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You know it, we know it, the whole damn world knows it: On ever-so-rare occasions, there are technologies that we, the nerd elite, have ever-so-slightly... umm... overhyped. That's right, we said it. Overhyped. It's just that when we're talking with engineers or reading about about some hot new technology, we get so damn excited. So excited! And can you really blame us? I mean, who wouldn't get excited when you hear about CPUs that clock in over 4GHz, or instruction sets that will multiply your CPU's performance? And geez, who wouldn't want to turbocharge his gaming framerate? Hell, we shouldn't be blamed for overhyping, it's those damn engineers fault!
We get it. It's a very small notebook, and you're a cheapskate. But anytime the hype from one product single-handedly launches a whole new product category, we get suspicious. The Eee and its "Netbook" ilk are (a) criminally underpowered, (b) sport keyboards that will be fat-fingered by anyone who doesn't describe his hands as "fey" or "elfin," and (c) include displays with maximum resolutions that we haven't seen since we upgraded to a 12-inch CRT. It's great that you can trade in some cereal boxtops for a "Netbook", but we'd rather spend a buck or two and get a real computer. You know, something that wouldn't have been considered underpowered in 1997.
We're now on the cusp of the sixth year that has been described as "the year" that HDTV adoption will finally take off and Change the World™. Sometime in mid-2003 we proclaimed that HDTV-madness was sweeping the nation. And now, almost six years later, even our moms have finally bought shiny, beautiful 1080p sets and invested in HD cable or satellite. But the general public? The general public is so dumb and lazy that they're watching YouTube quality video on their plasmas and LCDs, because they're too cheap (or aforementionedly dumb and lazy) to invest in HD signals. Meanwhile, I'm the dumbass who's watching HD content on the four-foot thick, 500-pound rear-projection behemoth I "early-adopted" in 2001. Yes, I'm bitter. Still.
Distracting? Yes. Fun? Yes. Revolutionary? No. Facebook isn't anything special. It's simply the best execution of an idea that started way back when with Friendster, took a wrong turn as Orkut, and accidentally pandered to the teenybopper audience in the form of Myspace before inadvertantly backing into the mainstream by giving drunken college kids a place to post pictures from last night's party. Yes. I'm looking at you, Norm.
I said it in the magazine, and legions of superfans got pissed. So I'll say it again right now! Right up until the point that everyone went camping on New Caprica, Battlestar Galactica was the best thing on TV. Since then, it's been more about who fraks who than sending toasters to hell. A once-awesome sci-fi masterpiece has been reduced to Melrose Place in space. Meh.
Spore's finally been released, but that's not stifled its critics, who say that it's nothing more than a stripped-down version of better, more complex, more interesting games. Of course, the true irony is that the game Wil Wright built to save science doesn't allow your critters to evolve naturally. Instead, it's nothing more than a treatise in bump-mapped intelligent design. Oops.