

Am I going to move heaven and earth to get one shipped in? Probably not. I'm keener on waiting for the 3G model anyway, and I want to see if either or both of our mobile providers will adopt the instant-purchase model for data service ($30 for a month's unlimited use, no contracts or nothin' – just order via the iPad Settings menu) that AT&T is providing in the US. That looks civilised.

But, yes, you bet I'll have one by the end of the year.


Farewell, then Sunrise. I think the math was always against the maintenance of TV3's breakfast-time show, but it has offered a genuine alternative. Or so it appears when I see it later, online. Truth be known, I never watched breakfast TV even when I was on it. I feel for the 20 people who'll probably lose their jobs in the current economic climate.

An NBR story has the numbers, and the details of who knew what, when. Somewhat inevitably, there's a Bring Back Sunrise Facebook group, and a Facebook event page for tomorrow's one-hour Sunrise farewell from 7am.


Can I get a hell yeah for new motorways? Or, rather for their accompanying new cycleways? The cycleway along the SH20 Mt Roskill extension is almost complete, from Richardson Road, through to Queenstown Road, and it's broad, smooth and clean. It's a nice way to get to the Roskill volcanic cone itself.

The level path from Queenstown Road to the Onehunga wharf isn't quite complete, and non-athletic riders may struggle a little with the slope of the existing path, but from there it's easy enough to reach both the Mangere Bridge seaside path and Manukau Auckland City's excellent Waikaraka Cycleway around the bottom of Onehunga to Southdown, bounded on one side by the harbour and the other by citscyscapes of shipping containers.

I liked the latter so much I wound up doing the Auckland ithsmus circuit, via Panmure and Glenn Innes to Mission Bay and home to the Chev, which was a bit of a surprise.

The ice cream at Mission Bay was delightful, and I was pleased to discover that it's not necessary to ride on Tamaki Drive at all on the way into the CBD. On a holiday Sunday, that sucker just looked like more trouble than it was worth.


And finally, I think you'll find it worth your while to spend an hour watching Media7 and The Ad Show from 9.10pm tonight on TVNZ 7. I think I got something a bit different out of Garth McVicar, and The Ad Show has some surprises.

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