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Three days after Apple introduced the iPad media player, the feathers are beginning to settle. Plenty of tech-heads are still grumbling about shortcomings, but others are taking the long-view, predicting what kind of role the device will play in our lives. Soothsayers envision the tablet in any number of places, from garages to hospitals to frontiers we haven't even dreamed of yet.

  • Buy a Few, Leave Them Around the House At Business Insider, Henry Blodget offers the following advice: wait for the inevitable price drop, then stock up. In the world of tomorrow, iPads "won't live on desks, the way desktops do, and they won't be carried everywhere, the way mobile phones are. They'll just be there, around the house, on tables and counters, the way today's books, magazines, games, and newspapers are, booted up, ready to use."
  • Save One for the Glove Compartment Matthew DeBord at The Big Money suggests a partnership between Apple and the foundering auto industry. "The iPad could be, and could in fact radically transform, the owner's manual... It would a fully integrated digital resource that wouldn't just outline a vehicle's operation and maintenance schedule, but that would bolster the car ownership experience."
  • The iPad Will Heal the Sick Ryan Kim at the San Francisco Chronicle relates the story of a California hospital that stopped using tablet computers "because of their bulk, short battery life and screens that weren't always easy to read. However... the iPad is promising enough to make the hospital consider a move back to tablets." They could make "an amazing tool," says one administrator.
  • We Don't Know What We Don't Know At Oxford University Press, Dennis Baron takes the most philosophical view, noting that if past technologies are any indication, Week One of the iPad era is way too soon to guess what lies ahead. "Writing was developed not to transcribe speech but to keep records of inventory. Pencils were developed by cabinet makers to make cut marks on wood, not for writing words or drawing pictures. Computers were invented to crunch numbers, not process words."

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