Sex, social media, politics and Apple (Mid-Week Roundup)

Many dismiss social media as a frivolous way to catch up with friends, or a reason why relationships break down – after all, how many times do we hear Facebook mentioned as the source of trouble on the infamous Jeremy Kyle show?

But, in a special report, Mashable says digital is transforming politics. The digital landscape has changed enormously since Barack Obama tweeted “We just made history” on November 5, 2008, capping off the first presidential election of the social media age.

“Four years in Internet time is an eternity,” says Mashable, “and the landscape of social media has predictably changed in profound ways. Social may still not be a fully mature medium – none of its major players have yet hit the decade mark – but it is clearly no longer just a throw-in.”

Talking of big players, there can be no bigger player in the technology world at the moment, than Apple, with latest figures showing it is the biggest public company in the world right now.

A post on TheNextWeb shows Apple’s quest for global domination began as far back as 1983. A rare full recording of a Steve Jobs speech from that year reveals Apple had been working on the iPad for 27 years. After a an article appeared on TheNextWeb in August about the speech, one of the site’s fans has managed to find an original cassette tape of the speech, with 30 minutes of Q&A after the main talk which had so far been little known.

“The topics are fascinating,” writes Matthew Panzarino. “Among them are computer networking, a concept that would become the App Store and that Apple had already started creative work on what would become the iPad – 27 years before it was released”

In the speech, Jobs says: “Apple’s strategy is really simply. What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes. That’s what we want to do and we want to do it this decade.”

While Jobs was some way off with his predictions for the launch date of what would become the iPad, it’s amazing to think the concept began way back then. It just shows what a tech visionary Jobs was.

And, while it’s great to reminisce about the history of the iPad, the future of the iPad is being reported elsewhere. While Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs famously slated the idea for a smaller tablet in 2010, when he said it would need to be sold with sandpaper so people could file down their fingers to make them small enough to use it, plans for the iPad mini seem to be surging forward.

Apple needs to compete with the 7+ tablets hitting the market like Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

A report in the Wall Street Journal, which has been picked up by Techcrunch, says Apple’s Asian suppliers have already started mass production of components required to make a little iPad. And, the paper seems pretty confident of its sources, citing “people with knowledge of the situation.”

The paper says the smaller tablet will have a 7.85-inch display with a lower resolution than the latest full size iPad, something that would make sense given Apple will need to keep costs for consumers down if it is to compete in the 7-inch market.

While Apple tries to find its place in the smaller tablet playing field, one blogger says she is sometimes struggling to find her place in a male-dominated tech world.

Whether the tech industry reeks of “subtle sexism” is the question being posed by tech blogger Cerian Jenkins, who talks about an experience at a software conference in Denmark. “I was confronted by a tech evangelist from another vendor,” she says, “who, though not intending to cause offense, blithely announced to a table of my industry colleagues that I had obviously gotten the 10gen job due to being a “young hot chick”.

And, given one of the Huffington Post’s other posts, she may just have a point about the male dominated industry she works in. The site describes a new app by Wonderbra, which takes the “Hello Boys” ad to the next level, as “controversial”. It allows users to undress a Slovakian supermodel called Adriana, all in the name apparently, of learning about the technical workings of bras. Yes, we believe you Wonderbra, thousands of others may just think it’s all about that old adage of “sex sells”.

We’ll just have to wait for the app that lets you undress a male supermodel in his Calvin’s before we decide that it’s not sexist.

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