Sarah Kessler collected eleven sci-fi predictions and their real-life counterparts today. Money quote is Arthur C. Clarke's description of something akin to an ipad in 1968:
“When he tired of official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug in his foolscap-size newspad into the ship’s information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world’s major electronic papers…Switching to the display unit’s short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him. Each had its own two-digit reference; when he punched that, the postage-stamp-size rectangle would expand until it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort. When he had finished, he would flash back to the complete page and select a new subject for detailed examination…”
I gave in, by the way. I find it pretty useless for reading the web, and the lack of flash is simply bizarre. But the visual interactive apps are a joy, and I have to say I love iBooks. Somehow, for me, it beats the Kindle because it better represents the actual exerience of reading a real book - the fonts, the pages, the turning of them, even little design things like that bookmark. I know it's not so great in sunshine, but I've found myself wanting to read on it more than I ever did on the Kindle. And especially lying down on the couch or in bed, where, it appears, I am not alone.