The iPod sold a gazillion and became an industry standard because it took existing formats and made them fundamentally easier to enjoy. We've all noticed that we never run out of remotes to throw at the television when politicians appear on the screen. That's because we have so many hanging around, and so few do exactly what we want them to do, and they are always arguing among themselves. The remotes, not the politicians. OK, both do, but Steve Jobs can maybe do something about the television, anyway:
One of the ironies of the last decade of technological change is that things that used to be difficult for ordinary folks to master - setting up an e-mail account, getting an Internet connection - have grown far simpler. Meanwhile, lots of things that used to be easy - say, changing channels while watching TV - have gotten more perplexing. You know the drill: You try to change the channel using the TV remote when you actually need to use the cable box remote (or the TiVo remote), and suddenly the screen goes blank because it's on Channel 4 instead of Channel 3. I know many people who have printed instructions near their media system that explain how to turn it on or how to turn up the volume.
Steve Johnson at Slate examines how Apple could make us think different about our televisions, if they'd get off the virtual couch and tackle the problem.
Read the whole thing here.