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Obama Catches Flack for Dissing iPad

'Entertainment distracts, crazy ideas get traction'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2010 5:01 AM CDT
Updated May 10, 2010 6:00 AM CDT
Obama Catches Flack for (Sort of) Dissing iPad
President Barack Obama receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree after speaking at graduation ceremonies at Hampton University yesterday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – President Obama is catching more than a little flack following his speech at Hampton University yesterday, in which he blasted the venerable iPad, among other devices, as distractions that can lead Americans away from the truth. "With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations—none of which I know how to work—information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation," Obama told students at the Virginia school. Reactions:

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  • The New York Post's front page today exclaims "Bam's iPad Slam" and goes on to describe the prez as "lobbing more grenades than the popular 'Call of Duty' video game at targets like Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony."
  • Though his comments "have some legitimacy, it’s still odd coming from Obama, who is the first US president to be glued to a smartphone, to appoint a federal CIO, and to push the government toward cloud computing. The naming of several specific products was also odd, and probably not very wise," writes Jason Hiner for Tech Republic.
  • "Time will tell if the iPad becomes just another distraction. But until then, Obama might even be well advised to tout the iPad's potential at schools rather than slamming it as just another attention-deficit device," writes Brooke Crothers for CNET.
(Read more iPad stories.)

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