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Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Fear Not, Garrison! iPad, Kindle and Company Seem to be Helping

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 9:41 am
Mr. Garrison Keillor

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Garrison Keillor, whose words and voice have given me comfort in the years in his books, radio show and  his daily poem, is very worried.

In a piece for The New York Times, Keillor writes that he is worried “that book publishing is about to slide into the sea.”

He fears that e-books and self publishing will close the door on an era when “e became writers through the laying on of hands. Some teacher who we worshipped touched our shoulder, and this benediction saw us through a hundred defeats. And then an an editor smiled on us and wrote a check and our babies got shoes.”

He describes a future with “18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives. Average annual earnings: $1.75.”

First off. As far as I can tell, the only real difference in Keillor’s future is that the average author will have six readers who are not blood relatives.

Really.

How many people do you know who have been slaving away, tinkering on, working at what they think could be the Great American Novel? Everybody’s a writer or thinks they are. People have been writing bad short stories, poems, sketches for hundreds of years.

And most of them haven’t made a dime.

Mr. Keillor — there’s really nothing new about that.

What’s great about self-publishing operations like Amazon’s BookSurge and Pubit from Barnes and Noble, is that it makes it easier for people to get out there and take a chance. Maybe they make nothing, maybe they made Keillor’s mythical average of $1.75.”

The important thing is that people are giving it a go.

Don’t we want a world where more people are trying to communicate? I mean, does he really he think that everyone who self-publishes thinks that they’ve really written the Great American Poem, Novel, Short Story? I’m sure some do. But I’m betting the majority are just people who feel they have something to say.

And let them say it, write it, shout it, blog it, self-publish and podcast it.

Let people dream and share those dreams.

The great writing will still find its way through.

In the meantime, grab a pen, pencil, typewriter, iPad, Kindle, whatever and write! And share what you’ve written.

There’s an audience of billions looking for something to read — the American Association of Publishers on Friday announced that book sales in March were up 16.6 percent, that they’re up eight percent for the year. Audiobook sales overall are up 14.7 percent for the year and the sales of downloaded audiobooks are up 29.3 percent.

AND e-book sales are up 251.9 percent for the year.

251.9 percent!

I would say that iPads and Kindles and Nooks and so forth are helping more people become readers and writers.

I mean, really. Does it get better? A nation where people are reading and writing? Maybe it’s not all good writing. Big deal. At least people are communicating!

Please relax, Mr. Keillor. It’s all going to be okay.

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Saved by the Jesus Tablet?

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 1:12 pm
Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Poynter’s online mobile media column has posted a compilation of recent headlines asking what can be saved by the iPad.

The publishing industry, traditional broadcast media, newspapers, magazines… people all over the world are wondering if this device from Apple can saved the world.

But what would you expect from something that was being referred to as “The Jesus Tablet” months before it even came out?

Well, I don’t think the iPad will necessarily save anything but I think all the evidence is there that it’s making a difference; not just helping the bottom of line for publishers but helping innovate how publications are presented and consumed.

First, there’s the survey out last week from ChangeWave that found “surprising gains in newspaper and magazine consumption,” according to Macworld.

The thing is, though, it’s not really about money yet. No magazine is close to seeing apps truly boosting up their bottom line. What we are seeing is innovation.

Take for instance, the GQ app for the iPad.

Gizmodo points out that even though the app’s not flying off the shelves,  the magazine “looks great on the iPad, even if you just read it for the pictures.”

And then there’s Sports Illustrated, which is out with a demo of where it’s going — a presentation that shows you don’t need to design an app, you don’t need to use Flash. They show you can present an incredibly rich experience if you put your mind to it.

And over at Reuters, they’ve discovered that the app, which has been downloaded more than 75,— times — “is showing triple the user session time of Reuters.com.”

So, while some are still waiting for the great iPad magazine, it’s important to remember the iPad is JUST A COUPLE OF MONTHS OLD so, let’s show maybe a little patience.

In the meantime, take a look at what Wired Magazine has done.

As Mashable points out: “When the iPad was first announced, many thought that Wired Magazine’s edition for the device would be the one to redefine the way we look at magazines. From the looks of it, it doesn’t disappoint.”

And then think about what New Yorker editor David Remnick had to say to AdAge, telling them they’re working on a business model that will allow subscribers to pay one price to get the magazine across platforms, rather than having to pay for the print, for the web, for the app and so forth.

In talking about pricing, Remnick actually sums up the fact that this is all still so very new.

“This is going to evolve,” he said.

Apple, Amazon and the Department of Justice

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm
Image representing iTunes as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

The report from The New York Times that the Department of Justice is “examining Apple’s tactics in the market for digital music” is really about so much more than music.

While the probe seems to stem from “recent allegations that Apple used its dominant position to persuade music labels to refuse to give the online retailer Amazon.com exclusive access to music about to be released” and states that so far it’s been “broadly about the dynamics of selling music online,” it’s important to add a little context to the situation.

What’s come before and what could it mean in the future?

First, it’s important to keep in mind that even if Apple did what they’re being accused of, it’s not like this was the first shot in the war between the retailers.

As Apple got ready to unveil the iPad with its own way of selling books, the company was negotiating with publishers to allow them to sell books at different prices than Amazon was charging, which led to Amazon briefly refusing to sell books published by Macmillan.

That resulted in headlines like:

“Apple vs. Amazon: The Great E-book War has Already Begun” in Mashable;

and

Business Insider’s “The Apple-Amazon eBook War Begins”

and

“Amazon eBook Pricing Battle Gets Ugly” at The Millions.

And while Amazon eventually capitulated and started re-listing Macmillan’s titles, when they did so, they released a statement foreshadowing these new events.

“We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for ebooks,” read Amazon’s statement.

As The Guardian pointed out:

“Some publishers sensed Amazon gearing up for a legal fight with its use of the word “monopoly” in its response.

“I think they very specifically used that word,” said one source, “as a way of pointing out to regulators: ‘We wanted to sell ebooks for under $10 but there is a pact between publishers and Apple which has forced the price of ebooks.”

Which brings us to today and a look toward tomorrow.

There’s a lot of fighting going on… Apple vs. Android, Apple vs. Amazon — and yes, a lot of it involves Apple — but the fact is that companies are figuring out what they’re really good at and working on improving their market share.

At the same time that doesn’t mean competition isn’t still underway.

Amazon’s the dominant bookseller and the Kindle certainly has helped them. That hasn’t kept Apple from the iPad, Barnes and Noble from the Nook, Borders from the Kobo and so forth.

And Apple definitely leads the way in the music world with iTunes but that hasn’t stopped people — including Amazon — from competing.

Just last week was Google’s announcement they are working on bringing music to the Android marketplace in way that’s sure to make some Apple device owners drool.

So, what’s it all mean?

I suspect that as competition keeps heating up so will the complaints. In the end, though, I’m betting it’s unlikely the Justice Department gets too involved. Because once they do, where do they draw the line?

Mark This: 100 Years Since Twain's Death

In Entertainment, Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm
Mark Twain photo portrait.

Image via Wikipedia

Better late than never.

When Mark Twain died in 1910, he left instructions that his autobiography not be published until 100 years after his death and, as the Independent reports, that milestone has been reached.

“In November the University of California, Berkeley, where the manuscript is in a vault, will release the first volume of Mark Twain’s autobiography,” according to the paper. “The eventual trilogy will run to half a million words, and shed new light on the quintessentially American novelist.”

There have been versions of it released over the years but this promises to be different.

“Robert Hirst, who is leading the team at Berkeley editing the complete text, says that more than half of it has still never appeared in print,” the Independent reported. “Only academics, biographers, and members of the public prepared to travel to the university’s Bancroft research library have previously been able to read it in full.

“‘When people ask me ‘did Mark Twain really mean it to take 100 years for this to come out’, I say ‘he was certainly a man who knew how to make people want to buy a book’,” Dr Hirst said.

Hirst works at Berkeley’s Bancroft Library, home to The Mark Twain Papers & Project, my favorite part of which is an online repository of thousands of his his letters and other papers.

It’s really almost impossible to overstate Twain’s place in American history — if not on the world stage.

He was “the most famous American writer of all time” and “remains the title-holder this morning,” Tom Wolfe wrote last month in The New York Times. “Later American literary stars like Hemingway, Faulkner, Sinclair Lewis and John Steinbeck, Nobel Prize-winners one and all, never had more than a spoonful of the great gouts of fame that Twain…enjoyed everywhere in the world.”

His Huckleberry Finn — a mainstay of high schools — is also a mainstay of banned book lists.

When he died, The New York Times wrote he “was the greatest American humorist of his age. It is certain that his contemporary fame abroad was equal to his fame at home. All Europe recognized his genius, the English people appreciated him at his own worth.

“From The Jumping Frog to the Diary of Adam everything that came from his pen was eagerly read and heartily enjoyed by multitudes.”

In that piece, the Times also pointed out that “posterity will be left to decide his relative position.”

While one really need only look at the excitement — good and bad — that Twain still engenders to see how that question has been answered, you can also look toward the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Each year they give out The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which this year is going to Tina Fey, former star of Saturday Night Live and current creator and star of 30 Rock. While Googling will give you one of the reasons why I think this is great news, the fact is that, like Twain, Fey is a brilliant satirist unwilling to be boxed in by conventional wisdom.

It’s been 175 years since Twain was born and 100 years since he died.

The prize named for him going to Fey, the long-awaited publication of his autobiography… Twain’s still a big star casting a big shadow.

Froyo and Google TV and Apple(s) and Oranges

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm
Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

On one hand, I think, for now, anyway, we need to stop talking about Kindle Killers, iPad Killers, and understand that not every device and advancement should be compared to every other device and advancement. I think the world is probably big enough for Apple People and Google people.

(Side note: It’s funny, isn’t it — how we no longer talk as much about Mac or PC?)

This week, Google made big news, unveiling Google TV and Froyo, its newest version of the Android operating system and the reaction was to report the news in the context of how does it compare to Apple products.

“Android Froyo Running Laps Around the iPad — Literally,” is the headline on the TechCrunch summing up of the event.

“Google is Leapfrogging Apple,” Gizmodo reports.

“(Google VP of Engineering” Vic Gundrota’s speech was filled with potshots at Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the most direct competitors for the 60 and counting Android-powered devices on the market today,” according to cnet.

There are certainly comparisons to be made, especially when discussing what seems to be Android’s upcoming ability allowing you to find and download music over the web — as TechCrunch points out — a seeming direct competitor to iTunes. And the fact that you’ll be able to stream music from your desktop to your device strikes me as a fairly cool idea.

And, of course, Android fans were very happy to hear that the system would be running Flash — something Apple chief Steve Jobs has made clear won’t be happening with Apply products any time soon (and given some recent reports, that may not be such a bad idea).

But there’s a couple of things to keep in mind, including — as I’ve mentioned — Android’s an operating system working on many platforms while iPads and iPhones are specific devices.

Now, while there are rumors that Google is working on developing a tablet, and Froyo — and certainly Google TV —could be seen as another step down that road, for now it’s little more than rumors.

So, I think for now we need to be more careful.

Compare the iPhone to the Droid — as Daniel Lyons did, coming out in favor of the Droid — but don’t go crazy comparing the sales of all phone with the Android OS to iPhone sales or Android phones to iPads.

For now, Androids are phones and iPads are about a new mobile computing experience.

I think we have to accept the fact that there are Google people and Apple people and, of course, there are still Microsoft people. We’re in the middle of a technology revolution and things are changing very quickly.

Instead of wondering whether each new device will kill its competition, judge it based on its features, whether it’s really an improvement over the previous version, what it might mean for the future of the device.

And even feel free to do head to head comparisons, asking whether an iPhone or a Droid might be better for readers based on what they are looking for.

But how about no more stories saying how this great new phone means the end of the competition. It’s just silly and it doesn’t do anyone any good.

John Banville and Benjamin Black

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm
The Infinities

Image via Wikipedia

“It was the worst of winter weather, and April Latimer was missing.”

So begins Elegy for April, the compelling, moody new novel set in 1950s Dublin by the Edgar Award-winning Benjamin Black who also happens to be the Booker Award-winning John Banville. His new novel, The Infinities, starts:

“Of the things we fashioned for them that they might be comforted, dawn is the one that works.”

Wacky, huh?

I find myself agonizing over posts of four to five hundred words (and that includes excerpts) and this guy bangs out two magnificent novels in two voices.

As The Guardian pointed out while Ezra Pound said that poetry should be at least as well written as prose, Banville seems to have turned that on its head.

“He gazes into the twilit garden. Thick, tawny sunlights creeps along the grass, drawing spiked shadows in its wake,” he writes at one point in Infinities, which is loosely based on Heinrich von Kleist’s adaptation of an Roman play, Amphitryon, about the Gods, told in the voice of Mercury.

The novels tells the story of Adam Godley, a famous mathematician on his deathbed, his family all around him and the Greek gods all around them.

While Adam lies dying, his son — also named Adam — is having problems in his marriage while older Adam’s daughter, the slightly-off and self-centered Petra, is having trouble seeing the world right in front of her and on top of it, the Gods keep getting in the way.

“We too are petty and vindictive, just like you, when you are put to it,” Mercury says at one point.

And it’s true.

He has the Gods taking human form, arguing and, as Mercury says, being petty and vindictive. If it seems obscure, complex, it really isn’t. It’s a book about big ideas with big laughs. It’s funny, beautifully crafted, light and airy at times, darkly comic at others.

Meanwhile, Elegy for April is just dark.

The third novel from Black to focus on the hard-drinking pathologist Garrett Quirke, Elegy captures the city like Chandler captured Los Angeles and gives us a main character more than capable of holding his own in comparisons with Marlowe.

The April of the title, April Latimer, is a doctor at the same hospital as Quirke though he can’t quite picture her. She is also the best friend of Quirke’s daughter, Phoebe and when April goes missing, Phoebe gets her newly sober dad to look into the case.

“Black” lays out his plot and fills it with memorable characters; not just Quirke and his daughter but the returning Inspector Hackett, and friends of of Phoebe and April, not to mention the city, which is as memorable as any of the people.

As Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times:

“The Quirke books are so savvy, stylish and unencumbered by literary ambition that they deliver a lot of guilty pleasure. They’re clever but uncomplicated, since mystery plotting is hardly their author’s primary concern.”

In interviews, Banville/Black makes it clear that he enjoys his dual personality.

“The distinction I always make is that with Banville what you get is the result of concentration, what you get from Black is the result of spontaneity,” he told The Oregonian last month. “I hope the work of both of them, those dark brothers, is equally satisfying for the reader.”

Worry not. They were.

Possessed by Elif Batuman

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm
Cover of "The Possessed: Adventures with ...

Cover via Amazon

It was love at first paragraph.

“In Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain, a young man named Hans Castorp arrives at a Swiss sanatorium to visit his tubercular cousin for three weeks. Although Castorp himself does not have tuberculosis, he somehow ends up staying in that sanatorium for seven years. The plot of The Magic Mountain mirrors the history of its composition: Mann set out to write a short story, but ended up producing a 1,200-page novel. Despite the novel’s complexity, its central question is very simple: How does someone who doesn’t actually have tuberculosis end up spending seven years at a tuberculosis sanatorium? I often ask myself a similar question: How does someone with no real academic aspirations end up spending seven years in suburban California studying the form of the Russian novel?”

So, begins Elif Batuman’s The Possessed.

It’s a magical book, a testament of love to reading, to writing, to dreaming. At its heart are essays Batuman has written including her tale for Harper’s about Tolstoy and her first, glorious essay for n + 1, which brought together Isaac Babel and King Kong.

Subtitled, Adventures with Russian Books and the People who Them, Batuman’s book is part travelogue, part dissertation about a million parts just wonderful celebration of reading and knowledge.

It’s “ostensibly about her favorite Russians but is actually about a million other things: grad school, literary theory, translation, biography, love affairs, the making of “King Kong,” working for the Let’s Go travel guidebook series, songs by the Smiths, even how to choose a nice watermelon in Uzbekistan,” Dwight Garner wrote in The New York Times where he called the book “funny and melancholy… Crucially and fundamentally, it is also an examination of this question: How do we bring our lives closer to our favorite books?”

As for the funny…

“Every morning I called Aeroflot to ask about my suitcase,” she writes. “‘Oh, it’s you,’ sighed the clerk. ‘Yes, I have our request right here…. When we find the suitcase we will send it to you. In the meantime, are you familiar with our Russian phrase resignation of the soul?'”

Writing in Slate, under the headline — A Comedian in the Academy, Who knew studying Russian literature could be so funny? — Adam Kirsch calls the book a “smartly comic new memoir.”

I read the book very fast the first time, swept up in Batuman’s romance with words and belief in their power.

“While it is true that, as Tolstoy observed, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, and everyone on planet Earth, vale of tears that it is, is certainly entitled to the specificity of his or her suffering, one nonetheless likes to think that literature has the power to render comprehensible different kinds of unhappiness. If it can’t do that, what’s it good for?”

And then I read the book again, slowly, patiently, a few pages here, a few paragraphs there, wanting to savor, enjoy, learn.

“If I could start over today, I would choose literature again. If the answers exist in the world or in the universe, I still think that’s where we’re going to find them.”

I know I am far from the first writer to sing Batuman’s praises. I’m not even the first or second here at True/Slant.

Still. I just want to say that I think everyone should buy Batuman’s book — even if you don’t like or don’t think you like Russian literature — and read more of her work.

Most importantly, though. I think everyone should read. Whenever you can, wherever you can.

The Kindle's a Failure… Not Really — It's 'Just Not Ready for Prime Time'

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Kindle "Not Ready for Prime Time" as Teaching Tool

It was bad news for Kindle last week.

The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business announced the results of their experiment with Amazon’s wireless e-reader, testing whether it would made a good educational tool.

The program gave Kindle DXs to a group of first year MBA students, allowing them “to acess textbooks, case studies, newspapers and other learning materials.”

There was a lot of excitement about the project.

“Today was a special day,” the university posted. “Each new Kindle arrived in a cool blue leather hacet.”

That was in August.

Friday, there was a little less excitement.

“Most Darden students prefer not to use the electronic reading devices in the B-school classroom,” the school concluded though it was clear from the students that they enjoyed it as a reading device.

“What that says to me is that Amazon created a very well-designed consumer device for purchasing and reading digital books, magazines and newspapers,” according to Michael Koenig, the school’s director of MBA operations. “It’s not yet ready for prime time in the highly engaged Darden business school classroom.”

There were similar thoughts at Princeton where, despite high hopes about paper reduction, students liked it more as a reader than a study tool, noting their inability to highlight text among other things.

“I found the device difficult to use and not conducive to academic purposes,” said sophomore Eddie Skolnick. “But I can see how it can be used for pleasure reading.”

Of course, these are separate issues from pushback Amazon received from the United States Department of Justice, which asked colleges to stop testing the device until it was more accessible to blind students.

The thing is, as Reed College pointed out after they studied the device:

“While students and faculty in Reed’s Kindle study were unanimous in reporting that the Kindle DX –– in its current incarnation –– was unable to meet their academic needs, many felt that once technical and other issues have been addressed, eReaders will play a significant, possibly a transformative, role in higher education.”

Meanwhile, now that Apple has released the iPad, they are making a go at the academic market.

Rutgers has signed up to test the device as has Duke and others.

An article last month in The Chronicle of Higher Education suggested that it could take a little while for it to catch on though it suggested it will be helped by apps.

Here’s the thing… there’s a lot of talk (here included) about who is winning: iPad or Kindle?

But, the fact is that as advanced as they are, we are still very early in the evolutionary process.

It will be interesting to see where things go and how the iPad tests at universities go and what lessons Amazon takes away from their trial runs.

Andrea Levy's Long Song

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 at 8:34 am

Andrea Levy's Beautiful, Funny, Affecting, New Novel

“It brought it all back to me. Celia Langley. Celia Langley standing in front of me, her hands on her hips and her head in a cloud. And she is saying: ‘Oh, Hortense, when I am older…’ all her dreaming began with ‘when I am older’  ‘…when I am older, Hortense, I will be leaving Jamaica and I will be going to live in England.’ This is when her voice became high-class and her nose point in the air — well, as far as her round flat nose could — and she swayed as she brought the picture to her mind’s eye.”

That’s how Andrea Levy’s marvelous and beguiling “Small Island” began.

“Too thoughtful a novel to promise its characters a happy ending, but it is generous enough to offer them hope,” The New York Times said in their review

It won the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Prize.

Unfortunately, there’s a history of authors following-up their prize-winning efforts with disappointing outings.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake got some mixed reviews for failing to live up to the promise of Interpreter of Maladies, which won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Yann Martel won the Booker Prize for his wonderful Life of Pi. He did not fare so well with his follow up, Beatrice and Virgil.

Anyway, obviously some follow-ups are good, others not so much. So, what does that mean for Andrea Levy now that her new novel, The Long Song, is out?

“Levy has grown as a writer: her use of language and imagery have become more accomplished than her earlier offerings,” wrote The Independent. “The Long Song is simultaneously the life-affirming story of one woman’s battle to survive in terrible circumstances, and a tribute to the legions of slaves who did more than suffer and die, but also managed to squeeze all they possibly could out of the bleakest of circumstances.”

So very true.

Levy, who has made her reputation writing beautiful, affecting novels dealing with the Black experience in England, the first person to really do so, has written another really wonderful book.

This historic novel, set mostly in the Jamaica — where Levy’s father is from and which figures in each of her novels  — of the early 1830s when slavery came to an end, is more than simple look back. Levy seems to give you a sense of life as lived and does so with exacting detail and, most importantly, a sense of humor.

It purports to be the story of Miss July, a former slave convinced to write her story toward the end of the 19th Century by her son who is a printer. In addition to an introduction and afterword that he has “written” — there are notes from him throughout the book.

On her website, Levy talks about writing the book.

“The last thing I wanted to do was write a novel about slavery in Jamaica,” she writes. “Yet writing about the experience of slavery was a natural progression for me. Small Island, my last novel was the story of Jamaican immigrants to England in the early years after World War Two. Before that I had written three other novels that dealt in some way or another with the experience of black people in Britain. How could I not write about where and why the relationship with the Jamaica and the Caribbean began? It made sense. I had to do it.”

And she started researching and the more she learned, the more she discovered that over the hundreds of years of slavery in Jamaica, a “massive social system — a society in the true sense” — had developed and endured…people were suffering and dying. But clearly people were living and surviving as well.

The Long Song is my tribute to them and, I hope, an inspirational story not only for their descendants, but for us all.”

She has succeeded.

Google this… Let me know when there's news

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on May 12, 2010 at 6:18 pm
Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

iPad being targeted by hype

So, the Wall Street Journal today has a story about Google and Verizon working together to develop a table computer… or as the headline puts it an — “IPad Rival.”

And, as expected, the story’s getting picked up.

Over at The Baltimore Sun, writer Dave Rosenthal, posts about how this news comes “”just as I was getting ready to plunge into the world of e-books by buying an Apple iPad.”

Business Insider breathlessly reports that “Google and Verizon launching iPad Killer.”

And the Globe and Mail asks: “Can a Google-Verizon tablet computer rival the iPad?”

While pretty much everything Google touches makes a splash — just look at the success of their Android phones and Microsoft’s announcement that the new version of Windows will follow Google and have an online element  — let’s take a step back for a second and look at what the Journal is actually reporting.

Something about the story just doesn’t ring right.

Verizon Wireless is working with Google Inc. on a tablet computer, the carrier’s chief executive, Lowell McAdams, said Tuesday, as the company endeavors to catch up with iPad host AT&T Inc, in devices that connect to wirless networks,” the article begins.

Right there are a couple of telling signs.

One, the source of the article is Verizon not Google.

Two, it’s not about Google striving to catch up with Apple. It’s about Verizon trying to catch up with AT&T.

Then the Journal Quotes McAdams saying: “We’re working on tablets together, for example. We’re looking at all the things Google has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience.”

“Looking at all the things Google has in its archives?”

What does that mean exactly? They’re rummaging around the attic, seeing if maybe someone actually invented some spectacular tablet computer and then forgot about it? Whatever it means, it makes it clear that whatever they are doing it’s not about to happen.

So, any questions about whether it’s an iPad killer seem, shall we say, premature.

Now, yes. Verizon and Google have a great thing going with Android phones and it would make sense for them to work on future projects.

At the same time, it’s worth mentioning that it’s been long rumored that there will eventually be a deal bringing the iPhone and iPad to Verizon. So, maybe all this is a bargaining ploy?

Regardless. I think it’s one thing to excitedly report on lost or stolen prototypes. It’s something to else to take speculation about something that might or might not happen and elevate it to a ridiculous level.

In the meantime, I suggest we all be a little more patient and get excited when there’s real news to report.