Apple's tablet: The only thing that matters

The hype surrounding Apple's mythical device has drowned out all other tech news. Fortunately, if we can just hang on for two more days we might actually survive it.

Forget Obamacare or the new Republican senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Pay no attention to the New Orleans Saints or the Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien soap opera. You can even safely ignore the Chinese and their cyber shenanigans. There's only one thing happening in the world this week, and it's taking place in about 48 hours in San Francisco.

Call it what you will -- iSlateMania, iPadMadness, iTabletBabble -- the hype surrounding Apple's upcoming mystery announcement (aka the Wonder Tablet) has drowned out everything else of import, at least among the geekerati. Jesus Himself could descend from the heavens and declare the rapture, and unless He was carrying an Apple tablet nobody would pay Him any mind.

[ Check out more of Cringely's musings on demystifying Apple's magical mystery event. | And stay up to date on all Robert X. Cringely's observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]

Thus we have TechCrunch quoting Steve Jobs (using second-, third-, and fourth-hand accounts) saying, "This [the Wonder Tablet] will be the most important thing I've ever done."

(FYI, other things Steve Jobs has probably been overheard saying:

"My, that was certainly a tasty macrobiotic burrito."

"What the #$#@#! do you mean you don't #$#@#ing! know when the #$#@#ing! OS will be ready? Remind me again who signs your #$#@#ing! paychecks?"

"Bill Gates on line 2? Tell him I'm in the shower.")

What does this tell us, exactly? Two things:

  1. TechCrunch will report anything (but we knew that already).
  2. Geeks are desperate for any crumb of news attached to the Wonder Tablet, no matter how trivial or implausible.

Meanwhile there is actual news, of a sort. Web analytics firm Flurry, which offers software to developers that lets them track where and how their apps are used, reports  a flurry (sorry) of activity from unidentified devices emanating from IP addresses in Cupertino. Some 50 devices that are not iPhones yet use iPhone apps -- particularly game and entertainment apps -- are actively hitting the Flurry network. (They're also detecting testing of iPhone OS 4.0, thus confirming that rumor as well.)

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